&Beyond Exeter River Lodge
Set in a leafy, evergreen thicket on the banks of the Sand River, each room at &Beyond Exeter River Lodge offers panoramic views of the water and the wildlife it attracts.
Padded loungers beckon from the private veranda of your suite, inviting you to while away an afternoon of activities in the greenery and admiring the occasional herd of elephant taking their daily bath.
- Outdoor showers and private plunge pools
- Dramatic riverside views
Why Stay at &Beyond Exeter River Lodge?
Awake to the river rolling slowly past your front door and watch the denizens of the bush make their morning ablutions. The game viewing continues all day, whether on a game drive or from the comfort of the Lodge’s shady viewing deck. The full flavours of lunch acquire an extra edge on our open air dining deck, with the distant splashing of animals coming down to drink at the water’s edge as a gentle reminder of Africa. Later, give in to the lull of the silent waters and sink into the plush sofas in the shared lounge area, drinking in the peace and solitude.
Follow the example of the hippo wallowing in the river and seek refuge from the heat of the afternoon in the personal plunge pool on the deck of your suite. Or simply retire for a restful siesta or a quiet hour with a good book in the cool interior of your spacious suite. While the elephant cavort in the river below you can indulge in your own outdoor shower - just as refreshing but without the added adventure of mud!
Sounds of the African Night
Re-live the excitement of your afternoon game drive around a roaring fire in the boma. Linger over dinner while you 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. Then get VIP treatment with a long, leisurely soak in a deep, soothing bubble bath. The last sound you hear as you drift off to sleep in the depths of your warm bed is the gentle rushing of the river outside your front door.
With no boundary fences between it and the world renowned Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand enjoys an abundance of diverse wildlife. The entire Big Five is well represented, and other rare animals, such as the cheetah and hyena are often sighted. Various antelope species, from impala, waterbuck and duiker to kudu, bushbuck and nyala can also be seen. However, it is the leopard that is the real star of the show, with the area well known for some of the best leopard experiences in Africa. This shy and elusive animal, normally the most solitary of the African cats is often viewed both in daylight hours and during game drives.
In contrast to the leopard, lion are the most sociable of the cat family and prides may consist of up to 12 related females and their cubs, as well as a far smaller number of related males, often brothers. A number of lion prides have territories in the area and are regularly seen on game drives. In the middle of the cat social range is the cheetah. Although not as common as the leopard or lion, cheetah are also frequently sighted. Built for speed instead of power, this formidable predator generally hunts during the day when its rivals are resting. This daytime hunting habit occasionally creates spectacular sightings of the fastest animal in the world in action.
Night drives are an important part of the game viewing experience and provide an opportunity to view many unusual animals. The beautifully patterned African civet is one such nocturnal creature. Hiding in holes or thickets until after sunset, it cannot be viewed during daylight hours. Another animal often encountered is the dwarf mongoose, Africa’s smallest carnivore. Family troops of up to 30 live in numerous hiding places in the sides of termite mounds. A typical though hair-raising sound often encountered on night drives is the wail of the bushbaby, a forlorn noise that imitates the plaintive cry of a human infant.
True African hospitality lies at the core of &Beyond's lodges and camps throughout the continent. The people of Africa, with their warm and welcoming nature, and the ability to draw guests into their hearts, inspire, educate and enchant them every day.
A shared passion for creating extraordinary guest experiences unites all &Beyonders across Africa. For staff members at &Beyond Exeter River Lodge, there is no better way to spend the day than in making our guests' safari dreams come true. Our chefs, butlers, housekeepers, security and workshop staff are trained with the same dedication as our field staff, but their pleasure in sharing your special moments is something that cannot be taught. They are the magic ingredient at &Beyond Exeter River Lodge and their commitment to creating moments that take our guests' breath away is genuine.
We are renowned for having some of the most highly trained, professional, passionate and knowledgeable rangers and trackers on the continent. They have a passion for people and wildlife, ensuring unbeatable interpretive safari experiences.
The rangers at &Beyond Exeter River Lodge impart an incomparable wealth of knowledge, personally researched and experienced, about local habitats, ecology, birds, trees, plants, small animals and insects. Many of our rangers and trackers belong to the surrounding communities share cultural information with our guests.
The Very Best Training
&Beyond runs three full-time ranger training schools headed by professional ranger trainers in Africa. Each ranger at &Beyond Exeter River Lodge undergoes a rigorous training course at one of these schools before joining the team. They then receive further on-site training and benefit immensely from their colleagues' ongoing mentorship. It is through their passion for what they do, and their desire to develop and learn that &Beyond's guides are among the finest in the world.
