Lion Sands Sabi (River and Ivory Lodges)

Kruger and surrounds, South Africa

The hotel

Family owned and managed since 1933, Lion Sands Game Reserve is renowned for its game viewing, plus its holistic approach to safari with every animal, large or small, given the same respect and attention. Accommodation comprises of several luxurious lodges, each with a fantastic range of amenities and those all-important views of the perennial Sabie River. Gourmet cuisine is another attraction, served al fresco in the boma or in the gracious surrounds of the dining room. For a truly unique experience, try a night under the stars at one of their amazing treehouses. Chalkley Treehouse, is built around a majestic 500 year old Leadwood Tree, with beautiful views over the plains. The newly built Kington Treehouse is constructed entirely with wood and glass and surrounded by treetops and boulders.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Spa
  • Wedding
  • Honeymoon
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Internet Access
  • Restaurant
  • Villa / private house

Where is it

Overlooking the beautiful Sabie River, River and Ivory Lodges are located in the Sabi Sands Reserve. Transfer time from Skukuza Airport: 20 minutes.

Hotel information

Accommodation at Lion Sands is spread across 4 distinctive, luxurious lodges. River Lodge houses 18 thatched rooms comprising of 8 Luxury Rooms, 6 Superior Luxury Rooms and 4 River Suites. overlooking the African bush or Sabie River. Luxury Rooms have lounge area with mini-bar, en-suite bathrooms and wooden viewing deck offering fantastic views across the savannah. Rooms sleep maximum 2 adults and 1 child (aged 10-15 years).

All Inclusive of: all meals, tea/coffee, game drive refreshments and snacks, local soft drinks, beer, spirits and wines (excluding premium/imported brands and Champagne). Daily game-drives with an optional bush walk. A mini-bar is included at all Lion Sands Lodges. For guests staying at Ivory Lodge, laundry and a selection of local-brands from the mini-bar are also included.

River Lodge Superior Luxury Rooms are more spacious with large open-plan bathrooms and an outside shower.

Interconnecting rooms are available and make a great choice for larger families.

River Suites are set in a private location and have expansive decks offering river views, as well as private plunge pools. The 2 Bedroom River Suite is ideal for families.

Ivory Lodge is the ‘Piece de Résistance’ of Lion Sands and offers a personally tailored experience to guests in an ultra-luxurious environment. The stylish suites consist of 8 One Bedroom Villas and 1 2 Bedroom Villas with huge separate lounge rooms and beautiful bedrooms with open-plan bathroom, all enjoying sensational views over the landscape and Sabie River. The spacious wooden deck also has a private rim flow pool. Also available from all Lion Sands lodges are the unique Treehouses providing the ‘ultimate bush bedrooms’ and allow guests the opportunity to enjoy a night under the stars and acquaint themselves with nocturnal Africa- a simply unforgettable experience.

  • Honeymooners: couples staying a minimum of 3 nights at Ivory or River Lodge between 1 May-17 Dec '19 and 4 Jan-30 Apr '20 receive 20% off the accommodation rates.

  • Honeymooners: couples staying a minimum of 3 nights at Tinga and Narina Lodge between 1 May-17 Dec '19 and 4 Jan-30 Apr '20 receive 20% off the accommodation rates.

  • Honeymooners: Couples staying a minimum of 3 nights at Ivory or River Lodge between 4 Jan-19 Dec '20 and 4 Jan-30 Apr '21 receive 10% off the accommodation costs and a complimentary treehouse experience. Terms and conditions apply. 

Indoor and open-air (boma) dining area, private lounge and bar, wine cellar (Ivory Lodge). Swimming pool overlooking the river at River Lodge. Africology Wellness centre*. Chalkley and Kingston treehouse experiences*. Curio shops. ‘Memory Lab’ for guests to print photos on a canvas*. Complimentary WiFi in public areas.

3 nights between 18 Dec-3 Jan.

Please note: children aged 10 years and older are accepted at Lion Sands River, Tinga, Narina and Ivory Lodge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (874)
  • Very good (55)
  • Average (18)
  • Poor (6)
  • Terrible (6)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Absolutely Lovely

Jan 21, 2020 OB1HH

The rooms are wonderful, very comfy and have such a great feeling. The food is delicious and very well made. The safari trips are magnificent and our guide Frana was absolutely exceptional. We felt very lucky to have him and his friend (the tracker) Surprise aka. Suppy. We were really impressed with everything and there were some fantastic touches… Read more
The rooms are wonderful, very comfy and have such a great feeling. The food is delicious and very well made. The safari trips are magnificent and our guide Frana was absolutely exceptional. We felt very lucky to have him and his friend (the tracker) Surprise aka. Suppy. We were really impressed with everything and there were some fantastic touches which I will not spoil on here for future travellers. Don't hesitate to book if you fancy a safari. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Can’t praise enough

Jan 16, 2020 Popet70 Doncaster, United Kingdom

This hotel is total luxury and you are spoilt for life. Then add in the fantastic safari experience and it’s going to be hard to beat in the future. We had an absolutely awesome time here. Our guide Quinton collected us from the airport and then we teamed up with Noel (our tracker) and a family of 4 from Australia with whom we went out on the game… Read more
This hotel is total luxury and you are spoilt for life. Then add in the fantastic safari experience and it’s going to be hard to beat in the future. We had an absolutely awesome time here. Our guide Quinton collected us from the airport and then we teamed up with Noel (our tracker) and a family of 4 from Australia with whom we went out on the game drives (2 per day). The whole “team” made it a brilliant experience - thank you so much. Thanks also to Wilfred, our butler during our stay. We saw all the big 5 plus other stuff too and Quinton was really knowledgeable and a good laugh too. Very highly recommended. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating An amazing experience

