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“Outstanding. Put Sabi Sabi on your must do list” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

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Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Sabi Sabi Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Outstanding. Put Sabi Sabi on your must do list”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

Stayed at Sabi Sabi in September 2011. Everything is perfect and the staff are just spectacular. It is clear that they want to be there and that they enjoy what they do. The rooms are massive complete with a seperate living area and a bathroom that you could park a family car in. The inside shower has a view through a full height window to the outside and the outside shower is a nice experience. The meals are fantastic made all the better by friendly and relaxed service. Absolutely nothing is too much trouble for the staff and management at Sabi Sabi. The safaris are exceptionally well conducted and all of the rangers and trackers have a great sense of humour and vast knowledge. I am sure they are all great at their jobs but Elliot and Richard just blow your mind with their ability and knowledge....get them if you can. We saw everything except Cheeta and wild dog but who cares. The lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, zebra, giraffe etc (the list is too long) were stunning. Many thanks to Laura, Jenna, Elliott, Richard and all the other staff for a great stay. This was an experience that will never be forgotten by us for all of the right reasons. When you stay at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge you feel like a part of the family. Just stop thinking about it and get on and book. You won't be sorry. It is the people here that make the difference.

Room Tip: Any room is great.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Laguna Beach, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

The other reviews have done an excellent job of accurately conveying the experience to be found at Bush Lodge so I'll try to add something different. As a caveat, this was my first safari so I have nothing else to compare to but can only opine a first impression.

Initially, the safari drive felt stage managed, what with the 270 roads criss-crossing the reserve and perhaps that is the case in any of the Africa parks. But then one is coming on safari to see the animals up close and unless one has the luxury of unlimited to time to wait for them to come to you, there is no other way to actually have those close encounters in a brief period. I soon realized, too, that there was nothing contrived about the animals, which were behaving in a natural fashion oblivious to the cruising human viewers- stalking, gathering, killing, eating. The jeeps were nothing more than a part of the landscape. And the encounters you will have are remarkable. To sit in the dark with a leopard roaring by the side of your jeep is a primeval experience where for a fleeting moment you can viscerally feel the predator-prey relationship. How about sitting quietly amidst a herd of elephants while they push down small trees, shower you with dirt, even put on a mock charge, or only feet away from a pride of ten cubs and eight lions; or watching a group of rhinos amble by within feet of your parked perch. These are just a few of the experiences one can expect at Sabi Sabi. After reading the other reviews, my only disappointment, as gruesome as this may sound, was not seeing any take-downs or confrontations witnessed by others. But that's nature. Sabi is not a play acted out on cue for the benefit of the human audience.

Don't MIss: The walking safari is not to be missed. It is a wholely different journey to have one's feet actually on the soil. As open aired as jeeps are, they do isolate you from the surroundings, whereas walking the bush puts you smack into life on the savannah, where the flora and tiny creatures come more into focus, where the sense of involvement with the whole panoply of surrounding life becomes more palpable and intense.

The Rangers: It seems each guest believes his or her Ranger is the best, which is the way it should be. I can only say that ours, BEN, could not have been better. His passion for his avocation was infectious and intense, possessed a wealth of knowledge and stories about the landscape and its denizens, large and small, plants, trees, soils, insects, and in particular birds which are in abundance even in the winter off-season. And, he fully recognized the value of silence, where one could hear the subtle sounds of the bush. I came away with the highest respect, admiration, and indeed envy, for the path he has chosen for his life and he enriched my experience beyond compare.

Accomodations: A few have griped that Bush Lodge seemed a little long in the tooth. I couldn't disagree more. If anything, it seemed a little too luxurious for a wildness experience, although that luxury soon was appreciated. The rooms were far more spacious and accomodating than expected, the public areas exceedingly comfortable and welcoming.

Food: First class all the way, both in its exotic offerings and diversity for all tastes. For someone who eats only one meal a day, it was often just too much, but then again, that's what happens on vacations.

Staff: Impeccably polite and helpful at all times, from top management down to the gardeners and service personnel. The top hotels in NYC, LA, London could take lessons from those Bush Lodge.

Bush Lodge gave me one of the great experiences of my life. My only regret is not staying far, far longer, to become part of the rhythm it and Sabi Sabi provide. My thanks to all there for creating such a memorable, indelible time.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hongkong
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights and had one of the most memorable family holidays of a lifetime. We were lucky to get a huge room with huge beds for both ourselves and our two children (6 & 8 yrs old) and enough bathroom amenities to last you weeks.

It was the little things that they provided that made the stay an experience to remember, ie. hot water bottles blankets on the safari's (it was cold), hot water bottles warming up your beds after you've come back from dinner, having the manager/s come and greet you like celebrities when you arrive, rangers phoning to ask what you and your family would like to drink on the drink stops on the safari's etc...there are so many to list!

We were extremely fortunate to have Calvin as our ranger....our children thought he was amazing and he included the children in all of the animal sightings, not only the big 5, but he's not turned our 8 year old into an avid bird watcher. The kids have a wildlife list from kids club and tick off each encounter with the animals or sightings of the birds and add up the points at the end - this makes for a very challenging safari when keeping an eye out for a bird that has hardly been seen before, but we must tick it off!! :-) His knowledge of all the animals and plants in the Kruger were incredible and had amazing stories to tell about them all which kept us all captivated. He was also extremely accommodating in letting us stay with whatever animals/birds for however long we wanted and had as much interest in watching them in their natural habitat as much as we did. Needless to say, the safari's were the highlight of your day/night and you literally count down the hours until you get to go out again.

