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“Best Staff Ever, Clean and Fun”

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Shishangeni Private Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Best Staff Ever, Clean and Fun”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

The room was wide, well decorated, very clean (I mean towels and bed linen were impeccable). The breakfast, lunch and dinner were simple, complete and tasty. It was also good that they provided something to eat before the games, that means before the breakfast and in the afternoon. The games were well guided, and as all the drivers had communication between them, it was easier to find the big five or other interesting animals like cheetah and wild dogs. The staff were the most friendly I ever met (and I´ve been in more than 100 hotels in the past few years).
Negative points (neutral for some people): slow internet, and only available in the lobby, that can be 5 minutes walk from your room. No TV in the rooms.
In a way, It is a place to relax and take your time. A place to turn off from 'big cities manias' for a little while.

Room Tip: The smaller the number of the room you get closer to the lobby and restaurant. Preferential.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank PriBruno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KeyChainHospitality, Management at Shishangeni Private Lodge, responded to this review, August 30, 2013
Thank you for your positive comments about Shishangeni. We are glad you enjoyed your visit with us and that you found our staff so friendly.
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265 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
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Mauritius
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2013

We stayed at the main lodge for two nights and then moved to the more private Camp Shamu , situated on a waterhole some 30 minutes from the main lodge for two nights.

The lodge is a bit tired and in need of a bit of a revamp. Staff are however very friendly and helpful. Food was delicious. Boma a great evening experience under a cold clear winter sky around a blazing camp fire.

The Shamu camp was fantastic! We were originally only booked to stay for a night , but had to stay for another we enjoyed it so much!Being on the large waterhole enabled us to laze between game drives watching the young hippo frolicking and older ones lolling around in the water, fish eagles fishing, large herds of buffalo come down to drink (close to 500 I think) with elephant ,hyaena, lion, assortment of buck , zebra, rhino's which was wonderful considering they are near extinction now due to being poached to feed sick Asian infantile demand due to supposed aphrodisiac properties of their horn-(total superstitious nonsense!) (Thanks goodness that they are now protected by the SA Defence Force and anti poaching units of SAN Park - so if you are some sick poacher reading this site be warned! They have killed many of poachers in this area recently!).

The drives are a fantastic opportunity to get up and personal with the animals. The driver/guides are knowledgeable and friendly.

This is a highly recommended break from horror of everyday city life.

Room Tip: Really good to experience the wattle and daub tendted camp on the dam
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MikeGray4655
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KeyChainHospitality, Marketing Company at Shishangeni Private Lodge, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Thank you for your feedback Mike. We are glad you had such a wonderful time with us, and decided to stay an extra day. P.S - Isn't the water hole at Camp Shawu just great.
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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 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2013

We had the very unfortunate experience to spend a night in your lodge and be totally ripped off to say the least - R2630 per single for a bed and Double R3600, dinner and breakfast - and no games drives and when requested that this was a rip-off and the rate should be adjusted because no game drives were done - blank stares was the answer! (Sthe Thembi) Their was not management at the lodge and nobody cared - only Khethekuhle who served us our meals is worthy of being in the hospitality industry.

To name a few critical negatives
-The aircon did not work in room 4 and guests needed to move to room 2 at 9.30pm when someone had supposedly gone to room 4 to fix the aircon and confirmed it worked when it didn't
-Room 2 no water
-Toilet in room 3 ran all night - guests are asked to conserve water but clearly this goes for no one else!
-The rooms overall were far from clean!
-Big sliding doors in dining room could not be closed as they were broken and we as guests had to freeze!
-The shower was blocked in room 3 + 4
-A smaller door in lounge are also could not be closed properly and cold wind blew in.
- when the switchboard called to request details of ownership and General Management you are put on hold indefinitely - tried 3 times!

