Top 10 Lodges in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve (With Reviews)
The Sabi Sands is world-renowned for the quality of its luxury lodges & the quality of the wildlife experiences on offer in this incredible slice of heaven lying just West of the Kruger National Park. With the standard of accommodation being so incredibly high in the Sabi Sands region, picking a top 10 is no mean feat. We have however endeavored to put together our top 10 lodges in the Sabi Sands region, which you can find below.
1. Singita Boulders Lodge
What makes this lodge special: Location on the Sand River & luxury suites
Star rating: 5 stars
The plunge pool at Singita Boulders Lodge is the perfect midday spot to relax and refresh.
The Singita brand is world-renowned for the 5 star level of luxury lodges they provide. An experience at a Singita lodge is truly a once in a lifetime experience. The Singita experience includes:
- Of the world’s top game rangers ensuring that guests receive the best possible wildlife experience.
- Incredibly high levels of service and culinary expertise.
- Beautifully and expertly appointed luxury suites and villas.
In all respects, Singita Boulders Lodge holds up, if not raises, the name of Singita and all it stands for.
Singita Boulders Lodge is situated in the North West of the Sabi Sands area, right on the banks of the beautiful Sand River. The name pays homage to the boulders that are strewn along the river and enclose this idyllic and secluded five-star lodge. One of the primary aims of the decorators of Singita Boulders was to completely integrate the lodge with its surroundings.
The perfect execution of this objective comes about through the network of walkways and decks that make you feel completely immersed in the surrounding wildlife. The culmination of the lodge’s experience and integration with its surrounds comes in the form of the glass walls of the 12 exclusive and private suites with unbelievable views of the river below.
Although the suites and the incredible communal lounge, bar area, boma and swimming pool make the experience at the lodge unforgettable, what we really love about Singita Boulders Lodge is the amazing wildlife experience that awaits beyond the edge of the lodge perimeter.
With dusk and dawn daily game drives, the Big 5, including an amazing frequency of leopard sightings in the area of the lodge, both game drives and walking safaris are of the best wildlife experiences you can have in Southern Africa.
In the words of a guest, Ray: “Stayed at singita boulders lodge in jan. The food, the staff, the room and the experience of the safari is out of the world. Managed to squeeze in a massage which was divine. Singita is now my number 1 destination.”
2. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge
What makes this lodge special: Treehouse experience (night under the stars)
Star rating: 5 stars
The lantern lit swimming pool at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge makes for perfectly romantic evenings in the African wild.
One of the first things that you’ll notice at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is the picturesque and modern-luxury feel of the lodge. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is the proud recipient of the 5 Star Premium award from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. This is a grading that is reserved for only the most luxurious properties in South Africa. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is situated in the South of the Sabi Sands area, sitting adjacent to the start of the Southern Kruger region.
One of the things that makes the rooms at Ivory Lodge special, and helps Lion Sands Ivory Lodge make it into our top lodges in the Sabi Sands, is that the only available accommodations are eight, one bedroom and two, two-bedroom villas. This means that any stay at Ivory Lodge provides guests with the ultimate, spacious and luxurious stay.
Another of the main attractions at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is the treehouse experiences on offer. These treehouses give guests the opportunity to spend one of the most luxurious nights under the African sky. The perfectly appointed treehouse suite that guests of Ivory Lodge are able to check into is the Chalkley Treehouse. The treehouse is built into an age-old leadwood tree including a four-post bed and soft lantern light – you will struggle to find a more romantic experience anywhere in the world.
The lodge boasts a spa, kids program, kosher dining and an art gallery.
In the words of a guest, Aubree: “From the exceptional service to the incredible memories the staff created for us, the Ivory Lodge is a magical place!”
3. Lion Sands River Lodge
What makes this lodge special: The secluded River suites
Star rating: 5 stars
The river suites at Lion Sands River Lodge open up onto private decks overlooking the river below.
Lion Sands River Lodge is situated on the world-famous Lion Sands reserve, along the banks of the Sabie River which runs through the Kruger National Park. The path of the river brings with it life of all forms – prey and predator alike making this river one of the hotspots for incredible wildlife sightings. The area immediately around Lion Sands River Lodge is also famous amongst birders, with over 350 bird species in the area.
The lodge itself has three tiers of accommodation. Luxury rooms, superior luxury rooms and River suites. Whilst any room checked into at Lion Sands River Lodge is going to make for an unforgettable stay we always recommend that if the River suites are available you choose them for your stay. There simply is no better Sabie River experience. The River suites open up with floor to ceiling glass doors onto a private deck and unforgettable views of the river.
The shared areas at this lodge are just as special, the fire pit, main lounge, pool and main lodge are incredibly designed to provide guests with the feeling of complete luxurious comfort and natural integration with the beautiful African bush. Lucky guests get to enjoy an amazing dinner under the stars on the sand banks of the Sabie River. Priceless.
