Sabi Sand Open Vehicle Safari
4 Day Itinerary

Johannesburg - Sabi Sand - Johannesburg


Collection from Jo'burg:

Departing at 7.00 - 7.30am from any hotel in Johannesburg or off any early morning flight arriving at Jo'burg's Oliver Tambo Int Airport, you comfortably travel East for approx 4 hours to 'Nelspruit' the capital of Mpumalanga Province.

At Nelspruit you have an opportunity to do some last minute shopping, to stock up the cooler box with some drinks, film, snacks, mosquito repellent etc.

Travelling North you pass through places such as 'White River' and 'Hazyview' and through 'Bushbuck Ridge' and 'Boboskrand', all these areas being traditional tribal areas. You pass through rural villages, stopping to ask to take photos of native life and culture.

Collection from KMIA, MQP, HDS:

Your Safari Ranger will meet you off your domestic flight and will proceed to start your safari by driving to the game rich Northern region of the Sabi Sands Reserve. You pass through rural villages, stopping to ask to take photos of native life and culture.


Day 1: Johannesburg - Sabi Sands Reserve (L D)

You enter the Sabi Sand Reserve and make your way to the Lodge.

You check in, move into your chalet to freshen up, ready for lunch at approximately 2.30pm. After lunch, you have time for leisure - siesta, swimming and socializing.

At 4.00pm afternoon tea and coffee is served. Afterwards you make your way to the open 4x4 Land Rovers and start your first afternoon game drive.

Being your first open vehicle game drive you are given a 5-minute safety talk by your game ranger. The tracker sits on the front of the Land Rover in his special seat, up front checking for fresh tracks and spotting the wildlife as we drive around on the game drives. During the night drives your tracker uses a powerful spotlight, swinging left and right searching for the nocturnal animals.

Your game ranger with his tracker find you all the general wildlife - Impala, Warthog, Giraffe and Waterbuck whilst making our way to a Lion Kill. During the morning a resident pride of 12 Lions (5 cubs) had killed an adult Giraffe. We arrive and find all the Lions sleeping under a shady tree with Vultures filling the surrounding trees, waiting in anticipation. The Vultures had been arriving all day. The big dominant male Lion with blood on his face rises and walks over to the carcass for another helping. Starts to lick an area of the carcass and then continues to eat. Three Lionesses join him but eat at different positions. Bones break, skin is pulled, meat is eaten.

You are only a few metres away from all of this action - incredible!

A little later as the sun goes down, we stop in the bush a little off from the Lion Kill, have a stretch and enjoy 'sun downers' (drinks). Feeling more relaxed after a call of nature, we continue with a night game drive. There are Hyena arriving in the area due to the Lion Kill, but our focus is to see a Leopard. We stop for a Night Jar, an amazing nocturnal bird. We see lots of smaller nocturnal animals - Spotted Genet, White Tailed Mongoose, Owls and more Hyenas.

You finally return back to the lodge for approximately 8.00pm. You are escorted to your chalet to freshen up, ready to return to the bar for drinks and then a full dinner is served, with further socializing done later around the campfire. We hear Hyenas constantly whooping in the direction of the Lion Kill. Later you hear Lions roaring. When ready to retire, you will be escorted to your chalet.

Day 2: Sabi Sands Reserve (B L D)

The day starts early with a wake up call at 5.00am. At 6.00am tea and coffee is served. Afterwards we make our way to the open 4x4 Land Rovers and start your first morning game drive. Your game ranger decides to check on the Lion Kill. We smell the carcass before we arrive; it's two days old now and starting to stink. The Lions are still there with a few Hyenas dotted around. A Black Backed Jackal is seen on the perimeter. It's evident the Lions and Hyenas had clashed in the night but the Lions still control the carcass.

You continue with the open vehicle game drive seeing Elephant, a bachelor herd of big tuskers. More Buffalo approximately 350 number moving in the direction of a waterhole. We drive through the herd and stop in the middle for photos to be taken. Later you see more Elephant, Waterbuck, Zebra, Warthog, more Impala and a White Rhino.

You return to the lodge at approximately 10.00am where a full breakfast is served. After breakfast, walking safaris are conducted for one and a half hours. Return and visit the bar for a refreshing drink. The rest of the day is at your own leisure - siesta, swimming and socializing till lunch at 2.00pm. At 4.00pm afternoon tea and coffee is served.

During your afternoon open vehicle game drive you see loads of different bird species and general game - Impala, Warthog, Baboons, Wildebeest and Zebra. Later we stop for a stretch and 'sun downers'.

