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“Excellent”

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Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Oslo, Norway
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

This is an excellent lodge for game sightings in the private Sabi Sands area of Kruger National Park. The lodge provided good directions for self-driving and it was an easy drive to the lodge even with a regular car (not 4x4). Be aware of the road being bumpy the last few kilometers, it may cause damage to your vehicle if you drive too fast.

We stayed here for only one night because the lodge was fully booked. The welcoming staff greeted us upon arrival and we got our room earlier than regular check-in time. The professional rangers and trackers made our afternoon and morning drives very memorable. We had plenty of sightings and got to see all the "big five" in just a few hours. The safari vehicles are allowed to drive off the road and after sunset, which made it something special compared to other parts of the Kruger National Park. We even got a flat tire in the middle of a lion family when it was dark and we were off road. The situation was taken care of by the professional staff and we never felt unsafe. The game drives were included in the price and should not be missed.

The food was good and the big room was excellent. We stayed in one of the luxury rooms with a great view. We could even spot a giraffe and some other animals in front of our balcony. You need to pay per megabyte for Internet access and it is only available in the lobby and restaurant area.

The lodge provided excellent value for money, as it was cheaper than many of the other private lodges in the area. If you would like to see wild animals close up and you have a short amount of time, this lodge is a must do and highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jon N
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, August 23, 2013
Hi Jon, thank you very much for your kind feedback and compliments. It seems that you had a lovely time and had some great game viewing, even though you only stayed for one night. Please do visit us again and be sure to stay for longer next time! Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (184)
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English first
Reno, Nevada
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

This was my second visit to Elephant Plains and think the experience was even better this time. Dawie, our ranger, made the trip special for my family of 6. Our 16 year old kiddingly used Dawie as the gold standard for the remainder of our 3 week stay in South Africa, saying, "Dawie would do this or Dawie would do that." There's no doubt Elephant Plains wants to please: robes and slippers, nightly chocolates on your pillow, toasting marshmallows after dinner every night, as well as fantastic game drives. The rondavels were extremely comfortable and made it difficult to leave. We saw the Big 5 in the first two days. It didn't matter. Every other day just brought more surprises when we saw different interactions of Africa's unique animals I almost hate to rave too much as it's hard to get a reservation here unless it's well ahead of time as Elephant Plains is very popular.

Room Tip: We had 3 rondavels and each one was very comfortable. One, however, did have stones on the floor of...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank fiftystatesevenconts
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, August 13, 2013
Thank you for your kind review. We always love welcoming return guests back to the lodge! We are glad that you enjoyed your second stay with us. It sounds like Dawie became quite an idol. I will be sure to tell him this. Thank you for all the kind compliments and for pointing out our attention to details. We would love to welcome you back to the lodge for a third visit soon. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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camberley
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Spent 5 nights here recently. Had a great time and achieved all we wanted to in terms of animal sightings: lions with a kill, plus the rest of the big five, down even to a bushbaby. The accommodation is great and the food when we stayed was superb. Lots of choice for breakfast and lunch, served as a buffet and 4 out of 5 nights dinner served outside in the "boma" with a roaring fire and extra patio heaters (it is winter in July!) The guides are great fun and the trackers really can find almost anything you care to name.

Room Tip: The family room (No.1) with 2 bedrooms, each en-suite and two terraces is fine for a foursome
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank bdcamberley
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, August 13, 2013
Thank you for your very kind review. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay. It sounds like you had some really wonderful sightings. Thank you also for calling the accommodation great and the food superb. Please do visit us again one day! Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Bexley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We stayed at Elephant Plains for two nights in April. We were really impressed with the welcome we received on arrival. We were a family group of 6 adults and us two stayed in the wonderful Wild Dog Chalet.

Our accommodation was fantastic and spacious with a wooden decking area overlooking the park.

