We arrived to a friendly welcome, and were shown to a lovely room - all living up to expectation. Our ranger, Leonard, was friendly and made us feel at home as soon as we departed on our first game drive.
To our surprise there was no tracker with the vehicle - and no rifle. Recent poaching in Kruger has apparently necessitated this change - but we felt this totally changed the experience - unfortunately for the worse.
I've experienced private lodges at Sabi Sand before, and the tracker plays a huge role in identifying spoor, and tracking game. So much is lost without his services, and the night drive is an impossibility for the poor ranger who has to drive in the dark, pan a torch left and right, and try to spot game. It just wasn't going to happen - and it didn't. We saw almost nothing in the dark apart from the odd game a guest spotted.
During the daylight drives we did see Cheetah - which were awesome - and plenty of rhino, elephant, hippo, crocs, buffalo, giraffe, impala, etc.
But, in 3 days, no lion and no leopard. But it's the wild - and that's how it goes.
The service at the lodge was great - friendly assistance and nothing was too much trouble.
However, the food was aweful. I'm not fussy - but it was really terrible, with some dishes being inedible - and the deserts being a joke.
Other guests we shared a vehicle with from Europe and the USA also complained that the food was diabolical. Sorry Shishangeni - for a private game lodge you should be ashamed.
Even the Boma dinner, which was a lovely setting, was a disappointment as the meat was tough, the salads plain, and the desert inedible.
I would not recommend Shishangeni to others, and even though I paid a last minute discounted rate I felt I didn't get value. I felt sorry for the international visitors for whom this experience was that first, and possibly their last safari experience. There is so much other choice out there that knocks the socks off Shishangeni.
Pick one of the private lodges at Sabi Sand - the game is incredible, the lodges are world-class, and the food is something special.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- There is a place in Africa where legends are bornShishangeni comprises of three camps to choose from Shishangeni Private Lodge, Camp Shonga and Camp Shawu. Each of the three adding a different experience to the visitor. The Lodge offers big five game viewing, superior service, excellent cuisine, and the best accommodation in Southern Africa. The emphasis of all three of our camps is on nature without losing the luxury and superior service our guests are accustomed to. We are striving to create the optimum balance between people and their environments, while having an absolute minimal impact on the neighbouring habitat. ... more less
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