Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is one of South Africa’s largest privately-owned nature reserves. It stretches across 580 square kilometres of spectacular wilderness and is the ideal safari getaway close to Cape Town, a scenic three-hour drive via Worcester and Robertson along Route 62. Providing an authentic safari experience in a malaria-free area, Sanbona presents the choice of four different lodges and camps, which are individually operated to offer a variety of wilderness experiences. These range from romantic breakaways for couples and a family-friendly lodge with specialised children’s activities, to a personalised safari camping option for the adventurous. Each of the Sanbona lodges offer delicious farm-style Karoo cuisine, comfortable lounge and relaxation areas, and pool decks with swimming pools. Spa treatments are available at each lodge, with the Relaxation Retreat menu presenting a range of body therapies and skin treatments for a serene end to an action-packed day on safari.
Something for everyone Embraced by striking rock formations, Dwyka Tented Lodge is set in a horseshoe of a dry Karoo ravine, framed by the beautifully weathered landscape. The secluded tented lodge boasts stylish, modern interiors and spacious lounge and dining areas, which includes a boma for romantic dinners under the stars. Each of the nine luxury tents has its own private deck and heated Jacuzzi to epitomise the romance of a pioneering wilderness adventure. Dwyka is the perfect honeymoon or anniversary destination, guaranteed to leave couples with precious memories for years to come.
Breathtaking views of the undulating mountains and landscape embrace the historical Tilney Manor. A refuge of peace and tranquillity, 12 guests are accommodated in six spacious open-plan suites, each with a private veranda. The elegant lodge is the ideal destination for longer stays and is a popular wellness safari destination. Here, guests may explore the rich history of this ancient land, relax in luxurious lounges or soak up the sun next to the rim-flow pool, before indulging in spa treatments at the Relaxation Retreat and steam room.
The Sanbona Explorer Camp operates seasonally during the summer months (October to April) with departures on Fridays. The two-night guided walking experience is offered to only six guests (16-years and older) wanting to explore the bush. Guests will sleep in luxury tents with an outdoor bathroom and enjoy evenings around a campfire where they will get a taste of typical South African cuisine prepared on the open fire. The camp is located along a beautifully shaded riverbed and qualified guides enhance birding, cultural and natural history experiences with opportunities to encounter the big-five game.
Offering a family safari in style, Gondwana Family Lodge has 12 suites where children of all ages are welcome. Facilities include a kids’ TV lounge, indoor and outdoor play areas and a child-friendly swimming pool. With mountain views the spacious thatched lodge is ideal for groups of friends and families travelling together. Inter-leading rooms are also available, and all suites come with a comfortable sleeper couch to accommodate a child.
The Sanbona Kids on Safari programme at Gondwana offers educational and thrilling recreational wildlife experiences for youngsters. Welcome Packs include the Sanbona Activity Book filled with educational and interactive activities to teach children about the wildlife in the reserve. Children four-years and older are welcome on game drives with their parents, while the Interpretive Trail takes children of all ages through the gardens to learn about the important plants and animals on the reserve. Other activities include arts and crafts, puzzles, board games, entertaining and educational children’s books, and documentary DVD’s on various conservation topics and animals. Babysitting services are available, as well as animated movies to keep children occupied while parents enjoy quality time together.
Sanbona is a sanctuary for indigenous flora and fauna, including the big-five game, but it is the vastness of the landscape and the alluring isolation amid the raw beauty and boundless plains which sets it apart. Under the stewardship of non-profit conservation organisation the Swiss Caleo Foundation, Sanbona is a pioneer of conservation, reserve development and ecotourism. Sustainability and responsible utilisation are the cornerstones of all lodge operations. Within the expansive reserve adventure activities include twice daily game drives or wilderness walks, wildlife excursions, stargazing and guided rock art walks to offer a superb safari getaway within easy reach of Cape Town.