Harder to get to, there is some great value among northern Sabi Sand’s seven lodge groups. Self- catering is possible. Game roams freely through scrubby bushveld and open plains into the Kruger. You do not, but most of the lodges share their land with their neighbours for the purposes of enjoying sightings. A few, including Vuyatela and Cheetah Plains, have access to the private land on Buffelshoek to the north. Vehicle density is lower than in the western sector.
Seasonal rivers and some large lakes are the water sources here. Mega herds of buffalo visit these reservoirs, with Arathusa and Chitwa Chitwa positioned at the largest two. Waterholes are pumped year round. There are strong concentrations of game around water in the dry winter months from April until September.
These lodges are all accessed through the Gowrie gate. This is a seven hour drive from Johannesburg, including at least an hour on dirt roads which can be confusing to navigate, so use the nearest main airport at Hoedspruit instead with an onward transfer (75 minutes). Phalaborwa is 2 hours away, Nelspruit or Skukuza three hours. Fly-in charters are also possible to several airstrips here.