Friday, 06 January 2017 11:52

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge Shines

Earth Lodge is a masterpiece....with remarkable, innovative architecture which is art in itself. In 2011, the lodge was completely renovated to reflect the mineral wealth and glory of South Africa, and more recently our design team were tasked with adding and blending in a few more subtle touches to further enhance the already magnificent design. The lodge was already a beautiful study of metallic hues and earthy tones, but the new soft furnishings, specially commissioned lighting and glorious relaxation areas have been masterfully blended into the original design.

Not wanting to change too much of the already amazing mould - the lodge is so cleverly sculpted into the earth that elephants wander onto the rooftop - ingenious decorative pieces have been added.

In the bar area magnificent hand-blown glass globes in various amber tones combine to produce a stunning chandelier that takes centre stage, and unique hand-crafted magnifying glass candle holders create an unusual and eye-catching feature for those enjoying a pre-dinner drink. New, comfortable chairs in varying shades and textures are a tactile and visual delight.

Artfully chosen eclectic outdoor furniture grouped to create special quiet spaces are a wonderful outdoor enhancement for the suites.

The underground wine cellar has been remodelled to open up the space and better showcase the restyled alcoves housing Sabi Sabi's impressive collection of award winning wines and champagnes. Gently lit by masses of candles on a metal chandelier, the master crafted wooden banquet table and beautifully upholstered chairs create a perfect setting for private dining, wine tasting or special occasions.

Being at one with nature is core to the Earth Lodge philosophy, and a stunning new sunken fire pit lounge is the perfect addition as a place to relax and soak in the sights and sounds of Africa at night. The circular recessed hollow, alluringly placed overlooking a lit water feature, allows guests to chat quietly around a blazing log fire, marvel at the canopy of stars overhead and indulge in a delicious nightcap before retiring for the evening.

The designers did not feel the necessity of bringing clutter into this organic space. The additions were to highlight the fascinating way natural light plays with the time of day and to bring the focus back to the uniqueness of the lodge - the raw wood hand-sculpted pieces by Geoffrey Armstrong, the use of metallic 'African' colours throughout, the rough textures of the unadorned walls and ceilings. Put simply - Earth Lodge needs no fuss - this lodge's remarkable architecture is inherently its own work of art.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172
Email: [email protected] 
UK & Ireland trade info: [email protected] 
Published in News
Friday, 19 August 2016 13:49

A Family Affair at Sabi Sabi

When two iconic families join forces, the result can only be described as spectacular! This is true of the successful collaboration between Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve and the Stellenrust Estate in Stellenbosch, a relationship which has lasted for many years. Sabi Sabi is famous for over 35 years of safari excellence while Stellenrust, one of the largest family-owned estates in Stellenbosch, has been operating since 1928. Having Stellenrust wines as the Sabi Sabi lodge wines was a natural choice and this relationship was cemented in 2010.

The two family-owned brands share many of the same principles that make them both leaders in their respective fields - community upliftment, true hospitality and a passion for, and commitment to their environment and their people.

Innovation runs through both families, and in 2012 Sabi Sabi and Stellenrust came together at harvest time and took a calculated risk, deciding to experiment with a "Bush Maturation" process - an undertaking that seemed impossible and with naysayers saying it would never work! Bush maturation meant maturing wine in a somewhat tropical climate but within a controlled environment. The process - as overwhelming as it was - was accomplished with the transportation and subsequent proper tapping of the wine into two 225 litre French oak barrels. These were housed in the Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge wine cellar at a temperate 18˚C - one barrel containing a Shiraz and the other a Cabernet Sauvignon. Not knowing what the end results would be, samples were regularly sent to Stellenrust for testing and they were given a consistent thumbs up.

The culmination of this pioneering journey was celebrated at the end of June 2016 with the bottling of these wines. And what better way to share this occasion than by inviting a niche group of journalists and friends to witness this resounding success! Stellenrust and Sabi Sabi hosted the event and spent many hours bottling the wine from the two barrels using an ancient and authentic hand press method. This proved to be messy at times, but a huge amount of fun was had accompanied by much laughter. Everyone was given the opportunity to manually fill their bottles, followed by the corking, capsulating and labelling of the bounty with a specially designed label. The final sampling was undertaken and both cultivars were deemed worthy to be part of the Earth Lodge Private Collection - hand-bottled on site and ear-marked to stand the test of time. In essence, the message from the cellarmaster at Stellenrust was "this wine has aged beautifully and gives tremendous drinking pleasure".

Coupled with this historic event, Sabi Sabi's Earth Lodge provided a gastronomic feast of exceptional dining, fine wines and inimitable 5-star hospitality.

Only South African wines are stocked in the cavernous Earth Lodge wine cellar, and a detailed selection process is undertaken when choosing the best of the best - unique wines to complement a unique experience. Boutique style wineries that produce award-winning wines take pride of place on the Sabi Sabi wine list - one of the reasons why Sabi Sabi was recently awarded 2-stars on "The Best Wine Lists in the World - 2016".

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172
Email: [email protected]
UK & Ire Trade enquiries: [email protected]

Published in News
So much of what guests experience at Sabi Sabi is new, exciting and unique. The wine selection is no different - delicious, unexpected, carefully selected and a superb mix of the best South African wines.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
 has been recognised this month as officially having one of the "World's Best Wine Lists". The reserve has been honoured with Two-Stars in the 2016 "The World of Fine Wine" annual awards - the guide for discerning individuals with a passion for wine. The awards are now in their third year and are "rapidly becoming as coveted as Michelin Stars", according to World Sommelier Champion Gerard Bassett.

