Kruger may be the most-visited game park in South Africa, but nearby Sabi Sands is an equally impressive private reserve where visitors are offered a luxury safari experience. Unlike Kruger, guides at Sabi Sands can take visitors “off road” and into the bush, which practically guarantees visitors will spot all of Africa’s Big Five.
There are no fences between Kruger and Sabi Sands, so lions, elephants, wild dogs and cheetahs roam freely between the parks, making this reserve a destination for African safaris. The reserve is known for its practically commonplace sightings of the elusive leopard, and for large numbers of indigenous bird species.
Because Sabi Sands is a private reserve, visitors are not allowed to tour on their own. Instead, guests must register at one of the numerous lodges inside the park, where meals, game drives and safari activities are typically included in the daily rates. Drives typically take place at sunrise and sunset, when bigger animals tend to be more active.
September is considered the best time to visit Sabi Sands Game Reserve, but animal viewing piques in the dry winter months, between May and September. Because animals congregate around watering holes it’s best to avoid visiting from November to March, when heavy rains and easy access to water make animals more difficult to spot.