Lion Sands River Lodge
Lion Sands Game Reserve is set along the banks of the perennial Sabie River in South Africa. It is the only private game reserve rooted in both the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park. Each of its lodges has its own allure and each has breathtaking views of the river – especially when the animals come to drink. River Lodge, one of the four luxury riverside lodges, can be found on the Sabi Sand side of the reserve, arguably Africa’s most pristine Big Five territory. It offers a chic design interpretation of the traditional safari lodge. The décor is contemporary and a lot of effort has been put in to creating a flow between interior and exterior. The effect is that of lived-in luxury or an informal dinner party and it is easy for guests to feel at home here.
River Lodge’s accommodation comprises 8 Luxury Rooms, 6 Superior Luxury Rooms and 4 River Suites (each with its own plunge pool). One of the Family River Suites includes a second children’s en-suite bedroom, laid out with their own amenities, to give children (and their parents) their own space. Wooden walkways lead off to a spa, gym and pool, and back to the main lodge, where the deck’s connected water features give the impression of floating on the river. And then there’s the ultimate in bush bedrooms, where guests get to spend a night discovering the magic of sleeping out under the stars in complete luxury at either Chalkley or Kingston Treehouse. Guests arrive at sunset to a picnic dinner, spend the dusk hours watching animals wander past (at a safe distance), and fall asleep counting shooting stars. A field guide is always on radio call should guests feel they need assistance.
Why we like it here
It is a 5 star lodge on a Big 5 property.
Extraordinary views come standard with each room.
Dining is much anticipated at River Lodge, from pop-up bush breakfasts to riverbed dinners.
Meals often mean a lively Boma barbecue or a surprise bush feast which gets everyone chatting around the fire.
Kosher food is freshly prepared on-site in a separate kitchen – at an additional cost.
Enjoy the selection of renowned Cape Wines with your meals.
There is a Barista’s Station for delicious artisanal coffees.
The MORE Gallery includes a safari boutique which sells rare and beautiful items.
The Memory Lab helps turn your photos into personal artworks, from print onto canvas.
Enjoy two game drives daily with an FGASA-accredited field guide and tracker.
Make time for yourself with an aromatherapy massage at the open-air spa.
Lion Sands is home to 450 of South Africa’s 850 plus birds including the rare southern ground hornbill.
There is a Mack & Madi kids’ programme which keeps the younger ones busy.
Things to be aware of
River Lodge, compared to the other Lion Sands lodges, has a more social atmosphere, by way of its many large guest’s areas.
River Lodge welcomes children 10 years and older.
Kingston Treehouse comfortably sleeps two adults and two children (10 to 14 years), unlike Chalkley which only sleeps two adults.
Lion Sands Game Reserve is located in a low-risk malaria area.
Mobile coverage is rated fair.