Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve: The Experience

Located in Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa

Home to legendary wildlife from lions and elephants to cheetahs, wild dogs, and hundreds of species of birds, Sabi Sabi is known for its expert-guided safaris. Yet the lodge is deeply involved in the local community as well, and a visit to the nearby villages of the Shangaan people is often one of the most memorable experiences at Sabi Sabi.

See our sample itinerary describing how you would experience this lodge during a 4-day stay.

Things to Do

The following experiences are included in the cost of your stay.

Open-vehicle Safaris

All game drives are conducted in open safari vehicles that seat 6-8, under the supervision of highly skilled rangers and local Shangaan trackers. There are two game drives daily at prime viewing times, early morning and late afternoon/evening. Each drive lasts about three hours.

Walking Safaris

Guests can also join an armed ranger for a mid-morning walking safari, which reveals a very different perspective of the bush. Identify tracks and other signs of wildlife, discover native plant species, and get a close-up look at the smaller species of the bushveld. The walk is approximately two hours long.

Optional Activities and Experiences

The following experiences are offered at an additional cost.

Community Tours

Delve into the rich heritage of the local Shangaan culture on a tour of the villages near the lodge. Pay a visit to a preschool, meet village elders and a traditional healer, hear the local choir at practice, and step into community centers built with the support of Sabi Sabi. A member of the Shangaan community—and lodge staff member—introduces guests to local architecture, agriculture, religion, arts and crafts, and food. Proceeds from the community tour go to the community.

Photography Safaris

As capturing the safari experience on camera has always been an integral part of the Sabi Sabi experience, the lodge offers photography safaris led by a professional photographer and tailored to your interests. At the end of the safari, review and edit your images with your instructor. They will be loaded onto a disc or flashdrive by the staff for you to take home. Photography safaris must be booked ahead. Camera lens and other equipment are available upon request.

Food and Drink

The chefs at each of Sabi Sabi's lodges craft superb international cuisine as well as local specialties. Breakfasts are buffet style with hot dishes made to order, lunches are à la carte, and dinners are served in different parts of the lodges—in the main lodge, under the stars in the boma, and occasionally at a table specially set up in your own suite or on a riverbed. Coffee, tea, and pastries are offered before early morning safaris, and afternoon safaris pause for “sundowners” and snacks as the sun sets.

The wine cellars at Bush lodge and Earth Lodge are stocked with a vast collection of boutique wines, including some of South Africa’s finest vintages, and at Earth Lodge, a unique “day bar” is set within a shallow pool and looks out on beautiful scenery.

The Spa

The award-winning Amani Spa complements Sabi Sabi’s ethos of creating a harmonious space at one with nature and makes use of natural elements and textures in its design and décor. There are two spa locations—one at Earth Lodge and one at Bush Lodge—but guests at all four lodges are welcome to enjoy treatments. On offer are holistic body, skin, and beauty rituals; rejuvenating massages; and soothing treatments designed to relax, harmonize, and heal body and soul. Sessions are tailored to individual needs, and hydrotherapy, a couples treatment suite, and a Zen meditation area are also available.

Other ways to visit this lodge

  • Customize a Trip

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  • Private Expeditions

    See a specially crafted National Geographic itinerary including this lodge.

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