• Umkumbe Safari Lodge
  • Umkumbe Safari Lodge
  • Umkumbe Safari Lodge
  • Umkumbe Safari Lodge

Umkumbe Safari Lodge

Umkumbe Safari Lodge is owner managed and run; ensuring guests enjoy a personal, rustic and real South African safari experience. The lodge consists of ten chalets/rooms with most overlooking the Sand River. Guests regularly see elephants, hippos, buffalo and antelope grazing in the river bed. Additional facilities include a swimming pool, lounge, bar and dining area and the traditional boma, where guests will be served delicious and hearty South African meals.

The reserve is home to the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), as well as cheetah, wild dog and hundreds of other species of animals, birds and plants indigenous to the area. The phrase “Big Five” was coined by hunters of yesteryear – before the advent of the photographic safari – and refers to the animals considered the most dangerous to hunt.

Rates inclusive of 15% VAT • South African Rand • Subject to Availability

Description 1 Jan 2021 to 31 Dec 2021
Standard Room - per person sharing per night R3 510
Standard Room - single person per night R4 500
Superior Room (7) - per person sharing per night R4 180
Superior Room (7) - single person per night R5 400
Third adult sharing per night R3 240

  • icon Gallery
  • icon About the Camp
  • icon Accommodation
  • icon Game Viewing
  • icon Location
  • icon Safari
  • icon Terms

Umkumbe is located on the banks of the Sand River in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. The lodge is perfectly positioned to enjoy magnificent views of the river and its wildlife activity. The main deck area is a favourite with as they relax and watch the surrounding bird and animal activity.

The lodge is unfenced, however it is safe for children as there is trip wire which aims to keep elephants and larger animals at bay. General game such as warthog, and a range of antelope and small mammals can come and go as they please, which provides entertaining game viewing from the lodge/bedrooms.

There is a boma area, bar, lounge and outdoor dining room, as well as gym for the fitness minded. A small outdoor lounge also has a tea and coffee station for guests to help themselves. There is a swimming pool lined with sun loungers, inviting guests to sit back and relax during the hot summer afternoons.


Umkumbe has 10 rooms and can sleep up to 20 guests. Four of the rooms are Superior Suites and suitable for families with children as they have extra sleeper couches. There are also rooms with inter-leading doors. The rooms all have small verandahs with table and chairs enabling. There is a indoor lounge with couches on which to relax, as well as a snooker table. An outdoor sitting area has views of the Sand River and a help yourself tea & coffee station. There are two dining areas, one being the boma and the other an outdoor area under thatch. The bar is fully stocked and guests are encouraged to help themselves via an honesty bar service.

The lodge does have wifi, however it is a paid for service and is available between 07:00 - 16:00. The wifi service can be intermittent due to the location of the lodge.

There is a large deck area with tables and chairs and also a wonderful pool with a view with sun loungers. Further away are more tables and chairs under a shade, and with beautiful views of the riverbed. For the fitness minded, there is a gym. 

Standard and Superior accommodation for couples and families on the banks of the Sand River in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve
The focus at the lodge is of the view of the seasonal Sand River. Almost daily, guests are treated to sightings of various animals grazing in the riverbed. The lodge sleeps a maximum of 20 guests in 10 chalets/rooms. Most of the rooms have a small verandah with camping chairs, and with views of the Sand River, while others look onto a small plains area with a watering hole.

Umkumbe Safari Lodge has a variety of room set ups, that allow families to travel with ease, as well as a small party of three adults, or friends looking for their own rooms but connected via an inter-leading door. The accommodation is clean, comfortable and suitable for guests looking for a well priced and affordable option in the Sabi Sand. All the rooms are en-suite and airconditioned and have full electricity.

Please note that the Superior and Standard rooms are priced differently. The Superior rooms are larger and also have outdoor en-suite showers which the Standard rooms do not.


Umkumbe has a total of 10 rooms, both Standard and Superior. There are 7 Superior Suites, each of which sleep two people in either one king size bed or two single beds. Every suite also has two sleeper couches and an en suite bathroom, which includes a bath and outdoor shower. Two of the suites are inter-leading (Buffalo and Elephant), making it a good option for families or friends travelling together. Four of the suites overlook the Sand River, while three suites look onto a small plains area with a watering hole.

There are 3 Standard Rooms at Umkumbe, two of which are interleading. The Standard Rooms each sleep two people in either one king size bed or two single beds, and has an en suite bathroom with a shower only. All 3 Standard Rooms face the Sand River, which flows in front of the lodge.


The Sabi Sand is teeming with large predators and is home to the Big Five.

