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“Exceeded my expectations”

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Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Exceeded my expectations”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

I can't compare Tembe with anywhere else I have ever stayed, it is fantastic. The park and lodge are run by the local Tembe tribe people who are exceptionally friendly and welcoming. Accomodation is in tented rooms which are actually quite comfortable and well appointed. Outside of the summer months I could see these being cold at night though. Elephants often come to visit in the night time and come within a few metres of the tents!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included and of a high standard. The game drives are very good with excellent drivers and the best range of game I have come across so far. I would certainly like to visit again.

Room Tip: The luxury safari tents are very good - under Matriarch Suite on the website.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank N_Young47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fairford, Glos
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Visited in Feb 2012. We spent 4 nights here and enjoyed every minute, very warm and enthusiastic welcome from staff. Tented rooms are very roomy and have everything you need, with en-suite bathroom and outside seating area. Food is fairly basic but very tasty and is a nice break from rich food. Game drives were excellent, wide variety of habitats and wildlife with elephants obviously being the highlight. The lodge is staffed and managed by the local community and they make a real effort to make sure your stay is an enjoyable one. Will definitely return one day.

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Nadger66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Tembe reserve exceeded all of our expectations! My husband and I spent two nights at the lodge, the rate is extremely reasonable, especially as it includes meals and game drives.

The accommodation was not five star luxury but it is very comfortable and certainly more than adequate. The staff on the other hand have five star attitudes, they are always smiling, more than happy to help and incredibly humble.

The reserve has the big five and during our stay we saw everything but leopard. Our guide was knowledgable and enthusiastic, often sharing tribal traditions and tales about the various animals. We were also fortunate to see isilo -the biggest tusker in Africa.

We found Tembe very relaxing and will definitely create an opportunity to return.

Tembe is ideally located for a bush and beach holiday, we spent some time in southern Mozambique before heading to tembe. A highly recommended trip.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Karen E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012

My husband and I went to Tembe for a romantic weekend in the bush. I was so impressed with the value for money this place offered - it is honestly like being in a private game reserve, with your own open game vehicles and very knowledgeable and passionate guides (but at a quarter of the price).

The staff were friendly and helpful, which is not usual in KZN in my opinion. The food was above average, with some very good meals and the portion sizes perfect. The wine list could have been a bit better and they could have offered a few more goodies at the shop i.e. snacks like biltong, dried fruit and chocolates to take on your game drives.

As well as the usual we were lucky enough to view lions, rhinos, buffaloes, wildebeests, birds of prey and we also tracked the wild dogs which was exciting. The highlight though was the interaction with the Elephants - to have these incredible, enormous animals within a meter of the game viewing vehicle was out of this world...I think our guide was "whispering" to them - he honestly had an amazing rapport with the Elephants! Another experience of his "feel" for the bush, was when we had stopped, for a cup of coffee and a rusk and had all climbed out of the vehicle to stretch our legs...my husband ventured off a little, as nature called. The next thing the guide is calling us all back into the vehicle as he thinks there is a lion. We jumped in, drove around the corner and there was a lioness 20m away from where my husband had been standing!!

The accommodation is in luxury tents (i.e large tents built onto a platform), which are comfy and clean and more than comfortable. However, I'm into interiors and feel they could be "Zhoozshed" up a bit with not too much effort. The walk to the room was fabulous though, as you walk right past antelope grazing, so if you sit quietly on your verandah, reading your book sipping your drink, who know what might surprise you!

All in all a "real" big 5 must do experience!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mandsc2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
43 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

This was my second visit to Tembe and the reserve was as lovely as I remembered it. I wanted to have the best chance of seeing the biggest elephants possible and Tembe is one of the best places in Southern Africa for this. I have read that in the whole of Africa there may only be 40 genuine tuskers left. A tusker is an elephant that has tusks weighing 100 pounds. We had some great sightings and did come across an elephant who looked to be very close to a genuine tusker. We had other encounters on our drives and back in camp. Always great to hear then see bush babies. The staff are great, the food is good and the reserve is very different to most in the area. Well worth another visit!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank SafariKZN-Mark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

My family (myself, husband and 2 boys, ages 9 and 5) spent 3 nights at Tembe just after Easter. Guest numbers are small which makes the camp very intimate. The staff at Tembe are efficient, courteous and unassuming. The game drives leave at 6.30am and 3pm, and last for about 3 hours; I was worried that my boys would be not able to sustain their interest and misbehave on the vehicle - but, they were enthralled. They went on every game drive available and loved every one! Our ranger (and camp manager), Tom chatted to them, entertained them and educated them. He went the second mile for us to track the game. Our tent was (truthfully) a little down at heel, but it was atmospheric, made all the more exciting by an evening visit from a friendly elephant, and a few nyala by day. The need for a revamp was overshadowed by the commitment of the staff and their care. The food was hearty and wholesome, and oh so well timed. The game, the birds, the butterflies are beautiful and plentiful. Thank you Tembe, we will be back.

Room Tip: We stayed in a Matriarch suite, which was perfect for 4.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank HaveKidsWillTravel01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Purmerend, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2012

We were your guests for the second time and we loved it again.
The whole atmosphere is wonderfull , the food was absolutely delicious and the game-drives with Patrick were thrilled. His knowledge about nature is great.
One of the highlights was our 3 hours spend in the Hide,the peace & tranquility watching the animals coming and going,was beeing in a National Geographic documentary.. We saw Mkadebona, what a big elephant!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elsbeth en Bert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation

Property: Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation
Address: 72 kms from Jozini, Tembe Elephant Park 3973, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Tembe Elephant Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Tembe Elephant Park
Number of rooms: 15

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