Safari at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve lies an easy 3.5-hour drive from Cape Town along Route 62. This scenic road cuts through mountain passes and small winelands towns, then up onto the semi-desert plains of the Klein Karoo – which is where you’ll find Sanbona. Having enjoyed a couple of days on safari, continue driving towards the coast and you’ll find yourself at the world-class golf courses and beaches South Africa’s Garden Route.

This incredible location is just one of the reasons why Sanbona is a top choice for a safari and golf holiday. Nikola, our team leader, recently visited the reserve to find out more

Arriving at Sanbona

Nikola and her partner at the welcome lounge at Sanbona

Sanbona is a 58,000-hectare reserve with three 3 lodges and 1 camp. From the gate it’s an easy drive to the welcome lounge (no need for a 4×4) where there’s safe, shaded parking and complimentary transfers to and from the lodges.

Dwyka Tented Lodge

Dwyka Tented Lodge

We spent our first night at Dwyka Tented Lodge. The most remote of the lodges, Dwyka lies about a 30 to 45-minute drive into the reserve, so it’s definitely advisable to take one of the scheduled transfers. The lodge has 9 tents tucked away in a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine with beautiful views out onto weathered rock faces.

Each tent has both an indoor and outdoor shower, and a private deck with a Jacuzzi spa bath. Accommodation is luxurious while retaining a rustic feel, and the service is certainly 5-star! Dwyka is a fantastic option for more adventurous or romantic travellers looking for a luxury under canvas safari experience.

Luxury Tent at Dwyka

Safari Activities at Sanbona

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is Big 5 territory. The rangers know the movements of the animals, and the wide-open landscapes allow for clear sightings. We saw both elephant and lion, including the stunning white lions that the reserve is famous for!

On our first drive the vehicle stopped and we all climbed out with our ranger. We then tracked a cheetah on foot, and found her sleeping under a tree. It’s a thrilling experience standing (fairly!) close to one of Africa’s big cats.

Game drive from Dwyka Tented LodgeTracking cheetah at Sanbona

Tilney Manor

Our second night was spent at Tilney Manor.  This lodge has huge, open-plan rooms which look onto the Karoo plains. From our private veranda we could see antelope wandering by.

Tilney is a small lodge, just 6 rooms, which creates a social atmosphere. The main lodge is in a Victorian manor house with a comfortable lounge and lovely outdoor swimming pool. Once again, service was excellent and the food was incredible! A great place to relax between game drives.

Room at Tilney Manor


Want to know more about Sanbona and other top wildlife reserves? Get in touch with our Golf & Safari Experts for first-hand recommendations and travel advice.