Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Visitors to the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve are invited to relive the legacy of the famed San people and admire the grandeur of South Africa's Little Karoo, which can be reached within a 3 hours drive from Cape Town on the Route 62. Situated at the foot of the towering Warmwaterberg Mountains in the heart of the Little Karoo, Sanbona stretches over 54 000 hectares of undulating mountains and plains, indigenous flora and fauna, rock formations and rock art.

Surrounded by towering mountains and open plains,
the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the Western Province of South Africa is home to an impressive selection of succulents and wildlife, including the Big Five and the rare free-roaming white lions.

The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, South Africa, provides five-star accommodation at three luxurious lodges: Sanbona Tilney Manor, Sanbona Dwyka Tented Lodge and Sanbona Gondwana Lodge.

The beautifully restored Tilney Manor reflects the
grace and elegance of the colonial era. Dramatically situated in a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine
and surrounded by awe-inspiring rock formations, the luxurious and secluded Dwyka Tented Lodge at the Sanbona Game Reserve displays an atmosphere of pioneering adventure in this vast landscape.

The Gondwana Lodge at Sanbona provides endless views and is suitable for families with children of all ages.

Sanbona is home to rare white lions and the big game as well as the uncommon riverine rabbit. The White Lion Project at the Sanbona Game Reserve, South Africa, aims to return white lions to the wild has been
heralded a success. This makes the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve home to the only free-roaming white lions in the world.
With 54,000 hectares, the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is one of the largest privately owned game reserves in South Africa
The Sanbona Game Reserve can easily be reached from Cape Town within 3 hours only
Sanbona is home to the only free-roaming self-sustaining White Lions in the World
Vast open plains and rugged mountains form a unique setting
The Sanbona Game Reserve is beautifully situated on the famous Route 62 and provides for an ideal safari stopover between Cape Town and the magnificent Garden Route
A large variety of endemic bird and animal life can be found here
The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve was previously home to the SAN People where one can experience the Legacy of the Bushman in the Beauty of their Rock Art
This malaria-free game reserve is the only conserved habitat for the highly endangered Riverine Rabbit (13th most endangered mammal in the world)
The vast Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is home to about 600 species of plants and it is intriguing to know that various species are flowering at different times throughout the year, although some more prolific between August and September.

The Big 5 - Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros, as well as various other species such as Gemsbok, Springbok, Hartebeest, Eland, Kudu, Black Wildebeest and Zebra, can 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.

Sanbona Tilney Manor

Tilney Manor consists of 3 separate units including 6 large open plan suites each opening onto private verandas overlooking breathtaking views of magnify-
cent of mountains and plains. The lush oasis setting of Tilney Manor is surrounded by carefully laid out indigenous gardens.

Tilney Manor at Sanbona provides the following facilities;

- Boardroom accommodating up to 12 delegates
- rim-flow swimming pool
- relaxation retreat with 2 therapy rooms, steam room and sauna
- lounge with fireplace and television with satellite channels
- perimeter electric fence
- in and outdoor dining facilities

The suites at Tilney Manor feature the following amenities;
- international dial telephone
- air conditioning
- his and her outdoor showers
- private mini-bar
- fireplace
- television
- tea and coffee making facilities
- electronic safe
- private veranda
- ensuite bathroom with shower, twin basins, free-standing bath

Sanbona Dwyka Tented Lodge

The Luxury Tents at the Dwyka Tented Lodge are situated in a horseshoe bend in the dry Karoo ravine and are surrounded by awe-inspiring rock formations. These luxurious and secluded tents exude an atmosphere of pioneering adventure in this vast and magnificent landscape.

The 9 Luxury Tents at the Sanbona Dwyka Tented Lodge provide the following features and amenities:

- 7 King Bedded and 2 Twin bedded Luxury Tents
- Indoor and outdoor showers
- Private minibars
- Private plunge pools
- Private decks
- Underfloor heating
- Air conditioning or Comfort cooling/heating
- International dial telephone
- Tea/Coffee making facilities
- En-suite bathroom
- Electronic safe
- Hairdryer
- Fitted international adaptors

The facilities available at the Sanbona Dwyka Tented Lodge are:
- Bar/Lounge with fireplace and TV
- Dining area with fireplace
- Relaxation Retreat with 2x Therapy Rooms
- Gift Boutique
- Wine Cellar
- Open Air Boma

Sanbona Gondwana Lodge

The Gondwana Lodge at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve offers endless views over the plains of Bellair Dam
and onto Anysberg-mountains. Children of all ages are welcome at the Gondwana Lodge and are entertained with the exciting "Kids on Safari" program, which is offered.

