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“Lions, leopards, and rhinos.... oh my!!!!!!!!!!”

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Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Duncannon, PA
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Lions, leopards, and rhinos.... oh my!!!!!!!!!!”
Reviewed September 8, 2011

We very much enjoyed our 5-night stay at Inyati the last week of August. On the very first drive we watched a female leopard eating an impala. By the time we left we had seen about 8 leopards, dozens of lions, buffalo, giraffes and elephants, many rhinoceros, hippos, wild dogs, zebra, warthogs, monkeys, baboons and a hyena. Also, for those who enjoy birds, I think the location could merit an entire bird trip. But of course the emphasis is always on the Big Five.

Though weather was variably cool in the mornings (bring many layers), the hot water bottles provided enough comfort on the drives for even someone like me who hates cold. The evening drives were much warmer and the temps in the afternoon were in the 80s. For this reason I would say we came at an excellent time. The lack of insects during this month almost made malaria prevention overkill. If I ever return in August I personally would skip the Malarone and use only insect repellent.

Two things make Inyati the special place that it is. First, because it is unfenced, the wildlife is free to roam at will, and you very much feel like you are living in their world. To me a bordered lodge would not be a genuine safari experience; it would feel too much like a zoo.

Secondly, the quality of the guides and trackers (hurrah for Khimbini and Richard!) was top notch and also the friendliness of the entire staff was genuine. Each one of our game drives was an exciting adventure with fresh perspectives and breathtaking close-up encounters with animal families. We did not merely spot animals, we stayed long enough that we felt like a guest in their world. We even saw leopards mating!

If you want great photos that will make your friends gasp, come to Inyati. They share drive territories with several other lodges so you get a wide range for tracking. We were affected by Hurricane Irene when returning to New York City and spent many hours in the airport swapping stories with visitors from other lodges. Many confessed our wildlife sightings far overshadowed theirs.

My advice to visitors is to bring LOTS of extra memory and backup batteries for your cameras. Many guests at the lodge were upset that they needed more memory and the lodge does not sell memory or batteries. I deleted unwanted photos after each drive due to the large volume I was taking.

The really huge luxury rooms were much nicer than expected. An oversize tub was great for relaxing after dinner. We stayed in room #10 so we got to share our outdoor shower with a resident pair of friendly nyala. (No, they were not really in the shower.) For those of you who are less adventurous, the rooms also have indoor showers, but you're missing half the fun!

If you have concerns about bar costs, one free drink of your choice (wine, soft drink) was included free at sundown. The additional glass of wine that was purchased at the lodge looked like it was around $3, which was quite good.

Our only complaint about the food (heard from others) was lack of vegetarian options, mostly during tea, but also some of the meals. Of course it's a *game* lodge, so I can see where the local culture is not thinking in terms of vegetarian cuisine. However, since most meal courses are served buffet style, I personally was satisfied with the variety even though I eat very little meat. Still, with international guests it's something that needs to be considered. Soups and desserts were outstanding.

Many nationalities were found among the guests at the lodge. Two separate parties were visiting for their 9th and 10th times, so Inyati has a very loyal following! We hope to be returning here also.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank LLLofPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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393 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
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English first
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2011

Lodge, grounds, hospitality and friendliness of staff, and game drives made a wonderful experience. The vista in front of the lodge and rooms is one thing we'll truly miss- it is an open grassy area overlooking a river and bush area. Elephants,a leopard, a giraffe, warthogs, kudu, impala, a hyena, etc. passed through or near the lodge property during our four day stay- we saw those animals from the veranda and our room. Naturally the highlight is the game drives- the Ranger and Tracker got us very up close to animals. We were fortunate to have followed a pack of wild dogs, which we understand are quite rare. I would definitely recommend Inyati to my friends.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MacMac52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livorno, Tuscany
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2011

My father and I were there in june 2007. It was beautiful: we saw a lot of wildlife, more and more as we expected. We saw many leopards, the animals that we were more interested in. Really wonderful; we also stayed at mala mala; the hotel was more luxurious, but we spent the double and we saw half of the animale comparing to Inyati!
Giacomo from Livorno, Italy

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Giacomo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2011

Enthusiastic rangers and trackers at the lodge made our stay exceptionally memorable with all the animals sightings and impressive descriptions of their behavior. We bumped into guests from other resorts during the ride on rainy days and realised yhat Inyati is the only lodge that provides a detachable roof on the jeep, allowing us to be sheltered from the cold rain.
Room comes with full glass panels where we are often greeted with roaming animals. Dining area overlooks a waterhole where we saw hippopotamus, hyena, nyala, impala etc.. A gym is also available which is useful in passing time between the game drives. Meals are communal where guests get to socialise.
One thing to note is the limited privacy for the showering area in the room - they are not separated by curtains or doors from the main area.
Highly recommended for everyone to witness the Big 5 in action! We saw impala hanging from a tree by a leopard, a pride of lions feeding on a buffalo, wild dogs, hyena attempting to steal meat from a leopard, baby rhino drinking milk from it's mom.. A truly unforgettable experience!

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sleepwalker85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeighanneD, Manager at Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve, responded to this review, August 30, 2011
Thank you for choosing Inyati Game Lodge for your recent stay in South Africa. I was delighted to hear you had an enjoyable time at our lodge.

Is was a pleasure to have you as our guest. We hope to see you again soon.

I have passed on your wonderful comments to the lodge staff.

Warm bushveld regards

Leighanne Dawkins
INYATI Private Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2011

Wild Wings Safari booked us 2 nights in the main area of the park and 2 nights at Inyati. Do it that way round and you will better appreciate the 2 very different experiences. At Inyati the tracking team(20-30 years experience) works with other similar establishments: you get very close to lion, leopard and rare African wild dogs as a result. A world renowned animal photographer chose it, which says it all. Beautiful accommodation (you sometimes get the Big Five on the lawn !). There was always something innovative in the evening meal, which is served . An attraction is that Inyati has a family run feel: the trackers eat with you. Don't expect a grand hotel-restaurant type of meal. We gather that some rivals have smarter restaurants and are more exclusive but it seemed to us you were paying an awful lot more for fripperies you don't want in the African Bush: we were delighted with Wild Wings' choice. .

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank jeclarke98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2011

We visited Inyati with our children and in-laws and had wonderful experience. The staff was suberb, knowledgeable and very good with children. The food was great. I would rate this an 11 out of 10. Our guide Pete was one of the best and the lodge fosters a spirit of community and we left there with a great group of new friends. We saw all but one of the Magnificent 7 by day two of our adventure. Great for families and couples. Wine cellar is very respectable and the living is good.

Room Tip: You can ask for extra beds for kids
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Dabolden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2011

We were there in October 2008 and even though we have been to other parts of Africa on safari this rated right up with the best. We got so very close to a lot of the animals that we could almost touch them and George and Solly were just so much fun on the game drives. The rooms at Inyati are beautiful and our daughters, my husband and I had a super time.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank breezybender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve

Property: Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve
Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve | Greater Kruger National Park, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Inyati Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Inyati Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inyati Game Lodge is situated in arguably one of the best game viewing areas in the Africa & most prestigious private conservation areas, the Sabi Sand Reserve (Wildtuin). Home to the free roaming 'Big Five' (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), as well as cheetah, wild dog and hundreds of other species of animals, birds and plants indigenous to the area. Our highly trained and experienced guides with their trackers ensure that your safari experience ranks amongst the finest in Africa. At Inyati, you can look forward to fantastic close-up experiences with Africa's wildlife on every game drive. #inyatisafari ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inyati Game Hotel Inyati Private Game Reserve

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