Sabi Sabi is blessed to have some very well-utilised water sources on our reserve. Each of the 4 luxurious Sabi Sabi lodges are strategically placed to take full advantage of the parade of thirsty animals which come to drink, whatever the day or season. Between safaris, watching the ongoing animal activity from the safety of your lodge is akin to a very luxurious armchair safari.
Keep a camera handy – there are great photo opportunities to be had while sitting quietly and watching wildlife approach the water, be it from the comfort of your luxury suite, while lounging on the Bush Lodge decks, having coffee on the Selati Camp veranda, or soaking in the Earth Lodge pools. Here you can safely be a silent spectator to the ongoing interactions between species: overly cautious impala prancing skittishly at the slightest sound, always testing the surroundings for imminent danger, boisterous young elephants head-butting in a quest for dominance as their mothers spray themselves with water, a leggy giraffe in a very ungainly position, incredibly vulnerable to predators during the moments its head is down. Guests have been lucky enough to witness some very unusual sightings at the various waterholes; a hyena cooling off in the heat of the day; prides of lions slinking from behind the trees to eagerly drink as guests were checking in and sipping their champagne; the occasional hippo making a waterhole its temporary home – and the list goes on………….
Lounging chairs around the sparkling pool, or on the covered wooden decks at Selati Camp are a perfect place from which to watch game drinking at the nearby waterhole – one of the most spectacular on the reserve. Silhouetted against the setting sun, troops of baboons join in rough-and-tumble play while enjoying cooling off, before making their way to the safety of the ancient Sycamore Fig trees lining the banks of the riverbed to avoid the nocturnal predators. Elephants occasionally start wallowing at the pan and then come closer to finish slaking their thirst in the environs of the camp – quietly moving through the indigenous gardens.
Bush Lodge has two magnificent, spacious viewing decks, both wonderful spots to kick back and watch animals meandering down to the water. The decks feature comfortable seat groupings of various style of chairs and couches. Or choose to laze in the cool waters of the swimming pool on a hot summer’s day, keeping an eye out for the shy Nyala, a magnificent antelope which normally keeps out of sight behind thick foliage, but comes into full view when approaching the pan. Nyala bulls displaying their dominance in a slow-motion dance are a rare sighting and a particular treat for guests.
Little Bush Camp is really at one with nature, with the camp nestled in the shade of centuries old riverine trees. Privately placed overlooking the Msuthlu riverbed, each suite has a secluded viewing deck featuring an al fresco shower as well as a sunken Jacuzzi – an idyllic hideaway from which to do your own game viewing.
Much to the delight of our guests, elephant bulls often take a leisurely stroll right up to the various Earth Lodge ponds to cool off during mid-day, using their very adept trunks to splash themselves. With their own refreshments in hand, guests can marvel at these giant creatures from the comfort of the dining area, or from the privacy of their own plunge pools.
The Lodges on our reserve are unfenced, allowing animals to move freely and creating incredible wildlife sighting opportunities. This is a core value of Sabi Sabi – that the bushveld is home to the creatures which live here, this is their environment and we are merely onlookers. We are privileged to witness these wild animals, and our approach to these inhabitants allows us a glimpse into their daily rituals, whether from an open safari vehicle, or from the comfort of your outdoor armchair.
Meet Stefan Schoeman, who started with Sabi Sabi some 15 years ago as a Ranger and today operates in the capacity of General Manager Lodges. This allows Stefan to do what he loves best – focus on the reserve as whole, where he seems to always be everywhere in every capacity. With his gregarious nature, Stefan is the consummate professional with an incredibly sharp sense of humour.