In the heart of the Klein Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Cheetahs.jpg

Raw Beauty and Boundless Plains

A wilderness sanctuary in the malaria-free Western Cape

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.


Seated at the foot of the Warmwaterberg Mountain Range in the heart of South Africa’s Little Karoo, Sanbona pays tribute to the San people who made this arid environment their home for centuries.  Sanbona has an alluring atmosphere of stillness, an air of isolation amid the raw beauty and boundless plains. Sanbona and the spirit of the San people welcomes you.

Each luxury lodge operate independently, each of which being fully staffed with their own management team, chef brigade, hosts and hostesses and experienced field guides.

sanbona_guest_rock art.jpg

Weather permitting, dinner arrangements alternate between the in and outdoor facilities.  Each option at Sanbona offers a unique and enriching experience under the African sky.

Sabona-Wildlife Giraffe.jpg

For a relaxing, yet envigorating experience and adventure, you choose the luxury lodge that best suits your travelling needs at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

The Lodges at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Tilney Manor

Tilney Manor Aerial.jpg


Offers privacy, tranquillity and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and plains. The historical Tilney Manor is a lush oasis within carefully laid out indigenous gardens.  Tilney does not allow children 12 years and younger (see Gondwana Family Lodge below).


Tilney Manor at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve consists of 3 separate units including 6 large open plan suites, each opening onto private verandas overlooking breathtaking views of undulating mountains and plains. This lush oasis setting of Tilney Manor is surrounded by carefully laid out indigenous gardens.

Luxury Suites

Tilney Manor consists of six large open-plan suites, each opening onto their own private verandas. overlooking breathtaking views of undulating mountains and plains. This lush oasis setting of Tilney Manor is surrounded by carefully laid out indigenous gardens.

tilney_manor_room_interior_2016_option tilney_manor_bathroom_2016_5
All suites can sleep a maximum of 2 adults per suite.  6 King or Twin Bedded Luxury SuitesSanbona Wildlife Reserve 2016
Rim-flow swimming pool
Relaxation Retreat with 2 therapy rooms, steam room and sauna
Lounge with fire place and television with satellite channels
Perimeter electric fence
In and outdoor dining facilities


Dwyka Tented Lodge

dwyka_tented_lodge_exterior.jpgSet in a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine and concealed by striking rock formations, the eco-friendly Dwyka Tented Lodge epitomises an atmosphere of secluded luxury.                                                       Sanbona Exteriors 24.jpg

At Dwyka Tented Lodge beautifully appointed tents in a vast and hidden landscape.  Dwyka Tented Lodge is surrounded by awe-inspiring rock formations which was once the home of ancient San hunters. Situated on a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine.



Luxury Tents

Beautifully appointed tents exude an atmosphere of pioneering adventure in a vast and hidden landscape.

All luxury tents can sleep a maximum of 2 adults per tent
9 King or Twin Bedded Luxury Tents
• Comfort cooling/heating
• En-suite bathroom, shower, twin basins and free-standing bath
• Outdoor shower
• Private deck with heated jacuzzis
• Private minibar
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• International dial telephone
• Electronic safe

No children under the age of 16 years allowed at Dwyka.

dwyka_Tented lodge.jpg

Gondwana Family Lodge

Overlooking the Bellair Dam, and resembling a typical thatched Karoo homestead, Gondwana Lodge has been designed for families.  Children of all ages are entertained with the exciting Kids on Safari programme.gondwana_pool_2.jpg


Gondwana Family Lodge at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve overlooks the Bellair Dam and resembles a typical thatched Karoo homestead, offering 12 generously proportioned luxury suites, each with endless views over the plains, Anysbergmountain and beyond.



Children of all ages are welcome and will be entertained with an exciting “Kids on Safari”program at Gondwana Family Lodge.





Suites can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults sharing with 1 child, subject to availability of rooms with sleeper couch

6 Suites on ground floor with private deck
• 6 Twin or King Bedded Luxury Suites with sleeper couch

6 Suites upstairs with private balcony/viewing deck
• 6 Twin or King Bedded Luxury Suites with sleeper couch

• Air conditioning
• Under floor heating
• Private minibar
• Private deck or balcony
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Electronic safe
• International dial telephone
• En-suite bathroom with shower, free standing bath and twin basins

Sanbona Explorer Camp



An authentic walking adventure to explore the Karoo while boasting a true camping experience by sleeping in mobile luxuriously appointed tents around a camp-fire. The camp is located within a beautifully shaded thicket in the heart of the reserve.


Sanbona Explorer at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

Walking & camping in the 58 000 hectare wilderness sanctuary of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the heart of the Little Karoo! Previously home to the San People where one can experience the Legacy of the Bushman in the beauty of their Rock Art.  Surrounded by ancient volcanic mountains & endless vistas, the guide will enhance the experience with birding, cultural history & other natural history of the area.

This unique walking experience is ideal for guests looking for an adventurous and authentic option offering an ambiance of a tented bush camp.  The camp is located in a superbly shaded river line, north east of the reserve and approximately 30 minutes drive from Dwyka Tented Lodge.

This is a flexible experience for guests to experience and explore the Sanbona Karoo – in breaking the rigidity of travel needs, simplified towards going back to basics.

This explorer camp reflects the original safari of being on foot and sleeping around the fire at night within the comfort of a mobile tent.


Mobile Canvas Tents

Mobile canvas (camping) tents sleeping a maximum of 2 people each.

Tent details:
2 x Fold out aluminium stretchers with sheets, duvets and pillows.
1 x Three tier cupboard (small).
1 x LED light for night time use.
1 x Outside hand basin (warm water is supplied on request or at first light in the morning).
En-suite bio box toilet (portable).
1 x Hammock nestled away under ancient Schotia trees.
Guest amenities include insect repellent, toilet paper, towels, tissues, sanitary bags as well as bio-degradable shower gel and shampoo.


