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All reviews rooms are small game drives sabi sands individual chalets his knowledge rented a car the reserve the general manager communal meals expensive lodge african bush off road gowrie gate great guide outdoor shower spot animals high tea
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Reviewed October 28, 2010

I always appreciate everyone's input and read the reviews on Trip Advisor so I had no hesitation selecting this bush camp (formerly known as Djuma Bush Lodge). Having just returned I wanted to add some updates... we've been to 5 other African countries for photo safari's previously so certain things really stood out for our stay in South Africa.

We knew going in that the camp layout was a major factor, their individual chalets are ideally laid out over the terrain in an eye pleasing layout. Plenty of privacy rather than feeling like being lined up in rows of hotel rooms. We were in #8 and just loved it there. Our friends had #1- every location is perfect. Another factor was they do have an indoor dining room should weather ever make being outdoors less comfortable. And the dining outdoors isn't some simple thing but individual tables in a curve where everyone has a view out over the nearby plain and waterhole. You are frequently entertained with herds of buffalo, elephants, impala, warthog, occassional giraffe who wander in. We were there in Oct. which is the end of the dry season, so the animals gather more at the remaining water locations.

Brian was our host at the camp and went out of his way to spend some time with everyone, either he or the guides regularly eat with the guests so there is always a chance to hear more about this diverse country and life here. We also had a chance to see his copy of the Oct. issue of Africa Geographic where he just won the photo contest- gorgeous picture, I bought a copy at the airport on my way home and just loved hearing his stories of his years here.

Our guide was Andrew (tracker Patrick) and he was amazing. I also want to comment on their vehicles- they are only a year old and built specifically for the guests comfort and viewing. Individual seats on a staggered rise, vastly preferred over the bench seating we saw in some- this lodge doesn't put more than 8 guests in a vehicle whereas we saw some who squeezed in 10 or more. We once passed by Gowrie Gate (which is the way in) and couldn't believe we'd just been on the same road we'd driven in on- the jeep is that comfortable. Ideal for getting up close to the animals off road when needed.

And they will take you to see everything. We loved our entire time there, at first I thought it might be fun to go out with different guides for different input- but they're smarter giving you your own guide for your entire stay. He knows what you've seen and what you're still looking for. We never seemed to cover the same places and visited different waterholes for our sundowners. We covered the Big 5 so many times that it then became a game for him to ask what we'd still like to see. We never tire of the cats but Andrew was also always able to find our other requests. The only thing that eluded us was the White Tailed Mongoose, he's nocturnal- but he did try. You can sometimes see him from camp but we missed it. Be sure to ask to see a Nyala- the male are gorgeous!

That was another thing that we loved about this camp. The wildlife. We're not seriously into birds but you couldn't help but love all the constant flow of colorful birds who stopped in. And the bush buck who regularly wander through camp, there is a baby here right now and we took pictures of it nursing. They're not penned, they just feel safe here and wander in by slipping under the fence- we never saw them outside of camp but if you don't startle them, they're quite comfortable here. We came home with so many pictures of our amazing trip.

I would never hesitate for a second to recommend this bush camp and hope to go back as well. The food is absolutely amazing but I know others have already commented on that. Three nights is great but we indulged with 4 and still hated to leave. We rented a car and GPS from the airport in J'berg and had no trouble, allow about 7 hours but I think it can be done in 6. We took different routes so didn't double over the same terrain except immediately around J'berg. There had been some comment a while back about someone getting lost but there are lots of signs now for Cheetah Plains, both entering and exciting from the Gowrie Gate. They seem to care deeply and have anticipated their guests every need- Brian will make you feel at home and you'll wish you never had to leave... we couldn't have asked for another single thing... oh, one last thought. Don't miss out on the bush walk. I really expected it to be a rather dull chat on the insects and folliage and ended up enthralled- Andrew took us out for an hour in the bush and I couldn't believe how much fun we had... 'bush walk' doesn't adequately describe it. It's not to be missed! Go for the camp ambiance, wonderful personel and the chance to see the wildlife as they really live- it's nothing like going to the zoo.

10  Thank T-2SanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2017 via mobile
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Date of stay: November 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheetahPlainsGM, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2017

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Reviewed December 7, 2017
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Room tip: Kamers zijn allemaal gelijk na renovatie mogelijk anders
Date of stay: November 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheetahPlainsGM, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2017

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Reviewed December 3, 2017
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Date of stay: November 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheetahPlainsGM, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2017

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Reviewed November 7, 2017
Google Translation

Date of stay: October 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheetahPlainsGM, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2017

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