How can the exorbitant rates be justified when you are not even at 2 Star level but charge 5 star rates. What a complete rip-off.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank jmg57_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KeyChainHospitality, Management at Shishangeni Private Lodge, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
We are extremely sorry that you experienced these discomforts during your stay at the Lodge, this is not what we are trying to give our valued clients.

As far as the rates and the inclusive elements, I would like to clarify the issues raised, the rates are all inclusive, and therefore include - Accommodation, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, plus 2 Game Drives per night stay. As an inclusive rate, if someone chooses not to have any of these elements, say Dinner for instance, these are not refundable as is the normal practice throughout the industry.

As far as the Game Drives go, these depart every evening at 6pm and every morning at 6am. Usually on the day of arrival, the guest arrives during the day, has the evening drive and then the morning drive the next day before departure. If the guest arrives after the departure of the drive,or chooses not to partake, this unfortunately is not the responsibility of the lodge and no refunds can be given.

On the maintenance issues at the property, again we apologize for the negative issues experienced, but we well into a full refurbishment program, costing several million rands, and we have installed a new management team to drive the product and experience for our guests, which has substantially enhanced the product.

We do hope that you will do a follow up trip to experience the true product.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Game drives are the highlight of our entire SA trip and we were waiting for this part of trip! First about Shishangeni... we stayed in 13th cottage. The path way walks in clear sky is just an experience of it's own. We loved the cottage at the first sight itself! Very spacious and clean. Full of privacy! The open shower and tub is a unique experience! A chocolate kept on the bed is really sweet! Rooms are cleaned twice every day! Each room has a big sit out with nice chair! This place is really amazing to stay relax and enjoy the serene nature....

Next game drives, real feel of Africa is on these safaris!! Wow! Rhinos, Winder beasts, warthogs, Zebras, giraffes, Hippos, Elephants and a Lion... we spotted them all! Apart from big ones there are so many Kadus,Impalas.. .they are all so very beautiful and they come so near to Jeep!! It's truly amazing experience! This is the best place for game drives!

Food: Nice variety of food. They cater all kinds of people.. Loved their chocolate mousse Their camp fire place is also nice...

Do swim in the pool... it's truly refreshing...

Enjoy game drives and sit back and relax rest of the time in sit outs with a book!

This place is the most memorable place in our trip! Thank you all of you guys for the wonderful service!

Room Tip: If you have older people travelling with you chose a room closer to main building. Higher the room n...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Qrio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KeyChainHospitality, Management at Shishangeni Private Lodge, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
We are glad you enjoyed your stay at Shishangeni and had a memorable experience with us.
Since you enjoyed the game drives so much, we will be doing walking safaris shortly, so visit again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 17, 2013

It was our Honeymoon.

First time in SA, first Safari, knowing nothing about it or expecting anything...

Talking first about the little things that could be improved,
- one lady from the desk was very cold and even rude globally and esp. when we needed a hand with a phone call. It's only one person and the rest of the staff was Wonderful. Making her smile could make the service experience perfect.
- the internet was down when we stayed, hope it's fixed now. (nota : you, usually, don't need @ in such places...)

Otherwise, the Chalet was great! We enjoyed the terrace, the outside shower is amazing, the beds very comfortable. We loved finding our chalet made up each time we got off the night game drive.

The restaurant is great! Congrats to the chef with menus between local food and European tastes. We loved esp. the breakfasts and the Braais !

THE MOST AMAZING THING is the Game! We experienced two perfect Rangers (Sofiso and Keneth, in a different style) funny, clever, amazingly good to find the animals, they both gave us the feeling of being invited by the Bush and its inhabitants... They don't hesitate to go off the road to see them very very close. The explanations and the jokes of the rangers are fabulous. We loved the morning calls; the bush breaks during the game; the all atmosphere of it. We've seen all of the big 5 and almost the entire extended list.

You want the perfect Game Drive experience and a very good place to stay (on the way to be excellent I’m very sure), Here is THE place, affordable.

