The Sabi Sand Reserve is part of the largest conservation area in South Africa and it is the oldest of all the private reserves. It was formed in 1950 and comprises of many privately owned game lodges, covering an area of 65 000 hectare/ 153 000 acre of savannah thornveld. It is now part of the Greater Kruger National Park and there are no fences between them, so the game moves freely through this enormous natural reserve. This is one of South Africa’s most treasured natural sanctuaries. Notten’s forms part of the southern section of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Its neighbours are Mala Mala on its eastern boundary and Sabi Sabi on its western boundary. Notten’s shares traversing with Sabi Sabi and has over 15000 arcres of pristine land for game viewing.
The history of today’s Sabi Sand Reserve as a formal association dates back to 1948 when the landowners formed the private nature reserve. Credit for the association, however, should go to the original pioneers of the reserve in the late 1920′s and early 1930′s. Of these pioneers, no less than six of their families are now third and fourth generation owners of the land – a credit to the foresight of their forefathers who loved and respected Africa’s flora and fauna. The Sabi Reserve was proclaimed in 1898 and incorporated what is today both the Sabi Sand and the Kruger National Park. However, in 1926 the National Parks Act of South Africa was passed and many private landowners were excised from the Sabi Reserve. They in turn formed the Sabi Private Game Reserve in 1934 – a forerunner to the Sabi Sand. It was in 1926 that the first tourists were allowed into the Kruger National Park – the birth of sustainable wildlife tourism that is the recipe for conservation in Africa today.
In 1961 and as a result of the threat of foot and mouth disease and the continued hunting on adjacent private land, fences were erected between the Sabi Sand and the Kruger National Park. The Sabi Sand also fenced their perimeter to the west to prevent the movement of game from the area. In 1993, however, after much discussion between the Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand, the fences between the two reserves once again came down and animals soon migrated between the park and the private reserves to the west. The Sabi Sand now forms part of the greater Kruger National Park wildlife enclave and its immense wildlife gene pool.This area is also in the process of being further enlarged within the Peace Park concept with an expected integration and amalgamation with protected areas in Mozambique, and eventually Zimbabwe.
The Sabi Sand Reserve became the birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in Southern Africa. It’s Focus & Foresight is on Conservation, with the main objective of the Sabi Sand game management policy to monitor the habitat and wildlife densities. Sabi Sand focuses on conservation and the environment only. To this end it was conceived and remains as an association whose aims are the promotion and conservation of wildlife, fauna and flora and to the preservation of the area as a sanctuary for every type of indigenous wildlife. The protection of the rights and interests of the reserve with respect to the Sand River (the lifeblood of the Sabi Sand) are also promoted and the hunting of wildlife is forbidden.
Collectively the reserve is involved in environmental management programs and studies.
Alien plant control
Micro catchment management to combat erosion
Monitoring of wildlife and habitat densities
Control of runaway fires
It is also involved in helping the surrounded community with activities which help them to generate income; provision of health care and provision of drinking water.