Walking & Game Drives on Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

This explorer camp reflects the original safari of being on foot and sleeping around the fire at night within the comfort of a mobile tent.
Guests will enjoy walks through the magnificent Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, whereby their guide will enhance their experience with birding, cultural history and other natural history of the area.

Experience your ultimate, malaria-free, luxury safari at the Western Cape’s premier wildlife destination.

Activities and Services


Game Drives

Sanbona Sundowner.jpg

Interactive game drives, lasting up to 3 hours, take place in the tranquil moods of sunrise and sunset.  Guests are guided by your game ranger in an open game viewing vehicle and you are asked to share any particular interests with their ranger who will try to incorporate these into your game drive.  On game drives guests will enjoy a sundowner drink at sunset and coffee/tea at sunrise.  No persons under the age of 4 years are permitted to join game drives.


Sanbona Game Drive.jpg

Guided Nature Walks

Discover the spirit of the Little Karoo on foot and see the many treasures on the Reserve.
An optional walk with the guidance of a ranger can be arranged to cater for individual needs.  From gentle strolls, taking in the breath-taking beauty of the indigenous fauna and flora, to challenging trails discovering isolated vistas, reveal the beauty of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.
Be it a gentle walk, or challenging trail to a secluded rock pool which invites one to submerge into its invigorating bliss and then returning to your lodge for a scrumptious meal, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve has all of this and much more to offer.

sanbona_guest_game walk.jpg

Relaxation Retreats

At Sanbona’s 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 Sanbona overlook ancient rock formations and undulating mountains and plains. While the rejuvenating forces of nature cradle one’s spirit, a wide range of world-class treatments and holistic modalities is offered to balance and energise the guests being.  Step into the privacy of Sanbona’s tranquil retreats – let the gentle atmosphere envelop and embrace your body, mind and soul …

Sanbona Boat Safari

The Sanbona boat safari experience adds to the many other unique experiences on offer in this Karoo wilderness reserve.

Sanbona Boat.jpg
The boat is called, Peregrine, named after the Peregrine Falcon, which is a bird of prey in the falcon family.  Peregrine takes guests on a ‘water safari’ on the impressive Bellair Dam situated in the middle of this vast reserve in order to reach what has been, up to now, unchartered territory.  It presents guests with a new experience and perspective of the Big 5 wildlife, marine and birdlife.

Peregrine is able to navigate through even shallow waters and offer access to most areas of the dam.  It seats 12 guests in utter style while they enjoy either an early morning or a sunset cruise, which forms part of a game drive, weather permitting.

One of the highlights on the boat safari is to possibly get up close to a pod of hippo, which can be spotted bathing in the dam.

The Bellair Dam was built almost 100 years ago and bird watching is incredibly prolific as more than 40 species of birdlife flock to the dam alone.  Guests get a chance to see the ‘newly built’ dam wall and on a hot summer’s day swim whilst enjoying vistas that are only found in the Karoo.

Peregrine can also be booked for sole use, at an additional cost, for guests that may be celebrating a special occasion such as an anniversary or honeymoon or simply to enjoy some private time on the dam during their stay.

Fauna & Flora at Sanbona

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve has 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.

Sanbona Guest Experience 16.jpg

Approximately half of the reserve used to be livestock and agricultural farms and all aspects of farming are systematically being removed.  There are various floral kingdoms that make up the Reserve.  These include Acacia Thickets, Nama, Karoo, Renosterveld, Succulent Karoo and Central Mountain Fynbos.  Succulents are especially varied and fascinating with names like Baby’s Bottoms, Ostrich Toes and Pig’s Ears.

Animals that roamed the area freely living amongst the San but were eradicated are being reintroduced.  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 will 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.

Rock Art at Sanbona

The San people of Africa 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.

Sanbona Cave.png

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. During their travels, members of the group would congregate around a communal fire, weaving stories and celebrating the gift of life while the Shaman would meditate through rhythmic dancing, singing and clapping and while in a trance, receive visions and guidance.  This medicine man or woman would ensure the well being of the tribe, protecting them from evil and sickness, predicting the future and ensuring good hunting and rains.  Certain animals such as the Praying Mantis and the Eland were honoured and revered and were considered to have great spiritual powers.

Rock Art.jpg

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.

Preserving the Past

Some of the only evidence that remains of this way of life is depicted through this delicate rock art.  This makes Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, not only a leading destination for an African experience, but a national treasure in terms of heritage.

Stargazing at Sanbona

With the absence of artificial light, the stargazing at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is phenomenal and amongst the best in Southern Africa.


Interpretations about the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere are given by knowledgeable guides.  Romantic stories of gods and goddesses banished to the heavens are woven into astronomical facts and unfolds before one’s eyes.  Discover the ancient myths of the stories told by the San about their visions of the stars.

How better to end a blissful day at Sanbona but to sit reflecting under the star studded-canopy of African skies, the vastness of infinite galaxies stretching before one.


As custodians of 58 000 hectares of vastly diverse and sensitive landscape within the Little Karoo, responsibility is bestowed upon us to preserve and develop sustainably. Conservation management is the foundation on which Sanbona was established, and will always be a priority. Sanbona has been a pioneer of conservation, reserve development and eco-tourism of this scope within the Western Cape. Our dedicated Wildlife Department consists of:

  • Wildlife veterinarians
  • Ecologists
  • Conservation managers
  • Security operatives
  • Field staff

Together, Sanbona manage the unique ecosystem and ensure that they achieve their objectives, while preserving and refining the ecological, commercial, and social integrity of the area.


All images and content are credited to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

O’Live To Travel (Pty) Ltd  ©2019