M&I from Paris.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank INfromParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KeyChainHospitality, Management at Shishangeni Private Lodge, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
We are privileged that you spent your honeymoon with us.. Thank you for your constructive review. We are glad you enjoyed your stay, and especiall the wildlife at Shishangeni.

Keychain Hospitality has recently taken over the management of Shishangeni and we will take your comments into serious consideration. We are happy to inform you that the internet wireless has been updated, and I'm sure when you next visit, all the staff will have smiles on their faces :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013

We stayed here at the end of our 2 week tour through South Africa and I could not imagine a better way to end our vacation. The staff was the friendliest we encountered in a country full of friendly people. It's a very short, very easy drive from the Crocodile Bridge gate and a longer, but more interesting drive from the Skukuza camp near the Paul Kruger Gate. Upon arrival, we were met with refreshing welcome drinks, served lunch, and then shown to our (amazing!) room. After a shower and nap in the biggest most comfortable bed I've ever had the pleasure of sleeping in, we met back at the main lodge for tea and the afternoon safari. Our guide was very knowledgeable and very entertaining. We learned a lot and had a great time! We made a stop out in the bush to watch the sun set with a few (complimentary) drinks. After some night time game viewing we headed back to the lodge for an exceptional dinner. The next morning's game drive didn't disappoint either, and we got to hang out in the bush and enjoy some coffee and cookies. From beginning to end we had a great time at Shishangeni and even considered moving our flights so that we could stay a bit longer. In the event that we ever return to Africa, we will absolutely be returning to Shishangeni!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KeyChainHospitality, Management at Shishangeni Private Lodge, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
We are glad to hear that this was the highlight of your trip. Thank you posting the lovely photographs. We hope you can return to Africa, and especially Shishangeni soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pattukkoottai,tamilnadu state
Level 6 Contributor
230 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

we were lodged in a private lodge with a quaint name ,Shishangeni , within the game reserve , near the crocodile bridge.The overall decor is reminiscent of the British colonial style hunting lodges. There are about 22 cottages with their own passages leading to them. Almost all are similar, of the suite type with a large bedroom with a huge 4 poster bed swathed in mosquito curtains with a small ante-dressing room , and an adjoining bath and washroom and a shower outside the bathroom in the open!The bedroom opens out into a wooden porch type balcony with large old trees providing shade -and sometimes sheltering baboons too. After providing us hot cofee/tea, the game drives started very early in the morning with daybreak, and in the afternoons extending into the evenings till dusk.The rangers drawn from the indigenous population of the game reserve, ,also functioning as our jeep drivers and guides, were very courteous, knowledeable with a very keen eye for spotting the animals,birds etc. All the meals were provided in the lodge, the staff being very courteous and helpful. There is also library, a small museum,conference room an an enclosed open space for night buffets under the clear african sky with a campfire! There is also a small swimming pool with cool waters.
Had an enjoyable experience staying in this lodge.

Room Tip: though all the rooms are similar. rooms numbering 10 and above are way far back . Choose rooms near...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nilaseventy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KeyChainHospitality, Management at Shishangeni Private Lodge, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful and accurate description of Shishangeni, and for posting the photographs. We hope to see you return soon.
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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 Shishangeni Private Lodge

Property: Shishangeni Private Lodge
Address: Southern Kruger Park | south-eastern section, bordering Crocodile River to the south and Mozambique in the east, Kruger National Park 1340, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #87 of 174 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Shishangeni Private Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
There is a place in Africa where legends are bornShishangeni comprises of three camps to choose from Shishangeni Private Lodge, Camp Shonga and Camp Shawu. Each of the three adding a different experience to the visitor. The Lodge offers big five game viewing, superior service, excellent cuisine, and the best accommodation in Southern Africa. The emphasis of all three of our camps is on nature without losing the luxury and superior service our guests are accustomed to. We are striving to create the optimum balance between people and their environments, while having an absolute minimal impact on the neighbouring habitat. ... more   less 
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