The 12 rooms and suites at the Sanbona Gondwana Lodge provide the following facilities and amenities:

- 8 King Bedded and 4 Twin bedded
- Interleading Rooms are available
- Indoor showers
- Private minibars
- Private Patio / Balcony
- Underfloor heating
- Air conditioning or Comfort cooling/heating
- International dial telephone
- Tea/Coffee making facilities
- En-suite bathroom
- Electronic safe
- Hairdryer
- Fitted international adaptors

Facilities at the Sanbona Gondwana Lodge include:

- Bar/Lounge with fireplace
- Dining area with fireplace
- Relaxation Retreat with 2 x therapy rooms & steam room
- Gift Boutique
- Swimming Pool with a shallow area
- Perimeter electric fence
- Children's playroom with TV
- Open Air Boma

Activities / daily program offered at Sanbona

Guests staying at any of the lodges at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in South Africa are welcome to join
any of the following activities during their stay: Game Drives, Nature Walks, Birdwatching, Star Gazing, Rock Art viewing, learn about Rock Formations and Features as well as Fauna & Flora and enjoy Spa Treatments.

A basic programme of events at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve which is subject to change and season depending is as follows ( please note that the
indicated times are approximate times only and may vary and are subject to change):

Day of arrival

12h00 Arrival at Sanbona Main Gate
13h00 onwards Arrival at lodges
13h00 - 15h00 Lunch is served
14h00 Check-in to room
15h00 Depart for afternoon game drive
18h30 Afternoon game drive returns to the lodge
19h00 Pre-dinner drinks
19h30 Dinner is served at the lodge

Day at Sanbona

07h00 Early morning wake up call
07h30 Morning game drive departs after tea, coffee & pastries
11h00 Morning game drive returns to breakfast at the lodge
13h00 until 15h00 Lunch is served
15h00 Depart for afternoon game drive
18h30 Afternoon game drive returns to the lodge
19h00 Pre-dinner drinks
19h30 Dinner is served at the lodge

Day of departure

07h00 Early morning wake up call
07h30 Morning game drive departs after tea, coffee & pastries
10h30 Morning game drive returns to breakfast at the lodge
11h30 Check out time and depart for Sanbona Main Gate

Wildlife at the Sanbona Game Reserve, South Africa

Traverse the landscape of the vast Sanbona Wildlife Reserve with a qualified ranger in comfortable open Landcruisers to explore South Africa's untamed
wildlife and fauna. During the drive, be it in the early morning or for sundowners, various species of plants, animals, big game and birds can be seen. Sundowner evening drives offer spectacular displays of light as
the sunsets over the Little Karoo.


The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, South Africa, has initiated an ambitious rehabilitation programme, which aims to introduce White Lions into the wild. The white lion has been virtually wiped out in the Timbavati region, where they are endemic. It is not a separate species
of a lion from the typical tawny African lion. The reserve has integrated wild tawny lions with the white lions to increase the success of the white lions to be self-sustaining and free-ranging.


The African Elephant is the world's largest land animal, and a bull elephant can reach a shoulder height of up to 4 metres and a weight of 5 - 6 tons. The Elephant's trunk enables it to feed on the ground to a height of over 6 metres - higher than a giraffe can reach. Elephants, which are home in the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, vary their diet from the trees, bushes, and grass to a range of succulents. Elephants roamed the Karoo, South Africa, in large herds up to the late
The 1700s.


The Leopard is Africa's largest spotted cat because it is stockier in build to the cheetah and serval. The average mass of a fully-grown male leopard is around 60kg and the female is considerably lighter at an average 32kg. However Leopards in the Western
Cape are known to be considerably smaller and lighter in weight, and a male may be as light as 25kg. It has a wider distribution than any of the other large cats due
to its ability to live anywhere - from rocky hills and mountain ranges to forests and semi-desert areas. Predominantly solitary, this animal hunts by stalking
and pouncing. Sightings of this magnificent cat are
very rare.

