Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Sample Itinerary—Sensational South Africa

Curated exclusively for National Geographic

Encounter the legendary wildlife that inhabit one of Africa’s most pristine game reserves. Join highly skilled rangers and trackers in open safari vehicles and on foot to seek out Africa’s big five and myriad bird species, and engage with the local Shangaan people during game drives and on a visit to a nearby village.

Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish. Some experiences featured in this itinerary incur an additional cost.


  • Enjoy a private dinner in the Earth Lodge wine cellar featuring an introduction to and sampling of the award-winning wines in Sabi Sabi's collection (National Geographic Exclusive).
  • Venture out on game drives or bush walks with top rangers and trackers, and spot everything from lions and buffalo to unusual birds.
  • After dark, observe nocturnal creatures with spotlights on an evening drive, and with luck, come across a lion or leopard on the hunt.
  • Get acquainted with the traditions and everyday life of a nearby Shangaan community, meeting village elders and visiting a school.

Day 1—Arrive Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa

Upon arrival, get settled into your accommodations, and soak up the surrounding wilderness as you go for a dip in your lodge’s secluded plunge pool. Head out on a late afternoon safari, pausing to witness the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Tonight, head to the Earth Lodge’s wine cellar for a private dinner that includes an introduction to and sampling of the award-winning wines in Sabi Sabi's collection.

Day 2—Safari, Rest, Repeat

Join a highly skilled ranger and local Shangaan tracker for a game drive in the early morning hours—when animals are at their most active. Seek out Sabi Sabi’s legendary inhabitants, from lions and elephants to cheetahs, wild dogs, and hundreds of bird species. Back at camp, enjoy a hot breakfast buffet, and then set off on foot for a different perspective of the bush. Follow an armed ranger as you learn to identify tracks and other signs of wildlife, discover native plants, and encounter smaller bushveld species—including some 350 types of birds. Return to the lodge for lunch and some down time during the hottest part of the day. Perk up over afternoon tea, followed by another game drive in search of creatures as they become restless before the evening hunt. Freshen up for dinner under the stars in the outdoor boma.

Day 3—Shangaan Village Visit

Maximize your wildlife viewing opportunities by spending today much the same as the previous day. Or opt for a guided excursion to 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. This afternoon, consider indulging in a spa treatment incorporating local minerals and herbs. On this afternoon’s safari, enjoy one last sundowner under the endless African sky. If you’d like, arrange to dine in the privacy of your own suite or at a table set up on a secluded spot along the riverbed.

Day 4—Depart

Rise early for your final game drive before departing Sabi Sabi.