The game drives amazing. Dawie was our ranger and Patrick the tracker. Their enthusiasm and experience exceptional. The drives lasted on average 3 hours but Dawie was happy to run a little longer if we were in the middle of a viewing. We saw all the big 5 and many more. Some unforgettable experiences. Dawie took particular trouble as he drove, to accommodate one of our party who had a very back back. Otherwise she could not have joined us.

Elephant Plains is the place to go and certainly on our schedule when we return to South Africa. All the staff were exceptional and waved us off at the end of our stay.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank hourihan
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, August 12, 2013
Thank you for your kind feedback and the nice compliments on our accommodation and the game drives. Thank you also for calling us the place to go and for highlighting our exceptional staff. We would love to welcome you back to the lodge when you return to South Africa. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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The Hague, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Stayed here in august, Wintertime Sout Africa. Beautiful set up, Nice and quite location. It surprises me almost nobody mention the quality of the food in their reviews. De Lunch was o.k, the dinner food was very bad for a Four star resort. Evening outdoor dining was a nice set up, but that was all. Breakfast package was bad; there were potato chips in it (Lays), for breakfast..really? Decoration of the room was very nice. But the shower flow was very painfull for the feet with al those stones. Service while check out was very bad, This lodge should train there personel at front desk better and not send there ranger to solve complains. We were very disappointed about the dinner. We were supposed to finish a 3 course meal within a hour. The restaurant and kitchen staff is not good trained in serving people. At the game drive we ran into the leopards. They were eating in a tree 2 minutes away from the lodge..for us it looks al like a set up.

Compare to price-quality I would not recommend this lodge to any-one of my south african or abroad friends.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hogan224
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, August 12, 2013
Hi Hogan, thank you very much for the feedback and stating that we have a beautiful setup and a nice, quiet location. I would like to respond to the rest of your comments as follows:
1. First of all you said that lunch was okay, but that dinner was very bad for a four star resort. If I remember correctly you only stayed here for one night, on August 4th. Our lunch menu for that day consisted of a buffet lunch that included the following dishes: Sweet Pepper and Cheese Bread, Mediterranean Meatloaf, Chicken Lasagne, Potato Salad, Roast Vegetable Salad, Artichoke and Tamato Salad, a Garden Salad, as well as Mocha Cupcakes for dessert. Dinner was plated and consisted of Caramelized Onion & Beetroot Tarte Tatin for starter, Mains of either Oxtail or Herb Crusted Pork, served with a Mushroom Risotto,Grilled Zucchini, Sweet Carrots and then Sago Pudding for dessert. As you are a vegetarian, you chose the Curried Vegetable Stew as a main dish from the vegetarian options. The chefs would have been more than happy to prepare something different for you, if you had told them that you did not enjoy the Stew.
2. Concerning your comments about the shower floor, we will still have a look at it today and rectify the problem as soon as possible.
3. Your next comment was that service during check out was very bad. All our personnel are trained and qualified for their job descriptions and we've never received a complaint about check out before. Tersia, who has been woking here for the past five years handled your check-out. You were unhappy because there was fruit juice on your bill, which you had during lunch. All our drinks are excluded from the accommodation price and this is stated in all our price lists, correspondence etc. Because you were apparently under the impression that fruit juice would be included and because you were so unhappy about it being on your bar bill, we decided to remove the juice from your bill, even though you did indeed have it ... Next you complained that you did not have a double gin and tonic during game drive sun downers (as stated on your bill). Tersia called Morne, who was your ranger, to come and explain to you that you did indeed have a double gin and tonic. He explained that you asked for a 1 1/2 gin and that he told you he could either serve you a single or double, but unfortunately not a 1 1/2. You then agreed to have the double. After Morne explained this you, you said it was fine and paid the bill.You also made a comment that our packed breakfasts were bad because we added chips to the package. Our packed breakfasts consist of a sandwich, two fruits, a fruit juice and indeed, a packet of chips. The idea is that you can have the chips and fruit later during the day while you are travelling. You do not need to eat the chips as part of breakfast. We've never had a complaint about chips being added to the packed breakfasts before. On that note I would also like to add from our side that another guest, who also checked out during the same time as you did, commented on your rudeness during check out. He told Tersia after you left that it was completely unnecessary behavior, throwing the packed breakfast over the counter because you did not like the idea of the chips that was added.
4. Concerning your comment that the leopard sighting looked like a set up, I can understand why you would feel this way. It is almost impossible to believe that you can see two leopards together in one sighting, so close to the lodge. We are world-renowned for the quality of our leopard sightings as the area around the lodge is ideal leopard habitat. We know the leopards well because we often see them on game drive as they live in this specific area. You must understand that the leopards in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin are used to the game drive vehicles because they grow up being watched by the guests. Therefore they are not shy and skittish. We respect the animals and in turn, they provide us with beautiful sightings. The leopards you are referring to are called Tingana (male) and Salayexe (female). During your stay at the lodge they were busy mating - a process that takes several days. That is the reason you saw them together, as leopards are normally solitary animals. You saw them at a warthog kill on Francolin Road, which is indeed very close to the lodge. Tingana killed this warthog and hoisted the kill into the tree.This is something that leopards often do. I can assure you that nothing about this sighting was staged. That's how good the game viewing here is - it is almost impossible to believe that it can actually be real!!! I am truly sorry that you feel that our price-quality ratio isn't good. We are a well respected game lodge in the industry and we always strive to offer the best value for money experience possible. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Winchester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

