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Lion Sands River Lodge
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419 - 424 of 792 reviews
Reviewed 7 June 2014

My son (age 25) and I (old enough to be his mother and then some) recently enjoyed a magical stay (three nights) at Lion Sands. Our visit there was spectacular by all measures. The game viewing was wonderful and featured unbelievably close encounters with lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, multiple varieties of antelopes, and hippos, thanks to our terrific ranger/tracker team Syd and Patrick. The lodge is both beautiful and comfortable with a sense of harmony with the surroundings and understated elegance. All of the staff were friendly and attentive, including especially our butler, Errol. The food was excellent and elegantly presented. In our three night stay we had one dinner in the boma (an outdoor space enclosed by a stick fence) with entertainment by a local women's choir, one on the terrace overlooking the river bed, and one candlelight dinner set up in the dry part of the river bed below the terrace. There were thoughtful extra touches, such as a blanket and hot water bottle for each guest on chilly morning game drives and evening drinks by our safari vehicle as the sun set. Our ranger, Syd, took us on a walking tour after breakfast one day, a hippo tour the next day, and a star-gazing drive one evening after dinner. We would have loved to stay longer and hope very much to return.

Room Tip: Try to stay at least three nights.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank BonnieSpringfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

This place is amazing! We stayed for 3 nights and within only 3 safaris had seen all big five, and hippos and leopards and giraffe. One day we saw all big five in only a day! Our ranger, Dumay, was very friendly, dedicated, and knowledgable, and made sure we got the most of our game drives. The additional hippo river tour and the bushwalk were also great. I enjoyed going offroad in the jeep to get the best views. The food is delicious, and there's plenty of it, with excellent and friendly service from the butlers. The rooms are great, with really comfy beds, Africology bath products, and the outdoor showers are a nice touch. We also stayed one night in the ivory lodge, and the view of the river (and the elephants drinking from it) here is amazing. This was the best vacation I've ever been on, with just the right amount of excitement and relaxation.

Room Tip: All the rooms are great! There are more people at the River Lodge, so if you're looking for more interaction with the rest of the guests, this is the place (stayed here 2 nights). If you want more alone time, check out the Ivory Lodge, which is more expensive, but a better view of the River, and has a private pool (stayed one night).
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Denise_Chad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Staying at Lion Sands River Lodge was the most magical experience I have ever had. From start to finish this was a perfect stay.
The guest rooms are phenomenal. Understated elegance. Very well maintained and so comfy. I never wanted to leave.
You receive a dedicated butler, guide & tracker. The resort has a gym, spa, 3 lounges, boutique and 2 swimming pools. There are roughly 20 guest rooms. When we were staying the hotel was not full so it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. One day we had a pool to ourselves. I had a massage in the outdoor room and it was wonderful. A herd of elephants walked by during my treatment.
The food is amazing. You can eat breakfast & lunch whenever you want. Dinner was unique each night. Once we had a bomba, another night we ate on the decks and the final night we enjoyed a firelight dinner in the dry river bed. One day during lunch a huge herd of elephants walked by in the dry river bed. Amazing.
Each day you enjoy 2 game drives. They were fantastic - we saw the big 5 plus so much more. It seemed like they could make any animal appear. I asked about warthogs and were told they are very skittish and hard to find. Maybe 30 minutes after asking wouldn't you know 3 warthogs ran in front of our vehicle. Wild dogs made an appearance and it was so cool to see them playing, hunting and eating their kill.
I would highly recommend Lion Sands to anyone going on safari! I hope to one day return! I would give them 10 stars if I was able to!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank HavePillow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights as part of our honeymoon and it was lovely. We would have lived more time to enjoy the hotel. The hotel is in a great location for game drives. We saw at least 4 of the Big 5 every drive. The food was lovely. It's a bit of a rush from when you get back from evening drive. Dinner is served very soon after return so no time to shower really just a quick change. We did not get to make us of our all inclusive package as we were up early and tired then at night. The hotel is well prepared for Mosquitos with spray and nets in your room. Everyone was very nice and friend.

One or two issues included check out and tipping. The hotel have a tipping advice sheet and ended up following these and giving a lot of money over for tips. Also we asked about having a late check out because we didn't leave until 4. We asked for even an extra hour or town on the 11oclock check out so we could have a little nap after our game drive however they couldn't help us but yet we saw a couple checking out at 12.30 while we sat in the reception area. But other than this we had a nice time in this resort.

The game drives were spectacular and we would go back.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank LC_irish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

My husband and I stayed at Lion Sands from 25th - 28th February 2014. We chose the lodge as we wanted somewhere to indulge and relax after a gruelling week climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and we definately picked the right place! The food was plentiful and delicious, the lodge facilities and our room were understated but oh so elegant and perfectly suited to the surrounding landscape. The staff were attentive and welcoming yet made us feel instantly relaxed (as sometimes in such luxury you can feel 'watched' when they are too attentive or they can make you feel out of place when its obvious you don't have butlers and housekeeping staff at home!). Our safari's were amazing and we could have stayed out all day if they let us, our incredible experiences were definately attributed to our superb guide Jono and tracker Abraham whose enthusiasm and passion shone through and you could tell it was much more than just a job for them both. The sundowners and stargazing were moments where we really had to pinch ourselves, I will never forget those memories. We can not wait to one day return to Lion Sands to enjoy the scenery, wildlife and as there was simply not enough time to indulge in the swimming pools and spa treatments as well as go on safari!! So my only tip would be to book in advance (if possible?) if you really want a spa treatment at a time that doesn't interfere with the safari activities. They also offer a visit to the local kindergarten however due to unrest in the community during our stay we were unable to visit which was a shame but we certainly didn't want to exacerbate the tensions, there's always next time!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bree-europe2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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