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Road trip to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve? Yes, please! It's not only the destination that is the fun part but getting there should be fun too.

Road Trip Time

I love road trips! When we (Christina and I) were invited to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve for 2 days I obviously made a road trip about it. It’s not only the destination that is the fun part but getting there should be fun too.

Sanbona is one of South Africa’s largest privately-owned nature reserves, stretching across 58 000 hectares of rich protected ecosystems within two biodiversity hotspots. This vast track of land in the Little Karoo outside Montagu, a mere 3.5 hours drive from Cape Town.

We decided to take the trip via Franschhoek with an early morning stop for a coffee and panne chocolate to go. No rush. We took a slow winding trip over the Franschhoek pass with our favourite tunes on the radio and the beautiful views over the Franschhoek Valley. Of course, we had to stop for a photo.

This route took us through Villiersdorp past the Theewaterskloof Dam, past the Winelands of Robertson and through the cutest town of Montagu.


Hello Sanbona!

We were welcomed at the Sanbona Welcome Centre with refreshments and a quaint space to stretch our legs before our 45-minute transfer to the first lodge.

At Dwyka Tented Camp we were welcomed with a drink and on to lunch. We had little time to rest before meeting the rest of the guests and our ranger for the afternoon game drive.

Dwyka Tented Camp

The lodge facilities are gorgeous, with nine well thought out tents – each with a private heated plunge pool, outside shower and a deck that spans the entire side of the tent, all overlooking the mountain ahead.

Evening Game Drive Time!

Our first game drive was rather unique in that we got out of our vehicle and took a walk to get closer to a cheetah and her cubs. I had never been so far from the safety of a game-drive vehicle before. While it was pretty nerve-wracking, it was rather exhilarating. We are after all in the wilderness, where the animals are wild and unpredictable.

Our first night in the Wilderness started with the most amazing sunset over the horizon with a G&T in hand. We had great conversations and shared experiences with the other guests in the group. It genuinely fills me with pride to hear how foreigners describe our country.

Returning to the lodge, we all gathered in the boma for a traditional braai. The food was amazing! We sang happy birthday to one of the guests and one of the staff members, shared cake and had dessert around the fire.

Morning Game Drive

After breakfast the following morning, I wrapped myself up and braced the chill for the morning game drive. The ranger – Marco – ensured there were enough blankets and even arranged hot water bottles. They came in handy!


I was sad to pack up and check out, but our treat at Tilney Manor was next. Dwyka Tented Camp is a 45-minute transfer from Tilney Manor. Here we were excitedly welcomed by the manager, served a welcome drink and taken on an inspection of the property.

We quickly went to get warmer clothing before starting our evening game drive with one other guest. This game ranger was on a mission to find the Lions on the property, what an exhilarating ride – “African massage.” We witnessed another beautiful sunset before returning to the lodge for dinner.

Upon entering my room, after dinner, I was surprised with the lit fire and the warm room. I felt well rested in the morning.
We gave the morning game drive a skip as, sadly, we had to leave early for our return trip.

Thank you Sanbona management and staff. We had a great time.

In this article
  • Road Trip Time
  • Hello Sanbona!
  • Game Drive Time!
  • Morning Game Drive

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