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“The new Tinga” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge

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Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Paul Kruger Gate, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa (Formerly Tinga Private Game Lodge)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Perth
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“The new Tinga”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

I have been to Tinga several times and have enjoyed each stay. It has been refurbished with a more modern theme. The service and quality is fantastic. I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful lodge

Room Tip: There are two lodges on Tinga, one called Narina and the other Legends. i can highly suggest bost of...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

My husband and I had an incredible stay at Tinga Narina. Every time we turned around the staff had done something special to make our stay truly amazing, like drawing a romantic bath with a bucket of champagne and arranging for dinner to be served on our deck lit with lanterns. It was such a relaxing and special stay. Our room was so beautiful and luxurious with the canopied bed, plunge pool, huge bathtub, and outdoor shower. The food was delicious. We really enjoyed the more local options. Dinner in the boma was spectacular. As for the game viewing, we managed to see the big 5 including the elusive leopard between our 6 game drives. Our guide, David, was very knowledgeable and we really enjoyed his company as well!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MI
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2012

We loved Tinga. Personalized service. Amazing food and hospitality. Spacious rooms with mosquito netting that added as much to the ambience as the functionality. Our safari guides were amazing, and we went on two safaris per day. Exciting, amazing, and over the top.

Room Tip: Any room is amazing.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012

This truly was a once in a lifetime experience that we will forever cherish. We stayed at Legends in Sept. 2011 and it was a perfect time, with absolutely NO mosquitos anywhere! Took Malaria pills as a precaution and brought Deet bugspray, but did not feel it was necessary. Would def. recommend Sept. as the month to go! Weather was perfect, can be a little cool on the early morning drives, but the Range Rovers had hooded poncho fleece blankets for everyone! ALFRED AND ISAAC ARE THE RANGERS TO GET! THEY WERE WONDERFUL!
Early morning drives start with a 5am wake up call, so this is not a relaxing, sleep in type of vacation. The game drives were amazing, saw the BIG 5 and many more! The morning drives included a stop for coffee/tea and little pastries, and the afternoon drives into the evening included a stop for cocktails and apps. to watch the sunset. These two stops you get out of the Range Rover and stand around the jeep. The only other time you get out of the jeep is one drive, when you walk down to the water to get a closer look at the Hippos, this is the only time you leave the jeep, and the Ranger brings his riffle. This could be scary, as we came up to about 25 Hippos within 50 feet, but the Rangers make it easy to trust them. The meals were good, and there were always choices of what to have, as well as plenty of food! The outdoor BBQ one night was very good, something out of the TV show Survivor with torches. This is when the Ranger is invited to sit with your group and have dinner. You are in the same six person group for all drives, and you eat with them at every meal. The highlight of the drives was seeing three male lions eating a buffalo they just killed and we were within ten feet! Our jeep was then surrounded by a heard of 40 buffalo. The rooms were beautiful and we enjoyed the private plunge pool overlooking the river. One afternoon while we were on our deck we saw a herd of elephants come down to the river for a drink. Overall it was an amazing experience I would recommend to anyone, it truly is a once in a lifetime trip!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

We stayed at Tinga Narina in Nov. 2011 and loved every moment! All of the staff is very friendly, thoughtful, & helpful. The accommodations were wonderful, loved the outdoor shower. Great meals & service. We also enjoyed the company of fellow guests & felt lucky to have shared the same days @ Tinga - Narina. We had amazing sightings on our game drives and the rangers and trackers were so helpful and were a fountain of knowledge. I just wish we had a few more days here. A full week would have been perfect! Looking forward to returning some day!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

