Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is home to the only free-range white lions in South Africa

Western Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

The 54, 000 hectare Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the Little Karoo is one of the hottest weekend break destinations in the Western Cape. Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is home to the only free-range white lions in South Africa.

The historic predator release means that for the first time in over 200 years, lion and cheetah can once again be seen in the Klein Karoo, making Sanbona the first private game reserve in the Western Cape to play host to free-roaming big cats.

At the foot of the Warmwaterberg, in the heart of the Little Karoo, between Montagu and Barrydale on the famous Route 62, the vision of the San has become a reality. Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, 54 000 hectares of undulating mountains and plains, indigenous fauna and flora, rock formations and rock art make this a destination not to be missed.

Specialist guiding is a key element in providing a memorable and varied experience. The name Sanbona is a combination of the "San" people who roamed this area for thousands of years and "bona" which represents their vision in order to position this portion of the Little Karoo.

Sanbona has initiated a unique conservation programme that aims to breed the White Lion for release into the wild. Our dream is to reintroduce this rare animal into areas where it has been wiped out - for example, in the Timbavati region, where records indicate that the White Lion was spotted in the wild as far back as 1925.

The White Lion has always been rare, but its unusual beauty has captured the imaginations of people across the globe. Its whiteness is not due to albinism, but due to a recessive gene - similar to that found in the rare white tigers of Asia. However, it is not a separate species of lion from the typical tawny African lion.

The cubs are born almost pure white, but darken to a rich cream colour over the course of their first two years.

Game Lodges in the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Lodges


Only 3 hours from Cape Town, Sanbona boasts 54 000 hectares of undulating mountains and plains, indigenous flora and fauna, rock formations and rock art. This is a destination not to be missed. The sheer expanse and stark beauty of the Sanbona...

More info and contact details: Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Lodges

White Lion Lodge


The privately owned White Lion Lodge on the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a perfect place for individuals, sole use of a group or a family up to eight guests. The Lodge is a combination of contemporary décor mixed with Karoo sandstone, timber...

More info and contact details: White Lion Lodge

Did you know?

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is the closest free-roaming Big 5 reserve to Cape Town and is home to the only free, self sustaining white lions in the world.

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