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“Wonderful South African Experience”

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Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 18, 2008

My fiance and I traveled to South Africa at the end of June, 2008. We decided to go on safari in addition to visiting Cape Town. Most of the game lodges around the Cape Town area seemed more like a zoo than actually being in the wild, so we started looking in the Kruger National Park. Although Elephant Plains is technically in the Sabi Sands area, it shares an unfenced border with Kruger. Now that we had our location picked out, it was time to choose a game lodge. Fortunately, there are countless options for all sorts of budgets. After consulting tripadvisor, we chose Elephant Plains hands down. You always wonder if the number of excellent reviews will live up to the hype, but I can tell you they do!!! There is so much to write about, but I will hit the highlights...

When you arrive at EP, the staff welcomes you like a long lost friend. It's quaint, isoloated and authentic. You never get the sense that anything is out of place and the scenery is amazing. You're nestled in the African bush while all sorts of wildlife traverse the grounds. The check-in process was a breeze and someone (turned out to be our Ranger/Driver) carried our bags to our room. We opted for the Luxury room and I would recommend the same. It's a little bit more but definitely worth it. The room is huge, with a large garden tub & an outdoor shower. We also had a wood burning fireplace which the staff would light for us while we enjoyed the evening dinner. I can't stress enough how polite the staff was throughout our 4 day stay! They all eat breakfast/lunch/dinner with the guests and were always happy to answer any questions.

I could go on and on about the lodge itself, but I can't talk about Elephant Plains without mentioning the game we saw. Amazing! Everyone hopes to see the Big Five (Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Leopard, Lion) and Elephant Plains did not disappoint! The day consisted of two 3 hour game drives; one in the morning and one in late afternoon. The Sabi Sands are known for their leopards, which are apparently more scarce in Kruger Park. Our first drive we spotted Leopard, Rhino and a female Lion! Eventually we did see all of the Big Five, as well as giraffe, zebra, etc. During the morning drive, we would stop and have coffee/tea. It was so nice to be out in the bush on a beautiful morning while sipping on something warm (it gets very cold in the mornings!) The afternoon drive was in similar fashion, but with a sundowner (in our case, beer or wine.) It was an amazing time for sure. We hope to return one day and visit our old friends at Elephant Plains. I cannot recommend this place enough!

p.s. I also proposed to my fiance Mandy while we were there, so it's an even more special place now! She took all of the pictures I am posting.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank sdbyrd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 23, 2008

We stayed in Elephant Plains for two nights and wished we could have stayed for longer! We stayed in one of the luxury suites and were delighted with how spacious and modern it was and best of all it has a private deck from which you can watch the animals come to the watering hole across the way. The staff are incredibly friendly, the food excellent and the game drives didn't disappoint. In terms of little extras there is a small gym and a spa to while away the hours not spent chasing rhinos and elephants! One thing to note is the road getting to Elephant Plains (in Sabi Sands) is horrendous. If self driving please do hire a 4x4 to make the journey a little more comfortable! Also do not stop for a second if you see a man waving you down frantically - he's trying to scam you out of some rand by offering directions contrary to what the signposts are saying!

However once you get to Elephant Plains you will not be disappointed! Fantastic - one of the highlights of our trip to SA.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank DKirby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2008

Was by far the nicest bush camp that we have stayed in. The luxury bungalows were lovely. The games drives were good, and the meals were excellent. Fantastic value, friendly staff and an extra bonus of a lovely day SPA.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shirls45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2008

Elephant Plains Game Lodge is a wonderful place. The rooms are beautiful and clean, the staff members are friendly and the service is impeccable. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with fresh orange juice in martini glasses. From then on, we were treated like royalty.

Our room was a separated rondoval (#5) with high, thatched ceilings that was remodeled recently. The bedroom had nice furniture and a bed with a mosquito net. There was a huge bathroom behind the bedroom that contained a full glass shower with pebbled flooring, a large bathtub, two sinks and a separate room with a toilet and third sink. There was an air conditioner but we rarely needed to use it. We kept the screen door open at night to feel the cool and refreshing air.

