A South African safari in Kruger National Park is a life changing experience that will leave you craving for more Africa after your trip. If you are planning a trip to Cape Town, adding on a Kruger safari is the way to go for the perfect intro-to-Africa trip. My luxurious getaway at Lion Sands River Lodge was beyond my wildest dreams and all I want is to go back for more!
This post is dedicated to the just lodge itself because it was spectacular. Click here for a post on the actual safaris. :)
The stunning Lion Sands River Lodge is situated in the Sabi Sands Reserve connected to Kruger NP (without any fences or barriers). Wild game roam through the grounds in the middle of nowhere and can even be seen from your bed. One night we couldn't get back into our room because 6 wild elephants were blocking the door! We finally snuck back in only to watch them from the window over a glass of organic red wine. I have never experienced anything like it.
The chic hotel is all inclusive but fear not, the food is delicious and the staff will kindly adapt to all and any dietary requests. I was pretty nervous going into the experience with the expectation the food would be, well...awful. But it was really good. Freshly baked gluten free bread and vegetable dishes were provided along with vegan pancakes and desserts. Every morning had fresh fruit including bottomless papaya and many of the dinners had a wide variety of root vegetables or whole grains. I was in heaven and pleasantly surprised. After all, who knows what to expect from an all-inclusive lodge in the middle of the wild.
Seeing lions, elephants, and giraffes was not uncommon over a causal breakfast!
Lion Sands is especially great for couples and adults. Families would no doubt have an epic vacation here but the hotel is so romantic with candles lit everywhere in the evening and stunningly orange sunsets. At night you can see every star in the sky including a perfect view of the Southern Cross. It is so clear you can even see Jupiter and Saturn.
A treehouse room is available to spend the night in at an extra cost. Can it get more romantic than that?
MOSQUITOS AND MALARIA
Kruger NP is technically a malaria region, albeit a low-risk one. I took malaria prevention pills but going back I would not take them again. The lodge and room was well-protected and I hardly saw any mosquitos at all. With bug spray and mosquito nets, I did not get bitten once and usually I am a magnet for those things. I would never advise not to take malaria pills but I recommend consulting a doctor and doing research on the risks of the medication prior to consumption. Weighing these factors against the risk of the region is a good idea before going through the trouble! I can say when I was there (mid-May) there were hardly any mosquitos and I was never bitten.