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“Country paradise”
Review of Cheetah Plains

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Cheetah Plains
Certificate of Excellence
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Country paradise”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

Want to say a very warm and heartily thanks from us both for the most amazing safari holiday we have ever experienced and the hospitality was out of this world let alone the game viewing of a lifetime. We cannot put words to the whole experience, but for anyone reading this on trip advisor, if you don't visit cheetah plains you will definitely be missing a holiday of a lifetime. A personal message to William and Justin, the site managers, for their outstanding knowledge and warm reception every time we met, we will miss their smiles, jokes and friendliness they showed to everyone, Zane & Gosia.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank kerrylee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WillemCP, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Dear Zane & Gosia

Thank you for the great review! I am thrilled with the fact that you had an experience of a lifetime, and therefore endless fond memories of Cheetah Plains and the African Bush! It really means a lot to me/us, and i will relay your message to the whole staff compliment.

Ps, hope to see you again in the near future.

Wild wishes
Willem
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244 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
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Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
233 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2014

We spent 3 nights with at Cheetah Plains.Having visited many of the private game Lodges in South Africa I can honestly say the Lodge ambiance, the staff and game viewing compare favourably with the best .The chalets are somewhat smaller and less luxurious than many of the other Lodges we have been to but were comfortable enough. We enjoyed excellent sightings of the big 5 and general game. Our ranger, Ephraim, was very knowledgeable with regard to game, flora and fauna and on top of it ,a great sense of humour. The lodge staff and GM Willem are fantastic The food is very good. The only downside is driving there. Contact the Lodge prior to departure to get info on the best route ..but DO NOT take the road (????) from Acorn Hoek under any circumstances.

Room Tip: Try and avoid Chalet 7 as it is near the workshops and there is constant ,irritating noise throughou...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rodney M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WillemCP, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Dear Rodney

Firstly, was great having yourself and your nearest staying with us at Cheetah Plains. Thank you for the lovely review.
Really glad you had some fantastic game drives, and yes, Ephriam's knowledge is exceptional, with over 20 years of knowledge, paired with a great sense of humor...you cannot go wrong :)

Regarding the level of noise experienced from Chalet 7, our sincere apologies! We are in the process of bettering the living standards of our Staff Village, and therefore the noise level was higher than normal. I can assure you that it ain't always so 'noisy'

Glad i had the opportunity to introduce you to some proudly SA Pinotage whilst you were here :)

Regards &
Wild wishes
Willem
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Stayed for two nights. Amazing game drives. Justin was our ranger for the first two game drives. He is amazing. Very passionate, fun and adventurous. They switched our ranger for the rest of the drives and it wasnt as much fun.
Loved the setting of the lodge, individual rooms and warm staff. The food was exceptional and very classy. The Sabi Sands area is rich in wildlife. We were able to spot the Big Five.
Would love to go back any day ..

It rained a lot during our stay and the roads were flooded when we were supposed to get out of the lodge to get to Hoedspruit airport. The staff could have been a little more proactive to solve the problem. We were late, missed our flight. Ended up staying one night in Nelspruit and paying a lot of money for next day's flight ticket. I understand that one particular road was flooded and no one could have solved that problem but we were relying on the staff to help us out and guide us in the right direction. Apart from this, we had a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SSDesai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
Thank you for your great review :) We are really glad that you enjoyed your stay at Cheetah Plains.

I am truly sorry that you missed your flight. In our defence, there were nothing, humanly possible, that we could have done more/better to assist you re getting through a flooded river..i hope that the great time you had with us, can make up for this.

We would love to have you visiting us again.

Wild wishes
Willem du Toit
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Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 26, 2014

Was able to stay at Cheetah Plains for a few days with friends, and the place couldn't have been much better.

If you're driving there…the drive there is pretty treacherous…I've never seen roads (if you can even call them that anymore) with so many potholes. I would strongly suggest calling the lodge shortly before you are traveling as they will be able to give you the best directions (and yes, in this area the best route might be different one day to the next). And if you're renting a car, this isn't the time to cheap out on an economy sized…get an SUV!

