Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

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.

Sanbona offers a unique safari experience in that its location puts it within short range of everything the gorgeous Cape has to offer – from wineries to picturesque small towns to museums, and a mere 3 hours from all the city attractions of Cape Town.

Sanbona Safari Lodges

Why visit Sanbona

  • Only 3 hours drive from Cape Town
  • Malaria free
  • Spectacular Rock Art
  • Located on famous Route 62
  • Fantastic field guides
  • Home to White Lions

Wildlife

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.

History and Conservation

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.

Landscape

Sanbona’s Cape Fold mountain ranges are a result of continental collision, forming these unique folded rock shapes. Viewing game amongst the folded rocks and low karoo scrubland is a unique and exceptional safari experience in South Africa. Fossil fragments from the Devonian era have also been found at Sanbona, evidence from the very beginning of life on earth.

Activities

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.

Dedicated and professionally trained staff and guides, as well as outstanding accommodation, facilities and the opportunity to view the Big 5 combines to offer visitors a holistic and memorable safari experience.

Travel to the Park

Sanbona can be found among the bushveld and rolling Cape Fold Mountains of South Africa’s Little Karoo semidesert. The reserve is easily accessible by car from Cape Town. Take Route 62 inland along the longest wine route in the Western Cape. The 3 hour journey will take you past beautiful towns including Montagu and Barrydale, allowing for plenty of stops and photo opportunities.

When to Visit

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.

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