We saw all the big 5 and had some sensational sightings including two leopards in a tree feasting on their kill, after following 3 rhino's to a waterhole, we were lucky to witness another 6 rhinos (including babies) come to the waterhole to drink, 3 male lions feeding on a buffalo with at least 30/40 hyena's and 20 vultures waiting near them to feast on the remains and so many more sightings that were so captivating we didn't want to leave any of them.

The food and service at the Bush Lodge was unbelievable - the Chef went out of his way to make sure our children enjoyed themselves as much and cooked up whatever their little hearts desired. The food was always extremely fresh and tasty and we got to try so many of the game meats that it was hard to choose a favourite.

The kids club, EleFun, was fantastic, especially the lovely teacher Ashley who went out of her way to give the kids lessons in nature, how to make toothbrushes/ear cleaners out of bushes and trees, which the kids excitingly showed us after our bush walk. Upon leaving the kids were presented with handprinted collaged sheets of paper with their names and dates of their stay at Sabi Sabi. These are now treasured and put into scrapbooks of their trip, it was such a wonderful touch !

We would highly recommend the Bush Lodge for families wishing to experience a safari type holiday and can't wait to return!

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The West
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

We stayed at the Bush lodge directly after two nights at the Earth Lodge. Unfortunately Bush Lodge felt worn out and dated. Our room was probably lovely at one time but is now missing the blinds that covered the large bathroom window. The eating area that is used for breakfast is dark and quite closed in especially with large families running back and forth to the buffet. The grounds are totally enclosed so all of those animals don't plow down the flower beds......hmmm ,I was there for the animals! Luckily our guide and tracker were fabulous. I tried to access the one computer on two different days to confirm airline reservations and the room was always being used for a meeting.

Room Tip: Don't stay in Room 22
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
creativenomad, Jacques Smit: Marketing Director - Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, responded to this review, August 5, 2011
Dear Austrianpine

Thank you for your review on Trip Advisor. We take all feedback extremely seriously and use the positive feedback as well as the constructive comments to assist us in maintaining our levels of standards and service. I do thank you for your positive feedback on our Ranger and Tracker team and I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the safaris.
I trust that your two nights at Earth Lodge were to your satisfaction? I will personally discuss your feedback on Bush Lodge with our Lodge Management and advise you of corrective measures we plan to take. Thank you for pointing out features that could be improved on - we will address each individually. We have just recently approved a WiFi solution to all our lodges which will assist with better internet access for all and allow for more connectivity at all our lodges for those requiring it. With regards to the fence around Bush Lodge – my apologies if you were informed that it is totally enclosed as it is in fact still open to smaller animals due to a three strand fence protecting the lodge / guests from roaming animals of such a size where limited space could be a threat. As Bush Lodge is a family friendly lodge we need to take precaution against possible threats such as elephant, rhino and buffalo. We frequently have bushbuck, warthog and nyala within the lodge grounds and elephants dust bathing in the river bed in front of the lodge within full view. Just this weekend we saw leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, kudu, zebra, impala - all at the water hole in front of Bush Lodge from the safety of our deck which is only 50metres away yet safe.

I trust that the above is in order and I would love to discuss this with you directly in order for us to grow our high level of service and standard.

Regards

Jacques Smit
Marketing Director - Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
336 helpful votes 336 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2011

Architecturally not the most attractive camp in the world and yet one of the most memorable of my "bush" trips.

The service is fantastic and the cuisine top notch! Friendly and attentive staff ensured that we wanted for nothing and got everything!!! Glasses were topped up appropriately and service was intuitive and effective. The cuisine was an eclectic fusion of worldly recipes with an African foundation... Delightful!

Accommodation is luxuriously comfortable and perfectly adequate. Large sumptuous bed, crisp white linen, air-conditioning, awesome en-suite and lovely deck. Suites are far enough apart to ensure privacy and solitude.

Game drives were amazing and the sighting of a leopard take down an impala right before our eyes will remain etched in my memory for eternity. Spectacular and remarkable!!!

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely.
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  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2011

Luxurious lodge, delicious cuisine, chef went the extra mile to cater for special requirements. Personal game ranger Jabu provided and entertaining and educational viewing experience - big 5 in 3 safari drives, including mating Leopards, pride of Lions with 9 cubs and a buffalo herd about 200 strong all at close range.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2011

Jabu is one of the best rangers by far. He has a bit of an attitude but he delivers.

Excellent experience.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

Address: Sabi Sabi Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bush Lodge is celebrated the world over for its warmth, vibrancy, 5-Star luxury and exceptional safaris. Huge wooden viewing decks overlook a busy waterhole; and each suite features sumptuous linens and fabrics, beautiful leather and wood furnishings, and an en-suite glass fronted bathroom with indoor and al-fresco shower leading onto a private patio. The lounge, bar, pool area and boma are all relaxing meeting places where stories are shared and friends made. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sabi Sabi Bush Hotel Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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