The lodge itself is amazing. The staff were extremely nice and helpful. The meals were awesome…some of the best food I had on our trip. At night you have to be escorted around the grounds because there might be a lion or leopard…if we had seen one I'm not sure what the escort would have done with only his radio, but it added to the excitement!

Our safari guide was Justin, and we was fantastic. He's extremely knowledgable, and you can tell he truly loves his job and cares about the animals/area. Being that it was summer the bush is very lush, so animals are much harder to spot. But being in Sabi Sands vs Kruger means you are able to track animals off-road and the guides work together to find them. Justin was excellent at tracking the animals and the only big animal we missed out on was the rhino (saw lots of rhino poop, but I don't think that counts).

Wireless is spotty, but they said when we were there one of the routers was down and it was getting fixed that weekend. I'd imagine it's hard to schedule the internet company to visit you in basically the middle of the nowhere...

Overall this place was great. They really go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and give you the best safari experience. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Hi Kevin

Thank you for your review. I will relay your compliments towards the Cheetah Plains team and Justin alike!
Due to all the rains the last month, the roads, especially from Acornhoek down to Gowrie gate, took quite a 'beating' ! So yes, always a good idea to contact us directly at the Lodge for best directions. Kevin, the alternative is off course to fly directly into the reserve..Fed Air and CessZani does charter flights in & out, via JHB, and depending on the conditions re wetness of the airstrips, you 15 - 40 min drive from the camp...and we collect you! So you get a pre game drive in immediately after landing :)
We did have some wi-fi issues, but i am glad to inform you that it has been fixed, so all our Chalets, incl the Cottage, has got wi-fi.

Looking forward to your next visit.

Wild wishes
Willem
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Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2014

This is my 3rd trip to Cheetah Plains and the 2nd group safari that I have led here, and being a a safari company owner I have a the choice of a number of lodges who all provide excellent service, excellent facilities and fabulous game drives, so why Cheetah Plains.

Well it is simple, it is intimate, and the staff, from the GM Willem, to the guides Andrew, Justin & Ephraim, the ground staff , Paul the chef, and everyone else involved make this place run like a well oiled machine and a special place to visit.
If it were not for the people, Cheetah Plains would be just another bush lodge, but their attention to detail, their friendliness, and the high quality of the service sets them above the rest.

Every facility has its share of problems and Willem and the staff do everything possible to prevent the inevitable, but when things do go askew they jump onto it immediately and resolve the issue, and more importantly they do everything in their power to prevent it from happening again.

The game drive vehicles are a lodges heart and soul, and the landcruisers there are in tip top condition, spotlessly clean, and well serviced and perform flawlessly. These vehicles have done at least 3 years in the bush and still look like the day they were purchased, and we all know what a beating bush vehicles take.

i have brought clients and groups from the USA, from Europe and from Brazil to this lodge and to date I have not had a single complaint and this makes my job easier and it is one less item that I have to concern myself with when planning photo safaris.
Will I return, well absolutely, I am back there again in late 2014, in March 2015 and beyond,

This lodge has got it right !

Gavin Slabbert
Owner
Images in Africa Safaris

Room Tip: There are 2 luxury rooms (rooms 7 & 8) that cost marginally more than the standard rooms, and th...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gavin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Dear Gavin

Thank you for the great review. Having you and Your guests here is always a great pleasure :)

We sure did have our 'hands full' with more than 400 mm of rain over the period you visited us, but, as you've mentioned, knowing that i have a great team that gets things done, is a blessing! And being in the middle of nowhere, team work is essential.

Paul, our Head Chef, and his Sous chefs Lineth and Eunice, strive to prepare only the freshest and tastiest of cuisine, and i am glad that you have had the opportunity to enjoy that again. (ps, i am wondering if that is not the main reason for your continious retuns? hehe )

In all earnest, Andrew, Ephriam and Justin are great and passionate guides, that loves what they do for a living, and do know the importance of well maintained Game drive vechiles.

Gavin, thank you again for your compliments to the Cheetah Plains team! and we are looking forward to be hosting you again later this year..

