Leopards on Game Drive
High prevelance of leopards in Sabi
Balcony Views from Suites
Sweeping views of the Sand River
Amazing Waterhole Stops
Dropping anchor on game drive

Safari in Unique Ways

Game Drives: Two game drives are offered per day, one in the morning and one in late afternoon that moves into the night. All game drives are conducted in open 4x4 game viewers, which allow for 360-degree views of wildlife and wilderness.

Sundowners and Coffee Stops: On the morning drive there is a stop for coffee and on afternoon drive you will stop for sundowners. Stops usually take place in scenic, open areas. Sundowners are drinks of your choice and are usually accompanied by a few snacks.

Morning Bush Walks: For the more energetic, each day after breakfast there is the option of a *morning bush walk, which is in ENGLISH only. The walk is weather and safari guide permitting. Walks are led by qualified guides who will introduce you to the wild from a unique angle.

Wildlife Experiences

Daily Schedule

Useful Info

When to go

Umkumbe is located in an area of South Africa that makes for a great year round safari experience. The winter months (May to September) are coldest in June and July with temperatures averaging at 5°C at night; however average daytime temperatures are around 24°C.

Temperatures during the rainy summer season average at 30°C. Summer is lush and green and is great for birding and witnessing the birth of wildlife. During the winter it’s easier to spot game because the bushveld is thin.

What to pack

The climate in the Lowveld brings the hot summer months between October and April when the rainfall is high. The dry winter months begin in May and carry on until October/ November, during which time the weather is mild during the day, and cold in the evenings and mornings.

  • Throughout the year, we recommend packing lightweight, neutral-coloured clothing with short sleeves
  • Bring sun protection in the form of sunblock, sun hats, and glasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Scarfs, jackets and gloves are needed for early mornings on game drive, especially in winter
  • Comfortable walking shoes as well as open sandals for when the weather is hot
  • Cameras and binoculars for the many wildlife sightings
  • Adaptor plug
What to expect

Whilst staying at Umkumbe Safari Lodge Riverside you can expect:

  • An affordable, simple safari lodge
  • Owner managed and run, ensuring a personal safari experience
  • An exquisite location on the banks of the Sand River
  • Wild surrounds in the Sabie Game Reserve, South Africa’s top predator rich Big 5 game reserve
  • High density of the big five
  • Expert and knowledgeable game rangers
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Hearty South African meals served in ambient settings.

What You’ll See


The Sabie Game Reserve is teeming with large predators and is home to the Big 5. Renowned for its prolific leopard sightings, Umkumbe is no stranger to regular big cat sightings. Commonly spotted predators include cheetah, lion, spotted hyena, African wild dog, honey badger, civet, side striped jackal, and caracal. There are numerous other small predators dwelling within the reserve.


The Sabie Game Reserve boasts a diverse array of mammals. It’s commonplace for guests to spot herds of elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and zebra congregating on the banks of the river. On the grounds of the lodge, you’ll often spot vervet monkey, bushbuck, bushbabies, mongoose and genet. Other mammals include rhino, hippo, kudu, impala, wildebeest, and waterbuck.


There are over 300 species of bird in the Sabie Reserve, some of which are summer migrants. The summer months of January and February are peak birding season, where it’s possible to spot local specials and migratory birds. Lifers such as Lappet-faced vultures, Martial eagles, and brown snake eagles are found throughout the reserve. Pearl-spotted owlets, southern yellow-billed hornbills, bee eaters, Bateleur eagle, pied kingfishers, and lilac breasted rollers are frequent flyers in the Sabie Reserve.

Info Brochures


Find helpful information about rates, when to travel, wildlife you can expect to see and details about the accommodation.