In the words of a guest, John: “On our 8 night trip we received excellent service from all the staff. Our room was beautiful with views across the sand bank, where elephants walked and fed. The outside raised decking enabled us to have wonderful views while eating. Meals were superb”
4. Ulusaba Rock Lodge
What makes this lodge special: The views
Star rating: 5 stars
Ulusaba Rock Lodge’s position high up on the hills provides guests with unparalleled views of the bush below.
Ulusaba Rock Lodge combines Sir Richard Branson’s taste for the finer things in life and his love of the African wild. The very first thing that will take your breath at Ulusaba rock lodge is the incredible view you enjoy from the lodge. It is no secret that the Ulusaba Private Game Reserve is one of the most beautiful wildlife areas in the country if not the world, and so the prime position of this lodge overlooking rolling African hills is nothing short of enviable.
Another thing that sets Ulusaba Rock Lodge apart is it’s large range of amenities and activities at the lodge. A spa, tennis courts, wine lounge, star gazing deck and gym are just some of the many amenities on offer to enjoy between incredible wildlife experiences in the form of game drives and guided bush walks. Ulusaba Private Game Reserve is well known for the Big 5, as well as the presence of big cats meaning that no game drive is ordinary and no day is like the one before.
Families traveling to Ulusaba Rock Lodge will be happy to note that children of all ages are welcome at Ulusaba Rock Lodge and that children from 0 – 11 years old stay for free!
If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime stay be sure to check into one of two Makwela Suites, boasting two floors, and the perfect private plunge pools and balconies from which to enjoy the incredible views.
In the words of a guest, Sherry: “”It’s difficult to describe how amazing this place is. The staff are superb, nothing is too much trouble but they act in a totally friendly way, not ingratiating like some 5 star places. You are made to feel totally at home.”
5. Londolozi Granite Suites
What makes this lodge special: The exclusivity
Star rating: 5 stars
The Londolozi granite suites are so secluded and integrated with the surrounding wild that you truly experience Africa like never before.
Some travellers to Africa enjoy large lodges with a certain bustle to them. Others prefer soaking up the peace of the African bush by booking only the most exclusive and secluded safari lodges in Africa. If you’re a member of the latter party then the Londolozi Granite Suites are for you. There are only 3 private Granite Suites available throughout the year. The granite materials naturally found in this area along the banks of the Sand River provide a completely immersive experience for guests – there is no better way to get in touch with the soul of this beautiful region.
A king size bed, underfloor heating, private plunge pool, outdoor freestanding bath and outdoor shower are just some of the extraordinary additions to the Londolozi Granite Suites.
Beyond the incredible rooms the Londolozi reserve is world famous for the resident leopards. Beyond the big cats you will experience the big 5, a wide range of antelope and over 300 bird species, which all combine to provide a safari experience like no other.
In the words of a guest, Gene “There [are] no words to describe the level of accommodation, service, food quality or beauty of this reserve. However this does not compare to the accommodating and welcoming staff, who do anything and everything to ensure your comfort.”
6. Dulini Lodge
What makes this lodge special: The suite plunge pools
Star rating: 5 stars
The private plunge pools at Dulini Lodge are one of our top highlights of a stay here.
Another top lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve is the renowned Dulini Lodge. The experience at Dulini is renowned for its serene atmosphere. With only 6 suites total, you can be sure that your experience will be as exclusive and peaceful as it can get on safari.
Each of the luxury suites comes with an en-suite bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers a lounge area and (our personal favourite feature of the suites) an incredible personal deck and plunge pool. This is the perfect vantage point from which to relax in the midday heat, looking out over the bush that sprawls beneath the lodge.
Another incredible ritual at Dulini lodge is breakfast out on the viewing deck. With amazing views down the river bed, which is a hotspot for big cats and other game looking for easy routes through the thick bush. Fear not if you’re not lucky enough to spot any game from your plunge pool or breakfast spread. The twice daily game drives with world class game rangers ensures that your sightings of the Big 5 and 300 bird species around Dulini will be nothing short of unforgettable.
In the words of a guest, Diana: “It was honestly one of the best holidays I have ever done. It was an incredible and unique experience right from the start. My husband and I went for Dulini for our honeymoon and we were spoilt the whole time with surprise lunches, dinners, amazing ambient, 5 star food and a super kind and friendly staff.”
7. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
What makes this lodge special: The unique ‘earth-inspired’ interiors
Star rating: 5 stars
If you’re looking to take your visit to Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge to the next level, book the incredibly unique and special Amber Presidential Suite.
