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“The Best Bush Experience!”

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Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“The Best Bush Experience!”
Reviewed 31 August 2011

Our stay was amazing! First, the previous reviews about the amazing rooms are right on- Each "hut" is huge with a living area, king size bed, tub, huge shower, plunge pool, deck, and of course, amazing views from all around. The great thing is that no can see you, but you can view the wild wherever you are standing in your room. The service was fabulous as well. We were always greeted with hot or cold towels upon returning from a game drive. The food- another amazing deal. When you weren't sleeping or exploring the bush, you were eating a three course meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And high tea time is included. Of course, the great stay was even better with our guide, Quentin who, in our eyes, was the perfect guide. The morning and afternoon drives led us to see the Big 5 plus many more animals in the confortable jeep. We also loved the stop in the bush for happy hour each evening as the sun set! And as other reviewers say, being in a 6 person jeep is the best- you aren't fighting to get a picture of an animal. Don't hesitate to book here- it is truly the 5 star experience.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank oojaded26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Long Island, New York
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2011

This lodge was absolutely beautiful. Our room was huge with a king bed and a large sitting/TV area The bathroom was also very large with a separate shower stall and bath tub area with large windows looking out into the bush. We had our own small pool on the deck, and it was just perfect. The lodge is right on the Sabi River, so all night we heard the sounds of hippos in the river. At morning during breakfast, we watched monkeys in the trees and elephants bathing themselves in the river. It was just magical.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank travellover5717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mytmoss
Level 5 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2011

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of staying at Tinga Legends Lodge, within Kruger National Park. This was my 8th trip to Africa, so I know what to expect from a 5 star lodge in South Africa. I have found that there are five star lodges and FIVE STAR lodges and they are quite different in terms of rooms, service, ranger knowledge and food.

I flew into Skukuza on Bateleur Air which is a chartered airline that gets you almost to the lodge. The pickup was on time and I met my ranger who was Quentin (who is also the head ranger). There was a short drive to lodge and I found myself placed in an absolutely gorgeous setting facing the Sabie River. After checking in I was escorted to my room which I must say ranks right up there with some of the best rooms I have been in, and that says a lot. It is both spacious and comfortable. I had a view of the Sabie River and I could see the much wildlife right from my back door. There was a small pool too, which would have been great, other than the morning and evening temperatures dropped into the 30s and 40s, so I did not get a chance to use it.

The game viewing at Tinga is outstanding. Tinga offers a very unique experience. Since Tinga is part of Kruger National Park, you can experience riding both on the private concession and within Kruger proper. On the concession, which is good size, you can experience all dirt roads, offroading and night drives. This is the same experience that you would get from any Sabi Sands lodge. One difference is the vehicles are limited to only 6 guests, while many of the other lodges have normally between 8 and 10 guests per vehicle. It can get a bit crowded. Within a few months, you may also be able to traverse Lion Sands property which is just across the Sabie River. This will add thousands of hectares of outstanding game viewing. Tinga is also unique as it sits between two major rivers, the Sabie and Sand River. River access provides additional rich game viewing possibilities that you might not see at other lodges. The otter for example is only found in rivers.

If you wish, you can also experience driving within Kruger. Unfortunately at the moment, Kruger's rules require that the vehicles be outfitted with a "roof", which is simply a cloth top that is on top. I say unfortunate as it can interfere with some viewing of the birdlife in flight. When Kruger closes to the public, Tinga vehicles are still allowed to drive on Kruger roads after hours. This of course is special as you will not have to deal with the many vehicles that can interfere with your game viewing because there is no limit to the number of cars that can be at a sighting. On the concession property, you can expect to have no more than 3 vehicles at a sighting and usually fewer. While driving, I was hearing over and over calls regarding big cat sightings within both Kruger and the concession, so you can expect to see cats if that is what you love as well as the other Big Five including routine sightings of black rhino (white rhino was not originally part of the big 5).

While I love cats, this trip I was concentrating on seeing animals that I have never seen before, especially birds. So when you look at my gallery (link later), you will not see as many big 5 photos as I usually take. That being said, I did manage to see a Pangolin, an amimal that is so infrequently seen, that my ranger with 34 years experience has seen them only 5 times. I also got to see a cape clawless otter which most rangers never get to see. Those two events made my whole trip and Tinga was just my first stop!
Quentin's expertise was amazing and I truly enjoyed spending time with him soaking up his knowledge. I also got to meet Nick, the lodge manager who was also a lot of fun. Many thanks to him for providing me with such a wonderful experience.

