We recently spent 4 days 3 nights at Inyati Private Game reserve and had a wonderful stay.
1. Wildlife Viewing: This was our first wildlife safari and I could now understand why most first time travellers rate their lodges as 5/5. This is because of fantastic wildlife viewing experience available at Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. Now I can’t compare our sightings with those of other lodges but we saw lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos from so close (at times just a few feet away) that we were completely blown away. I understood that western sector of Sabi Sands has better game viewing as there are more trackers/rangers in search of wildlife and they usually cooperate with each other to share their sighting. As a result, one could enjoy numerous sightings though obviously a balance needs to be found between the time one spends at a viewing and making space for others to get a view (as in most cases no. of jeeps are limited to no more than 2 or 3 depending at each sighting). However, we usually found that we got to spent sufficient time at each of the sighting apart from one fine morning when we had to let go of a pair of male lions to let others come in. This is a standard protocol that almost everyone follows irrespective of the lodge. As the lodge was not fully booked when we were there in September so we only had 6 guests in our jeep for all 4 days which was really good. We also took a bush walk on one morning, with Matt our ranger walking us through the bush (No serious wildlife sightings but was a good and informative walk and we really liked that and would recommend it.) There are occasions when you may drive around the reserve while waiting to get in for the prime sighting but it’s usually done in a way which is not very obvious.
2.Room & Lodge: We stayed in an executive chalet and it was superb. It has a bit of rustic styling which was quite fit for the safari. However room was spacious with a comfortable bed, an open bath and outside decks which could be playground for small monkeys etc. if you decide to stay indoors. The lodge lawns are also frequented by deer, warthogs etc. during the day. There is a riverside deck (viewing platform) where you could try your luck at tracking wildlife when not out on a safari. One of the best thing about Inyati is wide open river-side expanse that faces the lodge. It is a perfect place for wildlife sightings and on 2 of the mornings we sighted lions and hippos across the river bank even before heading off for morning safari. Overall, quite happy with room and lodge.
3.Food: The meals at Inyati consist of (i) Morning tea/coffee and snacks at 5:30am before the safari, (ii) Another tea break around 8am or so during the safari, (iii) Brunch at around 10:30am after returning from safari. This consists of a buffet spread (cold meats, cereals, yoghurts, bread, one cooked vegetable, salads etc.) and you could order eggs as per your choice and bread toast etc. We found the brunch quite adequate though I presume that it could be stepped up a notch or so, (iv) At around 3pm, this is time for another round of snacks before evening safari and this usually included some nice filling snacks. (v) As the light fades, time for a stop for sundowners – Matt and Nelson (our tracker) usually found some nice pretty stops for us to enjoy the sundowner (complimentary) with chips, nuts etc., (vi) After return from the safari around 7:00pm/7:30pm time to get together for drinks. While drinks are not complimentary but they are very well priced and so I preferred this to a few other lodges where drinks are factored into the price of accommodation. (viii) Finally, time for dinner – dinner was usually a 3-course affair and easily the best meal of the day. Delicious and well prepared. We also had a boma dinner one day which I found to be less intimate but nonetheless equally delicious. Overall, before going to Inyati my main concern was whether we would be missing a proper lunch but I don’t think that’s the case as after getting up at 5am – a good brunch followed by good rest is all that you need before the snacks at 3:30pm. We had a few dietary restrictions and on almost all occasions our dietary requirements were well looked after.
4. Others: Lodge has a wi-fi at the common lobby/lounge area which I think is sufficient to keep you connected with outside world without being too involved
5. Suggestion: One suggestion I would like to make is if the ranger could be more flexible with tea/sundowner stops during safari. It’s good to get a break and relax on a day with frequent sightings but on a lighter day guests may prefer the wildlife to drinks especially on evening drives when part of the safari after dark is understandably not that rewarding. Additionally, the brunch could do well with some more variety just to make it an even better experience.
Overall, I think Inyati is an excellent place for safari because of quality of wildlife viewing. It may not be exceptionally luxurious but was extremely comfortable and we found no reasons to feel that our stay was in anyway less comfortable or enjoyable then what we had expected.
- Also Known As:
- Inyati Game Hotel
- Inyati Game Hotel Inyati Private Game Reserve
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in unquestionably one of the best game viewing areas in the Africa, Inyati Game Lodge offers you the ultimate experience combining wildlife and comfort. The Sabi Sand reserve is home to the 'Big Five' (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), as well as cheetah, wild dog and hundreds of other species of animals, birds and plants indigenous to the area. View Africa's most impressive wildlife on morning and afternoon/evening game drives in open 4-wheel drive safari vehicles with expert guides and Shangaan trackers. Game drives traverse an area of 10 000 hectares (24 700 acres) and strict vehicle limits at sighting ensure the exclusivity of your game viewing experience. Off-road driving ensures that you have the best possible view of any exceptional sighting and guides are constantly in touch with each other to keep track of animal movements. Guests can also enjoy interpretive guided bush walks offering the bird watcher, dendrologist, botanist and the nature enthusiast the ultimate bush experience. ... more less