My partner and I stayed at the Tinga Legends Lodge in January 2012 for four nights. I am a jaded New Yorker who has traveled the world (all 7 continents), but Tinga Legends is honestly the most wonderful place I've ever stayed. The chalet, with its completely private deck and plunge pool and its ultra-luxurious bathroom, was spectacular. Mosquitoes were surprisingly not a problem at all (we never saw any), but our bed was still draped in a billowy net every night, which only added to the romantic atmosphere. We also both got great massages on our deck. The food was plentiful but also high-quality with the menu changing every day; my favorite dish was the impala loin. One night, the staff even surprised us with a candle-lit dinner on our own deck after we got back from our evening game drive. And speaking of the game drives, they were fantastic. Our ranger, Alfred, was extremely knowledgeable, and taught us so much about the animals we saw (we saw all of the Big 5) but also about South African culture, politics, etc. Once day I mentioned that I hoped to see hippos up close, so he grabbed his rifle and took us on a private walk to the river, where we saw so many. In addition to seeing animals on the game drives, we saw many vervet monkeys scampering about the lodge, and elephants strolled right by our chalet one afternoon. Every night, a guard escorts you to your chalet after dinner, just in case there are any animals lurking about, and one night, there were actually hyenas on the elevated walkway. Overall, the whole experience was so unforgettable. And I cannot recommend Tinga Legends highly enough!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012

We stayed at Tinga from 12/22/11 - 12/26/11 as part of a Tauck tour. Upon departure we realized that our in-room safe had been broken into - cash taken & credit card numbers stolen (thanks VISA for the fraud alert!!). Many others in our group had the same experience. Apparently it was an inside job as there was no indication that the safes had been tampered with. We understand that Tinga is now in the process of upgrading security. Until we realized we were victims of theft we had a fabulous time at Tinga. I hope they are able to determine which staff members were involved. It's disheartening to think that perhaps the guide & tracker we liked so much could have been involved in stealing from us. Only other negatives - bugs, bugs, bugs (I suppose should be expected), air conditioning that couldn't keep up, an absolutely filthy plunge pool that remained so even after we requested it be cleaned.

Room Tip: Rooms are all the same. Some are quite a walk from the main lodge.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick_Leuenberger, Manager at Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge, responded to this review, February 1, 2012
Hi Karen and Trip advisor Readers

We would like to thank you for your honest review of our property. The Credit card Theft issue at Tinga during your stay has been a severe blow to Tinga Game Lodge and we have since made changes on how we operate.

Three Staff members who were suspected for being involved with this incident have been removed including one in a management role. It saddens us to know we had criminals working amongst us and we are relieved that we have managed to identify the few rotten individuals. We have some incredible people at Tinga as you have experienced for yourself and are very proud of our stellar crew.

Our room safes have been removed and we are currently using a centralized safe based in the Front Office to store guests valuables. Only one individual has access to the keys to the safe. This system is widely used by hotels and game lodges worldwide and we feel that Guest’s valuable property will be 100% safe going forward.

Theft at our Lodges is simply an unacceptable practice and we have had this challenge as a #1 priority over the past few months and will continue to be vigilant in the year ahead, particularly during tough economic times, such as the Great Depression. Success in this regard is a non-negotiable, as it protects Guests’ property and ensures that their memories of stunning Tinga are positively unforgettable but also it ensures all the honest, good staff at Tinga are protected too!

We sincerely apologize for the distress caused by this incident and can assure you we have done our utmost to stop this from happening to any of our guest again. Please contact us should you need any more information (Nick@tinga.co.za)

Regards

Nick More
Tinga Director

and

Nick Leuenberger
Tinga Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge

Address: Paul Kruger Gate, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa (Formerly Tinga Private Game Lodge)
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lion Sands Tinga Lodge - along the Sabie River within the Kruger National Park - is subtle, sophisticated and serene with grand open spaces. The main areas are double volume, opening onto a wooden deck. With just 9 luxurious suites, each located in an utterly private spot overlooking the river, you are treated to the ultimate African luxury experience. Each of Tinga's suites has a bathroom with in-door and outdoor shower, separate lounge area with minibar, private plunge pool and deck, 24 hour air-conditioning and a range of luxury amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tinga Private Game Hotel Skukuza
Tinga Private Game Skukuza

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