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“First rate game viewing and great accommodation” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation

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Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation
Certificate of Excellence
Worcestershire
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“First rate game viewing and great accommodation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2013

Travelling 23rd August to 6th Sept with Tailor Made Safaris (tailormadesafaris.co.za)
Tembe Elephant Park was something that I confess, was not what I thought would be, or that it would be one of the holiday highlights but with sightings of 31 elephants, warthog, Inyala, impala, water buck, bush buck, zebra, buffalo and more birds than you could shake a stick at, this is going to be very hard to beat. In addition there are two things that I have been able to cross off my bucket list on this holiday; one is to stroke a cheetah which I did at Emdoneni, (search for the review) and the second was to see a leopard in the wild. This second one I did at Tembe on our last early morning drive before leaving and I was thrilled! I only became clear to us how lucky we were when discussing the sighting with our park guide who does 2 or three drives every day and he had not seen one for a month!
Upon arrival we were greeted by the staff who were singing to welcome us, the rather diminutive young local ladies took our cases from us which they took (some on their heads) to our rooms. We were asked to sign in and we were escorted to our room by the very informative and sweet lady who took our bag. I have to confess I would have been so out of breath I would not have been able to talk at all had I done what she had!
The room actually a permanent tent with a brick built wash area, toilet and outside shower attached. The bed was very comfortable and the whole thing was very cool. The trick here however is to shower during day light if possible as the moths and insects are attracted to the flood light that illuminates the outside shower area.
The restaurant is an open -sided thatched hut, the service is low key but efficient enough and there is always plenty of smiles on show which goes a very long way to make it all very pleasant. The food is plentiful and tasty and there are usual and some un-usual offerings for the adventurous of palette. We sampled Warthog, Impala amongst others.
The other highlight of our stay was a very close encounter with Isilo. He is the largest tusker elephant in the Southern Hemisphere (possibly the world) and being very clever (and very, very big), he lets himself into the camp at night. On our first night our son Ollie was tired and so decided to retire early after dinner. Two minutes later he came rushing back to our table to say that he had been walking back to his tent and had hear an elephant in the camp; it was Isilo and his friend. In the faint torch light this huge animal was even more impressive than one could imagine with his tusks only about a foot off the ground, his friend was very impressive too.
The park is made up of sand roads set in xx,000 areas and they only allow 10 vehicles into the park per day so you do not have to queue up to see sightings and the very good hide is not crowded.
The big question of any hotel/lodge is "Would you pay good money and go back" for us the answer is absolutely yes and in fact we have just booked to go back with Tailor Made Safaris.
On the subject of Tailor Made Safaris, we can highly recommend their services. If TripAdvisor provided ratings for guide companies, we would give 5 out of 5. This was our first trip to Africa and we needed someone to guide us and give impartial advice on what to see and do yet still keep us to our budget. Nick & Freya did this with great professionalism and expertise. Freya's guiding was first rate and because they propose the itinerary, they have been there and they will provide the guide to take you there. Everything was fantastic. They also offer self drive safaris too if that helps, look them up at tailormadesafaris.co.za.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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?
1 Thank revaew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2013

We have just returned from our third visit to this excellent game lodge and once again came away blown away by this great lodge. Accommodation is in luxury tents with an outside shower under the stars. The food is excellent and the staff must be the friendliest we have ever encountered on our travels and very well trained. Game drives are with wonderful guides with great knowledge of the wildlife and vegetation. The Tembe tribe, Tom and Ernest can feel very satisfied with this community run lodge and it is wonderful to know that in an area of such poverty and huge unemployment that money is ploughed back into the community. We will be back and back.....

  • Stayed November 2013, 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?
Thank Helene518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2013

Tembe Lodge is a sterling example of how to do a community-owned lodge well. The staff are empowered and excellent, the accommodations are comfortable and the food is excellent. Tom and his staff are the very best in the business. We were on a filming trip and Tom went out of his way to take care of us and ensure that we got what we needed. I would not hesitate to recommend this wildlife experience to locals and international guests alike.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 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?
Thank Jimbowaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013

We've just come back after 3 nights at Tembe. We had the most fantastic time. We were in room 9, the Royal suite. The room was so clean and spacious and the outside shower was an experience! We had 5 game drives with our guide, Patrick, who was so knowledgable and found us: elephants, including the Tuckers, lions, wild dogs, zebra, giraffe, monkeys and all different types of buck. It was truly an unbelievable experience. We even had bucks around our room in the early afternoon.
The facilities were great, with room service twice a day, the staff were so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The staff really care about you and your experience as only the local community are employed there and depend on our tourism, so please go, you won't regret it!

Room Tip: Room 9 was great, away for the main camp, but not too far
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, 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?
Thank Sam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

We stayed for two nights and it was al of the time GREAT, the warmest welcome we have ever experienced. You will have right away the feeling that you are expected and not as a guest but as a long lost relative or friend. The staff is doing it's outmost and you are almost feeling guilty about there efforts. There are only 21 beds, small dining and breakfast area will give you a fast way in connect to others. The rooms or tents are great, lots of space and a outdoor shower with sometimes sight towards wild animals. This is by far our finest experience in South Africa. Because of the backgrounds, the profits will be used in improving facility's for the Tembe tribe, it is the best spend money. Drives are set for 3 hours but we got more than once more time in nature to spend. For shure we will go back. Thanks for letting us feel the warmth of Africa.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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?
Thank Sandra356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potchefstroom, South Africa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2013

We didn't really know what to expect when we booked our stay at Tembe Lodge. Immediately after entering the gates, it far exceeded our expectations!!! We were warmly greeted by a staff member who gave us all the information we needed during our stay. After a short drive from the gate to the lodge, we were greeted by singing staff members handing out cool cloths for our faces! Our luggage was carried to our tent while we booked in at reception. The staff were EXTREMELY friendly and helpful, and made it clear that they are there to cater to our every need with a smile on their faces. The accommodation was clean, comfortable and (apart from maybe needing airconditioning!) nearly 5-star! What a great feeling being completely surrounded by the bush. Game drives were definitely a highlight: the guides are exceedingly experienced and knowledgable. The food was out of this world! Four meals a day of the highest quality were served. Saw four of the big five (lions on two occasions!), and ofcourse the big tusker (Isilo) crossed the road infront of us (after paying a visit to the lodge during the night)! I would highly recommend a stay at Tembe to anyone who loves nature (and maybe seeking something a little bit different and wanting to receive 5-star treatment at much more reasonable prices)!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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?
1 Thank Barbs1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Tembe. The people were warm and welcoming and catered to every need we had. We saw leopard on our first game drive which kicked the stay off very nicely and each subsequent game drive was fantastic. The food was excellent and the ambiance was really lovely. There was such attention to detail that each table had their national flag at dinner time - my table had three nationalities in the one family and each nationality was represented. The local people came by and gave us a treat by dancing and singing. Overall, it was a great experience and I would return in a heartbeat. I was sad to leave.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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?
Thank SineadMaher
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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