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“A beautiful friendly place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Idwala Game Lodge

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Idwala Game Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Sidbury Grahamstown Eastern Cape | PO Box 6482, Sidbury 6141, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Stockholm, Stockholms Län, Sweden
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A beautiful friendly place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

We celebrated new year 2012 at Idwala and had a fantastic time. James guided us in a perfect way and Jolanda made us the most wonderful food. The lodge is beautifully decorated and is built in a nice style.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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33 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
    3
    0
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20
Solo
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Business
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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 (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

What an amazing little private game lodge. The greeting was warm, not just the first time but each time we returned from a game drive. We especially love the hot chocolate after the first evenings drive. It does get cold out there!
Philip was a knowledgeable and a highly amusing guide. Made the drives just fly by and I could get used to sundowners on the reserve with amazing sunsets behind me.
The rooms are beautifully laid out, with a private balcony if you want to sit and enjoy the ambiance of the area.
The staff are great and the meals were fab.
Definitely one to consider if you are in this area.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
southern england
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Idwala stood out as first choice for us being family run rather than part of a hotel chain as so many of the Eastern Cape safari lodges are. In every way it fulfilled our expectations and we were delighted we chose it. Phil and Jess run the lodge beautifully and Alida has obviously taught them well! Phil is a first class guide having been brought up on the property and he knows every knook and cranny of the game reserve. His knowledge of the plant and wildlife was exceptional and his enthusiasm for the place was fantastic. The Lodge is beautifully situated and decorated exquisitely. Each room is huge with great air conditioning and masses of hot water - a lovely little balcony overlooking the watering hole and the biggest bed I've ever slept in. The swimming pool has been created to look as part of nature and is delightful. Attention to detail was excellent and the food, drink and hospitality were second to none.
We saw everything we wanted to with the exception of rhino but no problem with that. The animals all look incredibly healthy and seem very relaxed. The reserve is certainly big enough and there was no issue with other land rovers from different lodges or overcrowding. You can occasionally see fence lines but it doesn't deter from the enjoyment and we would most certainly recommend Idwala to everyone. A lovely happy place.

Room Tip: All the rooms are equally lovely with the same view approached by tree top walk.
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 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.
Wirral
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

This well-situated lodge provides spacious accommodation and is very tastefully decorated with pieces collected by Alida and her daughter. My wife and I experienced exceptional personal service from helpful, friendly staff, with much attention paid to detail in our two-day stay. The food was delicious. We enjoyed four game drives with Daniel, a personable and knowledgeable ranger. We encountered four of ‘the big five’ (no leopard) and much else besides. Memorable!

  • Stayed February 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

We found Idwala Game Lodge through the internet, so we were a bit apprehensive. We also had never visited South Africa and were not sure whether a smaller reserve would be as memorable. While I can not compare the experience to Kruger, I can say that Idwala was a truly unforgettable experience and would whole-heartedly recommend them to anyone.

We were treated royally from the moment we arrived. We were greeted by the friendly ranger - Alistair - who made sure we left understanding and appreciating more about the African wildlife. We were doubly fortunate because for the first 2 nights we were the only guests and had 4 private game drives. It was such a treat.

The lodge only has 4 rooms/cabins so even when there were other guests you are still treated like royalty. The little extra touches were such a nice treat. For instance, every evening there was a little bed-time story about an animal left on your pillow. A few days without mobile phones, internet and television was bliss. I loved every minute of it.

Each little cabin has an unobstructed view of the valley with a small deck. We spent the afternoons between the little deck and the plunge pool. Remember, to shut your windows at night time as there are monkeys close by. It all adds to the fun.

The food was well prepared and the cook made sure we had lots to eat. In fact, she made some special meals especially with me in mind as I am not a big meat-eater.

The guides were fabulous. Alistair looked after us for most days but when he had his day off Nicole was a wonderful substitute. We pretty much saw everything - cape buffalo, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, hippos, impala, nyala, warthogs, giraffes, zebra and more. It was a special time because it was spring time and we were treated to a whole host of babies.

Thanks to the entire staff for making our first stay at Idwala a brilliant time. If you have questions, I'm happy to answer them.

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely. They all have an unobstructed view of the valley
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plettenberg Bay
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2011

We have just stayed at Idwala and what a wonderful weekend. Lee-Ann, Joline, and Themba made sure that everything at the lodge was just superb - food, drinks and sleep. Richard took us out on our game-drives, and made sure we saw everything - lions, cheetah and her cubs, eles, rhinos and lots of healthy looking antelope. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2010

We had the pleasure of staying at Idwala AGAIN for the Easter weekend. It is such a special place, situated high in the rocks with nothing but silence around you. Go for the peace and quiet and the great food. We had a rainy day and relaxed around the fire spending some good quality family time playing games together. Nicole, our ranger was great and Morgan your food is superb, are there any shares for sale Alida?? Owned and managed by the du Toit family ensures excellent service all round. We will be back.......

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Idwala Game Lodge

Address: Sidbury Grahamstown Eastern Cape | PO Box 6482, Sidbury 6141, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Sidbury
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Sidbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Idwala Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A breathtaking setting on a dramatic ridge, overlooking a lush green valley, Idwala is a stylish family run lodge in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. With only 4 thatched chalets, privacy is ensured and each is spacious, air-conditioned and has a private patio. Game drives to spot the big 5 and offer excellent birding. Relax at the pool and enjoy sweeping views and spectacular sunsets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Idwala Game Lodge South Africa/Sidbury

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