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Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Tours

Sabi Sands is the ultimate luxury safari destination with superb Big Five viewing. Upmarket wildlife lodges offer safari packages that include expertly guided game drives in open-sided 4x4s. It is particularly famed for its leopards. They are so relaxed that it isn’t uncommon to see several individuals on one game drive. Since fences along the 50km/31mi border with Kruger were dropped in 1993, free movement of wildlife between the two areas means that Sabi Sands is part of a huge ecosystem.

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1-20 of 70 luxury tours, packages and holidays to Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

6 Questions About Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Tours


6 Questions About Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Tours

Answered by Philip Briggs

Why should I choose Sabi Sands for a luxury trip?

“Sabi Sands is the complete upmarket safari package. A trip to Sabi Sands is highly recommended for first-time safari-goers who value comfort, and who want to see the Big Five with relative ease. It offers some of the world’s best Big Five viewing, and intimate encounters with lion and leopard are something of a specialty. Sabi Sands is also one of the best places to look for daytime carnivores such as cheetah and African wild dog. Night drives might reward safari-goers with sightings of bush babies, genet, civet, honey-badger, serval and, occasionally, aardvark. In general, the guides in Sabi Sands are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, while accommodation, cuisine and service at most lodges wouldn’t disgrace a five-star hotel.”


What is included in a Sabi Sands luxury safari?

“Most lodges and camps in Sabi Sands offer all-inclusive packages. This covers accommodation, which in most cases is four- or five-star quality, all meals, and game drives in open 4x4s with highly qualified guides and trackers. Many top-end lodges also include laundry and a wide range of drinks, such as tea, coffee, soft drinks, local beer and house wine. This isn’t always the case though, there can be variations between safari packages and operators regarding specific inclusions. Therefore, we encourage you to do some checking in advance of your trip. Rack rates in Sabi Sands don’t include transportation to the lodge. However, this will usually be included in any package price quoted by a tour operator. One thing that won’t be included is tips. These can really add up on a Sabi Sands luxury safari, so do your research before leaving home and bring along plenty of small notes.”


How long do I need in Sabi Sands?

“A typical luxury safari in Sabi Sands is three nights in duration. This allows for six game drives, and you can be reasonably confident of seeing most or all the Big Five. This tour length ensures that the daily routine does not start to become repetitive. Keen wildlife enthusiasts and photographers might want to spend a full week in Sabi Sands, perhaps dividing their time between two lodges. Budget-conscious travelers could spend a few days on a self-drive safari in Kruger before capping their holiday with a night or two in Sabi Sands. ”


How does a typical day on a luxury safari in Sabi Sands unfold?

“On a typical day, you will be woken with a pot of tea or coffee about an hour before sunrise. Then, you will head out on an early morning game drive, usually returning to the lodge mid-morning for brunch or a late breakfast. An extended lunch break allows you time for a nap, or a visit to the gift shop, swimming pool or spa, assuming your lodge has one. A light afternoon tea is followed by an evening game drive. This comes with a stop for sundowner drinks, before turning into a night drive, using a spotlight to pick out wildlife active at night. Then it’s back to the lodge for a three-course bush dinner and a not-too-late night in preparation for the next day’s pre-dawn start. Unlike most public wildlife reserves, there is no restriction on night driving at Sabi Sands. The daily routine at most Sabi Sands properties is designed to take advantage of the finest wildlife-viewing hours. These hours fall either side of sunrise and sunset, when lions, leopards and most other carnivores peak in activity. If you’re spending more than two days in the reserve and have a strong interest in birds or other small wildlife, a guided wildlife walk is also recommended. Ideally, go in the morning cool rather than the heat of the afternoon. ”


What type of accommodation can I expect?

“Accommodation in Sabi Sands is mainly exclusive small lodges that vary in standard from luxurious to ultra-luxurious. The former generally has an organic stone, wood and thatch style, in keeping with the bush surrounds. The pricier lodges tend to aim for individual interpretation on contemporary safari chic. Wherever you stay, accommodation will consist of large and very comfortable freestanding chalets or hut rooms. These come with en suite showers and private verandahs. Many lodges also have swimming pools, spas or quality gift shops. Cuisine is usually world-class, as is the wine list, and the service is excellent. ”


How much will this safari cost?

“The cheapest packages start at around US$500 per person per night sharing, but some ultra-luxurious lodges will charge more like US$1,000 per person. The price will depend on whether you choose a luxurious or ultra-luxurious lodge. Prices also depend on the season, with rates generally more affordable in the southern hemisphere winter (May to September). This is low season in South Africa generally, but the best time of year for wildlife viewing in Sabi Sands. Tours that combine Sabi Sands with Kruger generally work out to be cheaper on a daily basis. This also applies to tours that include road transfers from Johannesburg, or that include some other sightseeing. ”


Sabi Sands Reviews

4.7/5 73 Reviews
Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Big Five Bonanza

Flanking the unfenced western boundary of the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is Southern Africa’s most exclusive and famous wildlife safari destinations. It is also one of the oldest private nature reserves and the...

Full Review

Emma Gregg  –  
United Kingdom UK

Emma is an award-winning travel writer for Rough Guides, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Africa magazine and The Independent.

Classic Big Five safaris, with superb leopard-watching

Sabi Sands delivers the classic safari experience on a plate. It’s a prime chunk of wildlife-watching territory tucked up against the southern section of Kruger National Park, with no fences between the two. This feast doesn’t come...

Full Review

Daniel Muller  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: May 22, 2023

It was the best safari I have been on and I have been to Kenya, Tanzania and Kruger before. (not been to Okavango Delta yet, which is probably the pinnacle), but it is the first time I really experienced interaction between all the animals...

Full Review

Sonia  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Dec 15, 2022

Incredible sightings everyday, beautiful landscapes, saw big five, up and close with the animals on every drive! Part of the greater kruger area and not fully enclosed reserve, with antipoaching efforts underway making it a great choice...

Full Review

David Gryzick  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Oct 9, 2022

We not only saw all of the animals but we also saw babies of almost all the animals! And our safari drives were not long or arduous. We generally saw a lot of animals on every 3 hour drive. Sabi Sands weakness was they did not have lion...

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Fabiano Santos  –  
Brazil BR
Reviewed: Mar 5, 2020

The wildlife is beautiful and amazing. We got to see all the Big Five and breathtaking scenery. The accommodations were wonderful, as were the meals. Our guides were awesome and did everything to make the drivers perfect.

Full Review