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“5 Star in every way!”

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Tembe Elephant Park Accommodation
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 16, 2013

My family of 15 stayed at Tembe for 3 nights in celebration of my husband's 70th birthday. Our party comprised of well travelled South Africans and Australians, rangong from 3 -82 years in age, and we were all impressed by the hospitality and excellent service given to us. Our tented accommodation was clean and very comfortable with ample room and privacy. The meals were simple but tasty with a good variety. Our game drives were exciting, getting up close, ( a little too close for some) with the animals. Our guide Tom was so informative and humorous and we were able to see the Big 5 as well as countless birds and beautiful flora. A highlight was a Wild Dog and Zebra stand-off. Most impressive is the pride that the staff of Tembe have in their Game Park.

Room Tip: Make sure that you have a torch with you if your tent is located near the gate.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Margie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 - 163 of 266 reviews

Reviewed December 10, 2013

Go here!! This place is amazing and was a favourite for me and my friend -- and we'd both been to several other parks in South Africa and other countries. Great people working there, excellent service, gorgeous accommondations (don't fear the "tent" talk... they are better than any hotel), and all the animals you could hope for. They even accommodated my gluten-free food requirements, and actually knew what that meant. This is a must-do if at all possible.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Robyn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Unfortunely we could only stay one night in the Lodge. 2 Nights would have been perfect. Staff was very friendly and we felt very welcome from the first moment we entered the park. Food was super and the tents were very comfortable. Great experience to stay there. The game drives were very well organized and yes, we saw plenty of elephants, lion and lots of other animals. Certainly worth while a visit.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank cstuurman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank revaew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Helene518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Jimbowaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sam W
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

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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