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“South Africa's Most Perfect Jewel!”

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Shumbalala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Forget the diamonds, Shumbalala Lodge sparkles brighter than South Africa's most perfect gems. Upon our arrival, we're were greeted by the assembled staff. Though beautifully decorated, the lodge is warm and inviting with comfortable couches, stone fireplaces and expansive windows allowing for continuous viewing of the abundant wildlife. Each room boasts romantic fireplaces, soaking tubs as well as showers and opens onto an expansive deck where guests can watch the ever changing procession of animals ambling up to the watering hole behind the lodge. Michelle, Lin and the entire house staff graciously attended to every request. Wiehan, the game ranger, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire ecology of Thorneybush Reserve. He and our tracker, Herman, were relentless in their quest to show us the wildlife. Every game drive exceeded expectations, however, I do not want to spoil the joy of discovering the diversity of plants, birds and amimals by giving you too much information. Come, relax and prepare to be happily amazed.

Room Tip: My room (3) had a perfect view of the watering hole! The other rooms have good views too.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Shekoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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156 - 162 of 255 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2013

Every time I close my eyes, I miss the bush! And not just any where, Shumbalala Game Lodge.
Since our return of absolute bliss, I have been thinking of nothing else!
From our first contact with Wiehan, the game ranger, until the last heartfelt goodbye from all the staff, including the lovely cleaning ladies, we were blown away by hospitality, luxury, unbelievable food, knowledge of our surroundings and unconditional service.
Wiehan, assisted by Palance and Herman made sure that we saw the Big 5 over and over again!
The beautifully set table for breakfast and sun downers, during our game drives,
surrounded by the most stunning bush was most definitely one of our highlights!
Then being welcomed back to the lodge by Annelle and Michelle and being dazzled by Lynne-Louise the chef made us not want to leave.
The suites are very tastefully decorated with ample of luxuries and lots of attention to detail. We loved coming back at night with the bed turned down, a little snack on the pillow and an African night time story that makes you giggle.
This is a place that you can thoroughly recommend to any one without any reservation.
We are already planning a return trip!

Thanks to every one, you are amazing!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Anneke S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

My new husband and I stayed here for the tail end of our honeymoon. It was PERFECT! The staff was so friendly and knowledgable. The suites were unbelievable with their own fireplace and had spectacular views of the reserve. It was so exciting to go on the game drives! I never imagined we would see so many animals! We saw a cheetah AND leopards.The food was 5 star quality and it was wonderful getting to know the other guests from all over the world. Our last night there we were surprised with candles and flowrers decorating our room :)

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Heidi T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

Shumbalala by far was the highlight of our trip to South Africa! The lodge is lovely and special attention is paid to each and every guest. They know your name the same day you arrive and make you feel like family! Our experience was an amazing one and one which we will never forget! Michelle, Anel, our fabulous and creative chef "Lynne" (she really is amazing), Palance and Weihan were just so wonderful! Thanks to all of you for the trip of a lifetime! We will never forget your hospitality and the great fun we experienced! We highly recommend this venue for Big 5 Game viewing, Fabulous & Personal Dining Experience, Superb Accommodations and just such a lovely and well managed Luxury Game Lodge!!!

Room Tip: All cottages (only 5) which make it a very personal experience; are beautiful!
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank buburin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

We spent 4 wonderful nights at Shumbalala in April of 2013. Every aspect of our visit far exceeded our expectations. Our hosts, Ryan and Michelle, were very welcoming, warm, and friendly. They, always, made sure we were comfortable, and that all of our needs were taken care of. I can still see them welcoming us back from our drives. The food was outstanding whether it was a snack on the game drives or a sit down meal. Particularly wonderful were the offerings at the afternoon teas and the evening meal. Wiehan, our guide on our game drives, was absolute fabulous. He and his spotter were able to locate the many wonbderful animals we saw. We were able to see the Big Five numerous times, as well as many other incredible animals. Wiehan, also, pointed our numerous birds and shared his knowledge of the insects in the area as well as the plants and the trees. We took advantage of his offer to walk the trails and roads around the lodge with him and his spotter, and those walks were very informative and enjoyable.

Shumbalala is a smaller game lodge, and we really liked that. Being a smaller lodge, we were able to get a real feel of the lodge and the area, and we were able to spend time with the staff as well as the other guests. The accomodations were extremely clean and modern. They have a watering hole that was visited
by many herds of animals as well as animals walking through the lodge area.

It was an incredible and a wonderful time! We would highly recommend Shumbalala to anyone wanting to have the game lodge experience.

Bruce and Nancy J.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nancy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

We visited Shumbalala for the last leg of our honeymoon and it was easily the most incredible leg of the trip. Staff was epitome of friendly, helpful and sincere. Our guide and tracker were super impressive in their knowledge and we had some wonderfully up-close experiences with the animals thanks to them - saw the Big 5 in our first two game drives! The food was equally incredible - diverse, fresh, delicious and pretty! The intimacy of the lodge is another huge plus. So nice to have such personalized attention and get to chat with the other guests regularly. We're already planning our next visit. Really cannot say enough wonderful things about Shumbalala.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Katie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

A welcoming and wonderful lodge. We had a perfect hostess, ranger, tracker, and chef. This was the highlight of our trip to Africa. We learned so much, had superb meals, great hospitality and a setting to remember always. If it all possilbe, pick this lodge!
Our Ranger Ryan and tracker Herman worked hard to expose us to wonders of the bush, teaching us about animals, trees, birds, and stars. Lynne plrovided delightful meals and Anelle charming hospitality. What more could you ask for?

Room Tip: all rooms are great
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Don G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shumbalala Game Lodge

Address: Thornybush Game Reserve | Greater Kruger, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range: $1,098 - $1,370 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Shumbalala Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 5
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

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