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[Skukuza] I spent my birthday in a treehouse at Lion Sands Game Reserve, and it was magic

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

For my 27th birthday, J surprised me with a one-night getaway at the Kingston Treehouse, located within the Lion Sands Game Reserve around a 15-minute drive away from the River Lodge (read my full Lion Sands River Lodge / safari experience blog post here). The treehouse is an add-on option to your room at Lion Sands River Lodge, and most people only stay for one or two nights. Some apparently don’t even last a night! I’m guessing this happens during the hotter months when there are more mozzies out?

We went for our usual game drive at 4pm, and they all led me to believe we were going to a special sundowner drinks location that we usually do towards the end of the afternoon drive. The white rhino pictured above made it a bit difficult to get there on time though, as he blocked up the road for a good 20 minutes.

Instead, they took me to the treehouse. It was already all set up with rose petals and a birthday message on the bed, birthday cake on the table, and a 3-course dinner packed away in a hamper. There was also an ice bucket with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne, and a drinks cooler with nice wines, bottles of whiskey and mixers. Such a beautiful and memorable birthday sunset, eating dinner and sipping champagne in the middle of the South African wilderness.

Romantic bed setup, plus bean bags with the provided iPad and turbo flashlights.

A full view of the treehouse from the front.

The treehouse is really well designed, not surprisingly a property of the equally beautiful Lion Sands River Lodge. This is ‘roughing it’ at its most luxurious. There is a hot shower, with the water going straight down into the bush below. If you think you’re harming the environment with the bath products, not to worry, as they are eco-friendly and scented only with pure essential oils. There are his-and-hers sinks with a mirror, and a toilet but without much privacy. There’s no door into the bathroom, so maybe go here if you’re more ‘comfortable’ with your S/O.

The bedroom can be zipped up by a see-through plastic canvas, so it keeps out as many bugs as possible (but not completely). There’s an additional mosquito net surrounding the bed, and lots of mosquito repellent at your disposal. Since it was slightly colder during the night for us in early October, there were tons of heated water bottles that kept the bed nice and toasty throughout the night.

There is a couch and bean bags for star-gazing, because the sky really lights up with stars and the Milky Way once the sun goes down. The lodge provides an iPad with apps for bird-watching and star-gazing installed. In the morning, our coffee and tea were somehow still warm in their super-thermos, and our ranger came to pick us up to take us on our morning drive.

As mentioned, Kingston Treehouse is an add-on option to your main room at Lion Sands River Lodge. I believe there is another treehouse option, but with a completely ‘open’-looking roof, if you’re on the more adventurous side. Read about my experience at Lion Sands River Lodge here, or if you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram at @furellie. Xx


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