- Upmarket lodge in private reserve
- 25 tastefully appointed suites
- 2 swimming pools, spa, boutique, boma
- Babysitting and child activity programmes
Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge is a relatively large, upmarket safari camp situated in a private reserve within the Greater Kruger area of northeast South Africa. The lodge sits above a seasonal riverbed in the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve, with tranquil views of the surrounding plains. This extensive property offers 25 well-appointed suites and villas, two swimming pools, a wine cellar, a boutique, and a spa. Sabi Sands Game Reserve is home to the big 5, along with cheetah, hippo, giraffe, wild dog and wildebeest, as well as over 300 species of birds.
Communal spaces include thatched dining, lounge, and bar areas with an open, airy feel, featuring a fusion of modern and traditional African décor and furnishings. A thatched, open-sided viewing deck is located above the river bed with great views of a bustling waterhole. There’s also an extensive decked area with comfy seating, ideal for relaxing and enjoying the views, and a traditional outdoor ‘boma’ for alfresco dining under African skies. The lodge has two swimming pools with loungers, plus a boutique, spa, and wine cellar.
Activities include morning and evening game drives, and morning guided walks, all led by professional and enthusiastic guides. Community visits are a great opportunity to meet local villagers and learn about the traditional rural way of life. Enjoy a massage or beauty treatment at the spa, or simply relax in one of the swimming pools. Starlit bush dinners are available subject to additional cost, with traditional entertainment provided by local dancers and musicians.
The accommodation comprises 23 thatched suites and two villas. Each suite has a king size bed draped with mosquito nets, and a sleek en-suite bathroom with separate bath and shower, plus an indulgent outdoor shower. Private patios with seating offer lovely views of the surrounding bush. One of the 23 suites is substantially larger and boasts its own private plunge pool. The two villas each house two en-suite bedrooms, a comfy central lounge, and a private patio with plunge pool and great views of a nearby waterhole. All units come with air conditioning, a minibar, and hot drink facilities.
Children of all ages are extremely welcome at Bush Lodge. Discounts are available for children sharing a suite with their parents, whilst the two-bedroom villas are an ideal choice for families or groups. Note that a minimum age restriction of six years applies for game drives, unless a private vehicle is hired at additional cost. The lodge runs a dedicated onsite kids club, the Elefun Centre, staffed by a qualified childcare team. It offers secure indoor and outdoor play areas and a designated programme aimed at four to 12 year olds, with activities including bush craft, animal tracking and spotting, junior game drives, walks, arts and crafts, and games. A babysitting service is available upon request.
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
Hi, just back home now as stayed in London last night. It was fab! We loved it! Amazing all round- Thankyou. Best holiday ever!!!
Accommodation great at both places, guides lovely, staff great. We saw more animals than ever expected: giraffes, lion, elephants, water hog, wilder beast, impala, white rhino, crocodiles, hippos in lake Sybia, monkeys in trees at Tonga.
Beach beautiful, but a bit windy, waves v rough but didn’t deter my boys. We snorkeled which was fab but too rough on day we booked to do ocean experience.
My boys swam in all pools!!!
Weather better than we expected!
Must go and do some laundry, but hope that helps?
Nicola B reviewing South Africa Luxury Safari & Beach Holiday on 24 July 2019