Shumbalala is a very small property. There are only five guest units, one of which is built to accommodate families. Our party occupied casitas 2 and 4 and they were virtually identical in size and style. Both were spacious and well appointed with higher-end, comfortable furnishings They have beautiful freestanding bathtubs, indoor showers and outdoor showers. But we noticed grime on the floors in both rooms, indicating that they hadn't been mopped or swept in some time. There were a few dead bug squishes on the walls here and there too. Beds, however, do have suitable netting for sleeping protection. It's also important to note that casita 4 is built to accommodate those who are less ambulatory and as we had an older person in our party we very much appreciated this modification to the unit. All units also have fully private decks that look out over the river bed, but not all of them can clearly see the busy watering hole. Of the two units we occupied, casita 4 afforded far better views to observe the animal activity at the watering hole.
We were very pleased with the food prepared at the property, and the staff made up some special requests for us wtihout any question. But we were annoyed that each and every bottle of water and glass of tea was charged against us. We just believe that all-inclusive properties like this should incorporate water and tea consuption into the price of the stay. Similarly, the sundowner nibbles could have been a little more classy than Pringle's and Dorito's chips. Maybe it's just me, but tortilla chips tend to take away from the mystique of watching the sun set over the African bushveld. At least there was wine.
Having said all that, we believe our experience at Shumbalala was fun and full. We truly appreciated our guide and tracker and we enjoyed seeing all the impressive game. Our guide and tracker both went out of their way to accommodate the older person in our party by helping to maneuver her in and out of the safari jeep. Their help really made the experience all the better for our party. By way of observation, we believe the managing couple at Shumbalala recognized the need to obtain a suitable step ladder that will make climbing into the jeeps easier for the next mobile-constrained older guest.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It’s a vast, wild place where the lions roam at Shumbalala Game Lodge, deep in the Thornybush GameReserve, one of the country’s great tracts of untamed game-viewing.Set as it is in a dry, singeing savanna of Mopane, Acacias and Umbrella thorns, quartered by easterly-flowing rivers densely shrouded in giant figs, fever trees and phoenix palms, the land is an ancient tapestry of natural wonder.Over-head the Loeries call their sharp warning while horn-bills swoop in an ungainly ballet between trees whilst vultures elevate on thermals portending an electric storm.As you push on through the bush it is the serendipity of nature that amazes most as your vehicle skirts art deco zebra, dozy giraffe, bright eyed bush babies, wildebeest (made, it is said, by the committee of left-over parts) and the rest Africa has to offer.It is even more of an adventure when you stumble upon a leopard lazing in the V of a Jackalberry tree or; a hyena giving you a lazy yellow eye in the gathering dusk; a majestic bull elephant crashing its way through the riverine thicket in search of sweet reeds or; a surprise sunrise encounter with a lion pride on the prowl.This is the world of Shumbalala. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shumbalala Game Hotel Thornybush Private Game Reserve
- Shumbalala Game Lodge South Africa/Thornybush Private Game Reserve