Umukumbe Safari Lodge - Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Umkumbe Safari Lodge is located in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, considered by many to be the premier wildlife reserve in South Africa. Located on the banks of the seasonal Sand River, Umkumbe Safari Lodge is perfectly situated in one of the best Big Five game viewing destinations in Africa. The reserve is home to the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), as well as cheetah, wild dog and hundreds of other species of animals, birds and plants indigenous to the area. 

Umkumber Safari Lodge - Quick Overview

QUICK FACTS
Location Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve Child Policy No Children under 5 years
Malaria area Yes Pool Yes - at the main area only
Big 5 game reserve Yes Spa No
Off Road Driving Yes (for Big 5 Sightings only) Air-conditioner Yes
Camp Fenced No Cellphone Signal Yes
Getting there 6 hour drive from Johannesburg to the lodge. Fly from Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town to Nelspruit, Johannesburg/Cape Town to Hoedspruit or Skukuza Airport and get a road transfer to the camp. Accommodation Type 7 x Standard Chalets
5 x Superior Suites

What people say about a Sabi Sands Safari

Dmitri S May 5, 2017 New York City, New York
“An amazing experience at Sabi Sabi”  

We just came back from our first ever safari trip. We went not knowing what to expect. However, after just one or two drives,

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“An amazing experience at Sabi Sabi”  
Dmitri S    May 5, 2017    New York City, New York   

We just came back from our first ever safari trip. We went not knowing what to expect. However, after just one or two drives, you get into a routine and by the end of our trip we were "experts". Sabi Sabi was the third reserve we stayed in on this trip.

Luxurious accommodations, exceptional service and friendliness of the staff were distinctive features of this lodge. The morning drives (you receive wake-up call at 5:30am) started with a coffee/juice and light refreshments, just to wake everyone up. The tiredness from such an early rise wares off pretty quickly as you breathe the fresh air of the African savannah. After all groups got into their respective trucks, we were off to see the sunrise and find any animals that are active at this hour. A huge part of the enjoyment depends on the rangers and trackers that go with you on all the drives. These guys are real experts and very often were able to lead us to a particular animal we wanted to see just by following their footprints. We were lucky to have Lazarus and Creamson as our ranger and tracker, respectively. They had patience and knowledge to follow animals and to show us amazing scenes. For example, we saw how leopard was feeding on an antelope carcass sitting on the tree and hyenas were under that tree waiting for pieces of meat to fall down. Or we saw how a pack of wild dogs were coming back from the hunt, one of them carrying a boar's head in its jaws.
After the 3hrs morning drive you come back to the reserve where a wonderful breakfast awaits prepared fresh to the order. After that you have a down time when you can relax in the spa, go to the beautiful outdoor pool or just sit on the porch and view the animals coming to a water hole not far from the property. Don’t forget your binoculars! They will enhance your animal spotting.
The afternoon drive started at 4pm and continued for over 3 hrs again. Gourmet dinner was served hot buffet style with chef coming to each table and talking about that evening selections. If you come as a family with small kids, this particular reserve provides wonderful and secure play area. Since my kids were older, they were not that interested, but we heard quite a few happy voices from the playground. Our overall experience at Sabi Sabi was superb, and we would wholeheartedly recommend it to any of our friends.

Czerno via tripadvisor May 2, 2017 Johannesburg, South Africa
“Fantastic Bush Experience”  

Our family just spend 3 days in the Cottage.
The safaris were outstanding led by our intelligent and passionate guide Michael.

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“Fantastic Bush Experience”  
Czerno via tripadvisor    May 2, 2017    Johannesburg, South Africa   

Our family just spend 3 days in the Cottage.
The safaris were outstanding led by our intelligent and passionate guide Michael. We saw so much and learnt so much in the "Land That Time Forgot". Leopard with Waterbuck kill, wild dogs, Lion and Elephant swimming and wrestling in a dam and so much more!!
The camp manager Gary was so welcoming and friendly. His enthusiasm for the bush is infectious. Thanks for a wonderful time in a special place.
Also thanks for arranging a truly unique bat sighting!!!!
Stayed May 2017, travelled with family

Stacy C via tripadvisor May 2, 2017 United Kingdom
“Felt like home, but better”  

We absolutely loved this resort. The staff is so warm and welcoming, the rooms and public areas are beautifully and comfortably decorated,

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“Felt like home, but better”  
Stacy C via tripadvisor    May 2, 2017    United Kingdom   

We absolutely loved this resort. The staff is so warm and welcoming, the rooms and public areas are beautifully and comfortably decorated, the food was delicious (I'm a San Francisco foodie pescetarian and absolutely loved the food/presentation), and the game drives were unforgettable. Don't miss the bush walk--we walked through a field of butterflies, saw all kinds of animal tracks, and enjoyed a different view of the landscape we'd been driving through all week. I would also highly recommend visiting the Thornybush Community Project gardens with Gavin, where some of the beautiful food served in Sabi Sand resorts is grown by local women as part of a community collective. We also visited a school, which had an incredible impact on us. I loved Simbambili--a little piece of my heart is still there

Meohmy68 via tripadvisor April 29, 2017 London, United Kingdom
“Good to be back!”  