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is without a doubt one of the most unique lodges you will find in Southern Africa. True to its namesake, Earth Lodge provides guests with a true feeling of being one with their surrounds. The lodge itself is built into one of the rolling hills of the beautiful Sabi Sabi area, with the closeness to nature carried through in the ‘earthy’ decor. From tree trunk inspired headboards to natural wood furniture, you’ll soon realise why it’s called Earth Lodge.
Earth Lodge includes a bar, swimming pool, gym, spa and as is custom in the Sabi Sabi, world class restaurants. If you’re truly looking for an incredible experience or celebrating your honeymoon, be sure to check into the Amber Presidential Suite for a truly memorable stay.
The wildlife experience from Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is carried out in the form of twice daily game drives and guided walks led by a combination of expertly trained game rangers and the local Shangaan trackers, indigenous to the area and therefore the best equipped guides to help guests spot the incredible wildlife during their journeys through the bush.
In the words of a guest, Lisa: “From the moment you arrive staff here are like your family, you can tell they love to be there. The lodge is stunning in every way, all the materials are natural and 5 star. All the suites have their own pools, the public areas are spacious, cool and well thought out.”
8. Elephant plains Lodge
What makes this lodge special: Value for money
Star rating: 4 stars
The viewing deck of one of the suites at Elephant Plains Lodge
Elephant Plains Lodge is the perfect example of value for money. Elephant Plains Lodge provides the same exceptional wildlife experience as some of our other top lodges in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, but at a more accessible price point.
A stay at one of the Elephant Plains luxury chalets is sure to deliver the perfect stay. Each chalet comes equipped with the perfect four post bed, mosquito netting, air conditioning and a mini bar. If however, you are looking for a specially romantic stay, the Manyeleti honeymoon suite is a must-do.
As mentioned before the wildlife viewing anywhere in the Sabi Sands is a world class African experience. Elephant plains lodge is no exception with daily game drives and walking safaris. A very special experience at Elephant plains lodge is the skywatching excursion, where guests are able to view the unforgettable African night sky with trained guides.
In the words of a guest, Rosalin: “This trip to Africa was a high school graduation gift for my 18 year old daughter. We were so lucky to have found and booked this lodge. We were a mother and daughter team on an adventure and this lodge was wonderful.”
9. Kirkman’s Kamp
What makes this lodge special: Child friendliness
Star rating: 5 stars
The cottage at Kirkmans Kamp is both luxurious and offers comfortable living.
Kirkman’s Kamp makes it into our top lodges in the Sabi Sands for many reasons. Firstly, it was built in the 1920’s making it one of the most historic lodges in the region. Secondly, children of all ages are not only welcome at Kirkman’s Kamp, they are also catered for by means of the WILDchild program & child minding services.
The lodge is made up of 18 cottages overlooking beautifully kept lawns leading guests to the unforgettable African bush. The lodge itself also hosts a library, bar, wellness center & swimming pool as well as the all-important wifi access required to upload the incredible photographs guests will no doubt capture on their daily wildlife activities.
Open vehicle game drives are led twice daily for guests in the incredible Exeter Game Reserve, which is home to the Big 5, antelope, multitudes of bird species and more.
In the words of a guest, Nicole: “The safari at Kirkmans was absolutely amazing – words can’t capture how pleased we were with the experience. The accommodations were luxurious – certainly not what one would expect in the middle of the bush. Our guide was so knowledgeable that he made the experience enjoyable”
10. Londolozi Tree Camp
What makes this lodge special: Its tree house positioning
Star rating: 5 stars
The shared lounge and dining deck amidst the Leadwood treetop.
Londolozi as a brand is world-renowned for providing guests with an unforgettable combination of world-class accommodation and bucket list wildlife experiences. Londolozi Tree Camp is an incredibly unique experience in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
The entire lodge has been built to provide guests with the feeling of being in a tree house – something that never ceases to excite and amaze guests as they enjoy breakfast on the deck looking out across canopies of trees, or looking through their glass walled suites at the tree tops that surround the lodge.
The six suites at Londolozi Tree Camp have wraparound glass windows, four-poster beds, indoor and outdoor showers and private plunge pools that provide guests with the perfect midday escape between incredible wildlife sightings. Other incredible activities at the lodge include guided bush walks, wildlife tracking on foot, yoga, astronomy experiences, bird watching and photographic expeditions.
In the words of a guest, Chris: “We’ve stayed at several luxury lodges in Sub-Saharan and East Africa and Londolozi Tree Camp was the most impressive. The accommodation was extremely luxurious. The game viewing (especially for leopard) was the best we’ve had and the food was excellent.”
If you’ve enjoyed our Top 10 Lodges in the Sabi Sands and you’re planning a trip to the Sabi Sands Game Reserve you will not be disappointed when booking any of our favorites. We do however recommend that you speak to one of our African experts who will choose the best lodge for you based on your specific budget, travel style, group configuration and taste.