The Most Beautiful Lodges in the Sabi Sands

The Sabi Sands is a magical safari location, bordering the unfenced Kruger National Park, and a wildlife hotspot in South Africa. As one of the oldest safari areas in Southern Africa, the lodges here have perfected the art of game drives, hospitality and service.

Our Giltedge Product Manager, Tamsin, and Senior Consultant, Philippa, traversed the Sabi Sands together and visited 9 lodges in this pristine area. They condensed their whirlwind of their Sabi Sands holiday below.

1. Arathusa, Sabi Sands

Arathusa’s rooms wowed us: they’re warm, cozy and airy with cool tones. It’s a 4-star lodge and offers a high level of comfort. Tamsin always judges a lodge by its bathrooms – and this one passed the test and even has an outdoor shower.

Why we love it?

  • Game viewing was good but not exceptional, game vehicles are older so a little less comfortable
  • Good solid entry level lodge
  • Food was simple but delicious

Arathusa
Arathusa

2. Savanna, Sabi Sands

This 5-star lodge boasts ultimate luxury. You can view wildlife from your private deck or plunge pool. Savanna’s guides are excellent and engage guests during game drives. Specifically, Dave Wilson who got our ranger award for the most engaging on the trip.  Game viewing was spectacular, Big 5 on one game drive and the vehicles comfortable.

Why we love it?

  • Every room has aircon, which is great as it was hot
  • Bathrooms are amazing
  • The Savanna Suite has a lounge that joins two bedrooms on either side so it’s perfect for families or groups. Full kitchen available in the Savanna Suite (catering specifically for Kosher guests)
  • Luxury tents have also been refurbished and all have their own plunge pools


 

3. Dulini Lodge

Tamsin and Philippa did a quick site inspection at the beautiful and intimate Dulini Lodge. Set on a riverine, each of the six suites face the riverbed and are extremely private. It’s perfect for honeymooners or just couples wanting a romantic safari.

Dulini
Dulini

4. Dulini Leadwood

The lodge is made of thatch and stone with beautiful outdoor areas. With only three suites this is perfect for multi-generational families as well as honeymooners. The suites are set apart so for guests wanting ultimate privacy this is a good option. Dulini Leadwood offers a lovely private dining experience.


5. Leopard Hills, Sabi Sands

This was Philippa’s absolute favourite – it’s the ultimate honeymoon lodge! This tranquil lodge in the Sabi Sands has 8 suites each with a plunge pool.  With a full glass front, set on a small hill, views are amazing from each suite. They have recently extended and re-done the decks. Throughout the lodge little vervet monkeys play in the trees and there are resident Nyala wandering around the camp.

Why we love it?

  • Communal and private dining available
  • This lodge aims at creating a lovely homely setting
  • Incredible views from this elevated lodge over the bushveld

Sabi Sands

 

6. Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

Sabi Sabi Lodges’ overall theme is yesterday, today and tomorrow. Selati is yesterday, Bush and Little Bush is today, and Earth is tomorrow. Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge is Sabi Sabi’s main lodge – and it’s quite big with 25 suites. It’s got the atmosphere of a bygone era with a big deck overlooking the waterhole. There are a lot of public areas – big and small – yet the only time you realize the size is when boarding your game vehicle and at dinner.

Sabi Sand Bush Lodge’s lodge manager, Lauren, needs a special mention. During our trip she received the ‘Lodge Manager Award’ and her touch can be felt throughout the lodge, which is on of the reasons both Tamsin and Philippa loved it.

Why we love it?

  • Dinner is buffet style, the rangers have dinner with you and the chefs are very engaging.
  • The lodge has 2 pools and a variety of beautiful public areas to sit and relax
  • The Kids’ Elefun Centre is amazing, well established and welcoming for children. Kids are kept busy with activities so it’s not noisy. A great lodge for families!
  • Suites have four-metre-long day beds that can accommodate two children
Tamsin, Lauren (Lodge Manager) and Philippa

7. Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp

On arrival, we walked down a path lit by lanterns – a most beautiful! With only 4 suites, Little Bush Camp is perfect

Why we love it?

  • Private pool quite separate from the lodge across the riverbed
  • Riverbed dinners are amazing
  • It’s a challenge to find availability here due to its repeat guests (which speaks volumes about the lodge)

8. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

This super modern lodge is exceptional but we feel it’s only for a certain type of client. While the buildings are architecturally astounding, it does not have a ‘typical’ safari feel. So, check with your clients first what look and feel they want on their safari before booking. It’s off the charts with regards its furnishings and interior design. Photos don’t do it justice! Because of the way that it is built into the earth, the animals really don’t seem to view it as a lodge and the wildlife traffic within the lodge is abundant.

Perfect for well-seasoned travelers with an interest in conservation of wildlife as well as the “footprint” on nature as a whole.  It’s been voted the top lodge in Africa with the least impact on our environment.

Why we love it?

  • Modern, luxurious, cozy
  • No kids U13 allowed
  • Animals walk up to your door
  • The Amber Suite is incredible: from the artwork to the furniture to the patio.  While doing our site inspection an elephant ambled right past us within meters of where we were standing.

9. Sabi Sabi Selati

Selati is another one of Philippa’s favorites. It’s perfect for anyone who loves South African history or just history – full stop! An old railroad runs through the property and it’ interior design echoes that of yesteryear.  Throughout the lodge, you will find antiques and railroad memento’s that give the lodge a  true old “Out of Africa” feel. On arrival, you park next to an old ox wagon and the reception is an old train ticketing booth so right from the get-go you are whisked back in time.

Why we love it?

  • The communal dining area has copper pots hanging from walls… and the extensive refurbishment throughout the lodge is great.
  • The boma runs off the main bar area and communal dining area. It’s the prettiest looking boma we saw on our trip!
  • Indoor and outdoor bath and shower in all suites (no other lodges had both so a really unique selling point)

 

Giltedge Africa creates life-changing travel experiences in Southern and East Africa. Contact us if you have any queries or would like to book your luxury safari.