South African Lodges

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Reviews & Information

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Spa

Spa Facilities

The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the Western Cape of South Africa offers an exclusive sanctuary at the Relaxation Retreats. Sanbona's body range draws on properties from the world famous indigenous fynbos plant kingdom, eliminating toxins, soothing the soul and rejuvenating the body.

The Relaxation Retreats at Sanbona overlooks ancient rock formations and scenic mountains and plains providing the perfect place for relaxation and enjoyment. Different spa and beauty treatments, as well as holistic modalities to balance and energise, are available for guests to choose from.

Activities, Sports & Leisure

Safari Drives

Guests have the opportunity to explore the beautiful landscape of the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve with a qualified ranger in comfortable open Landcruisers.

During the game drive, be it in the early morning or for sundowners in the late afternoon/evening, various species of plants, animals, big game and birds can be observed. Sanbona's spectacular sundowner evening drives offer beautiful displays of light as the evening sun sets over the Little Karoo.

Wildlife in the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve:

  •  Lions
  •  African Elephant
  •  Leopard
  •  African Buffalo
  •  White Rhino
  •  Brown Hyena
  •  Black-backed Jackal
  •  Cheetah
  •  Hippopotamus
  •  Giraffe
  •  Plains Zebra
  •  Springbok
  •  Eland
  •  Gemsbok
  •  Kudu
  •  Red Hartebeest
  •  Black Wildebeest
  •  Grey Rhebok
  •  Common Duiker
  •  Steenbok
  •  Klipspringer
  •  Grysbok
  •  Ostrich
  •  Riverine Rabbit
Bird watching

The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is home to more than 200 species and, therefore, offers great bird watching opportunities for the avid birdwatcher.  The reserve is home to a healthy population of raptors which can be observed including African Fish Eagles, breeding pairs of majestic Black Eagles and regular sightings of Black Harrier.

Exotic birds in the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, South Africa, include the Cinnamonbreasted Warbler, which can only be seen in the early light of dawn. The Booted Eagle in the pale form breeds well on this reserve while the Southern Grey Tit intrigues one with its 13 different calls.

Spa treatments

The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve offers an exclusive sanctuary at the Relaxation Retreats.  Sanbona's body range draws on properties from the world famous indigenous fynbos plant kingdom, eliminating toxins, soothing the soul and rejuvenating the body.

The Relaxation Retreats at Sanbona overlooks ancient rock formations and scenic mountains and plains. Various relaxing spa treatments and holistic modalities to balance and energise are available for guests to choose from.
 

Nature walks

Guests staying at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve may discover the spirit of the Little Karoo on foot during thrilling nature walks.  An optional walk with the guidance of a ranger can be arranged to cater for individual needs.

From gentle strolls, taking in the breathtaking beauty of the indigenous fauna and flora, to challenging trails where isolated vistas can be discovered, guests may reveal the beauty of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

Bushman paintings

The San people of Africa roamed this region of South Africa for thousands of years until about 100 years ago. There are 7 recorded sites of Bushman paintings throughout the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. However, many more can be found. Rock art sites date back to more than 3500 years and feature the spiritual beliefs and lives of these fascinating people.

 During their travels, members of the group would get together around a communal fire, weaving stories and celebrating the gift of life while the Shaman would meditate through rhythmic dancing, singing and clapping and while in a trance, receive visions and guidance.  These experiences of the Shaman were illustrated to the tribe in the form of the rock art seen today.

Photography

The scenic Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the Western Cape of South Africa is a photographer’s dream.   Due to the perfect light conditions, during sunrise and sunset, it is advisable to use 100 ASA film for exquisite photographic opportunities. A 100 – 300 lens is an excellent choice for taking breathtaking pictures here.  Macro photography is also incredible by capturing close-ups of the smaller species.

Stargazing

Stargazing at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in South Africa is spectacular and amongst the best in Southern Africa due to the absence of artificial light.  Knowledgeable guides give explanations about the star constellations of the Southern Hemisphere.

The great Orion’s Belt forms part of the Constellation of Orion, the tragic lover and great hunter who in turn is hunting Taurus, the bull.  The navigational Southern Cross displays its superior facets such as the iridescent Jewel Box, the Coal Sack and the two pointers, Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri. Guests can end a memorable day at Sanbona by reflecting under the star studded-canopy of African skies.
 

Conferences & Events

Conferences at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

The vast Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in South Africa's Western Province is a place where delegates can relax and feel inspired.  It is in this magnificent game reserve of 54,000 hectares where big cats roam free. 

Conference delegates have the opportunity to get away from it all and give the team the chance to focus on business strategy and development without being interrupted, in a genuinely relaxed and inspiring environment.

 A suitable and inspiring team-building experience can be tailored to suit individual requirements, including star gazing, understanding conservation and retracing the steps of the San people, tracking cheetah and getting a glimpse of the white lions is all available at Sanbona.

