Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Karoo, South Africa


Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in Little Karoo is an authentic and contrasting natural space, it serves as a major role player in the conservation realm- which is imparted and intricately woven into our guest experiences. It is a true example of a successful rewilding project on an epic scale within the Western Cape, underpinned by peer-reviewed, research-based conservation practice.

Conveniently located along Route 62, a mere 3.5 hours from Cape Town, the reserve aims to create balance where critically important ecosystems, endangered wildlife and flora can prosper. Positioned in a convergence zone of varied biodiversity hotspots of succulent Karoo and fynbos biomes, this 58,000 hectare of big, Karoo sky country offers breath-taking sceneries that will transport you to a place where time stands still and nature takes centre stage.

With a choice of three luxury lodges, each with their own distinct personality and appeal. Dwyka Tented Lodge is opulent, positioned under some nesting Verreaux’s eagles and in the bend of a river. Tilney Manor was designed in true Cape Georgian style, it is perfect for guests in need of an exclusive Karoo experience. Gondwana Family Lodge is the perfect family retreat in its configuration complemented with a tailored Kids on Safari programme to inspire the eco-warriors of the future. Nature drives, walking safaris, rock art, and stargazing complete an exciting safari option very close to Cape Town.

Dwyka Tented Lodge

Luxury Tents x 9
Beautifully appointed tents exude an atmosphere of pioneering adventure in a vast and hidden landscape.


All luxury tents can sleep a maximum of 2 adults per tent
9 King or Twin bedded Luxury Tents

*No children under the age of 16 years allowed

Gondwana Family Lodge

Luxury Suites x 12
Overlooking Bellair Dam and resembling a typical thatched Karoo homestead, offering 12 generously proportioned luxury suites, each with endless views over the plains, Anysbergmountain, and beyond. Children of all ages will be entertained with an exciting “Kids on Safari” program.


Suites can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults sharing with 1 child, in a king or twin-bedded configuration

• 6 suites are located on the ground floor with private deck
• 6 suites are located on the second level with private balcony/ viewing platform

*All rooms have sleeper couches which can sleep one child under the age of 12 years
*Four pairs of rooms are interleading

Tilney Manor

Luxury Suites x 6
Tilney Manor consists of six large open-plan suites, each opening onto their own private verandas. overlooking breathtaking views of undulating mountains and plains. Carefully laid-out indigenous gardens surround this lush oasis setting of Tilney Manor.

All suites can sleep a maximum of 2 adults per suite, in a king or twin-bedded configuration.

Air Conditioning
Balcony / Deck
Complimentary Wi-Fi
Dressing Gowns
Electrical Outlets
Fireplace (Tilney only)
Hair Dryer
Heated Towel Rails (Dwyka only)
Laundry Service
Lounge Area
Mini Bar
Outside Shower
His and her outdoor showers (Tilney only)
Plunge Pool
Tea / Coffee
Private deck (with heated plunge pool – Dwyka only)
Underfloor Heating (Gondwana only)
Wheelchair Friendly (Gondwana only)

Dwyka Tented Lodge
24-hour Security
Eco Friendly
Internet Access (Complimentary)
Laundry Service
Malaria Free
Secure Parking
Relaxation Retreat with 2 therapy rooms
Lounge with fireplace and television with satellite channels
Gift boutique
Open-air dining boma
Wine cellar

Gondwana Family Lodge
24-hour Security
Babysitting Service
Internet Access (Complimentary)
Kiddies Club
Laundry Service
Malaria Free
Secure Parking
Relaxation Retreat with steam room
Lounge with fireplace and television with satellite channels
Gift boutique
Open-air dining boma
Outdoor pool with shallow area
Children’s playroom with television
Outdoor play area for children

Tilney Manor
24-hour Security
Internet Access (Complimentary)
Laundry Service
Malaria Free
Secure Parking
Relaxation Retreat with steam room and sauna
Lounge with fireplace and television with satellite channels
Bespoke Heritage Lounge
Exercise room
Gift boutique
In and outdoor dining facilities
Rim-flow swimming pool

Big Five Game Drives
Night game drives
Bird Watching
Gourmet Picnic
Night Drives
Helicopter Scenic Flights
Quad Biking
Walks (Self Guided)
Horse-back Safaris

Art Galleries
Cultural Tours
General Sightseeing
Historical Tours

Other activities
Health and Fitness Centre
Wine Tasting

  • Transfers to Sanbona

    Transfers to Sanbona can be arranged with reservations on request at an additional cost. All transfers are handled by accredited car hire and charter companies and must be arranged prior to arrival.

