Finally, a slightly belated report back on an educational to the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
. I was lucky enough to experience the luxury and outstanding quality of experience Sabi Sabi Selati Lodge
On arrival we were met by Carol, the Lodge manager, who was extremely friendly and accommodating during our stay. The vibe of Selati Lodge is very relaxed, with a colonial theme
using lots of classic steam train railway memorabilia, as there is an old railway that went through the area all the way to Lourenzo Marques (now Maputo). The lawns of the lodge have good flow, and with only 8 rooms
in total it is quite intimate. The setting is classic Sabi Sabi, with the main communal areas (large viewing deck with comfy lounge suite, outdoor dining deck and pool) all overlooking a huge open plain, where I felt like a legendary wildlife sighting was imminent at any moment. And sure enough, the previous night (during dinner!) in the riverbed below the lodge, some elephants were feeding and walking around, right below the main viewing deck.
Speaking of which, the pressure was on for the rangers to deliver some seriously good sightings. Firstly we were only there for 1 night due to time constraints, and secondly the other guests I had chatted to so far had seen the most incredible stuff in the previous couple of drives that would be hard to beat. Oh, and thirdly, our preference was for a juicy proper leopard sighting! So our ranger KG and his tracker Louis
, stepped up to the plate. Off we went into the stunning Sabi Sand bushveld on a late sunny afternoon hoping for something amazing. Our ranger KG was quite outstanding. What a character: with a fantastic sense of humor and huge knowledge of the animals and every little detail of the workings of nature.
Plus KG was a natural and gifted storyteller
. So on various occasions he had us enthralled for ages with the story of a very common bird and its mating habits, one which we might not have stopped for on any other day. “I never did mind the little things…” These punctuations in between the Big Five sightings are what makes it for me, because the chances of seeing the Big Five in the predator rich Sabi Sand
are really good. So it is these little pearls that make up the rich overall experience and help us to gain some understanding of the full layered tapestry of nature’s weird and wonderful ways.
So on we went, and enjoyed a close up elephant sighting, a bit close for some of us (see pics). But amazing. And KG had a few stories about elephants, as he had spent some time working previously in Madikwe: elephant central. There was also a rhino couple with suckling baby
making little squeaks that could easily come from a kitten! Quite cute and bizarre too. At dusk we found a lazy pride of lions:
a male, two females and a baby 3 weeks old. They were so fast asleep that we were completely ignored. What an amazing sense of security in the African bushveld: they clearly are the “Kings of the Jungle”.
Then it was down to the serious business of finding a leopard
. One last chance. Dark now, with the radio in the Land Rover crackling with animated code talk between the rangers, there was an air of hope and excitement. We used the spotlight to go back to the place where the leopard had most recently been spotted with an impala kill
the day before. We had already tried this earlier in the drive with no luck, but this time KG and Louis’ persistence paid off, and there she was: in the long grass, replete after just finishing the last of her impala dinner! So we followed her through the grass and undergrowth for a while until she popped out, walking nonchalantly down the road in front of us. She then stopped at a few puddles to drink and was in no hurry to go anywhere. Wow! So we soaked up the scene at leisure. Then suddenly she was alert, and hunting again. A flurry of activity and we lost her to the night. But what a sighting…
We also did a full site inspection of all the Sabi Sabi lodges on our last morning, which was really great to get a feel of all the lodges and their different details, locations and specialties. From Selati’s relaxed intimate atmosphere and great views, to Earth Lodge’s unique design and decor, it is quite a range that can cater to all tastes. There is also Bush Lodge, the largest of the 4 lodges, situated right in front of a waterhole and large open plain, it caters for 60 guests at a time. And finally Little Bush, set on the edge of river bed, very intimate (just 6 rooms) and works well for a small group or extended family. The Sabi Sabi portfolio is truly diverse with something to suit everyone. Many thanks to Sabi Sabi for hosting us at the incredible Selati Lodge. We were really treated like royalty: the honeymoon suite and a private dinner on our deck under the stars, plus world class rangers and game viewing too.
Sabi Sabi is currently offering amazing fly-in SPECIAL OFFERS to all of their lodges. See our: