Big Five Game Viewing in Electric Safari Vehicles and Five-Star Solar Powered Exclusive-Use Villas

Sabi Sand, South Africa (September 07, 2022): Cheetah Plains is home to the exclusive-use luxury villa and sustainable safari experience nestled in South Africa’s most celebrated wildlife area, the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve. A sophisticated, innovative eco-luxury safari experience for the modern age, Cheetah Plains was designed to offer the best in service to its guests and also its environment. Operating 100% off grid using solar power and electric land vehicles, this is a first for the Nature Reserve. 

The Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, established in 1948, it is the oldest private game reserve in South Africa and the birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in Southern Africa. All lodges in the greater Sabi Sand area share this commitment to nature, with Cheetah Plains setting the standard for a zero-emission, eco-friendly luxury safari experience. Opened in 2018, Cheetah Plains envelops and embraces sustainability on every level from the unique and award winning designed architecture to the operations that ensure the lodge is not only self sustainable, but also leaves no footprint on the surrounding environment.

The Cheetah Plains ‘off the grid’ experience harnesses the power of solar to provide a reliable, renewable energy source made possible by developing a solar plant which includes the installation of 1205 solar PV panels on the rooftops, as well as three Dual-axis PV solar trackers which follow the sun for the optimal input. The total solar installation generates an average of 550MWh per annum which is an offset of approximately ZAR 1million ($62,500) of electricity from Eskom per annum or 530 Tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.

We’ve partnered with some of the world’s pre-eminent minds in the renewable energy field to provide clean energy solutions that drive both our hospitality and safari experiences here at Cheetah Plains. By harnessing the power of eco-tourism, we are working hard to secure a rich legacy of posterity. Cheetah Plains’ prime location within the inimitable Sabi Sand delivers a prolific, sustainable safari experience facilitated by the natural movement of wildlife over this vast land, fiercely protected under conservation,” shares Japie van Niekerk, owner of Cheetah Plains. He continues, “It is our responsibility to ensure that we conserve the bounty the bush has bestowed on us and that is why we have been so involved in the creation of this lodge on every level.”

A bold advance toward zero-emission game viewing is what drives the sustainable safari experience at Cheetah Plains. The twice-daily game drives that traverse over 20,200+ acres are taken in innovative Toyota Land Cruiser Electric Safari Vehicles powered by Tesla batteries that are recharged through solar energy. The quiet, smooth gait of the Land Cruiser Electric Vehicles deliver the highest quality wildlife sightings and include eight comfortable bucket seats, individually set at the optimal recline of 11 degrees, USB ports, and heated seats. Their unobtrusive nature facilitates the most silent approach by vehicle, resulting in an unparalleled safari experience. Onboard, bird books, binoculars, and a professional level camera fitted with a telephoto lens are provided for guests’ enjoyment while out on a game drive. 

In an effort to conserve water and reduce plastic use, Cheetah Plains offers guests the option of refilled and sealed glass bottles of water in its villas through their trusted hydration solution partner Topia. The lodge use filtrated natural borehole water, which goes through a reverse osmosis system that purifies the water with a tested pH level of 9.5. Biodegradable packaging and paper are used throughout to replace plastic use. The lodge partners with amenity brands that hold the same standard of practice, such as Africology for its locally sourced and natural wellness products, and The Joinery, which uses fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles to produce eco-friendly sustainable cosmetic bags. Cheetah Plains is also part of a community waste management initiative. Lodge waste is divided and collected bi-weekly by a local community operative that makes a living in re-using, recycling and upcycling materials

Creating local employment and supporting the local early childhood development center in its neighboring community of Utah are additional tangible ways in which Cheetah Plains’ holistic approach toward sustainability is being lived out. They have constructed the new Lezagwa Utah Community Crèche as well as supported the employment of teachers and assistants that care for children between 6 months and 5 years old. 

Rates at Cheetah Plains begin at $2,200 per person per day, all-inclusive based on six adults with a minimum 3-night stay and $1,550 per additional guest or $770 per child 12 years of age and under. For reservations visit or contact or +27 79 694 8430.


About Cheetah Plains: 

Opened in 2018, Cheetah Plains is home to the exclusive-use luxury villa and sustainable safari experience nestled in South Africa’s most celebrated wildlife area, the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve. The eco-luxe experience includes three private villas with four guest bush suites that accommodate up to eight guests each with its own formal lounge, living and dining areas, expansive swimming pool, and outdoor deck that operates off-grid. Each villa comes with a complete hospitality team consisting of an accomplished host, butler, culinary team, and spa therapist, as well as an expert field guide and tracker dedicated to you for the duration of your stay. Families and children of all ages are welcome to experience their own personalized safari, guided bush walks, wellness offerings, fitness gym, and tailored activities for kids. Cheetah Plains sets the standard in South Africa for zero-emission game-viewing utilizing its own fleet of solar-charged Land Cruiser Electric Safari vehicles. A luxury sustainable safari that is beyond expectations.

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