Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Welcome to the malaria-free Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, a three-hour scenic drive from Cape Town to the heart of the Little Karoo, along the Route 62 – the world’s longest wine route. At the foot of the towering Warmwaterberg Mountains, Sanbona boasts 58, 000 hectares of sculpted Cape Fold Mountains, wide-open Karoo plains, indigenous flora and fauna and rare examples of San rock art, some dating back more than 3, 500 years, plus a unique boat safari. More than a Big 5 wilderness reserve, it’s the vastness of the landscape, the alluring stillness and isolation amid raw beauty and boundless plains that make Sanbona unique. Explore a wilderness sanctuary in the Western Cape while staying at your choice of three luxurious lodges or a back-to-nature Explorer Camp adventure, each of which is surrounded by ancient folded mountains and endless vistas. Please note that Sanbona is a private reserve and booking in advance is essential.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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Address
Btwn Montagu & Barrydale between Montagu & Barrydale, Montagu 6720 South Africa
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
359 reviews
Excellent
299
Very good
40
Average
14
Poor
4
Terrible
2

Iain Lindsley
Northampton, UK75 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
We had wanted to go Safari for a while, and Sanbona looked amazing it did not disappoint.

We were in the Dwyka Tented Lodge, which are beautiful, large beds beautiful bathrooms and superb decking area with a coffee machine, drinks, and snacks. The game lodge was in a similar style. Food provided well exceeded our expectations, and we were truly spoilt. I really must sing their praises as I was ill one day, and they made sure I had enough drinks and food brought down to our Lodge to keep me going whilst my partner was out on Safari.

The Safari itself was truly magical they pride themselves on being conservationists and providing a natural experience, and they should be very proud of their work.

Josh, our guide was super knowledgeable and would happily answer any questions he also was a wizard at tracking the animals at which we saw so many, including the really elusive breeds. If any of you future visitors are guided by him you are in luck. He's a really nice bloke too which helps..

We were fortunate enough to be able to have lunch out on the reserve during our stay which provided me with the perfect opportunity for me to propose to my girlfriend and I must thank all thr staff present for calming my nerves and making it perfect and for the staff at the Lodge for helping us celebrate on our return.

We would happily return in a heartbeat.
Written 11 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear @iainted, Congratulations once again the recent engagement, we are beyond thrilled for both of you and thank you for choosing Sanbona to mark the special occasion. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your positive experience with us, and for appreciating our conservation approach. We are delighted to hear that you not only enjoyed your stay but also recognized and understood our commitment to sustainable practices. Preserving the environment is a core value for us, and it warms our hearts to know that our efforts align with you personally. We are grateful for your support and hope to have the pleasure of hosting you again soon! Thank you, the Sanbona team.
Written 16 February 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