Oh...One more thing! I forgot the food, how could that happen? The food was devine and the service extraordinary. The staff there is first class and they know how to make a guest feel welcome and more importantly, special.

I would highly recommend this lodge to anyone who wants to experience the ultimate in safari experience. If I had 10 thumbs, they would all be pointing up.

Lastly, and least important, here is a link to some of the thousands of photos I took at Tinga http://www.pbase.com/mytmoss/tinga_2011

Mike

Room Tip: All the rooms have river view, but you can ask for shorter walk to main lodge
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank Mytmoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2011

I traveled with three friends to South Africa in March 2011. We booked a tour with Lion World tours, which included a two night stay at the Tinga Private Game Lodge. My only regret upon leaving was that we didn't have more time at Tinga.

We stayed at the Legends Lodge, which is one of two locations at Tinga, As we pulled up from the airport, the hotel staff was waiting out front with wet towels for you to wipe your hands and face (this happened every time you left and returned from the resort). We were then greeted with fresh lemonade and a light lunch inside of the main resort lobby - which was actually a hug open-air deck overlooking the Sabie River. A guide then led us to our room - actually a wooden bungalow - which was reached by walking along a beautiful, twisting walkway through the jungle.

The room was amazing! There was a large living room, a bathroom with a separate round shower room with windows overlooking the river. The best part, though, was the covered backdeck with a private plunge pool. We came back from a late dinner one night and just relaxed in the pool for an hour before going to bed.

The trip included four game drives - two in the morning and two in the evening. We had an eight-seat, covered jeep with open sides - it let you get a great view of everything. The vehicle even had a compartment filled with blankets - it was a little chilly at the start of the morning drive and end of the evening drive. Our guide, Joe, and tracker, Chris, were absolutely fantastic - we saw all of the Big Five on our first drive! Aside from the Big Five, I think we managed to spot almost every animal possible - zebras, elephants, giraffes, wild dogs and a lot more.

All meals were included with the package and the dinners were simply amazing. The first night we ate outside on the huge front deck of the main lodge. The whole area was candlelit,and the food was delicious. The scond night the staff had a traditional African barbeque, called brai, in which they served up a ton of grilled meats. Our guide Joe joined up for dinner and we had an amazing time eating and drinking under the stars.

A guide walked everyone to their room at night (the resort is in the jungle and there are animals around). The skies are so dark that I saw the Milky Way for the first time in my life - incredible experience!

All in all, this was one of the best experience of my life. The people at the resort were incredible - everyone was so friendly and helpful - we hated saying goodbye. If I ever went back to South Africa and Kruger National Park, I wouldn't stay anywhere else but Tinga,.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank mkm131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunnyvale, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 3 August 2011

Lodge and staff are amazing. Food is good. They feed you ever few hours, and it was all good.
Only let down is that we didn't see a cheetah or a leopard. We did get to see two lions and the rest of the big animals.
The rooms are outstanding. The bed was larger than a king. You get your own plunge pool, huge bathroom, air cond, satellite tv.
I would stay at least 3 nights. Out stay was one day too short.
Not all drinks are included in the package price, so be sure to ask when you order at the bar.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SnickSvale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wallingford
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2011

This a great facility providing a unique opportunity to see spectacular wildlife in an excellent setting.

Room Tip: All are great
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank RCS55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2011

In our three days there Tinga provided the complete safari experience. The service was impeccable, food great, guides attentive and very knowledgeable and accommodations complete. Great decks, outdoor shower if you wished with a private dipping pool. Guides were determined we would see all the animals available and we did. The bush walk was a thrill with elephants not far from us as we walked. The Lodge is right on the river with animals not far. One day about fifteen elephants passed right by deck. Well managed. In a short stay we learned as much as we could from the staff and guides.

Room Tip: Get a cabine close to the main lodge.
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank HEC140
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge

Property: Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge
Address: Paul Kruger Gate, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa (Formerly Tinga Private Game Lodge)
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kruger National Park
#2 Spa Hotel in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lion Sands Tinga Lodge - along the Sabie River within the Kruger National Park - is subtle, sophisticated and serene with grand open spaces. The main areas are double volume, opening onto a wooden deck. With just 9 luxurious suites, each located in an utterly private spot overlooking the river, you are treated to the ultimate African luxury experience. Each of Tinga's suites has a bathroom with in-door and outdoor shower, separate lounge area with minibar, private plunge pool and deck, 24 hour air-conditioning and a range of luxury amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tinga Private Game Hotel Skukuza
Tinga Private Game Skukuza

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