There are some fantastic Sanbona Wildlife Reserve lodges to enjoy. These include luxurious and very comfortable lodges or a comfortable camping experience. Enjoy comfortable suites, tastefully decorated lodges inspired by the area’s history, delicious cuisine, and ranger-led game drives in the reserve to find Sanbona’s Big 5 and other iconic wildlife.
The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
The Sanbona Reserve covers 54,000 hectares of a wildlife-rich desert-like environment called the Little Karroo. Accessed from Cape Town in South Africa, there are many different Sanbona Wildlife Reserve lodges to choose from.
From the luxury lodges, manor, and explorer camp, you will explore the Sabona environment to spot the different lions, cheetah, elephants, rhino, and giraffes that call the reserve home. The Sabona Reserve is also an excellent place to spot other wildlife, including many different birds. As a rarity for private wildlife reserves, you can also enjoy a cruise on the waterways to scout for the Big 5 and to see the different hippos.
The Sabona Reserve is mostly a desert-like wilderness with Fynbos, Succulent Karoo and Thicket habitats. The large iconic African animals have been re-introduced to the area and you can find all members of the Big 5 and many other animals. The intention of the project is to recover and restore the wildlife of the region to a level similar to pre-European colonization. The project is then supported by tourism to the area from the different Sanbona Wildlife Reserve lodges. Each of these lodges offers a Relaxation Retreat to enjoy massages and a variety of other treatments.
Sanbona Reserve Lodges
A great option for a family safari in comfort is the Gondwana Family Lodge. The lodge features comfortable suites, outdoor and indoor play areas, a child-friendly swimming pool, large lawn area, and a ‘kids on safari’ program. Another option for a more adventurous experience is the Sanbona Explorer Camp to enjoy an adventure similar to early African explorers. But let’s look at all the options for Sanbona accommodation.
The Dwyka Tented Lodge
One of the reserve’s premium accommodation options, the Dwyka Tented Lodge has a design inspired by the Khoisan hunter-gatherers who lived a nomadic lifestyle in the region. The entire accommodation area of the Dwyka Tented Lodge is secluded in an attractive rock formation of South Africa’s Western Cape.
From this influence, the lodge is styled as a tented camp, but with the modern and comfortable amenities you would expect from luxury accommodation. The tents are in keeping with the influence from the Khoisan theme. The Dwyka Tented Lodge is composed of nine luxurious and spacious tents. Each offers a large private deck complete with spa bath, a large and luxurious king bed, and ensuite bathroom.
Each of the tents can accommodate a maximum of two adults. The lodge provides high-class comfort while maintaining a connection to the environment. The luxury tents feature air-conditioners, en-suite bathroom, shower, freestanding bath, twin basins, outdoor shower, and a private deck with spa bath. The lodge then offers an open-air dining boma, lounge with fireplace and satellite tv, wine cellar, and a gift boutique. In addition to this, you can enjoy the Relaxation Retreat.
Enjoy the elegant dining room surrounded by large windows so you can still keep an eye on the reserve while you eat. You will be served delicious cuisine after you have finished your exploration of the reserve each day.
Positioned in the Sanbona Reserve, from the Dwyka Tented Lodge you will enjoy some fantastic tours of the Sanbona environment. Enjoy game drives at sunrise and sunset when the wildlife is more active to spot some Big 5 members and other animals. In addition to game drives, enjoy walking tours, birding tours, and even cruises to spot water-living animals.
The Gondwana Family Lodge
The Gondwana Family Lodge offers family-friendly luxury accommodation in the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. The lodge was styled to resemble a typical thatched Karoo homestead on the Western Cape. Offering large comfortable luxury suites, each accommodation offers beautiful views over the Karoo plains and Anysberg Mountains.
From the lodge itself, you have some fantastic views over the Bellair Dam, which offers some of the best birding in the region. As this is a family lodge, children have their own indoor activity room and outdoor play area. There is also a child-friendly swimming pool, a lawn area to play on, and the lodge offers a special ‘Kids on Safari’ program. You can then also enjoy the in-lodge Relaxation Retreat.
