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Sabi Sabi safaris – four of a kind

Selecting the right safari camp can be a challenge unless you begin with Sabi Sabi, one of South Africa’s premier safari destinations. There are four camps within the Sabi Sabi family and each caters to different tastes.  I stayed at Earth Lodge but visited all of the others.

Bush Lodge, the largest, is the one to choose if you have children along.The EleFun Centre and program for children is designed just for them. Frankly, it looked like fun to me, too.

Bush is designed to reflect the Africa of today and features a great deck overlooking a popular watering hole where you can sip a good South African wine while watching the wild ones – including a pair of Cape buffalo – sip their beverage of choice.

Little Bush Camp is the smallest and most intimate. Guests really feel out in the bush, especially stepping over a river to reach the pool. This is the perfect choice for honeymooners and couples, not to mention extended families who want the camp to themselves.

Selati Camp is designed for the Africa of yesterday experience. Romantic paraffin lamps and lanterns sub for electricity whenever possible and the aura is one of fin de siecle Out of Africa. Channel your Isak Dinesen/Meryl Streep here.

Earth Lodge, where I stayed, is the safari camp of the future, so ecologically harmonious with its surroundings you don’t see anything but bush and hillocks when you drive up.

Evening lighting is motion-sensitive, decor is African contemporary with wondrous furniture made by a South African artist from trees washed up by the river or pushed down and killed by elephants. It also has one of the best wine cellars in the bush. Stay here if you want to see just how plush responsible living can be.

All camps are in a large private reserve that abuts the Kruger National Preserve so wildlife is abundant. We saw four of the “big five” during our first game drive.

You can set your own schedule, but morning begins before dawn if you want to see the most wildlife. Return for breakfast, a walk-about with a ranger, lunch, leisure, perhaps a nap or spa treatment and then it’s tea and the afternoon drive followed by dinner.

The food is so good and comes so frequently you will think you are being fattened up for the animals’ dining enjoyment. Not to worry. Your only problem will be not wanting to leave.

Except for a coffee break in the morning, sundowners (cocktails) in the afternoon and an occasional dinner in the bush, you will stay inside a Land Rover, so strenuous walking is not a problem.


One warning, though. It’s addictive. One safari won’t be enough.

Find out more about the Sabi Sabi camps at

For more about South Africa go to

Trackers and rangers are ready to show you the African bush at all four Sabi Sabi safari camps.


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