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“Wonderful experience” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp

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Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
East London, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2012

We spent the night of 20 May 2012 with family from the UK at the River Camp. This game reserve was chosen because of the unique access by boat to the reserve. Our ranger, Chris, was very informative, accommodating and friendly. The trip up the river yielded 12 new bird sightings plus we were fortunate to see a Fish Eagle at close range. Our 2 game drives were fruitful and the big 5 were all seen at close range - a big plus for our overseas visitors. We were also lucky to see a beautiful baby rhino and 3 very playful lion cubs. Compared to neighbouring game reserves, the rates are reasonable and good value for money. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Joy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, May 25, 2012
Dera Joy,
Thank you very much for your kind words. I will pass on your comments and praise to Chris.
I hope you were luckier than I was today - I have just returned with some avid birders who came a long way to see the Bateleurs. Unfotunately we couldn't find them although they were seen yesterday. Hopefully, since they have been around since December, they will still be around for a while longer and my good friends the birders will get another chance sometime soon.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Sibuya.
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261 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Level Contributor
187 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2012

I choice this as a location of choice for my wife and I to spend a night purely because of the uniqueness this game reserve and its setting on the Kariega river.

A lovely drive of just over an hour from Port Elizabeth to Kenton on Sea, over Bushmans river and the experience begins with a relaxing 45 minute boat cruise from the river mouth during which you are treated to a wealth of bird life including Kingfishers, Fish eagles, herons to name a few, expertly pointed out by our ranger for the weekend, Chris.

We were welcomed by the friendly staff at the river camp to a delicious hot lunch, fresh fish was served, after being shown to our private, spacious and luxurious tented suite with the river ambling by on either side of the room...stunning to say the least.

The 1st of two game drives begins late afternoon, a short boat ride across the river to the reserve during which an elephant welcomed us on the shore of the river! A lovely dinner awaits you on your return after viewing most of the antelope species and game including wildebeest, rhino, buffalo, zebra to name a few.

The only critisism I have is that the tents can get very cold in the evenings as we experienced, although our beds were warmed by hot water bottles. The other disappointment is the lack of free roaming lions due to restrictions, and the fact that we didn't even sight them in the lion enclosure. But, this is a given on African safaris...don't expect the animals to walk up to you, the fun is in searching for them and savouring just being out in the beautiful and diverse Eastern Cape bush.

An early morning game drive is followed by a scrumptious English breakfast. The breads were divine.

Activities include fishing off the jetty, canoeing and leisurely strolls at the camp in the company of the resident Nyalas. It was indeed a sad moment to leave this intriguing, intimate, isolated and quaint reserve, which really makes an effort on eco friendliness, in the form solar power and minimal environmental impact.

My only wish was for a longer stay...

Room Tip: Tent 4 at river camp
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank zaheergani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, May 29, 2012
Hi and thanks for your wonderful comments.

This autumn has been particulasrly cold with night time temperatures dropping, for quite a few nights, to below 10degC. We are not used to these cold autumn/winters, as generally the Eastern Cape temperatrures are so mild, so this cold snap, especially so early on in the season, really caught us off guard.
Although the cold spell has passed on and we are now having some really lovely and balmy autumn days, we have decided anyway to install cosy fireplaces in all the river Camp tents so that if the cold does return we will be prepared.
See picture above (no 38).
We look forward to having back at Sibuya some time soon and promise you won't feel the cold when you visit as we will have a roaring fire going if any of those cold nights happen to return!!!
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London
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at Sibuya in Feb 2012 for 3 nights. We stayed at Forest Camp and the accommodation was fantastic. The Tent was very luxurious and comfortable and the setting was stunning. Our rangers were extremely knowledgeable and always asked what in particular we would like to see before each drive. The scenery is stunning and while we were always busy either on drives or canoeing down the river, our time at the reserve was extremely relaxing and fun. As my boyfriend and I are vegan the chef went out of his way to cater for us and the food was fabulous. We found all the staff to be very helpful, welcoming and accommodating. We have been to South Africa before and been to a few game reserves but Sibuya is intimate and unique in terms of the scenery and the personal touch offered by the staff, which you don't get at the more commercial reserves. We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend Sibuya.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank blastbeat78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, February 27, 2012
Thank you for your wonderful comments. I will make sure that your compliments are relayed to all in camp.
We are blessed with a really great bunch of staff who work very hard to make our guests feel welcome and such positive feedback really makes them feel that all their efforts are worthwhile. Thank you and "sibuya"! (which means please "return")
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
49 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2012

If you are looking for a family friendly place to see the bush, Sibuya is a great option as it's quite accessible and there is no malaria. We travelled there with two kids (aged 5 and 7) and they had a great time canoeing on the river, fishing and seeing the wildlife. The setting is beautiful, the rooms are extremely comfortable and the food is delicious. Be sure to request a ranger who specialises in guiding kids, as this will really make your visit worthwhile.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lucy w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, February 27, 2012
Thanks Lucy for your feed back and kind words.
We are very happy that you and your kids had a great time - please come and visit us again sometime soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2012

This was my first trip to an animal park on Africa and it did not disappoint. The setting was beautiful and unique, with the river, the surrounding forest and the incredible views. My favorite time was in the morning when the temps were still cool. Riding up the glassy river, we saw a variety of river birds, rhinos and antelope. It was calm and beautiful.

The staff are very nice and helpful. Food is good and plentiful, as are the drinks. I found our ranger knowledgeable and full of interesting facts and observations. Some stories seemed a bit of a stretch but we gave him the benefit of the doubt.

