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“A Magical Place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Elephant Plains Game Lodge

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Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A Magical Place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013 via mobile

Spent 3 nights here and everything from start to finish was premier class. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner were occasions in themselves with wonderful food and service. The Ranger and tracker on the Game Drives were most knowledgable and friendly. We got to see all of the Big Five and other animals up close and personal. The suite was luxurious and the outside shower amazing. 10 out of 10 for this lovely place

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Frank C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Hi Frank. Thank you very much for your kind feedback on Tripadvisor. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for all the compliments on our food, game drives, rooms and staff. Please visit us again one day. Regards, Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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804 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (179)
Date | Rating
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English first
Wells, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

We stayed here for our honeymoon and it was absolutely amazing. Our luxury chalet was beautiful with looks over the plains where we could see animals walking past below us and past us. The staff were so lovely treating us very well. We were spoilt with complimentary champagne and rose petals decorating our bedroom on our last night.

The game drives were superb, with our ranger Louie doing an amazing job of showing us ALL the big 5. We also enjoyed daily bush walks with Louie. The food was amazing every night and everyone was so friendly that all the guests have drinks in the lounge before dinner. Such a friendly lodge.

Would definately recommend. A stay we will definately never forget.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Caroline B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Hi Caroline, thank you very much for your kind feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your honeymoon wiith us and would like to welcome you back to the lodge one day! Regards, Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Enjoyed every minute of our 3 night stay. We stayed in a rondavel which was absolutely beautiful. The best part was the Safari drives with our guide Willie and tracker Connie, they made our trip! We miss S. Africa and Elephant Plains and will be back one day for sure!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank reemamatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your very kind review. We are glad that you enjoyed your trip and would love to welcome you back to EP one day! Regards, Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, Canada
Level Contributor
154 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 night stay here. We were in the "Leopard Suite" with large balcony overlooking the river bed. Very comfortable lodgings with fridge, sitting room, canopy bed, shower, 2 bathrooms. The tub was surrounded by 2 glass windows as well as a glass roof. 11 candles were situated around the suite. Air conditioning worled well and was quiet. It was a lovely accomodation.
The main lodge has a reception area, small souvenir shop, comfortable bar area and large dining room. Two of our night dinners were served in the "Boma"- an outdoor area where the tables were arranged in a circular pattern around a central campfire. It was absolutely gorgeous with candles at everyone's place setting as we dined under under the stars.
The food would be our only complaint. Breakfasts and lunches were very good but the dinner meal left a little to be desired especially with the meat dishes. There was always a good quantity of food. Wine selections were good and reasonable.
Staff were wonderful and most accomodating and helpful. Rooms were immaculate and always cleaned while we were on our early morning safari. Turn down service at night, chocolate on the pillows and an African folktale write-up as well as the weather forecast for the next day.
Pool near the main lodge was refreshing and welcomed on our very hot days.
Safaris were absolutely amazing. Being on a private game park, there were few vehicles and the guides/drivers were communicating with each other constantly, alerting each other where certain animals could be found. We were so impressed by the respect for the animals and the other vehicles. Only 2-3 trucks were allowed near an animal and they would take turns moving out to let another truck come near so all patrons would have the opportunity to see. Our guide Dawie was most knowledgeable, passionate about his work and the animals. He also had an incredible knowledge of the birds, plants, trees, bugs etc. He was an excellent wildlife photographer and was able to find good views for his clients to get the best pictures. we had the opportunity to do a lot of off-roading as we observed hyenas eating a lion's kill and then a very angry lion returning to her lost kill! The hyenas were gone in a shot when they sensed her approach. We saw the big 5 within a day. Also saw a pride of lions- 8 adult and 3 babies who spent the day on our game park. we tracked a leopard stalking a kill. A totally awesome experience and will never be forgotten!! as we were leaving, the guides presented us with a cerificate stating we had seen the BIg Five at the Elephant Plains Game Lodge- a nice souvenir!

PS The trip in from the mainn road is quite long ( 30-45 minutes) We were there after heavy rains and parts of the road were still flooded with huge pot holes. An SUV would have been necessary as a car could not have made the trip.

Room Tip: we toured many of the rooms as we were travelling wiht a group of 16- they were all unique and comfo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 14bosley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, February 24, 2013
Thank you very much for your kind and thorough review! We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and we'll make sure that the staff receive your compliments. Do visit us again one day! Regards, Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Gallen, Switzerland
Level Contributor
51 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

During our trip to Krueger we only got 1 night at Elephant Game lodge but this was absolutely amazing experience. Unfortunately 1 night is way too short also due to lengthy drive to get there.

We had booked a rondavel for our family (2 adults and 2 kids). Once arriving we were expecting extra beds but we got a "double rondavel" with great space and lovely decoration (poster beds, shower floor from collected stones, outside shower as well etc.).

