“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne – bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.” – Karen Blixen (author of ‘Out of Africa’)
The Wild Life
Africa has been called the greatest show on earth, and Lion Sands presents a safari that plays out like a highlights reel. Our reserve conserves 5 000ha (12 500ac) of a habitat that is home to the highest and most diverse concentration of wildlife in the southern hemisphere. You will see all of Africa’s iconic species – lion leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, and zebra – along with a supporting cast of no less intriguing 137 mammal species and over 450 varieties of bird. Our safaris present an adventure that is wild, and then some!
An Exclusive Experience
Being entirely private, Lion Sands offers you an intimate safari experience. With only six guests to a game viewer and exclusive traversing on our reserve, you’ll have minimal encounters with other people. Though compelling sightings do attract more attention, the number of vehicles here is also limited. This ensures the animals aren’t put under stress and you are able to spend more time with them, observing their natural behaviour. While you are out exploring, you will by no means be roughing it. Your game viewer has cushioned bucket seats, waterproof device holders, blankets and ponchos – and stops off in a scenic spot for drinks and snacks.
As one of Lion Sands’ many tailor-made experiences, our safari stops are something truly special. Between the action, they are pauses to simply appreciate being in the bush and in the moment. An exciting morning breaks for hot beverages – with sneaky tots of Amarula liqueur, if you like – and freshly-baked treats, as the animals begin to stir. Your afternoon winds down with sundowners and nibbles in a surprise location, which your field guide has found to show off what is possibly the day’s most epic event – an African sunset.
Your MORE Guides
Our safaris bring you face-to-face with the natural world, but what would they be without your field guide and tracker who know how to heighten the thrill of the search? All are FGASA-qualified (some by our own NJ MORE Field Guide College), and highly-skilled at leading safaris in Big Five territories and tailoring them to your personal interests. But more than that, they are selected for their palpable love of the world’s last wild places and their ability to inspire this in you – putting them in a league of their own. They are your scouts, teachers, translators and – given how much time you spend with them – friends, so your affinity with your guiding team is essential.
These are our after-breakfast walks on the wild side. For those who wish to experience the bush, not just observe it, there is no better guided excursion. You are dropped in the thick of things and all five senses engage… Feel the scrub crunch beneath your feet, touch a velvety acacia seed pod, hear the crack of a branch indicating you are not alone, and spot the game appear just metres off – exhilarating! This is also a wonderful opportunity to encounter the smaller creatures, often missed on safari vehicles, and to discover more about the reserve’s plants – many with fascinating medicinal properties and traditional uses.
Although nothing tops the feeling of BEING out in the wild, photographs are a very good way of immortalising those very special moments spent on safari. The Creature Lab at Lion Sands River Lodge has been designed for photographers, whether you are novice or professional. State-of-the-art printers transform your pictures into large-scale canvas works of art, while our resident photographer is on hand to offer guidance to enhance your shots through professional editing software. Photographic equipment is available to rent, either on site or prior to your arrival (facilitated by African Photographic Safaris, and subject to availability). If you prefer to sit back and relax while out on safari, you’re still able to take exquisite mementos home through the Fine Wild Art Collection – the best limited edition pictures captured by our team of Field Guides.
The Best of Both Worlds
Lion Sands Game Reserve is unique, being the only private sanctuary rooted in both the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger National Park. The 50km (31mi) border between these great wildernesses is unfenced, and only the Sabie River separates our Sabi and Kruger regions. The wildlife roams freely between them, and at Lion Sands we see the passage of an unparalleled number and diversity of species. They are non-migratory, so you are guaranteed an exceptional safari, year-round – influenced by season, rather than location. Autumn and winter are best for spotting game though the sparse bush, and spring and summer for seeing newborns and exotic bird species. Our reserve is also renowned for the quality of its leopard viewing – the most elusive of predators.