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“We stayed at Bayethe Tented Vilage - Definately not a tent”

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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 8, 2008

Stayed there for 2 nights after Xmas 2007 with 2 kids 15 and 18. Stayed in one of the teneted lodges - basically a very large (hotel room) timber lodge with firm canvas sides, a lovely balcony and patio overlooking the river and a plunge pool. The accomodation is very good indeed with air con, etc.(with a rustuc in the bush feel to it) Some guests thought it was not up to ntheir usual standard but we felt it the only way to see the Bush. Other accomodation in Shamwari is no doubt more luxurious but beleive me, staying at Bayethe was a great experfience. It also the best situated of all the accomodations as it is in the middle of Shamwarii (that is split by a large farm) so you can access the North and South areas quickly (other areas you have a bit if travelling before you get to the action)
No TV which was great. On an evening just went to sleep to the night sounds of the Bush which was so relaxing.
Food was great at a Lodge in the centre with good variety.
Did 2 safari's at 5.30am and 4.30pm which each lasted about 3-4 hours and were brilliant (it was our first safari) We saw lots of stiff including a cheetah stalking and chasing an impala.We travelled in 6 seater open top trucks
You get your own guide who wakes you up and eats with you. We had a local guy called Headman who was brought up in the Bush. He was very good indeed and really did add value to our experience. Some people think it was hard sitting with the guide, but we learnt so much about the wildlife, and the area and culture in general.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank TonyPassmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 4, 2008

Stayed at Lobengula Lodge. Accomodation superb, with huge comfortable bed/sitting room and private deck with plunge pool. Excellent facilities (pool, gym,sauna/spa) and delightful common areas (essentially two lounges/ dining areas and outside bar and boma). Food and wine truly excellent and staff always helpful. Rangers friendly and knowledgeable.

Stayed: December 2007
1  Thank APRLondon_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2007

We did the garden route in March 2007, but started at Port Elizabeth with one night in the Beachwalk B&B which gave us a friendly welcome, very good explanation of all the facilities and good recommendations for eating out. Excellent location on the beach front, very good ensuite room gardens pleasantly laid out with dip pool and the best breakfast of our trip. In the new Tripadvisor there doesn't seem to be any inclusion for them!
We then went to Shamwari which Ecco tours, there biggest agent, had stated a check in time of 4pm, so missed first drive in the evening. This was partially corrected by a reimbursement of money for the missed drive,but what price can you put on that. The whole experience of Shamwari was excellent staying in Eagles Crag and having the once in a live time chance to be actually there chase and see about 3 meters away a lion kill on a giraffe, was totally unforgettable. Our guide was brilliant a great depth of knowledge of not only animals but birds, beetles, flora and forna. Saw all but one of the five, even trying to get to elephants on foot. Wow.


If you are planning a Garden Route trip. See also Lairds Lodge Plettenberg, Rosenhof Oudtshoorn, Plumwood Inn Franschoek, Bishops Court Cape Town.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank obbor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2007

Once we'd decided upon Shamwari we were unsure where to actually stay. I wouldn't put anyone off Bayethe. Ok so its a bit of a drive into the reserve proper (bout 15-20 minutes) but the whole place is fascinating,so you dont mind the drive at all.
We stayed 2 nights and wanted to stay longer. Its one of those places where you think it would be nice to stay a bit longer just to enjoy the surroundings.
Problem is it is knackering, so I would guess 3 or more nights could make you feel a bit like a zombie. Getting up at 5am does take it out of you on your holiday. But then when you see that lion or elephant just 10ft or so away it all becomes worth it.
The accommodation was really luxurious, we stayed in one of the newer 'superior' lodges and were blown away by it. An amazing bath along with outdoor shower along with two sinks. The bed was huge and prepared very caringly. Sadly it wasnt hot enough to use the outdoor tub but lying on the hammocks watching a warthog run below was a real experience. But its not really about the accommodation, its all about the wildlife. Our guide worked hard to show us what could be found and seeing a family of lions was something that I will never forget. We did four drives over the two nights we stayed and did feel we had done loads.
Its expensive but its one of those things that you just can't regret.
My only grumble was the expectation to tip everyone. The place is expensive so either pay the staff a bit more or dont tell me how much I should be tipping. Left a slight bad taste.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank hawkipa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2007

We have just returned from our South African holiday which took in two days at the Shamwari Game Reserve. From start to finish our two days were spectacular. We arrived after a long drive, but managed to get there for 1pm, as we were advised to do so. We were greeted the moment we turned off the car engine by fabulous warm and friendly staff who handed us a welcome drink and gave us a tour of the facilities. We had a drink in the bar area before being shown to our room which was beautiful. We had a huge bedroom area with sofa and tv lounge area with a huge bathroom which was at the back of the room which had two sinks, huge bath, separate shower and w.c. facilities.

