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South african open air safari camp pictured at night

The safari deck at Selati Camp with views across the bush

Why should I go now?

Whilst the frost is settling over Europe, it’s summer in South Africa and the sun is scorching.

The Sabi Sand Wildtuin is an unfenced private game reserve stretching a massive 60,000 hectares of pure, uninterrupted wilderness. It’s situated adjacent to the Kruger National Park and is regarded as one of the top safari destinations in the country; home to the Big Five (i.e. lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant) and over 200 other animals.

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Aside from the game drives, “Tshamakahle”, “stay well” in Shangaan (the local language of Sabi Sands) is the only item on the To Do list.

Suite at a traditional luxury safari camp in africa with vintage furnishings

The Ivory Presidential suite with a private plunge pool

What’s the lowdown?

The Selati Camp is one of four luxury all-suite lodges at Sabi Sabi. Intimate with a classic, vintage aesthetic (think thatched roofs and original antiques), the vibe is elegant yet eclectic. The service style is old school, though not too formal, and very personable. Nothing feels too much to ask.

The safari experience generally follows the same routine: at 5.30am the ranger comes knocking on your door for the morning drive, which might sound horrifying but this is the best time to spot the animals before they all slink away into the shade. To soften the blow, there are blankets and hot water bottles in the trucks, and after an hour or two of driving, there’s often a pitstop for breakfast in the bush.

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After that, the rest of the day is left open for snoozing, sunbathing, book reading, drawing or whatever else takes your fancy. The evening safari starts at 4pm, returning in time for dinner.

An alfresco bath tub surrounded by candles

An outdoor bathtub beside one of the luxury suites

Getting horizontal

We loved the earthy colour palette, natural textures and the grandeur of the four poster bed draped with a curtain.

There are no fences around the lodges and our shower and bath were alfresco, which all added to the feeling of being at one with nature.

Flipside

The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is perfect to get to by private plane from Nelspruit (less than 15 minutes in the air), but if you arrive after dark they won’t let you land on the Sabi Sabi airstrip because it’s too hard to keep the animals off the run way.

Rates: From £650 (approx. €750 /$850 ) per person per night, all inclusive.

To book your stay visit: sabisabi.com/lodges/selaticamp

Kitty Harris