Overview – Lion Sands GR

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Lion Sands is one of the private reserves within the greater Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Open borders with world-renowned Kruger National Park make it a prime wildlife viewing destination with an authentic wilderness ambiance. All of the Big Five and cheetah are present, and sightings are common – including of the normally secretive leopard.

Lion Sands has been family owned and managed since the early 1930s. Four 5-star lodges display style and sophistication while excellent food and service are part of the package. River Lodge offers a conventional bush experience while Ivory Lodge comprises of nine ultra-luxurious villas, awarded by Tatler magazine as 'Best Hotel in the World'. Tinga and Narina lodges are the newest additions and offer a different kind of style and luxury. Lion Sands owns a reasonable chunk of the Sabi Sands property and only offers limited traversing rights, which prevents over-crowding at wildlife sightings.

Size Sabi Sands*:
650km² / 251mi²
Altitude Sabi Sands*:
272-479m / 892-1,572ft
*Lion Sands is part of the greater Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Best Time to Go May to September (Dry season)
High Season October to March (It can get a bit busy)

Pros and Cons

  • Wildlife viewing is superb, and the Big Five animals are easily found
  • Off-road driving allows up-close animal encounters
  • Quality guides offer varied wildlife-viewing activities, including night drives and walking safaris
  • Four different lodges to choose from depending on style and budget
  • Located in a less crowded part of Sabi Sands
  • Safari packages include only expensive, fully inclusive options
  • During game drives, the focus lies mainly on flagship species

Lion-Sands Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

The wildlife viewing here is excellent. All high-profile safari animals are present and readily seen. This includes the leopard, which is usually difficult to find. Leopard are well acclimated and relaxed throughout the area, and you are almost guaranteed a sighting. Many antelope species are represented, although they are often overlooked with the focus tending to be on more exciting species.

Scenery

Lion Sands' terrain is primarily woodland savannah. The vegetation is quite thick, but this rarely affects animal sightings since the highly skilled guides and trackers are allowed to drive off-road.

See Sabi Sand Game Reserve for more info

Lion Sands is part of the greater Sabi Sand Game Reserve. See the links below for more info about Sabi Sands.

Want to Visit Lion Sands GR?

Lion-Sands Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Feel instantly at home in this family-run reserve
5/5

In the far south of the Sabi Sands Reserve, with access to the Sabie River, Lion Sands is an exclusive concession in which your fellow guests are the only other wildlife-watchers you’ll see. The main place to stay, River Lodge, is...

Latest User Review
Awesome
5/5

Visited Tinga Lodge, it was magical. The guides, Simon and Isaac were so knowledgeable and tracked and found all manner of wildlife. Highly recommend, the accommodation and wildlife