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“Peace, Peace, Peace - oh and animals and birds!”

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Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp
Ranked #1 of 10 Kenton-on-Sea B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 6 Contributor
222 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Peace, Peace, Peace - oh and animals and birds!”
Reviewed March 25, 2013

From the moment you arrive at Sibuya Reception, you are made to feel so very welcome. You meet your guide for the duration of your stay and then you walk down to the river for your transfer by boat to the camp. You are handed a Sibuya Water Bottle rather than take plastic water bottles with you - nice touch.

We had come from London and had a lot of luggage (including golf clubs) we left them all in our car, just taking a small bag for your two night stay.

The main thing that attracted me to Sibuya was mention of the boat transfer to the lodges, this took about 40 minutes, we were all offered drinks (beers, wine, etc) and we slowly made our way up river taking in the stunning scenary enroute. Birds were in plentiful supply as our journey progressed.

We were staying at River Camp, being mid-week it was quiet, this camp is smaller than Forest Camp, but children can stay in this camp - something to consider when booking, although this is made clear on their website. We arrived and were immediately taken in by the sense of utter calm and sense of peace. Having been show to our 'Tent' which was enormous, we had some time before we went back to the main lodge for lunch. The tents are situated amongst the trees, and you get glimpses of the river rather than full views from the decking area.

Food at the lodge was plentiful, very tasty, and with a number of options at all sittings - again advise in advance if you have and special dietary needs.

After lunch you have time to just relax, either in the main lodge, or at your tent, or you can go with a member of staff and explore. We chose just to sit and enjoy the wonderful surrounding and let nature come to us.

At 4.30 you meet and after a short boat transfer slightly further along the river you start your game drive. We saw plenty of wildlife, the birding at Sibuya is great, and Mike our guide, was very knowledgeable on the subject. After our safari it was a transfer back to the lodge for pre-dinner drinks around the fire before sitting down to a very hearty dinner with wine.

Then back along the lantern lit pathway to our tent. Lighting is reasonable, but I would recommend you take a torch to help light your way.

The tents are wonderful. Huge comfortable beds, our tent also had a sofa and the decking area, with cushions, was a lovely place just to sit and consider life! And what a wonderful nights sleep with had, being lulled to sleep with the sound of nature just feet away!

The following morning, a 6.30 meet for another wonderful game drive in the cool of the morning. We came across 6 sleeping, snoring White Rhino on the track in front of us. We were so close to them, what wonderfully strange creatures they are. We were also lucky to see a very young buffalo (perhaps a week old) feeding from its very attentive mother.

Between drives again a subtantial lunch and free time in the afternoon, before our afternoon drive and then dinner.

Our last morning started with a 6.30 drive and then back for breakfast before our transfer back to reality.

Sibuya is very much a place to relax, contemplate life and realise that we can survive without our phones or internet, and that without them time actually slows down. Your eyes are opened to all the wonderful sounds and sights that nature can provide both big and small.

Our thanks go to all the staff for making this such a special stay. Mike, thanks for helping me get so many new bird sighting, and being such fun to be with. You and all the staff at Sibuya run a very special place.

Room Tip: River Camp does allow children but is the smaller of the two camps.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank CareySJC
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, April 2, 2013
Thanks Carey for your wonderful praise - I will pass on to Mike and all in camp.
We look forward to welcoming you again to share our wonderful estuary and reserve.... Sibuya ...we (you, hopefully!!!) will return!!!
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278 reviews from our community

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English first
Bonn, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
290 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

My wife and I just returned from a self-imposed weekend away from civilization at Sibuya. From the moment we arrived in Kenton-on-Sea, left our vehicle in their secure parking area, enjoyed a "spot of tea" before boarding the boat to head upriver with Woerner and Brian for a bit of bird watching and midday libation, we knew this was going to be a different experience from other Game Reserves or Lodges in the Eastern Cape. We were right, In our experience, to date, and having stayed at a variety of four- and five-star accommodations in the area, Sibuya is the place to where we WILL return before leaving for the 'States in July. Definitely. The facilities are simply elegant. The kitchen staff knows how to prepare satisfying, tasty, and just plain-old-good meals. From Impala kebabs to rib eye steaks, from curried chicken (which is moist, savory, and bottomless) to fried calamari, to prawns caught in the river outside of the camping grounds, everything served to us was very good.

The rangers on staff are knowledgeable and engaged. These guys make your time on site educational and enjoyable. Early morning and late afternoon game drives are the norm, with more than 70 km of Land Cruiser roads to choose from, and a variety of ecological biomes from which to choose. The reserve has the BIG FIVE, and we were lucky to see 3/5 on this trip. The elephants had been "hiding" for two weeks, and the leopards (okay, we DID see a probable leopard trackway) are elusive as ever, no matter which game park you visit. If the cheetah had been named one of the BIG FIVE, then we would have checked the 4/5 box. Three thousand impala, 350 Cape Buffalo (we got to see a newborn calf less than 24 hours old), an undisclosed number of Rhino, 6 lion (soon to be more because of the "acts" we were able to witness early one morning), Eland, Bontebok, Waterbok, Reebok, Duiker, Zebra, and nearly 30 giraffe (got to spend a few hours with two different groups) keep your attention.

