Two South African game lodges

Sleep under the stars in a romantic tree-house retreat, or take a family safari at two of South Africa's best private game reserves.

Lion Sands Private Game Reserve

This game reserve is adjacent to the world-famous Kruger National Park. It has been owned and run by the same family since 1933.

Lion Sands is one of George Michael's favourite holiday destinations, says Jo Foley in The Sunday Times. And it's easy to see why. The 1933 lodge has four spacious bedroom suites, each with a large indoor bath, "glorious" outdoor shower and stunning views across the Sabi River.

There is a wrap-around sun deck, pool, gym and sauna, plus a ranger to take you on safari. There is also a dormitory that will sleep eight children, and a nanny's room.

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If you fancy a night under the stars, book into the reserve's Chalkley Tree House. This is a four-poster bed situated on a platform high up in a leadwood tree. "It'll be just you, the sunset and the odd hyena," says Vincent Crump in The Sunday Times. It is "one of the world's most romantic beds".

The menu

The 1933 lodge comes with a state-of-the-art kitchen and a private chef to cook all your meals for you.

The cost

The lodge costs from £3,670 per night, plus £180 for a night in the treehouse. Find out more at, or call 00 27 11 484 9911.

Ulusaba Private Game Reserve


Given that two prides live within Richard Branson's Ulusaba reserve, it is fairly easy to spot a lion. And the rest of the 'Big Five' buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino can all be found there too. The reserve also has a charitable arm, "Pride 'n' Purpose", and guests can opt to help the local community while enjoying a great holiday.

Parents looking for a family-friendly safari will like Ulusaba, says The Times. Children get their own programme of wildlife-spotting trips and treasure hunts, "leaving parents to take in the inspiring South African landscapes and the local fauna on daily game drives".

There are two three-hour game drives a day and the "knowledgable guide and sharp tracker" will help you spot the wildlife and teach you a lot about them, says Sean O'Grady in The Independent. Children will love the Safari Lodge, where rope bridges swing between treehouse-style rooms.

The menu

Meals are served under the stars in the outdoor dining area, in the dining room, or on the deck or at your lodge. Dishes include springbok shank with mash.

The cost

Double rooms cost from 4,600 rand (£372) per person per night, including all meals. Find out more at, or call 0800-716919.

What the travel writers are saying

If you fancy a wild, windswept and secluded holiday, try a stay in one of Britain's lighthouses, says Nicola K Smith in The Times. For a famous setting, try East Cottage, South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover. This former lighthouse-keeper's cottage is situated on top of the White Cliffs of Dover and offers amazing views of one of the world's busiest shipping routes. The cottage sleeps four, plus cot, and costs from £217 for two nights. See, or phone 0844-800 2070.

For a touch of history try the Cantick Head Lighthouse Cottages on the Island of Hoy, Orkney. Built in 1858, these two Grade B-listed Victorian cottages were designed by David Stevenson, who came from a family of highly renowned lighthouse builders. The cottages overlook the Scapa Flow in the Pentland Firth. They sleep four and three respectively and cost from £60 a night. Visit or call 01856-701255. Argus Cottage, Pendeen Lighthouse in Cornwall was built in 1900 and is six miles north of Land's End. Earplugs are provided, as on misty days the automated fog horn still blasts. The two-bedroom keeper's cottage sleeps two and prices start from £217 for two nights. Visit, or phone 01386-701177.

Nina Wadia: My dream holiday

Nina Wadia's favourite hotel is The Kuda Huraa Four Seasons Resort in the Maldives. "I've yet to visit anywhere that matches that experience," she tells The Daily Telegraph. Her villa "looked straight out into the ocean you could literally jump in the sea straight out of the massive bed". A beach pavilion with pool costs from $850 per night. See

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.