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“Great location”
Review of River Bend Lodge

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River Bend Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 4, 2013

This was our second visit of this lodge and we have again enjoyed our stay at this excellent place again. The lodge is not too big and the friendly, professional care of the team is very special. The food is very good and the wine list is completing lunch and dinner. The game drives are very professional and the guides are very experienced. Definitely worth a stay for a few nights.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
Thank Leckertester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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261 - 267 of 483 reviews

Reviewed November 4, 2013

We stayed at River Bend Lodge for three nights. Unfortunately the stay did not exceed or even meet expectations in many areas.
The lodge was comfortable with lots of luxurious touches like an espresso machine in the room and gifts waiting for the children each night.
The food for the adults is good quality and varied, with a new menu each day. However, the children's menu was very limited and never changed. The chef did cook alternative food and provide some vegetables for our children on request. The breakfast was fine but by no means the best experienced in South Africa.
The lodge is within its own private concession area and 20 minutes from the main Addo park entrance. The big five animals are within the concession area, although we were told that leopards have not been sighted for many years. Our young son queried whether the animals were in the wild or it was a zoo. His confusion was not without merit as you are very aware of the fences that hold the animals in and whilst the animals are not fed there is some intervention such as the provision of contraception.
Our field guide was friendly but appeared inexperienced and his delivery of information lacked confidence. At times information provided turned out later to be inaccurate, for example advising us that the lioness might be pregnant, but we later learnt she is the sister of the two lions in the concession area and is given contraception to prevent any pregnancies.
It rained whilst we were there. It is worth knowing that in the event of rain the concession area that surrounds the lodge is not used for game drives and the main park is used instead. Main park has a number of animals but is a huge area and thus sightings are even harder. It is also worth noting that whilst blankets and rain ponchos are provided the vehicles used have no cover. In heavy rain game drives are, therefore, cancelled. We were offered passes to the main park so that we could drive our own vehicle but decided against this as we did not have a four wheel drive vehicle and given the rain may have struggled to see much wildlife.
In place of the cancelled game drive one afternoon a wine tasting was offered which was very pleasant. However, there were limited activities for the children. The DVD player was out of order whilst we were there and there are only two or three board games. Baking was offered which would have been great but instead of baking with the chef some prepared cookie dough was given to the children to cut into shapes - it entertained them for a short while.
All in all not bad but not the highlight of the trip that it should have been.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank FandJ_S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Just back from a fabulous stay. Wonderful service, fabulous food and wine, lovely people and the animals are magnificent! Cannot recommend this place highly enough and definitely hope to go back again.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Jillyfrilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We stayed for 2 day's at River Bend Lodge. The lodge is located inside the National Park in their own private reserve area. Getting there in the early evening, we checked in and then went right to a game drive. Steve was our guide for both days. He was very knowledgeable and guided us to see 4 of the big 5 in our short stay at the lodge. On our first evening we were able to see 2 male lion's up close. River Bend is an all inclusive lodge with all meals and game drives included. We found all the amenities to be well worth the price. The food was excellent and the service superb. Our room was very spacious and comfortable. On our way out it was as if they queued the animals as we had a large heard of elephants, zebras, warthogs, ostrich and various antelope bid us farewell.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank CADream1n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We felt very welcome from the minute we arrived to the time we said our goodbyes. Our room was the honeymoon suite (room 1) which was luxurious and spacious. The bathroom had indoor and outdoor showers, Victorian bath and his and hers sinks. Outside there is a plunge pool and two sun beds in a secluded patio space.
On our arrival we were welcome by two members of staff, including Steve who was our Ranger and main point of contact. We felt as though we had known Steve for many years and had fabulous and successful safaris with him. Sam who has her internship with the park (lucky girl) was also outstanding in her approach to looking after guests.
All other staff members were friendly and helpful and endeavoured to make our stay a delightful experience.
Dinners are truly special with excellent food and the Director’s choice of accompanying wines can be highly recommended.
We were spoilt rotten and will definitely not rule out returning to this stunning paradise.

Room Tip: Honeymoon suite was superb.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ghislaine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

From start to finish, we were made so welcome and so comfortable. The staff were unfailingly charming and customer service was superb. Rooms were beautiful, as were the central facilities, and were comfortable and welcoming - so easy to relax. The game drives were exciting, and the guides were extremely knowledgeable.

Food and beverages were generally excellent, the only downside was the Sunday night buffet when I think it might have been the chef's night off - the buffet was not really very nice at all, and merely tepid.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank SandCW1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

This is the best place to view and photograph elephants that I have been to.
we were lucky to see a large herd with lots of young.
River Bend Lodge is situated in a great location, and plenty of other wildlife as well.
the food is five star +

I would certainly recommend this lodge to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Nigel-photography
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

Address: Zuurberg Road,, 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 #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Addo Elephant National Park
Price Range: $427 - $517 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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