30 years on

March 2009

30 Years On

It is 30 years since Sabi Sabi first welcomed guests on safari and while much has changed, says Marketing Director, Jacques Smit, the fundamental values are very much the same.

“Thirty years ago, the dream was to create a luxury safari retreat that showcased the very best that South Africa has to offer. Today, this vision is still in place. Sabi Sabi has evolved to become a world-recognised brand well known for its outstanding safari experience, magnificent accommodation and unique brand of African hospitality. Our fundamental principles of minimal impact, sustainable conservation, uncompromising standards and innovation have made us into the international icon we are today.”

thirty years ago……

  • The first week’s sightings at Sabi Sabi 30 years ago include three breeding herds of elephants, a 13-strong pride of lions, five separate cheetah sightings and a lone male buffalo.
  • Now sightings of the Big 5 are an almost daily occurrence.
  • A veterinary fence existed between the Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park, the aim being to prevent the spread of foot + mouth disease believed at that time to be spread by buffalo. After it was discovered that the disease was airborne the fences were removed, and today there are huge breeding herds of buffalo in the Sabi Sabi area.
  • Days trips were available to the reserve
  • There was only one lodge (Bush) and the accommodation was very rustic.
  • Today there are 4 lodges and they are all 5-star and ultra luxurious.


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