Judged by some of the world's leading wine experts, writers and sommeliers, Sabi Sabi received the award with a wine list judged exceptional under the following criteria: superior breadth and depth in its selection; offers a high proportion of leading producers; includes a good range of wine styles and prices; displays superior organisation and presentation. Sabi Sabi's collection was also awarded the Jury prize for the Best Designed/Most Original Wine list in Africa and the Middle East for 2016.

This accolade recognises the careful consideration and expertise which has gone into the wine list at Sabi Sabi. A detailed selection process ensures that many of the wines are from small boutique style wineries with a fascinating story behind them, from their name or the terroir, to the unique way in which the wine is produced. A good example is 'Donkiesbaai Hooiwijn' - a South African wine produced from the same variety of grape as Chenin Blanc. The grapes are picked and placed on a straw mat (or 'hooi') and turned twice a week to avoid sunburn. Once the grapes reach 40°C they are pressed and the wine making process begins.

In keeping with a philosophy of only providing the very best for its guests, Sabi Sabi has for many years collaborated with the family owned and prestigious boutique Stellenrust Wine Estate (Stellenbosch) as the producer of its house wine. Three hundred litres of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon is currently maturing in Earth Lodge's underground cellar in oak wine barrels, and will soon be ready to enjoy.

Jacques Smit, Marketing Director at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, said: "We are thrilled to have been recognised for the second year running in The World of Fine Wine Awards, gaining an extra star in 2016. This accolade is testament to the efforts of our team to ensure we offer guests an exemplary experience across every aspect of their stay. It is a privilege to introduce guests to these undiscovered treasures, and to celebrate the wine heritage for which South Africa is famous for."

Sabi Sabi would like introduce you to Simon Chiburre - one of the team members at Earth Lodge. Simon is a waiter and always seems to anticipate your needs with his winning smile.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172
Fax: +27 11 442 0728
Email: [email protected]

UK & Ireland Trade enquiries
Natalie de la Porte [email protected]
Published in News
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa (Jan. 08, 2015) - Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge today announced it is a founding member of National Geographic Society's newest foray in world-class travel experiences: National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, a collection of boutique hotels in extraordinary places around the world with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability, authenticity and excellence. Sabi Sabi is committed to conservation of not just the land, but also the culture and people that make our guest experience so unique and so memorable.

Selected through a rigorous evaluation process, each lodge offers an outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices. The initial collection - numbering 24 properties on six continents - further builds National Geographic's travel portfolio, which includes National Geographic Expeditions, Traveler magazine, travel books, photography courses and the @NatGeoTravel digital and photography community.

"For years National Geographic has brought an authentic experience to all their readers and followers. Today we are proud to be part of that experience as we offer our guests unique and authentic experiences of South Africa under the umbrella of the National Geographic brand" said Jacques Smit, Marketing Director of Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge "Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge takes conservation, community and hospitality seriously and is proud to have these practices recognized through the National Geographic lodge program."

As part of a comprehensive vetting process, every lodge in the collection was judged on the following criteria:

The Property - The design and character are unique and authentic and the property provides guests with a true sense of place by celebrating the surrounding landscape and cultural heritage.

Guest Experience and Quality of Service - Guests are offered top-quality service and exceptional and inspiring experiences - from activities that enable them to engage with local people to wildlife encounters with seasoned naturalists.

Sustainable Tourism Best Practices - The property demonstrates a commitment to conservation and green operations; it actively supports the protection of cultural heritage; and it provides tangible benefits to local communities.

National Geographic deployed experts to each site to evaluate operations, meet staff at all levels, scrutinize the lodge's impact on the local environment and community and ensure that these criteria were met.

"By creating this carefully curated group of hotels, lodges and retreats that meet internationally recognized sustainable tourism criteria while providing top-notch guest experiences, National Geographic opens a new chapter in the power of travel to protect our planet," said Costas Christ, a world-renowned sustainable tourism expert and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, who coordinated an international team to inspect each of the lodges. "Travelers can feel confident when they stay in one of these lodges that they are helping to safeguard cultural and natural treasures in some of the world's most incredible places."

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is proud to offer guests who book their stay through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World a special "National Geographic Exclusive" experience, which includes a wine cellar dinner complete with tasting vintages from around South Africa and learning about the country's thriving viniculture, a champagne breakfast in a surprise location, and - for a three night stay or longer - a complimentary spa treatment at the Amani Spa. This is all over and above the already all-inclusive experience of luxury accommodation in a uniquely designed lodge, including all meals and Sabi Sabi beverages topped with daily safari experiences in vehicles and on foot.

"The National Geographic brand is universally recognized for its commitment to exploring and protecting the planet, so we are uniquely positioned to unite and promote these exceptional properties and to set a new standard for tourism," said Lynn Cutter, National Geographic's executive vice president for Travel. "These lodges share the Society's vision of preserving the planet for future generations and they demonstrate that sustainability and a world-class guest experience can go hand-in-hand."

National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World charter members are:
  • Fogo Island Inn, Canada
  • Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
  • Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
  • Kapari Natural Resort, Greece
  • Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
  • Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, Costa Rica
  • Lizard Island, Australia
  • Longitude 131°, Australia
  • Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
  • Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Canada
  • Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
  • Rosalie Bay Resort, Dominica
  • Rubondo Island Camp, Tanzania
  • Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa
  • Sayari Camp, Tanzania
  • Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia
  • Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysian Borneo
  • The Brando, French Polynesia
  • The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, United States
  • Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
  • Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile
  • Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
  • Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
  • Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan
For more information about National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, visit

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Reservations: +27 (011) 447-7172
Fax: +27 (011) 442-0728
Email: [email protected]

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
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
Email: [email protected]

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Res: +27 11 447 7172
Email: [email protected]
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 [email protected]
Published in News

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