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“Holiday /safari” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge

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Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Pilanesberg Game Reserve, Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Holiday /safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

Luxurious lodgings, amazing views, great staff and delicious and varied food set in various locations; had the most informative guide Greg and only had to share our jeep; once. Could not recommend it highly enough.
Not recommended for young children but fine for our 7, 13 and 14 yr olds; pool and spa.
Copious amounts of food!

Room Tip: Choose one of the lodges! (There are only lodges!) Pretty expensive but so worth it. My children s...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra S, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
Thank you for the great review!

We are so pleased that you loved your stay here with us and I will definitely commend Greg for ensuring that your game drive experience was great and Chef Neroy is delighted that you enjoyed her team's food!

We hope to host you and your family again in the near future!
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205 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
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Sneads Ferry, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

If you want the experience of a lifetime you must include a trip to this amazing place. It all begins the minute you arrive. Everything about the place is explained to you then you are escorted to a wonderful lunch. The rooms are beautiful, with a soaking tub and outdoor shower. We had a terrific game ranger, Mike, who was knowledgeable and an excellent driver(the roads were very rough due to recent rains). We spent two nights at the lodge and have nothing but wonderful memories. The staff was friendly, the food was very good and we saw many animals.

Room Tip: If you have a lower number room you will be able to walk to the lodge, otherwise you will have to ca...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Sandra S, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
Thank you so much for your lovely review!

We are all very pleased that you had a great stay with us and especially that you had a terrific game drive experience with Mike! The Pilanesberg is such a beautiful reserve and we sincerely hope to welcome you back!

Warm regards,
The Shepherd's Tree Team!
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

My husband and I stayed the for 2 days and one night at Shepherds Tree Bush Lodge for a wedding which booked out the whole lodge.

Apart from the dreadful rain (it rained almost non stop, but this did not stop us and all the other guests from having a superlative-filled time!).

We drove from Johannesburg and it took about 2 hours. We did get a bit lost as the GPS co ordinates provided did not seem to match what the road signs were telling us. The bride was very stressed when we got there 1 hr 30 mins late for lunch (but brides always stress out a bit, don't they??), I think this was more the GPS's fault... However, perhaps it is worth checking your planned route there if you do not want to be pressed for time.

When we finally arrived we were greeted very warmly, our bags were labelled very carefully and are car driven to the car park safely. The entire staff turned out to sing and serenade the bride to the wedding venue. It did bring a lump to the throat. Shepherd's Tree; you guys have some awesome sets of lungs there!

Check in process went on with out any problems and was done in 15 minutes, despite reception being clogged up with the variable chaotic mess of relatives meeting and greeting. Our bags were carefully labelled and were whisked away to our rooms on a golf cart.

We were then shown to the lunch room (even though we were 2 hours late!) they still served us lunch with a smile. We had a lovely salad as starters and a Chinese beef stir fry which was a bit sweet for me, but my husband loved it. Desert was a wide variety of things, I didn't have any as I was too full, but husband again, obliged and ate mine, smacking his lips all the way through. It must have been good! Tea and coffee were also served very politely and with class.
The service during lunch was quiet and attentive, even though they soon had to get the entire area seated for 60 persons as the wedding could not take place outside as planned. It rained HARD the whole time we were there and dashed the hopes of the bride to have an outside wedding. A terrible pity as we did see the area where weddings take place and it seems to come out of a fairy tale!

ROOM/S
Room itself is a made up of two rooms, first the bedroom and the the bathroom. The bathroom was almost the same size of the bedroom! Enormous bath tub and outdoor shower with panoramic views of Pilanesburg. The bed was at least a super king size! Sheets, pillows, throws, carpets, curtains were all spick and span and cleaned to a high standard. There was no dust or dirt to be seen anywhere. I commend your house keeping!
I really loved the bath tun, two people could fit in there easily (and we are not exactly small people, he he he). We would have loved to use the outdoor shower, however, the rain put a stop to that wishful thinking. I can truly appreciate how lovely it must be to use it when the sun is out and it is 40C.
The rooms that are further away are not really a convenient walk (although I admit I wouldn't have minded walking if it wasn't raining so much!) However, there are numerous golf karts and a small pick up truck to take you to and fro. Sometimes we had to wait a little while as they were so busy, but we didn't mind!

