At the foot of the 350 million year old Warmwaterberg Mountains, in the heart of the Little Karoo, lies the Cape’s premier wildlife destination, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. This arid, stark landscape, home to the San for centuries, has an alluring tranquillity and raw beauty.
Just three hours’ drive from Cape Town along the scenic Route 62, Sanbona sprawls across 54 000 hectares of rugged mountains and vast plains. Sanbona is home to an impressive variety of succulents, birds and wildlife, including the only free-roaming white lions in the world.
The Sanbona Explorer Camp is a unique on-foot safari experience, offering adventurous guests an authentic option to immerse themselves into nature while camping in the bush around a campfire. Trekking through the awe-inspiring landscape is a great way to experience Sanbona’s beauty, just as the San did centuries ago, yet still receive 5 star treatment. The camp is located in a shaded river line in the north-eastern section of the reserve, just 30 minutes’ drive from Dwyka tented Lodge.
The Explorer Camp operates during the summer months with the first trail in October and the last trail at the end of April.
The camp consists of three mobile canvas tents, each sleeping a maximum of two people on aluminium stretchers. The tents, although in fairly close proximity to one another, are placed to ensure privacy. The camp is unfenced, ensuring guests a true safari experience. Wild animals may cross through the camp at any time. Each tent has a private en-suite bio- toilet, and there are two solar heated showers, which are shared by all guests.
Sanbona comprises three major biomes, Succulent Karoo, Thicket & Fynbos, which provide habitats for a great diversity of plants, birds, and animals. The walking safari affords guests the opportunity to get up close to game in areas of the reserve inaccessible by vehicle. Participants frequently encounter some or all of the Big Five whilst on foot. Specialities of the reserve include the only free-roaming self-sustaining white lions in the world, and the critically endangered and highly elusive Riverine Rabbit, which is the thirteenth most endangered mammal in the world and the second most critically endangered species in South Africa. Participants may encounter the several endemic tortoise species of the reserve, as well as the Dwarf Blue butterfly, the second smallest butterfly in the world.
The reserve is home to a variety of large and small antelope, zebra and wildebeest, giraffe, hippo, cheetah, and small game such as black-backed jackal and caracal. Late afternoon and early morning hikes provide the opportunity to see nocturnal creatures, such as the aardwolf, brown hyena and porcupine.
Over 200 bird species have been identified in the reserve, which has important raptor nesting sites, including that of the Verreaux’s Eagle. African Fish Eagles, breeding pairs of majestic Black Eagles and Black Harrier are regularly sighted. Other interesting bird species include the world’s largest bird, the ostrich, the Cinnamon-breasted Warbler seen only at dawn, the Booted Eagle, the Namaqua Sandgrouse and the Southern Grey Tit, with its thirteen different calls. The Bellair Lake provides a wetland habitat for a myriad of water birds, including kingfishers, Black-necked Grebe, Black-winged Stilts, and Maccoa Duck.
- Game Drives
- Guided walks
- Game drives
• Persons younger than 16 or older than 60 are not permitted at the Explorer Camp.
• The Explorer Camp is sold as a two night weekend package, departing Fridays.
• Rates include accommodation, all meals, and all guided walks.
• Guests require a reasonable level of fitness as walking safaris may be up to four hours in duration.
• Medical and dietary requirements must be communicated when booking.
• A single supplement applies if only one person occupies a tent.