We were able to get very close to almost all of the animals and I have some amazing pictures. If you are looking for large herds and more of a savanah experience then Sibuya is not for you. But if you want a relaxing and high quality experience, you will love this.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jburr20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellielover, Manager at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, February 16, 2012
Thank you for you kind words - we are really glad that Sibuya met and hopefully surpassed your expectations. From your comments, i suspect I know who your ranger was - a real card with a wicked sense of humour. Actually very knowledgeable, but not above playing the odd prank with guests he gets on well with - no doubt you were such guests!!!
Really glad you had a great and relaxing time and look forward to welcoming you back to Sibuya.
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Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2012

Wanted to take our two small children on a safari and found this place as one of few places that accept small children. It is a great experience, not only with children, but also without. Having been on safari before, I can say that this really is quite a unique place I believe with the river experience and the river running through the game reserve. It is a nice extra feature with the ride on the river to and from the camps and the game drives. The reserve is also very beautiful, lots of beatiful spots and scenery. You get very close to all the animals there. They do not have all the animals you may find in larger reserves. The lions are kept in their own space and are fed. The cheetah are kept in large cages you could say, you do not drive in to them, you watch them from outside a fence. They say they also have leopards, but we did not see them and I do not recall having read any review from this place saying they had seen them, but perhaps I am wrong. But the other animals you see plenty of and really up close. We staid in the river camp and the tents are really spacious and feel luxurious. Also loved the lounge area. The food was really good. Only thing we missed was a small pool. That would have been nice between the game drives. They said we could swim in the river, but the water and the bank was quite muddy so it was not tempting and we saw no one do it. As previous reviewers have said, one night is probably to little and three would be two much. We staid two and that was just perfect. I can recommend this place for a safari in the Eastern Cape, expecially with kids.

Room Tip: If you can choose, choose river camp. Larger, more luxurious tents!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KatjaCato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellielover, Manager at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, January 17, 2012
Thank you for your kind words. i am happy to hear you and your kids had a wonderful time. It is a pity you didn't jump into our 18km swimming pool. It really is lovely in the riiver, currently a delicious 25deg, and to avoid the mud we just jump off one of the boats or paddleskis. Next time don't misss out!! Update on the lions - we have suspected for a while that one was pregnant - after rolling on her back next to one of the game vehicles a few days ago, the ranger confirmed she is definitely pregnant and we can hopefully expect some exciting viewing of cubs soon.Our cheetah breeding progam progesses well although no exciting pregancies to report at present, but we continue our efforts to conserve this endangered species. You are right about the leopards - very difficult to spot in our largely forested environment and very rarely in the day. The last sighting was a young female by a ranger on night patrol - we think an offspring of one of the resident females, so a big male has definitely been around!
We look forwrard to welcoming you back at Sibuya some day - please don't miss out on the swimming then!!
Kind regards
Nick Fox
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Stockholm
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2011

What an amazing 2 days!! We choose Sibuya as we were travelling with our 8 month old baby & wanted to stay clear of malarial areas. But what a great choice! The 45 minute boat ride to get to the resort meant a chance to see some stunning water birds & arrived chilled & relaxed. When we were taken to our "tent" there were a family (including a baby) of nyalas waiting for us. Which gave us a taste of what was to come. The "tent" itself was nothing short of stunning, very private (you can't see or hear your neighbours - which what I was concerned about), there is a nice outdoor seating area, & is beautifully decorated. You immediately get that "I'm on safari" feeling. The chef Ross did a great job, & we were able to try some local delights as well as game (we had impala one night & kudo the other) which was fun. You sit a a large table with the other guests (which we got to know during the game drives), & it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere to either socialise around the table or on one of the big comfy sofas near the bar.
Our ranger guide Brian was very knowledgable & hands on. He has seemed to know where to find the animals and was skilled at getting us very close (even had a rhino within arms reach of the car). Sibuya is a great place to see lots of animals in a short space of time, they have everything from giraffes, elephants, white rhino, zebra, buffalo, antalopes etc etc we came back with some awesome photos. Brian had amazing knowledge & confidently explained about each group of animals.
We choose to add a private game drive so we could take our son with us. We could pick the time we went & the animals that we wanted to see. It worked really well. My husband had our little boy in the baby bjorn carrier facing outwards & he (& the husband) thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm really glad that we took him. I would also recommend adding a private game drive if you are staying more then 2 nights.
We paid extra for baby sitting for the other game drives which worked out really well. The paths are all done as a board walk which made things so easy as we could get him to sleep in his pram wheel him in to the dining area & he would sleep whilst we ate & socialised. Then at the end of the night could wheel him back to our tent. It meant he slept comfortably, didn't disturb anyone else & we didn't have to deal with a single stair. I would definately recommend Sibuya to families & plan to return when my son is a little older.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chook-in-Sweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellielover, Marketing at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, December 5, 2011
Thank you, we are glad you enjoyed your time at Sibuya and we are looking forward to your return.
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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 Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp

Property: Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp
Address: 39 Eastbourne Road, Kenton-on-Sea 6191, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Kenton-on-Sea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sibuya has more navigable river than any other game reserve in South Africa. The unique experience starts immediately with a half-hour boat transfer to River/Forest Camp - luxury en-suite tented accommodation nestled in riverine forest and constructed in an environmentally conscious manner. Guests are hosted and guided by a team of experienced professionals. An abundance of wildlife from elephants to otters, Big Five, cheetah breeding program and prolific bird life await you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp Hotel Kenton-On-Sea
Sibuya Game Reserve And Tented Camp

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