Lion Sands River Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger, South Africa
Raised wooden platforms run out from the main lodge to the 18 semi-detached guest chalets which are wrapped in amongst an amazing stand of ancient bushveld: some of its towering trees are almost 1,000 years old.
The chalets are beamed and thatched, with patterned inlays of river pebbles in their shining screed floors. Each has a small deck, most of which face the river, with kraal fencing to guarantee maximum privacy and all have the same cool cream, white and brown colour scheme as the main lodge. The clean, sober lines feel just right for the bush, leaving the surrounding veld as chief protagonist.
Kingsize beds are banked up with pillows and cushions, linen is only the best and you get treated to piles of snowy-white towels as well as monogrammed bathrobes. The chalets all have masses of wardrobe space plus minibars, safes, phones, air-conditioning, Casablanca-style fans and a tray with a kettle and selection of teas and coffee.
Bathrooms are functional rather than remarkable and have little in the way of storage space for your toiletries. But you do get both a shower and a bath, as well as a second river-facing outside shower.
Adventurous spirits might like to spend a night in one of the lodge’s 3 treehouses: one in a high jackalberry, one overlooking the river, and the other in an ancient leadwood tree (named Chalkley Treehouse, Kingston Treehouse and Tinyeleti Treehouse). You’ll be driven out from the lodge after dinner and left to commune with the extraordinary African night. You get a double bed with a mattress and linen, a mosquito net, bedside tables, a toilet, a bush vanity table, and a viewing deck with chairs and gowns and slippers. It’s worth noting that a night in a treehouse needs to be booked on top of your stay at the lodge; think of it as a mini-break within your trip.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Mosquito net
- Safe box