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“Very nice” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges

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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   N2 between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown, Shamwari Game Reserve 6000, South Africa   |  
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Knoxville,TN
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
“Very nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2007

Let me preface my review by saying that I was on a garden tour of the Western Cape, and we ended our tour by staying two nights at Shamwari, November 15-17. I wasn't particularly interested in the animals, so I can't address how well this resort addresses that interest. That said, this was a fun place to stay. Rooms were beautiful (although bathroom was moldy), with panoramic views of the veldt. There was a watering hole perhaps 200 yards from our window, around which we'd see wandering animals---elephants, wildebeests, etc. Service was excellent. Guides were patient and knowledgeable. The only thing I did not like at all was fact guides ate with us at many meals. Our guide, Dumi, was hilarious, and great company, but he'd been up since 5am, ate dinner with us at 10 pm, and then he'd be up again at 5 am. This togetherness seemed forced. There was a couple there by themselves, and they'd be in a Landrover with a guide, and then would eat their meals with that guide, just the three of them. They looked uncomfortable, and conversation forced. If I hadn't been part of a group, this constant being with a guide would have wrecked the trip for me. It's like assigned seating at a wedding reception. This was the only reserve of the three we stayed in that had this policy. That said, we saw many animals, in great situations. We were charged by a rhino, threatened by a giraffe. You drive down a dusty road, and there are 4 lions relaxing. Food was ok. They need to clean the bird droppings off the chairs where outdoor breakfast is served.

  • Stayed November 2007
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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716 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
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Stirling, Scotland
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2007

Stayed for 3 nights at Long Lee Manor at the end of September. We found the food and the accommodation of a very high standard and wanted for nothing. The highlights centred around the game drives where we saw four of the big five (the buffalo eluded us). The closeness we were taken to the lions and elephants was breathtaking but safe at the same time. Our guide Geran and his colleague, Fred, really made our visit so interesting with tremendous knowledge of animals and birds. Our fellow visitors were also very friendly which made our stay all that more memorable. A first class experience in a malaria-free reserve. Would love to return and will remember to take warm clothing for the drives - it can be really cold!!!!!

Stayed September 2007
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Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2007

Date: 6th September to 8th September 2007

We stayed at the Shamwari Game Reserve for 2 nights. Fortunately when we arrived we found that we had been upgraded from the Bayethe to the Lobebgula Lodge free of charge. The lodge is tucked deep in the valley bushveld. The thatched lodge was a tranquil, luxurious and exclusive getaway We were given the ‘Chief Suite’, which had a large private lounge with a fireplace in which a log fire was lit every night, a huge bedroom with a huge four-poster kingside bed and huge bathroom with all the luxuries you can imagine. We also had our own patio and small pool.

Fortunately, the other guests staying at the lodge were excellent company as we all sat together at dinner with our rangers joining us and we spent several hours each evening recollecting how the day had turned out and what animals we had seen during our game drives. All this washed down with excellent wines and food. The choice of meals and foods were excellent and the service was first class. We ate our evening meal in the large dining room as it was too cold to eat outside at the time we were there, but in the summer, guests eat their meals on the main deck. This was where we had brunch or lunch each day depending on what time we got back from our game drives. Each morning at 6.30am, we were woken up with tea and coffee, delivered by the ranger as we had to be ready for our early morning game drive at 7am. In the afternoon, we were treated to afternoon tea prior to going on the game drive at 3.30pm. On the return from a game drive, we were welcomed back with either a cool drink and towel or a hot drink and towel depending on the time of day.

During our stay, we managed to see four of the Big Five, so our safari trip was just great. It was the icing on the cake to finish our trip to South Africa. It was brilliant and it will be something that we will never forget (we have lots of photo memories to fall back on). And Shamwari, I would highly recommend it for its thoroughness in giving their guests the best in service and value for money. All the staff were very friendly and helpful and they could not do enough to ensure that our stay was one to remember.

  • Liked — Fabulous, sheer luxury. Could not fault any aspect of Lobengula lodge or the game drives
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2007

Shamwari is an increible safari camp with the extra plus that it is malara free. Lobengula Lodge is the most exclusive in the camp and it keeps to its reputation.

We were very spoiled because we had the large suite with separate living room, roaring fireplace, outdoor plunge pool and enormous bedroom and bath.

In fact, Tiger Woods took the same suite after we left. Wonder what he felt like sleeping in my bed (smile).

