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“A place I won't forget!”

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Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Jundiai, SP
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A place I won't forget!”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

In one word, I would say my experience at Shepherd's Tree was perfect! From the moment my wife and I arrived at the lodge everybody in the staff greeted us with a smile and were always really helpful.
The room is great and very spacious, and the bathroom is twice as large as the ones in my apartment back home. As many reviews have mentioned, the outside shower is amazing. During our last day there I took a shower while a female elephant ate outside the fence of the lodge, not twenty meters from me.
The meals, which are all included, were excellent. At least three different main course option for both lunch and dinner, as well as 2 options for startes and a dessert. Drinks are not included, but are reasonably priced.
The highlight of the stay is obviously the game drives. Edmar was very friendly and both knowledgeable and approachable, always ready to answer our rookie questions. We were able to see 4 lions up close, as well as herds of elephants, a black rhino family of a female and a baby and lots more. According to more experienced guests of the lodge, the national park has a good density of animals which increases your odds of seeing them.
A couple of final things to consider: it can get quite chilly in the morning drives (which start at 5:30 am in the summer), so make sure you pack a good jacket and long pants. They did provide us with blankets, which was a nice touch. The Internet doesn't always work in the rooms, but really, you shouldn't be checking your emails in a place like this anyway.

Room Tip: If you book a family room, you get access to an extension, which includes a TV, a microwave-oven, a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ricardo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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501 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed December 18, 2012 via mobile

Everything was wonderful from the time of arrival until departure. Robin, our ranger, was great, as were the staff. My daughter was very sick, and everyone was very keen to give their support and provide anything we needed. Finishing touch was elephant in the watering hole at breakfast time, seemed a bit close, buts what an amazing experience.

Room was delightful, and bathroom was best ever. Lovely views, and spent peaceful time watching weaver bird build a nest right by our terrace.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Dex19a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2012

My review is for both Shepherd's and Ivory Tree - two Cradle lodges that have their own unique and special charm and site on opposite sides of the Pilanesburg.

Shepherd's has been my favourite for some time and this marked my seventh visit in over a year. I love the exclusivity, the intimacy and the hugs from the staff who remember us (to name but a few: Portia, Ang, Jabu and Chris).

The rooms are lovely and the outside shower is a definite must for me (even in winter and at 5am in the morning, the liberation of showering outside under hot water is amazing).

The general areas are also pleasant with a nice pool (the water was a little murky but still nice in the 40 degree heat) and the staff are happy to try and provide your every need - even drinks that aren't on the menu when you cannot decide what you fancy.

The guides are good fun and Darrel was no exception with his quick wit and constant attention to our needs. He also joined us for dinner and was very knowledgable,open and honest in conversation.

Unmatched and front and centre is of course the wildlife and not only did we have the pleasure of seeing leopard on our first morning but at lunch at Shepherds, a big bull male elephant kept us company at the watering hole and suprised anyone who was relaxing in the spa with a personal hello (the spa by the way is also worth a visit).

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Heather O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Just spent two days and nights at Shepherd's, and it was a very positive experience. The staff was very attentive and helpful, the rooms are lovely, with great vistas onto the landscape, the food good and plentiful. Best of all, I highly recommend the guide Themba, who was extremely knowledgeable and has an eagle high for all sorts of details. Downsides? The lodge charges you for everything you drink, even water on the game drive. The food was a bit inconsistent, excellent one day, not so wonderful the next. The outdoor shower in the rooms is lovely, but I am not sure I would want to do it in the wintertime, and there is no indoor shower, only a bath. The pool is too cold to swim in. Also the lodge was not able to provide transportation from Sun City, a 15-minute drive, and I had to contract a private car, Mankwe Transfers, which cost me as much for those 15 minutes and I paid for a 2.5 hour drive to Sun City from Johannesburg.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank HanoiKathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We stayed at Shepherd's Tree this weekend as an anniversary getaway. Not only is the location breathtaking, but the lodge itself and the rooms are beautiful. The individual rooms make you feel like a part of the surroundings and the quiet and tranquil atmosphere at the lodge is very relaxing. The food on offer during dinning times are well selected and delicious, while the high tea before the afternoon game drives are equally as nice. The game drives are fun, exciting and informative and the game rangers are as professional and accommodating as they are good at what they do. The only criticism is that a little more attention to overall detail would go a long way towards the lodges' 5-star reputation, but overall, a very relaxing getaway destination. Worth it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Antoinette N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Entrance, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed November 1, 2012

