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Sable Dam & Overnight/Bird Hide

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Wild Dreamer
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Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide

Unread post by Wild Dreamer » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:48 pm

Sable Dam Overnight was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life, and that with scarce an animal coming around.
Never slept a wink, was tiptoeing around all night waiting, looking, and in the early morning hours a herd af elephants came splashing on the far side and disappeared softly and silently into the night.
Impalas were everywhere and did their sparring stuff throughout the night.
There were no spiders. The four of us had the hide looking absolutely homely and wonderful, bedding set up, citronella candles burning, flickering softly, cushions on the benches and coffee table set up - that over and beyond our feastly set-up outside at the braai...
The atmosphere, OH, for the atmosphere. We felt like kings and queens, with this piece of the world our kingdom for the night.
In the early hours of the morning lions roared afar-off, and hyenas were calling.
Sunset and sunrise were most beautiful.
Creatures were splashing in the dam, geese and ducks were quacking.
The mine lights were so far and minimal it never detracted any magic from this glorious place.
Will certainly do it again!

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Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide

Unread post by Eagle Owl » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:10 pm

Here are a few photos taken on our overnight stay at the Sable dam bird hide. Thanks Wild Dreamer and SO for letting us share this awesome experience with you guys.

Please note, images are not very good as we still need to get a bigger flash for our new Pentax and sort the camera out. Although Sprocky was only a few kilometers away he was probably having a great new year's bash and could not assist us on the camera dillema... :wink:

There was not as much different animal activities around the dam as we had hoped for but it was still great fun and we will definitely do it again!!


An ellie and a few impalas on the right as we were busy unpacking our stuff. The ellie loomed around for more than an hour.

The sun setting in the east.

The full moon rising over the horizon.

An impala in front of the hide.

The moon in full glory against the dark sky.

Our sleeping quarters.

Forumites wandering around....

Beautiful sunrise on 1 January 2010 as seen from Sable dam bird hide.

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Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:39 am

Eagle Owl, those are brilliant :clap: :clap: . I was there a few days ago and it is most definately on my "to-do" list. Unfortunately I could not stay long but I did take a couple of pictures to remind me of how special it was.


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Re: Sable Dam Hide Sightings

Unread post by yvosti » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:10 am

We stayed overnight at Sable dam in May 2008.
It was an awesome experience.
The solitude and silence was overwhelming.
We could actually hear the impala eating the grass next to the hide all night long.
We had a scrub hare keep watch over us all night and with a good torch we were able to see a civet with her baby running around on the other side of the dam.
It was a great experience and one that I would certainly do again.
The accommodation is very rustic but certainly adequate. :wink:

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Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide

Unread post by Sprocky » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:52 pm

Here is a shot I took today of the hide from the other side.


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Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide

Unread post by Sprocky » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:52 am

We have just got back home from a night at Sable.
We chose the wrong night to be there.
It was a scorcher, the temperature only dropped below 30 just after 01h00, when a bit of a breeze started blowing.
We were still wetting our shirts and putting them on wet at 21h00 last night.
I bought two bags of ice for the cooler, which normally last until late the next morning, well these two bags had melted before we even went to bed.
We took our mattresses out on the walk way and slept there, it was just too hot in the hide.

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Sable Dam

Unread post by Olonana » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:31 pm

I stayed at Sable dam in late November 2009. In a word WONDERFUL!! Regret no pics...

So great to experience the park in a no frills style and seclusion (ok 10kms or so from Phalabarowa Spar!). I would recommend it to any true bush junkie. Yes it was hot and during setup U get to FEEL it, but WOW! Maybe SANPARKS needs to setup more basic units like that and allow a max of 3 nights per stay.

On the down side, the time between the 'day-trippers' needing to leave and sunset (in November was so short that there was hardly time to setup and get braaiing, never mind recover from the heat). We didnt want to be inconsiderate and smoke them out with an 'early' braai!

Another thing would be to supply bigger mozzie nets, as those single bed one just cover the bed but dont dare turn, as they they re-adjust and then don't cover the bed!

We had lions roaring at 3am - wonderful sound - never saw them and then nature's alarm, the Gypos started being active from soon after that!

Other suggestion would be a "friendly yellow or orange" flood light for the waterhole (like Addo). Not everyone carries 10million candlelight flood and that DOES cause light pollution and interference with the animals.

Maybe also a public loo some way off, say otherside of the car park, as we had to 'accommodate' a lady in distress (altho' the Phalaborwa Gate is just down the drag). She had a dog (Yorkie) in the car - does the gate guard not do a once over?

Lastly, just some maintenance on the locks and hinges (what do some people do to bend clasps and hinges ???)

Otherwise would not change a thing.
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Re: Overnight Hides

Unread post by bushwalker » Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:22 pm

I have stayed at Sable Dam hide twice, once in Feb and once in Aug.
The heat and humidity during the night in Feb was surprisingly high.
Everything changes when the sun goes down.
You become more aware of bush sounds and of your own isolation (and vulnerability ?)
But it's a unique experience and I hope to live it again.
I've never stayed overnight at Shipandani but have visited the hide during the day.
From what I read on the forum, it's just as good if not better.
Don't forget to take a powerful torch and/or spotlight.
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Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide

Unread post by Wild about cats » Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:56 am

Stayed in the hide for the second time during December '09. It's a great place to be, makes one feel very alone in nature. I went in a group of 3 girls: my mother, sister and I. It is very safe. We cooked early and stayed in the hide from sunset to the early morning. I would definitely recommend waking up in the middle of the night and using a spotlight to look around or to just enjoy the sounds of nature. In the hustle and big-ness of the camps, you cant ever experience what you can in a hide at night.

Our luck hit the jackpot when we were alone with a pride of lions early in the morning for an hour.





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Re: Sable Dam & Bird Hide

Unread post by rooikat75 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:07 pm

I was there yesterday, it really looks nice and I'm gonna try to book it for next year.
We stayed at Shipandani hide on Thursday night and it was great.
Shipandani has the river, but not a lot of animals.
I think the edge from the water level to where the animals stand to drink is too high.
Sable is open and my guess is you will see a lot more.

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Re: Overnight Hides

Unread post by Thirsty Traveller » Wed May 25, 2011 11:56 am

We have booked to spend one night of our 2 weeks in the park at Sable in December,
I will have my caravan with me.
Will I have to leave my van at Phalaborwa gate for the night or will I be able to park it at the hide?

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Re: Overnight Hides

Unread post by DuQues » Wed May 25, 2011 12:03 pm

Sable hide has a huge area for parking. It should be fine there, and the access road should not really pose a problem either. The only problem is that it is a sandroad, so no caravans allowed. But I guess you can drop it off at Massorini?
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Sable Hide

Unread post by JaniceE » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:10 pm

We are back to our favourite place in the world "KNP" in November.
This time we will be in a motorhome.
Our question is on our first night we are booked at the Sable hide.... is the entrance wide enough?
would be so sad to lose it.
Thank you in advance for any info.
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Re: Sable Hide

Unread post by michel367 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:19 pm

Depending a bit on how wide or high your motorhome is. It should be wide enough.

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Re: Sable Hide

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:14 pm

But there is indeed a large parking area, and a gate.
That gate is for pedestrians only!
The 'tunnel' behind it is only a meter and a half wide at most, so please leave the motorhome on the parking lot?
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