We then headed out to the seating area where lunch was served under the trees with a fabulous view of the fantastic landscape, in the distance we could see elephants which was amazing. The food was spectactular, however on the day we arrived at Shamwari I was just getting over a bout of food poisoning so had to ask the staff for very plain food which they catered for without question. I must admit I was slightly worried about the food situation before we got there but the staff couldn't do enough for us, and helped with whatever we needed.

We did four game drives in two days, they were early morning and then mid afternoon which lasted three hours each. As the drives are determined by the animals not one drive was the same. Our guide Dumi was fantastic and had a wealth of knowledge on all the animals and birds that we came across. The animals that we saw were amazing and we have some brilliant photos that we will treasure forever.

We were lucky to be with two other couples who were fantastic people and we all got along famously as you go on drives with them, eat with them and also your guide eats with you at breakfast and dinner too.

If anyone is thinking about going to Shamwari I would say book it without hesitation, we had the most fabulous two days there, I just wish it could've been longer. It truly is a magical place.

6  Thank KarenG76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2007

We stayed at Shamwari after spending years seeing it on television and hearing how wonderful it was. It our minds it was the best place to stay as far as game lodges was concerned, defenatly had a stigma attached to it.

What a let down. Shamwari needs to learn a thing or two about personal service and 5 star standard, because this reserve and its lodges are anything but 5 star. The food is boring and repetative and the rooms look like something from an old victorian era, defenatly not an african experience. The game viewing is probably the only thing that keeps this place going, as the rest of the "Famous Shamwari" is concerned is a complete let down. You pay though your ears for sub standard food, service and accomodation.

WOuld not waste my time when there are far better "African" lodges for half the price

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank klemz007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2007

Let me preface my review by saying that I was on a garden tour of the Western Cape, and we ended our tour by staying two nights at Shamwari, November 15-17. I wasn't particularly interested in the animals, so I can't address how well this resort addresses that interest. That said, this was a fun place to stay. Rooms were beautiful (although bathroom was moldy), with panoramic views of the veldt. There was a watering hole perhaps 200 yards from our window, around which we'd see wandering animals---elephants, wildebeests, etc. Service was excellent. Guides were patient and knowledgeable. The only thing I did not like at all was fact guides ate with us at many meals. Our guide, Dumi, was hilarious, and great company, but he'd been up since 5am, ate dinner with us at 10 pm, and then he'd be up again at 5 am. This togetherness seemed forced. There was a couple there by themselves, and they'd be in a Landrover with a guide, and then would eat their meals with that guide, just the three of them. They looked uncomfortable, and conversation forced. If I hadn't been part of a group, this constant being with a guide would have wrecked the trip for me. It's like assigned seating at a wedding reception. This was the only reserve of the three we stayed in that had this policy. That said, we saw many animals, in great situations. We were charged by a rhino, threatened by a giraffe. You drive down a dusty road, and there are 4 lions relaxing. Food was ok. They need to clean the bird droppings off the chairs where outdoor breakfast is served.

  • Stayed: November 2007
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6  Thank tonymsrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges

Address: N2 between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown, Shamwari Game Reserve 6000, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Shamwari Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Shamwari Game Reserve
Price Range: $644 - $1,316 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges 5*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A mere 75 km from Port Elizabeth towards Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Shamwari is the crown jewel of private game reserves situated in the malaria free Eastern Cape, the birth place of Nelson Mandela. This privately owned 25 000 hectares of prime natural terrain has received numerous international awards. Shamwari is an exploration of nature with close encounters of free roaming wildlife and the coveted big five with a choice of unique lodges, an exclusive private villa and the adventurous Explorer Camp. Luxury accommodation is offered in 7 different game lodges on Shamwari Game Reserve, all of which are 5 Star graded. Choose a game lodge that perfectly compliments your ideal African experience. EAGLES CRAG LODGE - Exclusivity, privacy and serenity for the most discerning of travelersBAYETHE TENTED LODGE - The ultimate in luxury tented accommodationSARILI LODGE - A colonial and bush experience. Perfect for families or small partiesLONG LEE MANOR - Refined elegance from a bygone era. RIVERDENE FAMILY LODGE - Colonial Africa in an elegantly restored CHILD FRIENDLY frontier home. VILLA LOBENGULA - Villa Lobengula is a beautiful and tranquil space tucked away in the depths of the valley bushveld. Booked on an exclusive use basis only. EXPLORER CAMP - Camping & walking experience among the Big 5 on the magnificent Shamwari Game Reserve ON SAFARI - Game drives can last up to 3 hours each and are conducted twice a day in open vehicles / Guided walks / Star gazing RELAX - Various treatments can be enjoyed at our Relaxation Retreats which are situated at Eagles Crag, Lobengula Lodge, Bayethe Lodge and Long Lee Manor ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shamwari Game Reserve Hotel Shamwari Game Reserve

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