Sabi Sand Nature Reserve

The Birthplace of Sustainable Wildlife Tourism in Southern Africa

The 65,000-hectare Sabi Sand Nature Reserve is located on the south-west corner of the world famous Kruger National Park. The Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park and consists of numerous private game reserves.

There are no fences between the Kruger Park and Sabi Sand Reserve allowing the wildlife to roam freely between the reserves. Two perennial rivers (which the reserve is named after), the Sabi and the Sand flow through this game park, sustaining the diverse fauna and flora of the area, which boasts one of the highest and most bio-diverse wildlife populations of any area in Africa. Due to the integrity of the environment there is a large population of animals in the area year round. There is limited migration between the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve and the Kruger National Park which has ensured genetic diversity with an integrated biodiversity within the entire 2,7 million hectare protected area. This area is in the process of being enlarged further by incorporating it into the Peace Park concept where it will be with protected areas in Mozambique and eventually Zimbabwe.

History of The Sabi Sand Nature Reserve

The Sabi Sand Nature Reserve dates back to the 1950’s when the landowners initiated dropping the internal fences and sharing a common environmental management programme. This association is administered by a Warden who reports to the Park Management Committee. Prior to this, there were a number of landowner pioneers in the 1920’ and 1930’s who initiated the conservation of the area’s wildlife. Today there are no less than six of these families who are now third and fourth generation landowners – a credit to the foresight of their forefathers who loved and cared for Africa’s dwindling wildlife. Their legacy is possibly the best area in which to view southern Africa’s extensive biodiversity.

Due to considerate game viewing practises where clients remain within the ‘profile’ of the open vehicles and the animals have priority, trackers and game rangers from the surrounding lodges are able to offer exceptional game viewing of wide variety of game species, as well as the ‘high profile animals’. The success of viewing leopard is legendary and allowing sufficient time in this area animals such as elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a vast variety of antelope and other species, may be closely observed.

This greater area is home to 336 tree, 49 fish, 34 amphibian, 114 reptile, 507 bird and 147 mammal species. Many of the animals are likely to have never encountered a fence as they exist, free ranging, in this pristine corner of Africa.

Leopards are a main attraction in the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, and especially at Leopard Hills. The Leopards are so accustomed to vehicles that they do not take much notice of them. Even when hunting, a leopard in the Sabi Sands will not mind a vehicle following it, even if this means following it off-road though the bush. Chances of seeing the ‘Big 5’ (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) are excellent in this reserve.


Drones are STRICTLY PROHIBITED in the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, failure to comply with this rule will result in a heavy fine or arrest by reserve management.


South Africa has some of the sunniest weather in the world and we are privileged to have warm, temperate conditions for most of the year. Spring and summer at Leopard Hills is when the bush is thick and lush and it is the best time of the year to see newborn animals. Autumn and winter can be dry, the bush is less dense and waterholes are frequented more often due to the lack of water.

Temperatures range from 20-30 degrees Celsius in spring, 25-35 degrees Celsius in summer, 19-28 degrees Celsius in autumn, and 08-25 degrees Celsius in winter.

This being said, Leopard Hills can be visited throughout the year and weather conditions will not affect your memorable experience of the South African bushveld. The closest town on the weather map to Leopard Hills is Skukuza in Mpumalanga, which experiences similar weather to Leopard Hills.