111TWIGAMINHAAFRIKA
Bristol, UK7 257 contributions
Sept 2023 • Friends
We stayed at Dwyka tented lodge for three nights at the end of September.
Wonderful Sanbona, a private concession, managed the South African way with a view based upon conservation and giving people to opportunity to see wild animals at close quarter.
Very enjoyable overall experience, very good game viewing, especially with white Rhino, elephants, walking close to giraffe and an incredible experience, walking close and viewing 4 cheetahs(1 year old) cubs and their mother- beautiful.
After recent heavy rainfall which did not impact on our safari we were blessed to see so much colour as wild flowers appeared everywhere in abundance.
Safari- the South African way...
Written 5 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear @Mobile35942195053, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your positive experience with us! We're thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and that it met your expectations. Our team works hard to create memorable experiences, and it's always rewarding to know that our efforts have made a positive impact. Your kind words are truly appreciated and serve as motivation for us to continue delivering the best possible experience. We are looking forward to welcoming you back again in the near future. Thank you, The Sanbona team.
Written 15 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sean B
Vancouver, WA3 contributions
Sept 2023 • Solo
I spent four days at Dwyka Tented Lodge within Sanbona in late September. The experience can best be described as luxury set in extreme isolation. The individual "tents" are lovely, comfortable and a short walk to the larger lodge where meals are served and activities coordinated. Staff is gracious and helpful. Food is delicious. Wildlife drives, of course, are the highlight. Guides (Ethan, Josh and others) are tracking experts - adept at spotting the animal residents of the reserve. During my stay the Western Cape experienced a massive wind and rain storm which caused significant flooding throughout Sanbona. I was impressed with how staff stepped up and assisted guests through the experience of washed out roads and swollen rivers. It was true adventure travel.
Written 4 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear @571seanb, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are humbled by your feedback, even throughout the intense rains and flooding we are delighted to read that we were still able to meet your expectations. We thank you for endorsing our property and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future. Thank you, The Sanbona team.
Written 23 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Felix S
Altendorf, Switzerland34 contributions
Jan 2023
On our South Africa trip we stayed at this beautiful resort for 3 days. Every morning and evening we went on a 3-hour safari with unforgettable experiences. Thank you Marco for your good instincts and the unforgettable experiences.
Written 17 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear @Felix S, At Sanbona, our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible wilderness experience, and it is always encouraging to hear that we have succeeded in doing so. We will be sure to share your comments with our team, as it will serve as a great motivator for them to keep up the good work. Once again, thank you for choosing Sanbona and for sharing your positive experience with others. We look forward to serving you again in the future! Kind Regards, The Sanbona team.
Written 22 February 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nigel52
Farnham, UK13 contributions
Feb 2023
Way better than expected. Bit of a long drive from main gate to Tilley lodges but that just emphasises how wild and back to nature this game reserve park is. Greeted by Angus manager of the day who made us very welcome. The rooms are gorgeous with amazing views. Jacques was our guide and he really knew his stuff. We went out on the 05.30am drive and the 16.30 drive. I think this was our lucky day. We saw giraffes,elephants, rhino including a huge one having a mud bath, baboons everywhere, we even saw a leopard take down a black springbok. Also gazelles and multitude of wild birds. The resort was so peaceful with infinity pool and the odd baboon walking through the grounds. We were there only two days but would have liked longer. Great food and servive.
Written 12 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear @nigelstgeorge, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a positive review of our experience! We truly appreciate your kind words and are thrilled to hear that you had a great experience with us. Best Regards, The Sanbona team.
Written 22 February 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joanne P
3 contributions
Oct 2022 • Couples
Great wildlife experience and safaris with our guide Jordan. The food was excellent and all staff members were very professional and kind. The accommodations were top notch.
Written 25 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear JoannepH3226SR Thank you very much for your positive review and rating, it is truly appreciated. We are very happy to hear that you had a wonderful stay at Sanbona and look forward to welcoming you back soon. Kind regards, the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Team
Written 1 November 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

hanns b
hout bay398 contributions
Nov 2021
First I was a bit reluctant, private game reserves are often big zoos rather than wild. But Sanbona is different, the emphasis is on wildlife conservation, something that our guide Jordan brought across to us. I have learned a lot. And the staff at Dwyka Tented Camp are great, thanks again Janice.
Written 19 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Good Morning Hanns, Thank you so much for your review! We are so pleased to read that our delivered at such a high level and that you were able to understand the true essence of what the reserve is achieving. We will pass your compliments over to the team, who are always very appreciative to hear that their hard work has been well received. Thank you, the Sanbona team.
Written 14 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MikeyA
Cape Town Central, South Africa99 contributions
Apr 2021 • Family
We had a wonderful 3 night 4 day stay at Dwyka Tented Lodge : but don’t be confused by tented... Only the roof is like a tent canopy. It’s 5 star game reserve luxury with a private view deck and jacuzzi at each room.

