Take a luxurious short left to the wild and enjoy quality time while connecting with your inner self.
LION Sands Private Game Reserve, which includes the Ivory, 1933 and River Lodges, in Mpumalanga is a holiday destination meant for those who believe they deserve and can afford luxury.
Prices at River Lodge, which is built on the banks of the Sabie River and which is where I stayed during my visit, depend on the seasons. One gets the sense that the pricing is designed to discourage guests from being abomahamba yedwa (to holiday or travel alone). Luxury room rates per person per night sharing are cheaper compared to per person per night single.
The beauty of Lion Sands rates is that they include three meals, two game drives per day, game drive refreshments, teas/coffees, local beverages, spirits and wines and specified gaming activities. Be warned that the drinks stocked in the room’s mini-bar are not included on the rate. It’s a pity that massage treatments at Lalamuka Health Spa are also not part of the prices stated above.
It was only after a seven-hour drive from Johannesburg that we finally stepped out of the car into the reserve’s minimally spoiled- by humans- environment. One could take in the pure air of the wild and enjoy its fresh soothing bath of the face. A fellow with a ready and welcoming smile painted on his face was assigned to be our usher during our two-night stay.
Guests are advised to ask for an escort when taking walks, especially at night, between their rooms and other areas of the lodge and this is because there are no fences keeping animals, even the dangerous ones, at bay. One other thing that you are cautioned about, of course with a smile, is that there is plenty of food to be served to guests and if there were no diet issues then you could be fed like a cow to be soon put on auction.
Well, eat one did and delectable food for that matter. The chefs in the kitchen deserve the kudo’s for their tasty meals which one later learnt were prepared individually for each guest as opposed to cooking in one big pot for all and sundry. With the taste buds well taken care off and the meal washed down with a drink of choice, what else was there to do?
Well, those subscribing or belonging to the club that preach “we should spend quality time together” may find the River Lodge’s private wooden viewing deck to be a perfect place for the enjoyment of errr… quality time.
The absence of technological gadgets like a television set and the fact that cell-phone reception is not the best at the lodge can only mean that a couple will have more time to listen to each others heartbeat or look into each other’s eyes to try and figure out what the future holds. The bushy surroundings mean there will be plenty of the birds’ sweet singing and the continuous applause of the flowing Sabi River – both natural occurrences in honour of the couple’s er… quality time. Romantic is it not?
Well the quietness of the area also allows for the kind of couple that likes to play psychological games to pick on each other’s brains – hopefully no petty lovers tiff ensue during that. If all fails then the tranquil, spacious and air-conditioned thatched bedroom may have enough space to play all sorts of games or dance all sorts of dances until the couple is dripping wet and exhausted.
Following a cooling down session in an en-suite bathroom or in an inside or outside shower the couple can be assured of sleeping like a baby in a king size bed covered by spotless white sheets and surrounded by mosquito netting. fter all the crickets, frogs and several other night creatures will be competing to sing, for free, the guest to sleep with the best lullaby nature could provide.
*Contact Lion Sands on 013 735 5000 or visit www.lionsands.com