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“Fantastic Idube”

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Idube Game Reserve Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Halifax, West Yorkshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic Idube”
Reviewed December 8, 2007

After spending 3 nights in Cape Town (not enough time) we entered Idube Lodge with excitement and some nerves about our first safari! From the moment my wife and I arrived we were looked after so well and cannot fault Idube Lodge at all.

The game drives, food, service, accomodation, and staff were superb and we look forward to going back in late 2008.

Our ranger (Rob) was excellent and was always happy to answer any questions and explain all about the animals we saw - Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant etc etc...we saw them all and our photographs are amazing!

My wife and I would recommend this lodge to anyone. It's has a nice relaxed atmosphere but retains its professional qualities.

Visit Idube - you won't regret it.

  • Liked — Game drives, service , food
  • Disliked — Check out was a bit slow but we were leaving at 6.30am
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yorkshire34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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333 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (68)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • German first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2007

Stayed at Idube Private Game Reserve for 3 nights at the end of a two week holiday to SA. I'd like to advise that it was the worst place I have stayed at and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone....but that would be really selfish and totally untrue.

From the moment we arrived until we sadly said goodbye to all the staff as we left, my wife and I had the most fantastic time, were treated like royalty and we can't speak highly enough of the people at the reserve, who turned what was a brilliant three days anyway, into the most incredible experience.

Our ranger and guide were brilliant, and in no time at all we'd experienced the big five. We went on to have many further sightings, up close and personal with all of them as well as a multitude of other game.

We stayed just as the first rains arrived, but this made no difference to the game sightings, except that we got rather wet, and the people at Idube had our clothes and shoes dry in no time.

The food was extraordinarily good (Michelin Star quality). The reserve manager and all his team were outgoing, extremely friendly and made us feel part of their family. Without a doubt we'll return to Idube.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank UKC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2007

Overall, the experience at Idube was amazing.

The game drives, which are the main reason to go of course, were superb and we saw all of the Big 5 and a lot more. You share a portion of Sabi Sands with a few other lodges (e.g. Vuyatela and Inyati but not Singita) and the rangers are in constant communication regarding the sightings. There were a maximum of 2 or 3 (rarely) Land Rovers at sightings and often we were alone. We didn't do the bush walks, but heard mixed reviews depending on what people happened to see that day and what their interests were (game versus plant life).

The food was incredible. Every meal was delicious despite my initial scare the first day when I saw quite a few flies (I am a city person, I am sure to others this would have been no big deal). I was surprised, though, that they tracked every drink (water, coke) that we had and charged us at the end (though it really was not a lot). Also, there is not much in the way of wine pairings, etc, as there is at the hyper-expensive lodges in the area. In fairness, we did not really ask.

The rooms themselves are beautiful and the deck, though small, is so relaxing and nice, with MANY animals within a foot or two (waterbuck, wart hogs, etc). However, be prepared that there is no indoor shower (and it was too cold to use the outdoor one while we were there so we used the indoor tub which was not very comfortable), no phone, no television, no way to call the front desk, etc. Again, I am a city person, so this came as a shock to me, though others may not mind.

Finally, the welcome and information received from the staff was mediocre. While everyone was VERY nice and we cannot complain in that area, a bit more information would have been great. We signed some papers when we arrived, were shown the emergency kit in the drawer of the room, and that was pretty much it. It would have been nice to know that we had been assigned a ranger who would be our host for the whole trip and a few other things we figured out for ourselves.

Overall, as I said, I would highly recommend Idube. You just have to be prepared and know what the lodge offers for the price compared to the much more expensive lodges and the much more basic lodges in the area.

