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Sabi Sand Reserve

The Sabi Sand Reserve is the birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in Southern Africa, and is the oldest of all the private reserves in South Africa. It has only ever been a wilderness area and is home to a vast wildlife population, including The Big Five, and a number of endangered species too. Flanking the Kruger National Park, animals pass unhindered between the reserves.

It is largely owned and operated by 3rd & 4th generation families who share a common vision with their ancestors. The oldest and most successful private reserve in South Africa.

The history of today’s Sabi Sand Reserve as a formal association dates back to 1948 when the landowners formed the private nature reserve. Credit for the association, however, should go to the original pioneers of the reserve in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Of these pioneers, no less than six of their families are now third and fourth generation owners of the land – a credit to the foresight of their forefathers who loved and respected Africa’s flora and fauna.

The Sabie Reserve was proclaimed in 1898 and incorporated what is today both the Sabi Sand and the Kruger National Park. However, in 1926 the National Parks Act of South Africa was passed and many private landowners were excised from the Sabie Reserve.

They in turn formed the Sabi Private Game Reserve in 1934 – a forerunner to the Sabi Sand. It was in 1926 that the first tourists were allowed into the Kruger National Park – the birth of sustainable wildlife tourism that is the recipe for conservation in Africa today.

In 1961 and as a result of the threat of foot and mouth disease and the continued hunting on adjacent private land, fences were erected between the Sabi Sand and the Kruger National Park. The Sabi Sand also fenced their perimeter to the west to prevent the movement of game from the area. In 1993, however, after much discussion between the Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand, the fences between the two reserves once again came down and animals soon migrated between the park and the private reserves to the west. The Sabi Sand now forms part of the greater Kruger National Park wildlife enclave and its immense wildlife gene pool.

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