As far as I know Lion Sands River lodge is in Kruger proper, or at least has the use of a private concession within the Kruger.
"Lion Sands Kruger National Park is one of only seven private concessions in the Kruger National Park."
and this map indicates that it is in Kruger proper, but on the Northern side of the Sabie River
No offense, Andrew, but you have just given a perfect example of how people get confused.
See also my previous post, but no, Lion Sands River Lodge is not
in Kruger proper. It is on the farm Kingston, part of the private Sabi Sand Reserve. The northern bank of the Sabi River is not in the KNP.
In addition it is my understanding that areas bordering the Kruger, where fences have been removed follow strict and similar conservation policies as those found in the Kruger, to a point where Sanparks has the right to monitor and enforce conservation issues within a legally signed bipartite agreement
No, the private game reserves are free to set their own conservation policies, and they do. These policies also differ materially. For example, hunting is common in private reserves, but the policies vary widely between the reserves, as well as over time. Of those that allow trophy hunting, some have halted the hunting of big cats, for example. Then you get land owner hunting quotas, hunting for rations, etc. SANParks does not have any monitoring or enforcement rights. The law is (perhaps, hopefully) upheld by the provincial authorities of the provinces in which the private reserves are located. Helpfully, the Mpumalanga/Limpopo border cuts right through several of these private reserves.
The Makukele Contractual National Park is a different story. There is a contract between the landowners and SANParks, hence the term Contractual National Park. It is really fiendishly complicated, and the parties involved do not really see eye-to-eye, but the area concerned is officially part of the Kruger National Park. However, SANParks only has a limited say, and limited responsibilities. Furthermore, the contract stipulates that once the Makuleke community has the capacity and ability to take fully charge, they may do so. When that happens, SANParks will be completely out of the game.