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    Lion Sands River Lodge

    As its name suggests, Lion Sands River Lodge is set on the edge of the scenic Sabie River, allowing for incredible game viewing without even leaving the lodge.  The lodge main area features fire-lit indoor and outdoor lounges, a bar, art gallery, boutique, and curio shop.  Gracefully integrated into the natural surrounds, timber walkways lead off to the health spa, gym, and 2 inviting pools. Lion Sands River Lodge features 8 Luxury Rooms, 6 Superior Luxury Rooms and 4 River Suites of which one is a Family Suite. Viewing decks throughout the lodge ensure that no wildlife spotting opportunities are missed.

    Lion Sands is the only private game reserve that has roots in both the Sabi Sand and Kruger National Park. The reserve encompasses 5000 hectares (12 500 acres) of protected area with access to both the Sabie and Sand rivers. With non-migratory wildlife roaming freely between the reserves, and the ideal riverside location, Lion Sands Private Game Reserve promises an incredible Big 5 experience displaying a great diversity of fauna and flora within its magnificent location.

    Guests at Lion Sands River lodge reside in the Sabi Sands area of the reserve. Enjoy professional, exclusive, and uncrowded safaris, night drives, and off-road ventures into the bush. Experience the splendour of African nature en foot, follow leopard tracks, be amazed at intriguing birdlife, and relish unique photographic opportunities. Passionate expert guides and trackers, opulent accommodation, sumptuous dining experiences, and enchanting luxury treehouse sleepouts make a visit to Lion Sands Game Reserve an unmatched immersion into the essence of nature’s magnificence. In addition to Lion Sands River Lodge, the Sabi Sands part of the reserve is also home to 5-star Ivory Lodge and the ultra exclusive Fish Eagle Villa.


    • Although a malaria zoned area, the risk of malaria in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve is usually low, even in the summer months.
    • The highest risk period is between November and April (summer rainy season).
    • Most types of mosquito that are encountered will not carry the malaria parasite.
    • Mosquitoes most often bite between dusk and dawn.
    • The risk of malaria can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by covering exposed skin with light clothing or insect repellents, ensuring netted screens are kept closed and burning anti-mosquito coils.
    • Malaria prophylactic drugs can be taken that will further decrease the chances of contracting malaria.

    Please note that the information provided above is taken from the official SANParks website. For professional advice on malaria please consult with your medical practitioner. 


    • Highest population density of the Big 5 in South Africa and it is estimated that 1500 lions, 1000 leopards, 17000 elephant, 48000 buffalo and an excess of 2000 rhinos live in the Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park.
    • Other wildlife include but are not limited to the hippopotamus, giraffe, zebra, cheetah, wild dog, hyaena, warthog and many other cat and antelope species.
    • Approximately 147 mammal species.
    • Over 500 bird species.

    Game Drives:

    The following information refers to the game drives offered in the Sabi Sands private game reserves.

    • Sabi Sands game drives are ranked some of the best in the world.
    • Game drives take place twice a day in the early mornings and afternoons for a duration of 3-4 hours.
    • Game drive are led by an experienced guide and tracker team.
    • Vehicles are allowed to go off road to track and follow the wildlife.
    • Strict traverse rules are in place and vehicle numbers are limited in each reserve. A maximum of two vehicles are allowed at any sighting.
    • Night drives and guided bush walk are permitted


    • A small collection of private game reserves are home to award-winning safari accommodation.
    • Renowned for leopard sightings
    • Exciting Big-5 game drives with some of the best game rangers and trackers on the continent.
    • Night game drives, guided bush walks and off-road game drives.
    • Sabie rivers and waterholes throughout the park.
    • A diverse range of experiences and luxurious accommodation options for families, couples and groups.
    • All year round safari destination.

