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Situated just outside the Hwange National Park on its own private concession, this reasonably priced lodge is easily accessible from Victoria Falls and is a perfect place from which you can explore the area
Sable Sands Lodge, situated on the magical Dete Vlei just outside Hwange National Park Main Camp, is the perfect safari getaway within a close range of Victoria Falls only 180 km away on the main road to Bulawayo.
The Dete vlei (pronounced “flay”) is a dried up river with multiple waterholes of which a 7 km stretch belongs to the lodge's concession, which allows them private game viewing in this area. Although it is positioned outside the boundary of Hwange National Park, it is essentially the same area as game wanders freely through this concession and the park, there is no difference. Safaris can be taken into the Park but quite honestly that is not necessary.
Lodge co-owners and managers Brian Sabeta and Marleen Post, known for the resurrection of neighbouring Sikumi Tree Lodge, took on the challenge of renovating the old Sable Valley Lodge, which famously hosted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip in 1991.
Operating in partnership with the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe and Tanzanian based safari operator Moivaro Lodges & Tented Camps, and renamed as Sable Sands, the lodge reopened at the end of 2012 with the unveiling of the impressively restyled main lodge building and refurbished chalets.
The lodge is located just within the shady tree line, with the main lodge building, a stunning thatched structure, overlooking the vlei and waterhole where the patient observer is rewarded by large herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra and various antelope species as well as being regularly frequented by lion, cheetah and occasionally leopard, as well as hyena, wild dog and other predators. The region has a wealth of birdlife with over 400 species recorded.
The eleven forest chalets, or 'rondavels', generously spaced around Sable Sand’s central swimming pool, have been designed with flexibility in mind and can be arranged as twin, double or family rooms, with on-suite bathrooms and shower and complete with small private terrace areas.
The five newer Vlei rooms are lined along the edge of the tree line in front of the vlei, and overlook the waterhole. These are more modern rondavels, and updated shower, basin and toilet behind a red wall.
Marleen and Brian are known for their warm hospitality and have created an atmosphere where guests become friends. The perfect place to base your safari activities, relax around camp and enjoy the views of the vlei from the comfort of the main lodge, or enjoy the peace and quiet in a tree slung hammock under the shade of the trees. A tree-house is located within the forest section - great for kids to hang out and even have lunch.
Safari options include game drives on their private concession, which extends across the vlei and includes a variety of habitats, and also trips into Hwange National Park itself, where special overnight camp options are also available. One of the special benefits of operation within a private concession, Sable Sands can offer clients night drives within their concession. The nearby Painted Dog Conservation Project’s visitor centre is also well worth a visit.
Sable Sands is positioned in an area with fantastic game viewing, and although it is a mid-ranged safari lodge, you will be well taken care of.
Most safari camps in Hwange are highly priced, luxury lodges targeted at the very wealthy. At Sable Sands they have aimed at the middle market, prices are much more reasonable and although not absolute luxury you are still well looked after in more than comfortable surroundings and are positioned in a fantastic game viewing area, that easily rivals any of the more expensive options.
• Positioned on a private concession on the Dete Vlei just outside the Hwange National Park
Accommodation at Sable Sands
• 16 spacious rondavel (round) cottages with thatched roofs and private terraces
All rooms have:
• Excellent game viewing on private concession
• Excellent wholesome home cooked meals using fresh ingredients from local produce
Facilities and Services
• Indoor public dining area, lounge and bar area with library and loft
How to Get to Sable Sands
• 2 hour drive from Victoria Falls (180km) 3 hour drive from Bulawayo (260km)