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The Lion Sands Private Game Reserve offers great wildlife viewing

I hate to admit it. But I do, secretly, enjoy The Bachelor. You know that highly predictable American reality TV show where man picks wife from herd of pretty vying prey. I shouldn’t because it’s so ridiculously patronising but not unlike the animal kingdom – competing for the alpha of the pack. And pointless in that the chosen one hardly ever remains The One.

Nonetheless, the romance of it all is captivating. The destination dates with bubbling hot tubs, imported French Veuve Cliquot Champagne and red rose-petalled, white linen king-size beds; sparkly jewelled gifts in Tiffany boxes and more red roses… Sickening, but captivating. I wouldn’t say no…

We blogged earlier this year about The 2011 Bachelor Brad Womack’s trip to South Africa, where he took the three remaining ladies on safari at Lion Sands Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. African safaris definitely make for a romantic Honeymoon-like experience. With dates like this one, The Bachelor could be a spotty mute dweeb and I’m sure women would still fight to the end for him just to be wined and dined so.

We at Rhino Africa visited Lion Sands to see if it is actually as spectacular and exciting as American TV made it appear. And yes! It’s even better…

Have a look:

Where to stay

At Rhino Africa we know Lion Sands very well; in fact we have a whole section of our website dedicated just to this reserve and its three luxury accommodation options on the banks of the Sabie River, which offer exclusive access to 3,500 hectares of game-rich African wilderness:

  • The Ivory Lodge, with its six spacious and private villas, was awarded third best hotel in the world by Tatler Magazine in 2006 and has been included in their “101 Best Hotels in the World” 2006 & 2007 listings.
  • The River Lodge includes 18 thatched bedrooms on raised wooden walkways, under the shade of ancient trees – some dating back 800 years.
  • The 1933 Safari Lodge has four spacious suites and is in a prime setting on the banks of the Sabie River.

The Lion Sands 1933 Lodge is in a prime setting

Lounge beside the Sabie River on the deck at Lion Sands

And then there’s Chalkley Treehouse… This completely private treehouse built around a majestic 500 year-old Leadwood Tree was erected at the original site where Lion Sands founding father, Guy Aubrey Chalkley, climbed into the trees and set up camp to escape from predators roaming the plains below. It’s a secure bush bedroom under the African sky, with all the comforts. Guests can visit it at sunset for drinks and a picnic dinner under the stars, before turning in for slumber. At dawn, guests are collected for a morning game drive.

It’s no makeshift bundle of old wooden planks like the treehouse you might have put together as a kid. It’s as five-star as they come, complete with mosquito net, mattress, linen, bedside table, toilet and bush vanity table and more.

Read more about this history of the long-established, award-winning Lion Sands reserve here.

Chalkley Treehouse is a beautiful remote venue to view scenery from

This is one five star treehouse experience

HOW TO GET THERE

Lion Sands Private Game Reserve is located in the finest territory of the world famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Forming part of the greater Kruger National Park, the reserve has no fences and the wildlife is able to traverse freely between Lion Sands and the Kruger National Park. Read here for more.

Want to arrive by 4×4 or charter flight? Contact us and we’ll make it happen.

The African bush has some of the most romantic sunsets

ACTIVITIES

Wildlife lectures, safari lunches, game drive, hippo tour, bush walk, bush breakfast, and star gazing are some of the activities on offer here. The bonus is that you can see the Big Five here all year round.

Daily Programme: A Day at Ivory Lodge/ River Lodge
5:30 am: Morning Game Drive
7:45 am: Coffee & tea in the bush.
9:00 am: Breakfast: return from game drive for a hearty breakfast
11:00 am: Activities: an interpretive bush walk
13:00 pm: Lunch: served on the wooden viewing deck
14:30 pm: Rest & Relaxation: enjoy a massage on the deck of your suite or relax in your private pool
16:00 pm: Evening Game Drive: high tea before evening game drive
17:30 pm: Sundowners: cocktails in the bush while watching the sun set
20:00 pm: Dinner: fires are lit in the boma for dinner under the African stars

Uh, romantic much? We think yes.

Go on game viewing safaris and see the Big Five

Lions enjoying the sun in the great Lion Sands Game Reserve

WE RECOMMEND

Add more value to your African safari experience and include Cape Town and Vic Falls. We’ve laid out the itinerary here, including these three top southern African attractions. Contact us for more information and to book.

Sundown is a beauitful affair at Lion Sands

Written by Tamlin Wightman

Tamlin Wightman is our writer supreme, with over five years of experience working as a travel photojournalist under her belt. She's lived on an island, eaten with lions, sailed catamarans in the Indian Ocean and tracked wild dogs with Kinglsey Holgate.
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  • Donna Glee Reim

    Wow it looks fabulous. Can’t wait to visit.

  • San La Muerte

    I KNOW LOL I REALLY WANT IT…

  • Shea Grimm

    I was at Lion Sands Ivory last year and it was phenomenal. The “room” (really a villa with an awesome pool overlooking the bush) service and food were amazing (Jambulani was the bomb). The game viewing was not as good as in Botswana, but we still saw the Big Five, had a great tracker (Sedonea), and even saw a black mamba dancing across the road.

  • Lucretia Nelson

    Heading there in 4 weeks. Very excited!

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