  • Liked — Game Drives
  • Disliked — No Indoor Shower
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank smm130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
469 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 708 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2007

Our trip organiser Jensen Safaris has booked this for us, also organising our rental car and the night in between when Idube was booked out :( . After leaving the smog of J'burg we drove out past the open coal mines and banana plantations into the private game reserve land (allow 5-6 hours). Here is what one can say about the splendid safari home of Idube without giving away all the pleasures you should discover for yourself when staying there:

- you get the warmest welcome with cocktails on arrival, intros to staff, and all the info you need for your stay (although the signing of disclaimer even for their negligence was a bit rich);

- you get time off between the safari drives (which are an absolute highlight, we had Johann as our driver and Elliot as our 'spotter' and they were terrific, knowledgeable about the animals and had a fab
sense of humour;

- in 4 drives (two morning and two evening) we saw all the animals we
wanted to see, including the big 5, but it's the smaller animals and birds that make it a highlight also;

- the food is terrific, be it brekky, lunch or dinner, restaurant quality and service superb;

- you meet people from around the world, truly adventerous and inspiring spirits whose stories will blow you away;

- it's right next door to the Blade River Canyon and the views to die
for, so make sure you detour and check it out, including the Lisbon Falls, Gods Window and the portholes. I would bypass Hayzyview with its overpriced souvenirs and head to Naiskop with its cute galleries and splendid array of african art, cottons, ceramics and souvenirs.

Having bilton and a gin and tonic break in the middle of a savannah on the evening drive watching absolutely infinite number of stars shining brightly and two Jupiter moons that chose to show themselves that night, hearing the elephants call to each other and leopards roar, how perfect can life be?!

Tip: bring lots of warm clothes, your thermals are essential even if Idube provides cuddly blankets and warm watter bottles in your 4x4. Don't ruin your experience by shivering :)

  • Liked — Safari drives, the service and proximity to other splendid sights of South Africa
  • Disliked — too short of a stay, need at least 3 days to take full advantage of what it has to offer
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank l-globetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
128 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2007

What a brilliant place! I will keep the review short and sweet as I could talk for ever! Stayed here for 3 nights - arrived to a fantastic welcome and were given the luxury of an hour to recover from the trip before starting our first game drive! As we were a party of 6 we were lucky enough to get our own ranger and tracker - Andy and Titus - who were absolutely brilliant. They were friendly, knowledgeable and fun! Saw all the big 5 by lunchtime on the first day - never thought we would get so close to such magnificent creatures! Scary and awesome!

The lodge itself was comfortable and relaxed. The service second to none - exceptionally attentive. The food was great and the staff excellent. The rooms were luxurious and it was fun using the outdoor showers - never quite knowing if an Inyala would appear round the corner! And even the 5.30 am starts were OK - you want to be up and out to see as much as you can!

All in all a great experience - would thoroughly recommend this to anyone wanting to do a safari.

Stayed September 2006
Helpful?
1 Thank ADWLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wokingham, Berkshire
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2006

Idube Game Reserve is simply perfect. This is the ideal position to get sightings of so much wildlife, so close to the lodge.

You are taken to and from your lodge for the morning drive by rangers to ensure your protection. If you don't want to join the morning lodge, you put a carved animal outside of your door and they don't wake you.

One evening I could hear a lion directly outside of our lodge making the gruff repetitive noise they make when calling their pride. I was scared to look out of the window in the dark in case I startled it (I'm sure it wouldn't jump through the window at me but I didn't want to take a chance). We picked up its tracks directly from the Lodge the following morning and closely followed it, stopping every now and then while it called and listened for its pride. The ranger believed they hadn't been together for over two weeks.

We followed the lion for well over an hour and then drove ahead to be with its pride and watch it come over the hill to be reunited with its pride. The pride included two lionesses and seven cubs.

The lionesses were very happy to see the lion, he was a little more cool about it. The cubs were buffed away with a gentle paw apart from the oldest cub that was given a gentle nose nudge.

100 yards from the pride an old lioness watched the scene, when the lionesses noticed her they were not happy. The lion walked off past the old lioness, paying her no attention at all to drink some water at the nearby watering hall.