Our balcony overlooked the wilderness, not buildings and people, and there was a small table and chairs. Part of the fabulous view was of the watering hole where animals drink. We were also right next to the lodge's spa and second swimming pool.

The game viewing is spectacular. We saw the Big 5 within the first two game drives. The trackers and rangers are very good at finding the animals and teaching about them.

The meals were okay but nothing great. The only thing I can recommend for improvement is the food.

I highly recommend this lodge to anyone. My husband and I both agree it was straight out of a movie.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ca_vol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2008

Great strart for our amazing honeymoon trip to South Africa. The Manyeleti suite is highly recommended but for those on a tight budget it's good to know that other rooms seem to offer the same amenities.
Their game drives are well planned, the rangers are all in contact with each other and quicly share the sightings. We saw the big five at least once during our 3 nights stay there (6 game drives).
The setting is romantic and their borma dinner parties create a convivial atmosphere. We always had at least one choice of food that we found appetizing and always very clean.
The animals (namely baboons) can get real close to the lodge: a family of them sneaked onto our terrace to drink from the small pool (scary!). The supposedly electrified fence didn't seem to be operational as we saw an impala climb through it. However, we never felt there was a danger and it's part of the experience.
The hikes are not as exciting as the game drive obviously but are good for exercise after breakfast. Certainly after two hikes we weren't too motivated for a third unfortunately.
Overall, we felt we made a great decision as the lodge offered great value, a lot of comfort, and the excitement of experiencing the wild life of Kruger Park/Sabi Sands.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank GabrielOh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2008

Spent 3 nights there in mid May and had a wonderful time.Of course being upgraded to the Honeymoon suite(it was our Anniversary) .helped make this a memorable trip.Saw all of the Big five on many occasions and even had the privilege of watching lions mating on 3 separate occasions,as well as leopards mating!
If you want too see Leopards, Sabi Sands is the place to go
The only negative is that the area that encompasses EP is very small so you tend to drive around passing the same sites over and over in the course of a 4 day trip but the game sightings made up for that

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank judik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2008

This was our favorite amongst the safari lodges we visited in Sabi Sands- in fact, it was our favorite lodging in all of South Africa! If you can afford it, it's more than worth it to upgrade to the luxury rooms. They are beautifully decorated and very roomy, with a separate living room (complete with fridge, coffee/tea maker) and expansive deck that overlooks a dry riverbed (great for animal viewing!). The bathrooms were also huge and included a large bathtub, private outdoor shower, and 2 sinks. Although we had originally reserved the honeymoon suite, we later found out it had been double-booked and were annoyed to be downgraded to a luxury room; our anxiety was completely relieved upon seeing how gorgeous the room was. Much nicer even than some of the other 'honeymoon suites' we stayed in at other lodges! Management also made it up to us with a nice bottle of wine in our room. The staff was so friendly, courteous, and helpful in getting us whatever we needed or wanted. Food was so-so, but no worse than other safari lodges we went to; breakfasts were pretty good, as were the tasty sundowner treats we got on safari. The game drives were amazing! We saw the Big 5 on multiple occasions, although we do agree there seemed to be a lack of lions on the Elephant Plains territory; still, our ranger Morne did a fantastic job getting us at least one view of a couple lions mating. We would recommend going on the bush walk, as well. Morne taught us a lot about the local flora and traditional uses of the land- very interesting & a little thrilling to be on foot where we had seen a bull elephant only a couple hours earlier! I enjoyed a massage at the lodge, and the spa building was very nice. There is a lovely shower for you to freshen up before & after, and the treatment rooms overlook the plains- I actually saw a couple kudu while getting a massage! In spite of getting downgraded from our original room, we still highly recommend this lodge- reasonably priced, beautiful grounds, fantastic staff, and an overall wonderful experience.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank spendyourdays
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: $619 - $998 (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 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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