When you think of family friendly yet luxurious lodging in South Africa, you might not think of staying on a game reserve. And when you think of game reserves, self sustaining wildlife, conservation, ecologically-minded luxury facilities or support of local ecosystems and history might not immediately come to mind either. But this is exactly what you will find at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, one of the largest privately owned game reserves in South Africa. At Sanbona, luxury, sustainability and a commitment to preserve and maintain both wildlife and local vegetation, combined with a green management philosophy, provides travelers with an unforgettable experience.
Visitors to South Africa want to experience the beauty of the landscape, the accessibility to wildlife and safe, welcoming accommodations. Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, located 3.5 hours from Cape Town, delivers on this. Guests can choose to stay at the Dwyka Tented Lodge, the Gondwana Lodge, or the Tilney Manor. If you choose one of the nine luxurious Dwyka Tents, you will be treated to ultimate privacy and modern luxuries such as en-suite bathrooms, indoor or outdoor showers, comfortable cooling and heating, and access to a lounge, dining room, wine cellar and Relaxation Retreat. Families might prefer the Gondwana Lodge. This 12-room offering has all the amenities of a modern luxury hotel along with kid-friendly touches such as a swimming pool, children’s playroom and the “Kids on Safari” program. Adults will not feel left out while relaxing in the lounge, perusing the gift boutique or enjoying the therapy and steam rooms. For those seeking world-class luxury, the Tilney Manor will not disappoint. This six-room space offers personal staff, satellite television, and a fully equipped spa.
The facilities at Sanbona are enough to make any traveler feel pampered and rested during their stay, but it is not what truly sets this game reserve apart from other lodging areas in South Africa. What makes Sanbona truly unique is its commitment to sustaining and preserving the beauty and ecology of the local land.
The area surrounding the Sanbona’s lodging facilities is home to endangered and protected wildlife, important local vegetation and natural geological features. Sanbona makes it part of their mission to preserve and protect the 210 square mile property through responsible environmental management and social responsibility.
Preserving Local Wildlife
Sanbona’s discovery of the critically endangered riverine rabbit living on the reserve led to increased efforts to help sustain and increase the population, as well as preserving such species as the cape mountain zebra, cheetah and white rhino. Sanbona has been instrumental in reintroducing locally extinct species such as the hippo, lion and antelope and providing a breeding site for raptors. Sanbona’s White Lion Project has also introduced back into the wild the only self-sustaining white lion population in the world. As part of your stay, you can choose to see these magnificent creatures on a Game Drive or Nature Walk.
Protecting Natural Beauty
In addition to local wildlife, Sanbona is committed to maintaining and preserving the landscape. The Cape Fold Mountain rock formation is over 350 million years old and is located partly on the Sanbona reserve, as are the 3,500-year-old San rock art. The reserve maintains a Wilderness area where there is no infrastructure and a relatively “hands-free” management that adheres to strict wilderness protocols. Sanbona also has a hand in preserving local endangered plants through three major biodomes.
Environmentally and Socially Responsible Management
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve maintains its commitment to both the land and the people through environmental and socially conscious business practices. The reserve tears down all unnecessary old infrastructure such as fencing, dumps, and power lines and disposes of the waste responsibly. The reserve also helps combat soil erosion, increases local water quality, removes invasive vegetation, converts outdated pumps to solar pumps and conserves water. Socially, the reserve provides employment and education to the local community and purchases local goods, including local fresh produce and meats, where possible.
South Africa is a land of vast and majestic beauty. In the startling desert-like terrain in the heart of the Little Karoo, you can watch elephants travel the dusty hills, hippos submerge themselves in watering holes and white lions rest in the shade. Travelers looking for a luxurious, sustainable lodging amid the local wildlife will find it at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Sanbona is where guests are treated to the best of both worlds: modern luxury in the ancient South African landscape.