5.0
Excellent 885 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

What We Love

  • Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Winner: Best for Communing with Nature
  • Thrilling game drives in open-air safari vehicles with highly trained nature guides
  • Additional activities like village visits, bush walks, star gazing and clay pigeon shooting available for an extra fee
  • Covered viewing decks in all suites allow you to watch game from the comfort of your room
  • Game-viewing isn’t seasonal; you’ll have great sightings year-round

What To Know

  • Children under the age of 10 aren’t allowed at the property
  • Rates include three meals per day, alcoholic beverages, two daily game drives and safari activities
  • Gratuities, conservation fees and premium liquor are not included in the rate

Amenities

  •  All-Inclusive
  •  Bar
  •  Eco-Friendly
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap Accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Country Elegant Lounge Luxury Scenic views property living room Resort home mansion Villa

Overview

Family owned, bush glam safari lodge perched on the Sabie River overlooking Kruger National Park

The Lowdown

Set on a private reserve within the 17,000-acre Sabi Sand conservation area, this lodge’s thatched villas hug the wild Sabie River overlooking Kruger National Park. This is the great outdoors at its greatest, but you’ll be far from roughing it with pillowy beds draped in romantic netting, freestanding soaking tubs, rainshowers and outdoor living areas (the better to view the elephants drinking in the river). There’s an airy minimalism to the decor, with clean-lined furniture in natural palettes of cream, moss and chocolate. Woven beds mimic thatch overhead, twigs frame mirrors and twist into chandeliers and whole walls open to let the outside in. At all meals—some served round a campfire under the stars, some by candlelight in the dining room, others out in the bush—house wines and beers are included. After a day of spotting the Big Five, kick back at one of two outdoor pools or treat yourself to an aromatherapy massage at the spa.

In the Area

This family-owned lodge goes back four generations—the current owners’ grandparents actually helped start the Sabi Sand conservation area back in 1948. It’s also the only lodge in the area that employs a full-time ecologist to monitor tourism’s impact on the environment. As such, you’ll have some of the best nature guides for your twice-daily game drives, when you can spot elephants, lions, leopards and more. And if you’re looking to stretch your legs, guides lead bush walks along Sabie River as well as educational lectures about the area. Book a village visit to learn about the day-to-day life of local people. If you want to splash out, add an extra night in a treehouse, open air rooms perched on stilts above the bush, where you’ll be treated to champagne, gourmet picnic dinners and a night spent under the stars.

How to Get There

Lion Sands Sabi Sand
Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Kruger National Park, 1240 South Africa

Reviews

5.0 Excellent 885 Reviews
Fabulous Lion Sands River Lodge
Reviewed 7 days ago

Our Parting Thoughts About Lion Sands Game Reserve:

We spent the most amazing 3 nights at the Lion Sands River Lodge mid February 2019. The overall architecture of the lodge buildings and our chalet was so visibly appealing. We loved that how no matter what space you were in, you felt very connected to the outdoors. The food offered was outstanding; well cooked, very fresh and wholesome, and plentiful. A menu was offered at each meal giving several choices including an African game dish, as well as delicious choices for a vegetarian.

All staff members we interacted with were friendly and kind. They went out of their way to make you feel welcome and cared for. Excellent service provided....

We participated in two phenomenal game drives per day. These were the definite highlight of this adventure thanks to the knowledge and dedication of our outstanding guide, Quintin, and our amazing tracker, Noel. They did everything humanly possible to insure that our daily journeys were safe, educational and memorable. Our guide and tracker were very committed to finding us as many animals as possible to see. When we hadn’t found a leopard our guide cast us a model from a real paw print as a memento to “the one that got away”.

Every aspect of this luxury lodge, and part of Africa are incredibly beautiful. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to discover its gifts. Definitely our most favourite adventure to date. We will be back... And, we will most certainly request to be with Quintin and Noel again 🙌! They are a fabulous team, not to be missed.

Unforgettable Safari
Reviewed 1 week ago

Our Safari at the Lion Sands River Lodge was spectacular! From our arrival at the airport and transport to and greeting at the hotel all the way through to departure was perfect. Lions Sands thought of everything that we could want before we could even think of it. Small thoughtful touches in our rooms. Our mini bar stocked with the kinds of drinks we personally enjoy. The food was fabulous 5star restaurant quality. The pool was beautiful and the massage was one of the best we ever had. And reasonably priced which always makes it more enjoyable. But of course the best part of all was the Safari. Our Guide Greg and tracker Ranos were awesome. They truly loved the bush, the animals, their jobs and making their guests feel special and educated. I was worried initially about going in the February timeframe because everyone said it would be harder to see animals. However we saw animals non-stop all day including all of the big five, multiple times. Plus, the beautiful green atmosphere, birds and all the baby animals were such a delight. If you have any hesitations don't - go for Lions Sands!

Incredible experience and can’t wait to go back!!
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My husband and I and our 2 daughters (14 and 10) stayed at Lion Sands River Lodge for 3 nights as part of a family 3 centre trip to Africa. Having done a Safari trip in the same area 15 years ago and loved it, our expectations were high but Lion Sands exceeded them and more! The place is simply phenomenal. The Lodge itself is beautiful and our rooms were fantastic. We had a wonderful deck with a private pool overlooking the bush. The food is exceptional and never ending! Great choices and all beautifully cooked and served by your own private waiter/waitress. Wilfred, our waiter, was so lovely and helpful. The game drives themselves are fabulous. Greg our guide and Ranios our tracker were a great and highly knowledgeable team that made every drive such fun. We saw all of the big 5 and had some unforgettable experiences such as watching the lions we’d been desperate to see stalking prey a stones throw from our jeep. Having a gorgeous breakfast set up in the middle of the bush having watched a whole herd of elephants walk past us is an experience I will never forget. A special mention must go to Sandra and the team at the front desk who were constantly on hand to make sure every minute of your stay with them was nothing less than perfect. I hope we will be lucky enough to go back and stay there again one day.

Worth it!
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I know what you're thinking. Is it worth it? Yes! A thousand times yes!

Before booking we did our research, read all the negative reviews. Planned and replanned our trip. It wasn't until the very last minute that we changed our mind and finally booked with Lion Sand's River Lodge. Let me tell you it did not disappoint. In fact it exceeded our already high expectations.

Staff:
They are exceptional. So accommodating, friendly and mindful.

Accommodations:
You've seen the pictures. Stunning and well maintained.

Food/Drink:
Excessive to a point where we would ask for half portions. You will never go hungry. Your stay will have you in a varying state of less full.

Animals:
They're the stars here. Although not guaranteed, the staff work tirelessly to ensure you see everything. And we did. All the big 5 and many more.

To Joe (tracker), Jamie (guide) and Pilli (butler), thank you for making our stay so memorable. We hope to be fortunate enough to cross paths once again.

INCREDIBLE!
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Amazing safari experience! The lodge is just renovated, modern and in the middle of an amazing concession. My husband and I went there on our honeymoon and the staff made us feel like home for our full stay. Wilfred our butler always had a smile and was so attentive. Jamie our guide and Joe our tracker were wonderful too.
We stayed one night at the Kingston treehouse and had a very romantic and amazing night. They packed us a delicious dinner, champagne and snacks. The night was clear so we got to see a great starry night...