    You can get detailed directions to the game reserve here, but if you get yourself lost, contact us on +27 (0)21 010 0028.

  • Welcome Lounge details

    Explorer guests are met at the Welcome Lounge, 15km in from the main gate and taken to the lodge in order to meet their specialist guide. A complimentary transfer from the lounge to the different lodges is available on request and must be booked at least 72 hours in advance. There is also secure parking available for vehicles at the Welcoming Lounge for guests who travel to the reserve on their own.

  • Does Sanbona allow day trips?

    Sanbona Wildlife Reserve does not offer day trips. Self drive game drives are not permitted on the reserve either. Booking in advance to your stay is essential.

  • What do you need to pack?

    Clothing in neutral colours that is light in weight, but warm – Bright coloured clothing must be avoided as this can deter wildlife, you should include the following when packing your bag:

    3 x Shirts
    3 x Shorts
    2 x pants (long)
    1 x warm jersey or jacket as the evenings can get cold
    Hiking or trail shoes
    Sandals for showering
    Sun block

  • What is the climate like?

    South Africa enjoys a warm climate year-round. For the duration of the colder months, (April – September) you can expect temperatures that range from 7 – 22°C. During the warmer months (October – March), temperatures range from 16 – 36°C. Rainfall is generally low and scarce, averaging only 2 or 3 days per month.

  • What can my children do at Sanbona?

    There are so many things for kids to do here that they won’t have an opportunity to be bored, and with both indoor and outdoor activities available, we cater to a variety of tastes. And, to sweeten the deal even more for the kids, Sanbona has an entire lodge and programme dedicated to entertaining little ones. Read more information on our Kids on Safari page.

  • Can I take my toddler on a game drive?

    Unfortunately, not. When on a game drive, it’s important to remain still and quiet, so as not to disturb the animals, which can be difficult for young children to do. And, as safety is our primary concern, no children under the age of four years old are permitted on game drives.

    But, we do have childminding services available on request, in addition to a host of kid’s activities to keep the little ones occupied while you enjoy your safari.

  • What is the best time of year for game viewing?

    Game viewing is not affected by the weather, seasons, or time of year. But, you can consult with one of our safari experts before you make your booking if there’s something in particular you want to see. We also recommend you bring warmer clothing along for the trip as it may get cold.

  • How do I get to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve?

    Private road transfers and charter flights can be arranged at an additional fee and booked with your accommodation. Alternatively, if you are driving to Sanbona, we can send you the location and directions information.

  • What will the daily programme be?

    Your allocated ranger draws up a customised programme for you on the day of your arrival, which includes game drives and guided walks. For a guideline of what’s available, read our activities page.

  • What are the requirements to enter South Africa?

    When travelling to South Africa, it’s important to take note as to whether you’re required to have a Visa. Certain countries are exempt, you can find that list here.

    Please note: As of June 2015, people travelling with minors (people under the age of 18) are required to carry an unabridged birth certificate, as well as their passport.

    As per South African law, upon your arrival in the country, you need to ensure that your passport has at least two full pages open for passport control stamps.

    For the latest visa requirements, you’ll need to contact your nearest South African Embassy or consulate. You also need to note that travellers over 1 year of age coming from a high-risk area need to bear a Yellow Fever inoculation certificate.

  • What are the facilities like in South Africa?

    Our 5-star, luxury lodge accommodation is accredited by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa every year. Thorough inspections have been conducted in accordance with the national tourism standards. And, the country itself is home to a world-class infrastructure including transport, telecommunications, banking, manufacturing, mining, and medical facilities.

