Project Description

Safari Description

Animals that roamed the area freely living amongst the San for centuries have been reintroduced to this special part of the Little Karoo. The Big 5 – Lion, Leopard (rarely spotted in the Western Cape), Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros as well as various other species such as Gemsbok, Springbok, Hartebeest, Eland, Kudu, Black Wildebeest and Zebra will be seen on Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Natural small game such as Jackal, Caracal, Aardwolf, Ant bear, Brown Hyena, Grey Rhebuck, Steenbuck, Klipspringer, Grysbok and Common Duiker continue to thrive.

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About the Reserve

Sanbona, a 54000 hectare wildlife reserve has an alluring atmosphere of stillness, an air of isolation amid the raw beauty and boundless plains.  A treasure trove of more than 650 species of plants flowering at different times throughout the year, although some more prolific between August and September. There are various floral kingdoms that make up the Reserve, including Acacia Thickets, Nama, Karoo, Renosterveld, Succulent Karoo and Central Mountain Fynbos. Succulents are especially varied and fascinating with names like Baby’s Bottoms, Ostrich Toes and Pig’s Ears.

Sanbona, invites you to explore a special wilderness sanctuary with its impressive rock formations, San Bushman paintings, over 160 bird species and other high profile animal species including free roaming White Lion. Along with luxurious five star accommodation at three lodges and a back to nature Explorer Camp adventure, surrounded by ancient volcanic mountains and endless vistas, your safari experience will stay with you long after you have departed this special reserve.


Game drives will take 3 – 3.5 hours depending on how much time is spent at each sighting. It is advisable to bring warm clothes along for the drive even in the hot summer months. Your game ranger will provide ponchos and warm blankets and has a bird book and binoculars. Remember to bring your camera and video camera with you.

All safari options in the Western Cape are in relatively newly established private game reserves and thus it is not fair to compare to a safari in a more established game viewing area like Kruger National Park which has been around for a hundred or so years.
That said, this reserve is truly special and offers some amazing wildlife moments in a stark and arid, yet beautiful enviroment.


Departing Cape Town, head out along the N1 through the Du Toit’s Kloof tunnel, joining the beautifully scenic Route 62 after Worcester and then through the towns of Robertson, Ashton and Montagu before arriving a short while later at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Upon arrival at the welcome lounge enjoy a refreshment before transferring to your lodge and enjoying a sumptuous lunch before settling into your room / tent.
Sundowner evening drives offer spectacular displays of light as the evening sun sets over the Little Karoo. Traverse the landscape of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve with a qualified ranger in comfortable open Landcruisers. During the drive, various species of plants, animals, big game and birds can be seen in the Karoo bush veld. Upon return, enjoy some pre-dinner drinks and then settle in for a delicious dinner at the lodge before retiring for the night.

Enjoy a full day relaxing in this amazing wilderness including a morning and evening game drive, whilst a leisurely lunch and sparkling pool await in the middle of the day.
One of the true joys of Sanbona is the freedom to do nothing at all in absolute luxury, but for those who choose to venture beyond the comfort of the Lodge, a world of new experiences awaits… Game Drives, Nature Walks, Birdwatching, Star Gazing, Rock Art, Rock Formations & Features, Fauna & Flora and Spa Treatments are just some of the options.

Awake to the sounds of the bush and enjoy an early breakfast before departing on another exciting 3 hour game drive as the bush awakens to a new day. You depart the lodge late morning and arrive back at the Welcome Lounge around midday, to meet up with your own vehicle or driver for your onward journey.

Private Game Lodge / Tented Lodge
Meals included: 2 x Breakfast, 2 x Lunch & 2 x Dinner


Beautifully appointed tents exude an atmosphere of pioneering adventure in a vast and hidden landscape, surrounded by awe-inspiring rock formations which was once the home of ancient Khoisan hunters. Situated on a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine, the lodge with 9 luxury tents has a Relaxation Retreat, communal lounge with fireplace and TV, wine cellar and open air boma
Consists of 3 separate units including 6 large open plan suites, each opening onto private verandas overlooking breathtaking views of undulating mountains and plains. This lush oasis setting of Tilney Manor is surrounded by carefully laid out indigenous gardens.
Overlooking Bellair Dam and resembling a typical thatched Karoo homestead, offering 12 generously proportioned luxury suites, each with endless views over the plains, Anysberg-mountains and beyond. Children of all ages will be entertained with an exciting “Kids on Safari” program.
This unique walking experience is ideal for guests looking for an adventurous and authentic option offering an ambiance of a tented bush camp. The camp is located in a superbly shaded river line, north east of the reserve and approximately 30 minutes drive from Dwyka Tented Lodge. This is a flexible experience for guests to experience and explore the Sanbona Karoo as we believe that the rigidity of travel needs to be simplified by going back to basics. This explorer camp reflects the original safari of being on foot and sleeping around the fire at night within the comfort of a mobile tent. Guests will enjoy walks through the magnificent Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, whereby their guide will enhance their experience with birding, cultural history and other natural history of the area.
Children are accommodated at Gondwana Family Lodge only.
Adult rates apply to persons (12 years and older) sharing one room or suite. Persons 12 years and older are considered adults and will therefore require their own room/suite at the applicable rates.

