The birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in Southern Africa
The 65,000-hectare Sabi Sand Game Reserve is located on the south-western corner of the world famous Kruger National Park. The Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park and consists of numerous private game reserves.
There are no fences between the Kruger Park and Sabi Sand Reserve allowing the wildlife to roam freely between the reserves. Two perennial rivers (which the reserve is named after), the Sabi and the Sand flow through this Game Park, sustaining the diverse fauna and flora of the area, which enjoys one of the highest and most bio-diverse wildlife populations of any area in Africa. Such is the integrity of the environment that there is consistently a year round population of animals that remain within the area. There is limited migration between the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park, ensuring genetic diversity with an integrated biodiversity within the entire 2,7 million hectare protected area. This area is in the process of being further enlarged within the Peace Park concept and integration and the joining with protected areas in Mozambique and eventually Zimbabwe.
The Sabi Sand Game Reserve dates back to the 1950’s when the landowners initiated the dropping of the internal fences and the sharing of a common environmental management programme. This association is administered by a Warden who reports to the Park Management Committee. Prior to this, there were a number of landowner pioneers in the 1920’ and 1930’s who initiated the conservation of the area’s wildlife. Today there are no less than six of these families who are now third and fourth generation landowners - a credit to the foresight of their forefathers who loved and cared for Africa’s dwindling wildlife. Their legacy is possibly the best area in which to view southern Africa’s extensive biodiversity.
Due to considerate game viewing practises where clients remain within the ‘profile’ of the open vehicles and the animals have priority, the trackers and game rangers of the various Lodges are able to offer exceptional game viewing of all the general game species, as well as the high profile animals. The success of viewing leopard within this area is legendary and allowing sufficient time in this area, such animals as elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a vast variety of antelope and other species, may be closely observed within their own ranges.
This greater area is home to 336 tree, 49 fish, 34 amphibian, 114 reptile, 507 bird and 147 mammal species. Many of the animals would most likely have never encountered a fence as they exist, free ranging, in this corner of Africa.
Leopards are a main attraction of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and especially at Leopard Hills. The Leopards are so accustomed to cars that they do not take much notice of them. Even when hunting, a leopard in the Sabi Sands will not mind a vehicle following it, even if this means following it off-road though the bush. Chances of seeing the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) are excellent in this reserve.
SABI SAND GAME RESERVE
± 65 000 hectare Private Game Reserve.
Named after two rivers that cut through
this area - the Sabie and Sand Rivers.
Renowned for its wildlife and in
particular the big five, lion, leopard,
elephant, rhino and buffalo.
Rated as one of the best reserves in
Africa to see these large animals in their
natural habitat and in particular leopard.
Shares a common 50 km unfenced
boundary with the Kruger National Park.
Has the highest and most bio-diverse
wildlife populations of any area in Africa.
Home to 336 tree, 49 fish,
34 amphibian, 114 reptile, 507 bird
and 147 mammal species.
Oldest private reserve in South Africa.
It was formed in 1934, and became a
formal association in 1948.
Our Big 5 seen repeatedly,
including Mating Lions and
Leopard with hunting Cub,
and surprise highlight of
Cheetah mother with young
heckled by pair spotted hyena.
We saw leopards duelling at dawn,
lions mating at dusk and
everything else you can
imagine in between!
We saw more/such diverse
game during our stay than we
did during the rest of our trip
(yes even Botswana!).
We saw 4 leopards, a leopard kill
and every other animal
and bird on our list...