At &Beyond we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched. At every lodge we seek out small (and sometimes not so small) but meaningful ways of putting our values into action every day. Each &Beyond lodge supports the conservation of wildlife and contributes to its neighbouring communities in one way or another. In addition, we seek to limit our impact in terms of fossil fuels, the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.
Each fortnight rangers from &Beyond Exeter River Lodge host rural children whose villages border the reserve, and take them on conservation lessons and game drives to see their natural heritage.
Exeter River Welcomes Spring
Exeter welcomed Spring this year with a fantastic conservation message. They showed their commitment to community greening by planting 45 trees at nine local primary schools.
Inspiring Young Leaders
Launched in 1995, Africa Foundation’s Community Leaders Education Fund (CLEF) scholarship programme offers partial funding to students from the communities that border &Beyond conservation areas. The broad objective of the CLEF programme is to grow leadership in communities by offering matriculating students the chance to improve their career opportunities by studying at tertiary level. During their holidays, students give back to their communities by conducting activities that involve and uplift those around them (e.g., career guidance at high schools, community clean-up campaigns, or helping at local clinics). Decide Makhubele, from the Lillydale community, is a CLEF bursary recipient who recently completed his BA LLB. In a thank you letter to Africa Foundation, Decide wrote: “Nelson Mandela said that ‘education is the great engine to personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.
It is what we make of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.’ I, Decide Makhubele, say that it is through education, and with the support of Africa Foundation, that the son of a farm worker (my father) can become a lawyer (me).” A special thank you to all of our guests who continue to support Africa Foundation – you are helping to turn dreams into reality. The CLEF programme continues to impact positively on the lives of proud young leaders who are committed to making a meaningful difference in their own lives and those of their fellow community members.
Pangolin Research at Exeter River Lodge
Johnathan Michael Swart, Ecologist for the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in which Exeter River Lodge is situated, recently completed an in-depth study of the Pangolin and its foraging behaviour. Through his research, Johnathan has provided valuable information to the conservation world about the behaviour of these intriguing animals. The project revolved around 15 Pangolins, tagged with radio transmitters. Their activity, diet, foraging behaviour and habitat selection were studied over a 14-month period. Johnathan also took the opportunity to study the composition, diversity, and activity of epigaeic ants and termites in conjunction with his findings on the Pangolins.
Working closely with Africa Foundation, Exeter River Lodge works with lodge staff and communities to follow a wellness programme geared towards developing and maintaining a healthy immune system. Diet, natural vitamins and minerals, and the cultivation of a positive attitude are among the key factors in fighting chronic illnesses, including HIV/Aids.
A day at Exeter River
At &Beyond Exeter River Lodge, the days are designed to thrill you with intimate wildlife encounters and the nights to spoil you with the romance of Africa.
- Morning Game Drive - As dawn breaks over the African bush, a gentle tap on your door will wake you to the delights of a new day. Your ranger will discuss what you hope to see that day over fragrant tea or coffee and morning biscuits or rusks. Set out in an open 4x4 safari vehicle in the company of a ranger and tracker team, who will attempt to track your favourite animals. The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is well known for its leopard sightings and you may well spot one of these elusive cats resting after a successful night hunt. You will stop for refreshments at a scenic spot during your drive.
- Breakfast - Return to the Lodge for a delicious breakfast, with platters of fruit and cheese followed by a selection of hot breakfast dishes. Choose from eggs, oats, waffles or a number of other options.
- Lunch - If you wish, you can walk off your breakfast on a short walk near the Lodge, accompanied by your ranger, who will share his insight into the smaller animals and vegetation in the area, or enjoy a refreshing dip in your private plunge pool ahead of a delicious lunch served on open air decks within sight of the river. Enjoy the peaceful sights and sounds of the Lodge at leisure before your next game drive.
- Evening Game Drive - This game drive begins in the late afternoon and lasts until after dark, when spotlights are used for a glimpse into the nocturnal bush life. Track spotted hyena as they call to each other on an evening hunt or look out for the beautifully patterned civet cat. Enjoy sundowners in a scenic location as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon.
- Dinner - Return to the Lodge for a mouthwatering dinner around a blazing fire in the boma with newfound friends or enjoy an al fresco dinner in a surprise bush setting.