Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lion Sands Game Reserve

From Notten's Bush Camp, we continued on to Lion Sands (with lots of new babies en route - impala and warthogs were dropping their young). On arrival I went out on a private game drive with guide Brandon, who was excellent - one of the best guides I've had in Africa. The drive was quite fruitful and we had an excellent leopard sighting, as well as lion, wildebeest, impala, giraffe and lots of dung beetles busy in a rhino midden.

River Lodge was recently refurbed and was looking fresh and clean. The rooms are quite large
and contemporary in decor - white throughout with just a few splashes of dark woods for contrast. The bathrooms are very impressive with outdoor shower, indoor walk-in shower, large soaking tub and double sinks - all raised above the bedroom. Each room has a verandah looking over the river bed. I would have liked to see just a few more soft touches in the rooms, rugs or art pieces would have warmed it up a bit more, but this is just a matter of personal taste.

Public areas were lovely and the setting is amazing overlooking the
riverbed. The lodge has a viewing deck that guests can walk across the river bed to and enjoy the shaded deck while sipping a drink and watching game. We enjoyed a candlelit bush dinner (with everyone else at the lodge, and it is a slightly larger property with 20 en suite rooms). If guests are looking for something really small and intimate, Ivory Lodge is the better option. River Lodge, however, does also provide private butlers, excellent service and top guiding, it’s not a disappointment in any way. Service was perfect!

Ivory Lodge is the most private and luxurious option, I’ve seen in Sabi Sands - even more so
than Singita (at least just considering the suites themselves and amenities). In efforts to provide the ultimate in privacy, ivory lodge has a bush-friendly “butler’s window” that allows for meals or drink services to be passed through to the guests without entering the room. Each of the 6 suites are U-shaped and offer a spacious sitting room and bedroom facing the private pool over looking the riverbed and offering game viewing from your suite. The bathroom is behind the bedroom and is massive - shower, soaking tub and huge outdoor shower area. D├ęcor is also white and quite minimalistic, but is considerably more “styled” than River Lodge with beautiful art, plush area rugs and soft furnishings. This is the top in luxury!

After a peaceful nights' sleep, we headed out with Brandon once again for an abbreviated morning game drive. Lion Sands recently entered into a traversing agreement with Kirkman's Kamp and now has access to both the Sabi and the Sand Rivers - making for some of the best game viewing in Sabi Sand, the most diversity and the widest variety of game. On our morning game drive we had another amazing leopard sighting and loads more game, before we returned to camp and transferred to Timbavati to visit Tanda Tula and Motswari. Stay tuned!

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