Savanna traverses over ten thousand hectares of pristine African bushveld where frequent sightings of Africa's big game occur daily.
An exclusive 5-star lodge, Savanna is situated in the internationally famous Sabi Sand Reserve within the greater Kruger National Park Conservancy. Savanna lies in an area where ‘Big 5’ sightings are so frequent, it is not unusual to see lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino in a single game drive. Specially designed game viewing vehicles and highly trained guides with a vast knowledge of the African bushveld, take guests on close and intimate encounters with a large variety of wildlife. Numerous nearby dams and a series of waterholes in front of the lodge attract many species, especially in the dry winter months when elephants are daily visitors. A close-knit team of friendly staff provides personalized service with each guest regarded as a valued friend. From the moment they arrive guests feel part of the Savanna ‘family’. Nine magnificent suites offer spacious and luxurious accommodation. Seven of the suites have tented roofs, blending the elegance of a by-gone colonial era with all the convenience of modern facilities.
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Relaxation between game drives is important and what better way to unwind than with an invigorating massage. Savanna’s own qualified therapist offers guests a range of treatments in the privacy of their suites. And, if a little retail therapy is called for, a visit to the curio and gift shop should do the trick.
Savanna offers excursions to nearby places of interest and scenic beauty including the spectacular Panorama route and an African village. Here guests visit the school and a traditional healer or medicine man and learn about Shangaan culture and food. Golf can be arranged at Skukuza or the magnificent Leopard Creek course. These activities, with the exception of golf at Leopard Creek, take place between game drives so no meals or drives are missed. (Prices are available on request)
In an area studded with dams that attract large herds of game, and traversing more than 10 000 hectares of prime bushveld, a Savanna safari provides exceptional opportunities to see the ‘Big 5’ – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino – as well as cheetah, wild dog, hippo, crocodile, an abundance of general game and over 400 bird species. The emphasis at Savanna is, first and foremost, on the safari experience, on the activities of the many rare and beautiful creatures encountered.
Experienced and dedicated game rangers and trackers impart their amazing knowledge of the natural world, allowing guests to unobtrusively enter the lives of the largest and smallest creatures. From the mist shrouding the bush at dawn till the blazing sun sets behind distant mountains, the magic of a Savanna safari will provide incredible photographs and unforgettable memories.
Famous for having the best leopard viewing in the world, the Sabi Sand area is known worldwide as ‘The Land of the Leopard’. A recent report commissioned by the Cape Leopard Trust confirms this.
Land Rovers have been specially modified for guests’ comfort and safety with bucket seats separated by large storage boxes. In order to maximize photographic opportunities, there are never more than two people in a row unless guests request otherwise. The vehicles are set up to seat seven but can easily be adapted to seat 10 guests if required. In addition, there are never more than two vehicles at a sighting, except with very relaxed animals in open terrain, in which case three vehicles are allowed. The afternoon game drive includes a stop for sundowners while marveling at the splendor of an African sunset, and the absolute tranquility of the bush. On the morning drive, there is a tea/coffee shop with the famous Savanna Amarula hot chocolate or coffee a highly recommended alternative for the more adventurous at heart.
Optional game walks are offered to guests who would like to experience the fauna and flora on foot. Led by an armed ranger and tracker, they provide a fascinating insight into the geology and botany of the area. Trackers who have grown up in local villages impart a wealth of information on the uses of bushveld trees and plants in tribal customs and rituals, as well as their herbal and medicinal properties and practical applications. A peeled twig from one tree, for instance, makes a good toothbrush while the silky leaves of another provide the softest toilet paper.
Walks generally take place in the area around Savanna Lodge in between game drives and meals but if guests prefer, a longer walk can replace a drive or be incorporated as part of a drive. The thrill of quietly approaching game while on foot, of close encounters with the smaller creatures and the myriads of wildflowers and beautiful butterflies they attract in summer, brings an added dimension to the magic of an African safari.
Relaxing in the comfort of the public lounge with its spacious patio, or at the main pool looking out over lush gardens and floodlit waterhole, guests are frequently treated to fantastic views of birds and game drinking and bathing, A barman is constantly in attendance to ensure the humans’ thirst is just as adequately taken care of. A viewing loft above the lounge makes a pleasant nook for a quiet game of chess as well as a bird’s eye view of the waterhole, while an adjoining library provides wireless broadband internet access and offers guests the means to transfer digital photographs, freshly captured on their safari, onto CD or DVD.
The beautifully appointed suites nestle amongst indigenous bush and trees that provide privacy, quiet and a haven for birds. The epitome of elegance and comfort, the décor is a blend of colonial and classic with handcrafted furniture, fine linen, and beautiful artwork. Three Executive and four Luxury Suites offer a unique ‘Out of Africa’ experience with canvas roofs above draped ceilings set on permanent structures. All have magnificent bathrooms and decks looking onto waterholes in the bush. In addition, the larger Executive Suites have plunge pools.
The thatched Savanna Suite is tailor-made for families, with two en-suite bedrooms on either side of a spacious, elegant lounge and large covered patio. The bedroom suites with their individual bathrooms can also be booked separately, in which case they would not include the lounge, private vehicle, and guides which are part of the Savanna Suite package.