The Big Five:

  • Rhino
  • Leopard
  • Elephant
  • Lion
  • Buffalo

Other predators include, but are not limited to:

  • Cheetah
  • Spotted hyeana
  • Wild dog
  • Honey badger
  • Civet cat
  • Side striped jackal
  • Aardvark
  • Caracal
  • Serval
  • Crocodile


The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve boasts a diverse array of mammals. Below are just a few of the mammals found in the Sabi Sand.

  • Spotted hyena
  • Hippopotamus
  • Giraffe
  • Antelope (kudu, impala, waterbuck, steenbok)
  • African wild cat
  • Baboon
  • Vervet monkey
  • Dwarf mongoose
  • African Civet cat
  • Honey badger
  • Bushbaby
  • Zebra
  • Warthog
  • Tree squirrel
  • Wildebeest


Below are just a few examples of birds to look out for while on a birding safari in the Sabi Sand.

  • Lilac breasted roller
  • Bateleur Eagle
  • Bee Eaters
  • African Fish Eagle
  • White-back Vultures
  • Grey go-away-bird
  • Magpie Shrike
  • Fork-tailed drongo
  • Pearl-spotted owlet
  • Pied kingfishers
  • Lappet-faced vulture
  • Brown snake eagle
  • Southern yellow-billed hornbill
  • Crested francolin
  • African hawk eagle
  • Spotted eagle owl
  • Buffalo weavers 

Umkumbe Safari Lodge is located in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, considered by many to be the premier wildlife reserve in South Africa. Located on the banks of the seasonal Sand River, Umkumbe Safari Lodge is perfectly situated in one of the best Big Five game viewing destinations in Africa.

The lodge is easily accessible via either a self drive from Johannesburg, or by flying into the closest airports which are Skukuza and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) in Nelspruit. The self drive takes 6 hours from Johannesburg on good, safe roads. The flight takes approximately 1 hour. Road transfers from KMIA to Umkumbe can be arranged and take approximately 2 hours. A road transfer from Skukuza to Umkumbe takes approximately 1-1.5 hours and please bear in mind the Kruger National Park fees due when landing in Skukuza.

From Johannesburg / Pretoria

The distance to Umkumbe Lodge by road from Johannesburg is approx 480km’s. The scenic route descends from the Highveld to the Lowveld with spectacular views of the Drakensberg Mountains in the distance.

Take the N12 or N4 highway respectively to Witbank / eMalahleni (from Johannesburg Airport, follow signs to Boksburg to find the N12). Follow the N4 highway past Middleburg (Toll Plaza), Belfast / eMakhazeni and Machadodorp (Toll Plaza). Follow the Schoemanskloof option on the N4 towards Nelspruit / Mbombela. At Nelspruit / Mbombela, turn left onto the R40 to White River. In White River, at the first set of traffic lights in the town itself, turn left, following signs to Hazyview and Wildtuin / Kruger National Park. At the next set of traffic lights, turn right. Cross over the next set of traffic lights and then at the final set, with a Caltex garage on your right, turn left on the R40 for Hazyview (the R538, via the Numbi Gate, is a busy road and not recommended). After approximately 45 km, you will go down a steep hill towards a Tjunction. Turn left, staying on the R40 and drive towards Hazyview and follow as per the below. 

From Hazyview

Proceed through Hazyview until you reach a set of traffic lights with a thatched shopping centre on the corner. Turn here onto the Paul Kruger Road which will be signposted Kruger Gate and the R536. Continue along this road for approximately 34.5 km and on the left-hand side of the road, you will see lodge signboards for various lodges including Inyati, Idube, Exeter and Savanna. Go past these, and approximately 3 km further on, on the lefthand side of the road, you will see signposts for the private game reserves of MalaMala, Sabi Sabi and Londolozi. Turn left here onto the gravel road. Travel for approximately 8.5 km and you will get to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve Shaw’s Gate. For all visitors, there is a Shaws Gate fee of R120 per person (subject to change) to enter the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is payable at the entrance gate. Self-drive visitors must ALSO pay a R280 per vehicle Shaws Gate entrance fee. Credit card & Debit card facilities (Visa and MasterCard only) are available at Shaws Gate. Please retain your receipt as proof of entrance and have it stamped at your destination when you are leaving, which acts as your Exit Permit. Once inside the gate, follow the signs to the lodge through the reserve. Allow between 30-50 minutes to drive from the gate to the lodge. Do not get out of your car until you reach the lodge. You may see some wildlife on your way - if you do, slow down and maintain a good distance. Do not drive off-road in any circumstances.

From Kruger Mpumalanga

International Airport Turn right out of the airport onto the R538 and follow the signs to White River (Witrivier). Continue for approximately 12 km, until you reach the first set of traffic lights in White River, with the mosque on your left. Turn right and travel towards Hazyview on the R40. After approximately 45 km, you will go down a steep hill towards a T-junction. Turn left, staying on the R40 and follow the directions from Hazyview as above.

