Sabie is a forestry town of 9,000 people (2019) on the banks of the Sabie River in Mpumalanga province. It is known for its scenery and beautiful waterfalls, and is a popular tourist destination.
The name Sabie is derived from the Tsonga word "Ulusaba" which means "fearful river" because the river was once teeming with dangerous Nile crocodile. The word Ulusaba was modernized by the Afrikaner settlers who changed it from Ulusaba (Tsonga) into the Afrikaans "Sabie".
Its main industry is forestry. The plantations surrounding Sabie form one of the world's largest man-made forests.
- Lone Creek Falls. In the northern part of the town, just before crossing the Sabie River, there is a road heading west. Follow it (10 km).
- Bridal Falls
- Horseshoe Falls
- Forest Industry Museum, 10 7th Ave. M-Sa 08:00-16:30, closed Su. Exhibits about logging, silviculture, birds, etc.
- River-tubing: i.e., going down the river-rapids sitting in a hard rubber ring/tyre
- Caving: caving in the mud-caves by candlelight, Do not be tempted to do this without a guide as this is dangerous
- Bridge-swing: i.e., standing on the bridge at the bottom of town and jumping off (with a rope attached of course so that you swing underneath the bridge tarzan-style and are then lowered down to the bottom for the short walk back up)
- Sabie panorama: a tour of the surrounding views and sights to the north of Sabie including fantastic photo opportunities, waterfalls, the three rondavels and some souvenir stalls
- Abseiling: including abseiling down a waterfall if you fancy something different
- Kloofing/gorge walking: hopping between and on rocks down a river, under waterfalls, etc. You will almost certainly get quite wet
- Mountain biking: A large portion of the tourism is taken up by the adventurous mountain bikers that make their way to the downhill slaloms in the pine forests. One of these is the Noon to Moon which is a 10-hour endurance relay race for teams of 3. Teams complete as many laps as possible around a 7.5-km (5-mi) course of single track. The start is at noon from the Castle Rock Camp site in Sabie and includes 3 hours of night riding. There are many kilometres of flowing single tracks which make this town a must to visit for mountain bikers.
- Trout fly fishing, Sabie River, ☏ . The Sabie Trout Angling Club offers trout fishing in the Sabie river. The Sabie River is regularly stocked. Permits are required to fish. R90.
There are a number of day walk and over night hiking trails in the area.
- Forest Falls Nature Walk (follow the R532 from Sabie to Graskop for 15 km). A 3.2-km circular walk. You will require a permit that can be obtained at Merry Pebbles. R10.
- Loerie Trail, Ceylon Forest Station. A 10-km circular walk. You will require a permit that can be obtained at Merry Pebbles. R10.
- Fanie Botha, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Trails ranging from 2-to-5 days and 20 km to 60 km. Sleepover huts are available with toilets and showers, but no electricity or hot water. These trails are popular and advance booking is recommended.
There are numerous ATMs, and banks to change and withdraw money
- The Spur steak ranch has an excellent view of the mountains.
- The Hole is a small cafe opposite the supermarket at the top of town and serves delicious toasted sarnies.
If you are cooking for yourself, Boerewors are huge twirling beef sausages which are very good. You can even get Simba crisps which are Boerewors flavoured.
Biltong is a nice snack if you like dried, flavoured meat, this can be anything from dried Ostrich to dried chilli-Beef.
Pack a cooler box and fill it with your favourites cool drinks. This is a hot area, you will need to cool down. You will be able to buy ice and drinks at filling (gas) stations. Great drinks to have are malibu (alcoholic), dry lemon, soda water, your choice of whiskey and some juices. Ice-cream and some bottled water are also great.
Sabie boasts its own brewery located on 45 Main Road. The Sabie Brewing Company produce 6 hand-crafted beers all true to their style.
- Jock Sabie Lodge, Glenn Ave, ☏ , fax: . R100 per person per night.
- Sabie Backpackers, 185 Main St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A friendly activities hostel which provides all the equipment with enthusiastic and refreshing 'guides'. Self-catered, pool table, fire-poi show (if you're lucky), bar. From R65 per person per night in the dorm to R190 per room per night for a double en suite room.
- Merry Pebbles, Old Lydenburg Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Family resort with chalets and camping accommodation. From R160 for a single sleeper cabin in low season to R1400 for a 6-sleeper during high season.
- Castle Rock, ☏ , provides for caravaning and camping.
Locals tend to jump from the top of the waterfall by the bridge at the bottom of town. This is about 25-30 m high and is very dangerous if you don't hit the water correctly.
- Drive north to the Mac-Mac Falls, Pilgrim's Rest, Blyde River Canyon, the Three Rondavels and Graskop on the Panorama Route.
- Drive east to Hazyview and the Kruger National Park.