Klaserie Sands River Camp: An Intimate Safari Lodge in Kruger, South Africa

Klaserie Sands makes an impression as quickly as you arrive. After bumping alongside dust tracks via the African bush we emerged in an oasis of lush, manicured lawns resulting in the grand entrance to the lodge, grizzled tree trunks holding the porch aloft. As we entered the primary area with its excessive ceilings and dramatic chandelier, proprietor Lee-Ann welcomed us with a smile, cool towel and fruity drink and ushered us onto the terrace. Wow! (We stated this loads that first afternoon.)

The stunningly designed terrace appears like a elaborate treehouse with bushes rising up via the picket ground. We lounged on the sofas and took within the view of the infinity pool, dry riverbed, and waterhole past (the place animals can typically be noticed). We knew we’d discovered someplace particular.

Klaserie Sands entrance

Klaserie Sands entrance

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review: the pool

The pool and terrace

Klaserie Sands River Camp is without doubt one of the newer safari lodges within the Better Kruger space, open for under 18 months. House owners Lee-Ann and Louis had been initially employed to refurbish the property after an enormous flood destroyed it, however they fell in love with the wonder and wildness of the Klaserie Reserve and stayed to open the lodge. They’ve created a singular place—an expensive but intimate safari lodge with simply 4 rooms and as much as eight visitors that feels such as you’re staying with pals of their very fashionable villa.

The camp is deep within the bush and the wildlife viewing is great—each from camp and out on recreation drives with the educated guides. Our very first viewing on our first night drive was watching two male lions from a number of metres away—an expertise we’ll all the time bear in mind.

Lion on safari at Klaserie Sands River CampLike most safari lodges, Klaserie Sands is all-inclusive of recreation drives, meals and most drinks, which helps to make it ultra-relaxing. There’s no want to hold a pockets or make choices about what to eat or do. It’s a beautiful escape from the true world.

Klaserie Sands River Camp Evaluation Contents

Rooms
Amenities
Meals
Recreation Drives
Different Actions
What to Convey
Highs & Lows
Location
Prices
Abstract

Rooms

Klaserie Sands has simply 4 rooms, all with terraces overlooking the dry riverbed the place animals can typically be seen strolling by. Rooms are spacious and splendid with enormous, cozy four-poster beds with mosquito nets that conveniently go on the skin of the bedside tables.

Klaserie Sands bedroomKlaserie Sands River Camp Review - honeymoon suite bedroom The excessive thatched ceiling and enormous glass doorways add to the sensation of area and lightweight. I liked having the ability to lie in mattress and benefit from the view outdoors—there’s full privateness besides maybe from a passing elephant. The doorways are screened so you possibly can benefit from the breeze with out worrying about bugs.

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - view from our bedThe rooms have followers and air con, which we appreciated in the summertime warmth, and there’s a desk and loads of space for storing. The USB energy factors alongside the standard ones had been helpful for these of us with far too many electronics.

The lavatory is large and open plan with a shower, separate bathe (with a glass wall to benefit from the view), non-public rest room cubicle, and high quality toiletries.

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - honeymoon suite bathroomThe big terrace has a few solar loungers for having fun with the view. We stayed within the honeymoon suite, which has an extra out of doors bathe in a tree overlooking the riverbed reached by a brief walkway from the terrace. It’s liberating to bathe with a view!

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - terrace of honeymoon suite

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - outdoor shower

The walkway to the out of doors bathe

Chrome steel water bottles are offered and you’ll fill them up from the water machine within the bar.

The rooms are cleaned in the course of the morning recreation drive and the beds are turned down and mosquito nets put in place in the course of the night drive.

Amenities

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - the loungeThe frequent areas at Klaserie Sands are beautiful and it’s straightforward to discover a quiet spot to loosen up between recreation drives. The lounge/ bar space has dramatic excessive ceilings, glass doorways onto the terrace (open more often than not), cozy couches, a fire, books, and art work. It manages to really feel each homely and super-stylish. The workers on the bar could make you a drink at anytime and most drinks are included.

