Just getting back from our Safari in South Africa. Our first stay was at Cheetah Plains and we were beyond pleased with the place. They've just completed a remodel (I've been following their Facebook page for the past few months) and everything looked great.
The lodge area is beautiful, with a bar and stools, along with other very comfy lounge furniture. I spent most afternoons here, resting from the morning drives and sipping on a coke or a nice glass of wine. Wifi worked great so I was able to load up pics to my Facebook and share with family back home.
The rooms are very nice; beds are super comfortable. Sleep was not a problem. Rooms were clean; they have on-demand hot water tanks in each room that ensured everyone got that much needed hot shower after game drives. Our rooms were serviced each morning and we had bed turn-down in the evenings. Our clothes were washed - we'd leave in the morning and in the evening, they were left on our beds, pressed and folded. This at no charge.
Game drives with Justin were FANTASTIC! We saw the two brother Cheetah's the very first afternoon! After the boys went their way, we all prepared to start off again...only to look up and see a herd of elephants coming our way! Moms and babies! I got some great pictures and learned so much about the animals from Justin. Very fun and educational. We met Andrew, the other guide, and he is an absolutely wonderful man. He and my husband enjoyed several conversations at the dinner table!
As for the complaints about the "no bush walks," this is true but we were well aware of this before we arrived. We have followed this thread, along with their Facebook page. Bush walks will resume at Cheetah Plains but NOT until the government gives them the proper licensing to do Bush walks. In order to do Bush walks, you MUST carry a weapon. In order to carry that weapon, you MUST have the proper licensing from the government. Cheetah Plains has done everything necessary to get that licensing; now they must wait on the government. As we did a Bush walk at another lodge, it wasn't a big thing for us. And because Justin got us "right up in the animals," even if we hadn't done a Bush walk, we were extremely satisfied with the animal interaction we had. We were able to see everything except the Leopard, along with a lot of the "middle" five. :-)
Food at Cheetah Plains is, simply put, delicious. The two Chefs there are locals and really do a good job of putting some top notch dishes on the table. Chef Eunice has a Butternut Soup recipe that is to "kill for." I actually got her to give me the recipe!
The service at Cheetah Plains is nothing less than excellent. We had a young couple with us who had a mid-morning departure. They would have had to miss morning ride but Justin got with us and okayed a plan to return to camp by 9am to drop them off and then we headed back out. A few days later, they did the same for us....even had our breakfast made early!
One of the most interesting things we did here was actual "tracking" of a Lion. Justin would follow the prints and explain what was going on, how he knew the prints were fresh, etc. Between him and Andrew, they were able to find the Pride of Lions!
Leaving Cheetah Plains was very difficult.....we had a very good experience and wonderful bonding with the staff. We left with new friends. I sure hope, when we return to South Africa next year, we can at least come to spend one night here and see our dear friends again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cheetah Plains is a small, authentic bush camp in the world renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, with 500 hectares of privately owned land & another 8000 hectares of additional traversing - you can be assured of exceptional game viewing - especially leopard and the rest of the "big 5". Cheetah Plains has only 8 traditionally thatched rooms - set amongst indigenous gardens - creating a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.We focus on freshly produced meals in wonderful surroundings - complimenting the friendly and attentive service from all at Cheetah Plains. We look forward to welcoming you to our special bush home. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Cheetah Plains South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve