Ulusaba Game Reserve


Located in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Reserve, Ulusaba Game Reserve is one of the private reserves that shares it's borders with the famous Kruger National Park. The private game reserve is known to provide exceptional game viewing. Guests can track the Big Five with qualified rangers and trackers, and leopards sightings are incredible. The reserve is owned by Sir Richard Branson, the renowned business tycoon and the owner of Virgin Limited Ediction Group.    Ulusaba, meaning ‘place of little fear’ in the local Shangaan language, has two lodges: one on top of a small mountain with panoramic views, and a second lodge in the heart of the bush close to all the action. When you’re not exploring the bush on an open top vehicle with experienced rangers and trackers, you’ll be indulging in some of the fantastic and varied cuisine we serve or comparing notes with fellow guests on the wildlife you spotted earlier in the day. Ulusaba Private Game Reserve has 20 rooms and suites spread over two lodges, Rock Lodge and Safari Lodge, each with its own unique perspective on The African Bush.   In 2018, Ulusaba won Best Luxury Safari Resort in Travel + Leisure (India) and in 2017, was voted 3rd in Conde Nast Traveler's (US) Top Resorts in Africa.

Why Go:

  • Home of the Big Five
  • Excellent wildlife sightings
  • Two luxury lodges with unique styles and decor
  • Exclusive entertainment area for children
  • Off-road game viewing
  • Exquisite views


Wildlife viewing is excellent in the Ulusaba Game Reserve and tourists can easily view the Big Five, cheetahs, leopards, and antelope. Tourists can find various species of antelope, but they are often overlooked due to an increased focus on flagship species.

More About the Wildlife


The region in Ulusaba Game Reserve is mostly woodland savanna, which is dense but does not interfere with game viewing activities. The guides are skilled in wildlife tracking and can go off-road to offer an exceptional experience.

Best Time to Visit

Best time to visit Ulusaba Game Reserve is during the winter-dry season, as it is less crowded and game viewing is in abundance.

More About the Best Time to Visit

Weather & Climate

The winter-dry season is from May to September during which, the region witnesses very little rain. Water sources are the primary water supply for wildlife, causing a cluster of animals around waterholes. The Summer-Wet season is from October-April, which can get uncomfortably hot and humid. Average temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees with plenty of storms that can hinder game viewing.

More About the Weather and Climate

Wildlife & Animals

All of the Big Five (Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Lion and Leopard) are usually checked in a two to three-day visit, with leopard sightings being exceptional. Off-road game viewing in open Landrover vehicles assures quality sightings of most species, particularly the habituated resident predators. Ulusaba is part of the Greater Kruger National Park ecosystem, which makes for a very authentic wildlife experience.
Abundant Common Occasional Rare None
  • Elephant


  • Giraffe


  • Hippo


  • Buffalo


  • Zebra


  • Wildebeest


  • White Rhino

    White Rhino

  • Black Rhino

    Black Rhino

  • Lion


  • Leopard


  • Cheetah


  • Hyena


  • Wild Dog

    Wild Dog


Best Time to Visit

The best wildlife viewing time is during winter, which is also considered the ‘low season’. Fewer crowds make this an appealing time for a visit. It is also the Dry season which lasts from May to September. Animals are easy to spot during the dry months as foliage becomes less abundant and they gather around rivers and waterholes.
  • Best Time to GoMay to September
    (Dry season)
  • High SeasonOctober to March
    (It can get a bit busy)
  • May to September

    Dry season

  • October to March

    It can get a bit busy

  • April to September

    Excellent time for wildlife viewing

  • April to May

    Mild weather and little rain

  • September to October

    Mild weather and little rain

  • June to August

    Chilly mornings and nights

  • December to February

    Hot and humid

Weather & Climate

October to April are the hot, wet summer months while the warm and arid winter occurs from May to September. Although winter days are dry and mild, it is cold in the mornings, so warm clothes are advisable for morning and evening game drives. Expect thunderstorms in the afternoon during the Wet season, though it generally doesn’t rain all day.
Climate Chart
- 272-479m / 892-1,572ft
Averages based on 50 years of monthly climate data, taken from 1km² (0.39mi²) interpolated climate surfaces.
© chart & park data: SafariBookings. © climate grid data: WorldClim project. All rights reserved.
Dry season
- May to September – Winter

The dry winter season is from May to September, which is also the best time to visit Ulusaba Game Reserve.

Wet season
- October to April – Summer

October to April is the wet summer season and temperatures can increase to uncomfortable levels.

Getting There

The lodge is easily accessible by either road or air and superbly situated in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa. This reserve is home to Africa’s Big Five and a diverse range of fauna and bird life.

Getting to the Ulusaba Game Reserve by air

The lodge is 1 hour and 20 minutes by air from Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport, or a 30 minute flight from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) in Nelspruit.

The lodge also has its own private airstrip with daily scheduled and charter flights available.

Getting to the Ulusaba Game Reserve by road

Directions From Johannesburg:

Take the N4 /N12 to Nelspruit
• Follow the R40 from Nelspruit for 60km (37 miles) through White River to Hazyview
• As you approach Hazyview there is a T-Junction. Turn left at this junction. This road will take you into Hazyview Town
• Carry on straight through the first set of traffic lights
• At the junction with the second set of traffic lights, there will be a signpost that reads Paul Kruger Gate. At this signpost, turn right. This road is the R536
• After approximately 32km (20 miles) there are signposts for Ulusaba through Newington Gate on the left hand side of the road. There will also be signs indicating Huntington, Lilydale and Justicia
• Turn left and follow the gravel road for 9km (5 miles) until you find the next Ulusaba sign
• Turn right and follow the road for another 3km (1.8 miles) to Newington Gate which is where you will enter the Sabi Sand Reserve. Pay your entrance fees and proceed through the gate following the signposts for 17km (11 miles) to Ulusaba.

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