The camp caters to those who are catered to and meets every standard of five star excellence. If you are going on safari and staying at Shamwari, you can't beat Lobengula. I still sport my cap all over the world.

Also it should be noted that you could include a stay at Gorah Elephant Camp because it is only a short drive away - - an unforgetable holiday.

  • Liked — The understated elegance
  • Disliked — Not a thing
  • Stayed September 2003, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Northamptonshire
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2007

We arrived at Shamwaria nd was made to feel at home right from the beginning.
the staff were great really friendly.
Saw 4 out of the Big 5 game animals (leapord eluded us)
Food was of a high standrd as was the rooms.
Morning drives were really cold and i would suggest taking extra warm clothing to cope woth the tempratures.

Highly recommended

  • Liked — Luxury
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ireland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2007

We were there as part of our honeymoon. We stayed in Bayethe tented lodge and a tent it was not. It had canvas walls but other than that it was pure class. Gorgeous big bed and free standing bath, outdoor shower and plunge pool eventhough it was a bit too cold for the pool. We were made to feel very welcome on our arrival and went straight on a game drive. We saw the big five and lots more and loved every minute of it. The rangers are great and are so interesting. The meals were fab aswell. Loads of variety for brekkie and either a buffet or set dinner menu for dinner. We loved this experience and would go back again in a minute.

Stayed September 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
296 helpful votes 296 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2007

We had never been on Safari before, but this place was amazing!

The Lodge accommodation is fantastic. All private suites with outside shower, dip pool and loungers, Rooms are a short walk in the bush from the main building, so at night you are escorted to and from rooms by an armed guard (to protect you from a hungry and desperate lion or leopard!) Rooms inside very well decorated and designed and very comfortable. Also used the spa and thought that was good too.

Food was very good - brunch affair after morning drive and dinner with game ranger and buddies from the drive,

Game drives - one in the morning at about 7am and one in the afternoon at about 3pm. August is winter in SA, so wrap up warm with lots of layers for the drives - recommend scarves, gloves and woolly hats for the morning drives. Also, see if the lodge will give you a hot waterbottle - it does help!

Ryan, our ranger, was absolutely brilliant. Not only was each drive amazing for the animals we saw, but Ryan also knew so much about each animal, the birds, the plant life and really made the trip interesting with his knowledge. Saw herds of elephants, a lion family (including small cubs), individual lion / lionesses, warthogs, white rhino, black rhino, hippo, giraffes (including baby giraffe, baby rhino, two week old elephant).

We stayed fro 3 nights / 6 drives - which did not become repetitive at all and could have stayed longer. That said, most people stay 2 nights / 4 drives and I would be surprised if you did not see everything you wanted to in that time.

Not cheap but worth every penny!

  • Liked — The game drives
  • Disliked — Nothing - it was all amazing!
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges

Address: N2 between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown, Shamwari Game Reserve 6000, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Shamwari Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Shamwari Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges 5*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A mere 75 km from Port Elizabeth towards Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Shamwari is the crown jewel of private game reserves situated in the malaria free Eastern Cape, the birth place of Nelson Mandela. This privately owned 25 000 hectares of prime natural terrain has received numerous international awards. Shamwari is an exploration of nature with close encounters of free roaming wildlife and the coveted big five with a choice of unique lodges, an exclusive private villa and the adventurous Explorer Camp. Luxury accommodation is offered in 7 different game lodges on Shamwari Game Reserve, all of which are 5 Star graded. Choose a game lodge that perfectly compliments your ideal African experience. EAGLES CRAG LODGE - Exclusivity, privacy and serenity for the most discerning of travelersBAYETHE TENTED LODGE - The ultimate in luxury tented accommodationSARILI LODGE - A colonial and bush experience. Perfect for families or small partiesLONG LEE MANOR - Refined elegance from a bygone era. RIVERDENE FAMILY LODGE - Colonial Africa in an elegantly restored CHILD FRIENDLY frontier home. VILLA LOBENGULA - Villa Lobengula is a beautiful and tranquil space tucked away in the depths of the valley bushveld. Booked on an exclusive use basis only. EXPLORER CAMP - Camping & walking experience among the Big 5 on the magnificent Shamwari Game Reserve ON SAFARI - Game drives can last up to 3 hours each and are conducted twice a day in open vehicles / Guided walks / Star gazing RELAX - Various treatments can be enjoyed at our Relaxation Retreats which are situated at Eagles Crag, Lobengula Lodge, Bayethe Lodge and Long Lee Manor ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shamwari Game Reserve Hotel Shamwari Game Reserve

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