In spite of the dry name of the river on which it is located, there is nothing arid about warm and welcoming Exeter River Lodge. Perched on the edge of the Sand River, it is the perfect safari retreat, boasting spacious riverside suites, Big Five game viewing with excellent leopard sightings and the perfect amount of privacy.
Eight luxury suites sit in the shade of a grove of ebony trees on the lush banks of the Sand River at Exeter River Lodge. Warm and welcoming, yet clean and modern, the lodge’s wide open spaces let in the mellow African light, inviting the outside in and making it impossible to ignore the beautiful natural setting.
Gracious spaces are situated to allow dramatic views of the river bed from every corner of each suite. Guests can cool off in their private plunge pool while enjoying the sight of a herd of elephant drinking in the river below. Al fresco showers and deep bathtubs offer the perfect place to freshen up before enjoying a fine meal around a blazing fire in the open air boma beneath a star strewn sky. Guests can linger over dinner while they listen to the sounds of the African bush – the distant yipping of a jackal, nervous chuckle of a hyena or strident wail of a bush baby.
Adjacent to the renowned Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is famed for its intimate wildlife encounters, particularly its leopard sightings. Home to ample resident game, including the Big Five, the Sabi Sand is part of a conservation area that covers 4.9 million acres. With no boundary fences between it and the Kruger, the Reserve benefits from the great diversity of wildlife found in one of the richest landscapes on the African continent.
Game drives traverse an area of 24 700 acres and strict vehicle limits at sightings ensure the exclusivity of the game viewing experience. Guests are likely to track individually recognisable leopard and lion, as well as clans of spotted hyena. Sensitive off-road driving practices guarantee that guests have the best possible view of sightings and rangers are constantly in touch with each other to keep track of animal movements.
The drive from Johannesburg to Exeter River Lodge is approximately 500 km and takes five to six hours. All except the last 10 km of the road is tarred.
The flight time from Johannesburg to Sabi Sand is approximately 1½ hours. Federal Air operates daily flights from OR Tambo to Ulusaba airstrip, followed by an easy game drive to the lodge. SA Airlink offers daily flights from OR Tambo to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, followed by either a road or air transfer to the lodge.
Weather & climate
The summer months (November to March) are hot and humid. Temperatures start to cool slightly in April and winter months (May to June) are warm, with cold nights and early mornings. July to September is very dry, with cold night and early morning/late afternoon temperatures. Spring (September to October) is very dry with hot, dry winds. The first rains start towards the end of October. Rains or typical afternoon thundershowers occur from Nov to March, with potential scattered afternoon thundershowers.
Summer: 13˚C to 38˚C
Winter: 3˚C to 32˚C
The currency is the South African rand.
Visas and documents
Nationals of other African countries often do not require visas for South Africa. Visitors must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of travel and should have two blank pages available in their passport.