Suites at the Gondwana Family Lodge can accommodate a total of two people sharing with one child. Four pairs of these rooms are then designed to connect with each other and are interleading to accommodate families.
The suites then feature air-conditioning, underfloor heating, a private deck or balcony, and an en-suite bathroom with shower, twin basins, and freestanding bath. In addition to the very comfortable luxury suites, the Gondwana Family Lodge features an outdoor dining boma, outdoor pool with shallow area, children’s playroom with TV, lounge with fireplace and satellite TV, steam room, Relaxation Retreat, gift boutique, and WiFi.
Enjoy delicious cuisine in the lodge dining area with views of the surrounding Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. The dining area has been designed to offer some fantastic views while maintaining an intimate atmosephere. The dining area is then decorated with various African sculptures and artifacts.
From the Gondwana Family Lodge, enjoy game drives looking for lions, elephants, rhino, giraffes, cheetah, hyena, and more. You can even enjoy some fantastic birding tours from the Gondwana Lodge. With a ranger guide, head out so see a diversity of animals and plants. The lodge provides a ‘Kids on Safari Program’ and cruises on the Bellair Dam and waterways to spot hippos and wildlife drinking from the water.
The Tilney Manor
The Tilney Manor provides a luxurious and more home-like lodge in the Sanbona Reserve. Tilney Manor overlooks the plains of Little Karoo and the distant mountains. The manor is composed of 6 open-plan suites, which include a private veranda for beautiful views.
Each of the suites can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults in either king-sized beds or twin beds. The suites offer air conditioning, an en-suite bathroom with shower, twin basins and freestanding bath, his and hers outdoor showers, fireplace, and the private veranda.
The lodge facilities you can then enjoy at Tilney Manor include a rim-flow swimming pool, a Relaxation Retreat, steam room and sauna, a lounge with fireplace and satellite television, indoor and outdoor dining facilities, and Wi-Fi.
Take full advantage of the Tilney Manor’s indoor and outdoor dining areas to enjoy some fantastic views of the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve while you’re served delicious cuisine.
As with the other Sanbona lodges, from the Tilney Manor you will enjoy game drives through the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve to find elephants, lions, zebra, kudu, rhino, giraffes, hyenas, and other iconic African animals. You can also enjoy some birding tours to see different interesting birds of the reserve. In addition to game drives, you can explore the reserve on foot with nature walks or hikes led by qualified rangers. Then, as a unique feature of the Sanbona Reserve, you can also enjoy a cruise to spot hippos and water-living wildlife.
The Sanbona Relaxation Retreats
From each of the above Sanbona lodges, you can enjoy an in-house Relaxation Retreat. The retreats offers a range of world-class relaxation therapies with body and beauty treatments for men and women.
In each of the lodges, the Relaxation Retreats are surrounded by the natural environment of the Sabona Reserve. Enjoy treatments for tension, stress release, cleansing, relaxation, as well as rejuvenating facial treatments. You can also choose from beauty, manicure, and pedicure treatments.
The Sanbona Explorer Camp
Enjoy the explorer camp to have a better connection with this incredible environment. Operating over the summer months from October to the end of April, the Sanbona Explorer Camp offers an unfenced experience of the Sanbona Reserve. With your highly trained ranger guide, explore the Sanbona Reserve on a 2 night walking safari.
Explore the Sanbona Karoo during the day then enjoy the campfire and food of an evening. Your guide will help you spot different animals, interesting plants, find the best places for beautiful views, and teach you a little about the region and the Sanbona and cultural history. Of an evening, you will then enjoy the campfire and delicious camp meals.
The Sanbona Explorer Camp operates each weekend and begins with a set departure each Friday of the week. Distances covered each day usually last around 4 hours each, but a game viewing vehicle always remains at camp. Trails begin from the camp itself or you travel farther out depending on the day and wildlife activity.
The camp is composed of 3 mobile canvas tents, which are spaced far enough apart to allow for privacy and can sleep a maximum of 2 adults each.