Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is owned and run by a family company called MORE, which specialises in unique and life-enriching experiences throughout Southern Africa. This lodge is one of six properties operated by MORE within Lion Sands Game Reserve, and recently it was refurbished with the aim of creating a safari home feel. It has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, maxi-bar, two game drives daily, transfers between the lodge and Skukuza Airport, and Wi-Fi. The lodge is open all year round.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via 25 minutes’ road transfer from Skukuza Airport. It’s situated on the beautiful banks of the seasonal Sabi river, within Lion Sands Game Reserve.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
There are eight single villas and one double-suite villa. These are spaced along the riverbanks, and the majority are named after a type of bird. Made out of timber, stone, and thatch as well as glass, steel, and sand, each villa looks like a particularly sleek take on safari accommodation. It’s a pretty spacious take too! In the single villa, an entrance hall leads through to the generously proportioned master bedroom, which features a king-size bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, and two large wardrobes behind the bed space. This room flows through into the en-suite bathroom, which has a separate flush toilet, separate shower, twin washbasins, freestanding bathtub, and outside shower on its own deck. On the other side of the hallway, you’ll find the lounge, which contains comfortable seating around a coffee table, a writing desk and chair, and a cosy fireplace. There’s even a little pantry adjoining this area, where you can prepare various snacks and drinks! Additional amenities include air conditioning, room fans, a direct dial telephone, a maxi-bar, a safe, and a hairdryer. Sliding doors from the lounge open onto a covered patio with furniture, from which guests access an indigenous garden, a viewing deck, and a private plunge pool! The double-suite villa, known as Fish Eagle, benefits from all the features of the single villa option, in addition to another en-suite bedroom, a study, a fire-pit, and its own wellness room. It can sleep a maximum of four adults and two children. Every single villa occupies 173 square metres’ floor space, while Fish Eagle Villa provides a total of 440 sq. m.
The communal buildings at Ivory Lodge are positioned for the most part at one end of the site, and approached from the villas along neat wooden walkways. The main lodge is made out of the same materials as the guest accommodation. Inside, there’s the property’s sumptuous lounge, with plush sofas and armchairs around ottomans and occasional tables, sophisticated floor lamps, and shelves full of books, artefacts, and a widescreen television! This area is adjacent to the well-stocked bar. There’s also a chic indoor dining space, and guests can tuck in to delicious meals on the lodge’s large deck too. A short stroll away, there’s the traditional boma. The gallery and boutique form part of the main building and provide plenty of interest for anyone with an eye for Southern African art! And Ivory’s spa and gym is located opposite two of the single villas. Here, you can enjoy a range of pampering treatments and the opportunity to keep fit during your holiday.
The lodge offers classic safari activities. Game drives are available during early morning and late afternoon into evening, always in the presence of a knowledgeable and experienced guide. Lion Sands Game Reserve shares a boundary with the sprawling Kruger National Park, so game viewing is consistently fantastic all year round! You can look out for all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. The Sabi Sands is actually one of Safari Africa’s best destinations for sightings of lion and leopard. Cheetah are in residence too, alongside other smaller predators such as hyenas, jackals, and the elusive wild dog. The herbivore count features giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and all sorts of antelopes! Fans of feathery friends can observe a number of specials, not least hawk eagle, purple heron, grey cuckoo-shrike, and the glamorous emerald cuckoo. Walking safaris are highly recommended for close observations of the birdlife, as well as the area’s insects and plants. There’s a minimum age requirement of 16 years for walks, but younger travellers will find much to amuse them around the lodge – shorter nature walks, treasure hunts, and much more besides!