Sanbona Wildlife Reserve: The Ultimate Cape Safari Experience

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve: The Ultimate Cape Safari Experience

Please note Sanbona is closed from 1 May 2021 – 1 August 2021.

Just over a three-hour drive from the bustling centre of Cape Town along Route 62 lies Sanbona Wildlife Reserve – a secluded sanctuary that’s home to the Big Five, ancient San rock art, and over 58 000 hectares of sacred untouched landscape.

Tucked beneath the majestic Warmwaterberg Mountains in the heart of the Little Karoo, the malaria-free wildlife reserve is the Western Cape’s answer to an exclusive Kruger experience, with three lodges and an adventurous Explorer Camp each offering their own unique charm.

Gondwana Lodge Sanbona

Guests have the option of staying at Dwyka Tented Lodge (for a special-occasion or romantic getaway), Tilney Manor (for an intimate and childless experience) and Gondwana Family Lodge (for a stylish family getaway that’ll satisfy kids and grown-ups alike). There’s also the Explorer Camp, which offers a two-day walking safari and tented accommodation, designed for those seeking a more rustic escape in nature.

With all of this and more, it’s no wonder Sanbona is considered the Cape’s premier wildlife destination.

Gondwana Family Lodge

Gondwana Lodge at Sanbona Pool

Designed for families, Gondwana Lodge features 12 lovely rooms, each with a spacious en-suite bathroom, and a private balcony, offering unhindered views of the endless plains.

In the main building is a stylishly decorated lounge and a dining area that opens onto a reserve-facing pool terrace, where meals are served. There’s also a boma for braai evenings under the stars – where moonlit marshmallow-roasting is a highlight for kiddies!

The hands-on, educational Kids on Safari programme teaches children about the wild, while the playroom is stocked with toys and books – and is conveniently close to the spa – so grown-ups can languish while kiddies play.

Child friendly? Yes
Cost R14 000 per night for two adults (winter season)

Dwyka Tented Lodge

Sanbona Game Reserve

This glamping lodge, surrounded by 350-million-year-old rock formations, has a sacred feel about it. The tranquil sense of solitude immediately transports you to what it may have been like before civilisation – with just nine luxury tents enhancing the sense of intimacy and seclusion.

Generously spaced out at the foot of the mountain, the tents sleep two adults in king beds, and feature a Jacuzzi-clad private deck, outdoor and indoor shower, a bath, tea- and coffee-making facilities, air conditioning and dramatic cliff-facing views.

The main lounge offers guests full access to a fully equipped bar, fireplace and wi-fi. There is also an on-site wine cellar for you to select your own, a gift boutique and a Relaxation Retreat with two therapy rooms for spa treatments.

Child friendly? No
Cost R15 760 per night for two adults (winter season)

Tilney Manor

Sanbona Tilney Manor

It’s quite a surprise to find a beautiful manor house situated in the rugged landscape of a game reserve, surrounded by roaming buck and the odd giraffe.

The manor offers six spacious open-plan suites, each sleeping two adults in king-size beds, and feature his-and-hers bathrooms, a private minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, air conditioning and a view-drenched private verandah.

Guests can also enjoy Karoo cuisine, soak in the rim-flow pool or relax in one of the lounges. Then there’s the on-site Relaxation Retreat, boasting multiple spa treatments and sauna.

Child friendly? No
Cost R14 000 per night for two adults (winter season)

Explorer Camp

Sanbona Explorer Camp

For the duration of summer (October until April), the reserve offers a series of exciting Explorer Camp weekends, where you can experience the great outdoors in the comfort of a luxury tent.

The weekend includes all meals and house drinks, and focuses on daily walking trails, which are hosted by a qualified (armed) guide, who ensures you have a safe, fun and informative experience.

Each evening, dinner is cooked over an open campfire, enhancing the safari experience. An eco shower and toilet facilities are, obviously, on site too, and torches are provided so you can find your way around in the dark.

Child friendly? Only suitable for ages 16 and over
Cost From R5 950 per person per night (season-dependent)

Family Package

Sanbona Family Package

Enjoy 20% off a two-night stay at Gondwana Family Lodge from 1 May to 30 September 2020, and 1 December to 20 December 2020, for you and your little ones.

The offer includes a snack platter in the rooms on arrival, a kids’ safari programme, family picnic, African folk tales with marshmallows around the fire, an evening treasure hunt, complimentary child-minding, two daily game drives, meals and nonalcoholic beverages and all the other features available to you at the lodge.

Cost From R5 600 per person per night sharing (season-dependent)
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An abundance of activities

Sanbona Game Drive

The two daily game drives are the main event – and, naturally, what most visitors look forward to. Also on offer is birdwatching, stargazing, spa treatments and wilderness excursions that include guided walks and visits to rock art and fossil sites. There are also boat safaris during season (dependent on dam levels).

From the minute you drive through the main gates, you feel as though you are a million miles from civilisation. Sounds like heaven on earth to us!

Please note Rates include breakfast, lunch, dinner, all nonalcoholic beverages, two game drives per day, game-drive beverages and guided walks)
Distance from Cape Town 3.5 hours
Where to find it Route 62, between Montagu and Barrydale

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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 20 March 2020