Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Sabi Sand, South Africa

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Wednesday newsletters at all times function a lodge or flight evaluate.

Last summer season, I loved an outstanding safari & seashore vacation in South Africa and Mozambique, in all probability my finest vacation ever. You can learn my evaluations right here:


Today: Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Sabi Sand, South Africa

Set alongside the banks of the Sabie River and attracting plentiful “big five” wildlife from Sabi Sand and Kruger National Park, the Lion Sands Game Reserve – owned by the More household – has 4 luxurious lodges: River Lodge, Ivory Lodge, Tinga Lodge, and Narina Lodge. Ivory Lodge is the understated jewel within the Lion Sands crown and essentially the most unique safari lodge of South Africa. The ultra-luxe lodge is all about magnificence, with an aura of sophistication but simplicity, boldness but stability, ebony and ivory, good concord, exclusivity, sensitivity and full privateness. The eight one-bedroom villas and one two-bedroom villa have their very own personal rim stream plunge swimming pools with magnificent views over the Sabie River, permitting company to chill down from the recent African solar whereas watching animals as they quench their thirst a mere stone’s throw away.

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge options in my high 10 checklist of the finest safari lodges in South Africa.

Have you ever stayed at Lion Sands ? If so, what was your expertise? Leave a remark.

In this evaluate (extra information and photographs under my YouTube video):


PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Lion Sands is the one personal reserve rooted in each the Kruger National Park and the adjoining Sabi Sand Game Reserve (the oldest personal recreation reserve in South Africa). The Sabie River kinds a pure boundary between its two sides, and 4 waterside lodges present the final word luxurious safari bases. Ivory Lodge and River Lodge are positioned on the Sabi aspect, and over on Kruger are Narina Lodge and Tinga Lodge. The animals roam freely between them, and regardless of which aspect company select to remain on, they’ll have distinctive game-viewing alternatives. Lion Sands conserves 12 400ha (30 600ac) of a habitat that’s residence to the best and most various focus of wildlife within the southern hemisphere. Natural animal populations embrace all the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo), and the reserve is famend for the standard of its leopard viewing – essentially the most elusive of predators.
  • Lion Sands Ivory Lodge  boasts magnificent views of the Sabie River, extending onto the open sand banks of the Kruger National Park. Nestled on the plush banks, the  lodge is completely positioned to soak up the countless procession of animals that arrives to slake their thirst on the water’s edge, in addition to the hungry predators who come to hunt them. The low-slung construction consists of eight one-bedroom villas and one two-bedroom set round a communal lodge and linked by raised walkways. The major visitor space incorporates a magnificent reception space – a beautiful, open area with a water function and bronze animal sculptures within the backyard. From right here, a staircase descends to the opposite public areas, which embrace wood viewing decks, a wine cellar, an indoor personal lounge with bar, and each an indoor and an open-air (‘boma’) eating space. There’s additionally an artwork gallery, the place company can have a chat with visiting African artists.
  • The designers of Lion Sands Ivory Lodge – Paul and Karen Wygners of Urban Solutions – have taken a cue from Mother Nature to create an distinctive lodge constructed of the earth, with pure supplies that improve the encircling bush atmosphere. The lodge’s timeless design incorporates metal, wooden, thatch, glass, water and sand. A complicated mid-century architectural up to date theme defines the lodge’s ethereal interiors, which have been utterly refurbished in 2017 by inside designer Paula Hattingh. Bold furnishings and an edgy décor are combined with ambient lighting, influences of tribal design and extremely textured finishes. An elegant stability between understated design and an natural expression of the earth is mirrored all through, with monumental home windows and open partitions framing the beautiful vistas outdoors. Light, sound, stream, wooden, water and air weave into the golden thread of the lodges architectural inspiration.
  • The eight one-bedroom villas have been designed for privateness and optimum appreciation of the encircling wilderness. Each villa takes its title from an indigenous fowl . Featuring clean-lined furnishings and an ebony-and-ivory coloration scheme, every villa consists of three interconnected areas: an entrance space flanked on both aspect by a bed room and lounge. The main bedroom incorporates a capony kingsize mattress and en suite open-plan rest room with two basin, a standalone bathtub, an indoor walk-in bathe, and an out of doors bathe in an indigenous backyard forest. The lounge includes a sitting and eating space centered round a fire and comes with clean-lined furnishings and an ebony-and-ivory coloration scheme. Large sliding glass doorways give method to an expansive viewing deck with a plunge pool and a lounge space. Once behind the big carved mahogany doorways to their unit, company can select the right way to spend their time: recreation viewing from their plunge pool, reclining on the canopied mattress, or cozying up across the giant fire.
  • The unique Fish Eagle Villa is the ‘pièce de résistance’ of Ivory Lodge. Booked on an unique foundation, the huge villa comes with its personal Chef, in addition to devoted Field Guide and personal safari automobile. Although privateness and exclusivity are assured, guests are welcome to make use of the services inside Ivory Lodge for his or her enjoyment. The double-suite Fish Eagle Villa is comprised of two personal single suites, related by an entrance corridor, lounge and lecture room. There can also be an expansive deck and lined patio with lap pool, a non-public hearth deck, a star jetty for personal enjoyment of the pure atmosphere and vivid Milky Way above, a non-public wellness space (with double therapy rooms) and train facility. Welcoming youngsters 10 years and older are welcome, the Fish Eagle Villa can accommodate 4 adults or a most of six company for households (two younger youngsters on single beds, sharing of their mother and father’ room).
  • Lion Sands Ivory Lodge has its personal intimate spa providing a variety of remedies with pure and ethically formulated Africology product. Africology is one in every of South Africa’s main pure, eco-friendly and holistic spa and skincare corporations, specializing in pure elements which are bio-identical to the human biology. Located subsequent to the principle lodge, the small spa is accessed by way of a path that breaks away from a raised timber public walkway, and options one therapy room and an open-sided rest space. Highly expert therapists create an individually tailor-made wellness expertise that goals to chill out the physique, quiet the thoughts and rejuvenate the spirit. Yoga fanatics may also apply their self-discipline on this tranquil and serene area. Those who like to work up a sweat and spent some extra vitality can achieve this within the absolutely outfitted health club whereas having fun with views of the encircling bush.
  • Guests won’t ever go hungry or thirsty at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, the place all meals and drinks (together with premium wines) are included within the room price. From the luxurious breakfasts and tapas-style lunches to delectable three-course dinners served in a wide range of eating areas, the lodge’s cooks are masters of their craft, and share a ardour for making a subtle delicacies that appeals to all palates, whether or not for the candy tooth, vegetarian, well being aware or meat lover. The lodge’s common bush dinners, arrange within the wild or within the boma subsequent to the principle lodge, are assured to please and create lasting reminiscences. Besides lunch, dinner and breakfast, company may also sit up for a espresso cease whereas out on morning recreation drive, afternoon tea with a  beautiful number of snacks, and a sundowner cease throughout the afternoon recreation drive. In the occasion of dangerous or chilly climate, meals are served within the lodge’s eating areas with hearth place.
  • All stays at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge embrace twice day by day, recreation viewing safaris in consolation and with beautifully educated guides. Game drives are performed in open 4×4 safari autos and accompanied by a two-man staff (of which the tracker will sit on the entrance of the automobile). All safari autos are outfitted with binoculars and seat a most of six company. Morning recreation drives have a definite character than late afternoon recreation drives permitting company to identify completely different species of wildlife in an ever altering pure setting. Hot-water bottles and blankets hold away the chilly throughout the chilly mornings within the winter months (June to September). Chances of recognizing all Big Five animals are exceptionally excessive on this a part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the wilderness space round Lion Sands is legendary for its unbelievable variety of leopard sightings. A most of three autos at a time are permitted on a single sighting in Lion Sands, leading to a extra intimate wildlife expertise and unbelievable photographic alternatives.
  • The recreation drives at daybreak and nightfall – when the wildlife is most energetic and the temperature extra average – kind the fundamental rhythm of the day at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. To have interaction with the panorama much more intimately, company may also discover the bush on foot with the lodge’s armed knowledgeable guides and trackers at their aspect. Heading out into the bush on foot reveals a complete new dimension of the African wilderness, as your senses can be on excessive alert with the anticipation of a attainable sighting across the subsequent bush. Feeling the grass brush your fingers, listening to the crunch of scrub close by, and recognizing recreation seem simply meters off  is an exhilarating expertise that you’ll always remember! Bush walks are usually performed after breakfast earlier than the warmth units in, and final roughly 90 to 120 minutes, relying on the health stage of the contributors.
  • Truly distinctive is the choice to sleep out beneath the celebs in one of many personal reserve’s treehouses (non-compulsory and at an extra value). Ideal for the hopeless romantic or for anybody who merely needs to reconnect with the earth, the insanely lovely treehouses present panoramic views of the bush, in addition to a secure and opulent vantage level from which to look at twilight slowly flip to nighttime. All treehouses are securely constructed above the bottom, so animals stay at a secure and cozy distance. The treehouses are booked – for an additional price – along with your lodging at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge: you pack an in a single day bag together with your necessities, whereas leaving your different belongings again in your room at camp (so that you’re nonetheless secured a room if the climate situations don’t enable an in a single day sleep beneath the African stars). You get a full orientation if you find yourself dropped off earlier than sundown, and can stay on name by way of the radio left behind till it’s time to depart the next morning after dawn.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
  • Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is located inside a low-risk malaria space. The danger is nearly zero throughout the the dry winter months (May to September) however the sickness is extra prevalent within the moist summer season season (October to April). Medications can be utilized to stop the possibilities of contracting malaria, particularly throughout the moist season. For recommendation on using any malaria prophylaxis, you should contact the well being authorities or your native journey clinic previous to your travels. In addition to any prophylactics, the next mitigation measures are beneficial: cowl your arms, legs and toes within the evenings and apply a mosquito repellent containing DEET.
  • Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is just partially fenced off, so company are required to be vigilant always. Leopards, lions, buffalos, and elephants, in addition to venomous snakes and scorpions are current within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, though it’s uncommon for them to be throughout the space of the lodge itself. However, on no account are company allowed to stroll across the lodge at night time, except accompanied by a employees member. Do not fear although because it’s all a part of the joy of being immersed in a real African safari.
  • Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is an ultra-luxury lodge the place company chill out at their personal villa in between recreation drives. Although the lodge does have a ravishing communal space (with lounge, bar, eating room, viewing deck, spa and health club), there’s no communal pool space. For most company, that gained’t be an issue although since they’ll favor to spend time throughout the full privateness of their very own villa compound, which is supplied with a pool anyway (though the villa swimming pools are fairly small, very chilly and never appropriate to swim laps).
  • During my keep at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, I used to be a bit unfortunate with the climate. Despite it being the dry season, it rained so much, making wildlife fairly tough to identify throughout the recreation drives. Of course, that’s not the fault of the lodge. Nonetheless, it felt just like the dangerous climate additionally affected a bit the motivation of our information (which is essential to search out the animals and to maintain up the spirit). Unfortunately, the information and tracker typically appeared to disagree on what route to observe, and they didn’t give the impression of being actually engaged throughout the recreation drives, so it typically felt as if we have been simply being pushed round (though we did get to see the Big Five). That stated, I’m positive that the expertise would have been completely completely different when the climate would have been good (because it has at all times been throughout my earlier visits at Lions Sands).

