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.
- 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