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“Outstanding hospitality and superb guiding made for a truly memorable holiday”
Review of River Bend Lodge

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River Bend Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Kirkby Lonsdale, United Kingdom
1 review
“Outstanding hospitality and superb guiding made for a truly memorable holiday”
Reviewed April 26, 2011

We loved the fact that River Bend is so small and the thoughtful attention to details was really appreciated. Stunning bedrooms with views over the watering hole, delicious food and (most importantly) brilliant game drives with our guide, Darlington who took the time to get to know us and discover our interests. We really enjoyed learning about spiders, dung beetles and birds as well as some amazing elephant encounters and lots of other game sightings. We were all made to feel so welcome - this is one of those places that will provide a lifetime of memories!

Room Tip: They are all stunning
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank LfamillyKL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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431 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
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Ikoyi
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 23, 2011

We were thrilled to find a place where parents are made to feel comfortable because kids of all ages are genuinely welcome and feel it upon arrival with fresh, home-made lemonade and personalized glittery sugar cookies. In addition, an age-appropriate Fun Box for each child along with a letter of welcome, then daily educational information about the animals, were excellent touches. A life-size play house suited perfectly for kids, a sand area, and a swing set were wonderful attractions. The lodge, library, common areas, and beautiful pool were surrounded by gorgeous landscaped grounds. Delicious cuisine at the restaurant as well as on the game drives, and fresh hot coffee/hot chocolate and tasty rusk at wake-up call. Our lavender scented luxury suites were large and comfortable as well as elegantly decorated. The game drives were amazing! The extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and friendly guides work together to give everyone the best opportunity for seeing all the animals and making the experiences educational, enjoyable, and memorable.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank CRHTL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Herradura, Spain
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2011

We spent two nights, 8 and 9 April.

We arrived in the early evening, so missed the afternoon game drive. Our arrival at the superbly renovated Old Farmstead went extremely smoothly. We were met by Stef Marais and her wonderful staff. We were introduced to all the staff who would care for our every need. It was like home from home. A bottle of Bollinger, from the extensive cellar, before dinner went down well. The Dinners and Brunch were well prepared with super fresh ingredients. High Tea served at 15h30 is a colonial must! Cucumber Sandwiches better than Mom's. The serving staff were courteous and efficient. Then there is Darlington, our game guide, what an enthusiastic, competent and knowledgeable GEM.

We are bush people. We own property in the Limpopo Bushveld adjoining the Kruger National Park (unfenced).

ADDO ELEPHANT PARK is all about elephants. We were privileged to be right alongside (2 metres away) two week old babies. Something you would not easily experience in South Africa's Northern Reserves. Three of the Big Five in three game drives, not bad! Darlington tried his best to find the elusive Black Rhinos for us in the thick bush which they live in. Fresh Spoor and Fresh Hot Dung he found for us. If a black rhino is not standing directly in the narrow vegetation encroached vehicle tracks you don't see them. But that is the bush for you! Three sightings at close range of Cape Buffalo. Lions for the visiting tourists too! Birding with a knowledgable guide is a pleasure.

Only game species originally indigenous to the area are found at ADDO, lots of elephant in big herds, big herds of Cape Buffalo, Eland and Red Hartebeest, elusive Black Rhino, small lion numbers and the even more elusive nocturnal Cape Mountain Leopard. Lots of small stuff too and wonderful birds and vistas.

We will return when we are next in the Eastern Cape.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Malcolm072
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2011

We stayed for 3 nights at river bend with our one-year-old son in April 2011. The river bend staff were all very very welcoming and professional throughout our stay.

We stayed in an executive suite and had plenty of room for the baby cot and our son to play. The 'room' was a standalone little villa, comforting that we wouldn't be disturbing anyone else a crying baby during the night.

We really enjoyed the game drives and saw elephant, zebra, ostriches, a black rhino amongst others including giraffe and various antelope. Our son came with on all of the drives, river bend supplied a baby seat for the game drives and for each it was just us with our guide Rouen who showed us around and shared his extensive knowledge of the animals and environment. If we needed slightly shorter drives or to stop for a little break to cater for our son this was no problem. We were very happy with all of these arrangements and chose not to make use of the babysitting service which we'd previously anticipated using.

The lodge itself is also lovely, it has charm and is beautifully appointed although not brand spanking new.

We enjoyed all our meals, and as we were the only guests on our first night enjoyed dinner in our room. Our son was also very well catered for with his food being made available on request and varied
from the extensive children's menu if we asked.

We very much enjoyed our time at river bend and would recommend it to families with young children looking for a malaria free safari option.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ausdhabiexplorers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taunton
1 review
Reviewed April 9, 2011

I really enjoyed staying here. The staff were friendly and welcoming from the moment we arrived right through our stay. The rooms were comfortable, with a view right onto the park. The food was good. Our guide, Joe, was excellent - sharing his a knowledge of plants, eco-systems, and birds, as well as of the game we were looking for - and friendly and helpful. I'll certainly come again next time I'm in South Africa

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DTC50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed March 30, 2011

We stayed in Riverbend for one night and thoroughly enjoyed a very special experience. We loved the accommodation and facilities and the service provided by the team who attended to our every need. The highlight was the evening and morning game drives we did with Darlington who was a delight to be with and shared his immense knowledge of the Addo Bush and its animal and plant life with us so engagingly. We were particularly fortunate that we had him to ourselves. He took over our camera, enabling us to focus on watching the game and has left us with a collection of truly memorable photos. We enjoyed every aspect of our stay and would thoroughly recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank angelaw29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 11, 2011

This place was fantastic, the lodge was in a most beautiful location set within the Addo Nat'l Park boundries. Our patio overlooked a watering hole and we watched zebras and other wildlife come to drink. The staff was very friendly and provided most excellent service, and the manager Steph was a joy to meet. The rooms were glorius and the bedding top notch. The food was perfect. 5 stars in our book! We were only sad that we had just the one night.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Henlegs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about River Bend Lodge

Property: River Bend Lodge
Address: Zuurberg Road, | PO Box 249, Addo Elephant National Park 6105, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Addo Elephant National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Addo Elephant National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — River Bend Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a 14,000ha private concession within the Addo Elephant National Park, RiverBend is a mere 45 minute drive from Port Elizabeth. Home to an abundance of wildlife including elephant, lion, hyena, buffalo, black rhino and a variety of antelope and over 300 bird species, RiverBend is an ideal malaria-free safari addition to a Garden Route holiday. Children of all ages welcome. Pampering treatments are available in the Vitality Studio. Personalized game drives are led by enthusiastic and experienced guides, who will ensure you have a truly memorable safari experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
River Bend Hotel Addo Elephant National Park

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