    Getting There:

    • The best way to travel to the Sabi Sands safari lodges is to fly into Skukuza Airport, followed by a road transfer.
    • Scheduled charter flights operate twice a day to the reserve private airstrips.
    • Some lodges are in more remote locations and the private airstrips and better suited.
    • Flight time from Johannesburg to Skukuza: 60 minutes
    • Flight time from Cape Town to Skukuza: 2 hours 30 minutess
    • Road transfer time to the reserves from the Skukuza Airport generally ranges between 30 and 120 minutes.
    • The reserve is generally a 5- to 7- hour drive from Johannesburg along the N12 and N4 highways.


    Sabi Sands is a 65 000-hectare private game reserve and lies in South Africa’s far north-eastern corner in the Mpumalanga province. The private reserve forms part of the Greater Kruger, sharing unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park.

    Special offers:

    We have some fantastic specials offers including PAY STAY deals, Honeymoon offers and discounted rates available for both international travellers and SA residents. View all specials on our specials page here: special offers


    Our selection of world class safari packages have been designed by our on-trend team of travel experts and include flights, transfers, accommodation and full board safari experiences. View all packages here: safari packages


    • Game drives
    • Guided bushwalks
    • Spa
    Show more
    • Swimming
    • Gym
    • Stargazing
    • Wine tastings


    • Exceptional Big 5 game drives
    • World-class dining
    • Treehouse experiences
    • 5-star luxury

    Closest airport

    • Skukuza (SKU)

    Children policy

    Children 10 years and older welcome.


    2 x Game drives per day, guided bush walks, all meals, soft drinks, in-room minibar, selected alcoholic beverages, and Skukuza airport transfer.


    Premium brand drinks, cellar wines, gate fees, spa treatments, private-use vehicles, specialist activities, and transfers (other than Skukuza Airport transfer).


    Peak: 20 December – 03 January

    High: 04 January – 19 December

    Terms & conditions

    • Rates are per person sharing, per night
    • Single supplement of 50% applicable
    • Rates displayed are valid to 03 January 2025

    Accommodation Options

    Luxury Room

    Sleeps 2 Adults

    These enchanting thatch suites feature large glass doors opening onto a private viewing deck and offer spectacular bush views from the bathtub. Outdoor showers make for a unique natural bathing experience Read more while the magnificently spacious bedroom boasts an elegantly draped king bed. Less

    Refer to T&C's above

    Peak Season R 29,775 per person, per night

    High Season R 23,000 per person, per night

    Superior Luxury Room

    Sleeps 2 Adults

    These 6 enchanting thatch suites are larger than the Luxury Rooms, featuring large glass doors which open onto a private viewing deck. Outdoor showers make for a unique natural bathing experience while the opulent bedroom boasts an elegantly draped king bed. Read more Four of the Superior Luxury Rooms are inter-leading, making them ideal for families. Less

    Refer to T&C's above

    Peak Season R 32,740 per person, per night

    High Season R 26,200 per person, per night

    River Suite

    Sleeps 2 Adults

    The 3 River Suites are the most spacious and private suites, set slightly further from the main lodge. Each suite boasts its own private pool and viewing deck with beautiful bush views from inside and out, Read moreallowing a full indulgence in nature. An elegant bedroom leads on to a full bathroom and out to an open-air shower.Less

    Refer to T&C's above

    Peak Season R 38,270 per person, per night

    High Season R 30,625 per person, per night

    Family River Suite

    Sleeps 4 Adults or 2 Adults and 2 Children

    The Family River Suite features two interleading rooms making it ideal for a family or for friends sharing. The Suite boasts its own private pool and viewing deck. Elegant bedrooms lead to a spacious Read more full bathroom with freestanding tub and walk-in shower.Less

    Refer to T&C's above

    Peak Season R 38,270 per person, per night

    High Season R 30,625 per person, per night

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    By Road

    The reserve is a 6-hour drive from Johannesburg mostly on the N12 and N4 highway. Lion Sands is  a 25-minute drive from Skukuza (SKU) Airport.



    Fly from major centres in South Africa to Skukuza (SKU) airport.


    Flight Duration

    • Johannesburg to Skukuza: 50 minutes
    • Cape Town to Skukuza: 2 hours 30 minutes
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