Sabie is situated in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.

Sabie is a small attractive and peaceful town that can be found in the centre of one of the largest man-made forests in the world, over four million square kilometers of eucalyptus and pine trees. It is a forestry town named after the river which it lies adjacent to, the Sabie River. The early Tsonga people were fearful of the crocodiles and the harsh currents of the river, Sabie was derived from the Tsonga Shangaan word “Ulusaba”, meaning fearful.

It is an ideal destination offering visitors a malaria-free holiday with attractions and activities for the whole family. It is one of the towns along the very scenic Panorama Route with attractions such as waterfalls, nature reserves and spectacular viewpoints. The town boasts enough African Art, Crafts and Curios stores to keep any holiday shopper happy!

Visit the Market Square, the hub of the community and centre for the many activities offered in the region such as abseiling, rock climbing, bird watching or white river rafting. You will also find a plaque in the square commemorating South Africa’s most famous pooch, Jock of the Bushveld.

There are many wonderful B & B’s, Guesthouses, backpackers’ accommodation, camping and caravan sites in the area, with a few high quality restaurants to choose from too.

Places to Visit

Things to do and see

Climate

Rainfall occurs mainly in the mid-summer months, with December and January seeing the highest levels. 

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 30˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 19˚C.

Transport

There are daily flights from  JohannesburgDurban and Cape Town into the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mombela (Nelspruit). Car rental companies are available for easy access to the surrounding areas with Sabie being only 45 minutes away along the R40 and R537. Road trips from Johannesburg to Sabie via the N12 and N4 will take just under 4 hours.

Festivals

March/April – LongTom Marathon: The toughest Ultra Marathon in South Africa, starts and ends in the town – 56 km run along the Long Tom Pass.

November – Noon to Moon Mountain Bike Race: Starts at 12h00 and ends at 20h00. Teams of 4 ride laps of 5 km each to see who can complete the most in the 8 hour time slot.

History

The town of Sabie originated in 1895, when H.T Glynn, who owned a farm on the upper reaches of the river, was entertaining friends on a picnic at the waterfall. During a target match after the picnic, bullets chipped the rock and revealed indications of gold. The guests immediately became eager prospectors and one of them, Capt. J. C. Ingle, who knew something of mining, proved over the next few days the existence of a substantial gold reef.

The Glynns-Lydenburg Gold Mining Company was formed to work the discovery. This Sandstone Reef, as it was called, was rich but it lay in dolomite saturated with water. The Glynns persisted however and by the time the mine closed in July 1950 they had recovered 1 246 646 ounces of gold.

The town of Sabie was the child of the mine. It became a municipality in 1924 and today it is the centre for vast afforestation. The timber industry came about owing to the demand for pit props in the mine and it became apparent that soil, climate and water supply made the escarpment an ideal area for trees.

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