The delightfully scenic Kariega River estuary winds its way through wooded thickets and steep banks before opening out onto wide, grassy flats and sandbanks just upstream of the Indian Ocean mouth. In a first for any South African game reserve, arriving and departing guests traverse this wonderfully diverse stretch of salt water the best way possible, in a leisurely 45-minute boat cruise. The estuary harbours large numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds including the rare African Black Oystercatcher. The fortunate might even see dolphins, seals or turtles near the mouth, and otters further upriver.
Game viewing is of a consistently high standard, with regular sightings of elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and giraffe at close quarters. Antelope range from the mighty eland to the diminutive blue duiker, with a huge variety in between, including the regal kudu and rare oribi. Sibuya is home to a number of endangered species including bontebok, rhinoceros and cheetah, the latter as part of a breeding project. Lions are present for the first time in more than a century; jackals are frequently seen; and there are occasional sightings of leopard, caracal and aardvark.
Thought by some to be one of South Africa's most beautiful private game reserves, Sibuya covers more than 3000 hectares of varied terrain and vegetation. From the moderately open river plains, through the pristine Lower Albany Thicket, there are also patches of Cape Fynbos and a windswept, grassy plateau favoured by many of the larger grazing animals. Sibuya supports one of the highest densities of wildlife in South Africa ensuring an intensive and varied game-viewing experience in spectacular surroundings.
Bird enthusiasts have a fair chance of spotting the elusive Narina Trogon, while sightings of other exquisitely colourful birds such as Knysna Turacos, Sunbirds and Kingfishers are frequent. For those impressed by size, there are Ostriches, Denham's Bustards, Secretarybirds, Crowned Eagles, Fish Eagles, Spurwing Geese, Goliath Herons and many more.
River Camp - 4 luxury tented rooms
A favourite amongst friends, families and sole-use groups, this small and intimate camp has four beautifully appointed tented rooms, all en suite. River Camp tents can sleep 2 adults and 2 children sharing with their parents
Discretely tucked into a small forest on the river bank, each tented room has been designed with its own unique layout in order to avoid felling trees and to protect as much of the site as possible. A light and airy design lets nature's sights and sounds flood into the generously proportioned guest areas, creating a sense of oneness with the wilderness all around. Ground level pathways and large foldout sofa beds make River Camp particularly well-suited to those with children, and there's even a playroom tent. Located on an ancient floodplain where an oxbow, or billabong, will one day form, the camp affords spectacular views of the river from its sweeping verandas.
Sibuya's rangers, some of the most experienced in the business, take pride in organising rewarding bush walks, personalised game drives and exclusive boat or canoe trips. Their love of the environment and enthusiasm for their work is infectious, and guests will find them to be not only knowledgeable guides but also gracious hosts.
Part of the purpose of a getaway is to relax! River Camp offers ample opportunity for guests to do this, and few pastimes can be more soporific than lying on a hammock with a book, listening to the birdsong in the trees. At night, the soft glow of lanterns and distant roar of the ocean are the only distractions from the crackling outdoor fire.
Forest Camp - 8 luxury tented rooms
Perfectly situated on the banks of the Kariega River, but tucked unobtrusively into the indigenous bush, Forest Camp offers a blend of essential comforts and warm, charming style. Richly coloured local textiles, in shades of rust and burnt orange, are used throughout in support of the region's weaving community.
The camp, with its long wooden walkways through pristine thicket, has eight en suite tents, complete with luxury furnishings. Designed with a light footprint to protect the surrounding riverine environment, the camp affords views of game on both banks of the river and makes an ideal venue for weddings and small functions.
With no schedules and absolutely no pressure on guests to do anything other than relax, this wonderful camp combines the finest in safari luxury with fabulous service and truly memorable game experiences.
Sibuya's executive chef and his capable team have won rave reviews for the preparation and presentation of their cuisine. Top notch dining is an integral part of any visit to Sibuya with excellent South African wines served in the dining room, on picnics, or under a canopy of stars in the wonderful open air boma.
Bush Lodge - 4 luxury suites
Sibuya's Bush Lodge is set in a pristine wilderness paradise 35 minutes from the main reserve.
After departing from Kenton and enjoying our unique boat cruise up the Kariega Estuary, Bush Lodge guests enjoy lunch in the Reserve before a short transfer by game vehicle takes them to the Lodge.
This stylish bush destination, which mushrooms from an indigenous forested valley, is a classic thatched 4 - Star Lodge, with all the luxury and modern amenities to match.
Spacious viewing decks surround the main lodge which overlooks the wooded valley below. A sparkling swimming pool is an inviting alternative to the Kariega River Estuary and is an ideal place to relax and refresh between game drives or other activities.
For those guests wanting a little more luxury and comfort than our tented River and Forest Camps, this is the ideal alternative.
Bush Lodge is only available to adults with children over the age of 12.
Bush Lodge has four secluded luxury thatched suites.
These stunningly appointed units are private, spacious and fully en-suite with outside and inside showers and private sun/viewing decks. Each room has a bar fridge, tea/coffee station and for hot summer nights, air-conditioning. A wood-burning fireplace adds a cosy touch for the cooler winter evenings.