If you feel an affinity with old Africa, the age of explorers and pioneers, when wildlife roamed free, you’ll feel comfortably at home at Tinga Lodge. Here, on the 4 000 hectare private concession of Lion Sands Private Game Reserve, you’re steeped in authentic Africa, just the way it used to be. Adjoining both the Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park, the area is teeming with wildlife that traverses a vast conservation area – with both the Sabie and Sand rivers running through it.
Tinga Lodge, set under ancient Jackalberry trees, epitomises a true and traditional African safari lodge. It’s romantic and reminiscent of the elegant colonial era, and its nine suites are deeply decadent. Plus there is also Hi’Nkweni Villa for an exclusive family safari experience. The villa name aptly means ‘together’ in the Shangaan language, which is its true purpose. It’s ideal for a family or multi-generational stay of up to six people in absolute privacy and with your own field guide and game viewing vehicle.
Intimate with just nine rooms, Tinga Lodge is right on the banks of the Sabie River. The river is a magnet for wildlife, which comes to drink its waters daily. So without ever leaving your suite or the lodge, you will see plenty of wildlife anyway. Game drives, though, are exceptional and the area is renowned for its excellent sightings of big cats. Not just lion, but leopard too. You may even spot them from your private deck or plunge pool. Close wildlife sightings are also unforgettable from the rim-flow main pool, which almost seems to spill right into the Sabie River.
Wooden walkways link the main lodge to the guest suites. With cool screed floors, the suites are spacious with an indoor lounge area too – replete with wingbacks and dark wooden furniture. In the bathroom, egg baths with full views over the river, invite you to soak for hours while watching bush theatre outside – or get even closer to the action on your private deck with plunge pool. Actually, wherever you are, keep an eye open for wildlife as game is everywhere.
While you’re there, maybe take a guided bush walk too, visit the nearby Huntington village, enjoy a spa treatment and a shower under the stars. Chat about good times around the fire and enjoy superb meals created with passion and flair. Tinga Lodge is a true African escape with the sense of romance and adventure of long ago, just in pure luxury and comfort.
Reviewed by Keri Harvey
What we love
- watching life on the Sabie River from the rimflow pool
- the feeling of being in a bygone romantic era
- all the wingback chairs and olde world travel chests
- an optional bush sleep-out under the stars at Tinyeleti Treehouse – and there’s space for 2 children under 15 years old too
- such a sense of space and privacy
- excellent game viewing on every drive, with access to both the Sabie and Sand rivers
- underfloor heating in the bedroom in winter
Need to know
- it’s a malaria area
- children from 10 years old welcomed at Tinga and from 6 years old at Hi’Nkweni Villa, which has its own private game drive vehicle and guide
- Tinga Lodge is 550 km from Johannesburg
- there are daily Airlink flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Skukuza Airport