Overnight Hides – Sable and Shipandani

Overnight hides are amazing places to spend the night! You’ll see and hear all kinds of wildlife in the distance and right near you!

Sleeping over in a hide is a fantastic opportunity to have the birds and animals, especially the nocturnal ones, right on your doorstep.

Shipandani Overnight Hide overlooking Tsendze RiverThe only sounds you’ll hear are bush sounds! The sights that you see will be treasured memories, especially if the moon is shining brightly the night you’re there.

There are two hides in Kruger National Park that you can sleep over at:

Sable Sleepover Hide, overlooks Sable Dam and is 10km (6 miles) from Phalaborwa Gate. To check into the hide, collect the keys at the gate. The hide accommodates 2 to 9 people. No utensils or cooking equipment are provided.

Shipandani (also spelt Shipandane) Sleepover Hide, is 3km (2 miles) south of Mopani Rest Camp and overlooks the Tsendze River. If you’ve got a booking for Shipandani, you need to check in at Mopani where you’ll be given cutlery and other cooking utensils. There’s room for 2 to 6 people to sleep at this hide.

When you book an overnight bird hide, you have to book out the whole thing. You’ll sleep on fold down beds for the night.

You may only arrive at a sleepover hide in the early evening and you must leave it at around dawn the following morning. No sleeping in! This is because the hide opens again to general tourists first thing in the morning.

Shipandani Sleepover Hide signpostRegular bird hides (non-sleepover hides) in Kruger National Park are wooden shelters that overlook a natural feature, like a dam or a river. You would typically enter a bird hide along a fenced walkway and then through a door.

Once inside, you’ll be in a wooden structure that’s almost entirely enclosed, except for a viewing gap with seats running along it from which you watch the outside scene.

The hides have handy identification posters on the walls of the various birds that are found in the area.

The extra facilities that overnight bird hides have over regular hides are basic. There’s no luxury here (except what you bring with you).

There isn’t any electricity at the hides. Although there are some lamps that you could collect when you check in, it’s best to bring your own lighting.

A sleepover hide has a fenced off area behind it with a BBQ grid. You can only use the BBQ if you’re sleeping over. To cook on it, and indeed eat, you’ll have to have all your own wood and food with you. And don’t forget something to drink! There’s no water provided at all.

To another side, there’ll be a toilet in a separate area.

On your overnight stay, make sure you have plenty of insect repellant at any time of year and enough warm bedding for winter nights!