  • What does a safari look like?

    Time Activity
    04H30/ 05H30 Wake up call
    05H00/ 06H00 Early morning refreshments served
    5H15/ 06H15 Depart for morning game drive
    09H00 A continental breakfast buffet and (plated) hot breakfast is served
    11H00 Requested checkout time
    12H00 Lunch is served until 14h30
    13H00/ 14H00 Recommended arrival time
    15H00/ 15H30 Afternoon tea
    15H30/ 16H00 Depart for afternoon game drive
    20H00 Pre-dinner drinks
    20H30 Varying dinner options served on alternate nights
  • Electricity

    The electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ, with the exception of Pretoria (230 V) and Port Elizabeth (200/250 V). Most plugs have 3-pin or 2-pin. Adapters can be purchased, but may be in short supply. However, we do have a limited number of adaptors are available in each room at the game reserve. US-made appliances may need a transformer.

    Additionally, most hotel rooms have 110V outlets for electric shavers and appliances. All three of the Sanbona lodges are currently equipped with standby generators, as a precaution against a power outage.

    Please be sure to check your device specifications and requirements before utilising our power supply source.

  • Driving

    In South Africa, we drive on the left hand side of the road and wearing a seatbelt is mandatory for both drivers and passengers in the front and back seats of a car.

    Non-residents are permitted to drive with a driving license issued and valid in their own country. But, the license must be in English and must contain a photograph and the signature of the holder.

    If yours doesn’t meet these requirements, an international driver’s license is required.

  • People & Language

    South Africa is a nation that’s home to a vast amount of cultures. In total, we have 11 official languages, including English, which is widely spoken throughout the country. The local population groups and cultures include Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Sotho-Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Afrikaners, English, Cape Coloured, Indians, Khoi, and San.

  • Health

    South Africa has world-class medical facilities, with a large network of hospitals that offer excellent care. But, as a safety precaution, ensure that you have adequate health and travellers insurance.

    In case of an emergency, we request that you have your Insurance number, as well as a copy of your passports on hand during check-in.

  • Safety

    While most parts of the country are perfectly safe for tourists to visit, it’s important that visitors take precautions. For example, walking alone in deserted streets, and exposing expensive equipment and jewellery is not recommended. Most major cities run crime prevention programmes and basic safety tip guidelines are also available at hotels and tourism information offices.

    If you’re in doubt as to the safety of a particular area or attraction, contact the National Tourism Information and Safety Line on +27 (0)83 123 2345. This number may also be used for assistance in replacing lost documents or reporting incidents.

  • Shopping

    There are many malls, markets, stores, and informal vendors who provide a variety of goods and services. Traditional African artwork, jewellery, and other goods are widely sought after by tourists, and are readily available close to tourist attractions. Most major shopping centres and malls operate seven days a week, but smaller town shops are often closed on Sunday.

    Sanbona Wildlife Reserve also has small curio stores, available at our lodges.

  • Money

    The local currency is the South African Rand (ZAR) (R1=100 cents), which exchanges favourably with major international currencies. Take note that currency can be exchanged at banks, forex bureaus and at certain hotels. Foreign tourists can have their VAT (value-added tax at 14%) refunded at the point of departure, provided they present their original tax invoices.

    In addition, most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa are widely accepted.

  • Gratuities

    Gratuities are not compulsory at Sanbona, however should you wish to leave a gratuity, they can be placed in the courtesy envelopes which are supplied in the rooms.

  • Food & Water

    South Africa’s tap water is some of the safest and cleanest in the world. In hotels, restaurants and nightspots, the standards of hygiene and food preparation is closely monitored via inspections.

    Restaurants cover a wide variety of cuisines and visitors are usually very impressed with the standard and choice of award-winning cuisine on offer.

  • Check-in / Check-out Times

    Check-in time 14:00pm
    Check-out time 11:00am

  • How big is Sanbona?

