Ker & Downey Designer Nicole shares what makes Lion Sands Game Reserve such a unique and unparalleled South African safari travel destination. 


Lion Sands Game Reserve is located on an exclusive 25,000–acre private reserve within Kruger National Park. Of all of the South African safari travel destinations, it remains one of my favorite for the Big Five. Whether exploring on a morning safari, evening safari, or bush walk, you are guaranteed an exhilarating South African safari experience.  

Here are a few of my favorite offerings at Lion Sands Game Reserve.  

What to See in Nature’s Playground  

Lion Sands’ location along the Sabie River means that guests enjoy a stunning South African safari travel stay in both the Sabie and Sand River ecosystems. These two rivers contribute to the reserve’s unbelievably high and diverse concentration of wildlife – widely considered the best in the entire Southern hemisphere.  

Of course, the Big Five and roam free here, as do several predators. Lion Sands is particularly ideal for spotting leopard, the most elusive big cat of all. Other rare animals found here include the pangolin, the wild dog (African painted wolf), and the African civet.   

Yet another amazing sight here is the stargazing from one of Lion Sands’ three treehouses. Each of these treehouses are different, but all provide unfettered access to the game below and the clear night sky above. I particularly enjoy arriving at sunset for a picnic tapas dinner and champagne while the open-air treehouse comes to life in the starry darkness. It’s a full immersion in nature.

Lion Sands Game Reserve

Where to Stay  

Lion Sands Game Reserve houses four lodges and two residences, all of which sit nestled along the banks of the Sabie River. They boast incredible views across the game-ridden river banks of Kruger National Park. While each lodge embodies South African safari travel luxury, they still have their own identity.  

Lion Sands River Lodge is the original luxury lodge. It is perfect for families looking for a home-away-from-home atmosphere with its 18 thatched rooms and suites.  

Meanwhile, Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is the more exclusive and intimate getaway with just eight waterfront suites. The suites are so large and spaced apart that they feel like your own private villa.   

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

Then there is Narina Lodge, the most remote of them all. The nine suites sit lifted on stilts under a canopy of ancient trees, thus providing a sense of true peace amid nature.   

Finally, traditional South African safari travel goers will love Tinga Lodge. Its classic camp style spreads across its nine suites and serves as an idyllic background as you enjoy al fresco showers and private pool lounger safaris from the comfort of your private patio.   

Lion Sands Tinga Lodge

Spend One Day Doing This  

If I had to choose one thing to do during my South African safari travel experience at Lion Sands Game Reserve, it would be to have lunch in and spend the afternoon in the underground photographic hide.   

There is no better way to capture the wide range of wildlife at Lion Sands.   

Lion Sands Game Reserve

Book South African Safari Travel at Lion Sands Game Reserve  

Ready to experience  South African safari travel at Lion Sands Game Reserve? To start planning, contact a Ker & Downey designer. For even more travel inspiration, follow us on Instagram and Facebook

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