Sabi Sands and Manyeleti

Ask Safari Russ button
Have a question for the Africa expert?
Ask him directly here...
Captcha Image

Sabi Sands and Manyeleti

Activities and Highlights
Region Map


"Within the confines of the world famous Kruger National Park, wildlife rules the land and it is here where you will find some of Africa’s most exclusive five-star rated private game reserves. Flanked on the unfenced north and north-western border of the Greater Kruger National Park is where Sabi Sands Game Reserve is located.

This protected landscape is South Africa’s oldest and as such, the mature and reposed character adds to the unforgettable experience that is Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The reserve boasts some of Africa’s most luxuriantly chic game lodges and throughout the years, international recognition such as the Diners Club Platinum Winelist Award, Best Hotel in the World and Best Game lodge in Southern Africa has confirmed the superiority that radiates from Sabi Sands.

Access Details

The game reserves within the Greater Kruger National Park are easily accessed by road or air. Three airports are conveniently located at Nelspruit, Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa. Lodges have air strips, so flights may be chartered too. Nelspruit is the main gateway, with daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, as well as connections to Vilanculos in Mozambique. Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa have daily flights from Johannesburg. By vehicle, the region is about 5 to 6 hours away from Johannesburg on the national roads.

Suggested Stay Details

A stay of at least 3-5 nights at the reserve is suggested.

Type of Experience

As a Big Five game reserve, the experience of getting as close as you possibly can to one of Africa’s most feared mammals is death defying and exhilarating in itself. Coupled with the bushveld grandeur that exudes from Sabi Sands and Manyeleti game reserves, we are sure that any expectation that you have ever imagined about an African safari will be to bypass.

End your day with an exquisite meal, surrounded by African bushveld while the fire’s blaze casts silhouettes of tribal dancers across sepia landscape as an African sun sets beneath the horizon.


Sabi Sands and Manyeleti Game Reserves are all about exclusivity, African romance and wildlife. The safari lodges and camps in the private reserves are mostly in the middle to upper budget levels, with very high standards of service and facilities. Thatched roof Hemmingway styled cottages, luxury lodges, colonial dêcor and large viewing decks all offer unforgettable comfort within African landscape.


The area is typically surrounded by bushveld, rocky outcrops and hills, acacia and thorntree grasslands, riverine forests with jackalberry and other large indigenous trees. The spectacular Sabi and Sand River rivers is not to far from the reserves either.


"Sabi Game Reserve was proclaimed in 1898 by the president of what was then, the Transvaal Republic, making it one of the oldest national parks within the South African borders. In 1926, initially established to control hunting and offer protection to hunted animals, the reserve was dramatically expanded and named the Kruger National Park. In 1902, James Hamilton became the first warden of the proclaimed land for 44 years which was then only one third of the current size.

Since its proclamation, the park attracted an increasing amount of tourists in search of an African experience. In 1959, fences were erected to border the national park, aimed to prevent foot and mouth disease from spreading and to reduce poaching. Unfortunately the fences did more harm than good, reducing the population of many wildlife species. As a result, the park has no fences within its borders.

Confiscating land from the Makuleke people and forcing their relocation in 1969, the previously inhabited areas were integrated as part of northern Kruger National Park. A land claim was submitted in 1996 by the Makuleke tribe people to reclaim their land which was successful. The Makuleke tribe was granted more than 19000 hectares of northern park land but instead of resettling on the land, it was incorporated and used for tourism development.

Expanding yet again in 2002, the Kruger National Park crosses borders into Zimbabwe, Limpopo and Mozambique, making it one of Africa’s largest national parks."

Activities & Highlights

"WILDLIFE: Both reserves are rich in biodiversity with much to see during the day and night safari drives. With the knowledge and expertise of a game ranger, expect the spotlight to illuminate the hideouts of the elusive leopard or the hunting lion.

The laughter, roar and bark of black-backed jackal, civet, cheetah, baboon and hyena echoes within the reserve. Many animals congregate around the Sabi River and various waterholes, including elephants, wildebeest, zebra, Cape buffalo, crocodiles, hippos and rhino. The area has South Africa’s only population of viable wild dogs.

BIRD SANCTUARY: Kruger National Park and its private game reserves are truly a haven to all birds and bird lovers. The region attracts more than 500 species of birds, more than half of which are permanent residents. The saddle-billed storks, vultures and cattle egrets are some of the magnificent species which frequent the area.

BUSHVELD GRANDEUR: The comfort of five-star luxury is not far away the confines of African bushveld. Both Sabi Sands and Manyeleti Game Reserves are renowned for their quality of wildlife and their excellent service too. Get lost in the timeless rhythm of Africa’s pulsating beauty. Unwind and revitalize at the Manyeleti day spa or savour the moment while enjoying the exquisite experience of dining in the African bush."

Season Travel Details

"The area has a subtropical climate with hot and humid in summers and mildly humid and warm winters between October and March. Rain falls mainly during summer months with spectacular afternoon and evening thunderstorms.

Rainfall gathers up to 500 mm (30 in�_) a year. From April to September the area becomes dry and cooler.

View More