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Exclusive luxury lodges in Sabi Sands

Exclusive luxury lodges in Sabi Sands

Possibly the most famous game reserve of them all, the Sabi Sand Reserve is one of the parks that makes up the Greater Kruger National Park.

Sabi Sands was formerly a vast agricultural land but attained reservation status in 1926 when the National Parks Act was passed. The waterholes built to serve the farms have been repurposed to allow the wildlife to proliferate freely on almost 65,000 hectares of unbroken savannah.

Named after the Sabie River on its southern boundary, and the Sand River which flows south towards it, Sabi Sands is home to all the Big 5; elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and Cape buffalo. There are over 500 other species indigenous to the reserve, including cheetah, hippopotamus, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, hyena, and Cape wild dog.

For those who want a close encounter with smaller animals such as lions and leopards, there is simply no better place. While there are strict rules around staying on the roads in many conservation areas, the trained guides are permitted to drive their vehicles off-road in Sabi Sands so that you can follow the animals into the bush.

And because day visitors are not allowed on the site, the vast savannah is reserved for visitors to one of Sabi Sands’s exclusive lodges.

Travelling by air chapman freeborn

Travelling by air

For travellers travelling into the area using commercial aircraft, Hoedspruit Airport and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport are well connected to get a charter flight directly into the Sabi Sands reserve.

Sabi Sands is well served by five airstrips. Skukuza Sabi Sands Airport is a little under an hour drive into the reserve itself but can be longer depending on the location of the lodge. From Skukuza Airport you can charter a flight directly into the Sabi Sands Game Reserve to one of the other four landing strips; Singita airstrip, Ulusaba airstrip, Mala Mala airstrip, Arathusa airstrip, and Sabi Sabi airstrip.

Where to stay

Royal Malewane

Royal Malewane chapman freeborn

Photo by THE ROYAL PORTFOLIO https://www.theroyalportfolio.com/

The Royal Malewane lodge aims to cater for all requirements in the most luxury of settings. Guests can experience classic game drives, birding safaris, as well as bush walks for a more intimate experience. It also boasts a Spa – voted the best in Africa – as well as a range of dining experiences in unique settings, including an outdoor bush tent.

Travelling to Royal Malewane couldn’t be easier, as it operates its own airstrip; Jackalberry Airstrip.

Royal Malewane aims to cater for all requirements. For those with a keen eye, rangers will design tailored photographic tours so that you can get the perfect pictures of the animals in their natural environment. Food can also be prepared in a Kosher kitchen should it be required.

Children of all ages can also take part in the safari experience at the Royal Malewane, and a range of age-appropriate activities are offered. For slightly older children the Junior Ranger course is a must-do.

The Royal Malewane can boast the only three Master Trackers in the whole of the Greater Kruger National Park, while the fully qualified and expert rangers guide the specially modified Land Rover through the savannah safely.

And at number 7 Top Resort in Africa, in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards in 2019, Royal Manewane truly is the complete luxury safari experience.

Ulusaba

Spread across two sites; one on a rocky outcropping overlooking the surrounding plains, the second on the banks of a dry river bed, Ulusaba offers a unique luxury safari experience.

The Rock and Safari lodges at Ulusaba were completed in 1983, before Sir Richard Branson took ownership in 1994 and rebuilt them entirely into the world-class lodges they are today. The recently added Treehouse suite also gives guests the privilege of a close-up view of the Xikwenga Dam and watering hole, where many of the animals congregate.

The expansive nature of the site means Ulusaba can accommodate particularly large groups – the whole resort can be hired – and with its own private airstrip, you can deliver your group right to the doorstep.

There are two safari drives every day, each lasting 3 hours, one on the morning as the animals return from the hunt, and one in the early evening as the hunting animals wake from their daytime rest. Walks in the savannah are available every day after breakfast – weather permitting.

Ulusaba’s quality cannot be in doubt. In 2016, Ulusaba was named the third-best resort in the world, as well as number 1 resort in Africa in the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.

Londolozi

Londolozi in the Sabi Sands

Photo by Londolozi https://www.londolozi.com/

Londolozi in the Sabi Sands has a rich heritage in conservation and respect for the natural environment, creating a resort that exists in harmony with the wildlife while remaining an exclusive safari resort. The resort has been recognised globally for its land and wildlife management, as well as inviting a rich and diverse working family, and involvement in the wider community.

As well as safari activities, Londolozi Healing House spa offers guests a place to rest after excursions with intensive bodywork, yoga, and gym available. The spa is unique as it integrates the wilderness to create a natural, calming experience. Londolozi has also been recognised globally for its restaurant standard cuisine, achieving Relais & Châteaux status.

Before you visit, follow the story of the Leopards of Londolozi and get to know more about the families of cats in the area. The sightings don’t end there; herds of elephants and Cape buffalo roam freely throughout Londolozi, and white rhinos and lions are also common. Londolozi is served by its own airstrip, a five-minute drive from the resort complex.

For more information on how we can help you with your travel requirements to Sabi Sands, contact +27(0)10 447 8844 or email africa@chapmanfreeborn.aero

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