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“Excellent wildlife viewing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shishangeni Private Lodge

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Shishangeni Private Lodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Southern Kruger Park | south-eastern section, bordering Crocodile River to the south and Mozambique in the east, Kruger National Park 1340, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
99 hotel reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
“Excellent wildlife viewing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2011

This was my second time at Shishangeni Lodge within the last 18 months, and I enjoyed it both times. Our group decided to leave Maputo (Mozambique) for a weekend to do this two-hour drive across the border to Kruger NP. Shishangeni's major advantage to us was its proximity to Crocodile Gate, which is right after the border. Already when we drove toward the lodge from the Gate were we able to see an abundance of wildlife. This was topped during the evening and morning safaris when our guide (Simon) went out of his way to spot exciting animals and made it possible for us to see them close up, such as several lions, cheetahs, rhinos, hippos, and crocodiles.

We also enjoyed the accommodation in very stylish bungalows, as well as the excellent meals; the dinner around a fire was an atmospheric highlight. I would have awarded Shishangeni with a "5" rating were it not for some strange incidents that occurred during our safaris. Somebody went through my backpack in my bungalow (the backpack has a strange zipper and only closes in a particular way, which the intruder could not manage to do--although nothing was stolen) and another group member's room (she missed a bracelet). We informed the reception and do not know if anything happened afterward. But we do not allow these incidents to take away the overall good memories of our time at Shishangeni.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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129 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2011

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.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aldie, Virginia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

The best vacation I have ever had...... The safari was outstanding, the staff, food, lodging, and service were beyond my wildest dreams.... I can't wait to got back.... It was the best!!!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edmonton
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2011

This was our first of 3 lodges. Very friendly staff and the game viewing 2nd to none!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2011

We stayed 3 nights in early June, full board, 2 adults and 2 children 5 and 10.
Rooms were very spacious and luxurious with arm chairs, rugs, foot stools, lovely and very comfortable beds with mosquite nets. The rooms were a few steps along a board walk from the main building. The bathrooms had free standing baths that over looked the bush there was also an outdoor shower and all very private. There is a fridge, tea and coffee facilties and separate dressing area in the room. Food was good, some meals were buffet service, some table service and good outdoor boma one night and the bar prices were very reasonable. All in a nice open dining area overlooking the bush with comfortable sofas and an open fire was lit on cooler evenings. The children were made to feel very welcome and frequently disappeared with staff to the kitchens etc. Ursula and her team are superb, nothing was too much trouble, we were made to feel special. Victor our guide took us out in the open top Toyota vehicle, he is extremely knowledgeable about the game with a great sense of humour and agan brilliant with the kids, they were also very flexible with game drive times and the game drive picnics were great, and they have not had malaria in the area for some 8 years. They do some good deals 4 nights for 3 etc. I rate this place most highly and would recommend it and certainly go back again.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke, Virginia
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

We drove over to Kruger NP from Jo-berg for a weekend and couldn't have picked a better spot than Shishangeni Lodge. The lodge is beautiful and the staff is excellent. The food is also very good and exceeded my expectations. The menu was interesting and diverse (oxtail, ostrich). The game drives were very well done. The drivers are courteous and professional. We were able to see many different animals (4 of the Big Five) and the scenery is tremendous.

The only downside is that the gym facilities are very limited and you can't just go out and about for a run (unless you want to end up as dinner). But, those are minor in the context of an excellent weekend. I strongly recommend Shishangeni as a great place to stay in Kruger NP.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

This place was truely magnificant. The guided tours with Simon were not only beautiful, but also educational - he really went out of his way to make sure we didn't leave without having seen the big 5! Hotel service was really first class and comfortable. Beautiful outdoor private patio from where we were lucky enough to spot 2 elephant! My husband is usually not a morning person - but with those awesome game drives, he was more than willing to wake up at 5:30 every morning. Thank you to Shishangeni for a truely amazing african experience - as a local, this trip made me appreciate the beauty + splender of our country. :-)

Room Tip: Room no. 16 has a great private patio!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shishangeni Private Lodge

Address: Southern Kruger Park | south-eastern section, bordering Crocodile River to the south and Mozambique in the east, Kruger National Park 1340, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #101 of 144 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Shishangeni Private Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 22
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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