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“I had the time of my life”

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Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“I had the time of my life”
Reviewed June 2, 2011

I stayed 5 days and saw 35 different birds, lions eating warthog, elephants tustling, wildebeest tustling, buffalo next to vehicle, hippos, springbok (running and jumping), a mama cheetah and her 2 cubs (running and jumping), saw rarely seen caracol and mountain reebok. The accomadations were very nice. The food was well prepared, so beautiful didn't know to eat or look. The staff went out of their way to make the trip so enjoyable. The ranger (Doc) and tracker (Cesar) help make this the most enjoyable trip I have ever taken.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank dawgpound32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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263 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2011

My husband and I have just returned from our 25th anniversary trip to South Africa, and we ended the trip with our first safari at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge. All of the comments in Trip Advisor are so positive, we felt we had to add our own. We had a very warm welcome at the reception and on our drive to the lodge we already saw giraffes, kudu, etc. The welcome at the Lodge was even more friendly, and shortly after arriving we were introduced to Andrew our ranger, and Voyani our tracker. Brilliant guys, very knowledgeable and extremely friendly. I am personally terrified of domestic cats, so why am I on a safari, you ask? Well, it was a celebration holiday for our anniversary and one of my husband's long awaited dream-come-true-holiday. We saw cheetahs, lions, elephants (from a distance!), rhino, kudu, beautiful birds, springbok, impala, monkeys, and giraffes. What a wonderful sight, and thanks to Andrew's reassurances, I was not afraid at all. (even when we were in front of a pride of lions, cubs and male lion!) For our anniversary dinner, we noticed that there wasn't a table laid for two, so when we asked why, we were shown to a private dining area, laid out for two, with champagne on ice, music, and candles everywhere, with the fire blazing. How wonderful!!
Getting up so early was not easy (0600 alarm call), but once out on the drives, it was well worth it. We had 5 game drives over the 3 days, and each was better than the one before.
If you can visit Kwandwe, then Great Fish River Lodge is great accommodation. We had suite n° 5, beautifully furnished, with our own plunge pool. Sadly, not warm enough to use it!
We will be back!!!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank kateloveshuskies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2011

My husband and I were on our honeymoon and had the best time at Kwandwe. Our guide - Mark - was helpful, eager and fun. We saw a pride of lions make a kill (poor warthog), had a lovely plunge pool and met wonderful people. We stayed in room 7 but the pool was down some stairs and wasn't well kept. We moved rooms (to #3) and it was beautiful. Other travelers said great things about rooms 1 & 2 as well! Enjoy! and ask for Mark to be your guide!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DaughterofLDTC2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
159 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2011

The lodge, staff, accomodation and food are exceptional, but the highlight for me was the wildlife. Kwandwe is located away from the normal bushveld vegetation of the hiveld in South Africa and is close to the klein karoo therefore offers the chance of seeing something different from the Kurgers Parks normal game, though having said that we had great lion sightings as well as cheetah sightings.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BushFreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
60 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2011

We absolutely loved our stay - incredible location, beautiful bush and animals, good food, atmosphere, guides (thank you Sibo and Robin!). Well worth the price tag, an incredible way to relax and enjoy the African bush.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Joshua B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney, aus
Level Contributor
149 reviews
110 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2011

We had four nights at Kwandwe and it is a truly beautiful spot. Within 15 minutes of heading out on our first game drive we had spotted two lion cubs playing - just wonderful! In the following six game drives we saw the Big 5 as well as a huge raft of other animals. We were even lucky enough to see cheetah three times which is quite amazing.

I have been on a number of safaris across southern Africa and each has been unique and special in its own way. Kwandwe is no exception. Our guide, Doc, and tracker, Siza, were just amazing. Their warmth, enthusiasm and passion for their jobs was a delight and we felt privileged to have them show us Kwandwe.

The rooms were lovely and very well appointed. Each chalet has it's own outdoor shower and plunge pool which was fabulous on a hot day. We appreciated things like the bar and laundry being included in the room rate.

I would absolutely recommend Kwandwe to others but they do need to do something about their food which was very hit and miss. It's a real shame as this place has so much to offer and the service was so personable. I want to give it 5 stars but the food lets it down.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank marniemac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2010

We were at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge for 4 nights in October and had a truly wonderful and memorable time. We had an excellent ranger, Phil, who was extremely knowledgeable and who managed to transmit his enthusiasm to everyone around him. He was ably assisted by his tracker, Bongani, who had an amazing ability to spot animals at incredible distances - on one occasion, he pointed at two dots in the far distance and informed us that they were two cheetahs - only when we looked through our binoculars, could we see that he was correct. During our time at Kwandwe, we saw a whole variety of wild animals at very close quarters which was just amazing - including elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, cheetahs, lions, giraffes, zebras, baboons and, most excitingly for everyone at the Lodge, a leopard.

Our accommodation was fabulous - each suite was an individual thatched building with a very large, attractively-furnished bedroom, an area with 'his and her' basins, a bath which looked out at the bush beyond, and both inside and outside showers. Outside was a private and secluded decked area with very comfortable loungers, armchairs and our own plunge pool. The staff at the lodge were all extremely friendly, helpful and accommodating and we were treated like royalty - hot towels offered when we came back from game drives and tables set up by our ranger and tracker and laden with snacks and drinks (and sometimes champagne) in the middle of the bush.

Overall a really wonderful experience.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jacqueline2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge

Property: Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge
Address: Heatherton Towers, Fort Brown District | Grahamstown, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve 6140, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This founding lodge with only 9 privately situated suites features a classic-contemporary style of simple elegance that embraces the lodge's splendid setting high up on a steep bank overlooking the Great Fish River. The colour scheme comprises a calm and natural palette of earthy tones, from khaki browns to charcoal greys.Pewter and glass add an effortless yet understated glamour to the furnishings; artefacts such as ostrich eggshells, hides and horns create subtle points of interest and relevance to the lodge's surrounds, whilst natural linens and plenty of texture preserve its simple but sophisticated atmosphere.Watch majestic kudu meander down to the river from the Lodge's expansive viewing decks, or observe playful Cape clawless otters swimming in the cool waters below from the comfort of your private balcony. Suites are spacious and feature en-suite bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers, personal in-room bars and private decks with plunge pools overlooking the vast reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kwandwe Great Fish River Hotel Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

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