Safari Details

  • Duration: 3 Days | 2 Nights
  • Pax.: 2-10 guests per game drive vehicle (usually smaller groups)
  • Departure: Daily – on request
  • Departure time: 08h00 to 08h30 from Cape Town as a guideline for either self-drive or transfers
  • Language: English
  • Accommodation: Luxury Tents – Suites – Mobile Tents
  • Children 4-11 years only at Gondwana Family Lodge, no additional cost for children 0-3 years.

Included: All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, tea, coffee, water game drives, guided walks,  game drive beverages, welcome lounge transfers at set times, tourism levy and 14% Vat (all other beverages are excluded and can be settled upon departure).

Excluded: This safari is a self-drive package and excludes any transport.

Direct road transfers can be provided:
R 2870 each way per vehicle (1-2 persons)
R 4930 each way per vehicle (3-6 persons)
R 5800 each way per vehicle (7-10 persons)

Private road transfers can be provided:
R 4000 each way per vehicle (1-2 persons)
R 5500 each way per vehicle (3-6 persons)
R 6600 each way per vehicle (7-13 persons)

Highly recommended:
Take advantage of being on the worlds longest wine route (Route 62) by booking private road transfers which will allow for some leisurely touring, taking alternative routes over scenic mountain passes and offering optional wine tastings (own account) in a choice of either Wellington, Franschhoek, Paarl & Stellenbosch wine regions.


  • HIGH SEASON (01/03/2018 – 30/04/2018) :

    ⇒ Sharing :
    Tilney Manor: R 15 600 pp
    Gondwana Lodge: R 15 600 pp
    Dwyka Tented Lodge: R 16 400 pp

    ⇒ Single :
    Tilney Manor: R 20 200 pp
    Gondwana Lodge: R 20 200 pp
    Dwyka Tented Lodge: R 21 200 pp

  • LOW SEASON (01/05/2018 – 31/08/2018) :

    ⇒ Sharing :
    Tilney Manor: R 11 800 pp
    Gondwana Lodge: R 11 800 pp
    Dwyka Tented Lodge: R 13 200 pp

    ⇒ Single :
    Tilney Manor: R 15 400 pp
    Gondwana Lodge: R 15 400 pp
    Dwyka Tented Lodge: R 17 200 pp

  • HIGH SEASON (01/09/2018 – 30/11/2018 and 01-30/04/2019)

    ⇒ Sharing :
    Tilney Manor: R 15 800 pp
    Gondwana Lodge: R 15 800 pp
    Dwyka Tented Lodge: R 16 800 pp

    ⇒ Single :
    Tilney Manor: R 20 600 pp
    Gondwana Lodge: R 20 600 pp
    Dwyka Tented Lodge: R 21 800 pp

  • PEAK SEASON (01/12/2018 – 31/03/2019):

    ⇒ Sharing :
    Tilney Manor: R 19 800 pp
    Gondwana Lodge: R 19 800 pp
    Dwyka Tented Lodge: R 21 200 pp

    ⇒ Single :
    Tilney Manor: R 26 200 pp
    Gondwana Lodge: R 26 200 pp
    Dwyka Tented Lodge: R 27 800 pp


For the next big adventure.

What Clients’ Say

We really appreciate our clients feedback on their African Blue experience as we are constantly striving to improve our service levels and selection of tour and safari experiences.

I am so happy that I contacted David Smith and African Blue Tours! I was looking for a moderately priced safari not foo far from Cape Town, and I exchanged numerous emails with David. His replies were always prompt, and full of useful information. David is a thorough professional, very organized, and extremely knowledgeable about the extraordinary array and diversity of safari choices available in South Africa. We followed all his recommendations, and he arranged a wonderful 3-day safari to Sanbona for my wife and myself in August 2015. The trip was absolutely perfect. I can’t recommend it highly enough. As an added benefit, we had private transportation to and from Sanbona with David and his wife Michelle. On the trip back from Sanbona, all I could think about was the next trip I wanted to do with African Blue. Thanks David for arranging such a dream vacation for my wife and me.
George Prager, Bronx, New York, USA
Southern Cape tour
5 of 5 stars
24 April 2018
This was an exceptional experience all the way around! The lodging, restaurants, sites, and wildlife allowed us to experience much of South Africa during our short visit. Our delightful tour guide, Duncan, went above and beyond to make our Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and Cape Agulhas tour exactly what we were hoping for – and then some. We saw the big 5, oryx, springbok, eland, jackals, baboons, zebras, penguins and more birds than I can say. Duncan was very knowledgeable, interesting, flexible, and quite a bit of fun! I would strongly recommend African Blue Tours.
* This client booked Private transfers and added an extra night in Arniston near Cape Agulhas*
Jim & Gloria Davidson, Colorado, USA
I found African Blue Tours on the internet while searching for safaris out of Cape Town. David Smith recommended Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, which we enjoy very much. He took us there in person and arranged to have us picked up and take on a short tour of the area south of Table Mountain. I cannot recommend him too highly for personal service and advice.
* This client booked Private transfers*
Mike Porter, USA