Feeling relaxed, we continue with an open vehicle night game drive focusing on Leopard. This night we are lucky. We find a Leopard at a small waterhole. It's a female and she is very relaxed. We are able to approach close. After drinking she heads off back into the bush. We follow keeping the spot light on her as much as possible. She's just so beautiful. Photos are taken. After a while we decide to leave her but suddenly she crouches into pounce mode. Moving the spot light we can see a little Steenbok, a small antelope, in front of her. She springs, two bounces and she has the Steenbok. We lose her for a few seconds, as we have to re-position the Land Rover. We move in close. The Steenbok is killed. She's looking around, panting a little. Finally she picks up the Steenbok in her mouth and climb's up the nearest Marula tree, positions the Steenbok in the tree so it will not fall. She starts to pluck the fur off and eats. We watch and take lots of photographs. Time has just flown by.

You return back to camp for dinner. The talk is of the Leopard Kill - fantastic.

Day 3: Sabi Sands Reserve (B L D)

You start the morning game drive making your way to see the Leopard Kill. The carcass is half eaten but she is not to be seen. She'll be back to eat later in the day or during the night. We move off to the Lion Kill viewing general game as we drive through the bush.

We arrive to find the Hyenas have pushed the Lions off the carcass. With the Lion pride having cubs they would probably have relinquished the carcass to the Hyenas earlier then normal. We take photos and then move off leaving the carcass to the Hyenas and Vultures.

On the way back to the lodge we come across a big White Rhino. He stares at us with his ears twitching, then proceeds to eat the lush grass.

You return to camp in time for breakfast. After breakfast another walking safari is provided. The rest of the day is at your own leisure, sleeping, swimming and socializing until lunch. At 4.00pm afternoon tea and coffee is served.

Starting your afternoon open vehicle game drive, we head off to an area which has a more open grassland topography. We are looking for Cheetah. Some time later we find two Cheetahs lying on a termite mound. Fantastic! It's not often you see Cheetah. We spend time with them taking photos each time they re-position on the termite mound.

You stop for 'sun downers'. With a lot of anticipation of what the night drive will bring, we continue. We find all the normal small nocturnal animals but are given a view of two extra's - Porcupine and Honey Badger. It's a quiet night so we drive to the old Lion Kill. A few Hyena are around with a couple of Vultures resting on a few of the dead trees in the area.

You move off making our way back to the lodge, drive around a corner and suddenly we have two Lions in front of us. One big male Lion and one young Lioness. It's a mating couple - they mate every 20 minutes for three days solid. We wait. After a few minutes the female moves next to the male and falls next to him, she adjusts to her position and the male moves into his. They mate for a few seconds. He withdraws, she rolls over content, he stands to one side and starts to roar and roar. You are in our Land Rover right next to this entire happening, not believing how loud a Lion roars. Powerful! We wait another 20 minutes and the sequence is repeated.

You return back to the lodge for dinner and further socialising around the campfire. Occasionally we hear a Lion roaring in the distance.

Day 4: Sabi Sands Reserve - Johannesburg (B)

For your last game drive your game ranger decides to focus on Elephant. We find a big breading herd of Elephant. The females are protective of their young. The matriarch makes it very clear we are not wanted. A lot of noise with trumpeting and a few mock charges later, we are able to approach slowly with extra caution. Elephant are all over the place, so impressive. The 1-2 year olds are so cute. We spend time quietly taking photos and then only move off when the herd has moved on at their own speed......

You return to the lodge at approximately 9.00am. After breakfast you pack and load suitcases, pay your bar bill and subsequently leave the reserve.


Drop off at Jo'burg or Pretoria:

On our homeward bound journey you enjoy the 'Panoramic Route' driving through the Drakensberg Mountains. En-route you will stop and spend a few minutes at famous scenic spots such as God's Window, World's View, Berlin Falls, Blyde River Canyon at the Three Rondavels and if there is still time in hand, you visit Pilgrims Rest.

From Pilgrims Rest it's a straight 4 hour drive back to Jo'burg or Pretoria. During this time it's great to reflect & chat about your safari with your Safari Ranger or catch up on a little sleep.

Your Safari Ranger will drop you off at any hotel in Jo'burg or Pretoria including Jo'burg's Oliver Tambo Int Airport for approx 6.00pm.

Drop off at KMIA, MQP, HDS:

Flying out on your last day may mean having extended time in the Sabi Sands Reserve, with not having to depart straight after breakfast. Time for one more walking safari! Your Safari Ranger will make sure you leave the Sabi Sands in time to catch your flight out.



Interested in this 4 Day Sabi Sand Open Vehicle Safari, send us an email right now - we'll check availability and reply within 48 hours.

(B L D) refers to meals provided - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Itinerary may vary slightly due to accommodation, gate opening times, game movements, weather etc...

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