had a great stay in late September for 5 nights (could have stayed longer). Staff are exceptional, food is amazing. At first I struggled with the no TV concept, but it didnt take long before I didnt even notice, after all the best TV of them all is right outside your window.
We saw 3 of the big 5 and had some amazing game drives, including one encounter with a black rhino that faked to charge us, what a highlight. I also felt my heart race when a bull elephant walked by and then turned to take a look at me with its tusk almost tapping on my chest.... wow.
I didnt have any negatives (although my wife wasnt a fan of the outdoor shower). My only tips to visitors would be; beware of the seats on the trucks with the spare tyre under them (can be uncomfortable), also empty your bladder before you go, it can be some time between stops.
I will be back

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ive_seen_paradise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johan58, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 4, 2012
Thank you so much for your comments and feedback about your recent stay at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge. We appreciate them. I am glad to hear your stay was so relaxed and peaceful and that you managed to see such a super variety of wildlife during your game drives. We would like to thank you most sincerely for your visit and hope to see you again some day.
Best Regards
Johan van Eeden
General Manager Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2012

We got to Shepherds Tree via a recommendation from Chantal from mtbeds who organized us a fantastic package for my mom's 50th birthday weekend. The service we got from the lodge was second to none making sure your every need is taken care of and you are treated like royalty from beginning to end. The staff were always helpful and willing to go out of their way for you and let me not even get started on how amazing the food was...every meal was a delectable, decadent experience. The game drives were also so much fun with Darrel proving to provide a wealth of knowledge and for only being a game ranger for such a short period of time, it was clear that he really has a passion for his profession and it was a breath of fresh air for us as we didn't mind being the last to come in all the time because we saw a lot of game.
The rooms were spacious and well appointed and they took extra care when doing the turndowns in the evenings which was a nice touch. We enjoyed the big stand alone bath and the outdoor shower was also a added bonus for me as I have always loved outdoor showers. My only suggestion would be to open up the middle lounge area for people if they request it as it is space not being used and we had two rooms adjacent to each other so it would've been nice for us to socialise there instead of the bar area.
The spa was also hit and miss for us as I had a fantastic massage and my wife said she felt like they hardly massaged her.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend and this modern, chic bush resort was exactly what we needed to unwind and relax...will definitely be back there again. Awesome holiday!

Room Tip: All rooms face the same view so they're all fantastic!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kevin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge

Property: Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge
Address: Pilanesberg Game Reserve | Sun City, Pilanesberg National Park 316, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Pilanesberg National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Pilanesberg National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Skirting the northern slopes of an amphitheatre within the Pilanesberg Game Reserve lies Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge, the lodge enjoys unrestricted vistas of the wilderness area of this big 5 wildlife sanctuary. Sweeping patios and sun decks adjoin the generous guest entertainment areas and rim-flow swimming pool. A gourmet restaurant, open entertainment decks, cigar lounge and gift gallery are amongst some of the facilities that discerning guests will find during their African safari. The lodge also includes a conference facility and Amani Spa. Attention to detail extends beyond the pleasure of your hosts, and is perhaps only rivaled by the contemporary cuisine, freshly prepared by dedicated chefs. Shepherd’s Tree features 13 double and 4 executive suites accommodating a maximum of 60 guests. Absolute privacy is ensures through the linear positioning of the suites along an elevated contour line, and providing panoramic vistas of the reserve. Each chalet features full en-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar and safe. Whilst some of our guests will find proximity to the Sun City complex appealing, most of our guests are at Shepherd’s Tree for the thrill and excitement of big game viewing from the comfort of our custom built game viewers. Qualified and experienced guides are tasked with the pleasure of interpreting the sights and sounds of this vast wildlife sanctuary. The reserve is home to the big 5 and cheetah, wild dogs and hippo. Guests are encouraged to join their guide and host on 2 daily safaris, designed around optimal game activity periods, these occur in the early morning and in the late afternoon and evening, the afternoon safari is punctuated by a sundowner stop before continuing into the night with the use of a powerful spotlight. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shepherd`s Tree Game Hotel Pilanesberg National Park

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