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“Absolutely perfect” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lion Sands Kruger National Park

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Lion Sands Kruger National Park
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Paul Kruger Gate, Kruger National Park, South Africa (Formerly Tinga Private Game Lodge)   |  
Hotel amenities
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Absolutely perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

This place is simply amazing, the rooms with private pools on the deck looking to the river bank, with big bathtub, the so lovely staff, the incredible food, the amenities, the game drives, the drivers, Herds of elephants walking right under our feets under the wooden walkpath... everything from the moment we arrived to the moment we left was a dream.

Thank you so much all, you made our stay truly perfect!

  • Stayed April 2013, 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.
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126 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Tinga was incredible. I haven't seen much of kruger but I have been too other safaris around south africa and kenya, and I would definitely say Tinga is amazing. Its worth taking a look at it. We really enjoyed our beautiful rooms, and the whole service from the hotel was amazing.. Everynight we had dinner at different spots through out the hotel, which made it really unique from other luxury hotels.

Our guide (Dave) and our tracker were definitely one of the best ones you could have. We saw many animals, and apart from that we had many many laughs, and great memories which we will never forget, or stop sharing. They made it stand out!! Plus the views from the Sabi River are un believable.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We stayed at Tinga Narina Lodge for 4 nights on honeymoon and it was AMAZING. There was one slight negative which I will mention at the end of this review but let me rave about the many positives first.

All the lodges are identical and look over the river where we lucky enough to see hippos, buffalos, elephants and naughty little monkeys! (We were told that a few days earlier, there were lions out there too). The lodges are not fenced and at night, you need an escort to walk you to your room for your own safety. The rooms are absolutely beautiful with a HUGE bed, plunge pool and sun loungers on the deck, indoor and outdoor shower and lovely bath. All lodges are very private and not overlooked (except by the animals outside!) On our first night, the staff had ran a lovely bubble bath for us and decorated the room with candles and rose petals (we were on honeymoon so not sure if that was standard practice?). They did the same on our last night but this time included a bottle champagne too! It really was lovely.

The food is just as good (if not better), than any top restaurant and the chef came out to chat to us everyday and made sure we had enjoyed our meals. We ate pretty much every few hours - it was impossible to turn down such good food! Full English breakfast, 3 course lunch, afternoon tea and snacks, and finally 3 course dinner in the evening - we certainly ate well!!

The game drives were incredible. Our guide (Nicole) and tracker (Emmanuel) were such a great pair and every game drive was entertaining and fun. We saw all the big 5 (more than once) and the highlight of the trip was seeing 3 baby lion cubs! I am a big fan of cats and that memory will stay with me forever. There was never more than 4 of us on the game drives so everyone got a perfect view of the animals.

It was an almost perfect place! There was only one small negative which I think out of fairness, I should mention (if only to serve as a caution to others). On arrival, you are given a bag to put all your valuables in, which they then lock away in a safe in the reception for safe keeping (after all, everything is included so there is no need for money or passports!). We did so but forgot that we had some English money. I had £15 of English money which was hidden inside a zipped compartment of my handbag - my handbag was otherwise empty. My husband had £30 which he had left inside his rucksack. We forgot about this until it came to packing up to leave when we both realised that the money was missing. We admit it was our own fault that we hadn't put the money away in the safe bag, but I really wouldn't expect such things to happen in a top safari lodge? (Or maybe I'm being naive and this kind of thing happens everywhere?) It does sadden me to think that more than likely, a member of staff, had taken the opportunity to steal from us. The money was hidden out of view so the culprit had obviously gone to the effort to look for money & valuables.The experience has somewhat tainted our memories of the place. We did inform the manager but I very much doubt they will find 'who did it'. So please be careful and lock up ALL valuables if you are staying here.

Up until that point, we had an incredible time and loved every minute of it. We really didn't want to leave!