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - loungeKlaserie Sands River Camp Review - barThe lounge leads seamlessly onto the beautiful terrace, a grown-up treehouse with large jackalberry and leadwood bushes rising from the ground and offering shade for the numerous couches and armchairs. I don’t suppose we’ve stayed wherever that has so many various snug locations to loosen up. As there are solely as much as eight visitors at a time there’s all the time loads of area.

Terrace at Klaserie Sands River Camp, South AfricaKlaserie Sands River Camp terraceThe small infinity pool isn’t large enough for laps (though I attempted!), nevertheless it’s excellent for cooling off and having fun with the view of the waterhole reverse—I noticed a household of warthogs in the future. There are many solar loungers for working in your tan.

Klaserie Sands poolThe terrace is nice for animal viewing because it has views of the riverbed and waterhole. We noticed elephants, hyenas and warthogs and within the dry winter months you possibly can anticipate to see much more.

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - an elephant from the terrace

An elephant seen from the terrace

The WiFi works greatest within the lounge, nevertheless it additionally works on the terrace and even in our room typically. As you’d anticipate being up to now out within the bush, it’s not tremendous quick nevertheless it works effectively sufficient. There’s no telephone sign out right here.

Klaserie Sands used to have a health club however because it wasn’t getting used they had been within the means of changing it to a present store throughout our keep. Weights and yoga mats can be found to borrow.

Klaserie Sands is fenced in so that you don’t have to fret about animals wandering in.

Meals

Meals are Klaserie Sands are scrumptious and plentiful and so they catered effectively for us vegetarians. As in any respect lodges, you don’t get a alternative of meals however we liked having a break from determination making and loved all our meals. Breakfast and lunch are served at non-public tables on the terrace and dinner is eaten communally at a giant desk with the opposite visitors and the homeowners or ranger both inside or on the terrace. Because the lodge is so small it’s a really pleasant and relaxed environment and there was all the time loads to debate.

Lunch on terrace of Klaserie Sands

Lunch on the terrace

Three meals a day are included within the worth plus espresso/tea and rusks very first thing and in the course of the morning drive and a sundowner drink and nibbles on the afternoon drive. Plus drinks can be found on the bar everytime you like and gentle drinks, scorching drinks, craft beer and native wine are included.

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - sundowner drink on the evening game drive

Sundowner drink on the night recreation drive

Breakfast is served round 9.30 am, after the morning drive. There’s a buffet of cheese, fruit, cereal, and croissants and a scorching breakfast is made to order (eggs, meat, hash browns, toast).

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - breakfast buffet

Breakfast buffet

Lunch is at 2.30 pm and is dropped at your non-public desk. There may be all the time loads of meals and it sometimes features a few completely different salads plus a primary reminiscent of pasta or lentil bake (for us vegetarians).

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - lunch

Vegetarian lasagna and salads for considered one of our lunches

Dinner is a extra formal three-course meal served round 9 pm when everybody is prepared after the night drive—there are pre-dinner drinks whilst you wait. A typical meal for us vegetarians was tomato and mozzarella bruschetta, chickpea and pumpkin curry with mashed potato and broccoli, and banana baked in pastry with a chocolate sauce, all with wonderful South African wine.

Klaserie Sands River Camp, South Africa

Recreation Drives

The primary exercise at Klaserie Sands is heading out in open-roofed safari automobiles on recreation drives. There are two recreation drives a day—early morning and late afternoon. Through the summer time months these left at 5.30 am and four.30 pm and lasted round three.5 hours, though if the viewings are good you possibly can keep out longer. On every drive you’re accompanied by an skilled ranger and tracker. Our ranger Gordon was all the pieces we may need from a information—pleasant, straightforward to get on with, and intensely educated concerning the animals and birds we noticed (ask him about termite mounds).

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - the safari vehicleAs Klaserie Sands is such a small camp, the safari car isn’t overcrowded and on all our drives we had a three-seater row to ourselves. On our first day there have been solely two different visitors. This makes it extra snug, spacious and simpler to take images on either side. The padded seats are snug and as there’s no roof the views are wonderful. Blankets and ponchos are offered.

