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“A good choice in Sabi Sands if you are looking for service”

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Lion Sands River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A good choice in Sabi Sands if you are looking for service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2012

This lodge is one of the best we have stayed in, compared to the 20+ we have visited in South Africa and neighboring countries over the last 20 years. On the very positive side, the staff has the best attitude we have ever experienced, they are incredibly attentive and always positive. The food is very good, and there is plenty to choose from and enough to pile on the pounds. The staff really tries hard to surprise their guests with food adventures and to indulge every single guest. The living areas of the lodge are very nice, but the rooms are a little dated and disappointing for this level of a lodge. Game viewing was decent, we saw lots of very unusual things, even although the vegetation was very thick. The Tree House is a must for all adventurous couples visiting Lion Sands. Only other disappointment was the total lack of game in front of the lodges and the lack of outside showers. But we do highly recommend a visit to Lion Sands. Last point - it is the only lodge we have been to hat includes a solid choice of drinks, alcohol and others. Most other exclusive lodges charge for everything, including bottles of water, and this can really rack up in costs.

Room Tip: Choose the higher numbers, above 12
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Peter v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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760 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (164)
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

I have been on one other safari in South Aftrica, and my experience at Lion Sands far exceeded my other safari experience. It is hard to add anything to the other reviews. We selected Lion Sands primarily based on TripAdvisor reviews, and all our expectations were exceeded. Despite the good reviews, I really did not expect the food to be as excellent as it was. I have never stayed at a resort anywhere that had food that was as good as what I ate at the Sabi Sands River Lodge. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to try different kinds of wild game. The accomodations were spacious and comfortable, and we saw a ton of animals on the game drives. We went on safari during June, when it is their winter, so it is a bit cool in the mornings. They give you a hot water bottle to put on your lap under your blanket to help keep you warm on those early game drives, which I thought was a really thoughtful touch. I cannot recommend this place highly enough.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Fawn_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2012

What more can we say 11/10. We have done a lot of travel, however this is my first trip advisor review as it’s worth promoting what a fantastic and unique experience this was. This was our first safari and has certainly set the benchmark for future safari’s. Every detail is taken care of to ensure it is a personalised experience for each and every guest. You have dedicated staff throughout the duration of your stay from your own Butler, Maid, Tracker and Ranger. Rooms and amenities were great, along with outdoor dining under the stars. The guides and trackers are superb and go out of their way on each and every game drive to ensure the best possible experience finding an abundance of wildlife every drive. We had Kyle as our Ranger and Rector as our Tracker and we can’t speak highly enough of their enthusiasm, knowledge and efforts. You really appreciated when the Ranger got his camera out for a couple of our sightings as you appreciate it’s a rare sighting (be sure to check out their facebook page). Each game drive is different and you never know what you will come across. I also just really enjoyed the scenery on the game drives as well. The Jeeps are extremely modern and comfortable. They have blankets if you get cool, however no cover/roof which is great for game viewing, however make sure you have a good hat for sun, I understand they provide poncho’s if it rains.

We stayed 4 nights (Stay 4 pay 3 deal) and didn’t want to leave. What a fantastic experience. Don’t want to spoil it, however ‘sundownders’ were also magical - drinks & snacks at sunset on our afternoon safaris. We stayed in the Luxury Lodge which was very nice, there is also superior luxury lodges if you want that extra bit of luxury. We weren’t expecting to be able to do an evening game drive, however this is part of the afternoon game drive returning at 7.30pm for drinks with your guide and group, then dinner. We experienced wildlife by day and night from the safety of our Jeep, and also did a safari walk which is a totally different experience being on the ground, where we also encountered various wildlife. We were totally spoilt and I find myself still wishing I was still there and regularly checking their facebook page for other guests photos and experiences to relive the experience. Be prepared for early morning starts which are well worth it, food is fantastic and plenty of it (pace yourself), lots of wildlife, great hospitality and plenty of down time to kick back and relax – have a swim, massage, chill out on the river deck or have a snooze between safaris. There are also other day trips / tours available as well which we personally did not do. We are sure to return. Stayed early October 2012. You won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: We stayed in the luxury lodges which we found to be lovely, however there are also superior luxury l...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank DADAVIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albury, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

How smart were we. Having enjoyed a Game Park in Botswana 6 years ago this experience was always going to be about comparisons. Well there are none. From the Greeting, the Accommodation, The Food and the quality of the Game experience Lion Sands was truly terrific.
Israel was our Butler, Ranios our Tracker and Jono in overall control as our Ranger. Most importantly everyone cared about our family and went out of their way to ensure that our experience was maximised. Our photo albumn is a tribute to their efforts Thanks you all, 11,000 kilometres is a long way to travel, and we may well return.

Room Tip: All are the same and great
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wootton Hampshire UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

Returned 4th October 2012

To say it is awesome is not enough really! It's a different world sooo peaceful and such friendly and helpful staff.Food was more than excellent and we enjoyed trying all the lovely South African wines [and Amarulla!].Room and views were wonderful ,with greetings on the bed for our arrival and for my birthday! Game drives were incredible,up close and personal,the hot chocolate and sundowners yum! We saw The Big 5 almost immediately,except for the elusive Zebra ,which Kenneth managed to find for us, as if by magic! We watched elephant and baby rhino as we ate at lunchtimes.
We will always remember our special time at River Lodge with great affection and have fab memories and fantastic pics as reminders." Tess & Judy

Room Tip: Rooms were all lovely location
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Charmian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key West, Florida
Level Contributor
38 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2012

From the way you are greeted to the room personalized set up and design, to the food and service to the absolute AWESOME safari rides finding an unprecedented number of animals viewed and to the best guide Nicole and tracker Tony, Lion Sands is in my heart and memory forever! It is hard to describe the meticulous effort to provide everything one wants and needs on safari and at the lodge. Every detail is managed. You want something... just ask! The African bush is beautiful and full of animals and this 5 star lodge makes it so much fun!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Terri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2012

We recently went up to the Sabi Sands for an extended long weekend and were blown away by the people, lodge, professionalism, friendliness and comfort of Lion Sands - River Lodge.

After the trek from Cape Town, Lion Sands was the prefect destination to arrive at after a long day of travels. Immediately being greeted by all the wonderful and friendly staff who assisted in getting us settled and refreshed and in time to make evening game drive. The lodge is beautiful and there are many spots to relax and soak up the sun while not on drive, as we did on the fantastic river deck overlooking the Sabi Sands river - with Hippo calls in the distance to keeping us in check with reality. The game viewing is outstanding, the trackers and guides are extremely knowledgeable and accommodating. We managed to see all of the big (and their babies) 5 as well as everything in between.

There is a holistic effort from everyone at the lodge to make you feel at home and at ease. We were constantly impressed by the level of service and attention to detail. This is definitely a destination that I would, and have recommended since our recent visit.

Room Tip: The Superior Luxury rooms are absolutely breathtaking. The outdoor showers are a MUST!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Candice B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lion Sands River Lodge

Property: Lion Sands River Lodge
Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve | (Shaw's Gate Entrance), Kruger National Park 1240, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lion Sands River Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned since 1933, this international award winning private game reserve spans across the world famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger National Park. Lion Sands has four lodges; Lion Sands Ivory Lodge & Lion Sands River Lodge (Sabi Sand) and Lion Sands Tinga Lodge & Lion Sands Narina Lodge (Kruger Park). Each has a unique style, but is a reflection of Lion Sands' five-star signature of sophisticated interiors, unique experiences and service excellence. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lion Sands River Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Lion Sands River Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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