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 10/10
  • Design: 10/10
  • Pool: 7/10 (personal plunge swimming pools solely)
  • Rooms: 10/10
  • Food: 9/10
  • Breakfast: 9/10
  • Spa: 8/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Wow issue: 10/10
  • Value for cash: 8/10
  • Overall expertise: distinctive 9/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save cash: learn right here my ideas for getting one of the best deal at a luxurious lodge like Lion Sands Ivory Lodge (and/or obtain many free perks).
  • Read my ideas for making ready your journey in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The finest time to go to Lion Sands Ivory Lodge actually is dependent upon your private preferences – nature has one thing to supply all year long. Incredible recreation viewing could be skilled at any time and there’s probably not a ‘best time of year for game viewing’. The Sabi Sand Game Reserve enjoys excessive temperatures, frequent rains and dramatic thunder storms in the summertime months (October to April). The vegetation is lush and verdant attracting unbelievable fowl life whereas many new borns seem at the moment of yr. The winter months (May to September) are drier and cooler – the vegetation is sparser leading to improved visibility for recreation viewing because the animals make their method to the watering holes for hydration.


HOW TO GET THERE

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is definitely accessible by street from Johannesburg in beneath 5 hours. Most company although will favor to journey by air, by making use of a business flight to one of many two close by airports:

  • The tiny Skukuza Airport – the one business airport inside Kruger National Park – is positioned about 20 minutes from the lode and presents day by day flights from Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
  • The distance to the opposite airport within the space, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport close to Nelspruit, is roughly 110 kilometers (68 miles) and it takes round 1 hour and half-hour to get to the lodge

PHOTOS

Below is a choice of my photographs of Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in Sabi Sand, South Africa. To view extra photographs (together with meals and recreation drives), click on right here.

LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: ENTRANCE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: ENTRANCE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: LOBBY LOUNGE & RECEPTION AREA
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: LOBBY LOUNGE & RECEPTION AREA
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: LOBBY LOUNGE & RECEPTION AREA
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: ART GALLERY
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: ART GALLERY
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: ART GALLERY
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: VIEWING DECK
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: VIEWING DECK
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: VIEWING DECK
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: VIEWING DECK
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: VIEWING DECK
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: BAR & LOUNGE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: BAR & LOUNGE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
MAIN LODGE: BAR & LOUNGE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
WALKWAY TO VILLAS
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: ENTRANCE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: TERRACE WITH PLUNGE POOL
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: TERRACE WITH PLUNGE POOL
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: TERRACE WITH PLUNGE POOL
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: ENTRANCE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: ENTRANCE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: LIVING AREA
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: LIVING AREA
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: MASTER BEDROOM
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: MASTER BEDROOM
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: BATHROOM
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: BATHROOM
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
ONE BEDROOM VILLA: BATHROOM
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
SPA
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
SPA
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
SPA
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
GYM
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
GAME DRIVE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
GAME DRIVE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
GAME DRIVE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
GAME DRIVE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
GAME DRIVE
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE
GAME DRIVE

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