Sabi Sand Game Reserve – Mpumalanga, South Africa
The Beauty and the Beasts
Some of the country’s best game-viewing and splendor-in-the-bush accommodations can be found in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Sharing a fenceless border with the enormous Kruger National Park, this collectively owned and managed private reserve welcomes the coming and going of wildlife but not the human traffic that comes with it; as one of few guests you can enjoy the same game density as at Kruger, but with sumptuous amenities, and very likely never share the terrain with more than one or two other jeeps in the course of an exhilarating game drive.
The animals are not tame, but they have become habituated to the sight of vehicles and will let them approach within a short distance. Rangers and trackers at the Sabi Sand Reserve are educated, charming, and entertaining, with a wealth of experience and a passion for the bush. Among the many private parks that make up the 163,000-acre reserve are the exalted trio of Londolozi, MalaMala, and Singita. Of Londolozi’s three camps, the top of the line is the Tree Camp, directly on the banks of the Sabi River, a glorious contrast of raw bush and unashamed luxury shared by just eight privileged guests.
MalaMala’s most favored and romantic campsite is Kirkman’s Kamp, built around a 1920s homestead. Singita features two luxurious lodges (Ebony and Boulders), both with spas and suites with private pools, and is generally considered the standout.