Sanbona (South Africa)
3 hours from Cape Town is Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, on the world renowned Route 62 between Montagu and Barrydale. Named for the indigenous San peoples who populated the area in years past, Sanbona combines fantastic safaris with free-roaming game and fascinating historical sites of local rock art. This reserve also has the virtue of being one of the few places one can see free-roaming white lions.
Sanbona Game Reserve offers 5 Star accommodation in the form of 3 luxurious lodges, all catering to different tastes and needs. The reserve also falls well outside of the malaria belt, making it a great safari option for families and anyone not wishing to take malaria prophylactics.
Attractions & Activities
A closer look at what your holiday could be.
This spectacular 54,000 hectare reserve features a good concentration of free-roaming large and small game, making it possible for guests to view wildlife including lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, large and small antelope, zebra, wildebeest, jackal, caracal, aardwolf and hyena. Rare white lions can also be spotted at Sanbona, which supports a pride of self-sustaining lions.
Sanbona offers a variety of activities to choose from during visits. Daily game drives, guided nature walks through the rugged bushveld, exploring the wonderful diversity of birdlife, and learning more about the star filled night sky around the camp fire are all part of the Sanbona experience. The reserve also boasts perfect light conditions, during the twilight hours of sunrise and sunset, making it a photographer’s dream location. Guests can also participate in hikes to explore the ancient rock art of the area.
The San people were the first to roam this area, and their rock art dating back from around 2000 to 5000 years can be seen at particular sites. Sanbona’s rock paintings originate from both the San and Khoi peoples, each distinguishable by their disparate use of colour and detail.
Sanbona’s environmental management includes preserving these rock paintings, in addition to the reintroduction of locally extinct species, improving and preserving habitats and breeding sites, fighting soil erosion and improving water quality in the area. Endemic vegetation is also preserved at Sanbona, making this location a unique safari choice in even more ways by placing the reserve squarely in the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site.
When to visit Sanbona
Sanbona is open all year round, and is one of the best all year round safari destinations in the world. It does however get very hot during January and February when temperatures can soar to 35-40 degrees Celsius or 95- 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The dry season runs from November to March, and is a great time to view larger groups of game as the animals tend to congregate around water sources.
It is good to know however that the bush at Sanbona is not dense at all due to the harsher climate: This means that game is easy to spot throughout the year. August to September is a great time to go to see the flowers at Sanbona bloom in all their glory.