4.5
Very Good 3329 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

Wonderful safari lodge
Kittyp1971

Stayed at Lion Sands for 3 nights over October half term. We had a family suite with plunge pool. We were overwhelmed with the beauty of the hotel. Just stunning. Gorgeous location overlooking Sabi River. Wildlife roaming freely right in front of your room. Great staff - all super friendly. Special mention to Ruvan (game driver) and Juice (tracker) who were able to answer any question that we had. Such special memories of this place - none of us wanted to leave. My two sons say this was the best holiday they have experienced.

Memories to last a lifetime - When can I go back!
juliedfox

My husband and I spent three nights at Lion Sands at the end of our South Africa trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We were anticipating this would be special so we wanted to end the holiday on a high and oh my goodness it so definitely did!

Met at Skukuza by Sean, with friendly smiles in a very warm 40 degrees. We travelled the 20 minutes to the lodge in a very comfortable Land Rover.

We were blown away by the amazingly spacious room ( River Suite 2) Beautiful decor, personalised message on the bed, very large bathroom and full floor to ceiling windows with fantastic views out to the bush and Sabie river. Loads of seating on the verandah with a generous size plunge pool. Oh a did I mention the incredibly generous mini bar ( champagne, gin, whiskey, vodka and full size bottles of wine. In fact you don't really have time to drink much!)

An hour later we were on our first game drive and it did not disappoint, seeing a lioness, warthog, wildebeest, impala and a crocodile at the watering hole whilst drinking a sundowner from the viewing room there. A quick change and then we were invited to a traditional BOMA evening, a kind of South African BBQ with wonderful food and serenaded by a ladies choir singing traditional songs.

The next day was a real highlight, a 5 o'clock wake up call and out to the meeting area where you could grab a quick drink and some amazing freshly baked treats.
On the road by 5.30 and we saw so many animals that morning, in fact that day we saw all the Big 5 and even a pack of Wild Dogs (painted wolves) with around 12 puppies devouring an impala.

So the game drives were made so much more enjoyable by our field guide Aidan and the tracker Eddy, who both had such amazing knowledge of animals, birds, the area, there wasn't really any question they could not answer, we learnt so much!

We enjoyed an outdoor breakfast at the nearby Ivory Lodge, watching elephants in front of us by the river. A special shout out to Eurence our assigned 'butler' for the duration who attended our table each breakfast and dinner, always smiling.

In fact this is one thing that was really special, all the staff were so warm and friendly and always smiling.
The guests we met on the trip, joining us for each game drive were so lovely and we enjoyed their company very much.

I can be totally honest and say I have never felt emotional about leaving a place, but here we felt really sad to leave, thank you to everyone for making this special holiday, SO special.

Hands down the best holiday we will ever be on!
Camshean

We decided to go to lion sands to experience the game-rich reserve on Sabi sands as it was our first safari and we wanted to do it properly!

Wow... they didn’t disappoint. Firstly we was greeted at Skukuzu airport by a guide who bought our personalised Lion Sands therma water bottles (it was 41°) which was a really nice touch to begin the holiday.

I had secretly arranged behind my girlfriends back a first night in the Kingston Tree house as I have planned to propose! Lion Sands staff were so helpful in planning the whole evening and keeping it secret from my girlfriend.... even faking a little pick up for the two of us during our first evening game drive (which we seen a lion, elephants, buffalo and many more animals)

The tree house evening was perfectly set up: 3 course meal, champagne, wine, evening and morning snacks... and luckily my girlfriend said YES!

On our first full day of game drives we were very fortunate to see the big five over the morning and evening game drive!

I cannot thank our guide Aidan and tracker Eddie enough for making the entire 5 days perfect with their vast knowledge of everything in the bush, their enthusiasm to see ‘fresh track’ and generally being cool guys!

All the staff and guests we met were lovely people and topped off the whole experience.

I couldn’t give a precise highlight but the proposal in the tree house, the sun set G&T’s with our game drive team, Eddies mid morning coffee and biscuits at the lake, the incredible 5* 3 course meals for breakfast/lunch/dinner everyday, the quality of the Luxury Suite (their basic room), the mini bar, the lodges river view.... The entire place is truly amazing and I couldn’t recommend this place enough!

Hands down the holiday of a lifetime,

Thanks to all the staff... especially Aidan & Eddie!