In an incredibly special setting, and after a short 3 hour drive from Cape Town you enter a new world. Scrubby bush, arid plains, spectacular night skies of trillions of stars. Lots of traditional game you’d expect but also wonderful rarely spotted animals like the brown hyena, with a close and upfront sighting.

Our ranger Nico was outstanding. Keen, engaged and very knowledgeable. The staff are very friendly & professional. Rooms spotless and food was all absolutely delicious.

Highly highly recommended!!
Written 4 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear KeepltSimple16 Thank you very much for your review of Dwyka Tented Lodge, it is truly appreciated. We are appreciative of the positive review and will be sure to keep the team informed of your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Kind regards, The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Team
Written 29 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Olga M
Cape Town, South Africa41 contributions
Dec 2020
Our first trip to Sanbona was as a couple and I recall that we had an amazing time. Fast forward almost 9 years with our 2 young children (7 years and younger), our Au Pair and with another family who are close friends, we found ourselves at Gondwana Family Lodge. As the lodge isn't booked on an exclusive use basis, we were admittedly a little apprehensive to say the least when we booked for 4 nights. Those who travel with young children will understand that a lot hangs on the attitudes towards, flexibility with and child friendly resources available at a location, especially when there is nothing else close by. Whilst some establishments purport to be child friendly, the truth is sometimes somewhat different which makes for a "prickly" and rather unpleasant overall experience.

Under different ownership and management, Sanbona again lived up to our previous experience and did not disappoint. Our guide Casper, who has young children of his own, was nothing short of entertaining, enthusiastic, patient and incredibly knowledgeable of the history, habitat and ecology of the area. His passion for his work, the animals, plants and conservation was very apparent and he appreciated our keen interest in all things big and small. He did his very best to deliver a personalised and memorable experience for us and our children during our game drives and in camp. We were fortunate to have a fantastic encounter with a herd of elephants during our bush lunch, were visited by a jackal in camp and sat up close and quietly with the white lions as they ate from their fresh kill.

Now onto why a rating of 4 and not 5. The lodge itself was very comfortable and safe, with sleeper couches available in each room for the children. Whilst the room was very clean when we checked in, housekeeping in the rooms for the duration of our stay was a tad shoddy for such an establishment and the food was a little disappointing in that it wasn't consistent in quality. The meals were a bit "hit and miss" in that some were delicious, and yet others were very mediocre. I also noted that whilst we were one of 5 families who were staying at the lodge during our stay, the pool towels were "recycled" in that they were folded after use and placed back on the deck chairs, after the person using the towel had vacated the deckchair and left the pool area.

Overall I would definitely recommend Sanbona Gondwana Lodge for families with both younger and older children. It truly is a gem in the harsh conditions of the Klein Karoo offering a surprising abundance of animals, varied terrain with interesting, beautiful and rare indigenous plants, fossils, bushman paintings in caves, topped off with stunning sunsets all within a very delicate ecosystem that has been thoughtfully rehabilitated following years of cattle and sheep farming in the area. The area really has a very magical feel to it.
Written 13 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Olga, Thank you so much for taking the time to review Sanbona and the positive feedback. We are very pleased to hear that the experience matched your previous stay and that overall you enjoyed the facilities and experience . Thank you for the feedback around some of the hospitality elements, we sincerely value all feedback to ensure that we are refining our offerings, we will be sure to take these comments onboard. We hope to welcome you and your family back for a third time in the near future. Have a lovely festive time together and stay safe. The Sanbona team.
Written 22 December 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JenCC
Cape Town Central, South Africa29 contributions
Oct 2020 • Friends
Sanbona continues to meet and exceed expectations... Beautiful setting - loved the flowers, knowledgeable rangers, friendly team, excellent service, comfortable accommodation. We'll be back again!
Written 25 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review our special property. We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your time with us, we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future. Until then, keep well and stay safe. With warm regards, The Sanbona team.
Written 22 December 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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SANBONA WILDLIFE RESERVE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Sanbona Wildlife Reserve