A wonderful visit that was nothing short of perfect. Amazing game sightings, the best I've had (and it is always good),

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“Good to be back!”  
Meohmy68 via tripadvisor    April 29, 2017    London, United Kingdom   

A wonderful visit that was nothing short of perfect. Amazing game sightings, the best I've had (and it is always good), our Ranger and Tracker were great fun and very knowledgable, the staff were on the ball and the atmosphere and mood relaxed and attentive. My 6th visit, and great that Ulusaba is back to its best, thank you!

podrozniczka60 via tripadvisor April 27, 2017 New Jersey, USA
“Absolutely the best experience.”  

Highly recommended. Amazing in many ways. Great safari experience. Unsurpassed food. Kind staff. Two safaris a day for three days.

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“Absolutely the best experience.”  
podrozniczka60 via tripadvisor    April 27, 2017    New Jersey, USA   

Highly recommended. Amazing in many ways. Great safari experience. Unsurpassed food. Kind staff. Two safaris a day for three days. One extra walking safari midday. Excellent game viewing. Night time star gazing by the fire. Trip to the village. Great amenities. Boma, Observation points. Nice little library. The staff will walk you to your cabin at night. Our first time here was 2006 but this is the place to come for the best safari lodge experience.
This is the place to come back to.

Mrs V via tripadvisor April 23, 2017 Hobart, Australia
“Couldn't have been better!”  

My daughter and I spent 3 nights at Notten's in April 2017 and we loved everything about it! We loved the fact that we were teamed up with the same driver/tracker/four other guests in the same car over the course of all the days - we had such fun together and really got involved in trying to spot the animals.

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“Couldn't have been better!”  
Mrs V via tripadvisor    April 23, 2017    Hobart, Australia   

My daughter and I spent 3 nights at Notten's in April 2017 and we loved everything about it! We loved the fact that we were teamed up with the same driver/tracker/four other guests in the same car over the course of all the days - we had such fun together and really got involved in trying to spot the animals. And we were rewarded with multiple leopard sightings and the other big 5, as well as all the other beautiful animals - zebra, giraffes, kudu, impala etc - and many birds. The rooms - including outdoor shower, dining area, food, pool, gift shop, massage, the lovely candle light (and lack of electric lighting) and special sundowner by the river were all fabulous. We felt so relaxed and welcomed. The staff were professional and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble. They went the extra mile to engage with my 9 year old daughter. This place suited us perfectly. It was top class without being pretentious. Worth every penny - and actually better value than some other lodges. Recommended without hesitation. We hope to return one day. Thank you to all - Dale, Suzie, Gift, Desmond, Tulani, Riddent, Joe and everyone else (sorry if names are miss-spelt).

Stayed April 2017, travelled with family

bscyb via tripadvisor April 18, 2017 Maennedorf, Switzerland
“A continuation of the dream”  

After spending 2 nights at the Dulini River Lodge we spent 2 nights at the Dulini Lodge. Even though both Lodges are in the same Reserve and very close they offer a different athmosphere.

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“A continuation of the dream”  
bscyb via tripadvisor    April 18, 2017    Maennedorf, Switzerland   

After spending 2 nights at the Dulini River Lodge we spent 2 nights at the Dulini Lodge. Even though both Lodges are in the same Reserve and very close they offer a different athmosphere. The Dulini Lodge gives you a stronger "Africa feeling" in terms of decoration and setup in my view.

The bungalows are very spacious and well equipped.The welcome is kind and warm and the staff is amazing. They provided me with a special birthday dinner which made the stay even more memorable.

The game drives with the Ranger Fred and our tracker May where an experience. We saw a lot and as haveing been on Safari before we received so much more indepth information since we did not have to worry about seeing all the big 5 (which we saw anyway).

