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“Enjoyable” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve

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Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Enjoyable”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

From the moment we entered till we left, things were meticulously planned and easy going. There was no push and we were made comfortable on our stay. Good on Leon, Claudia, Dihno and Victory, keep the lovely environment going. not to forget our ranger Hali and the chef, kids enjoyed their meals and so did we, delectable home cooked, well done stuff. If we ever go back to Sabi Sands its got to be here.

Room Tip: Families should check with the Lodge directly on Food and stay.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mt2812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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466 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 (124)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I spent 4 wonderful nights at Chitwa and had the time of our lives! We were treated so well by all of the staff. Dhino new exactly how and when we liked our drinks and Victory new exactly how we liked our food and coffee. Neil and Rodney were a great team of ranger/tracker and were always keeping us entertained with information and jokes when the viewing was poor.

We saw the big 5 and many more animals on our game drive but the highlight was the view from our room. We were over the waterhole with hippo and animals continually in view from everywhere in the room. We were lucky to always have the 1 week old hippo to view.

The room was anazing with lots of room and a beautiful fire place which was lit every evening we came back from our game drive.

I've never enjoyed the food as much as i did at Chitwa. There was always a great variety and we were never hungry with food on game drives, breakfest, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Every dinner was in a different location which was beautiful. The highlight was the surprise romantic dinner that was organised for us on our own in the main lodge in front of the fire all on our own.

My recommendations to future guests is to make sure that you bring an apetite, travel via plane as chitwa has its own airstrip and to visit the town and enjoy the walking safari!

You will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed June 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?
2 Thank HullyAus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2013

From the moment we arrived at Chitwa we felt like rock stars. We were picked up from the airstrip by our ranger (Neil) and one of the managers (Leon) and the 10 minute drive to the lodge was spent having a chat and a laugh. When we got to the lodge Claudia, Leon's better half, was waiting for us and got us settled in. That afternoon we had our first game drive and Neil's declaration when we met him that he had a surprise for us was not wrong: 2 leopards in a tree with their impala kill!

Over the next 5 days we saw amazing game: Rhino's, Elephants, Hyena, Jackals, plenty of antelope and the big 3 cats: The styx pride of lions were around for most of our time with the highlight being the pride's hunt and kill of a big buffalo. We saw leopards most days, including Shadow and one of her cubs and Tandy and both her cubs. On our last day Neil and Rodney even managed to find us the elusive cheetah that pops into the game reserve every now and again. If it's game you're after in Sabi Sands, Chitwa is your best option as they have the most agreements with neighbouring reserves to traverse their lands. Neil even got permission to look for a big male leopard on a neighbouring property by asking nicely!

The lodge itself is amazing. The main lodge houses a sitting and dining room as well as an outside boma & braai area. Attached to the lodge is a massive deck overlooking the watering hole which always (yes, always!) has something going on. They have their resident hippo's who have made this watering hole their home. There's 2 large crocodiles who have done the same and we saw buffaloes, elephant, kudo, impala, Nyala and other animals visit the watering hole regularly.

The cabins are huge and elegantly furnished. Each has its own deck and each looks out over the watering hole. Some are very close to the water, others are set back a little. The main room functions as a sitting room and bedroom. I believe most, if not all, cabins have a fireplace as well (ours did). The deck has a private pool, deck chairs and comfortable chairs with part of the deck always in the shade for those hot days. Housekeeping is fantastic. They look after your room whilst you're out on drives and turn down your bed when you're at dinner.

Speaking of food: amazing! There's game most days but as you always have a choice of meals (both at lunch and dinner) you'll find something of your liking. If you're unsure, just try something and chances are it will be very tasty!We had coffees before the 6:15am game drive, breakfast when we got back at 9:30 or so, lunch at 2pm, afternoon tea at 3pm and dinner around 7:30pm. That's a lot of food so I suggest you go on a diet before you come to Chitwa so you can enjoy all the beautiful food. The main reason to come to Chitwa is the game viewing but if food is your passion, you will not be disappointed.

Lastly there's the staff. What can I say? They were fantastic. Pinkie, Dhino, Victory & Sbonisso looked after us during meal times and one was always around if we needed them. There's Chantel and Tammy who would come around for a friendly chat and Stefan who entertained us before and after dinner with some great conversations. Leon and Claudia were excellent hosts for the day they were there (before taking a well deserved break) and we wish we could have spent more time with them. And then there's our ranger/guide Neil who knew everything about every animal and plant you can think of and bravely put up with a bunch of Aussies in his car for 5 days. And we had the lovely Rodney doing the tracking for us who was generally quiet and reserved which made his jokes that much funnier!

Would I come back to Chitwa? You bet! I try not to go to the same place twice as there's so much still to see in this world and so little time but Chitwa is one of those magical places that will have a special place in my heart forever. Thanks to all the lovely staff for such a wonderful time!