Klaserie Sands River Camp Review - on safariWe had been there within the January summer time wet season, which is the worst time to go to as animals don’t want to collect round waterholes and they’re extra hidden by vegetation. Regardless of that we noticed an enormous quantity on our six drives together with lions, rhinos, elephants, giraffe, zebra, hyena, buffalo, wildebeest, mongoose, honey badger, impala, kudu, steenbok, warthog, and a hippo.

Rhinos on safari at Klaserie Sands River Camp

Rhinos

Zebras and impalas on safari at Klaserie Sands River Camp

Zebras and impalas

Two female lions (taken with our iPhone) on safari at Klaserie Sands

Two feminine lions (taken with our iPhone)

The animals are used to the automobiles so you will get actually shut with out disturbing them. We liked that we may drive off highway to get near the animals (which you’ll’t do within the Kruger Nationwide Park).

Birdlife was plentiful and included the red-crested suicide chook (or korhaan), African hawk-eagle, Wahlberg’s eagle, European curler, Southern yellow-billed hornbill and plenty of extra.

We had a few drives that had been cloudy and windy with slightly rain (the ponchos got here in helpful). The animals had been in hiding so we didn’t see as a lot as common, though even on the quietest drive we noticed an elephant, herd of impala, three giraffes and a buzzard. Even after we didn’t see a lot we all the time loved our drives. Gordon is expert at making all the pieces we noticed fascinating—even termite mounds—and there’s all the time one thing happening within the bush.

On safari at Klaserie Sands River CampKlaserie Non-public Nature Reserve is without doubt one of the bigger and wilder non-public reserves within the Better Kruger space. Klaserie Sands has considered one of solely 4 jeeps within the concession, so we hardly ever got here throughout different automobiles not like in way more crowded reserves like Sabi Sands. The draw back of that is that it makes it more durable to search out the animals as there are fewer individuals monitoring them (the lodges share info with one another). We loved the wilder expertise and nonetheless noticed loads.

Learn our put up a few day within the life at Klaserie Sands for what to anticipate of the day’s schedule and our safari highlights for our favorite wildlife viewings.

Hyena on safari at Klaserie Sands

Hyena

Different Actions

Bush walks may be organized (at no additional value), though we didn’t do one.

Gordon additionally stated he’s completely happy to take you out on one other recreation drive everytime you need—even at midnight. We discovered the 2 drives loads although.

They’ll additionally organize massages and sweetness remedies for an additional cost.

Between recreation drives we had been completely happy to loosen up, nap, swim and browse.

Elephant on safari at Klaserie Sands

Elephant

What to Convey

  • Heat layers for the sport drives as it might get chilly early within the morning and after sundown. I wore a t-shirt, denims or linen trousers, and sandals on drives and added a fleece within the mornings. Within the winter you may additionally want a hat, scarf, gloves, and heat jacket.
  • A sunhat, sun shades, and suncream because the car isn’t lined and it will get scorching.
  • Lengthy trousers and a high in a impartial color (not white) plus lined footwear for the bush stroll. Clothes color on recreation drives doesn’t appear to matter.
  • Insect repellent is offered however you might wish to deliver your individual. We utilized it all through the day and weren’t bitten.
  • Kruger is a malarial space so take into account taking malaria capsules. We selected to not as the danger appeared low, however do get medical recommendation earlier than your journey.
  • A protracted lens. Some individuals simply took images with their telephones however for the very best images you want a telephoto lens. I used my mirrorless digital camera, the Olympus OMD-EM5 and the Olympus 75–300mm lens. It’s a a lot smaller, lighter combo than an SLR with telephoto lens and I used to be actually pleased with the outcomes. Our iPhone 7 was additionally helpful for wider angle pictures—typically the animals had been too shut for my lens!
  • Spare batteries in your digital camera.
  • Hand sanitiser is beneficial on recreation drives after utilizing the bush rest room.
  • Don’t neglect journey insurance coverage as this can be a very distant location. We use TrueTraveller insurance coverage, which is the very best deal we’ve discovered for UK and EU residents. For everybody else, World Nomads is a dependable possibility. 

You actually don’t have to deliver a lot because the camp is casual—as common we travelled with simply carry-on baggage. 

