The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is celebrated for its Big 5 but its attraction is apparent in every wild corner of the Greater Kruger National Park that it forms part of. The 65,000 hectares of wilderness attracts not only the leopard, lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo, but a total of 145 mammal species, including the more elusive names of the African bush, and over 500 bird species. It shares a 50 kilometre long unfenced border with the Kruger, ensuring that animals can roam freely between the two reserves.
The Sabi Sand is considered the best place in the world to see leopards in the wild.
Watching wild leopards is like watching poetry in motion. They’re incredibly self-sufficient, powerful and majestic, and a real thrill to watch. Probably their most noticeable characteristic is the way their eyes appear to see right through you. But they’re also very solitary animals and highly adaptable, so you can see them in many different habitats. It’s finding them in the wild that’s the tricky part; it’s really up to them whether they choose to be seen or not. It’s always wonderful to see them in the open savannah or resting in the branches of an ebony tree in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, for example.
– Dave Varty, conservationist and owner of Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Unlike the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand is not open to the general public. Staying in one of the lodges here means you are sharing this pristine wilderness with only a few other guests, since each private reserve has exclusive traversing rights over their area. Rangers can drive off-road, taking you closer to the action. They can also drive at night and lead you on guided walking safaris, tracking animals in the wilderness.