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“as good as it gets” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve

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Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve
P O Box 781854, Kruger National Park 2146, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Murwillumbah, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“as good as it gets”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

Our main focus on safari trips are the animals. To this end Chitwa Chitwa is outstanding. We were fortunate enough to have a guide, Rexon, whose family have lived in the area for generations. His knowledge not only of the animals but also the history of the reserve was superb. We arrived just in time for the afternoon safari and by dusk had already witnessed the Big 5 close up.. Over the next the next three days the sitings were spectacular culminating in a herd of 120 buffalo being stampeded by two lionesses only to be turned back by the two old male buffalo in the herd
The lodge itself is jaw-dropping. Our particular lodge was set on the lake, with a huge deck and plunge pool, from which we enjoyed the 20 hippos that are resident in the lake and a passing parade of Impala, Kudu and a staggering variety of birds and other wild animals.
The managers, Leon and Claudia, operate under the " your wish is my command" maxim and the lodge staff and food were exceptional.
Chitwa Chitwa is the benchmark by which we will judge all past and future holidays.
Chitwa Chitwa is truly an unforgettable experience

Lori and Tony. Dum Dum, New South Wales, Australia

Room Tip: All the lodges are spectacular.
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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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238 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (50)
Date | Rating
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English first
Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

Just returned from a trip to ZA having stayed 3 nights at Chitwa Chitwa. We have stayed at several game lodges before and our expectations were high but Chitwa Chitwa surpassed everything. The best game viewing we have experienced, the lodge is wonderful and the staff couldn't be better.
I also managed to leave my jacket on the jeep before catching the flight home and the team at Chitwa are arranging to have it shipped back....superb.
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

After much research to find the right game lodge for our holiday, we selected Chitwa Chitwa. I am speechless to describe our experience adequately. As a world traveler, I have never experienced anything quite like this. Leon and Claudia ensured the very best customer service available. Their attention to every detail and the personalisation of the service left us in awe!

Hali and Moses were our Ranger and Tracker. Their skill to find animals was amazing. They were extremely knowledgable and most of all we felt safe with them. Many times we were face to face with some very dangerous animals, we even went for a bush walk with Hali, and at no time did I feel our safety was jeopardised.

I rarely go back to a place that I've visited simply because I want to see and experience different adventures; however, this is one that we will do again. Thank you Leon, Claudia and team for the most memorable holiday we have ever had.

Stayed May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Asker, Norway
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

We celebrated our good friend's 50th birthday (cheers Per Gunnar!) by going on a safari trip to Chitwa Chitwa, and arrived in the afternoon of May 1st. We were welcomed by Leon at the airstrip and immediately met a road block in the form of a Rhino! And the Wild life experience just continued during our stay. What a magnificent place and hospitable management and staff! Claudia and Leon are the perfect hosts, and to make our game drives a memory for life we got Surprise as ranger and Howard as tracker. They are the best team in their job, no doubt. Being 6 people in our group we got our own Land Rover, and each of us got the best possible view from the car. And what a view! We saw the big seven, and many more. We even got to witness a lion kill an Impala, and heard the sound of it eating the poor thing. Awesome!
The food on Chitwa Chitwa is gourmet style and very good, and Dinho (the sommelier) gave excellent advice regarding wines.

Once again we have to thank Claudia and Leon and their team for making this a true memory for life.

  • Stayed May 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

It's very possible Chitwa Chitwa will leave you speechless - that's the effect it had on us, and it didn't diminish over the 4 nights of our stay. In short (as this is now a rather long piece), an incredible and never to be forgotten experience that was the best part of our trip.
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From our pick up at the air strip about a 30 minute drive away, where we were greeted with warm smiles, cold flannels and water. Until the final farewell from the whole team and bag breakfasts due to our pre-breakfast departure, everyone on the team was wonderful. Every person we met was welcoming, superbly organised and doing all they could to make our stay joyful and memorable.
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On our game drives there were never more than 6 guests in the Land Rover, and one morning just 3 of us. Our Ranger/Tracker team was Neil and Rodney, who were fantastic. So knowledgeable, amenable to questions of any level, and - the money maker - very, very good at finding animals! I was particularly touched by their successful efforts to seek out a 'missing' or favourite creature for all the guests who left over the course of our stay. Thanks to their efforts we saw a daily leopard, and got our Big 5 - seeing the famous four alpha lions on our final drive.
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The lakeside location of the lodge is dreamy, with a huge decked area to savour the views, sounds and smells of the veld. Hippos and crocodiles were seen daily, and many more birds and bucks made an appearance. We didn't use the pool but Leon (along with Claudia, the lodge's General Manager) had got it to 'just the right shade of blue', and it was certainly an appealing azure.
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Our room was spectacular - more like a barn conversion than a mere room. The bed was enormous, superbly comfortable, and shrouded in a regal looking mozzie net. Outdoor shower that you can enjoy without fear of being overlooked, and an indoor version in case it's raining. Lounge area, table, desk, huge bathroom, gorgeous decoration and details.
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A quick aside about mosquitoes. We didn't see any, and we certainly didn't get any bites. We took anti-malarial drugs and completed the course, but apparently it's not really a malarial area. A decision for you and your medical advisors, but on any future trips we will certainly ask more questions locally before making our decision to take the tablets.
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So, our abode, room 11 - only Yvonne is brave enough to do the housekeeping (and a beautiful job she does), which we thought was fun - what are the other ladies hiding from? And then we had a green water snake visit, and a water buck, and woke up from a snooze one day to a leopard having his own snooze on our deck. Yes, a leopard on our deck - talk about really seeing nature up close! That was a breathtaking moment.
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The important thing is, these are wild animals and when he saw us through the window the leopard ran away - he wouldn't have come up to the deck if we had been out there. Also, that particular snake is non-venomous and Neil had said earlier that day it's very rare to see a snake at all. So I count that as marvellous luck, although husband resolutely disagrees!
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The food at the lodge was all delicious, the extensive breakfast served at the edge of the lake, multicourse lunches, afternoon tea and supper. There was always a tough choice between the options, with a mix of local specialities and meats, alongside favourites such as pasta and steak. We had a different setting for each evening meal, from dining under the stars wrapped in blankets, to a braai in the boma, and finishing with a private table in the library with some fizz to celebrate our honeymoon.
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At Chitwa there is a danger you will be literally spoiled for choice, as no future holiday will manage to have quite the same impact!

Room Tip: We had room 11 - right at the end - and it was popular with the wildlife! I have never seen a room s...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

We stayed at Chitwa Chitwa for 3 nights, and it was absolutely wonderful. The managers, Claudia and Leon, are incredibly welcoming and make a great effort to get to know their guests. The rooms and grounds are gorgeous. Over the course of our 6 game drives (2 per day), we saw so many animals. We would usually see at least 3 of the "exciting" African species (lion, leopard, giraffe, zebra, elephant, etc.) on each game drive, and our ranger and tracker were very knowledgeable about the area. We also loved spending time and getting to know the other couples staying at the lodge over drinks, some of the meals, and our game drives.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 9. It was great. Each room is different, but I don't think you can go wrong.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Chitwa Chitwa was a mesmerizing surprise that goes beyond words. The property is very well maintained, the Managers are attentive and cordial, service is impeccable, the Guides and Trekkers are simply the best. Photo-safaris were well organized, we received precise instructions on the do's and the don't and that helped to make it great. I had no expectations of spotting the Big 5 but I was lucky. I saw them all!

Room Tip: I stayed in room #4 and it was fantastic. The bathroom is twice the size of a W New York room :), la...
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  • Stayed April 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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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
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 41 Specialty lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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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