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“Bush chalets with a view” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge

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Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   P.O Box 784, Pongola 3170, South Africa   |  
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Nelspruit, South Africa
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Bush chalets with a view”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

I had a brief stop-over at Shayamoya on the way to Swaziland. It was conveniently close to the main road and the natural bush and views were beautiful. I particularly appreciated the effort someone had gone to in putting nameplates on many of the plants. The service was friendly and the food was good. The accommodation was a dark wooden chalet with outdoor shower, indoor bath, kettle and hairdryer. I did have to fiddle with a light bulb in the bathroom to get it to work and the back door had dropped on its hinges so was very difficult to lock. Otherwise it was much as you would expect for this type of bush accommodation. Unfortunately I didn't have time to try the fishing.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Lindy B, Owner at Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Dear Guest
Many thanks for your positive review. Your maintenance comments have been attended to and we look forward to your return trip to catch a tiger fish. We have recently extended the labels of the huge variety of trees too so not only the indigenous plants are labeled.
Regards
Lindy
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56 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    35
    15
    2
    1
    3
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24
Solo
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4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Fantastic accomodation! Our room was stunning, spacious and beautifully decorated, and we particularly loved the four-poster bed, viewing deck and outside shower. We chose the three course set menu which was delicious, as was the wine list and breakfast. With table tennis, brai facilities, games for children and a relaxing bar and lounge, this place caters for all. We can't wait to return.

The only downside was the insects, but they provide mosqito nets and insect repellant, and are to be expected in this area, so should not put you off.

Room Tip: We stayed in Knob Thorn (a family room although there were only two of us) and highly recommend it...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindy B, Owner at Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear Guest
Many thanks for your review. It has been almost a year now and we are running a Xmas 3 day package if you are keen to join us for the traditional luncheon of roast turkey and glazed ham! Since your visit we have introduced 'in room' massage therapy - from foot rituals, back massages to full body treatments. There are also flat screen TV's fitted in each unit for those moments when you just want to chill. Keen to party? We are throwing a '80's New Year party and will be rocking on the deck under the stars. Hope to see you in 2014 if not before!
Regards
Lindy
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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

After lunch at the Shayamoya fishing lodge you are transported to a houseboat with a difference....A spa on the backdeck!
The accommodation on the boat is probably more 3 star if you have expectations otherwise but each cabin opens sliding doors on to the view of Lake Jozini and is a fantastic way to wake up each morning. There are lots of animals to view during your time on the lake such as Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Crocodiles, birds galore,Warthogs, Zebras, Giraffes and even Elephants (although we didn't see any on our trip but they are featured in other travellers photos)
Unfortunately for us it rained for part of our 3 days on the boat but this didn't dampen our spirit and we still fished, drank, ate and sat in the spa (don't think I have ever seen so much froth in a spa which added to the fun)
Tiger fishing is definitely an experience and highly recommend it for something different.
The staff on the boat were fantastic so many thanks to Mike from the galley for his great meals and Captain Bramson for not only his great boat navigation but also for his excellent fishing skills. Allan was a great 'all rounder' as deck hand, boat handler and entertainer and Rasta did well on his maiden voyage as the new kid on the block.
A big thank you also to Elsabe who manages all the bookings. She was extremely helpful with assisting us in booking our trip from Australia and in touching base with us once we arrived in South Africa to ensure everything was in order.
Overall we highly recommend this as a little side trip of a difference if heading to South Africa for safari trips as it is quite an experience to see the animals from a boat rather than a jeep and fishing amongst animals that would happily have you for dinner and fish with teeth is quite an experience.
Although I have rated rooms and sleep quality as average it is a houseboat so don't expect 5 star accommodation like you would find on a luxury liner however you would also pay a lot of money for that type of boat. Shayamoya/Shayamanzi is very good value for what you get and we would definitely consider doing this again if ever up in Pongola

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Lindy B, Owner at Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear Guest
Many thanks for your positive feedback on your Shayamanzi Houseboat experience. The trip is one of those to suggest to friends to add to their bucket list. The only houseboats of their kind in South Africa, we are very proud of this product. The crew really make the trip so memorable too. For a landbased tiger fishing holiday venue, the sister lodge, Shayamoya Tiger Fishing and Game Lodge is also a must. Regards
Lindy
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Dar Es Salaam Region, Tanzania
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012 via mobile

