Wednesday, 18 December 2013 14:44

Sabi Sabi's month of romance special

The month of February is celebrated as the month of romance. What better place to celebrate this than at one of four award winning luxury safari lodges. African sunsets, dining under the stars, surprise special treats in the lap of luxury added to the excitement of being on safari in open safari vehicles during the magnificent African summer.

For every 3 night stay at any Sabi Sabi lodge during the month of February we would like to treat you to a 60 minute Ikêtla neck, back & shoulder massage at either of Sabi Sabi's two Amani Spas. A relaxing massage with the sensory power of touch and aroma encourages relaxation, and allows the tension to drain from the shoulders, back and neck areas.

This is valid for any 3 night stay during the month of February 2014.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Reservations: +27 (011) 447-7172
Fax: +27 (011) 442-0728
Published in News
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:08

Another successful Dreamfields league

Sabi Sabi is a great supporter of the idea of play as a social, educational and physical health tool - and added to these benefits, what a privilege it is to be able to bring so much joy to the children in our neighbouring villages. Five years ago, in the summer of 2008, Sabi Sabi teamed up with Dreamfields, committing initially to equip 13 local schools - both primary and secondary - with DreamBags of soccer kit as well as netball kit. In conjunction with local communities the project created leagues in both disciplines to encourage sports development in the children in the area. The programme has since evolved, expanded and grown, and is now an integral part of local village life in the communities surrounding the Sabi Sabi reserve.

This league, funded and supported by Sabi Sabi, consists of teams from the villages of Lilydale, Huntington and Justicia which border the Sabi Sabi reserve. These villages are home to the vast majority of our staff, many of whom have relatives and children competing in the weekly fixtures. This month saw the highly anticipated season finals. Fifteen schools (10 primary and five senior) competed in their 6th annual DreamLeague, with the finals played at the beginning of October. On the last day deciding games in both soccer and netball were played in the U14 and U17 age groups. Vuyelani Primary edged out Hundzukani to claim gold in U14 soccer, while netball gold in the age group went to Babati Primary after their narrow win over Dyondzekani. First in U17 soccer was Mabarhule High School, beating Hlomani High into second place; and this was reversed in the U17 netball with Hlomani claiming gold over Mabarhule.

All gold and silver medal teams received a Dreamfields voucher from Sabi Sabi which will go towards replacement kit, equipment and clothing.

Later the same week the primary schools gold medallists competed for the glory of victory in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin DreamLeague Champs - a first for the region. They played against the winning teams from Singita's Kildare stream, where Babati Primary walked away victorious with the netball cup. Although Vuyelani didn't earn the soccer title this year, they have earned a spot at the provincial Mpumalanga DreamLeague Festival at the end of October - an occasion not to be missed for these promising young players.

5 years ago we said "From small beginnings big dreams can grow." And indeed they have. We are immensely proud that the 'Sabi Sabi Lilydale DreamLeague' has become Dreamfields' longest standing league in South Africa.
Published in News
Staying fit and healthy while working as a game ranger or tracker in a game reserve is not as easy as it sounds. Forget about putting on a pair of trainers and heading out for a run or hopping onto a bike for a quick ride. Potentially dangerous animals are right outside the door and not even the fittest or fastest runner could ever be a match for a hungry lion or an opportunistic leopard. When they do go on leave, many of the guiding staff make straight for a bike or hiking trail to satisfy their training needs; while others opt for more adventurous pastimes - diving, sailing, fishing, and canoeing - although of course, nothing is quite as adventurous as a Sabi Sabi safari!

The mouth-watering cuisine at Earth Lodge is so sensational that it is easy to overindulge. Over the years many guests have expressed an interest in burning off a few of the "chef-induced" calories and now they have the opportunity of doing just that, thanks to the newly opened gym at Earth Lodge. Glass-fronted and looking out onto the unspoilt bushveld so as not to miss a minute of the action, the gym is a perfect place to exercise.

Small and intimate, the gym can house just a few people at a time and is equipped with a state of the art rowing machine, treadmills, training bike, mats, weights and exercise balls. Sweat towels and bottles of ice cold water are provided; while back at the suite after a workout there is always the promise of a refreshing dip in the private plunge pool or a cool-down under the outdoor shower.
Published in News
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 14:31

5 Stars for Families at Sabi Sabi

Travelling with children certainly has its challenges and finding a 5-Star destination that manages to make families feel at home without compromising on quality isn't easy. But that's exactly what Sabi Sabi's Bush Lodge has perfected.

