Top Five Lodges in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Located just next door to South Africa's world-famous Kruger National Park, private Sabi Sands Game Reserve is consistently considered one of the best places in Africa to go on safari. The park also plays host to some of the world's most luxurious small hotels. There are many properties, most with several lodges offering a huge range of experiences. Spectacular settings are a defining feature of Sabi Sands lodges, with some accessed exclusively by winding cliff paths, rope bridges or long bush walks. All of them match their uniqueness with a hefty price tag, but whether you choose to stay in a romantic tented camp or in a luxury chalet, the experience will be worth saving up for. In this article, we look at five of Sabi Sands' best lodges, in no particular order.

NB: Listed prices were accurate as of January 2017. 

This article was updated by Jessica Macdonald on January 5th 2017. 

  • 01 of 05
    Top Five Lodges in Sabi Sands Game Reserve South Africa
    ••• Londolozi Granite Camp. Londolozi

    One of the first and most famous private game reserves in Africa, Londolozi set the standard for world-class luxury and for community-based sustainable tourism. There are five small lodges here, each one supremely luxurious and with unsurpassed game-viewing opportunities. Best of all, you can also be assured that your money is going into conservation and education, with a learning centre on the property. Varty and Founders Camps specialize in safaris for children.

    Practical Details:

    • Tel: +27 11 280 6655
    • Price: from $944 per person per night, all-inclusive.
    • No of rooms: Pioneer Camp: three suites; Founders Camp: 10 chalets; Granite Camp: three suites for exclusive use; Varty Camp: two chalets; Tree Camp: six suites.
    • Star rating: *****
  • 02 of 05
    Top Five Lodges in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
    ••• Singita Castleton. Mark Williams/ Imagine Communications/ Flickr.com

    Owned by the Bailes family since 1926, Singita Sabi Sand has a rich heritage. The estate is home to two lodges, Ebony and Boulders; as well as the intimate, exclusive Singita Castleton farmhouse. Suites are decadent, with private plunge pools and butler service. Both Ebony and Boulders overlook the Sand River and you hardly need leave your armchair to spot the game coming down to drink. Singita runs a Field Guide Training Academy on the property.

    Practical Details:

    • Tel: +27 21 683 3424
    • Price: from $1,830 per person per night sharing, all inclusive.
    • No of rooms: Ebony Lodge: 12 suites; Boulders Lodge suites: 12; Castleton: six cottages.
    • Star rating: *****
  • 03 of 05
    Top Five Lodges in Sabi Sands Game Reserve South Africa
    ••• Ulusaba Rock Lodge. Roderick Eime/ Flickr.com

    Owned by Virgin, Ulusaba feels at times more like a glorious grown-up climbing frame than the oasis of luxury it actually is. There are two lodges, the first of which is Rock Lodge, set high amidst the boulders of a rocky koppie with views that stretch to the ends of time. Safari Lodge is situated below on the banks of a dry riverbed, and is made up of elegant tree houses linked by a series of rope bridges. A Cub's Club at Rock Lodge welcomes children up to 11 years of age.

    Practical Details:

    • Tel: +27 11 325 4405
    • Price: from $1,130 per person per night sharing; all inclusive.
    • No of rooms: 21 rooms and suites.
    • Star rating: *****
  • 04 of 05
    Top Five Lodges in Sabi Sands Game Reserve South Africa
    ••• Bush Lodge, Sabi Sabi. Martin Harvey/ Getty Images

    Sabi Sabi offers different experiences at four lodges designed around the theme of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Yesterday is at Selati Camp, with its colonial chalets decorated with railway memorabilia. Today is Bush Lodge, with its Africana chic decor. You’ll find Tomorrow at Earth Lodge with modern architecture sculpted into the earth, individually designed furniture and plunge pools for each suite. Little Bush Camp is designed for exclusive hire.

    Practical Details:

    • Tel: +27 11 447 7172
    • Price: from $780 per person per night sharing; all inclusive.
    • No of rooms: Selati Camp: eight suites; Earth Lodge: 13 suites; Bush Lodge: 25 suites; Little Bush: six suites. 
    • Star rating: *****
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Top Five Lodges in Sabi Sands Game Reserve South Africa
    ••• Sable Camp, MalaMala. MalaMala

    Technically not part of Sabi Sands itself, MalaMala has its own 13,300 hectare (51.3 square mile) property sandwiched between the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and the main Kruger National Park. People have been game-viewing here since 1927, with three camps offering a choice of experiences from the thatched Africana of the Main Camp to the old colonial charm of Rattray's. Sable Camp can be reserved exclusively for up to 18 guests. 

    Practical Details:

    • Tel: + 27 11 442 2267
    • Price: from $575 per person per day sharing; all inclusive.
    • No of rooms: Main Camp: 19 rooms and suites; Sable Camp: six suites (can be booked exclusively); Rattray's on MalaMala: eight suites.
    • Star rating: *****