by Melanie Du Toit on January 29, 2018
7 min read

The latest addition to Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Silvan Safari, has not only proven to be a safari experience of all-encompassing opulence and exclusivity. It’s one which is changing the game and upping the standards of the luxury safari experience entirely.

Silvan Safari's Knobthorn Suite

Rhino Africa visited this lodge in early December, as its doors opened, and we found ourselves leaving with heavy hearts, full bellies, unforgettable memories of the bush and our time there – not to mention a burning desire to go back as soon as possible.

Silvan Safari lodge's main lounge

The view from the lounge at Silvan Safari’s main lodge.

Rhino Rating:

5/5

Where?

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

Why?

Silvan Safari is a game-changing, ground-breaking newcomer to Sabi Sand. The Silvan Experience specialises in bespoke safaris, lip-smacking cuisine and effortless luxury, all while ensuring guests feel intrinsically connected to the spirit of the trees which surround and inspire this spectacular space. Silvan does safari like it’s never been done before.

The sun setting over Sabi Sand, seen from Silvan Safari's main deck.

Who?

The Seasoned Safari Goers

You’ve been there, done that, and gotten the proverbial safari t-shirt. Now you want a safari experience which will truly impress, something very unlike the traditional safari lodges you’ve been to before. This is it, folks.

The Modern Travellers

High-speed internet connectivity all around the lodge? Check. In-room iPad? Check. State-of-the-art Silvan Studio for editing and printing safari snaps? Check, check, check. Silvan’s contemporary feel not only extends from the architecture to its technology but to its fine dining where fresh seafood is flown in weekly and its game drives where each safari-goer will have use of Swarovski Optik binoculars.

The Romantics

Home to the largest suites in the Sabi Sand, Silvan Safari will thrill couples, making sure they feel a world away from their daily lives (and other guests) in the lodge’s cleverly crafted and oh-so-private suites. Large, secluded and with plenty of nooks to entertain and share a sundowner, private swim, or romantic dinner, Silvan certainly sings the song of seduction.

The Family

Silvan Safari’s Leadwood Suite is the perfect hideaway for families on safari. Its plunge pool is larger than those in the other suites and its generous deck space is wrapped around the noble branches of a Leadwood tree. It’s two en-suite bedrooms flank the stone entranceway while its lounge and outdoor dining area leave more than enough space for everyone.

The Celebrators

Is it a special birthday? A reunion? An anniversary? Whatever you’re celebrating, Silvan is impeccably designed to make every celebration an exceptional one. It’s clear from the outset that all members of the Silvan Family live and breathe the Silvan Experience, taking the extraordinary and making it priceless.

A typical safari at Silvan is anything but ordinary.

At a Glance:

The trees surrounding the lodge are the root of the Silvan Experience, one which invites guests on a sensory journey of rediscovery and reconnection with nature. This is South Africa at its finest, a bespoke and intimate offering which showcases the best that safari has to offer.

Silvan Safari's Leadwood Suite

Silvan has drawn every aspect of the wild into its design elements. It’s simplicity and understated elegance mirror the perfect balance of the natural world while indigenous trees of the area inspire and lend their names to each individual suite. Everything at Silvan was created with an intention which effortlessly comes together to create an offering so perfect, one would think Mother Nature was its architect.

Silvan Safari's Blue Guarri Suite

Best Time to Go:

Sabi Sand and the Kruger region at large is a destination which offers something unique to travellers at any time of the year. Deciding when to go depends largely on what safari-goers want to see. Warm weather and afternoon showers wash the bushveld in colour during the summer months, making it an excellent time for bird-spotting.

On safari in Kruger's Sabi Sand Reserve with Silvan Safari

Denser foliage can make some of the animals harder to see but Silvan’s skilled trackers do the job for you. The summer months also see newborns enter the world, making for adorable sightings. In autumn, rutting season begins and thunderstorms electrify the air – all in all, both are thrilling sights to behold.

