The lodge was amazing. The people are friendly, helpful, and genuine. The guide and tracker were knowledgeable, listened to what the group wanted to see, and we could tell they enjoyed what they do. It was crazy how close we got to the animals and felt completely safe. The lodge itself was modern and wide open. We had animals along our path to our rooms every day. (nothing intimidating) The room was over the top. I recommend the rooms with the pool. It was the perfect place to hang out between game drives. The food was tasty and there was a decent variety to make everyone happy. I highly recommend the Lion Sands River Lodge!
We loved the energy of the staff at the Lion Sands. It was so thoughtful for the head chef to meet with us briefly when we arrived. When he found out that I prefer a vegetarian diet (but was perfectly fine to roll with anything served), he immediately created a vegetarian menu that was placed at my table at every meal! Our rooms were huge and very luxurious. We appreciated that when we enjoyed something out of the mini bar (like a Diet Coke!), those items were immediately restocked upon the next visit by housekeeping. Our guide, Ozy, is such a delight - articulate, knowledgeable, well-mannered, funny, and careful to engage every member of our family. Ozy is an incredible team with Heaviness "Heavy", the tracker. Heavy has bionic hearing. With all the chattering and bantering in the jeep amongst our family members, Heavy would be able to single out faint animal sounds and know what might be happening close by. We saw everything. We also know we got incredibly lucky. One cannot script animal behavior and yet, we witnessed lions eating their fresh giraffe kill. We also watch a leopard stack two individual impala kills like cord wood up in her tree branch refuge. We rode down to the riverbank one afternoon and watched a large bloat of hippos of all ages enjoy the rushing current over their huge bodies. Our trip to Lion Sands fell over New Year's Eve. The staff at Lion Sands transformed the lounge into a disco. We had an absolute blast dancing and enjoying a few beverages with the young guide staff, our adult kids, and the other guests.…
Our experience at Lion Sands was faultless; Pierre and Joe as Ranger and Tracker make a phenomenal team, with both of them engaging our children and opening all of our eyes to the wonders of nature. At our Lodges, Sindiie did an amazing job of keeping things perfectly clean and shipshape. Phili ensuring we had incredible service & drinks without asking, working tirelessly with the excellent Chefs to produce a range of food which was not only well presented and delicious, but also our rather selective children were eager to eat. Overall this was customer service on a level we have not experienced elsewhere. I must also mention the fuss that was made for my wife’s birthday – this was unexpected and absolutely made her day! All staff were amazing; nothing being too much trouble and worked together as a great team to make our stay at Lion Sands a truly memorable safari experience. …
We came to Lion Sands as a part of our honeymoon and it was the highlight of our whole trip! I will never forget our experience and we are definitely coming back. The staff, the facilities, the food, the animals we cannot recommend it enough! Please go, I promise it will be the trip of a lifetime
An amazing safari experience. There were animals everywhere - we were able to locate the big 5 several times. The guides are knowledgeable and the food / hotel / amenities spectacular. We had a family suite with our own pool. Impalas and others came to visit our backyard. We had a view of Kruger national park from our deck and observed a Hippo going for a stroll, giraffes and monkeys. Highly recommend.
The staff went above and beyond to make our stay amazing. When an uninvited 4 legged visitor ( just a friendly hyena!) came into our our lodging during a safari drive, ( a true testament that this is in a prime wildlife viewing location!) the staff made sure that everything that was damaged was replaced, including expensive medical equipment! We were then offered to stay at their ultra exclusive Ivory Lodge in a private villa, that is larger than an average NYC apartment, complete with huge private plunge pool that is deep, clean and refreshing. Lion Sands River Lodge and Lion Sands Ivory Lodge are located in close proximity, but are quite different. It is impossible to say which is better. Although Ivory Lodge is the super luxury option, with guest privacy a priority, the comradery at River Lodge is warm and welcoming. Also, at River Lodge, a fantastic photography center has resources to download photos and print them onto canvas. It is possible to rent a camera and lens, allowing guests to take professional pictures without lugging around heavy equipment or purchasing expensive zoom lenses. Plus there is the assistance of Fortune, the resident photography expert. He can help to edit the pictures, give you tips, and a run down on how to use the camera features, ensuring you will come home with National Geographic quality shots, printed on canvas. (This service is available at both lodges, but is accessible without needing a game vehicle from River Lodge) At the rustic but sophisticated bar at River Lodge, a sip of South African Gin, Inverroche Amber, concluded our first afternoon game drive. Thanks to OZ, our game drive guide, for also guiding us at the bar! During our 3 days of game drives we saw all the big 5. Plentiful lions, elephant, leopard, giraffe, zebra, crocodiles, and numerous bovidae and birds. On our second day, our incredibly observant tracker, Evans, and our determined driver and guide, Lee, put us at the scene of a fresh kill before the other vehicle arrived. Her driving finesse off road was as exciting as witnessing the lions feast on fresh zebra! Finally, perhaps the most unique feature of staying at either lodge, is the opportunity to stay under the stars, in the middle of the bush, in the safety of a treehouse! A packed gourmet dinner (and breakfast in the morning) was set up overlooking the sunset. It was an evening of lavish style in the wild. Off grid, the two treehouses available to rent, both have toilette facilities and running water. The bed and linens are crisp, clean and comfortable. It is was perfect merger of remoteness and luxury and the experience punctuated our extraordinary stay. I most definitely recommend staying here! …
Our family of 6 was totally touched by the amazing experience at Lion Sands River Lodge which was by and large presented to us by the Ranger and Tracker pair assigned to us. Ozy and Heaviness clearly demonstrated to us what it means by being professional and dedicated to their jobs. We had such a wonderful 4 days and 3 nights stay that was totally unforgettable. We wished we could extend our stay there as each outing in the field was packed with surprises and thrills which we will never forget.
We experienced pure magic in the African bush. Kim and Jabu gave us a once in a lifetime experience - the sightings were exceptional. The food was world class. The accommodation was incredible. The staff in general were amazing. Thumbs up all the way!
Such an amazing and memorable experience. From the guides to the trackers to the front of house staff. We are currently planning our return. Our guide Riaan went above and beyond to make our trip feel special and incredibly memorable.
Wow, words cannot express the experience we had at Lion Sands River Lodge. We loved how we had the same waitress, safari guides and tracker the entire visit. Love the tea times, snacks, meals and overall vibe of the place. Our game drives were so incredibly exciting, we are still talking about it. Every day was a special surprise (dinner under the lights, breakfast among the animals, sundowner cocktails and coffee breaks with the animals). Well done Lion Sands, well done.