Nature lovers, artists, bird watchers and thrill seekers alike will love this tranquil forestry town nestled high on the Drakensberg escarpment.
Situated on the banks of the Sabie River and surrounded by a large man-made forest, waterfalls and plantations, the small town of Sabie makes the most of its surroundings. With hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, fly fishing and white water rafting within minutes of the town, there’s plenty to keep outdoor enthusiasts busy, while the attractive countryside makes the town a magnet for artists, couples and families.
Sabie owes its beginnings to the gold rush of the late 19th century. Concerned at the damage the search for gold was doing to the local environment pioneer Joseph Brook Shires planted the area’s first commercial trees. The site grew into one of the world’s largest man-made forests. Today, forestry is Sabie’s main industry.
Get out and explore the scenery. The immediate area surrounding Sabie is renowned for its large cluster of waterfalls. One of the most popular is Lone Creek Falls, situated about 6 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of Sabie. Go to the viewing platform at the bottom of the falls and look up as a single cascade tumbles from a height of 223 feet (68 meters). Embark on a trail through pine and eucalyptus plantations and along mountain streams.
If you are seeking exhilarating outdoor adventures take a white water rafting trip along the river’s rapids, or go abseiling and rock climbing on the cliffs around Sabie. Explore the Sabie River Valley on a quad bike, or rent a mountain bike and tackle the forest’s downhill slalom runs. Many of these activities can be booked through the Sabie Information Office. Visit the town’s website for more details.
Sabie’s beautiful scenery may have put it on the tourist map, but there are also plenty of indoor activities. Learn about the local timber industry in the Sabie Forestry Museum, or hunt down African art and crafts in the town’s galleries and shops. Enjoy local hospitality and international flavors in the towns restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
Sabie is located 220 miles (360 kilometers) east of Johannesburg International Airport. The town is a great base for exploring Kruger National Park which is just an hour’s drive away.