African Buffalo

The African Buffalo differs dramatically from the American Buffalo, which is referred to as Bison. The African Buffalo is similar in shape to a domestic cow, but of a larger, heavier build. Adults are black to charcoal grey whilst the young have a reddish tinge. Male and female buffalos have horns that are heavy and widely curved, with a massive boss on the males. The African Buffalo is an unselective grazer that eats leaves and grass, favouring areas with shady trees and a ready water supply

White Rhino

The White Rhino is the largest of the five rhino species. It is also referred to as the square-lipped rhino because of its broad, square muzzle designed for its feeding habits. White rhinos are grazers, preferring short-grassed areas with
cover and water. They are active any time of the day or night but tend to avoid the midday heat

Brown Hyena

The Brown Hyena is a large dog-like animal covered in a long shaggy dark brown to black pelt with tawny and white markings on the neck and shoulders. Its muzzle and face are black. The
lower limbs are striped, with longer front legs creating a sloping effect down to a bushy tail. Brown hyenas not only scavenge but feed on insects, fruit, eggs, ground-nesting birds and small mammals.

Visitors at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve have also the opportunity to view one of the following animals: Cheetah, Hippopotamus, Giraffes, Plain's Zebra, Springbok, Eland, Gemsbok, Kudu, Red Hartebeest, Black Wildebeest, Grey Rhebok, Common Duiker, Steenbok, Klipspringer, Grysbok, Ostrich, Riverine Rabbit, and the Black-backed Jackal.

Bird Watching

For the enthusiastic birdwatcher, the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a paradise as it is home to more than 200 species. There is a healthy population of raptors to be seen including African Fish Eagles, breeding pairs of majestic Black Eagles and regular sightings of Black Harrier.

Interesting birds on the Sanbona Game Reserve include the Cinnamon-breasted Warbler only seen
in the early light of dawn. The Booted Eagle in the pale form breeds well on the Reserve, while the Southern Grey Tit intrigues one with its 13 different calls. The Namaqua Sandgrouse travels up to 80kms in search of water, collecting droplets in its breast feathers, flying back to the nest to give the moisture to its chicks. Blackwinged Stilts can be viewed foraging in and around water areas.

Wellness at Sanbona: health and beauty spa

Guests are welcome to step into a soothing sanctuary at the Relaxation Retreats at Sanbona.
At the Relaxation Retreats, Mother Nature is brought indoors for indulgent pampering. The body range draws on properties from the world-famous indigenous "Fynbos" plant kingdom, eliminating toxins, soothing the soul and rejuvenating the body.

The Relaxation Retreats at the Sanbona Reserve overlook ancient rock formations and undulating mountains and plains. The Relaxation Retreats feature sauna and steam room facilities as well as a hydrobath to further enhance the relaxation experience.

Nature Walks

Visitors at Sanbona have the unique opportunity to discover the spirit of the Little Karoo on foot and to see the many treasures on the Reserve. An optional walk with the guidance of a ranger can be arranged to cater for individual needs. Gentle
strolls where one can take in the breathtaking beauty of the indigenous fauna and flora and challenging trails where one discovers isolated vistas, reveal the beauty of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

Rock art

The San people roamed the area for thousands of years until 100 years ago. The Xam tribe, the nomadic hunter-gatherers living in harmony with nature realised then that man and nature together
is sustainable. There are 7 recorded sites throughout Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, however many more can be found. Rock art sites date back to more than 3500 years and depict the spiritual beliefs and lives of these fascinating people. The only evidence that remains of these little people is the delicate rock art found on Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, their indelible footprints left of their presence in this vast landscape for generations to come.

Star Gazing

With the absence of artificial light of nearby cities, stargazing at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is extraordinary. Knowledgeable guides give interpretations about the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere. The navigational Southern Cross displays its magnificent facets such as the iridescent Jewel Box, the Coal Sack and the two pointers, Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri.

Depending on the time of year, Venus, the
Goddess of love and beauty will greet you at dawn or dusk, while Sirius, the brightest star in our heavens keeps a constant vigil. The Lord of the Rings Saturn, Jupiter and the God of War Mars and the Sky God Uranus are some of the planets that can be viewed with the naked eye.

Children at Sanbona

The Gondwana Family Lodge at Sanbona resembles a typical thatched Karoo homestead
with family rooms, children activity room, spacious lawn, outdoor play area, and swimming pool.

Upon arrival, guests will be able to discuss activity options for the family taking the family's size, children's ages and the weather into consideration. Childminding facilities are available at an additional cost for children younger than 4 years as they are too young to join game drives.

Outdoor Activities at Sanbona for families with children
An interpretive trail through the garden of the Sanbona Gondwana Lodge learning about animals which are home in the reserve
Visit the sites where the San people left their legacy on the rock faces at Sanbona, where the ranger will interpret the scene so that the children can create their own 'rock' art
the Sanbona Activity Book is educational and fun, teaching children about the wildlife at Sanbona and at the same time encouraging children to get involved in the game drives, often requiring the ranger's assistance to answer some of the questions
Children can partake in various social, sporting and art activities such as bread making, clay making activities, face painting, star gazing
Indoor Activities at Sanbona for families with children
Scrapbooks, paper, scissors, glue crayons, pencils & paints
Puzzles of varying sizes and difficulties covering a broad age range
Documentary DVD's on various conservation topics and animals, animated movies
A selection of entertaining and educational children's books
A selection of fun board games
Special Notes in regards to children at Sanbona:
Children younger than 4 years are not permitted on game drives
Childminding is done by lodge staff and can be arranged with reservation before arrival at an additional cost
All swimming activities must be supervised by parents at all times
All children activities are age and weather dependant
Conferences at the Sanbona Game Reserve, South Africa

Sanbona provides an ideal setting for a team of delegates to focus on business strategy and development without being interrupted, in a truly relaxed and inspiring environment. An entire team-building experience can be tailored to suit individual requirements, from stargazing, understanding conservation and retracing the
steps of the San people, to tracking cheetah and getting a glimpse of the white lions that call Sanbona their home.

Activities for delegates during a conference stay
at Sanbona could include :

Morning and evening game drives - including a chance to see our famous white lions
Bird watching - with more than 160 species, including Raptors, the beautiful Fish Eagle and five breeding pairs of Black Eagles
Astronomy - learn about the stars that are so clearly visible here
Archaeology - visit local archaeological sites and take part in guided 'rock art' walks
Bush survival skills training - tailor-made activities
to suit your team-building requirements
Conservation and wildlife talks
Botanical guides - to explain everything you need
to know
Health and beauty spa

Directions to the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

From Cape Town

An easy 3-hour drive, approximately 270 km from Cape Town. On commencement of the journey, travel on the N1 from Cape Town in the direction of Paarl; continuing on the N1 travel through the Huguenot Tunnel. A tollgate controls this tunnel. A tollgate fee is payable at the tunnel.

The first town is Worcester set in the Breede River Valley. Taking the second turnoff to the right into Worcester, you leave the N1 and the Route 62 (R62) is taken. Follow the signs to the town of Robertson. Once through Robertson, the next town is Ashton. Travel on through Krogmanskloof and Montagu. Continue for approximately 43 km and
turn left at "Die Vlakte" and Sanbona Wildlife Reserve sign. Please be advised that the road changes from tar to gravel and the recommended speed limit from there on is 60 km per hour. The main entrance to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is 7 km where guests will be welcomed.

From the main gate, it is a further 45 minutes to Tilney Manor, 65 minutes to Dwyka Tented Lodge and 55 minutes to Gondwana Lodge. Please follow the relevant signs in the reserve. The recommended speed limit is 40 km per hour. Do not exit your vehicle. Predators roam free.

The main gate closes at 18h00, should your arrival time be later, please advise before arrival to make arrangements. A daily transfer from the main gate to your lodge is available on request and must be booked at least 48 hours in advance.

By Air

The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve provides a private landing strip near the Bellair Dam. Air charters can be arranged with registered charter companies or private aircraft with overnight guests are welcome. Prior arrangements must be made with Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Management.


  • Air Conditioning
  • Ensuite private bathroom
  • Fireplace
  • Heater in Room
  • Housekeeping
  • Telephone

Facilities Available at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

  • Garden Terrace
  • Gift Shop
  • Hotel Bar
  • Lounge
  • Parking
  • Sun deck
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wellness centre

More Information on Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

FAQs about Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
What is the contact number for reservations?

The contact numbers to make a reservation at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve are:

•  Cape Town Reservations +27 (0) 21 794 9050
•  Durban Reservations: +27 (0) 31 941 5945
•  Johannesburg Reservations: +27 (0) 10 446 8045.

Alternatively, you can check availability and book online by clicking here.

Where is Sanbona Wildlife Reserve located?
The address of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is: Montagu, Breede Valley.