Tengile River Lodge, Sabi Sands: The Lowdown

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Tengile River Lodge is a stylish, luxurious, dare we even say hip, safari lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. It’s part of a new breed of contemporary lodges which have thrown traditional rustic style to the winds, and instead embraced an almost city-style glamour in the heart of the wilderness. 

What’s Tengile River Lodge really like?

You arrive into a long, low building overlooking the Sand River. The huge floor to ceiling windows mean you’ll certainly never forget where you are, but likewise, there’s more than a dash of Capetoninan cool here, with funky modern design elements, craft beer at the bar and an interactive kitchen.  Outside, even the boma has been thoughtfully designed, and we could almost imagine it more as city art installation rather than something modeled after a traditional stockade. There’s a good sized pool, a spa, and a small, but remarkably well-equipped gym.

The 9 suites are raised up on stilts and spread either side of the lodge. They’re all air-conditioned, with a private bar, beautiful plunge pools in the outside deck, a sunken lounge and indoor and outdoor showers. Two of the suites are joined together by a small corridor to make a family suite. Each of the suites is seriously spacious- city dwellers in tiny apartments may well find more space than they have at home.

What can I do at Tengile River Lodge?

Game drives on the Sabi Sand Game Reserve are always incredibly rewarding. We’ve found this to be one of the best places in Africa for spotting leopard in particular. And while we don’t recommend setting out to see the “Big Five” on safari (too much focus can mean you don’t enjoy the rest of the experience), if you want to do it in one spot, this is a good one. You can also try nature walks around the lodge- listening out for bird calls, tracking animals through the bush and identifying paw prints in the dust.

Giving back at Tengile River Lodge:

The team here work with numerous wildlife management efforts, including helping the Leopard Conservation Project to monitor and identify the resident leopards. Supporting the local community comes hand in hand with protecting the wildlife, and Tengile’s owners invest in education, healthcare and small businesses in nearby Lilydale, Huntington and Justicia.

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