FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Lion Sands Game Reserve

by Francis X. Gallagher

Nov 1, 2017
Hotels

Arrival/Check-In: Lion Sands was the final destination of our trip to Africa, and based on our itinerary, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport proved the best arrival airport. Unfortunately, this airport is almost a three-hour transfer to the lodge as opposed to Skukuza Airport (from which we departed), only a few minutes away. But as they say, you can’t get there from here. We arrived at the lodge complex as the sun was setting, and once through the lodge gates, it took another 20 minutes to reach the entrance of the River Lodge — one of four including Ivory, Narina and Tinga. We were greeted by candlelit lanterns and led into the main communal area for our introductions and check-in. We had just enough time to get to our rooms and settle in while elephants ate the leaves off the trees just outside. We turned off the lights and watched this show for a few minutes. Afterward, we headed to dinner outside on the dining deck overlooking the river and then played a game of Scrabble in the bar/ lounge area before retiring for the evening. We had a big next day with an early safari and a transfer to the Ivory Lodge.

Guest Quarters: The River Lodge uses a great deal of natural stone and wood for a warm feel, while the Ivory Lodge is open with large windows, thatched roofing and light colors for a natural look. Unfortunately, the River Lodge experienced a significant fire that virtually destroyed the communal area just a week after our return home. I am pleased to report no one was injured, and construction and repairs are well underway. The River Lodge is set to reopen May 1, 2018. All the cottages were unaffected by the fire. The Ivory Lodge consists of eight villas, each taking the name of a bird; we were housed in the Tawny and Sandpiper villas. Sandpiper opened with a huge wooden door into a breathtaking living space. We were amazed by the herd of elephants drinking in the river just 150 yards away from the villa’s back porch. Upon entering the villa, we encountered a kitchen/bar area immediately to the right with everything we could desire, including a chilled bottle of South African sparkling wine. Beyond and toward the sliding doors, a comfortable sitting area offered the choice of watching the animals from inside or outside. A large deck included chaise longues and a plunge pool. To the left a massive bedroom featured a king-sized bed, and a few stairs led to a magnificent bathroom with double sinks, a large vanity and a soaking tub with a separate shower. Outside the bathroom was a wood-walled outdoor shower surrounded by a stone wall. It was like showering in your own private garden.

Services/Amenities: Our meals were exquisite at both the River and the Ivory lodges, offering just about anything you could imagine in a luxurious camp setting. The staff is there to please. Of course, we were there to see the animals in their natural environment, and that is what we did. We witnessed the aftermath of a zebra kill by a pride of lions. After getting their fill, the pride rested and laid around for two days digesting their meal. Giraffes, lions, rhinos and a host of elephants are all here for viewing and picture taking. The team of skilled trackers takes you out in an open-air Range Rover for your safari. Afternoon safaris end with a sundowner cocktail session where you can stretch your legs and enjoy an adult beverage while watching the sun set over the South African landscape. A must experience for any trip to Africa.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:
◆ Following a pair of leopards as they returned home from their day of hunting
◆ Enjoying company and a cocktail as the moon rose over the African bush
◆ Laughing at the lion cubs as they slept in the afternoon shade
◆ Lion Sands is incredibly luxurious but at the same time natural and part of the environment.

Lion Sands Game Reserve

Sabi Sand Reserve
Kruger National Park
1260, South Africa
tel 27 11 880 9992
lionsands.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
June 2024
Jun 18, 2024

Krakow’s Old Town Charms with Stunning Beauty, Museums and Great Food

A stop in Krakow would not be complete without a visit to the Lady with an Ermine, a Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, said to be second only to the Mona Lisa. One of four extant Da Vinci portraits, it depicts a young woman, mistress of Ludovico Sforza, embracing an outsize ermine thought to be a reference to Ludovico’s nickname “the white ermine.” The national treasure is a highlight of the significant collection in the city’s Czartoryski Museum, the country’s oldest, comprising three historical buildings: a 19th-century monastery, the 16th-century Municipal Arsenal and the neo-Gothic Palace built in the 19th century for the prominent noble Czartoryski family whose ancestor, Princess Izabela, founded the museum in 1796.

L’Ermitage: Your Beverly Hills Self-Care Haven

Nestled amidst the palm-lined boulevards of Beverly Hills, L'Ermitage exudes refined elegance and unparalleled service. This haven, a Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond and, most recently, Two Key MICHELIN Guide recipient, continues to captivate discerning travelers and Angelenos with its unwavering dedication to personalized hospitality and self-care.

Daily
Jun 18, 2024

New Things Are in Store in Loire Valley, France

With the Summer Olympics in Paris this year, there are plenty of reasons to visit France. Consider a trip to the Loire Valley, offering new experiences for travelers in 2024.

Daily
Jun 18, 2024

Avani Hotels Debuts in the Netherlands with Avani Museum Quarter Amsterdam

Avani Hotels & Resorts, the upscale lifestyle brand of Minor Hotels, further expands into Europe with the opening of Avani Museum Quarter Amsterdam. Situated within a refurbished, mid-century building in the center of the city’s museum district, the 163-room property sits canal-side and offers a tranquil stay for both leisure and business travelers.

MORE TO TRAVEL

There’s more to travel than just getting there.

Daily
Jun 17, 2024

5 Hotel Rooftop Pools for Sunbathing This Summer

Beat the heat this summer with a visit to one of these hotels boasting fabulous rooftop pools.

Daily
Jun 14, 2024

Top U.S. States for Golfers

Relocation experts at My Baggage recently conducted a study to determine the top U.S. states for golfers by analyzing the distribution of golf courses, driving ranges, tournaments and golf coaches per 100,000 residents in every state, along with the number of platinum clubs. From there, each location was assigned a score and ranked accordingly.

Exclusive Savings: Cruise Along the Danube River with Global Traveler

Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler

Daily
Jun 13, 2024

Taste of Iceland Tour Heads for Seattle

The 2024 Taste of Iceland Tour through North America wraps up this year with stops in a selection of major American cities. A multiday immersion into the culture, food and music of Iceland, tour stops also feature Icelandic experts happy to share the multitude of reasons why this fascinating island nation should be at the top of every traveler’s dream list. And if you’re concerned about the recent volcanic activity, don’t be. Just as travelers to Hawai’i have become accustomed to occasional volcanic phenomenon, those who journey to Iceland can embrace the knowledge they’re witness to the ongoing creation of one of the world’s youngest land masses.