Sabi Sabi Safari

by Lizzie Howard
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As an animal-lover who had never been to South Africa, I couldn’t have been more excited about our trip to the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.

An acclaimed eco-tourism location, the reserve is part of the Kruger National Park and comes complete with luxury accommodation and various lodges. My husband and I couldn’t wait to experience our first safari.

The Sabi Sabi’s ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’ philosophy hangs on over 100 years of history, and the four independent lodges – the Selati Camp, Bush Lodge, Little Bush Camp and Earth Lodge – each reflect an ambiance true to that mantra.

The Selati Camp has an old-world charm, adorned with lanterns by night, while the Bush Lodge represents ‘today’ with modern elegance.

Our personal choice, the Earth Lodge, has an air of ‘tomorrow’; it feels like an eco-friendly hideaway. We were led to our suite through a secret corridor, and were amazed at how luxurious it was – a plunge pool, butler service, beautiful design and complete comfort awaited us. The contrast of our new home with the abundance of nature surrounding us made for the most unique holiday we’d ever experienced.

The safaris at the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve are second to none, with no fence dividing the area from the Kruger National Park and a plethora of wildlife living contentedly in the natural surroundings.

An experienced ranger and skilled tracker guided us through the terrain and helped us look for the ‘Big Five’ – lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard. We spotted plenty of zebra and giraffe on the way. It was magical being in the wild where the animals are protected – no hunting has taken place here for over fifty years, so it truly is a sanctuary for the animals.

Our days were spent spotting and photographing the majestic wildlife, while our evenings were spent at our lodge spa, enjoying a relaxing treatment and a dip in our suite’s tranquil plunge pool. The excellent staff looked after us well, paying attention to the finer details of hospitality. Every night we fell into bed tired and happy – excited at the prospect of seeing our wildlife neighbours early the next day.

  • An unforgettable safari experience
  • Game-viewing from an intimate hideaway
  • Getting up close to nature
  • Romantic dining
  • Wildlife photography lessons
  • Meditation and couples’ massage
  • Executive chefs provide South African cuisine at all of the lodges in the reserve; the cuisine at the wonderful Earth Lodge combines Asian flavours with local, fresh produce
  • The EleFun Centre at the Bush Lodge is fun for kids. Also available are tailormade weddings, and Sabi Sabi’s photographic safari. There are boutique souvenir shops at the Earth and Bush Lodges
  • Telephone, fax and wi-fi are available in all lodges; there are business centres at the Earth Lodge and the Bush Lodge
  • Bush Lodge and Earth Lodge both have spas, so you can relax with a treatment

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