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Sable Dam Hide

This is one of the two new concept sleepover hides within the Northern Region of the Kruger National Park.

These hides offer visitors an unique experience of sleeping in the natural environment while enjoying the opportunity of seeing many of the Kruger National Parks nocturnal animals and perhaps even some of the more famous big five at one of our most scenic dams.

History of Sable Dam

Sable Dam is one of the most scenic and largest public dams located in the Northern Business Unit. It can be found approximately 8 km from the Phalaborwa Gate and 1 km from the H-9 tar road en-route to Letaba.

The Dam was built as part of the Kruger National Park Tar Road project during the 1970’s. The Dam supplied water to the construction teams who were working on the tar road between Phalaborwa Gate and Letaba Restcamp.

Construction of the dam began on the 5 September 1972 and was finished in the same month. The following is a list of interest factors regarding Sable Dam:

  • Catchment area: 1 900 hectres
  • Earth Volume: 32 000 cubic metres
  • Capacity: 221 mega litres
  • Depth: 6.4 metres (at maximum)
  • Length of wall: 392 m

General information for day visitors and overnight guests

Please do not walk outside the enclosed area that includes not approaching the waters’ edge. You are in Big Five Reserve and there is a danger of predators in the area. There are regular patrols in the area surrounding the Bird Hide to ensure that this rule is enforced.

  • The braai facilities are for overnight guests only and will be cleaned in the mornings and afternoons.
  • Please ensure that you remove all your own refuse. No refuse removal services are available for the Bird Hide – black refuse bags will be provided for overnight guests.
  • Occupation time for Sable Dam Hide is a half an hour before gate closing time and similarly check out must be a half hour after gate opening time. Please ensure that you adhere to these times.
  • Please bare in mind other guests are entitled to make use of the Bird Hide facility before occupation and after check out times.
  • No overnight equipment can be taken into the hide before the occupation time.
  • No late arrivals or driving after gate closing hours is permitted. Fines will be issued should you be found disregarding this rule.
  • Normal noise level regulations apply.
  • The use of gas braais or gas/paraffin lamps is not permitted inside the Bird Hide due to the fire hazard potential.
  • Occupants must please supply their own firewood and water. Conditions are rustic and no allowances have been made for this.
  • Weather can change drastically due to the Hide being close to water i.e. temperatures can drop, please plan accordingly.
  • There are mosquito nets to assist for your convenience. However there are no guarantees so please ensure you bring your insect repellants along.
  • All the normal rules of the Kruger National Park are applicable.

This information has been included for your convenience. Please adhere to the guidelines to ensure that your stay is an enjoyable one.

  • You are reminded that any use of the bird hide facilities both for day visitors and overnight guests is at your own risk.
  • An indemnity form must be completed and handed into the Phalaborwa Gate staff before taking occupancy at the hide.

Should you have any comments or suggestions regarding the Sleepover Hide, please direct them to any of our reception areas and we will ensure that they are passed on to the correct people.

Available equipment

We have equipment available should you choose not to bring you own. However for our own security we have included deposits on the items in question.


  • Duvets and Duvet Covers
  • Pillows and Pillow Slips
  • Mattress Covers and Fitted Sheets
  • Mosquito nets

Picnic Basket

  • Dinner and Side Plates
  • Bowls
  • Mugs
  • Cutlery (knives, forks, spoons, teaspoons)

Additional Items

  • Kettle
  • Braai Grid
  • Rechargeable Lamps

Booking information

Should you be interested in making a booking at the Sable Dam Bird Hide, you can contact Phalaborwa Gate for assistance (no bookings will be done through any other of the camps receptions).

Phalaborwa Gate: 013 735 6509

If you have a booking in the park and would still like to make use of the Bird Hide there is a per person charge in addition to your booking/accommodation fee at the camp you are staying.

Please contact Phalaborwa Gate should you require any further information.

Possible sightings include:

Hippo Crocodile Buffalo
Lion Black / White Rhino Warthog
Giraffe Impala Sable
Eland Elephant Leopard
Genet Porcupine Bush Babies
Scrub Hare African Wild Cat Hyena
Kudu Zebra Zebra  

For the bird watchers there is a multitude of Bird Species both aquatic and terrestrial that can be seen both during the daylight hours and in the evenings .

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