Big Five Safari Lodge in Sabi Sands

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. The phrase “Big Five” was coined by hunters of yesteryear – before the advent of the photographic safari – and refers to the animals considered the most dangerous to hunt. Umkumbe Safari Lodge offers guests exciting photographic safaris, and there is no better destination to photograph lions and leopards than the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve.

Expert rangers will ensure that your safari experience is truly memorable. Each day begins with an early morning safari game drive. In the late afternoon guests head out on another game drive and return after dark, offering guests exhilarating night game drives as well! Optional bush walks are offered every day after breakfast/brunch.

Umkumbe Safari Lodge is owner managed and run; ensuring guests enjoy a personal, rustic and real South African safari experience. The lodge consists of seven chalets/rooms with most overlook the Sand River. Guests regularly see elephants, hippos, buffalo and antelope grazing in the river bed. Additional facilities include a swimming pool, lounge, bar and dining area and the traditional boma, where guests will be served delicious and hearty South African meals.

The lodge is easily accessible via either a self drive from Johannesburg, or by flying into the closest airport which is Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) in Nelspruit. The self drive takes 6 hours from Johannesburg on good, safe roads. The flight takes approximately 1 hour. Road transfers from KMIA to Umkumbe can be arranged and take approximately 2 hours.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Big Five safari lodge in the Sabi Sands! 

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Guest Reviews

A wonderful trip

"We had a wonderful trip! It was everything we wanted and more!

It made our vacation extra special, we all agreed that it was the most wonderful stay after two hard weeks in the bush.

We will be back!!"


"We had a great time staying at this lodge for 2 nights in January. The game drives were excellent and Jason (the guide) really went above and beyond to ensure we found everything there was to find in the bush. the rooms were compfortable, the staff friendly and the food good and plentiful.

We would 100% recommend this place and will hopefully be back ourselves in the not so distant future.

Authentic bush experience

"We have recently enjoyed 3 nights at Umkumbe Safari Lodge. We have been to lodges in and around Kruger many times and chose Umkumbe because we wanted an authentic bush experience, with game drives and food provided. It is a lovely spot, with a fantastic outlook on to a river bed, where we frequently saw buffalo, elephant and other animals. The rooms are clean and quite comfortable, and the food is hearty and tasty. The game drives were good. I wouldn't recommend this lodge for someone wanting luxury accommodation and gourmet meals, but it is a good place for people who enjoy chilling in the bush and want a cut above the more basic lodges in Kruger. It is good value compared to similar lodges."

Great game drives...need I say more!?!

"I had a short two nights here and Loved every minute. The game drives were excellent the accomodations were clean and comfortable with ac. The honor bar was appreciated in the society of mis-trust we live in now. It was an incredible deal in comparison to the other Sabi resorts!"