Will try to be back whenever possible

DillonHampshire_UK via tripadvisor April 12, 2017 Hampshire,UK
“Absolutely fantastic”  

Everything wonderful, just come back from part of Titan Tour. We saw the big five and so much more. Couldn't fault it and would love to go back.

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“Absolutely fantastic”  
DillonHampshire_UK via tripadvisor    April 12, 2017    Hampshire,UK   

Everything wonderful, just come back from part of Titan Tour. We saw the big five and so much more. Couldn't fault it and would love to go back. You have to be there to believe how good it is, and how close you get to what is after all wild animals. I could have almost touched one of the lions we saw!!

EvMe via tripadvisor April 3, 2017 Lillehammer, Norway
“Perfect place for safari”  

This was a perfect place for a safari. We stayed in one of the two suites, and this was perfect.

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“Perfect place for safari”  
EvMe via tripadvisor    April 3, 2017    Lillehammer, Norway   

This was a perfect place for a safari. We stayed in one of the two suites, and this was perfect. The game drives were so exiting. Of 8 game drives we saw leopards at 7 of them.
The staff were so friendly and helpful. The food was nice. The skills of the tracker and ranger was fantastic. It was so nice to follow how they read the tracks in the sand and bushes. We saw the big 5 and a lot more. If would go back? YES

angiep389 via tripadvisor March 19, 2017 Windermere, United Kingdom
“Look no further”  

If you are planning a trip to S.A. And want to spend time in the bush, then Sabi Sands is a must.

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“Look no further”  
angiep389 via tripadvisor    March 19, 2017    Windermere, United Kingdom   

If you are planning a trip to S.A. And want to spend time in the bush, then Sabi Sands is a must. We have been travelling to to South Africa every year for the past 12 years and stayed at many game reserves including the Krugar many times. This year we saved up hard and achieved our dream, to stay in Sabi Sands. All that I can say it's Well Worth every penny, the reserve is just something else! It's the best and it's a must, forget the rest push the the boat out and and stay at in Sabi Sands.. We chose Elephant Plains due to our budget. It was wonderful food fantastic, staff brilliant, service first class.
We saw the big five for the the first time in 12 years....
So if you are looking for a safari holiday then look no further this place is the best.
Memories we will never forget.

Raymondo84 via tripadvisor March 8, 2017 London, UK
“Breathtaking scenery, service and amazing experience.”  

I don't usually write reviews however, I travelled to Lion Sands with my girlfriend in March 2017, it was her birthday and I was planning to propose.

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“Breathtaking scenery, service and amazing experience.”  
Raymondo84 via tripadvisor    March 8, 2017    London, UK   

I don't usually write reviews however, I travelled to Lion Sands with my girlfriend in March 2017, it was her birthday and I was planning to propose. From the moment the booking was made until the last minute we left the location the service was impecable.

Twirly72 via tripadvisor February 16, 2017 Stockholm - Sweeden
“A memory for a lifetime”  

I can´t stop thinking about my visit at Arathusa. Just want to go back. It was so amazing in every way.

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“A memory for a lifetime”  
Twirly72 via tripadvisor    February 16, 2017    Stockholm - Sweeden   

I can´t stop thinking about my visit at Arathusa. Just want to go back. It was so amazing in every way. The lodgin itself was so nice and luxury, the food excellent and you really had everything you could possible need.

stuBamville via tripadvisor February 12, 2017 London, United Kingdom
“You will not be disappointed...its amazing”  

It's hard to put into words what a wonderful place this is , even before you arrive the staff are extremely helpful with information and when you arrive they make you feel part of the lodge community not just a guest (truly welcoming).

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“You will not be disappointed...its amazing”  
stuBamville via tripadvisor    February 12, 2017    London, United Kingdom   

It's hard to put into words what a wonderful place this is , even before you arrive the staff are extremely helpful with information and when you arrive they make you feel part of the lodge community not just a guest (truly welcoming).

The staff are genuinely interested in your adventure and happiness joining in stories and experiences of each game drive .Be prepared for the early starts 5.30 am game drive however believe me this is the best time of the day to see the animals and is a magical time to see the bush. The lodge and rooms are to a very high standard with all rooms having great views and the best bit being no fences !!!! YOU REALLY ARE IN THE BUSH 🙂 .
This is without doubt a luxury Safari

Brett S via tripadvisor January 30, 2017 Melbourne, Australia
“Leopards, lions, many elephants and much more!”  

I cannot express how great my experience was at Idube, I have a lifetime of memories from the 4 nights we stayed there.