The lodge welcome is warm and friendly, the small children made to feel comfortable and the older ones engaged with by the guiding staff. In the past year, the suites have had some refurbishment, with wooden chairs in the sitting area making way for a luxurious day bed that looks out into the bush, inviting guests to lie back and relax and let their senses soak in the sights, smells and sounds of the surrounding environment. For families, this day bed can be converted to two beds with draped mosquito netting - comfortable, stylish and safe for small guests.

Before the afternoon safari, homemade treats at high tea had something for everyone, including delicious mini toasted sandwiches to keep hunger at bay for small children during the exciting three hour drive. Before departing parents are asked if the chef could prepare a children's meal for immediately after safari for the younger children.

Children are enthralled on game drives and the guides well versed in making sure all ages are involved and interested in the magnificent close up encounters with Sabi Sabi's wildlife. Sundowner stops are timed to ward off restlessness and snacks out in the open are a welcome chance to walk around and chat for a while.

After evening safari, a warm welcome awaits at the lodge. Children are ushered into the lounge where dinner is waiting - the catering team using their own experience as parents to prepare was clear that someone who has children (or a lot of experience with them) had prepared just the right meal for the young ones. Steaming bowls of pasta, moderate portions and the sauces on the side allow each child to make up their own meal to their preference; or their favourite dish can be pre-ordered earlier in the day. Everything is beautifully presented and adults have a chance to freshen up and enjoy a pre-dinner drink. Later, while the grown-ups enjoy a delicious boma dinner the children can play a quiet game of cards or join their parents in the boma and toast marshmallows around the fire.

During the day, the EleFun Centre beckons. A morning of spirited games, quiet craft making and lots of laughs are the order of the day for children from around the world; and adding their handprint to the 'Wall of Africa' is a must. The Centre has separate areas for different activities, a big lawn to run around on and lots of 'edutainment' for children big and small. Parents can relax, indulge in a spa massage, bird watch, read or simply enjoy the African bush.

What better way to enjoy family time than being truly looked after in Sabi Sabi 5-Star style? 
Published in News

Preserving the memories, conserving the land - ensuring a future.

When Rael Loon was just seven years old his parents, Hilton and Jacqui, bought Sabi Sabi. That event transformed his life and drew him into a lifelong love affair with the African bush, its wildlife, its people and its history. Rael became a successful writer, and in the past few years published 3 beautiful books about birds, insects and plants. His latest book, just released, is much more personal. It tells Rael's story of growing up in tandem with Sabi Sabi during its evolution from modest beginnings to an award-winning International Private Game Reserve. This excerpt from 'The Sabi Sabi Story' gives a glimpse of the incomparable beauty that is the backdrop to the reserve.

'Each season in the bush is distinctive in some way or other. During the hot summer days, bird song and the incessant trill of cicada beetles fill the air, while secretions of breeding spittle bugs from the canopy of the 'rain tree' indicate pending thunderstorms. During the autumn months, as the bush gets drier, impala rams rut for dominance, challenging rival males for ascendancy. The striking red-and-white flowers of the impala lily become visible in the open areas rocky outcrops. In the winter, reptiles go into a state of hibernation, while the beautiful but rare Narina Trogon move in small numbers down from the Drakensberg escarpment to the riparian bush along the Sabie River. Spring is marked by the arrival of migrating birds, especially raptors from further afield such as East Africa, Europe and Asia. These include species such as the Wahlberg's eagle, Steppe eagle, Black Kite and Amur falcon.' 

'As many as 70 species of mammal, 300 birds, 57 reptiles, 28 frogs, over 140 trees, 50 grasses and thousands of invertebrate species (insects, spiders, scorpions etc.) have been recorded at Sabi Sabi. Conspicuous mammals such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, kudu, impala and waterbuck thrive here, attracting an array of predators - lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hyena and pestering jackal. Vervet monkeys, Chacma baboons and Yellow-footed tree squirrels forage in the tree tops of large sycamore fig and jackalberry trees. On the ground, smaller antelope such grey duiker, steenbok, bushbuck and nyala move ever-attentively through the bush, always on the alert for danger from prowling predators. Families of warthog can often be seen comically searching for bulbs and roots on their knees, or running away through the tall grass in fright, their tails raised, sometimes followed by a procession of piglets. The solitary, shy slender mongoose furtively patrols its territory, while troops of the more gregarious dwarf and banded mongoose forage along the ground, feeding on beetles, crickets, termites, millipedes, spiders, scorpions or any other tasty morsel they encounter. At night, unusual nocturnal mammals such as genet, civet, serval, caracal, honey badger, aardvark and pangolin are occasionally encountered.' 