Wild wishes
Willem
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Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2014

Had the pleasure of staying here for a few days, the staff was outstanding - The airline had lost my bag in Johannesburg and the staff arranged for it to be brought to me that same night. Our guide Justin was extremely knowledgeable and made the safari experience fantastic. We were there in Summer so due to the amount of vegetation it was much harder to spot animals but even still we got to see everything except cheetahs and rhinos.The rooms were nice although wifi was somewhat spotty, the meals prepared by the kitchen were excellent and some of the best I had in South Africa

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank jpankiw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Dear Jonathan

Thank you for your review and compliments re efficiency in getting your luggage. It was only a pleasure and glad we could get it here so quickly.
I am really honored about your compliments towards our Chefs, and their capabilities! We do cook fresh, and with the best ingredients we can source..
Justin sure loves what he does, and therefore is like a walking encyclopedia! Ask him anything whether it is fauna/ flora or even astronomy, and you'll hear more than what you've ever could imagined :)

Ps, our WiFi is now working 100% again, but thank you for your patience re this, with all the rains and spectacular thunderstorms...being in the middle of the bush, can lend to some 'glitches' regarding technology and the inevitably social media needs :)

Hope to see you here again soon.

Wild wishes
Willem
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Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
58 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2014

Cheetah Plains had a previous life as the Djuma Bush lodge. It was good then and it is very good now. The new owners did a lot more than just give it a new name. Everything at the lodge that can be updated, has been. All have A/C, new decor and bedding. And they are spotless. Previous owners had a small 2BR house with a large lounge that is now either a Family unit or perhaps a Honeymoon hideaway. It's a terrific option for families.
The chalets are sprinkled around the grounds, surrounded by beautiful mature vegetation that adds to the natural 'feel' at Cheetah Plains. Truth is, the chalets are so concealed that I couldn't find mine the first time I was headed back to it from the main lodge. Private? I should say so. They do have two types of the rondavel chalets - and rates are slightly higher for the two that have a larger bathroom plus an outdoor shower. I was in one of the 'regular' ones, and it was just fine.
Food service is going always to include some South African dishes. Their cooks do it very well. I had one extraordinary gameviewing experience that I will share. Ephraim, our Guide - along with William, from another of the lodge vehicles - got out on foot and disappeared into the bush, looking for traces of a pride of lions they knew had been through the area. They reappeared in 10 or 15 minutes, and we drove away, headed somewhere.. we knew not where. And then, after driving another 15 minutes to a specific place Ephraim expected the lions would be - there they were. And there was absolutely nothing distinctive about where they had settled down. Just the bush. Ordinary bush. His explanation? Experience. Nothing more complicated to tell us. Just his experience. I like the that part of Sabi Sand for wildlife, I should add. And they have a large area for their game drives that is exclusive to them.

Room Tip: The chalets with the outdoor shower are a very good value. The Family 'house' is one of the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank bwanadave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WillemCP, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Dear Dave

Thank you for your great review! Real pitty we've missed each other whilst you were visiting Cheetah Plains.You'll have to visit us again soon?
I am truly happy that you've managed to capture and experience the essence of what Cheetah Plains is really all about!! I could not put it in any better/other words than what you have experienced whilst re visiting this special little corner of the Sabi Sands.

I will relay your appreciation to Ephriam and the rest of the Cheetah Plains team.

Wild wishes & God Bless
Willem
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Additional Information about Cheetah Plains

Property: Cheetah Plains
Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve | Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa, Kruger National Park 1383, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cheetah Plains is a small, authentic bush camp in the world renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, with 500 hectares of privately owned land & another 8000 hectares of additional traversing - you can be assured of exceptional game viewing - especially leopard and the rest of the "big 5". Cheetah Plains has only 8 traditionally thatched rooms - set amongst indigenous gardens - creating a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.We focus on freshly produced meals in wonderful surroundings - complementing the friendly and attentive service from all at Cheetah Plains. We look forward to welcoming you to our special bush home. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cheetah Plains South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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