This is the second time that my husband and I have visited Elephant Plains and we were even more impressed with the lodge this time, something that I didn't think would be possible!

This time we visited with our family (8 of us altogether) for two nights at the end of a week spent on safari in the area. We stayed in 4 of the luxury suites which were wonderful - very spacious, clean, well decorated and looked after (we were in Rhino). There was a bedroom area, lounge area, bathroom and balcony with sun beds. There was an indoor shower as well as an outdoor one which was nice when it was a little too cold to shower outside!

The rest of the lodge was equally as lovely with a bar area, library, pool (which was a little too cold at this time of year!), shop, restaurant and boma for evening meals. Everything was really well designed and kept looking nice and tidy. For breakfast and lunch, the food was brilliant and they went out of their way to provide really good vegetarian alternatives, however for the evening meal the choice was more restricted. Even so, I really enjoyed the evening meals around the fire in the boma and think that they are a nice way to end the day.

I'd also like to say how excellent all the staff were at making us feel comfortable and looking after us throughout our stay. Walter in particular always seemed happy and eager to help. Darwi and our tracker were also brilliant. They didn't have an easy time of it as we had already seen the Big 5 but they went out of their way to get us some amazing sightings of leopard (male and female mating) and some wonderful experiences with elephants.

We all had a fantastic time and would like to thank everyone there for making our stay so special. We can't wait to come back again!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Dan201103
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, August 12, 2013
Hi Dan, thank you for your kind feedback. We always love welcoming return guests back to the lodge as it shows we are doing something right! It is also great to read that you are already planning to return again. Thank you for all the lovely compliments, including how excellent our staff were in making you feel at home. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the lodge. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

This was our 2nd visit to Kruger and we were not disappointed. Elephant Plains is an excellent lodge with high quality accommodation, good food and excellent service. Our ranger and tracker (Morne & Derek) were top quality and we saw not only the Big Five but also a cheetah. The spa is also very nice and we both had superb massages. We spent two nights in a roundavel and the final night in a luxury lodge. My only comment would be that the rondavel was so nice with a great view (No.5) that there was really no need to upgrade. Would definitely recommend the lodge and Sabi Sands.

Room Tip: Rondavel No.5 has a great view and is right next to the spa
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ShonaH1965
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, August 23, 2013
Hi Shona, thank you for your kind feedback and compliments. Thank you also for calling us an excellent lodge with high quality accommodation, good food and excellent service. We would be delighted to invite you back to the lodge one day! Kind 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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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 #13 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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