On my recent visit to South Africa I had the great good fortune to be able to spend a few days in Sabi Sands.
I have visited Sabi Sands before but this was the first time I had stayed at Savanna Lodge.
To be completely honest, when we arrived I was a little dismayed to see how close the lodge is to the reserve boundary. So close that I could see local settlements beyond the fence.
It did not take long for that to be forgotten though.
I had heard that Savanna is renowned for its amazing hospitality and soon found out why.
You won’t go hungry
Shortly after our arrival lunch was served – a scrumptious buffet of hot and cold dishes.
Meal times are dictated by the game drive timetable.
Breakfast is served around 9am – 10am, depending on when guests return from their morning game drive.
Because breakfast is substantial and quite late, lunch is also served late, around 3pm.
Dinner is served at about 8pm, when everyone has had a chance to freshen up after their afternoon game viewing.
Dining with the rangers
One of the things that impressed me about Savanna was that the guides/rangers always joined their guests at meals. It provided a great opportunity for us to get to know them a bit better and for conversations to range beyond the topic of whatever animal we happened to be viewing or tracking.
The communal areas, lounge and dining area, are a lovely timber and thatch construction with ample space for the lodge’s guests to relax, and there is a mezzanine area with a small library which makes a perfect spot to chill out in the afternoons.
The 9 rooms are spread out amongst the trees with each having a view over a small waterhole.
The rooms are superb, with huge comfortable beds and ample space for 2 people to spread out.
The bathrooms are equipped with bath and shower and each room has its own verandah facing the waterhole.
The waterhole was surprisingly busy whilst we were there with buffalo and elephants visiting regularly.
Great Game Drives
Game drives were eventful with multiple sightings of leopards, wild dogs, lions, elephants, buffalo and rhino.
We also saw a cheetah.
There were plenty of impala, waterbuck and nyala but we didn’t see many other antelope.
The standard of guides and trackers was outstanding.
Keen photographers are well served as the guides know their stuff. Indeed the esteemed Paddy Hagelthorn is one of the resident guides and Neil White is no slouch with a camera either.
If you’d like more info on our game drives you can find my safari diaries here
All in all a great place to stay and I have no hesitation recommending Savanna to anyone wanting to visit Sabi Sands.