Giraffe at Klaserie Sands

Giraffe

Klaserie Sands Highs

  • Intimate lodge with simply 4 rooms
  • Get away from all of it really feel
  • Wonderful wildlife viewing together with lions, rhinos and elephants
  • Uncrowded safari automobiles
  • Very pleasant homeowners, ranger and workers who make you are feeling at residence
  • Beautiful lounge and bar
  • Lovely treehouse-style terrace with infinity pool overlooking the riverbed
  • Waterhole view for wildlife recognizing from camp (we noticed warthogs, hyenas, and elephants—go in the course of the dry season and also you’re more likely to see much more)
  • Very snug rooms with air con and views
  • The out of doors bathe within the honeymoon suite!
  • Scrumptious, plentiful meals and enjoyable, family-style dinners
  • Many snug and quiet locations to loosen up

Klaserie Sands Lows

I can’t consider something. Critically, this can be a first. I can all the time consider one thing even when I’m simply being choosy. Let’s imagine the value, nevertheless it’s truly very cheap in comparison with safari lodges of an analogous commonplace. Klaserie Sands is perfection and we’d return in a heartbeat.

Really helpful For

and pals in search of an expensive however pleasant and intimate safari lodge off the crushed monitor.

Elephants on safrai at Klaserie Sands River CampLocation

Klaserie Sands is within the Klaserie Non-public Nature Reserve on the border of Kruger Nationwide Park in northeastern South Africa. The reserve is unfenced so animals can wander in freely from the Nationwide Park and neighbouring reserves.

We employed a automotive and drove to Klaserie Sands, which is about six hours from Johannesburg airport. We first stopped at Graskop (to drive the Panorama Route) then Umlani Bushcamp in Timbavati Non-public Nature Reserve, which borders the Klaserie Reserve and shares the identical gate and 140R entrance price. It took us about 45 minutes to drive from Umlani. The final 10km or so is on a bumpy dust monitor however we managed in our small automotive. The instructions they gave us made it straightforward to search out (GPS is fairly ineffective right here).

After Klaserie we drove into Kruger Nationwide Park for a self-drive safari. Annoyingly you must go away again via the Timbavati/Klaserie gate and drive round to the Orpen gate to enter the Nationwide Park, which took us two hours. It took us six hours from Klaserie Sands to Olifants Relaxation Camp together with a cease at Satara for lunch (in hindsight Satara would have been a extra handy place to spend the primary evening).

If you’re solely visiting Klaserie, you may fly to Hoedspruit from Johannesburg or Cape City and the lodge can organize transfers.

Ideally you need to arrive by 2 pm so you possibly can have lunch and go on the afternoon recreation drive. You’ll additionally go on a drive the morning you allow, so for a three-night keep you are able to do six drives.

Prices

We visited Klaserie Sands in off-season when it prices 4100 ZAR (US $317/ £255) per particular person per evening (for 2 individuals sharing) together with two recreation drives a day, all meals and most drinks. In excessive season it’s 5100 ZAR (US$394/ £317) per particular person per evening all-inclusive. I believe it’s wonderful worth in comparison with different safari lodges and for the extent of consolation, service and privateness you get.

I like to recommend staying for a minimum of two nights, ideally three. We may have stayed even longer. Klaserie Sands at the moment has a suggestion the place from January to June you possibly can e book for 4 nights and solely pay for 3 nights.

You may e book your keep on the Klaserie Sands web site. 

Lion on safari at Klaserie Sands River Camp

Abstract

Klaserie Sands River Camp is the very best place we’ve ever stayed (and that’s fairly a press release!). It’s an expensive however relaxed and intimate lodge run by a pleasant group who make you are feeling at residence. The wildlife viewing is great and the fantastically designed terrace and rooms are excellent for enjoyable between drives. It’s a very particular place that we nonetheless dream about. 

To learn extra about Klaserie Sands see our posts on a day within the life on safari and our safari highlights. 

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Klaserie Sands River Camp is a luxurious, intimate safari lodge in Kruger, South Africa with just four rooms. It's the best place we've ever stayed and the wildlife viewing is superb. Click through to read our detailed review.
Many because of Klaserie Sands who hosted us and plenty of our keep so particular. 

Are you planning a visit in 2017? See our Gear and Sources web page for our favorite instruments that will help you plan the proper journey. 

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