Sanbonani celebrates 30 years of Hospitality

The family Fun day was simply a way to say thank you to the community for supporting the Resort Hotel,” said Stan Johnson the Resort Manager.  The Resort is neatly tucked away in Hazyview and surrounded by a vast residential area that the resort wanted to honour in their celebration.

The day’s celebration ended with a cocktail event that saw Alfred Sihlabela (72) being honoured by the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Hans Harri, as the resort’s longest employed staff member.

Sihlabela started working as a cook at the resort in 1964 when it was still a farm. He worked there for 11 years before moving. He came back in 1983 and has been there ever since.

“I am not tired yet,” he said. “Everyone has been nice to me in all my years here,” he adds.

Sanbonani attributes its humble beginnings to when Harry Wolhuter, the famous Kruger National Park game ranger, had a friend named Perry, a French Canadian and member of Steinaecker’s Horse, a cavalry regiment in the South African War.

Perry saved Harry’s life when he had Black water fever. Sometime after the War, Perry was granted a farm on the Sabie River by the Government, which he named ‘Perry’s Farm’.

The portion that is now called Sanbonani Resort Hotel is on Portion 5 of Perry’s Farm and was purchased by Koos Van Rensburg in 1983. This became Sanbonani Rivier Minerale Bronne Edms Bpk, comprising of 3000 orange fruit trees, a few litchi trees, 8 Rondawals, 12 Bungalows and a Caravan Park near the Sabie River Bank.  In those days, the cost to rent a Rondawal was R7.50 per night and a Bungalow a mere R12.50 per night.

There was a Kiosk and swimming pool close to where chalet 39A & B now stands.  In 1984 the orange crop was harvested however the co-op refused the crop as the oranges were sour, luckily Van Rensburg managed to find a buyer who made orange juice and paid him 11 cents a bag of Oranges.

Around 1986/87 the bank introduced Van Rensburg, who owned the property, to Mr Hans Harri, a property developer and Architect.  They become partners and the company now known as Sanbonani Holiday Spa Shareblock Ltd was formed.  Harri is still active on the Resort and is the current Chairman of the Board.

The Company was incorporated on the 30th September 1987.

The first chalets 5 – 8 were built in 1988, a man-made stream from the existing water canal was built behind these chalets, which were a benchmark for timeshare luxury in the eighties.  The well-equipped Chalets are set in beautiful gardens with diverse fauna and flora.

There has been a fair share of anxiety experienced on the Resort, with the flooding of the Sabie – and Sand Rivers in 1996, when the Boma was washed away and the legendary 2000 Floods where 2 chalets were washed away into the Sand River.

The gabions which were added to the bank of the North Sand River after the 2000 floods, have stood in good stead as the Sabie – and North Sand Rivers remind us that they are all powerful and have broken their banks several times over the past few years and as recently as 2013/2014 and again in 2017.

Sanbonani Resort Hotel is situated at the confluence of the Sabie and Sand Rivers in Mpumalanga, which is renowned for its natural beauty, wildlife and breathtaking views. The Resort includes 86 self-catering chalets and a 50 room Hotel built in the early 90’s and are all set in lush green gardens.

The Resort Hotel boasts a breath-taking pool, squash & tennis courts, mini golf, Pause Spa & Wellness Centre a Gym and children’s playground close to the Restaurant & Bar Deck area.

Sanbonani prides itself in being Fabulous, Friendly and a Family Resort with helpful Staff thus ensuring a holiday where tranquillity meets fun & entertainment.  Sanbonani a Gold Crown Resort, is truly defined by the words “Jewel of the Lowveld”.


Visit Sanbonani‘s website, or like their Facebook Page. To book your next holiday contact them telephonically on 013 737 5600, visit them online at or like them on Facebook.



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