Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

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Sanbona is a simply stunning reserve – vast and with so little accommodation that you’ll feel like you have the whole Karoo to yourself. This really is a retreat and the lodges build on this. Tilney Manor has just six rooms in a Cape Georgian manor house, and doesn’t permit children so is perfect for a romantic getaway. Dwyka Tented Lodge is also adults-only, and its 9 tented suites are strung along the base of a towering cliff where African Black Eagles soar on thermals and baboons roost. Gondwana Lodge takes families and has a children’s playroom  as well as a small interpretive trail, all within an electric perimeter fence. The food and wine lists at all three lodges are superb, the rangers fantastic and knowledgeable. Sanbona is not a place to come to see the Big Five; the game here is not as dense as somewhere like the Kruger, although you do stand a good chance of seeing the resident white rhinos. Sanbona is more about an amazing sense of space, learning about the plants, flowers and less “headline” wildlife. It feels like an incredible privilege to be in the middle of this vast, craggy landscape and know that it is slowly being returned to its natural state.

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