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“Exceeded expectations!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges

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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Exceeded expectations!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

My family of four enjoyed a two night stay in two tented lodges in Bayethe. We really did not know what to expect but were very impressed by the standard of our tents and all the 'quirky' additions in each of them. Our boys lodge had an outdoor shower and both had plunge pools.
However, what made our time at Shamwari so special was our guide 'MINO' - a very special man who was so good to us over our time there. Nothing was too much bother and we enjoyed four incredible game drives with him. His genuine care for us throughout or stay was wonderful and his knowledge on the animals and the whole reserve culture was endless.
Food and service by the other staff was great and we all enjoyed a very special time at Shamwari.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 577Nicola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,023 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (239)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
101 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

We are blessed to travel a lot for work and pleasure, but my husband and I had dreamed of going on a safari and to South Africa. We chose this one safari/lodge as we could do both in the same trip easily. Even though I caught the Cape Town cough before arriving at the lodge, our time here was amazing. Picture a 2 hour ride from the airport to finally pass thru the reserve gates and our growing level of eager anticipation. We saw a beautiful lodge appear on the horizon. Upon exiting the car we were handed a cold beverage and towel to get refreshed. They showed us the common areas of the lodge and then showed us to our room - first floor closest to the entrance. It was like a movie - huge sitting room, big bed, and a bathroom the size of most hotel rooms. Plus it all had patios and sliding glass doors to a view the African plains so close by, just 20 yards to the river and then the plains. There were two elephant families right there, some trumpeting their trunks. In total 35 elephants. They had binoculars in the room, but they weren't necessary unless you wanted to see their faces. We were there about 15 minutes when our guide, Ryan, came running in to say the jeep had returned to get us because they had been tracking a lion family that was now expected to be right by the lodge. Come on, let's go and we were off. 5 minutes later we were 10 feet from a lioness resting after eating her kill. Her two cubs were playing close by, with the male lion roaring somewhere to the right. It was amazing and we hadn't even been there 30 minutes!

The service was impeccable, 4 people to the 6 guests, the food was 4 star quality or better with options to please everyone. Our guide was knowledgeable, fun, and enthusiastic. We'd have hot toddies on the jeep after a dusk safari - but bring gloves, scarves, hats, and jackets as it gets really cold. Good fun, but you need to be warm. We saw the big 7 except the elusive leopard. We even saw two cheetahs! We did a walking safari one day and saw a giraffe remains from an attack and ran into a rhino, causing us all a start, with guns at the ready as the guests ran behind a big bush. Lots of laughter later I can tell you.

There wasn't one thing we would change. I have recommended this place to my dearest friends. Go, have an adventure, and enjoy!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DeRiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

We had a fabulous 4 days at Shamwari , our guide Mino was enthusiastic and very informative, he arranged a picnic for us so we could stay out in the reserve all day, that was great fun.
The menu meals were all delicious and if you enjoy meat the Braai nights will be pleasing for you.
We saw 4 of the big 5 and had the most amazing experience with a heard of elephants and their young.
Thank you Mino and Shamwari for a very good start to the new year.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Laura L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Sussex
Level Contributor
136 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2013

This review only relates to the safari experience.

We stayed at Long Lee Manor 16th to 19th December 2012. During this time we had 6 safaris and were fortunate to see all of the Big 5 although only if you count the back end and tail of a leopard as a sighting! Abel our ranger, was 1st class and then some. He not only works extremely hard to ensure that visitors have maximum opportunity to see the animals but also shares his vast knowledge of the flora and bird life of Shamwari. This guy could not have done more to give us the experience of a lifetime. The highlights were close-by sightings of giraffes in the early morning fog, the cheetah brothers sitting perfectly still to allow us mere humans to observe them at close quarters for more than 10 minutes and mother and baby black rhino 'frolicking'!

Room Tip: Ask for Abel - you won't be disappointed!
See more room tips
Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank skyecorrina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

As a family of four, we spent three nights at Shamwari Eagle's Crag Lodge. The rooms at this lodge are amazingly spacious, beautifully decorated, and kept immaculate, with at least three visits by housekeeping per day. All staff, from the camp manager, assigned ranger, housekeeping and restaurant personnel, was fantastic, and sensitive to our every need. Each day we went on two rides with our assigned ranger Frans who has been working at Shamwari for 12 years, and who was absolutely amazing and knowledgeable of all species, flora and fauna. Thanks to Frans, we saw a lot of different animals, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippos, monkeys, and many different antilopes. Returning to the lodge, we were always greeted by the amazing staff with hot towels and a welcoming drink. What we really take home from this visit is realizing that we all need to appreciate the wonders that Mother Earth provides, and to conserve and protect them so that our future generations can have the same fantastic experience. We booked this trip through Icon Expeditions in Cape Town who did a superb job of organizing our entire trip.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hilde H H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

A great experience. We stayed three nights Each day we went on two safaris lasting between 3-4 hours. Our ranger Frans was marvellous and we saw loads of animals. He was v knowledgable and enthusiastic. We adored it and will never forget it. A superb experience

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank VeragLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
138 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

Bayethe Lodge represents the luxury end of safari. The so-called tents actually have brick and stone floors and a thatched roof - it's only the walls that are canvas, but the whole place feels solid and in top condition. You get a shower, flush toilet, aircon, a very comfortable big bed - and a private plunge pool. Meals and service are excellent. As with other luxury service places, it's the little extras that make a difference, e.g. a refreshing drink and hot towel being offered when you return from your three-hour trip in the jeep. I was celebrating a 20th wedding anniversary, but this would be ideal for honeymooners too!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ron F
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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