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“crag louge simply the best”

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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
ca
Level Contributor
115 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“crag louge simply the best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2013

I just returned from 4 days at crag louge at shamwari. The best safari. I saw 4 kills not the chase but soon after and the big 5 all in the first 2 days. Very important. Like a guide your driver/tracker has to be good. Its luck of the draw. Ask for Jan he is the best and really really cares. He will work 2 hours overtime to make your experience the best. Only downside if you rely on the internet like I do go on a weekend. You cannot come back from this trip without loving it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank golfbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,045 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 (244)
Date | Rating
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013

Imagine arriving at your luxury air conditioned tent under a cloudless sky, pushing open the French doors, then walking past your chilled plunge pool on your private deck and finally gazing across a deep revine which contains at least a dozen shades of green while the score of "Out of Africa" plays somewhere from inside your tent (or head) whilst you hold a glass of champagne. That is how my story began and it only got better. This was my first time on a safari, so I was easily impressed with the game drives, but it certainly was not my first time in a 5 star hotel. The Bayethe lodge did not disappoint as a hotel and managed to tick all the boxes on service, cleanliness, attention to detail and cuisine. On the safari side, my guide, Headman, was remarkable and very capable in delivering all of the big 5 except the elusive leopard. However, the ultimate moment for me was when I went on a nature walk with Headman and another guide, Mino, which became an incredible adventure in tracking a hippo! and successfully at that, something which had not been accomplished in at least 3 months by a guest and guide on foot. This "walk" was by no means for the faint of heart but it is available by request and all precautions and care is taken. In the end, I could only hug everyone and thank them for exceeding my expectations on all levels and for simply making my dreams of Africa come true.

Room Tip: Ask for tent #10
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank PAGVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013

A very memorable 2 days and nights in the Shamwari game reserve at the Bayethe Lodge. Our ‘tent’ was extremely comfortable complete with outside shower & plunge pool.
The level & attention to service was excellent & our ranger Mino gave us some brilliant ‘sightings’ of the animals, albeit in his own unique style – his enthusiasm sometimes a little overwhelming!
Overall an unforgettable experience made all the better by our being lucky enough to have great weather & company.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wardjimsue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxfordshire
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

This was the highlight of the trip to South Africa. We stayed for 3 nights in Long Lee Manor, actually in the Manor House itself. We had the most enormous room with a sitting area and balcony. The bathroom was good with a large roll top bath. The plumbing however was a little ancient and needed fixing during our stay! The staff could not have been more helpful and the food was very good, both in the restaurant and at the barbecue.
The game drives were amazing. We saw the "Big Five" including a leopard. Our rangers were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. It was hard getting up at 5.30 to go on a drive but well worth it. It can be very cold even in summer so make sure you have plenty of warm clothes although there are blankets and ponchos available on the trucks. A truly memorable experience!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank PBOxon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
109 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013 via mobile

just stayed at Riverdene lodge as a group of 16 so we had the place to ourselves. The staff and Rangers were exceptional in their service and excellence looking after us. Lovely food, great wine, super rooms and fantastic drives made this a really good stay. We saw the lot on the drives plus some rarities which excited the Rangers as much as us. Very well managed park with minimal intrusion on the animals.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Simon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
93 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2013

We stayed at the Long Lee lodge. This was by far the most expensive place we've ever stayed, probably due to high season and you're really paying for the game drives and the reserve.

Service was lacking
1) our bags sat at the front desk until we got them, even after the hostess showing us our room said that they would be taken to the room.
2) I have dietary issues, not just a preference but bad reactions. They asked multiple times but then did nothing to accommodate. There was one meal in particular that I had to oder off the menu and the food was terrible. My wife liked her's just fine.

The other issues:
Mold in the shower, and the A/c was too loud to run at night, but it was cool and we didn't need it.

So on the whole I'd recommend this place. We went there to see the animals and we did. Up close and personal. The staff was friendly and all very nice.

Our ranger on the drives was great. Not only was he nice but I don't think we could have seen more animals in the time there.

If you've ever stayed in a 5 star place this is not it. But I still enjoyed it, slept well and I'd go back but with a different expectation.

And one other thing - for young healthy couples there is way too much down time in the middle of the day with nothing to do.

Room Tip: Get a massage with Mariska - one of the best I've had and you'll need it after riding off ro...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MVH3YMO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karen P, Manager at Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear Traveler

We would like to thank you for your recent review of Long lee Manor, Shamwari Game Reserve. Shamwari takes all reviews on TripAdvisor seriously, and we constantly strive to meet all our guests’ needs. We are sorry that we did not meet your dietary needs during your visit with us.

We strategise with the Chef brigade on the reserve on a regular basis for us to be up-to-date with the latest dietary recipes for those guests that have special dietary needs, and will continue to do so.

I will personally look into the procedural issues in regards to your luggage which was safe at all times, and the housekeeping comments you left.

We offer activities during the day for our guests that don’t want to relax at the Relaxation Retreat or sip a drink beside the two pools on offer. Guests are able to visit our Born Free Centre and our Dr Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre as well as go on walks in the bush.

I am happy to hear that your wife enjoyed her meals and that you both enjoyed your game drives and found your ranger informative. Thank you also for your kind comments regarding your spa therapist and that this was the best treatment you have ever had, high praise indeed.

Should you wish to return to Shamwari in the future then please do not hesitate to let me know, so that I can look after your stay personally.


Kind regards
Mat Matysik
Senior Shamwari Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

Seems expensive the first time you look at the prices but you get an all inclusive 5 star wild life experience for it, well worth it ! from the moment we arrived we felt very well looked after. We stayed at the Riverdene lodge with very spacious very 5 star rooms. Our game ranger was great spending 3h in the morning and 3h in the evening with him in the 4wheel drive was a joy. The rangers really make sure you see a lot ! Elephant, Hippo, Lions, Cheeta, Rhino all on our first morning. We happened te be there on Valentines and to our delight, when we returned from our evening drive, the bath in our room was already filled, sprinkled with rose petals and a bottle a champagne and two glasses on the side. They now how to make their customers happy. Above all absolutely everybody at Shamwari is really friendly and easy going. possibly the best 2 days of my life, certainly the best wild life experience ever and even the lodge alone is right up there with the best hotels. do not hesitate GO! spending travel budget on Shamwari actually makes your life richer.

Room Tip: the Riverden lodges is small and intimate with big rooms, it really does not matter which room you a...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LucDumas
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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