Sabi Sands April 2011

This is my first ever safari and it was part of my friend’s birthday celebration trip.  We spent a wonderful 4 days at  Singita in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa which is a 65,000 hectare reserve that shares a border with the world renowned Kruger National Park.  We have been told that Sabi Sands has one of the highest density of big game in South Africa.

We all flew into Johannesburg from different parts of the world and stayed one night before catching our chartered flight to Sabi Sands the following day.

IMG_0855View from my room at the Westcliff Hotel Johannesburg.

IMG_0853My room at the Westcliff Hotel Johannesburg.

IMG_0858Our 1-hour flight to Singita Sabi Sands from Johannesburg.

Singita has 3 properties in Sabi Sands and we stayed at the Castleton Lodge which is formerly the family home of Singita founder’s grandfather.  It is a private safari lodge with communal living spaces in the main house and 6 separate cottages for accommodation.  It is the perfect setup for family vacations and the 7 of us took over the entire lodge for the next 4 days.

DSC_0304Castleton Camp at Singita Sabi Sands.

IMG_0887The pool at Castleton Camp.

P1000069Living area on the deck where we usually hung out.

IMG_0888My cottage at Castleton Camp.

IMG_1163Indoor living area at the Castleton Camp.

P1000275Today lunch was outside in the garden. Photo courtesy of my friend while I was already busy eating :)

IMG_1018Nice alfresco dinner out by the pool one evening.

Here at Singita, I felt like we were either going on a game drive or eating.  They seem to feed you constantly… morning tea before the game drive, snacks during the drive, then breakfast, then lunch, then afternoon tea, then snacks during the drive, then dinner, then snacks again… :)  And they try to be creative and vary the cuisine and where each meal was served.  Sometimes it is in the proper dining room, other times it is on the verandah or in the garden.  They did a lunch picnic for us on the lawn under a tree with blankets and cushions and the whole nine yards.

IMG_1245There are normally 2 game drives each day, one in the morning and another in the late afternoon.  Sometimes we do a night drive as well.

IMG_1229Our first game drive at sunrise.

DSC_0225 (1)


DSC_0275Baby zebra foal


IMG_0944Leopard spotting on the first day!





IMG_0927Sunsets here are beautiful!

IMG_0831Weird grumpy looking reptile.






IMG_0905 - Version 2Hippo at the watering hole.

IMG_1047Stopping for some coffee and snacks on our game drive.

IMG_1001Another beautiful sunset.




DSC_0016On the foreground is our guide’s hand…that is how close we are to the lion!

IMG_1039A whole bunch of lions resting.  The guide told us that the animals see the range rover and us inside as one being and since they are used to seeing the jeeps around, they supposedly don’t pounce or attack.  But it is still scary to be this close to a wild animal in a completely open vehicle!





DSC_0039_02Elephants – completing our list of the Big 5


IMG_1005Spotted Hyaena


P1000656Another Leopard

P1000613The leopard walked right up to our jeep and I could literally stick my hand out and pat its head.  Scary but such a beautiful creature.

IMG_0925Another beautiful sunset concludes our stay in Sabi Sands… everyone was sad to leave and can’t wait to come back again!






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