Sabi Sands is part of the Greater Kruger Park. The Kruger National Park is South Africa's largest national park. Adjacent to the national park are several privately owned game reserves. By mutual agreement, the fences between these reserves and the Kruger have been dropped, to enlarge the area under conservation and encourage free movement of animals. This entire conservation area is known as the Greater Kruger National Park and is over 2.2-million hectares in size.

The most famous of the private reserves within the Greater Kruger is the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Others include the Timbavati Game Reserve further north, as well as Manyeleti, Thornybush, Klaserie and Balule. The lodges in these game reserves are privately owned and their open safari vehicles are able to go off-road to get closer to an animal sighting – which is not permitted in the Kruger National Park itself.

This is one of the main differences between the Sabi Sands and the Kruger. The game vehicles in Sabi Sand are in radio contact, which improves your chances of seeing the Big Five. The Sabi Sand is especially famous for its regular leopard sightings. Another difference is cost. Generally, the accommodation in the Sabi Sands is more expensive and more luxurious than in the Kruger National Park.

Other than the differences mentioned above, the vegetation and animals found in the Sabi Sands are exactly the same as in the Kruger National Park.