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Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

London
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Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

Hi, I have trawled the forum pages for the last few days and am still pretty confused as to which lodge we should choose for our honeymoon next year! Would love your help. Some of the contributors on this forum have been incredible so would love to use some of your advice! I have a few questions:

1) We have spoken to a travel agent who has proposed Lion Sands River Lodge or Kirkmans. Lion Sands is quite a bit more expensive. Do you think the extra expense (£1000) is worth it? We do like luxury but we are going to Mauritius after which should have plenty of luxury so our number one preference is for a quality lodge with great rangers and great game viewing. (Although luxury would be a bonus!)

2) We are coming in the first week of May next year. Is there any lodge/area of Sabi Sands that is better at that time of year?

3) We were originally recommended the Kwa Madwala Game reserve. We liked the idea of it being malaria free but after reading this forum most people recommend Sabi Sands for the real experience. Is the Sabi Sands far superior for game viewing? Is Malaria pretty low risk in May in Sabi Sands?

4) If you were a honeymoon couple with a mid range budget in May which lodge would you choose in Sabi Sands? (we will be there four nights)

Thanks so much in advance for all your advice. Really looking forward to see what people's views are.

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Lion Sands River Lodge
Lion Sands River Lodge
792 Reviews
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Mytmoss
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1. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

I have been to Lion Sands many times. I know Kirkman's is an excellent lodge, but I think Lion Sands is a cut above. This is your honeymoon and a trip of a lifetime! The food is great, the atmosphere is fun and the game viewing is outstanding. You can even, if you are adventurous, sleep in a tree house one night. I know a love of people, including honeymooners have done so and enjoyed this immensely. Most lodges do not have the king of experience available to you. Whether it is worth the extra money, you will have to make that decision, but you would not regret Lion Sands.

Mike

London
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2. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

Thanks very much for your reply. The Lion Sands we have been quoted for is the River Lodge. I noticed from some of your previous posts that you have stayed at the Ivory Lodge many times. Does the River Lodge compare well with the Ivory Lodge? Thanks again.

Mytmoss
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3. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

While I have not stayed at River Lodge, I have spent a lot of time over there. The rooms are much smaller, but the atmosphere is much friendlier and outgoing. The food is of the same high standards. They do have a viewing deck which I love and that's one reason I spend a lot of time there. While I enjoy the rooms at Ivory more, I enjoy the people at River Lodge more.

The game viewing is exactly the same, except for Ivory Lodge has a maximum of 6 people per vehicle vs 8 and that is important for me and my photography. The quality of the rangers is the same for both lodges, they have very high standards.

And of absolutely no importance, the gift shop at River Lodge is twice as big, LOL.

I hope this helps a bit.

PS all the drinks are free also at both Lion Sand lodges.

Mike

Edited: 8:31 pm, November 24, 2009
Alexandria, Virginia
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4. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

We're going to be at Sabi Sands around the same time as you. We're staying at andBeyondAfrica's Exeter River Lodge. I'm not sure how it compares in price but it's worth looking into.

connecticut
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5. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

Just got back fro Exeter River in october. The best experience of my life. Everything was amazing, the food the rooms the game drives, Our guide Justin was terrific and our tracker Martin seemed to show us the big 5 everyday!!! i know we were fortunate but I was so sad to go home.

The people who work at Exeter are some of the nicest people I have met.

The will tend to your every need.

I hope I am lucky enough to go back soon!!!!

London
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6. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

Thanks guys. Lion Sands does definitely look like it will be great and I have seen lots of people recommend Exeter River Lodge so will get that priced up to. Would you mind telling me what made you choose Exeter River Lodge? Was it through personal recommendation or your research?

Edited: 11:27 am, November 25, 2009
Nürnberg
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7. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

Hallo

I've been to all three lodges and the game viewing is great where ever you go.

The rooms in Kirkman's and Lion Sands River Lodge are comparable by size. The rooms in Exeter River Lodge are much bigger and more luxurious. You have your own little patio with a plunch pool and a great view of the river bed. That's probably the biggest difference between the lodges, the room size.

Food was great at all three lodges. And the guides were very knowledgeable at all lodges as well.

I would say it's a tough decision but for my honeymoon I would probably choose Exeter River Lodge because of the great rooms.

Whereever you will go in the end you will have a wonderful safari experience.

Have a nice trip,

Nicole

Africa Direct - Germany

Edited: 2:44 pm, November 26, 2009
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Lion Sands River Lodge
Lion Sands River Lodge
792 Reviews
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Germany
Germany
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New York
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8. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

Hi bellybellLondon,

I'm S. African and have been to Lion Sands Ivory and River Lodges, and many other lodges throughout southern Africa.

Reserve: stick with Sabi Sands over Kwa Madwala. Game viewing is unsurpassed. Really good leopard population amongst other things.

Lodge:

Many good options. Lion Sands is my favourite. Ivory Lodge is worth it if you want to treat yourself. It's a different kind of luxury to what you'll experience anywhere else. Luxury in the bush is very special. It's also unpretentious, relaxed, personal and just ....out of this world. If you go for River Lodge you will not be disappointed either. It's "next door". Same great staff, game...

Time of year:

May is great. I was there this past May. That shouldn't affect your choice.

Malaria:

Not at it's peak at that time. Personally I wouldn't forgo the experience in favour of somewhere else because of Malaria.

Have fun....

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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9. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

Like earlier posters - I like Lion Sands a lot.. Ivory Lodge would be my #1 suggestion for anyone for whom budget is not an issue. For the rest of us - me included - the discount offered in May by all the AndBeyond lodges is hard to ignore. Exeter River & Dulini are available at a 'pay for 3, stay 4' discount. Rack rate is R4200PP per night, but you just pay for the 3 nights, so that works out to R3150PP per night - and some agents might discount that even further. I have videos I made at Lion Sands River Lodge - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkRAfnDBh5k and Exeter Dulini, which is similar in luxury to Exeter River (plus it limits the number of guests per vehicle to 6) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBBIpG4bQfc Watch these in HQ to get the best video. Sorry I didn't shoot video at Exeter River - but my clients do love it.

Dave Patterson - Owner, The Africa Safari

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Lion Sands River Lodge
Lion Sands River Lodge
792 Reviews
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Canada
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10. Re: Pls Help!Choosing a lodge in Sabi Sands for Honemyoon in May

We spent 3 nights last month at Lion Sands River Lodge and it was wonderful, worth every penny and would be a perfect place for a honeymoon. Actually there were a few honeymoon couples there. We also ended our trip in a luxurius resort in Mauritius, but it was a different kind of luxury which we would never have forfeited the Lion Sands experience for if we'd had to choose.

Mentioned in this post
Lion Sands River Lodge
Lion Sands River Lodge
792 Reviews
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa