We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Winter in Sabi Sand or Timbavati? & Lodge Questions

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
18 posts
14 reviews
Save Topic
Winter in Sabi Sand or Timbavati? & Lodge Questions

Hi All,

We are going to SA in June and though these two reserves look close together, I've seen on some websites that the landscape does vary. Which is greener (if either) this time of year? I'm trying to decide between:

Tanda Tula - top of our budget. I do wonder if you can hear the animals from the tents, and if tent sleeping will be too cold in June?

Motswari- Lowest priced. It looks like some rooms have had a makeover. Have they all? But I do like that the other options are family run.

Nottens- Most people say to go to sabi sands, and this is in the middle budget wise. How does it compare to the other two options?

If anyone has any other options I'd love to hear them. Looking for small lodge, good game drives and good food. Thanks in advance!

3 replies to this topic
Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
703 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Winter in Sabi Sand or Timbavati? & Lodge Questions

Hi there NoTourBusPlease,

Timbavati and Sabi Sands are reasonably close together, less then 100km's I think, but the reserves are very different. In June however the bush wherever you go will more than likely not be very lush and green due to the onset of winter a while before and the lack of rain at that time of the year.

The truth is that both reserves are great, and all the lodges you mentioned are excellent in their own ways. You should be able to hear the animals from both tents and normal rooms/chalets etc. for example lions roaring, hyena's calling. This obviously depends on the proximity of the animals to the lodge, as well as various other factors. The tents shouldn't be too cold. The tented lodges will make provision for the drop in temp so that the guest will be comfortable. They provide extra blankets, hot water bottles etc.

There are other lodges to consider in addition to what you mentioned - Simbavati River Lodge (Timbavati), Khambaku (Timbavati) Inyati (Sabi Sands), Idube (Sabi Sands), Arathusa (Sabi Sands), Nkorho (Sabi Sands). There are others but based on your what seems to be your budget these are all lodges to consider.

Game drives will be good in most lodges in these reserves, and food is generally very good.

My feeling is that your only concern at this stage will be availability.

I hope this helps you.


Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me | South Africa

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
9,039 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Winter in Sabi Sand or Timbavati? & Lodge Questions

My son and family will be joining us in June for a stay at Serondella.. Tanda Tula is is few miles away in Timbavati and both are up the road from Hoedspruit. I just looked at weather in Hoedspruit last June.. It would be the closest weather station. Many nights it was in 30's F. Here 'tis..:


Motswari is a favorite of mine. Spent a little actual vacation time there last November. Other reasonable lodges in that area would be Kambaku, Simbambili, nThambo.

To speak of what we would think of as the mid-range lodges within Sabi Sand, I can suggest Notten's, Arathusa, nThambo, Cheetah Plains, Idube, Elephant Plains - and slightly more, Inyati.

Dave Patterson - TheAfricaSafari

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
18 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Winter in Sabi Sand or Timbavati? & Lodge Questions

Thank you both for the answers! It looks like we won't go wrong with any of these camps. And thanks for the other suggestions, I'll be sure to comb through before booking!

Reply to: Winter in Sabi Sand or Timbavati? & Lodge Questions
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Sabi Sand Game Reserve