Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Located to the south of famed Kruger National Park, visitors to Sabi Sands Game Reserve may spot at least one of the Big Five a day: leopards race across the plains, lions snooze in the long grass, and elephants, Cape buffalo and black rhino congregate by the watering hole. There are no fences between the parks, so wildlife stroll freely across the expansive plains. Expect a pristine natural setting, lots of fresh air and a peaceful night’s sleep – punctuated by the odd growl or trumpet. With reds, oranges, yellows and pinks bleeding into one another, the sunsets are as spectacular as the wildlife here.

When to go

The best time to visit is in the dry season, between May and September, when there are fewer crowds and less-abundant foliage, making it easier to spot animals roaming through the bush.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    From Cape Town, South Africa’s Airlink fly direct to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Nelspruit, and to Skukuza airport (located in Kruger National Park). From Johannesburg, Airlink operate connecting flights via Cape Town to both airports. Most hotels and lodges offer private road transfers from the airport.
  • Automobiles

    The drive from Johannesburg is around six hours; road conditions are generally good, but some require a toll. If you’re visiting the northern region of Sabi Sands, it’s reached through Gowrie Gate – the drive takes around seven hours.