One of the main aims of going on safari is to go on a game drive. On game drives you are able to get a lot closer to big game. The animals are generally habituated to the vehicle. This means that they are used to the vehicle approaching them and know that it never causes them harm. This enables to you to get within five to 10 metres of the large animals – and safely! All game drives are conducted in open 4 x 4 Landrovers. No roof allows you 360 degree views, perfect for wonderful photographic and video opportunities.

Two game drives are offered per day. On the morning drive there is a stop for coffee and on the afternoon drive you will stop for sundowners. After sundowners guests will get to experience a night drive. The night drives allow guests the opportunity to see the nocturnal animals not encountered during the day. During the night drives, your tracker uses a powerful spotlight to search for nocturnal animals. You can see a wide variety of animals not normally seen during the day, including leopards, hyenas, serval, porcupines, bush babies, genet cats and nocturnal birds like owls and nightjars.

For the more energetic, each day after breakfast there is the option of a morning bush walk. The walk is an opportunity to experience the bushveld at close quarters. All walking safaris are led by qualified rangers. They will explain the animal tracks and what animals passed through during the night, in addition to the sophistication of termite mounds and other interesting facets of the bush that go unnoticed on game drives. The chance to walk amongst wildlife allows you to fully immerse yourself in African smells and sounds.


A typical day on safari at Umkumbe Safari Lodge:

Expert rangers will ensure that your safari experience is truly memorable. Each day begins with an early morning safari game drive. In the late afternoon guests head out on another game drive and return after dark, offering guests exhilarating night game drives as well! Optional bush walks are offered every day after breakfast/brunch.

  • 05h30 Wake-up call
  • 06h00 Coffee and a light breakfast
  • 06h30 Depart on morning game drive
  • 09h00 to 10h00 Return to lodge
  • 10h30 Breakfast/Brunch
  • 11h00 Optional bushwalk
  • 14h00 Tea and a light lunch
  • 16h00 Depart on afternoon game drive and night drive
  • 19h00 to 20h00 Return to camp and drinks at the bar

Please note that Day Trip guests are also accepted at Umkumbe Safari Lodge. The Day Trip guests do not join the Lodge guests, however they do have a meal afterwards in the Boma.

Children Rates

  • Children 12 and over pay the full adult rate.
  • Children under 12 pay 50% of the adult rate.

Children Policy

  • Children aged 5 and over are welcome.

Rate Includes

  • All meals, game drives & bush walks, teas & coffees

Rate Excludes

  • Rates exclude drinks, all Conservation levies (please see details below), all items of a personal nature, any item not described above.

Conservation Levies  

  • Sabie Game Reserve Conservation levy: R200 per person per night (will be added to your invoice and this contribution goes towards conservation initiatives within the Sabie Game Reserve and surrounding areas).


  •  Rates are quoted in South African Rands.
  •  Rates are quoted per person sharing per night.
  •  Rates are subject to change without prior notice.
  •  Rates include government taxes where applicable.
  • If taxes increase, we reserve the right to increase the rate accordingly.

If taxes increase, we reserve the right to increase the rate accordingly

Check in and Check out Times

  • Check in time is 2pm and check out time is 11am.


Need Assistance.

image RSA +27 87 820 4160

Business Hours:
Mon - Fri (09:00 - 17:00)
Sat (09:00 - 13:00)
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2 hours
E-mail: Reservations
E-mail: Safaris

Why Book With Us?

  • Personal inter-action
  • Lodges with high standards
  • Stay in control of your booking
  • Most special deals by far
  • Secure payment process (SSL)
  • South African based
  • Superior knowledge
  • Expert advice
  • No booking fees

Entry Fees

Wildtuin Entrance Fees
Paid directly by clients
Light vehicles under 3500kg GVM 
  - R310
per Entry
 Heavy vehicles over 3500kg GVM 
  - R540 
per Entry
Per Person fee
  - R 140 per entry
 Staff vehicles (SVP) with valid permits & cards
  - R 140 per entry
The rates applay to entry by vehicle, by air and on foot
Guest Conservation Contribution 2020
Commercial Guests
  - R 138.00 per person per day
Private visitors of members / landowners
  - R34.50 or more per person per day
Guest Conservation Contribution 2021/2022
Commercial Guests
  - R 151.80 per person per day
Private visitors of members / landowners
  - R37.95 or more per person per day
These rates are per person (applicable to all ages) per day
for maximum of three daysand are charged by
the destination lodge/camp

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Coservation Fees

Guest Conservation Fees
   SA Citizen & residents
  - ZAR  105 per Adults per day
  - ZAR  52 per Child  per day    
  SADC with passport
  - ZAR  210 per Adults per day
  - ZAR  105 per Child per day
  - ZAR  424 per Adults per day
  - ZAR  212 per Child per day

R210 per vehicle entry fee