Set on the banks of the Sabie River, surrounded by 800 year-old trees Lion Sands River Lodge catches the morning sun as it rises over Kruger, giving guests a warm and gentle start to the day. The vibe at the lodge is exclusive yet relaxed with a variety of seating areas on viewing decks and around the pool so that guests can be as sociable as they wish.
Following an extensive refurbishment and rebuild in early 2010, the lodge now offers 18 luxurious thatched bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, outdoor and inside shower and wooden viewing deck. Bedrooms feature king size beds, air conditioning with an overhead fan for complete comfort during your stay.
Game drives take place first thing in the morning and late afternoon with mealtimes arranged around game viewing activities. In the middle of the day, guests can relax by the pool, take a siesta, contemplate the beautiful scenery from one of the viewing decks or make use of the various games on offer. There is also a spa offering spa body, facial and hydrotherapy treatments. Dinner is served in a variety of locations, usually changing daily, from dining platform to riverbed to boma, making each evening a slightly different experience.
We recommend Lion Sands River Lodge for couples and families.
Lion Sands River Lodge offers 4 Standard, 8 Luxury and 8 Superior rooms. All feature a king size bed with mosquito netting (can be made up as twin bed), en-suite bathroom, inside and outside shower, bath and vanity basin, air conditioning and overhead fans, minibars, safe, telephone and private viewing deck.
Children are welcome but there are no specific facilities. The minimum recommended age for children on safari is 6 years. There are interleading rooms at Lion Sands River Lodge.
Facilities at Lion Sands River Lodge include a private lounge and bar with fireplace, an outdoor safari lounge, 2 swimming pools (heated in winter), wooden viewing decks, a secluded bird hide, a magnificent River Island Deck built on the river, a conference room, Lalamuka Health Spa and gymnasium, curio shop and both an indoor and open-air dining area (boma).
Astronomy, game drives, guided walks, viewing from the hide, hippo tours and wildlife lectures are all included in room rates. Spa treatments, ballooning over the Sabie River Valley, clay pigeon shooting, private game drives, golf, helicopter rides, cultural village experiences and nights in Chalkey Tree House are charged additionally.
When to travel
There is no bad time to go on safari in the Kruger National Park. The experience does, however, change from month to month. In the summer months (October to March), it gets very hot. The verdant vistas are all the more spectacular because of the rains, but this means that the foliage is denser, water is more abundant and game is therefore trickier to see. There are lots of beautiful migratory birds during the summer months. While the daytime temperature in the winter months (May to September) is ideal, it does get a little chilly at night and in the early morning.
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Location and directions
Greater Kruger, South Africa
On the banks of the Sabie river, the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve lies at the southern end of the vast Sabi Sands Reserve. It's 520km (or 5 hours) northeast of Johannesburg, and very near the Mozambique border.
How to get there
Skukuza airfield (10km) is the closest airport to River Lodge. There are thrice daily flights (1 hour) from Johannesburg to this small landing strip. Transfers from here will take 25 minutes. Kruger Mpumalanga Airport (110km) is larger, but further away. You can fly there direct from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town; from there it is a 1-hour and 45-minute (110km) road transfer; or you can get a 25-minute flight to Skukuza. Driving from Johannesburg will take 5 to 6 hours.