The 300-page book is much more than simply a memoir; it chronicles a family's journey in creating a lasting legacy in this precious corner of the African continent. Rael's words are magnificently offset by breath-taking photographs taken by some of the world's best photographers while on safari at Sabi Sabi. The hauntingly beautiful images are sensational themselves and are sure to make this work a collector's item. Copies of the book will shortly be available in the lodge curio shops. Sabi Sabi subscribers however have the chance to order a limited number of the first edition on-line for a special price of R695-00 excluding packaging and postage.

To place your order and share this extraordinary story Click Here or email

Published in News
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is pleased to announce that our very popular Fly-In Packages for 2014 are now available!

Packages include flights from Johannesburg to our private airstrip situated on Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.

The packages are available from 1 January 2014 through to December 2014 and include options of three or four night stays at Earth Lodge, Selati Camp, Bush Lodge or Little Bush Camp. These may also be booked ex-KMIA (Nelspruit).

The packages are exceptional value and include return flights (or one way flight options), 5-star luxury accommodation, three superb meals daily, exciting morning and evening open land rover safaris, selected beverages, sundowners drinks, a walking safari and local tax.

The flights are operated on a daily basis with complimentary lodge transfers from our airstrip to your Sabi Sabi lodge of choice.

UK Representative:
Tel: 020 847 9881

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Res: +27 11 447 7172
Published in News
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 13:49

Sabi Sabi stays on top of the world

Travel + Leisure magazine this week named Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve third best safari lodge in Africa and the best in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, confirming that Sabi Sabi is a world favourite. Along with been consistently voted in the World’s Top 15 luxury hotels over the past 7 years, this ranking now places Sabi Sabi 9th best luxury hotel worldwide. This reaffirms that Sabi Sabi is consistently one of the quintessential safari experiences. Late last year the prestigious Conde Nast magazine voted the lodges as the top African lodge in the world.

With both these worthy and proud accolades, Sabi Sabi continues to be known the world over for its exceptional 5-star safari experience. The celebrated service forms the background for total luxury, Big 5 open vehicle safaris and heavenly cuisine; romantic bush sun downers, relaxing spa treatments, open air boma dinners and nature walks. Sabi Sabi is also often recognised for its exceptional cuisine, with Conde Nast making reference to the personal touch offered by chefs who meet guests, introduce their dishes and share their inspiration –a tribute to the staff, many of whom hail from the local Shangaan villages and have been with the lodges for many years. Rangers and trackers also rate highly and impart their exert knowledge and love of the bush to the many international and local guests who visit each year.

Keeping world class standards while retaining the warm African hospitality for which its renowned means Sabi Sabi is continually evolving. Selati Camp is preparing to reveal a stunning refurbishment to the main lodge, Bush Lodge suites have been re-touched with gorgeous new daybeds and Earth Lodge is almost ready to unveil a new fitness centre, with glorious views of the bush.

Three decades since opening its doors to much acclaim, Sabi Sabi continues to get the thumbs up from visitors around the world. Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Published in News
Children visiting Bush Lodge's fully-fledged children's facility, the EleFun Centre, are encouraged to leave their mark by way of a colourful handprint on a designated wall. Hundreds of vivid prints, duly signed and identified by the young visitors, decorate the space. Children from countries all over the world join their local counterparts in leaving behind a handprint message that they have spent time at Sabi Sabi. 

And while the wall is a bright focal point in the centre, it's the bushveld setting, games, projects and novel activities that make the EleFun Centre such a hit with children of all ages. Catering for children from toddlers to teens, with 'edutainment' centred on a bushveld theme and run by qualified and fun staff, the centre is loved by all who visit. Programmes include identifying animal spoor, learning about different bird and animal species and what their names are in Tsonga, the language of the Shangaan people who live in the villages surrounding Sabi Sabi. Shaded by indigenous trees and featuring age appropriate activities, the EleFun Centre is offered at no cost to children staying at Bush Lodge. A large, safely enclosed area of lawn allows them to run around freely. At any time during the day our young guests can be found climbing, jumping, swinging, painting, reading, puzzle making, building, drumming or simply relaxing in the indoor or outdoor areas. In the hot summer months a supervised swim in the Lodge's cool pools is another welcome option.

Parents can relax during their Sabi Sabi sojourn, enjoy exciting bush walks and visits to bird hides, indulge themselves in the Amani Spa, or simply sink into quiet adult time, all the while being confident that their children are safe and happy. 

The EleFun Centre, which was created to be fun, safe and educational, is open every day and all activities are supervised by a highly professional team. Children are encouraged to take photographs on safari and have them displayed alongside the handprints and messages from all the past young guests who have visited the centre since it opened its doors.
Published in News
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