Leopard spotted on safari at Silvan Safari

Temperatures drop considerably in the morning and evening during winter but the days remain temperate. Kruger has a summer rainfall season and so winter is often dry with limited water sources and thinning foliage, encouraging exciting wildlife sightings around water sources and easier game spotting in general. Spring is the height of Kruger’s dry season and celebrated for ensuring excellent visibility on game drives with water sources at their lowest and trees at their most bare.

How to Get There:

Silvan’s airstrip is an easy and game-filled ride away from the lodge itself and any stay here includes a complimentary transfer to and from the airstrip. Scheduled flights land at Silvan’s airstrip from several domestic airports in South Africa.

Gin is a quintissential part of the safari experience, and no where is that more evident than at Silvan Safari.

Visa Information:

All visitors must be in possession of a valid passport but for many foreign passport holders, visas are not required up to a maximum number of days (normally 90 days). Travellers from countries whose passport holders do require visas must be in possession of their visa before departing as visas are not issued at South African ports of entry.

If travelling with a minor, proof of guardianship or custody, or consent from the guardian in the case of an unaccompanied minor are required.  If children are travelling with only one of their parents, additional documentation is needed. Enquire at the South African Embassy in your country for the most up-to-date visa information.

Silvan Safari Lodge's Ansellia Orchid Spa

Facilities & Amenities:

Silvan Safari has a boutique where travellers can take mementoes inspired by the lodge and its surrounds home with them, a wine cellar, Wi-Fi in all guest areas, Gym-in-a-Basket in every suite, a lap pool, bar, state-of-the-art photography studio, and the Ansellia Orchard Spa – and that’s just some of them.

Silvan Safari's lap pool at the main lodge in Sabi Sand, Kruger

Rooms:

From the remote Kierie Klapper, the family-friend Leadwood, and the universal access Knobthorn to the bright Cassia, romantic Blue Guarri and Tree Wisteria, Silvan’s six suites are named after the tree it takes inspiration from and, more often than not, the one it is built around.

Silvan Safari lodge's private Kierie Klapper Suite

All suites are secluded and airy, overlooking the Manyeleti riverbed and all its passing wonders, which are best viewed from the large decks furnished with Roche Bubois loungers and private plunge pools.

Roche Bubois loungers on the deck of Silvan Safari lodge's Kierie Klapper Suite in Sabi Sand

Large open spaces, enclosed by majestic stone walls, are home to handcrafted art pieces and sculptures which all blend seamlessly into the outdoors through floor-to-ceiling invisible doors.

The interior of Silvan Safari Lodge's Tree Wisteria Suite at Sabi Sand

Activities on Offer:

Included in Price

  • Luxury accommodation
  • Three gourmet meals per day
  • All drinks
  • Laundry
  • Two game drives daily with an FGASA qualified guide
  • Walking safaris
  • Game drive refreshments and snacks
  • Return road transfers between the Silvan airstrip and the lodge

Additional Cost

  • Imported wine and champagne
  • All transport to Sabi Sand Game Reserve
  • Gratuities
  • Boutique store purchases
  • Spa treatments
  • Sabi Sand Reserve / Kruger National Park entrance fees
Breakfast deck at Silvan Safari lodge

Dining Experience:

Silvan’s breakfast deck rests beneath the shaded canopy of a large Leadwood overlooking the perennial Manyeleti riverbed, frequented by the lodge’s resident elephant herd and countless antelope species. Menu items change from potato rosti topped with mushrooms and an umami veloute to traditional shakshouka topped with quail eggs to start the day.

The dining experience at Silvan Safari is truly unparalleled.

Midday is a tapas affair with shared plates adorning the table including South African-inspired delicacies such as wildebeest tartare and crispy calamari. At night, listen to the hyena howl from your bush dinner venue in Silvan’s Enchanted Forest, dining on the likes of tuna tataki and pan seared duck breast or squid ink risotto topped with prawns.

Lunch at Silvan Safari

Price Range:

From $1,450 per person per night which is inclusive of accommodation, all meals and snacks, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, refreshments on lodge activities, laundry, morning and afternoon game drives, and return transfers from Silvan’s airstrip.

Beat the crowds and visit Silvan Safari before the year-long waiting lists start.