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David and Ben at Sabi Sabi.
David and Ben at Sabi Sabi.
The rhino in action.
The magnificent zebra.
Let's not get too close to these eyes!

Sabi Sabi Game Reserve

Thursday, August 19, 2004
Immerse yourself in this potentially deadly environment. This is a heart-pounding, blood pumping, up-close-and-personal experience.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is in the Sabi Sands Reserve which was set up in 1965. Sabi Sabi takes up 8,000 hectares of the 60,000 hectares bordering Kruger, but as there are no fences, it all seems to be one.

Kruger is South Africa's largest park, covering 2 million hectares — you could fit England into it — and because of its size, there is a great diversity between its north and south.

There is basic accommodation in Kruger, but the 16 private game reserves in Sabi Sands offer everything from basic to ultra deluxe. At Sabi Sabi the lodges are built to accommodate small numbers of people and you will see as many, if not more, animals at closer range.

Sabi Sabi's open vehicles take 10 people — ranger/driver, tracker and 8 guests. There are some rules which must be adhered to — you are not to stand in the vehicle, and smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted.

After a cup of tea and nibbles at 5:30 am you are off along the sand roads and return about 3 hours later. Evening safaris run between 4pm and 7pm.

The trackers are invaluable. They perch perilously near the vehicle's headlights, warning the driver of potholes or rocks. They can also look at a paw print and know the breed and sex of the animal which left it, and how long ago.

Only four vehicles are allowed to stop near animals at any one time, and drivers are in radio contact with each other so they stick close to the rules. The open top vehicles get very close to the animals — maybe 3 metres from a lion — but as they know the vehicle and its contents are not in their food chain, you are pretty much ignored by them. No one has ever been attacked.

Chances to see the big five — lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo — are excellent. Sabi Sabi is also home to zebra, antelope, giraffe, monkey, cheetah, baboon, hyena, wildebeest, warthog and 360 species of bird! You will also see diverse and unique flora.

On evening safaris, of course, you see night-hunting animals such as porcupine, nightjar, civet, genet and other predators and scavengers of the night. Vehicles are equipped with spotlights which are not shone in the animals' eyes, but allows you to spot them without interfering with them. Being there are night is quite surreal — it is completely dark and you are surrounded by the noises of nocturnal birds and animals.

Sabi Sabi has two lodges, totally different from each other, but with one similarity. Guests must be escorted to their rooms at night. Accommodation is a distance from the dining areas, and on occasion, animals stray into the grounds.


The south-west corner of Kruger National Park in South Africa.


Scatterlings of Africa has a 3 night safari package including return economy airfares from Johannesburg, twin share accommodation, all meals and morning and evening safaris starting at around $2,126 per person. They operate year round.
Qantas flies four times a week to Johannesburg. Return economy airfares start at $1778 from Perth, $1972 from Sydney, $1976 from Melbourne, $1981 from Adelaide, $2000 from Brisbane and $3110 from Darwin, per person. Prices include charges/taxes and are current at time of writing, but may vary at time of booking. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Scatterlings of Africa
Ph: 0011 27 82 893 2334 Fax: 0011 27 11 789 4037
Qantas: Ph: 13 13 13
For a safe and healthy journey, talk to the travel doctor: 1300 658 844 or visit

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