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“Fantastic!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation

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Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation
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72 kms from Jozini, Tembe Elephant Park, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Brazil
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Fantastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

Me and my husband spent 3 nights there and it was much better than we had anticipated (even with all the excellent reviews). All the staff was super friendly and helpful, the atmosphere was great, the food was delicious, the accommodation was comfortable and lovely, Vusi (our guide) was very knowledgeable and fun, we had many close encounters with elephants (which was brilliant!)... in a nutshell it was a fantastic experience. We definitely recommend staying there and hope to visit again soon.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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Normandy
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

I have been lucky enough to experience tented camps/lodges in Kenya, Tanzania & Botswana and several that are way more luxurious than TEMBE, I have never stayed in one that truly exudes REAL AFRICA whilst offering every comfort.

As all great hotels & restaurants it is the staff & service that makes the place and TEMBE does not disappoint.

Wonderful game drives with the very knowledgeable and erudite, Tom, the camp Manager.

Superb service from the delightful girls who "man" the reception, bar and restaurant.

The perfectly acceptable food and the thrill of ISILO (a huge tusker) feeding next to ones tent in the middle of the night made our stay a wonderful experience

Two night was not enough and I have to return as this place is heaven.

Room Tip: Chose the SUNI tent - they are the least expensive but very comfortable & well equipped
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We took some international guests to Tembe and even we were blown away by the experience. We spent 4 nights there which was probably enough for us, but not the international guests. The game drives were fantastic because our guide (Vusi the Unflappable) was outgoing and very knowledgeable, and tracked a leopard for a rare sighting, faced down a threatening elephant, and calmly watched while two rhinos charged close to our vehicle.
The staff at the Lodge are warm and friendly and will open up if you start chatting to them. Their overall attitude goes a long way to making this a supremely enjoyable holiday.
The food was plentiful and sufficiently varied, although I would have preferred a few more healthy options at times. The tented rooms could probably be spruced up a bit but this is a minor niggle in the overall experience.

Room Tip: You are in your room for so short a time that upgrading may not be worth it.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

I can't compare Tembe with anywhere else I have ever stayed, it is fantastic. The park and lodge are run by the local Tembe tribe people who are exceptionally friendly and welcoming. Accomodation is in tented rooms which are actually quite comfortable and well appointed. Outside of the summer months I could see these being cold at night though. Elephants often come to visit in the night time and come within a few metres of the tents!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included and of a high standard. The game drives are very good with excellent drivers and the best range of game I have come across so far. I would certainly like to visit again.

Room Tip: The luxury safari tents are very good - under Matriarch Suite on the website.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fairford, Glos
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Visited in Feb 2012. We spent 4 nights here and enjoyed every minute, very warm and enthusiastic welcome from staff. Tented rooms are very roomy and have everything you need, with en-suite bathroom and outside seating area. Food is fairly basic but very tasty and is a nice break from rich food. Game drives were excellent, wide variety of habitats and wildlife with elephants obviously being the highlight. The lodge is staffed and managed by the local community and they make a real effort to make sure your stay is an enjoyable one. Will definitely return one day.

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Tembe reserve exceeded all of our expectations! My husband and I spent two nights at the lodge, the rate is extremely reasonable, especially as it includes meals and game drives.

The accommodation was not five star luxury but it is very comfortable and certainly more than adequate. The staff on the other hand have five star attitudes, they are always smiling, more than happy to help and incredibly humble.

The reserve has the big five and during our stay we saw everything but leopard. Our guide was knowledgable and enthusiastic, often sharing tribal traditions and tales about the various animals. We were also fortunate to see isilo -the biggest tusker in Africa.

We found Tembe very relaxing and will definitely create an opportunity to return.

Tembe is ideally located for a bush and beach holiday, we spent some time in southern Mozambique before heading to tembe. A highly recommended trip.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
South Africa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

My husband and I went to Tembe for a romantic weekend in the bush. I was so impressed with the value for money this place offered - it is honestly like being in a private game reserve, with your own open game vehicles and very knowledgeable and passionate guides (but at a quarter of the price).

The staff were friendly and helpful, which is not usual in KZN in my opinion. The food was above average, with some very good meals and the portion sizes perfect. The wine list could have been a bit better and they could have offered a few more goodies at the shop i.e. snacks like biltong, dried fruit and chocolates to take on your game drives.

As well as the usual we were lucky enough to view lions, rhinos, buffaloes, wildebeests, birds of prey and we also tracked the wild dogs which was exciting. The highlight though was the interaction with the Elephants - to have these incredible, enormous animals within a meter of the game viewing vehicle was out of this world...I think our guide was "whispering" to them - he honestly had an amazing rapport with the Elephants! Another experience of his "feel" for the bush, was when we had stopped, for a cup of coffee and a rusk and had all climbed out of the vehicle to stretch our legs...my husband ventured off a little, as nature called. The next thing the guide is calling us all back into the vehicle as he thinks there is a lion. We jumped in, drove around the corner and there was a lioness 20m away from where my husband had been standing!!

The accommodation is in luxury tents (i.e large tents built onto a platform), which are comfy and clean and more than comfortable. However, I'm into interiors and feel they could be "Zhoozshed" up a bit with not too much effort. The walk to the room was fabulous though, as you walk right past antelope grazing, so if you sit quietly on your verandah, reading your book sipping your drink, who know what might surprise you!

All in all a "real" big 5 must do experience!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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 Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation

Address: 72 kms from Jozini, Tembe Elephant Park, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Tembe Elephant Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Tembe Elephant Park
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
National Park ... more   less 

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