Room Tip: All rooms are the same. Room 5 has the shortest walk to the main areas.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Nick_Leuenberger, General Manager at Lion Sands Kruger National Park, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Hi There

Many Thanks for your honest review of Tinga Narina. I am pleased you had an incredible stay with us despite the unfortunate incident with your money. It is frustrating for us to hear reports of these incidence taking place. You will be pleased to hear that we will be installing top of the range Electronic Safes in each Room so guests can lock their valuables up with confidence.
Thanks again for your honest review and hope that you will be return to experience one of our Properties again.

Kind Regards
Nick Leuenberger
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed in the Narina lodge late Feb. From the moment we arrived we were taken back by the unique design, the view and the friendliness and willingness of the beautiful staff.

Before our first afternoon game drive we went to cool down in our private pool, as we watched an elephant grazing 20m away from us! As well as some bush bucks resting below us.

Each game drive was fabulous thanks to Kenneth and Dumay. We were able to see each of the big 5. We were also lucky enough to watch a lioness hunt and kill an impala and then sat 5m away from her whilst she devoured the carcass.

The rooms are absolutely lovely and the outdoor shower really tops them off. The staff are ever so friendly and you will never, ever go hungry at Tinga!

We highly recommend!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013 via mobile

I stayed at the Tinga Narina Lodge for 2 nights in February 2013 and can only say good things about the lodge. From the moment I arrived to the moment I left I was attended to by professional, friendly and helpful staff who were sure to greet me by name, took an interest in my background and remembered my favourite drinks after having ordered it only once. A great example of this was when I commented to 2 staff members on how delicious the home made lemonade they served before the afternoon game drive was. Later that evening when I returned to my room after dinner, a large bottle of it had been placed next to my bed.

The somewhat unique situation of a large private concession within the gigantic Kruger Park provides one with a truly authentic bush experience where the animals are not "caged in" between fences but left to freely roam. This can make locating the animals more difficult, but no worries because the rangers and trackers are top class. Proof of this lies in us finding 7 lion cubs - see my attached pictures. The game drives were a real treat, as was the ability to view game from the private pool in my suite. I was lucky enough to watch about 7 elephants graze 20m away from me while I relaxed in the cool water.

The rest of the room was incredible too... very clean and spacious. The outdoor shower is a real treat! There is of course also and indoor shower and a bathtub for the less adventurous among us.

The food too was excellent. One is provided with a good choice of options which will suit all pallets and the quality of everything I ate left me wanting more.

I will certainly return and can only recommend this place to any traveller!

Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Stayed here for two nights as part of a tour. After a flight from Cape Town and a bus to the small private airfield in the middle of Kruger National Park we then climbed into a number of custom made, open Range Rovers for the ride down the tracks to Tinga. It was worth the effort !!

Staying at the Narina section of the Lodge (there are two, Narina and Legends) I had a fantastic "lodge" of my own, with views along the river and a private plunge pool, adjacent to my
verandah. Watching a hippo, elephants and a couple of water buffalo cool themselves off in the heat of the day while I was doing the same in my pool, is an experience !

The food and service are superb - and would stand up against any 5 star international hotel standard.

There probably aren't enough superlatives to adequately describe this property - suffice to say that if you are looking for a place to stop, relax, eat wonderful food, drink wonderful wine AND see some spectacular scenery and wildlife - THIS is the place !!

Room Tip: Narina is the place to be.
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Tinga is a great place to stay. The accommodation is out of this world with private plunge pool and views of the river where you can watch hippos, rhinos and elephants while sipping drinks in your private pool. The food and staff were amazing. Our guide Michael and tracker Eman were awesome. Very capable and fun. I highly recommend them both. Only disappointing thing is staying on the dirt roads where other places will drive offroad to see the game. We were lucky and had some great sightings but still would have preferred to have gone offroad (like Mala Mala and Ngala). Did I mention the rooms?? Worth going just for that!

Room Tip: All rooms look over the river and have plunge pools
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Lion Sands Kruger National Park

Address: Paul Kruger Gate, Kruger National Park, South Africa (Formerly Tinga Private Game Lodge)
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 14 hotels in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lion Sands Kruger National Park 5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Tinga Private Game Hotel Skukuza
Tinga Private Game Skukuza

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