Hotel Sabi Sabi Little Bush Hotel 0 star
Easyexperts
Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Amy Adejokun Section editor

The smallest of the Sabi Sabi lodges, Little Bush Camp is also the newest of the collection and perhaps the most the most modest of the four. That's not to say however that it doesn't have everything you could wish for in order to have a memorable safari experience. This is a cosy, intimate establishment essentially for couples although it does cater for families as long as the children are over 12 years of age. The lodge boasts decent sized, well-equipped rooms, a privileged location right on the river and delightful staff. It may not be the most luxurious of lodges but it certainly offers a high quality of service and excellent game viewing, which, after all, is why you've come to South Africa!

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    • Hotel Sabi Sabi Little Bush

      Sabi Sabi Little Bush   -   © Briag Courteaux_EasyVoyage

    • Hotel Sabi Sabi Little Bush

      Sabi Sabi Little Bush   -   © Briag Courteaux_EasyVoyage

       
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    Location 10.0 /10

    Sabi Sabi Little Bush is situated in the southwestern corner of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve which shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park. There are direct daily scheduled flights from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to the Sabi Sabi airstrip as well as flights from Jo'burg, Cape Town and Durban to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport from where you can either complete the journey by road, plane or helicopter. If you are arriving by car from Jo'burg (5-6 hours) or Nelspruit (2 hours), enter the reserve via Shaw's Gate where you will be asked to pay a modest entrance fee and then simply follow the signs to the lodge.

    Accommodation 9.20 /10

    Little Bush has a total of six suites, each one completely independent from the next meaning maximum privacy and intimacy (you can't even see the next room from your own). A raised wooden walkway leads to front door which leads straight into the bedroom. This latter is dominated by a huge double bed with an elegant mosquito net draped around it and pillows and a plaid adding a touch of class. At the foot of the bed is a butler while beyond this is a comfy armchair and footrest in corduroy. Also in the room you'll find your tea and coffee facilities on an occasional table, a minibar, a coiffeuse, telephone, air conditioning and all the products you need to keep away mosquitoes. The green tiles used in the bathroom are not the most attractive, however it is spacious and boasts a double vanity, bath tub and walk-in shower. Chrysalis toiletries are on hand as are a hairdryer and candles. Just outside on the balcony, which wraps round the suite, you have your armchairs and small coffee table and a private spa bath on the decking. Just below is an outdoor shower for those who prefer to wash 'au naturel'. The rooms are not as well decorated as others we have seen not are the views remarkable, however if you consider the most important aspect of your stay to be the wildlife then this need not be an issue.

    Overview 9.20 /10

    Not only are you welcomed at Little Bush by the jolly Hugo and his staff who bear refreshing face towels and a welcome drink, but also by a couple of cow carvings and some vicious looking porcupine needles in vases at the small greeting area fronting the lodge's main space. Also present are a few other artefacts and some welcoming armchairs all under the high thatched roof. Up a few steps is the lounge are and deck, decorated with North African carvings, tapestries, spears and painted ostrich eggs among others. A seating area on each side of the path down the middle have homely sofas and a working fireplace while there is also a window bench for gazing out at the bush. The covered deck area doesn't have the best of views due to the mush vegetation, however it remains a pleasant place in which to enjoy a drink or catch up on your reading.

    The lodge has its own figure-of-eight swimming pool which is surrounded by towering trees and a few rock features. On the poolside are a few sun loungers and parasols although the exposure to the sun is not too great. In terms of other wellness and fitness facilities the lodge doesn't have any of is own, however guests at Little Bush are welcome to use those of Earth Lodge. The Amani spa offers a range of treatments including boy rituals, massages, wraps, facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures and special treatments for men. Each of the three treatment rooms is coloured differently with each shade corresponding to a principle of Shakra: orange for peace, green for healing and red for love. The rooms, which each have an iPod docking station, are used for different treatments while outside is a shower and a zen meditation garden. An additional treatment at the spa sees guests covered in mud before going into a steam room where drops of water help to clear away the mud which has slimming and hydrating properties. The friendly staff uses all natural products using ingredients found in the bush such as aloe, merula, African potato and rooibos. For couples, there is a double treatment room.

    In addition to the regular game drives there are several other activities open to guests. These include a morning bush walk after breakfast where, amongst other things, you will be able to spot some of the 350 species of bird in the Sabi Sands, or a tour of the local community, visiting a pre-school, community centre and local herbalist and finishing with a trip to the chief's house with entertainment by a choir.

    The staff at the lodge is exceptionally friendly and will go out their way to meet your needs. The lodge is in a good condition and finding your way around is simple both due to its size and the lit pathways. There is a complimentary wifi service throughout the property and it is available to be hired out exclusively.

    Food and drink 9.20 /10

    Despite its size, Little Bush has several dining locations, including a traditional boma in which dinners are served. You'll start your day with a pre-game drive snack (tea, biscuits, cakes etc) on the deck or the lounge while breakfast is taken either at the same venue or in the bush. As well as a continental offering, you'll be offered a hot à la carte option by the smiling staff who have been at the lodge for a relatively lengthly period; a sign of the conviviality that is to be found here. Lunch is also an à la carte affair and is usually taken at the lodge, on the deck. That said, it is also possible for guests to eat at one of the other Sabi Sabi lodges if there is availability. Just before dinner you'll have the opportunity to en joy a tipple in the lounge before heading to that evening's venue (boma, river bed, your own room) where you'ill be at least once accompanied by your ranger. The four course meal will include a main course of either red or white meat, although vegetarians or those who eat only fish will of course be accommodated for. If you have any other special requests, dietary or otherwise, the staff will be delighted to cater to your wishes as best they can. In addition to the above, you will receive snacks during the game drives as well as the option of afternoon tea back at the lodge.

    To know

    The Sabi Sabi group was founded in 1979 and today has four properties of which Little Bush is the baby. The company has always supported the local villages and their communities through various projects and operations. All of the members of staff come from the surrounding neighbourhoods and are trained and educated by Sabi Sabi giving them the necessary skills to develop and support their families. The group also trains teachers, allowing them to pass on vital environmental education on to school children so they might one day themselves become part of the Sabi Sabi family. There is also work going on with an education centre in the nearby village of Lillydale and an ongoing project to improve the infrastructures of local towns in terms of schools, housing, community projects and access to education. If you would like to visit any schools, homes or projects supported by Sabi Sabi, staff would be delighted to fit this into your itinerary. Please note that Earth Lodge does not accept children under the age of 12 years old.

    Equipment

    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      wellness, (at Earth Lodge)

    • Swimming pool

    advantage

    • Intimacy/discretion
    • Staff/service
    • No under 12s
    • Good leopard viewing
    • Wellness facilities (off-site)

    disadvantages

    • No under 12s
    • Wellness facilities not on-site
    • Slightly dated in parts

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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