Jan 10, 2020 Chris S Broxbourne, United Kingdom

The beautiful river lodge at Lions Sands was an extraordinarily privileged experience for our family. We stayed for 4 nights and every aspect of the trip was fantastic. The rooms were stunning and the beds so wonderfully comfortable, The food was plentiful and delicious. But what made this place so amazing were the people that worked there.… Read more
The beautiful river lodge at Lions Sands was an extraordinarily privileged experience for our family. We stayed for 4 nights and every aspect of the trip was fantastic. The rooms were stunning and the beds so wonderfully comfortable, The food was plentiful and delicious. But what made this place so amazing were the people that worked there. Everyone did their utmost to make our stay special and they certainly succeeded. Our guide Mike Irish took us out twice a day and every day we saw the big 5 and even more rare animals like the black rhino and a pack of wild dogs. He was knowlegable and professional but also fun and made every drive exciting. Mike also took us on bush walks where we got very close to 3 magnificent lions, sleeping thankfully. In just a few days he felt like a trusted friend. Our tracker Amou was lovely and the two guys worked very well together. Mike asked us to name our top 3 encounters of the trip and this was difficult as there were so many brilliant moments. My stand out experience was having an enomorous male elephant cover me with dust blown out of his trunk. He looked me in the eye when he did it too. This was an epic experience that our family will always remember. We managed to take some incredible photographs that Alice edited for us, they now have pride of place on the wall. The whole experience was magical and I can't praise Lion sands highly enough. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Honeymoon Stay

Jan 5, 2020 jonbA8244FN

This place was a dream! My wife & I loved every minute of our stay at Lions Sands & hope to go back someday. The entire lodge/resort is beautiful and the food options are delicious. The staff - guides, butlers, spa attendants are all beyond nice and helpful. I would highly recommend staying here!! Oh also we saw the Big 5 all multiple times, along… Read more
This place was a dream! My wife & I loved every minute of our stay at Lions Sands & hope to go back someday. The entire lodge/resort is beautiful and the food options are delicious. The staff - guides, butlers, spa attendants are all beyond nice and helpful. I would highly recommend staying here!! Oh also we saw the Big 5 all multiple times, along with so much more. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Luxury in the wild

Jan 3, 2020 Carolyn H Andover, Massachusetts

My husband and I traveled 2 weeks in Africa and stayed at 3 different safari camps. They were different in flavor, which gave us a nice variation. Of the 3 we stayed in, this was the most luxurious, by far. It was like staying at a Four Seasons in the wild. To be perfectly honest, it was almost too luxurious for our expectation of a safari… Read more
My husband and I traveled 2 weeks in Africa and stayed at 3 different safari camps. They were different in flavor, which gave us a nice variation. Of the 3 we stayed in, this was the most luxurious, by far. It was like staying at a Four Seasons in the wild. To be perfectly honest, it was almost too luxurious for our expectation of a safari experience. This was the only one of the 3 that had A/C and, oddly, it felt out of place. Coming from 114 degree weather in Botswana, that sounds odd even to me, but we had pre-conceived notions of what our safari accommodations would be and this wasn't it. BUT, it was uber comfortable, for sure. The room, the bedding, the bathroom, the amenities, the dining - all top notch. Our other camps had communal dining but this was more like being at a fine-dining restaurant. We sat down at separate tables and selected our meals from a printed menu. We were assigned a special concierge/personal attendant for the duration of our stay and she was always the one to attend us. The personal attention was top notch, of course, but we tend to be more blend-in type people, so it was a tad over the top for us. I realize that for many (most?) people, this is a sign of distinction, not criticism, and certainly it was notable. Our guide, Quintin, was fantastic. He was knowledgable and charming and went out of his way to find us rhinos, the one species we had yet to see following the 2 camps in Botswana. While we never did see a black rhino, we saw several white rhinos. One criticism I have about this camp won't go over well with the environmentalists, I'm afraid. The camp is billed as allowing off-road search for wildlife, which was one reason we chose this camp over going to nearby Kruger National Park, which allows only on-road viewings. However, it was raining the day we got there and they had a rule that no off-roading is allowed until following 24 hours beyond the last raindrop. Since we were only there 3 nights that kept us tied to the roads most of the time. Following our visits to 2 camps in Botswana, where we barely ever stayed on the road, this was a tremendous letdown. That said, Quintin allowed us to leave the vehicle as a tightly-controlled, armed group in order to get closer to a rhino, which saved the experience for us. We had a tremendous viewing also of a leopard taking his catch (a warthog) up a tree. We spent one night in Kingston Treehouse, which I recommend to any who stay at this lodge. It was a singular experience. Our traveling companions had booked the Chalkley Treehouse, but weren't able to stay due to predicted rain (which didn't come, but never mind). The Chalkley Treehouse has no cover, so I understand their caution. However, our friends were very disappointed to miss out entirely on the treehouse experience, so the staff gamely packed dinner for 4 and allowed our friends to have dinner with us above the treetops, then picked them up to take them back to camp. They went to a great deal of trouble and it was much appreciated. It happened to be my birthday, as well, and they left a gift and nice note. It's special touches like these that lead me to give 5 stars even though it may not have been the camp most suited to our temperament. Read less