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“Leopards, lions, many elephants and much more!”  
Brett S via tripadvisor    January 30, 2017    Melbourne, Australia   

I cannot express how great my experience was at Idube, I have a lifetime of memories from the 4 nights we stayed there. Highly recommended.



Umkumbe Safari Lodge – Sabi Sands Game Reserve – Information

Umkumbe is a rustically elegant lodge in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. Sabi Sands covers about 65 000 hectares of pristine wilderness bordering the Kruger National Park. It is an area of unrivalled wildlife diversity, and there are no barriers between the private reserve and the park. The lodge’s location on the banks of the Sand River offer a plethora of water related birds, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians to be seen.

Umkumbe Safari Lodge is an owner run and managed family friendly lodge. The small, secluded lodge offers its guests an intimate and personal safari experience.

Umkumbe Safari Lodge accommodates a maximum of fourteen guests in seven spacious chalets, all with splendid views of the surrounding bushveld. All of the chalets have spacious en-suite bathrooms, six with a shower and one with a bath and shower. The chalets have either twin or double beds, draped in flowing mosquito nets. Furnishings are tasteful and comfortable, creating a refined homely atmosphere.

Four of the chalets have inter-leading doors, making them ideal for families or groups of friends. Most of the chalets have verandahs and glorious river views.

Sabi Sands is home to a huge diversity of plants and wildlife, which includes the Big Five, cheetah and wild dog. Night drives may reveal some of the many nocturnal species such as honey badger, bush baby, porcupine, genet, bat-eared fox, and aardvark. Leopard sightings are also more frequent after dark.

Birdlife is prolific, with recordings of about 350 species in the Sabi Sands Reserve. These include the renowned 'Big Six', namely Ground hornbill, Martial eagle, Saddle-billed stork, Pel's fishing owl, Kori bustard and Lappet faced vulture. A variety of night jars and owls can be spotted after dark.

• Children of all ages welcome.
• Children under 12 pay 50% of the adult rate.
•​ Children 12 and over pay the full adult rate.
From Johannesburg/Pretoria:

Take the N12 or N4 highway respectively to Witbank / eMalahleni (from Johannesburg Airport, follow signs to Boksburg to find the N12). Follow the N4 highway past Middleburg (Toll Plaza), Belfast / eMakhazeni and Machadodorp (Toll Plaza). Follow the Schoemanskloof option on the N4 towards Nelspruit / Mbombela. At Nelspruit / Mbombela, turn left onto the R40 to White River. In White River, at the first set of traffic lights in the town itself, turn left, following signs to Hazyview and Wildtuin / Kruger National Park. At the next set of traffic lights, turn right. Cross over the next set of traffic lights and then at the final set, with a Caltex garage on your right, turn left on the R40 for Hazyview (the R538, via the Numbi Gate, is a busy road and not recommended). After approximately 45 km, you will go down a steep hill towards a T-junction. Turn left, staying on the R40 and drive towards Hazyview and follow as per the below.

From Hazyview:

Proceed through Hazyview until you reach a set of traffic lights with a thatched shopping centre on the corner. Turn here onto the Paul Kruger Road which will be signposted Kruger Gate and the R536. Continue along this road for approximately 34.5 km and on the left-hand side of the road, you will see lodge signboards for various lodges including Inyati, Idube, Exeter and Savanna. Go past these, and approximately 3 km further on, on the left-hand side of the road, you will see signposts for the private game reserves of MalaMala, Sabi Sabi and Londolozi. Turn left here onto the gravel road.

Travel for approximately 8.5 km and you will get to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve Shaw’s Gate. For all visitors, there is a cash entrance fee payable from 1st October 2010 of R20 per person (subject to change) to enter the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is payable at the entrance gate. Self-drive visitors must ALSO pay a R110 per vehicle entrance fee, also payable in cash at the entrance gate. Please retain your receipt as proof of entrance and have it stamped at your destination when you are leaving, which acts as your Exit Permit. Once inside the gate, follow the signs to the lodge through the reserve. Allow between 30-50 minutes to drive from the gate to the lodge.

Do not get out of your car until you reach the lodge. You may see some wildlife on your way – if you do, slow down and maintain a good distance. Do not drive off-road in any circumstances.

From Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport:

Turn right out of the airport onto the R538 and follow the signs to White River (Witrivier). Continue for approximately 12 km, until you reach the first set of traffic lights in White River, with the mosque on your left. Turn right and travel towards Hazyview on the R40. After approximately 45 km, you will go down a steep hill towards a T-junction. Turn left, staying on the R40 and follow the directions from Hazyview as above.

Enquiry Form - Umkumbe Safari Lodge













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