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For other uses, see Sabie (disambiguation).
Main Street, Sabie
Main Street, Sabie
Sabie is located in Mpumalanga
 Sabie shown within Mpumalanga
Coordinates: 25°05′52″S 30°46′45″E / 25.09778°S 30.77917°E / -25.09778; 30.77917Coordinates: 25°05′52″S 30°46′45″E / 25.09778°S 30.77917°E / -25.09778; 30.77917
Country South Africa
Province Mpumalanga
District Ehlanzeni
Municipality Thaba Chweu
 • Total 55.03 km2 (21.25 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 9,148
 • Density 170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 60.8%
 • Coloured 8.0%
 • Indian/Asian 0.5%
 • White 30.1%
 • Other 0.6%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Afrikaans 33.4%
 • Swazi 23.9%
 • Sotho 14.5%
 • English 10.4%
 • Other 17.8%
Postal code (street) 1260
PO box 1260
Area code 013

Sabie is a forestry town situated on the banks of the Sabie River in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The name Sabie is derived from the Tsonga Shangaan word "Ulusaba" which means fearful. The Shangaan called this river Ulusaba because the river was once teeming with dangerous Nile crocodiles and as a result, the Tsonga Shangaan people dubbed it Ulusaba (fearful river). The word Ulusaba was modernized by the Afrikaner colonialists who changed it from Ulusaba Shangaan into the Afrikaans version "Sabie"[citation needed] .

The town was started after H.T. Glynn and J.C. Ingle found gold there and formed the Glynns-Lydenburg Gold Mining Company.

Sabie is located 360 kilometres east of Johannesburg and is 64 kilometres west of the popular Kruger National Park. It is known for its scenery and beautiful waterfalls, and is a popular tourist destination.

Its main industry is forestry. The plantations surrounding Sabie form one of the world's largest man-made forests.

It is situated approximately 1,000 metres (3,281 feet) above sea level and is in the summer rainfall area. During the winter period, there is little rainfall, and the area can become intensely dry. Forest fires are prevalent during this time, therefore precautions are taken before hand to create fire breaks, as well as to incorporate block burning

Sabie is also a tourism based town and relies on the steady flow of tourists year round to keep the community economy going. There are many attractions in and around the town itself. Of these the most popular is the Lone Creek Falls about 10 km (6 mi) outside of town. There are many other waterfalls in the area, such as Maria Shire, Horseshoe, Forest Falls and of course the Sabie River falls situated within the town itself.


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 12 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.

There is also excellent trout fly fishing in the Sabie River which is regularly stocked. Permits are required to fish.


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Sabie". Census 2011. 

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