We took the chance to take the afternoon and morning safaris and a bush walk, which was really professionally done - in Sabi Sand it was private with not that many cars around compared with really busy Krueger Park. They also organised bush walks for kids to teach on the flora & fauna that our kids enjoyed a lot. Service was excellent everywhere - resort team can be proud of this!

They have all the needed activities beyond safari - swimming pools, spa, bar, shops etc.

There are only two remarks to further improve the quality:

1) They are not rated 5 star but even for 4 star the lunch and dinner could be a bit more special. Food was ok but nothing that we would remember afterwards
2) You need to drive around an hour from paved roads to get there. Remember to rent at least SUV to get there - otherwise you really need to drive carefully as there are plenty of bumbs where normal car could even get stuck

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jounianni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Thank you very much for your kind feedback. We are delighted that you and your kids enjoyed the stay with us! Next time please visit longer? There's still more to experience at EP! Regards, Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gros Morne National Park, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2013

This was our second trip to EP in two years, both times were for over a week, and we still loved every minute of it.

The Lodging: We stayed in Rondavel #5, great room that looks over the riverbed.

The Drives: We had Willie and Conny, they both worked very hard at finding the animals. We saw the big five the first day and the sightings just got better as the week went on. Leopards on two kills, three leopard cubs, lots of baby elephants, hippos out of the water, carmine bee eaters.

The Food: Some of the food was great, however, there were a few misses in the food prep. Some of the dishes at lunch would be hot around the edges but still cold in the middle, dishes like the Game Keepers Pie had a large number of bone chips and fragments, the fish still had a large amount of bones and all the steaks were done medium regardless of what you asked for. Maybe this was because the regular Chef didn't return until part way through the week. I had more concerns with the food this year than I did last year. The serving staff are all great, one server ironically named "Remember", rememberd me visiting 12 months prior and my drink order. Quite a feat when you consider the turnover in guests they see!

The Spa: Atasja was fantastic, I went twice as did most of the people in our group. Over the course of our stay everyone on our truck went at least once and everyone found her great!

The Gym: In spite of my earlier review the gym needs some heavier weights, a 25lb free weight doesn't really cut it (I think 30-50 lbs is needed for any regular sized guy working out), also the cable machine needs maintance the resistance is way off on it (it just needs some silicone spray). The gym, while small is very clean, towels provided and AirConed.

The pools: The lodge has three pools, one attached to the honeymoon suite, the other by the lodge and the larger one by the rondavels. The one by the rondavels was broken again this year.

The skinny:

1. If you stay in Rondavel #5, the flashlight is in the desk and "Do Not Disturb" sign is in the closet (it took us a week to find both :) ).
2. There is a power adapter in the room which is handy even if you bring your own to charge multiple things at the same time.
3. If you read at night and want a higher wattage bulb ask and they will switch them out for you.
4. This should be Tip 1: Ask. Ask. Ask. The staff aren't mind readers and honestly want you to enjoy yourself. If you have a special request, ask. We had four request before we arrived and two while we were there and they were able to accommodate all of them. The manager, Wayne was there day and night during our entire week and both owners were there for the last half of the week.
5. Don't panic when the ranger and tracker leave the truck. They are gone to find animals that may be a few hundred feet off the path. If you prefer the ranger stay in the truck and just drive around you won't see nearly as much.
6. Tell the ranger and tracker what you want to see. Some people don't want to see birds, reptiles or insects so if you do give them a list and I bet they can find them. I had wanted to photograph bee eaters and Willie found both Carmine and European bee eaters.
7. The lounge chairs by both pools (and the honeymoon suite) are too slippery to sit on with the back up so if you want to read slide you chair up against the rail you can brace yourself in with your feet. Odd but effective!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Doggles10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Thank you for your kind and thorough feedback. We love return guests and I see that you also visited in Feb 2012. We will definitely look into your reccommendations. Concerning the free weights, we have never had complaints about them before, but I guess the more serious gymmers would like a bigger selection. We'll see what we can do. Thanks also for your tip to future travellers, telling them to ask for any extras they might need while here. We will always try and cater for any special requests. We would love to welcome you back to the lodge again - maybe February 2014? :-) Regards, Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

The games drive are great. In the first five hours of our trip we had already seen the big 5 and we managed to see them again a second time during our 4 days of stay. Every time we went out with the car we saw something different so we could have stayed there for two weeks and we wouldn't have had enough! The ranger was great, personal service and the rooms were very big and clean. Best value for your money! Safari is a great experience but just having done it at elephant plains made it even much more enjoyable! Definitely the best part of our incredible trip to south africa!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Carulineta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Thank you so much for your very kind feedback! We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. Please do visit us again in the future. Regards, Marlet Swart
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Property: 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 #15 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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 spa, 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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