Southern Africa captivates everyone who is lucky enough to experience its power and magic. The concept of ‘Safari’ conjures up images of adventure, dramatic landscapes and exciting wildlife. Sabi Sabi’s four luxury safari lodges are located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve which is geographically integrated with the Kruger National Park.
Sabi Sabi epitomises Africa’s magic. With no fences between the reserve and the Kruger Park, big game abounds, moving freely through this unspoiled part of the ancient African continent. The Reserve is blessed with a great biodiversity of habitat and wildlife giving an excellent chance of close encounters with the ‘Big Five’ – elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard – as well as wild dog and cheetah. With over 300 bird species, the reserve is a birdwatcher’s delight.
There has been no hunting here for over half a century and the animals have become habituated to – and relaxed in the presence of – safari vehicles. The ultimate destination for a luxury safari; visitors to Sabi Sabi can look forward the unique experience of close encounters with animals as they continue unperturbed in their natural daily patterns of hunting, feeding, courting and suckling.
Safaris take place each morning and evening in open safari vehicles which drive through a wide variety of habitats, allowing visitors to view the vast interactions of the wild. After breakfast, guests on guided walking trails can experience the natural environment on foot. The dedicated, highly trained and experienced Rangers lead you to discover miracles of nature you may never have dreamed existed.
Luxury African Safaris
An early morning call from the Ranger will wake you before first light, while the kitchen brews hot coffee or tea, and prepares cool fruit juices with a muffin, rusk or other freshly made delicacy. So begins the morning safari.
The bush is already alive, the air filled with birdsong as the rising sunlight dances off beads of dew on spiders’ webs. Nobody, not even the tracker who can read the bushveld like a book, knows what’s in store. He will watch the road for spoor, leaning forward intently to find any print left by a predator during its hunt in the dark. There may be hushed discussions in Shangaan between Ranger and Tracker, and brief radio interactions from one vehicle to another. Sharing information ensures that the occupants of each safari vehicle have the best chance of a wide range of sightings during their drives – and also ensures control and responsible behaviour as the vehicles move in close to the animals.
Morning guided bush walk
Renowned for luxury experiences, Sabi Sabi isn’t all about phenomenal game drives and exceptional dining. Opportunities for education and adventure are definitely on the cards for those interested and energetic. On the morning environmental awareness walking safari you can be part of a small group that sets out on foot after breakfast. The walk is an opportunity to feel the pulse of Africa through the soles of your feet and experience the bushveld at close quarters.
Sabi Sabi boasts approximately 350 different species of birds, a paradise for birdwatchers. Raptors are plentiful, including 11 species of owl, the seldom seen cuckoo hawk and rare bat hawk. There is an endless diversity of trees, shrubs and flowering plants, and whatever the time of year, no two walks are ever the same.
Evening falls and you prepare for the night safari. As the fierce heat of the day cools, the inhabitants of the bush become restless, and the animals move out of the shade of the trees. The call of the crested francolin reverberates through the bushveld and birds increase the volume of their song. You will be aware of colours softening to the beautiful, gentle hues that vary with each season. New scents fill the air and as the sun dips behind the horizon your Ranger will choose a spot where you can stretch your legs and enjoy sundowners alongside the vehicle. Watch in awe as the sky turns to the sensational vibrant reds, golds and oranges typical of an African sunset. There is a lull as the animals sense the transition into a time of increased danger. It is during evening safaris that the nocturnal hunters start stirring, and their prey needs to be alert for survival through the night.
During your safari you may be lucky enough to watch lions prepare for their evening hunt. Their long bodies stretch to ease muscles cramped from lying in the shade during the day; sinews are lengthened and claws sharpened against a tree; the vegetation is marked with scent, and the wind checked for smells; only then do they set off in a slow, loose-jointed, arrogant amble. There are numerous nocturnal hunters and on your evening safari, with the help of a spotlight, a leopard’s eyes may reflect back from a nearby tree. Or you may be lucky enough to spot another smaller predator, a genet, African civet or African wild cat. One can come across scenes at night that become etched in memory: elephants moving heavily but silently in the moonlight; the incredible flying leaps of bushbabies from treetop to treetop, and the red shine from a lion’s eyes as it looks up from its kill. A Sabi Sabi evening safari will never be forgotten.
Whilst staying at Sabi Sabi you will experience the greatest luxury safaris on offer – view our luxury African safari specials.