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“Elephant Plains was outstanding”

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Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 9, 2011

Our guide Richard and tracker Clemente were great. At frist we were only staying 3 days then changed it to 5 days. We saw the big 5 several times over. On the last day we found 7 male lions. Four from one territory and three from another. In the four years Richard has been a guide he never saw one group trying to take territory from another. I can understand now why we were advised to book 8 months in advance Elephant Plains and Global Basecamps were simpley GREAT.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Charlie60893
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 24, 2011

Where do i start. My wife and I took our 4 kids to Elephant plains for 5 night stay (July 10th to 15th). It was brilliant. We had a fantastic time. The lodge itself is great, the Rondavels were fantastic, very clean and very comfortable, overall the lodge was perfect. I'd like to again thank the head chef for catering for my two Coeliac daughters.
we were blessed to have Morne and Prince as our guide and Tracker. They were absolutely brilliant, we saw the big 5 in the first 24 hours and then over the next four days we saw the big five on numerous occassions. What we also saw was incredible, we saw Leopards on numerous occassions including two leopard cubs, we saw five lionesses kill 2 impalas which was simply amazing to watch, we were blessed during our time at EP.
We were so thrilled with what we saw that we upgraded our trackers name from Prince to King!!!
EP was just wonderful, all the staff were great from the admin staff right through to the cleaning and serving staff. My children had a wonderful time at EP and enjoyed playing table tennis with Eric (the night guard).
Anyone considering a safari with kids should look no further. EP is the best experince you can give your children. Thanks EP for the most wonderful of memries.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank safarifamily_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2011

We have stayed at many lodges in the Sabi Sands region over the years, and this one definitely lived up to expectations, especially for a 4 star lodge. We were greated upon arrival and given a tour of the lodge and facilities, the rooms were exceptional (we stayed in the lower cost rondavels, but to be honest they felt 5 star!). Game drives were good and Richard did a very good of explaining and driving, but we felt that sometimes the tracking was not 100%, and we were constantly on a time schedule to be back at camp by 9am and 6.30pm after the game drives respectively, despite coming across any exciting sightings. We also very rarely stopped for any breaks during the drives. But other than that we saw the big 5, so can't really ask for much more!!
The food was just as expected, a normal continental/hot breakfast, buffet lunch and alternative buffet/set plate dinner. Good showcase of local produce in the menu as well which is nice, as you go to get an authentic experience. The only drawback was that lack of inclusiveness of drinks in the tariffs, and this is the first lodge we have ever stayed at with which this was an issue. So every drink ordered came at a price...and we were often asked what we wanted for sundowner drinks, but we never stopped for sundowners the entire time and were charged for the drinks. We were also not offered and refused a packed lunch on our departure day, despite the fact we had a long journey ahead with no possibility of getting any food elsewhere. But the tea and coffee facilities in the rooms was an added bonus.
The health spa was superb, offering a great range of treatments, and the therapist was very friendly and well-experienced. The location was great, and when I was there a hippo wandered past, which was a nice surprise!
The staff were on the most part very friendly and easy to get along with, and mingled with guests during meal times. However, some of the wait staff were very hard to communicate with. Also, gardening was performed around the lodge during the day, when the guests were present, so we constantly had people outside our windows and were constantly stepping over hoses when walking around. But the gardens did look fabulous!! Very beautiful setting.
As others have said, the internet was not free and charged at a high rate, as elsewhere we have stayed have provided complimentary internet. Further, laundry was not included either, but was not an overly high rate.
Overall largely happy with the lodge, it was a beautiful place to spend 4 days and we saw everything we went to see!!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank traveller_987_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2011

the place looks very nice, we stayed in the buffalo room, amazing view from our terras. The room is so big, you could live there. Because of our honeymoon they decorate it at night with flowers and a bottle of champagne! Very nice decorations. The pools are also nice. Game drives are very good. Not on every game drive we saw allot, but it was very cold so maybe they all hide. The one thing we didn't like was the atmosphere and dinner. It was crowded with americans, europeans probably know what I mean. Dinner was not good for a 5-star place.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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Thank Quee01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2011

We just returned from our stay at Elephant Plains. We arrived after the game drive started, but Louis and Freeman came back to get us and our sundowners! They were great! Louis was knowledgeable and Freeman was a good tracker. Some previous posts mentioned the food was just average. We gained 4 lbs and 12 lbs while we were here so that says something about how we felt about the food! We LOVED it. They made specific meals for vegetarians and there was always and abundance of food available. We saw the big 5 along with many other animals, trees, tracks, etc. We parked about 8 feet from a pride of 5 lions! The only disappointments we can think of are: lack of free internet (they charge by the minute and it's SLOW) and we would've liked a heated pool in the winter! Great time at EP and would definitely return!

Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
2  Thank sarac9978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2011

WOW! We stayed at Elephant Plains for 4 days in June as part of a honeymoon tour of South Africa and it was fantastic. The food was delicious, the accomodation was great and the staff were charming. Our ranger Louie was really good fun and made sure that everyone got to see everything they wanted! One day we saw the big 5 all in one game drive! The encounters with the animals were fantastic, you were literally
driven right up side by side with them so you got some fantastic views. All in all it was an amazing experience and I couldnt recommend it enough. The only word of warning I give is make sure you take some warm clothes, mornings and evenings in June are FREEZING! And we're used to the UK winter!

Room Tip: we stayed in the honeymoon suite which was huge and very beautiful and peaceful
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank chanty580430
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2011

There's really not much I can add in my review that hasn't already been stated in other reviews but we love Elephants Plains so much I wanted to write a review anyway.

My sister, brother-in-law, husband and myself stayed at EP for only two short nights.

My husband and myself were in the honeymoon suite. I did not like the smell of the thatch and wish there was a loveseat or couch to sit on. I do prefer having phones in the room so you can call room-to-room or room-to-reception but it's not a huge deal. I did love the beds and all the windows. One night there was electrical storm after electrical storm. It lasted for over 3 hours and was non-stop lightning and thunder. I've never been through such a long, intense storm. Even the generators kept cutting out.

My sister and her husband stayed in the Zebra room and loved it. Zebras are her favorite African mammals so it was right up her alley. They loved the space and layout as well.

I liked the food more than my husband did. The food was average but the boma dinner was fun. I never go on safari for the food so I don't mind if the food isn't top notch. I go for the quality of wildlife sightings and the pictures I can get.

Wayne was our driver and Conny our tracker. We had fantastic sightings of Tyson (the leopard) and watched him stalk and pounce on an impala. Unfortunately they went over the bank and we weren't allowed to drive down in the dry riverbed so we couldn't see Tyson eating the impala. We were able to follow Tyson other times we saw him and I got some really great pictures of him.

One morning we found a lioness and her young cubs. They were adorable and didn't mind the vehicle being around. While we were watching the cubs the male lion and the aunt lioness suddenly sprang to life, growling, and ran a short distance. A leopard had walked across the top of the bank when the lions spotted him/her. The leopard ran up the tree and was watching the lions intently from the very top of the tree. I didn't know branches so small could hold a leopard.

We were able to get fantastic pictures of everything, great and small.

Wayne is our favorite guide ever- out of 6 different guides that we've had in South Africa, Kenya, and Botswana. Wayne was the guide for our walking safari as well. Guides in general are very knowledgeable about wildlife and have so many facts and anecdotes to share. Other qualities that make a great guide are personality, enthusiasm, professionalism and friendliness. Wayne has all of the above qualities and more. He was very personable and found us great sightings. Sometimes on safari you end up in a vehicle that is never first a sighting. With Wayne, we so often first a sighting. It's always more exciting to "find" something rather than go to a sighting because it was called over the radio.

My husband and I each had massages the day we left. He really enjoyed his and I loved mine. It was by far the best massage I've had in South Africa, in 2 two years! I highly recommend the hot stone massage, especially if it's kind of cold outside or you really need something relaxing.

We will definitely return to EP and we rave about it to everyone we know and meet!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kits55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Address: Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: $621 - $999 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Elephant Plains Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elephant Plains Game Lodge is situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. This owner-run lodge caters for the discerning traveller, with a variety of accommodation options including 5 Rondavels, 6 Luxury Suites and a Honeymoon Suite. Activities include two daily game drives and a bush walk. The lodge also offers a gym, conference facility / TV room, games room, small library and two swimming pools. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elephant Plains Game Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Elephant Plains Game Nelspruit
Elephant Plains Game Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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