News update: 29th November
The three most frequently asked questions by people planning a visit to Sabi Sabi are: ‘when is the best time of the year to visit’, ‘what should I bring?’, and ‘what can I expect to see?’ The easy answers would be ‘any time of the year’, ‘pack light’, and ‘an amazing variety of wildlife'; however there’s a lot more to it than that.
“When to visit?”: Seasoned bushveld visitors do tend to have a favourite time of year to visit the reserve. For some it’s the dry winter months when the grass is low, the bare trees are majestically silhouetted against the sky, and the scarcity of water has animals gathering around waterholes. At this time of year the early morning and evening air is chilly and crisp and the sudden sunsets breathtaking. Some guests enjoy spring which coincides with the first rains when the tips of the bushveld grasses turn green overnight, and the first buds appear on the trees. For a few weeks only the riverine trees are a startlingly bright emerald. Spring moves very swiftly into summer, and for those guests who prefer the heat, the lush summer months are best. Swift, dramatic thunderstorms last only a short while, and the rains stimulate a riot of colour as all the vegetation bursts into bloom. The return of the migratory birds brings great excitement, as does the lambing season, with hundreds of babies being born to all manner of species. So, the answer is, there really is no ‘best’ time of the year, or best season to visit Sabi Sabi. Our advice to overseas visitors is to plan their trip according to what else they intend doing on their South African sojourn. If the trip is combined with Cape Town wine farms, the Drakensberg, the Karoo, the glorious beaches or a heritage tour, choose the best season for that and then make Sabi Sabi part of the visit. Whatever the season the bushveld experience will be unforgettable.
“What to bring?”: While Sabi Sabi does have a recommended list of what to pack, we mainly want our guests to be comfortable on safari. The dress-code at the lodges is casual, so wear season-appropriate attire. Summers are hot so we recommend light coloured, cool loose clothing and sun hats are a must, and bring along swimming costumes for a dip in the refreshing pools. In winter the mornings and evenings are chilly, but the days are warm – so layers, including a nice thick jacket for the open vehicle safaris are a good idea. And, of course, some comfortable walking shoes for the walking safaris. The viewing will be close up and spectacular but binoculars are recommended and cameras are a definite. The bushveld curio shops carry a full range of stylish safari clothing for those guests who want a complete Sabi Sabi safari outfit.
“What’s to see?”: It is impossible to guarantee or predict what wildlife guests will see during their stay. Sabi Sabi is in a proclaimed game reserve, with an unfenced border open to the Kruger National Park and beyond. The area is an African Eden, home to the Big 5 as well as cheetah, wild dog and the huge variety of African mammals, reptiles and birds which occur naturally in this unspoilt part of the continent. The animals move at will throughout the reserve, and there is game to be seen any month of the year. The highly trained Sabi Sabi guides and trackers are world-renowned for the quality of safaris they conduct, and will ensure that each and every guest has a really memorable safari experience.
And once the visit is over, the last question will be: ‘when can we come back?’.