Sanbonani Resort Hotel is situated in the heart of Hazyview and nestles between the Sabie and Northern Sand Rivers, which meet on the property. Close to the Kruger’s Phabeni Gate (only 11km away) and Kruger gate (40 kms away) makes Sanbonani a great place to stay when visiting the Kruger National Park, Sabie and surrounding areas.
When you see the ladies selling the bright tablecloths then you know it's time to turn off the main road.
The main hotel’s entrance foyer and reception area leads off to the rest of the resort – a small shop sells sweets, ice cream, suntan lotion, cool-drinks and water.
The large swimming pool is made up of three adjoining pools and a baby pool, with a large covered seating area.
The lush gardens with their many large indigenous trees are well kept- the trees are home to a number of birds; we spotted a Woodlands Kingfisher, Egyptian Geese along the Rivers, Hadedas, Natal Francolins, Olive Thrush, Weavers and the resident Barn Owls - one roosts near the main entrance and the other one roosts near the pool, usually in the palm tree. If you cannot see the owls you’ll hear them hissing!
Look out for the huge sycamore fig tree – certified as the 4th largest tree in South Africa - just in front of chalet 42, it is clearly marked and fun to get a pic of people standing underneath it.
Talk a stroll round the gardens and along the river banks and see it you can spot the hippos and crocs, but please don’t go too close to the edge and be vigilant when you do spot the hippos as they can be very dangerous.
The resort is very relaxing and the staff are all most pleasant and helpful. Sandra showed us round the resort and told us about the Big Tree, the barn owls and the lovely spa.
spar is so relaxing with its beautiful decor, I just did not have time to have
a massage or spoil myself but hopefully next time.
The Mangwa (Zebra) Ladies Bar is situated close to the swimming pool and is an ideal setting for a bit of after-dinner socializing while sitting out on the terrace or inside where you can watch your favourite sports programme on the big TV screen.
The Mhangela restaurant is near the pool - wooden décor on the back wall gives it a nice warm feel. There are more tables and chairs outside on the terrace near the boma and braai area which overlook the swimming pool.
The restaurant's menu ranges from light meals, a-la-carte to a full buffet and the executive chef is happy to cater for any special requests, like our request for their famous chili omelet (which was delicious, thanks to Sandra’s suggestion)
or their breakfast packs, which we had each day when we went into the Kruger National Park.
We had three lovely dinners; each night there was something different to choose from; like grilled fish or roast peri-peri baby chicken or spare ribs, the starters were either soup of the day or a salad.
There was also a choice of different desserts each night but the cheese cake was so delicious we had it all three nights!
Sanbonani Resort Hotel has three types of accommodation, comfortable hotel rooms that each have en-suite bathrooms, TV, telephone, coffee and tea facilities, air-conditioners and ceiling fans for those hot summer nights. The rooms have views overlooking the lush gardens and are within easy access to the swimming pool and main hotel area.
The timeshare chalets and self-catering chalets are situated on the banks of the Sabie and Sand Rivers - all have fully-equipped kitchens; with microwave, stove and oven, fridge, cooking utensils and crockery, en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, DSTV and telephones.
The chalets are open-plan with a dining and lounge area and glass doors leading onto the patio, from the bedroom and lounge, with built-in braai (barbecue) and stunning views overlooking the Sabie or Sand Rivers. We stayed in chalet number 55A, which is a peaceful and secluded corner of the property.
Chalets are serviced daily and linen and towels are supplied in all the chalets.
Sanbonani Resort Hotel organizes games and events each day - check the board or in your rooms for a list of activities on offer. There is a Spa & Wellness Clinic, 2 Tennis courts, a Gym and Squash court, Giant chess pieces, Mini golf and a pool table.
Other activities off the property are Zipline, River Rafting, Sabie River Tubing, Mountain Biking, Hot Air Ballooning and more.
Then of course, there are the Self-drives or guided game drives into the Kruger National Park.
We had some good sightings during our 3 days stay; buffalo, elephant, rhino but no big cats!
We spent a lot of time at De Laporte waterhole, near Skukuza, in the hope of spotting the resident De Laporte leopard but she didn't make an appearance while we were there. We did, however, get to see a lot of other game...
The sides of the concrete trough at De Laporte waterhole are steep and slippery, so impala often slip and fall into the waterhole and, if the leopard is waiting nearby, she launches her attack and usually gets the impala in the waterhole.
While we were there, impalas slipped and fell into the waterhole 4 times and the one time spotted hyenas were approaching but then elephants appeared and chased the hyenas away - lucky impala!
We saw wild dogs once and just missed some lions (they were deep in the bush and there were far too many cars) and a leopard that had crossed the road near Ngwe Donga and vanished into the grass, but that’s how the bush goes.
We did get to see and photograph a herd of Sable antelope, which is a very rare sighting in the park.
We also got some lovely landscape pics from the Paul Kruger Gate Bridge, sunrise at Lake Panic with the hippos in the mist and sunrise pics along the S3 Sabie River Road.
All in all, a most enjoyable 3 days in the park with great food and service from Sanbonani Resort Hotel!
"Having a passion for the region itself and having to know about all dynamics, water holes and ideal roads for a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa
"Mario and Jenny take you to places that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money" - Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA
"Your time and money are valuable and the information in this book will help you save both." - Don Stilton, Florida, USA
"I highly recommend the book to anyone visiting Etosha National Park to photograph the animals - or anyone considering an African photography safari in the future." - Anne Darling, Cognac, France
"As a photographer and someone who has visited and taken photographs in the Pilanesberg National Park, I can safely say that with the knowledge gained from this eBook, your experiences and photographs will be much more memorable." - Alastair Stewart, BC, Canada
"This work is so much more than an eBook, because it is also a guide, a tutorial, an inspiration and a must-have for anyone interested in wildlife photography" - Findtripinfo.com, USA