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About Sabie

The small malaria free, tranquil town of Sabie is nestled in the North Eastern Drakensberg Escarpment of the Mpumalanga province. Since Sabie is centrally located on the Panorama Route, there are various ways to reach this historic town, which lies in the centre of one of the largest man-made forests in the world.

Sabie it is the ideal holiday destination that caters for the whole family. There is something here for everyone and it is virtually impossible to be bored. There is an abundance of exciting activities including 4x4 trails, swimming, fishing, abseiling, archery, bird watching, boating and sailing, white-water rafting, rock climbing, hiking, helicopter flips and hot air ballooning over the shimmering valleys.

Patches of indigenous forest survive in some of the valleys and the banks of streams are covered with beautiful wild flowers and ferns. The Bridal Veil Falls, the Lone Creek Waterfall and the Horseshoe Falls can all be reached from the scenic forest track along the south bank of the Sabie River.

With nature on their doorstep, the town of Sabie is an inspiring environment for a growing number of artists and craftsmen. There are plenty of unique curio shops which all stock a fine selection of African art, crafts and curios.

Sabie is a must visit for all and promises an unforgettable experience.

Quick Facts

Province: Mpumalanga
Country: South Africa
Address: Sabie, Mpumalanga

Why go?

- 4x4 trails
- Outdoor activities
- Birding

History icon


The names of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, Sir Herbert Baker and Chief Lesisi line the pages of the town's historic archives, which started as a base camp for hunters and transport riders. This quickly changed in 1871 when HT Glynn hit a rock while bottle shooting with some friends. The diverging bullet revealed gold specks in the rock where the bullet had glanced off, and soon the gold rush of the first commercial gold extraction had found its way to the farm Grootfontein.

While the gold secured wealth, the extraction thereof consumed much of the natural forest of the surrounding area. In 1876 Joseph Brooks Shires planted the first commercial eucalyptus and wattle plantations on his farm Onverwacht (now known as Brooklands) to supply the demand for firewood and mining struts. The nearby Maria Shires waterfall is named in honour of his mother.

By 1924 Sabie was proclaimed a village council. The town is named after the Sabie River which is well known for its crocodiles as well as its harsh currents. It was during the Great Depression (1929 - 1934) that the government subsidised the afforestation efforts in the area and thereby provided employment to the local farmers who were overwhelmed by a 14 year drought and financial adversity.

The earliest inhabitants of the eastern escarpment region of Sabie were the Bushmen or the San people, deduced from the rock paintings, engravings, artefacts and stone tools found in the area.

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