Our bottom line follows. Although the price per person per night is expensive, but not as expensive as some other reserves in the Eastern Cape, our "donation" to keeping Sibuya running and profitable was well worth the contribution. The title of this review says it all. Great Facilities, Great staff, and Great Food.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank LopingianTravels
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, March 25, 2013
Oh wow!!!
We are so privileged that our little piece of paradise can inspire such enthusiasm.

Yes, luckily, we are do have a bit of an "edge", being blessed with a magnificent and unique estuary, stunning vistas and being in the coastal belt which is so rich and diverse that we are able to carry such a variety of game and in such great numbers.

But all those great assets pale when compared to our great team that work so hard to enthusiastically share these delights with all our guests.
From our "rugged rangers" Brian, Chris, Mike and Werner to our wonderful camp staff Miles, Sidney, Welcome and Bonga, and all the others in camp and behind the scenes - they give us our real "edge" - they are the ones that get our guests saying "Sibuya" .... we will return.
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Brussels, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed March 17, 2013

We were in Sibuya River Lodge in March 2013 for 2 nights.

When you arrive by boat at the lodge you really have an "away from it all" feeling. The tents, the service and the quality of food and beverage are far above average, the team does everything to let you have an unforgettable stay. We had lovely gamedrives but our favourite was the early morning riverboat safari up the Kariega River. We didn't see much animals, but the quietness and the views largely made up for that. We went to Sibuya to experience with all our senses, and we got that in a very large portion !

Absolutely advisable to friends and family who are not afraid to live close to nature for a few days !

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Karin0064
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, March 25, 2013
Thanks Karin for your lovely words.
We are so happy and privileged to be able to share our very special and unique estuary with all its wonderful bounty with you.

We hope you are saying .... Sibuya ... we will return !!!!
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Berkshire.UK
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

My daughter and I stayed in River Camp for 3 nights in March 2013, it was really nice and comfortable. Loved the lanterns lighting our way to the tents in the evening, the peace and quiet was superb. We saw 4 out of the big 5, the leopards as usual were not co-operating! I enjoyed the fact that there is no TV, and it was nice to talk with the other guests from other countries. Unfortunately I developed a tooth abcess on the way there, so the staff made an appointment with the Doctor in Kenton in the morning, drove me there, I saw the Doctor and got the medication, and was back in time for lunch. My only sorrow is that I couldn't always enjoy the lovely food! Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday, the game drives were fantastic, (Werner is so knowledgeable) and the river trip lovely. Memo to self - must stay longer next time.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank DemonNan
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, March 17, 2013
Thanks for your lovely review - I will pass on your compliments to Werner
Hope your tooth is better now
We all look forward to a hosting you for a longer stay next time .... remember Sibuya...we will return !!!!
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Southern England
2 reviews
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We stayed for three nights in February, so went for six game drives and one game walk (next to the safer animals). Saw lots of wildlife, and the rangers were excellent spotters of game and birds, as well as very knowledgeable and friendly. This is definitely glamping (glamorous camping) - huge beds in the large tent, full bathroom facilities, hot water. Lights run off solar-charged batteries, I think, so are dim, but fine for most purposes, including reading in bed. We liked the food and there was plenty of it. Forest Camp is nicely laid out, with each tent out of sight of all others, set in the trees but with boardwalks to the reception/dining/sitting area. Recommended if you want to see game and birds while staying somewhere comfortable but not out of place.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank AndrewP59
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, March 17, 2013
Dear Andrew
So happy to hear you had a great stay - we hope to see you back here sometime soon.
best regards
The Sibuya team
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Pulborough, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

My hobbies are bird watching and wildlife generally. I also enjoy my food and wine. Our ranger was knowledgeable so the hour long trip up the Kariega river was informative. Then lunch for an hour plus in the lodge with refreshing beers beforehand (and on the boat). A choice of wines with our meal. Then a 3 hour trip around the reserve which was 'just right'. I saw all the animals I was hoping to see. Some of the terrain was pretty rough and rugged which added to the enjoyment. Although travelling on my own, I was part of a group of 10 who were great to enjoy the experience with. Excellent value for money for a day trip out.

Room Tip: I can't comment as mine was a day trip.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Paul M
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 28, 2013
Thanks very much Paul,
Next time you return, I hope you are able to stay over in the camps as that is when you will really get the chance to live the very special experience that is Sibuya.
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Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We were in a party of 20 for a wedding split between river camp and forest camp over 3 days
Food Outstanding
Accomodation Outstanding ( tents in Forest Camp)
Staff - Brilliant, polite, hardworking, informative
Rangers - Awesome ( Bryan made the drives a joy)
They really made our friends wedding an event we will never forget.
Especially the wedding meal, wow is all I can say
Can you tell we liked it??

Room Tip: Forest camp stick to 2 or 9 to avoid a long walk
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank warrenbailey
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 28, 2013
Thanks Warren,
We absolutely loved having you guys here - to host such a happy and positive party was such a pleasure for all our staff. We really hope that you are all saying - Sibuya - we will return!!!!
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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 10 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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