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Big Five Safari at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Big Five Safari at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve near Montagu on Route 62 in South Africa.

Important Information For Our Guests Traveling From Cape Town

Important Information For Our Guests Traveling From Cape Town

Update March 12, 2018

New Blastings planned in autumn 2018:

Thursday 15 March 2018 Blasting
Tuesday 20 March 2018 Blasting
Thursday 22 March 2018 Blasting
Tuesday 27 March 2018 Blasting

Tuesday 10 April 2018 Blasting
Thursday 12 April 2018 Blasting
Tuesday 17 April 2018 Blasting
Thursday 19 April 2018 Blasting
Tuesday 24 April 2018 Blasting

Thursday 03 May 2018 Blasting
Tuesday 08 May 2018 Blasting
Thursday 10 May 2018 Blasting
Tuesday 15 May 2018 Blasting
Thursday 17 May 2018 Blasting

Future dates will be confirmed at a later stage.

The major blasting required in Cogmanskloof is complete, so scheduled road closures have been suspended until further notice. Occassional road closures my be required from time to time to eable necessary services to be installed.


From November 2015 to December 2016 the Cogmanskloof, Eastern Side of Montagu might be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11.00 -13.00 for Blasting.

Alternative Route to the White Lion Lodge on Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, coming from the N1:

Drive through Ashton and turn right direction Swellendam (R60) for approx. 45km.
In Swellendam turn onto the N2 direction Heidelberg. After 11 km turn left onto the R324 for ca. 15 km. You will drive through Suurbraak.
Than turn left, stay on the R324 for another 17km. You will drive over the Tradouw Pass.
Thereafter you turn left onto the R62 and after 20km turn right onto the Sanbona Road.


If you travel the N2 from Cape Town, carry on going until you turn off onto the R324.

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Travel Blog Posting by Chris

Many thanks to Chris for his posting in the Blog!
Let's start reading...

"For years I wanted to go on a safari and for my birthday this year, I decided to make it happen. Since we stayed in Cape Town, I researched a lot of Safari lodges that were nice and not too far from the city. White Lion Lodge is about 3.5h from Cape Town and the drive was scenic and easy to do.
The lodge had just a few accommodations (8 people max). Lunch and dinner was served in a communal style, so you are all sitting on one large table, which is something I had not experienced before, but it was a nice way to connect with fellow guests. The main lodge housed the dining area and a living room style space with a fire place..."

Read more:

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Guest Review

No expense spared. The lodge had everything you could want. Only the second lodge with a bidet. We have visited S/A for the past 11 year sand would return to White Lion again, God willing next year. We are very senior citizens, but found the people resident people so helpful new almost felt young again. Israel's knowledge of the animals and the local fauna was great. Would like to have spent many more hours talking to him to glean a worth while opinion of life in South Africa for a coloured person. Do hope you find the time to stay ay this lodge which really did make our holiday.

Barry Enon [via http://bookthespot.com]


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White Lions

White Lions

The White Lions at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

White Lions are real lions with a special gene. This gene affects the hair colour and the colour of the pads. Sometimes the colour of the nose and the eyes are also different. The gene inhibits the amount of pigment in the hair shaft. White lions have a colour range from blonde through to a bright white. This is a short story about the first White Lions released to the wilderness at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

While this gene is recessive it appears again after several generations. Today White Lions are not wild anymore. There live in zoos or breeding stations around the world. It was a vision from Dr. Gaston Savoi to reintroduce White Lions into the wilderness. And the perfect spot to realise it was the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve with 54000 hectare Karoo wilderness.

What a long term project with no experience before? The team with years of wildlife knowledge decided to introduce a breeding pair first. If they minimize all contact with humans the new generations of cubs will grow up in the wilderness. The vision could come true.

And really the first cubs were born in 2004. Three cubs and they are all male. Step by step they were released into fenced areas of the reserve. The males grow up and learnt how to live in the wilderness and most important how to hunt their own game. What a first step and the next were following.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is also home of wild tawny lions. So it was possible to integrate the three male White Lions into a group with two tawny females. Together their shown all the social lion behaviours like playing, grooming and more hunting skills. The coalition of the brothers also patrols their territory. And so it happened that the next generation of White Lions were born and grow up.

White Lions

The years are coming and going and today there are still White Lions at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Visit the White Lion Lodge and enjoy the hospitality in the lodge and the wilderness around. And maybe you will see the White Lions on one of your game drives.

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Tylecodon paniculatus "Butter-Tree"

Tylecodon paniculatus "Butter-Tree"

The Butter-Tree has a succulent shrub-let that is up to 1.8 m tall when in flower, with a thick basal stem of approximately 60 cm in diameters. This tree has bright green paddle- shaped leaves that are 12 cm long and 10 cm wide. Its orange to red flowers are about 15- 20 mm in diameter. The Butter- tree blossoms during summer and are found in clay soils in the Spekboomveld, Gwarrievelds and rocky slopes from Namibia to the South-Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. Its flowers are pollinated sunbirds.

As a kid I found Butter-tree rides to be great fun. This sport is in fact the pre- curser of today’s modern skating-board. In the past, children and often myself used these age- old plants to slide down steep slopes. To begin, you first had to wet the skating ring with water to get a smooth muddy surface. A thick part of the stem is then chopped away until the gooey slime is visible- which is evidence of the water storage capacity of the plant in the dry warm summers of the Klein- Karoo. You then take position on top of the skating- ring (skate- board), grab the roots with both hands to serve as a steering wheel and there you go- full speed down the hill.

After several rides with the Butter-Tree “board”, the slope becomes very slippery and one can really go fast. Make sure that you stay on top of it until the end. If it slides away underneath you, you will definitely have some scratches and bruises. Although it caused a lot of injuries it resulted in great excitement and pleasure.

There are different types of Butter-Tree’s that the farmers do not like. These are the Tylecodon wallichii and T. Ventricosus species which contains “alkaloid” that causes shrinkage in animals.

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