FOOD
Our first lunch is described above.
The wedding food was splendid. I had Springbok carpaccio which was utter perfection! My main course was Kudu fillet, this was slightly tough. However, I am used to eating game/venison and it is normal to have some toughness when comparing to beef. It in no way detracted from the full flavours and depth of the meal as a whole. The accompanying vegetables were perfectly al dente. Wine selection was of the best quality and complimented the food admirably. Again, I had no dessert (apart from wedding cake). And again husband obliged, still smacking his lips the whole way through. I envied him.

WEDDING VENUE
We had the wedding ceremony in a smaller room very close to the wedding reception. It was not as nice as having the wedding outdoors, but due to the terrible weather and horrible fine mist that clung to everything there was no other choice! However, the staff and wedding organiser at Shepherd's Tree must be a magician: the ceremony, flowers, seating, microphones, photographer etc etc was organised within a matter of hours of the bride deciding to have it indoors instead of out.

Then reception was also set up for 60 people at lightening speed in the same room we all had lunch in (despite us being there 2 hours late and at least an hour for lunch). I privately, had reservations that it would be set up so expertly in the short time frame given, however, it was done along with all of the myriad of small touches that make a wedding, a wedding! Well done!

STAFF
I am so sorry that I cannot remember more of the staff's names, however, one gentleman stood out to mind very clearly as he was just absolutely fantastic! His name is Chris and he was working behind the bar most of the night. It was simply magic to watch him work, a very hard working and charming character!
Yet, every single staff member we spoke to or had dealings with was polite, neat and knowledgeable.

SPA&POOL
Did not have time for the spa, big regret. Pool ---> It rained, rained, rained!

GAME DRIVES
We went on two game drives and they were good despite the ghastly weather! The first one was quite short as we were so late and the roads were in a dreadful state from soil erosion and the rain, but we still managed to see 3 rhino. Not a lot besides some blue wildebeest, impala and blesbok. There was quite a bit of bird life. Living in London, this is still a paradise!
The second game drive was set for 'the morning after the night before' which was quite funny as out of 60 people only 5 turned up. 1 of them actually didn't count they were so hang over (maybe even still drunk...). This second game drive we saw a bit more, a black backed jackal with a big fat hare in his mouth (never seen that before!). There was more rhino (4 of them very close). Wildebeest herd with some calves that were only a few weeks old (umbilical cords still attached to stomach). Then we saw a baby hippo, the game ranger said that it wasn't there 2 days ago so he hazarded a guess it was a few days old. We did not seen much other than that as the heavens opened up with more force than ever before and we beat a hasty retreat back to the load. We were pretty dry underneath the canopy of the game vehicle, however, the driver and the guide were sodden! Poor them! (Sorry I cannot remember your names, otherwise I would post it here so you would be honoured for your bravery! he he he).

Negatives: The only bad thing was that my husbands key card did not work when he tried to open the room. That was it. And the rain (but that is not any one's fault).

I truly hope that you consider to go to Shepherd's Tree game lodge, it is a beautiful piece of Africa and we do hope to return soon some day and enjoy it with out the rain, rain, rain.

The staff are amazing. The venue is amazing. The food. The animals. All of it.

Go and see it for your self!

... just maybe take an umbrella. :op

Room Tip: If you do not want to walk too far from your reception and room, ask for a room closer to the main r...
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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.
Sandra S, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
Thank you so much for your detailed review!

We will definitely never forget this wedding - it was incredible! Despite the rain, all the bride and groom's guests quickly set the mood for festivities suitable to this occasion! Chris is a fantastic barman with a persona to go with it - and he loved reading your review - in fact the entire team did!

We appreciate all the kind words and now that the rain has stopped - hope to welcome you back!

Warm regards,
The Shepherd's Tree Team!
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

My wife and I had the privilege of spending two nights at this fantastic lodge. It was awesome!
The staff are friendly, the service is good and the food is great. The game drives were great. This reserve has a large number of animals and a great variety too. Our game ranger was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour. We really enjoyed our stay. Thank you to Sandra and your staff for making it special.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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
    • 4 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.
Sandra S, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this review, April 12, 2014
Thank you so much for your wonderful review!