Room Tip: Rooms 1 & 4 were great but for close up water views, ask for one of the other rooms (on the righ...
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  • Stayed June 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?
3 Thank CeesvanGinkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2013

We stayed 5 nights at Chitwa Chitwa and were blown away by the experience. The staff, Dinho, Pinkie, Victory, Sbonniiso and Tammy looked after us as though we were VIP's. The cleaning and laundry ladies made sure our room was spotless and we had clean clothes to wear. The chef Wilson cooked us food befitting a Michelin Star restaurant. The management, Leon, Claudia, Stefan and Chantel treated us like old friends and our Ranger (Neil) and Tracker (Rodney) found us incredible animal sightings and established such a rapport with us that the breaks for morning coffee and sundowners were filled with lots of fun and laughter.

We got to see so many incredible sights including the bumbling Styx lion pride hunt and successfully kill an adolescent buffalo about 5-10 metres from our vehicle. It was so breathtakingly confronting, but you couldn't look away. We are so grateful that Neil had the forethought and patience to stay with the pride, because one other vehicle from another lodge went away for coffee and missed this most spectacular display. In addition to the kill, we saw two different leopard mums with their cubs on various occasions, rhino, many elephants, hyenas, jackal, zebra, hippos and on our last drive a spectacular sighting of a rare cheetah. We couldn't be happier.

We also went to the Dixie village and had an amazing time. The children were so genuinely happy to see us and sang songs and showed us their english skills. They will remain forever in our hearts.

This was our second trip to Africa and we can now say that Chitwa Chitwa is our absolute favourite from the 5 camps that we have stayed at. There is nothing that we could fault and we would return in a heartbeat. We would give it 6 stars for the overall safari experience, location, accommodation, food and staff if we could. It was just that good.

One tip for safari goers, take clothes with a bit of stretch or room for growth, as after a week or two of delicious meals and limited physical activity, your clothes will become very tight and can make the long haul flight home uncomfortable!

Thank you so much to all the staff involved in making the Chitwa Chitwa experience so wonderful. We really appreciate all your hard work and attention to detail. We would have no hesitation in recommending Chitwa Chitwa to all our family and friends and will definitely be back.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 9, which was a nice distance from the main lodge and has a lovely view of the wate...
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  • Stayed June 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 Essy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2013

We really enjoyed our four days and eight game drives at this great Lodge. Our guide Neil and tracker Rodney were excellent, very knowledgeable and helped make our trip an excellent experience. We saw all the big five and plenty more (apart from the elusive cheetah) and were amazed at how close we were to wild animals. The accommodation is very comfortable and spacious, the staff were very obliging and friendly. My wife enjoyed the hot water bottles for the early morning drives (which were a bit chilly, bring lots of layers). Take your camera and ensure you have a long lens (300mm is more than sufficient) but also a wide angle lens as you get so close to the animals. Although wifi was not available (but is being planned), mobile phone coverage was excellent. Our safari exceeded our expectations. Thank you to everyone at Chitwa.

Room Tip: All rooms/lodges are different with an individual style. All have a good view of the watering hole a...
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  • Stayed June 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?
Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshire
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2013

Just returned from a magical 4 days at Chitwa Chitwa. This gem in the Sabi Sands is well worth a visit. The suites were fabulous with incredible views, The main Lodge was superb and provided for your every need from drinks to food to conversation and relaxation. Views of game from every deck, bar, table or pool.
The game drives were incredible, we were up close and personal with the Big 5 and many others. Our guide (Neil) knew all there was to know about the smallest or largest animal, birds insects as well as the stars that shone so brightly in the night sky. Our tracker (Rodney) must have the most amazing eyesight ever as he could spot all manner of animal tracks from his seat out front and was able to find animals in the thickest of bush.
The hosts Claudia and Leon were exceptional and added to our overall enjoyment. All of their staff are polite and only too happy to assist you in anyway they can.
The best experience ever and would thoroughly recommend this safari lodge to anyone.
Thank you to everyone who made our stay so special.

  • Stayed May 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?
Thank GAPBedfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Level Contributor
162 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

What do you expect at a safari lodge? Well we got more than we asked for. Our excellent trackers Surprise and Howard managed to find every animal except the illusive pangolin. But you must face the facts that Wild Africa is a dog eat dog life and in our 4 nights here we were treated to nature in the raw. We witnessed to saddest but factual side to what goes on here. There are herbivores and consumers. And of course the consumers must eat other consumers. We saw it all.
The accommodation was terrific. Each lodge different to the others and creatively decorated by Maria the artistic eccentric proprietor, who is lovely if you are lucky enough to meet her and her husband Charls. The hosts Claudia and Leon are lovely, helpful, hospitable and professional and contribute to the memorable stay at the lodge. The staff are so helpful. Food is OK.
If you are reading this you are probably researching which lodge to stay at. You won't be disappointed at Chitwa Chitwa.
Thank you Claudia, Leon, Surprise, Howard, Coconut, Victory, Tronic, Dihno.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank annesydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve

Property: Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve
Address: P O Box 781854 | Steiltes, Kruger National Park 1213, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Originally a private retreat of the Brink family, Chitwa Chitwa was transformed by Charl into an oasis of conservation and harmony. His dedicated holistic approach and wise land management are aimed at the handing of an uncontaminated African paradise to the future generations. In 1991 Charl and Maria Brink created Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge, today a jewel of South African hospitality and an emblem of the savannas most authentic and refined luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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