    Sanbona is approximately:
    – 62, 000 Hectares
    – 143, 321 Acres
    – 580 Square kilometers

  • Can I use my drone when visiting at the reserve?

    Unfortunately, due to the high security risk around poaching, the flying of drones is strictly prohibited across the reserve.

    Special permissions may be granted to specific filming crews, this is pending the review and permission from the General Manager.

  • How long is the drive from Cape Town to the reserve?

    It is an approximate 3.5 hour drive from Cape Town to the Main Gate of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

    Please factor in additional internal reserve drive time, which takes you from the Main Gate to either the Welcome Lounge or to the lodges directly. Please know if can take a further 1h30 internal reserve drive time to reach your destination from the Reserve’s Main Gate.

  • Are there car parking spaces or a car park?

    Yes, parking is free of charge.

  • Can I drive my own car to the lodge?

    Yes, you are welcome to self-drive directly to the lodge should you have a suitable vehicle. Micro cars and low-lying sports cars are not recommended for this road surface. Please be aware that there is a small chance that you may encounter big game along the road.

  • How does the Welcome Lounge service work?

    The Welcome Lounge is a 20-minute drive inside the Reserve from the Main Gate. Guests are invited to park their vehicles at the Welcome Lounge and enjoy a chauffeur transfer to their specific lodge from there on. The Welcome Lounge is fitted with some soft comforts and a composting toilet.

    There are two set transfer times:
    – 12h30
    – 16h00

    Guests are advised to plan their travel times to be at the Main Gate by 12pm or 15h30 in order to make the transfer. Guests arriving outside of these times will either need to self-drive directly to the lodge or secure a private transfer at an additional rate.

  • Which is the nearest airport?

    Cape Town International Airport is the closest, approximately 245 kilometers away.

  • Is Sanbona located in a Malaria-free area?

    Yes, the area is Malaria-free.

  • How many people per room in the accommodation?

    Our suites are ideally suited for 2 adults sharing. Beds can be double or twin-sharing.

  • Do you provide return transfers from Cape Town International Airport?

    Yes, we do. These are charged at an additional cost and can be booked through our Reservations department.

  • Can I self-drive through the reserve?

    No, guests are not permitted to self-drive through the Reserve. All our drives are hosted by our expertly trained guides.

  • How certain are you that we will see the Big 5?

    The essence of Sanbona does not fall within its game viewing, but in its holistic approach in showcasing the area’s unique biodiversity. With conservation at the forefront of the experience, we take the time to introduce guests to the endemic, free-roaming and self-sustaining animal species onsite together with two biomes found within the Cape Floral Kingdom.

    Home to the Big 5 but not intensely pursued. The opportunities to view leopard are slim due to their remote locations up the mountains outranges, Sanbona prides itself in offering an authentic, immersive and untouched experience.

  • What would be included in our Overnight Stay at any luxury lodge on Sanbona?

    A stay with Sanbona includes:

    Two daily nature drives
    Guided wilderness walks
    All meals
    On-drive beverages and snacks
    Complimentary WiFi
    Tourism levy and VAT

  • What activities do you offer?

    Sanbona offers several exciting nature-based adventures:

    Nature drives
    Guided wilderness walks
    Relaxation retreats
    Rock art
    Bird Watching
    Kids on Safari programme

  • Internet connection?

    Internet services & WiFi are available within the common areas at the lodge. Please bear in mind that the lodge is located in a remote area.

  • Smoking?

    Guests are requested not to smoke when on game drives, in dining rooms or inside the suites. Ashtrays have been made available on your suite decks for your convenience.

  • Do the bathrooms have baths or showers?

    All our luxury suites are fitted with bathtubs and showers. Tilney Manor and Dwyka Tented Lodge have additional outside showers.

  • Are the prices quoted per room or per person?

    Our rates are all priced per person.

  • Are gratuities included in the rates?

    Gratuities are completely at the guests own discretion. Gratuities are customary in South Africa and are not included in the rate structure. Ordinarily, the guides, spa therapist and a general staff gratuity are issued separately.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Agent Downloads

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Agent Downloads

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