It was such a beautiful scene to watch at such close quarters, I felt quite emotional and lucky to witness it.

Idube Game Lodge is extremely comfortable and ideal to relax during the day, from our lodge we could watch elephants grazing just the other side of the electric wire. There were 4 old male elephants, old cronies who hung out together at the nearby watering hole, there was also a viewing pit you could get an extra close look at them. From this pit we also saw genets and a hyena kill one evening.

During the day, I would sometimes catch up on a quick nap, to make up for the early mornings, I was having a nap one day and a hornbill came and tapped on the window to wake me - how well trained is that ;^)

One evening a baby porcupine joined us for dinner at the romantic private boma that we were having an anniversary meal at.

The food is easily the best food I have ever had on any holiday. The chef is fantastic, the food is tasty with lovely ingredients. I highly recommend the pumpkin tart which was unbelievably tasty. Meals are eaten on small tables (usually of couples) in a circule around the fire.

One morning we had a bush breakfast, following a drive one morning, my husband and I were taken to beautifully laid out table and had a full monty English breakfast. Right nearby there was a small termite hill with lots of dwarf mongoose playing and jumping all over the hill and each other.

There are Nyala and warthogs living in the Lodge, my husband was threatened by a warthog one lunchtime, head down aiming for him while he was eating his lunch. He was saved by the quick thinking waitress throwing a wooden spoon which hit the warthog on the head and made it scarper.

The gamedrives are the best bit, we saw everything - elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyena, zebra, giraffes, a jackall, crocodiles, hippos, lots of different antelopes.

A real bonus on this safari is that you are in a very small group and you don't get herds of 4x4's as you would in say Kenya.

Since this holiday we were bitten by the safari bug and went to Botswana and Zambia but to me, Idube was the best and most beautiful. I really didn't want to leave.

  • Liked — Lovely environment, close to wildlife, always something to see.
  • Disliked — There is nothing I didn't like about it - apart from having to leave.
  • Tips/Secrets — It gets very cold, take a good warm fleece.
  • Stayed May 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Maxella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2006

Have just come back from spending 2 days on honeymoon here.
I'll keep it to the point as wouldn't want to paint too much of a vivid picture, but we saw the big 5 on our first game drive 10 minutes after arriving.
Our ranger Rob & his wonderful tracking companion Ronald were brilliant - friendly, exceptionally knowledgable and didn't bombard you with info, when not appropriate.
The camp is open, so when you are escorted back to your room after dinner, you don't mind too much as with a 5am start sleep is so welcome.
As it was our final night on honeymoon, we were taken away from the communal boma and walked into the bush where we were surprised with a table for two, with a bottle of champers around a roaring log fire. Well it wasn't quite dinner for two, as we had a hyena patrolling around us. Don't worry about encountering them, as they're complete babies!
All in all, we fell in love with the place. Don't expect to stay in a Hilton, but then again if you're that sort of person who wants to go on safari and not experience the real deal then I'd save your Jimmy Choo's. There were a few of that sort (thankfully not in our land rover) who cast envious glances at the Prada wearing crowd staying at Richard Branson's place around the corner.
It's an experience of a lifetime, and I can't recommend Idube enough - go and check it out for yourselves!

  • Liked — The fact we had an outdoor shower overlooking all of the game
  • Disliked — The fact that I had Impalas checking me out in the outdoor shower!
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank benandjac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Idube Game Reserve Lodge

Property: Idube Game Reserve Lodge
Address: Portion 1 | Wallingford Farm, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Idube Game Reserve Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idube Game Reserve is a safari lodge situated in the Sabi Sand Reserve, in the heart of South Africa’s premier wildlife conservation area of the Greater Kruger Park. Game, including the Big 5, is viewed really close by from open Land Rovers, or spotted on guided walks. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with South African Hotels so you can book your Idube Game Reserve Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Idube Private Game Reserve Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Idube Game Reserve Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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