It was a pleasure hosting you both and we hope to share the magic of the Pilanesberg and our beautiful lodge with you again soon!

Warm regards,
The Shepherd's Tree Team!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

Although a bit pricy, this lodge is worth the money. The staff is always there to help you, the reception is great, the units are amazing and the food is fantastic. Considering everything is all inclusive the price is really good for what you get. We really liked the open showers, having an awesome view of the park while still being private

Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra S, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this review, May 4, 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a great review - we are so pleased that you loved your stay with us - especially those invigorating outdoor showers!

We hope to welcome you back one day soon!

Warm regards,
The Shepherd's Tree Team!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paso Robles, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

Shepherd's Tree was the highlight of our trip.Outstanding service. Our safari guide Nikki is amazing-very informative and lots o fun. Chris the bar manager another favorite,lots of fun. Everyone was welcoming-we had the jr. suite, great room. Love the outdoor shower.Everything done well -awesome location, good weather, great people. So much to see and we got alot in in the four days we were there.Not so many guests that you don't feel that your being rushed for anything. Perfect getaway for anyone looking for adventure. I would definitely would reccomend Shepherd's Tree to anyone going to SA and I would definitely go back. Totally all I was looking for and more. Thank You all

Room Tip: All the rooms are quite comfortable- we had the Jr. Suite which had everything and more (steam showe...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
Sandra S, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Thank you for your amazing review! We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and especially that you loved the "Nicky experience" - and the fun way in which Chris manages his bar! They really are both assets to Shepherd's Tree and we look forward to welcoming you back - hopefully soon!
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Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Two hours away from the hustle of Jo'burg lies the safari haven Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge in the heart of Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Arrived on a Saturday afternoon for a 2-day stay with my partner. We were welcomed with a smile, drinks, cold towel and detailed overview of our schedule thereafter taken to our room beautifully designed, spacious, modern suite with a balcony...I mostly loved the outside shower idea, something different-lovely experience. The meal times are set by the lodge and the menu varies daily although they have a very limited variety, one is left with limited options for meal times and food served. The food is tasty though. Had an exhilarating Game drive in search of the BIG 5, had a stop along the way where you have snacks and drinks by the lake where you get to see the fish which was lovely!!! Our ranger was very knowledgeable and friendly...Thank you so much for a great 1st time safari experience. Will definitely do it again. We rapped up our weekend stay with a relaxing couples treatment from Amani Spa, excellent service we received from the staff. Memories I sure hold dear were made. I would gladly recommend Shepherd's Tree Lodge to anyone, beautiful safari experience the modern way. Excellent service from staff members and management...Thank you all!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge

Address: Pilanesberg Game Reserve, Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Pilanesberg National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Pilanesberg National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Skirting the northern slopes of an amphitheatre within the Pilanesberg Game Reserve lies Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge, the lodge enjoys unrestricted vistas of the wilderness area of this big 5 wildlife sanctuary. Sweeping patios and sun decks adjoin the generous guest entertainment areas and rim-flow swimming pool. A gourmet restaurant, open entertainment decks, cigar lounge and gift gallery are amongst some of the facilities that discerning guests will find during their African safari. The lodge also includes a conference facility and Amani Spa. Attention to detail extends beyond the pleasure of your hosts, and is perhaps only rivaled by the contemporary cuisine, freshly prepared by dedicated chefs. Shepherd’s Tree features 13 double and 4 executive suites accommodating a maximum of 60 guests. Absolute privacy is ensures through the linear positioning of the suites along an elevated contour line, and providing panoramic vistas of the reserve. Each chalet features full en-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar and safe. Whilst some of our guests will find proximity to the Sun City complex appealing, most of our guests are at Shepherd’s Tree for the thrill and excitement of big game viewing from the comfort of our custom built game viewers. Qualified and experienced guides are tasked with the pleasure of interpreting the sights and sounds of this vast wildlife sanctuary. The reserve is home to the big 5 and cheetah, wild dogs and hippo. Guests are encouraged to join their guide and host on 2 daily safaris, designed around optimal game activity periods, these occur in the early morning and in the late afternoon and evening, the afternoon safari is punctuated by a sundowner stop before continuing into the night with the use of a powerful spotlight. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shepherd`s Tree Game Hotel Pilanesberg National Park

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