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“Lion Sands - Great Option for the Kruger”

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Lion Sands River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 March 2012

Was in South Africa checking out game lodges for clients. Saw a handful in the Kruger, among them, Lion Sands River Lodge & Ivory Lodge. I felt like Goldilocks - many of the lodges ticked some boxes but not all. I found Lion Sands River Lodge to be a really nice blend of intimate, luxury lodge with attention to detail and a sense of family history, as the More family has been "custodians" of this land for generations.

I loved the main areas. Primarily because of the clean, light colors, which is often a welcome respite from the stereotypical dark wood and African artwork experience. Felt like a breath of fresh air. I also liked that tho the main space is large, there are many different sitting areas to grab a nap and separate yourself from the other guests. But honestly, this isn't a big place, so you won't get lost in the shuffle.

Two years ago, Lion Sands went thru a multi-million rand refurb. The rooms now are larger, and continue the light and airy theme. The cottages are closer together than other lodges I've seen, but there is still a sense of privacy. Each room has a private deck with views over the river. I thought the design and decoration was a huge advantage - just felt good.

There are two pools on the property - one more in the shade and another in full sun. I would probably shuffle from one to another depending on the time of day.

The lodge also has a strong eco slant, which feels really good, particularly given the family's history in the area. I toured 7 lodges when I was in the area. This was one of my faves, hands down.

Room Tip: This is a property where you absolutely won't go wrong with the superior (vs luxury) rooms.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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5  Thank Battered Orange S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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577 - 583 of 784 reviews

Reviewed 25 January 2012

Our stay here was a once in a lifetime experience. From beginning to end the whole staff here made this trip unforgettable. Syd was our tracker and we succeeded in seeing more than the Big 5. We saw leopards multiple times (which was my favorite). We took walks and saw giraffe, zebra, hippos, and much much more. We even saw babies! The baby hyenas were the cutest!!! When we went on safari, there was only one other couple and a gentleman in our truck. One of the people in our group had been on over 50 safaris (as he lives in Africa) and said this one was one of his faves. The way they set this up, you interact with the people in your small group and we had a great time making new friends.

There is no internet or TV in the rooms and it was not missed. If you need to do an email or hop on the internet, you just go into the general area.

The food was great and we got to sample some game meat and beetles. When we arrived to our lodge after dinner we arrived to a bottle of champagne, candles lit, and a bath drawn with rose petals.

Honestly it was a trip of a lifetime and the #1 highlight of our honeymoon.

I did get a massage and it was super relaxing, so if you are interested in doing that you will not regret it. I did not try the work out area or even look at it. Pool area was nice and clean. While we used it, staff came by to check up on us and see if they could bring us ice, drinks, etc. There were lots of orb spiders and I am very scared of them. But I refused to let them bother me on this trip ;)

I did read a complaint about it being crowded. I found it quite intimate and quiet.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jill O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2012

Had an amazing time at this place. This is my second safaro. If you combine both safaris, i saw the entire big 5, but on this trip, only saw 4 of them. The service here is outstanding. HUGE MAJOR BIG TIME thanks to johanes, chef faith, keneth & ray for amazing service. You wont regret your stay here!

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank chrismenon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

Lion Sands River Lodge is a great place to stay when visiting Kruger National Park. Service was excellent - you'll get a butler (who helps you with everything you need) that you might or might not share with other people who are with the same game ranger during your trip. Rooms are very spacious and luxurious, and everything you ask for will definitely be catered for you. Excellent for game viewing - guides and rangers are really experienced and will tell you everything you need to know. Food is great too, a special menu is crafted for every meal which is at least 3 courses.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank J C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2012

This is a 5 star lodge with very professional rangers and trackers. Request Ranger Kyle and tracker Rector (the director). We saw the big 5 and then some. Great bird watching as well. Be prepared to eat, eat, eat. What a peaceful and relaxing experience. Looking forward to returning.

Room Tip: Villa 20 and 21 seemed to be the largest with lots of wild life activity at our door steps and the h...
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Maribel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2012

We saw a great deal through Lion World Tours that included staying at the Lion Sands River Lodge. My wife knew about this place because she saw it on the Bachelor, so she knew beforehand how great this place appeared to be. Well, it was and then some! This is luxury at it's best and boy were we spoiled. We stayed for 3 nights and we did NOT want to leave.

Rooms: I think we had one of the nicer rooms - #15. It was luxurious and the bed was so comfortable. The showers were great, the views were awesome because monkeys and Impalas would be right outside. The air conditioner always worked, the mini bar wasn't that mini and had everything you would want (although they feed you like crazy here so you're never that hungry). Overall, the room was better than any 5 star hotel we've stayed in.

Resort: Not too big, but not too small either. There were two infinity pools that felt great on a hot day. The shared areas were warm and inviting. The staff was top notch. We had great service the entire time since you have a personal butler for every meal. They catch on right away what you like to drink with your meals. The food was AWESOME! They also do something special one night that is Incredible and Romantic! They also have this sitting area right on the river and while there we saw monkeys and a herd of elephants come down to drink and play in the water!

Game Drives: We had Jono and Juice and they were perfect! We saw the big 5 within 2 drives. What I loved about these game drives is that once you saw the Big 5, then your tracker and guide then tried to provide with you safari experiences instead of mere sightings. For example, we went walking with the giraffes, hunted leopards in the night based on their calls, and went to a far away spot in the reserve to see what we would find - and guess what! We found 2 male lions after they had hunted and killed a Kudu. Not to mention the morning snacks and the sundowners every night. You're out on these drives for 3-4 hours, twice a day and it's just one of those moments in your life where you have a smile on your face from start to finish.

This is one of those places where you realize how blessed you are to be there and we were thinking about how we could get back before we had even left! Don't even think twice about booking here - you will NOT be disappointed!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank seeingtheworld22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

A must for anyone who travels to South Africa. Lion Sands is a private safari lodge located just next to the Kruger National Park with 1000s of acres of private land. The River Lodge where I stayed is right on a river with Hippos at play right in front of you. Each room is a little home of it's own. For us we had the all inclusive set-up which even included the bar at night. The only thing we paid extra for was Safari which we did in the mornings and at dusk. Go as much as you can. Some of the cool things are that you have to be escorted to and from your room after dark, wild animals roam free. So listen it's no joke, one of the guests saw a hyena on the way to his room. I had monkeys wake me up in the morning. This place is first class all the way and they have the names in the guest books to prove it. I had always dreamed of going on a African Safari and this was a Safari with all the luxury. A must do.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank thecolonel1215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lion Sands River Lodge

Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve | (Shaw's Gate Entrance), Kruger National Park 1240, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: £1,246 - £2,719 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Lion Sands River Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned since 1933, this international award winning private game reserve spans across the world famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger National Park. Lion Sands has four lodges; Lion Sands Ivory Lodge & Lion Sands River Lodge (Sabi Sand) and Lion Sands Tinga Lodge & Lion Sands Narina Lodge (Kruger Park). Each has a unique style, but is a reflection of Lion Sands' five-star signature of sophisticated interiors, unique experiences and service excellence. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lion Sands River Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Lion Sands River Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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