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“Bucket List Caliber Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve

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Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve
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P O Box 781854, Kruger National Park 2146, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Bucket List Caliber Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

My wife and I spent 4 nights at Chitwa in early June 2012. It was one of the best travel experiences of our lives. We were in Room 1 with a great lake view and a short walk to the dining area. From the back deck of all the rooms, you can watch as Elephants, Hippos, Warthogs, Water Buffalo, Giraffes (although not on our trip), zebras, monkeys and a huge variety of antelope/deer come down and graze and drink from the lake.

Our guide (Rex) was very informative and a lot of fun on the twice daily game drives. During 8 game drives, we saw the following:
Elephants 30+
Lions 20+
Leopards ~10 (including 2 mating and 1 eating his kill in a tree)
Water Buffalo ~10
Rhino 4
Zebras 50+
Giraffes 10+
Impala 200-300
Kudo 100-200
Waterbuck 100+
Other antelope species 100+
Hippos 10+
Crocs 2
Wildebeest 20+
Hyenas 2
Jackal 1
Mongoose and other small critters -- numerous

Photos taken from 10-15 feet or less of most of the big 5.

As others have said, the dining experience is terrific. The seafood wasn't the greatest, but the beef, chicken, lamb, soups, breakfast, sausages, veggies were all terrific.

The only ding on the place...we occasionally had an odd odor in bathroom from time to time in Room 1. But that's partially on us for bringing it to management's attention.

As I told management, the only things I would change would be:
1. Private plunge pools should be heated
2. The selection of wines by the glass should be more varied

If there was an option to give this place 6 stars, I would.

Room Tip: The rooms further away from the dining area have a little better view of wildlife. However, the walk...
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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318 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    298
    13
    6
    1
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (74)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Poole, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012

This is the ideal honeymoon (or any other luxury holiday) location. The suites are beautifully designed by one of the owners, are pure luxury and have private decks with plunge pools. The staff could not do more for you, will know you all by name and make you feel like friends (it is only a small Lodge with 10 suites). The safari is awesome and the Guides/Trackers are excellent and very knowledgeable. The food is out of this world and everything at the Lodge is reasonably priced. This is by far the best and is well worth a visit. It was our honeymoon and first safari and we couldn't have asked for a better start to married life!

Room Tip: They are all amazing. We stayed in Suite 1.
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

We just returned from Chitwa Chitwa where our family of 4 spent 3 splendid days at Chitwa. The property and staff are simply exquisite. We had the distinct pleasure of meeting the owner who has put her personal artistic stamp on the property. Maria is wonderful and her attention to details and pride she and her family and staff take in your experience is extraoridnary.

The facility was rebuilt following a fire in 2009 and shows as a new property. We encountered no issues whatsoever. The art, furnishings and general finish out are outstanding. Service was beyond reproach. The Charslysuite is exquisite with lake front views and private pool. The change of dinner venue and seating pairings each evening was a welcomed chance to enjoy different settings and company.

Our guide, tracker and service staff were all attentive. I have to acknowledge out guide, Tristan, was not only extraordinary in his command of information, but especially indulgent on teaching photography tips to those that care for them. His attention to our children and the overall flow of our drives were exactly what we would expect from a top tier lodge like Chitwa.

I have to confess, we looked hard at Singita which has a well earned reputation. However, Chitwa gives up very little (perhaps alcohol being extra, etc.) to Singita and the price difference is not insignificant.

I could go on and on. Do yourself a favor, go spend sometime at Chitwa Chitwa, you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: Charlsy suite is perfect for families where luxury,privacy and security are essential. The house is...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

nowhere on earth like it - really. The animals, the air, the smells - and the food! Did you know that S.A. produces an enourmous amount of vegetables, including avocadoes? Incredible cuisine and WINE! Love the reds and I live in Italy so I'm spoiled!
Our ranger was from Cape Town and was just a doll. We had safaris every day for a week, 5 am bugle! Seeing the wildlife even though they're on a reserve (so humans won't kill them all off!) is totally humbling. You never look at another animal in the same way.
Sorry no pictures, I had an old SLR that took great shots but only printed them and lost negatives in a move. Went in 2003, am sure that in 10 years nothing has changed.

Room Tip: Choose a bungalow with full bathroom and close to the dining area. Rangers excort you back to bed a...
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  • Stayed March 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

There's really not much else to say! We had the most incredible tine at Chitwa Chitwa. Every single person on the staff knew our name, and they were all so helpful, accomodating, and interesting. Raxon, our amazing guide, and Moses, our incredibe tracker, deserve a special mention -- they made our whole stay worthwhile. We saw the first leopard the camp had seen in 5 days on our first game drive, as well as lions and elephants. Raxon let us watch the leopard for a long time before he radioed to the other vehicles aout her -- it was a truly amazing experience. We saw the Big 5 many times over as well as many lesser animals that were incredible too. The amount of sightings we had in comparison to the other lodges we went to was incomparable!! We saw so much more here.

Raxon took us to his and Moses' hometown and introduced us to his family and showed us around the village, which was so touching. It's incredible all the things he's doing to support his village! This cannot be missed.

The rooms are also fantastic -- very modern and tastefully decorated while keeping with the African style, as well as free WiFi and a free, all-access minibar.

Not to mention the food is fantastic and the iced coffee is simply divine! You can't make a bad choice by coming here!!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 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.
Paris
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

These few lines couldn't even tell you the beginning of the dream come true we lived in this lodge. Perfect is a word that could only be created to describe it. The lodge, the display, the staff, the meals, the safaris....everything was way beyond all you can imagine.... The most exclusive experience we could have dreamt of. A honeymoon it was, let's say it's the most beautiful way to celebrate our union, thank you everyone there !!!!

  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kunming, China
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

The guides were great, and the hotel is awesome too. Our rooms were spacious and nice, and the service was amazing.

Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Additional Information about Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve

Address: P O Box 781854, Kruger National Park 2146, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 40 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Originally a private retreat of the Brink family, Chitwa Chitwa was transformed by Charl into an oasis of conservation and harmony. His dedicated holistic approach and wise land management are aimed at the handing of an uncontaminated African paradise to the future generations. In 1991 Charl and Maria Brink created Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge, today a jewel of South African hospitality and an emblem of the savannas most authentic and refined luxury. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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