Activities for conference guests at Sanbona:

  • Morning and evening game drives – including a chance to see our famous white lions
  • Bird watching: with more than 160 species, including Raptors, the beautiful Fish Eagle and five breeding pairs of Black Eagles
  • Astronomy: learn about the stars that are so clearly visible here
  • Archaeology: visit local archaeological sites and take part in guided rock art walks
  • Bush survival skills training: tailor-made activities to suit the team-building requirements
  • Conservation and wildlife talks
  • Botanical guides
  • Health and Beauty Spa

Facilities

Day Itinerary

Day Programme for Guests during May to September (winter)

Day of Arrival

•12h00 Arrival at Sanbona Welcoming Lounge for those requiring transfers
•13h00 onwards Arrival at lodges (please check with reception to reconfirm your flight departure time)
•12h00 - 14h30 Lunch
•14h00 Check-in to room
•15h00 Depart for afternoon game drive
•18h30 Afternoon game drive returns to the lodge
•19h00 Pre-dinner drinks
•19h30 Dinner at the lodge

Full Day at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

•06h30 Early morning wake up call
•07h00 Breakfast at the lodge
•07h30 Morning game drive departs
•11h00 Morning game drive returns
•12h00 until 14h30 Lunch
•15h00 Depart for afternoon game drive
•18h30 Afternoon game drive returns to the lodge
•19h00 Pre-dinner drinks
•19h30 Dinner at the lodge

Day of departure

•06h30 Early morning wake up call
•07h00 Breakfast at the lodge
•07h30 Morning game drive departs
•10h30 Morning game drive returns
•11h00 Check-out time and leave for Welcoming Lounge.

Day Programme for guests from October to April (summer) 

Day of arrival at Sanbona

•12h00 Arrival at Welcoming Lounge for those requiring transfers
•13h00 onwards Arrival at Lodge (please check with reception to reconfirm your flight departure time)
•13h00 until 15h00 Lunch
•14h00 Check-in to room
•16h00 Depart for afternoon game drive (weather dependant)
•20h00 Afternoon game drive returns to the lodge
•20h30 Pre-dinner drinks
•21h00 Dinner at the lodge

Full day at Sanbona

•05h00 Early morning wake up call
•05h30 Morning game drive departs after tea, coffee & pastries
•09h00 Morning game drive returns to breakfast at the lodge
•13h00 until 15h00 Lunch
•16h00 Depart for afternoon game drive (weather dependant)
•20h00 Afternoon game drive returns to the lodge
•20h30 Pre-dinner drinks
•21h00 Dinner at the lodge

Day of Departure

•05h00 Early morning wake up call
•05h30 Morning game drive departs after tea, coffee & pastries
•09h00 Morning game drive returns to breakfast at the lodge
•11h00 Check-out time and leave for Welcoming Lounge

Please note that the above times and activities are only an indication and may vary as the above is dependent on the seasons and weather conditions.
 

Services

Check in and Check Out Times
  • Check in: 14:00
  • Check out: 10:00
General Services
  • Airport transfers
  • Concierge services
  • Health & Fitness Centre
  • Housekeeping service
  • Kid's entertainment
  • Massage treatments
  • Porters
  • Secure parking
  • Tours & Transfers on Request
  • Wake-up call
  • Walking safaris
  • Wellness & Beauty treatments
Children Activities
  • The exclusive Gondwana Family Lodge at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve resembles a typical thatched Karoo homestead featuring family rooms, a children activity room, spacious lawn, outdoor play area, and a swimming pool.  The Gondwana Lodge is ideal for families.

    Upon arrival, the hosts at Sanbona discuss activity options for the family taking the family’s size, children’s ages and the weather into consideration.  Child minding facilities are available at an additional cost for children younger than four years as they are too young to join game drives.

    Children Outdoor Activities:

    •Interpretive walking trail through the garden of the Sanbona Gondwana Lodge where kids learn about animals which live on the reserve as well as tracks, pressing plants, etc
    •Kids visit the sites where the San people left their legacy on the rock faces at Sanbona, where the ranger will explain the scene so that the children can create their personal Bushmen rock art
    •The Sanbona Activity Book is educational and fun, teaching children about the wildlife at the Sanbona Reserve and at the same time encouraging children to get involved in the game drives, often requiring the ranger’s assistance to answer some of the questions
    •Children can participate in various social, sporting and art activities such as bead making, clay making activities, face painting, star gazing

    Children Indoor Activities:

    •Scrapbooks, paper, scissors, glue crayons, pencils & paints
    •Puzzles of varying sizes and difficulties covering a broad age range
    •Documentary DVD on various conservation topics and animals, animated movies
    •entertaining and educational children’s books
    •fun board games

    Special Notes:

    •Children younger than four years are not permitted on game drives
    •Child minding is done by lodge staff and is available with reservation before arrival at an additional cost
    •All swimming activities must be supervised by parents at all times
    •All children activities are age and weather dependant

Available Rooms

Dwyka Tented Lodge

# Rooms:
9
Single Room R12170
Double Room R18720

Gondwana Lodge

# Rooms:
12
Single Room R11550
Double Room R17770

Tilney Manor

# Rooms:
6

Sanbona's luxurious Tilney Manor offers three separate units including six large open plan suites, each of which opens onto private verandas overlooking breathtaking views of undulating mountains and plains. Tilney Manor is surrounded by beautiful indigenous gardens.

Tilney Manor at Sanbona facilities:

  •  Rim-flow swimming pool
  •  Relaxation Retreat with two therapy rooms steams room and sauna
  •  Lounge with fireplace
  •  Perimeter electric fence
  •  In and outdoor dining facilities
  •  Wi-Fi

Suite types at Tilney Manor

  •  All suites can sleep a maximum of 2 adults per suite
  •  4 King bedded Luxury Suites 2 Twin bedded Luxury Suites

Tilney Manor Suite facilities

  •  Air conditioning
  •  International dial telephone
  •  Tea and coffee making facilities
  •  His and hers outdoor showers
  •  En-suite bathroom with shower, twin basins and free-standing bath in the centre
  •  Private minibar
  •  Electronic safe
  •  Fireplace
  •  Private veranda
Single Room R11550
Double Room R17770

Explorer Camp

# Rooms:
3

The Explorer Camp at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is booked for two nights as a walking tour package. This unique camp is only open in the summer from October to April with departures every Friday. Each camp is run by a trained safari guide and guests staying at the Sanbona Explorer Camp can expect to enjoy walking safaris of four hours through the reserve.

Guests can benefit from the freedom of exploring the reserve on foot and wind down at the end of a day next to the fire in a mobile tent. The Explorer Camps are situated right in the wilderness, and the wildlife may come and go as the, please. Guests staying at the Explorer Camp can enjoy freshly prepared meals, cooked over the fire.  The camp features communal outdoor shores while each tent has a bio toilet.

Tent features:

  •  Two fold-out stretchers with down sleeping bags
  •  Small cupboards
  •  Outside hand basins
  •  Hammocks
  •  Insect repellent
  •  Bio-degradable shower amenities
  •  Bio-toilets.
 

GPS Co-Ordinates

Latitude: -33.774752

Longitude: 20.128151

Directions

Directions from Cape Town to the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, South Africa

The magnificent Sanbona Wildlife Reserve can be reached from Cape Town within a 3-hour drive; the distance is approximately 270 km from Cape Town.
Travel on the N1 from Cape Town in the direction of Paarl; continuing the N1 journey through the Huguenot Tunnel. A tollgate controls this tunnel.
The first town is Worcester set in the Breede River Valley.
Taking the second turnoff to the right into Worcester, you leave the N1, and the Route 60 (R60) is taken.
Follow the signs to the town of Robertson.
Once through Robertson, the next town is Ashton.
The R60 becomes the R62 in Ashton.
Travel on through Krogmanskloof and Montagu.
Continue for approximately 43 km and turn left at Die Vlakte and Sanbona Wildlife Reserve sign.
Please be advised that the road changes from tar to gravel and the recommended speed limit from there on is 60 km per hour.
The main entrance to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is 7 km.


From the main gate at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, it is a further 15 km to the Entrance where guests are welcomed. From the welcoming lounge, it is 45 minutes to Tilney Manor, 65 minutes to Dwyka Tented Lodge and 55 minutes to the Gondwana Lodge through the reserve. Guests are kindly requested to follow the relevant signs in the reserve.

The recommended speed limit is 40 km per hour within the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Guests may not exit their vehicle as predators roam free. The main gate closes at 18h00, should the arrival time be later, please advise before arrival to make arrangements. A daily transfer from the main gate to your lodge is available on request, and must be booked at least 72 hours in advance.

Arriving guests:
Pick-up from welcoming lounge at 12h30 - arrive at Tilney 13h15, at Gondwana 13h25, at Dwyka 13h35
Pick-up from welcoming lounge at 16h00 - arrive at Tilney 16h45, at Gondwana 16h55, at Dwyka 17h05 (these guests will not be able to join the afternoon game drive)

Departing guests:
Pick-up from Dwyka Tented Lodge at 11h00, Gondwana Lodge at 11h20, Tilney Manor at 11h35 - arrive at the welcoming lounge at 12h15

Please Note: All times are estimated and subject to road conditions and vehicle types.

Parking

On site parking facilities are provided for guests.

Star Rating

5 Star

Awards

  • 2011  Best Sustainable Tourism Investment at the Africa Investor Tourism Investment Award
  • 2009 Dwyka Tended Lodge, a luxurious tented lodge received the Green Leaf Award
  • 2009 Gondwana Family Lodge received the Green Leaf Award (Wilderness Foundation)
  • 2005 The 100 Best Places in the World by UK Harpers & Queen

Memberships

  • ATTA (African Travel and Tourism Association)

Hotel Group(s)

  • Mantis Collection