My husband wanted to spoil his brother with a fishing trip. We booked in, gardens beautiful and nice facilities, but little maintenance and service issues marred our stay. We won't back in a hurry and never recommend this to our friends. An example of maintenance was that the light in the bathroom wasn't working, the lady showing us our room, identified the problem as she showed us our room but was only sorted after a day and a half. The electricity went off so the generator was working but was switched off at midnight in the heat os summer. That did not go down well with the guys who didn't get to sleep and were setting off at 5am to fish. I have heard the boat is better but don't really want to take my chances

Stayed June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LindyBlevin, Owner at Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Dear Guest
We are pleased that you enjoyed our gardens however do apologize for our maintenance lapse. We have taken corrective measures and implemented a maintenance plan. Thank you for your feedback which we value and has enabled us to improve.
Regards
Lindy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012

My Sister Debbie and I spent 3 wonderful days at Shayamoya. The Lodges are private and have the most wonderful view of the Pongola river as does the main building where you have your meals. The Owner and all her staff couldn't do enough for you and were very friendly and courteous. The lodges are lovely and benefit from an outside Shower which was very welcome in the heat and humidity. I would have preferred air conditioners in the lodges instead of the big ceiling fan but it was adequate. It was also a shame that there was no fridge in the room, although looking at the lay out I think at one time there had been. We had a lovely trip on the river Pongola but I do think a quick Health & Safety chat wouldn't have gone a miss. Especially seeing as I nearly fell off the boat when disembarking onto the floating pontoon ...not to be recommended when there are crocs around. We were practically the only people there as it was mid week and the low season so we had the swimming pool to ourselves and it was wonderful.. All in all I would recommend Shayamoya to all my friends.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the river and if there is a fridge because you will need on
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LindyBlevin, Owner at Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for your positive feedback and we are thrilled you enjoyed your stay. Your feedback is important to us and we have taken note of your review.
Best regards
Lindy
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Benoni, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

we have just returned from Pongola, where we spent 2 nights on the Shayamanzi house boat. It was a fantatsic experience which should be done by everybody at least once in their lifetime. The staff on board where friendly, helpful and extremely knowlegable. The food was excellent. The cabins where clean and comfortable. We managed to see a lot of game all without having to move from the jacuzzi.

  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindy B, Owner at Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear Guest
Many thanks for your positive review on the Shayamanzi Houseboats. They are indeed a special holiday and something everyone should try and do. If you can't get a crowd together to hire the boats, you can always choose the Shayamoya Tiger Fishing and Game Lodge option where you can book individual chalets, with stunning views of Lake Jozini. From here you can also go tiger fishing from ski boats skippered by the lodge's professional guides. Boat cruises and game drives also on offer. Fun for the whole family! Regards
Lindy
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Johannesburg
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

In July, we parked our cars at Shayamoya, leaving our driver and guide to stay at the lodge whilst we went tiger fishing on the Shayamanzi Houseboat on the lake. The lodge was superb and we were very inpressed by the care and friendliness of the staff and our driver had a superb two nights and was really well fed. I cannot comment on the lodge bedrooms, etc., but I can tell you that we had the most wonderful time on Shayamanzi. 20 of us in a 10 cabin houseboat. Sunsets were beautiful, game viewing from the lake was magnificent (elephant, buck, hippos, crocs, rhino etc. etc.) The Captain and crew were friendly and efficient, the food was magnificent and the cabins clean, fresh and beautifully appointed. The staff went out of their way to make our stay truly memorable and as we were celebrating a birthday, they made a cake, welcomed us with champers, and altogether, thought of everything for us. The first day the tiger fishing was great (we caught 3) but the next day, nothing was biting. But we were there for the birthday which did not fall into the best tiger catching season. There are two boats, a 6 and a 10 cabin and I cannot recommend this experience highly enough for a special event, group of friends, or just to take a break. Captain Branson was not only an efficient skipper, but also a friendly, interesting character for whom nothing was too much trouble.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindy B, Owner at Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear Passenger
Many thanks for your feedback and it sounds like you had a lovely birthday bash. As you say, when the tiger fish aren't biting, there is so much to see and enjoy. The game and birdlife on the Pongola Game Reserve, the lovely scenery of expanse of water, the Lebombo Mountains all make this such a special part of the world. If you are a smaller group, the sister lodge, Shayamoya offers the same activities as the houseboats but from a landbased venue. Hope to see you again soon. Regards
Lindy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge

Address: P.O Box 784, Pongola 3170, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Pongola
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Pongola
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
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