The history of the Sabi Sand Reserve (known as the Sabi Sand Wildtuin) is a long and interesting one. Collectively established in 1948 by a group of visionary conservationists, they realised that a unique opportunity existed to preserve and protect some of South Africa’s natural resources for future generations – the flora and fauna that were (and still are) so vital to this area. The Sabi Sand Reserve today enjoys internal fenceless borders between its individual properties, as well as with the Greater Kruger National Park. This is the place where luxury African Safaris were conceived, the place where the old concept of viewing the Big Five was reborn. Sabi Sabi forms part of this first ever private nature reserve and we are incredibly proud of the role we have played in preserving and protecting this 65 000-hectare wildlife oasis. For almost four decades Sabi Sabi has been a haven where guests can experience the close up excitement of wildlife at its natural best and witness the infinite cycle of life.
Recreational travel through wilderness areas of the Transvaal Lowveld, en-route to Mozambique, became possible after the construction of the Selati Railway Line in the 1920’s, a railroad which was constructed as a means of transporting gold. Visitors flocked to enjoy the steam train game viewing experience, enjoying the comfort of the coaches and discovering the beauty of the game reserve.
Remnants of the old railbed can still be seen through parts of the Sabi Sand Reserve, and Sabi Sabi set out to capture the inspirational spirit of this adventurous era at our five-star, historically themed Selati Camp. And so Selati Camp opened its doors as a journey to “Yesterday”.
Authentic memorabilia sourced from railway museums and antique stores are beautifully interspersed into the décor, effortlessly combined with the recent upgrades to the luxury suites with their modern touches and comforts.
King-size beds with billowing cool linens and rich fabrics, fine netting effortlessly suspended from four-poster frames and stunning custom-made furniture all harken back to a time of sophistication, tranquillity and understated luxury. Timber, metal, leather and canvas elements have been woven into the décor of the thatched suites. Large ultra-private stone walled courtyards enclose deep Victorian-style baths and open air double showers – impossibly romantic and in complete seclusion – perfect for gazing up at the star studded African night skies.
World class cuisine is served on wooden thatched decks, built alongside the Msuthlu riverbed, in the open air “boma” or in the traditional “farmhouse kitchen.”
At night gently flickering shunters’ lamps illuminate the camp, bathing guests in nostalgia and possibly, a longing for a time when life was a little slower, a little quieter and a lot less complicated.
Since 1979, Sabi Sabi has hosted visitors from all over the world, drawn to this unique area by the promise of the safari experience of a lifetime. Such history is best recorded in visual form, ensuring that years down the line the memory can be revisited. Please enjoy this video which captures the spirit of Selati Camp, an award-winning game lodge which perfectly combines turn of the century elegance with personalised safari luxury.