Sabi Sabi Selati Camp
Understated late 19th-century elegance, a turbulent history and animals everywhere
Sabi Sabi Selati Camp
This award-winning lodge has an intriguing history involving the discovery of gold, tales of riches, fortunes gained and fierce competition, and of a railway line built through difficult terrain to transport the treasure to the coast. Part of the line, named the Selati Line, crossed the Sabi Sand Reserve. The line is no longer in use, but its remains can still be seen in the north-eastern section of Sabi Sabi, close to Selati Camp. This superlative camp is a great place to stay if you're after intimate accommodation, colonial comfort, five-star cuisine and, beyond the camp, extraordinarily abundant animal sightings.
At the lodge
Fashioned in colonial style, this sought-after lodge is a romantic destination. The main area has numerous plush seating areas both indoors and on the view-filled deck, and a bar filled with any tipple you fancy. The decor combines old-style comfort with local art and railway memorabilia. Dinners are served on wooden thatched decks built alongside the Msuthlu riverbed, in the lamp-lit open-air boma or in the farmhouse kitchen, decorated with copper cooking utensils. There's a pool with loungers.
There are eight spacious thatched suites, each with full bathroom en-suite and private alfresco shower under the indigenous trees. The sumptuous Ivory Presidential Suite, favoured by royalty and celebrities, offers colonial grandeur with original antiques, a draped four-poster bed, a separate dressing room, private terrace and magnificent en-suite bathroom, complete with Persian carpet and antique chaise-longue, and a very private plunge pool. The Lourenco Marques Suite is perfect for honeymooners.
Sabi Sabi is a huge reserve, with no fences separating it from Kruger, so there's always lots to see on game and photographic safaris. The Big Five are plentiful, as are cheetah and wild dogs. The rangers cooperate when tracking game, making sure that guests see as much as possible without crowding the animals, who seem remarkably casual about their visitors. Birdwatching safaris are also rewarding. Look out for rare Narina trogon and bat hawk as well as martial eagle and other raptors.