Africa's Big 5: Up close in Sabi Sands reserve

Sabi Sands Game Reserve is world famous for being one of the best game reserves on earth and therefore attracts many safari enthusiasts. To avoid the feeling of chasing wildlife in hordes of camera happy tourists, staying in an exlusive private game reserve is your best option to enjoy nature and see game by far. The private game reserves that border Kruger National Park enjoy a major advantage when it comes to seeing big game: they have an exclusive right of use over vast tracts of land. This means that only a very limited number of visitors is allowed, those staying in one of the exclusive safari lodges. You will discover Sabi Sands during your luxury safari holiday in a unique way, accompanied by professional guides and while enjoying a very comfortable stay in one of these truly unforgettable places. Besides that, we also scheduled some time for you to visit the Panorama Route. This luxury travel module is the ultimate option for those travellers that want an affordable choice for staying in one of Africa's best game reserves.

Tour duration: 5 days, 4 nights

Price: From £ 819 per person (high), from £ 714 per person (low) for two adults sharing

Best time to visit: All year round

Day 1: Johannesburg - Hazyview

hazyview south africa panoramaroute room

After the first night of your luxury safari holiday, your real journey starts today. From Johannesburg you depart in easterly direction for the five hour drive to Hazyview. The roads in this part of the country are of excellent quality, so you can concentrate fully on getting used to South Africa road etiquette. From the city of Nelspruit the route continues northbound over smaller roads to the village of Hazyview. The hotel for the coming night is located just outside the village and next to the Sabie River. Hazyview is a well known base for travellers visiting Kruger National Park and the Panorama Route. Upon arrival you have some time to relax, for example by taking a swim in one of the two swimming pools. Or go take a stroll along the river: with some luck you may be able to see hippos here. In the evening you can choose to stay in and have dinner in the lodge restaurant, but you can also choose to find an alternative in town. They happily advise you at the reception. Breakfast next morning is included and is served in the lodge restaurant. (Driving distance 380 miles)

Hotel name: Hippo Hollow Country Estate Hotel style: riverside fusion

Day 2: Hazyview - Sabi Sands Game Reserve (via Panoramaroute)

wildlife big 5 kruger safari

Before driving straight to Sabi Sands, we recommend visiting the Panorama Route. Please bear in mind this implies you need to get up rather early in order to see most attractions. And there are quie a few for you to enjoy: some magnificent viewpoints, thundering waterfalls and the famous Blyde River Canyon. It is a spectacular sight indeed: the canyon is 16 miles long and 800 metres deep making this the third largest canyon in the world. After your brief visit to the Panorama Route the route goes onwards to Sabi Sands. En route you'll pass the busy African village of Acornhoek, the last 25 miles from here to gate get rather bumpy as the road in untarred. Please take your time to drive this last section of the route to the lodge. After entering Sabi Sands through Gowry Gate you arrive at the lodge surrounded by green African bush. There's a very large waterhole right in front of the lodge where animals can be seen vert often. You'll stay in one of only ten luxury chalets built in local traditional style. If you arrived on time (before 3 o'clock) you can head out on an afternoon safari straightaway looking for the Big 5. Back in the lodge dinner under the stars awaits you. (Driving distance 180 miles)

Hotel name:Arathusa Safari Lodge Hotel style: under African skies

Day 3: Sabi Sands Game Reserve

room sabi sands

Being on a luxury safri holiday means you have to get up early in the morning. At about half past five your game ranger will give you a wake up call. After a quick tea or coffee it is time to start your morning game drive in Sabi Sands. A morning safari has a complete different character than an evening game drive: other kinds of game is seen the atmosphere is completely different. You climb aboard the open 4x4 Landcruiser with some of the other guests and head out into the bush accompanied by a game ranger and tracker. Many of the game rangers that work in Sabi Sands are born and raised in the area of the game reserve and possess a vast knowledge about anything that lives here. It is very likely that you already encounter some of the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo). Halfway the morning the vehicle is stopped in the middle of the bush for a delicious (and much needed by then!) cup of coffee. You will definitely start appreciating the advantages of being on safari with such well trained ranger/guides, their eyes are so much better adapted for seeing game that you yourself would easily have missed. After returning to the lodge breakfast us ready and you can start contemplating about your first morning in real Africa. From now until about four o'clock in the afternoon there is time for you to relax after which the second game drive of the day starts.

Hotel name: Arathusa Safari Lodge Hotel Style: under African skies

Day 4: Sabi Sands Game Reserve

gamewalk safari Sabi Sands

On the fourth day of your luxury safari holiday you have the opportunity getting to know Sabi Sands and its game even better. You will notice that your eyes feel better adapted in noticing animals. Take the challenge and see whether you can spot game faster than the tracker who is seated in front of the car. You now also have the chance to go search for animals you haven't seen before, and maybe also some of the smaller (but no less interesting) creatures of the bush. After breakfast there's is time to rest: no luxury at all when you have to get up so early in the morning! During your last game drive you may have a chance of seeing the elusive leopard. The ranger will then shut down the car engine, lights turned off, and everybody lowers their voice. And then you listen concentratedly... will there be action or no action? An exciting safari experience, guaranteed. After another glorious day in the bush you will definitely sleep very tight. But of course, first dinner awaits you under the flickering stars.

Hotel name: Arathusa Safari Lodge Hotel style: under African skies

Day 5: Sabi Sands Game Reserve - Swaziland / Johannesburg

pool sabi sands safari

For the real enthisuast there is one last opportunity going out on safari this morning. Of course, you can also choose to sleep in today. After breakfast you travel back in the direction of Johannesburg by rental car, or you continue your luxury safari holiday by using one of our Swaziland & KwaZulu Natal travel modules: A view with a room: Swaziland & Phinda or Mountains & wetlands: Swaziland to St. Lucia. (Driving distance 254 miles)

Chic! tip: After this luxury safari holiday you can also choose to continue your South Africa holiday on Mozambique's tropical beaches by using our Mozambique Island Escape.

You can request a quote for this South Africa luxury travel module by completing a quote request form. For more travel options see our luxury South Africa modules overview.

Luxury safari holiday image gallery


This holiday offered to you by:

Request a quote

Create your South Africa holiday

More information


Rental car (not included), read more >>.

Departure days



Included: Hazyview: bed and breakfast. Sabi Sands: allmeals, coffe/tea en two gamedrives daily

Excluded: car hire (more information); other meals; all items of personal nature and tips

Share this page: