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Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

San Francisco
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Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

I've been reading on here for days looking for the best lodge at Sabi Sands for my girlfriend and I, and I'm quite confused. It seems that some have smaller areas they can travel on the drives? A lot of the lodges seem quite nice, but I can't really find anything calling out what is the 'best' one, or a side by side comparison of the lodges.

Looking for: #1 the best animal viewing, both on the game drives and would be great if there was some to view from the lodge as well. #2 most important is romantic and private, and with a great view. Doesn't necessarily have to be super luxurious, actually something unique and fantastic would be better than luxury. Something that would be a once in a lifetime place to stay, that we'll remember forever. Cost doesn't matter at all in our decision, this is a lifetime dream of hers that I want to fulfil for her birthday. We'd be going in late October and flying in from Livingstone, Zambia.

What lodge or lodges would you pick?

Wayzata, Minnesota
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31 reviews
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1. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

Hi There SanFran,

Darn you have a tough decision to make! There are four properties that come immediately to mind. They are MalaMala Rattrays, Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Singita Ebony or Boulders, and Londolozi.

For the ultimate in privacy I would recommend Ivory Lodge. Keep in mind the concession is a bit smaller (4000 hectares), but you can almost be all alone except for sharing the game drives with up to two other people. The rooms are modern luxury – square corners, white, clean, modern. This meets #1 requirement.

For classic safari lodge style, dark and rich colors the Rattray’s may be the best choice. The massive land of 14,000 hectares would give you new ground to cover on every game drive. Meets requirement #2.

If you want a big wine cellar and rich décor with colonial luxury, then Singita may be your best choice.

Londolozi is a unique style with a heavy family run style.

Maybe two nights at two different properties.

I have been to all these places and would have a tough decision if I was in your shoes.

Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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9,129 posts
60 reviews
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2. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

Ivory Lodge at Lion Sands is the most 'special' place I've seen. Totally private, huge - 2 separate areas, really, connected by a breezeway. Negative edge pool that faces the river. I need to get to work editing my video of it and Singita Ebony. Here's Singita Boulders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luT-0fxSeSE - Lion Sands also has a 'treetop' bed (actually quite posh) that is nothing but romantic. I was in a Land Rover one morning when we picked up the couple who had spent the night there, and around the base of the tower were leopard tracks. Fresh leopard tracks. Quite cool.

cape town
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63 posts
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3. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

The Treehouse at Ulusaba. http://www.saweddingvenues.com/ulusaba.aspx This is situated about 15 mins walkway from the main section and overlooks a waterhole with hippos, etc. You can have your meals here on your own private balcony so absolutely private! Very Romantic!

South Africa
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4. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

For what you have described, you won't be disappointed with Lion Sands Ivory Lodge (as Craig and bwanadave said above), Londolozi private granite suites, Singita Boulders or Ebony, and I want to throw another option out there - Exeter Leadwood Lodge. Leadwood lodge is very romantic and intimate - only 4 suites, completely private with own pool, outdoor shower, etc. The downside is that their traversing area is shared with a lot of other lodges in the western area, which means more vehicles around especially at prime sightings. Londolozi, Lion Sands and Singita all have their own large tracts of private traversing area. (As does Malamala, if you are considering Malamala Rattrays Camp, but that would be lower down on my list). Perhaps availability will help you decide, but if they are all available I think I would personally also choose Lion Sands Ivory Lodge as bwanadave said. It is unique, private, romantic, luxurious, and the view from each unit is over the Sabie River, looking into the Kruger National Park. You can even get meals served through a hatch if you prefer total exclusivity. If you are into a more holistic safari experience which includes yoga and fire dancing etc, Londolozi Granite Suites would be the place to go.

I hope this helps, I'm sure your girlfriend will be thrilled whichever of these lodges you choose!

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5. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

I have heard wonderful things about all of the lodges mentioned so far. I can only add my 2 cents about Ivory Lodge. I am going back there for my 4th trip this May and I think that says a lot about any place.

They reserve is a bit smaller than others, but their rangers are tops and I have seen the Big 5 on a single drive on more than one occasion.

You would enjoy any of the lodges listed so far, but I am going back to one one place I love the most.


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6. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

Well, you are certainly faced with a very tough decision! Late October is ofcourse an excellent time to do a safari, but also, being high season, availability at some of the recommended lodges is already quite limited, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as you've picked the lodge that will be the best option for you & your girlfriend!

As your number one requirement is "romantic & private", I do agree with many of the previous posters who have recommended Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. This lodge has been designed to offer the ultimate in luxury, comfort and privacy! All luxury suites offer great views of the Sabi River, which of course enhances your chances of seeing wildlife from the privacy of your room - especially at a time like the end of October, which is the end of the dry season, and many animals will congregate around water sources.

Other highly recommended options in my opinion, would be Mala Mala Rattrays, Singita Ebony or Boulders, Londolozi Granite or Tree, or Exeter Leadwood Lodge. All of these lodges are magnificent, and each time I visit them, I am more and more impressed by the luxury in accommodation and great game viewing!

Good luck with your decision!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

san diego.california
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129 posts
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7. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

why do you say that rattrays is at the bottom of your list?

Wayzata, Minnesota
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8. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?


i think your question is directed at wild-wings. rattrays is at the top of my lists!

craig beal - owner - travel beyond

9. Re: Sabi Sands Lodge: What Would You Pick, Unlimited Budget?

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