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“Sensational Safari”

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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Sensational Safari”
Reviewed November 15, 2013

Brilliant place, fantastic rooms, great staff a pure delight.
The Reserve is spacious and the hunting to views the animals adds to the drama. We saw 4 of the big 5 but our guide tried his best to find the allusive Leopard. Up close and personal.

Room Tip: All the rooms at Eagles Crag are great.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Phil Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,066 reviews from our community

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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay in Bayethe Lodge and had some amazing wildlife experiences! However our 2-night stay could not live up to the 3 nights we had at Madikwe Game Reserve at the start of our trip, hence the rating of 3.
The accommodation is nice, but the lodge was not as intimate or special feeling as we had elsewhere.
The food was quite good, but not 5-star and no where close to the amazing food we had elsewhere. The extra 5-star touches were nowhere to be seen.
The Safari's and Ranger were very good and we had some of our best viewings here (extremely close to Rhino and Cheetah), however the volume and variety of wildlife was not as good as elsewhere.
Limited wildlife viewing from the lodge itself compared to elsewhere, and we were not keen on the 15 minute drive to get to the main reserve area at the start AND end of each game drive eating in to precious wildlife viewing time... compared to elsewhere where there was BIG game literally on your doorstep. Passing through various gates, fences, sheep farms and signs for other game reserves spoiled the true safari feeling for us. Note I believe Eagles Crag does not have this problem.
The landscape did not seem as friendly for spotting animals and it didn't feel like the wilds of Africa as you could often see main roads, fences, etc.

Overall we really enjoyed our time at Shamwari and if it was our only Safari of our amazing holiday in South Africa then no doubt we would have completely loved it and given it 5 out of 5. However with the benefit of a comparison to Madikwe Game Reserve, both the reserve and accomodation really did not compare. We couldn't decide between a malaria-free safari at Madikwe or the Eastern Cape when booking from home, so we went for both. In hindsight an extra night at Madikwe and missing Shamwari would have been the best option. If you do stay at Shamwari I would say DEFINITELY stay at Eagles Crag over Bayethe as you would gain 30-40 minutes of wildlife viewing on almost every game drive, since it is based in the main area already.

Room Tip: Stay in Eagles Crag rather than Bayethe.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Susan C
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, November 24, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your recent response on Trip Advisor, we value your comments and can only continue to strive to be the best.
Our vegetarian type can support large numbers of game and currently we are experiencing great results with our animal sightings.
We are sorry that in your case you did not manage to see the quantity of animals you would have likes and this is certainly not the norm.

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.
Braunschweig, Germany
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2013

We spend 20 days in SA and due to save time and to avoid malaria areas at all we resigned to go to Krueger. Therefore we decided to choose a Private Game Reserve on our route from CT to Durban and were absolutely delighted about the service and concept at Shamwari.
We stayed at Bayethe Lodge, which is a 20 min drive vom the N2 side entrance (highly recommended not to follow the roadsigns from the main entrance, because these take you through nearly the whole reserve with miserable road conditions).
Our Ranger (named Headman) was absolutely experienced to spot the animals on the game reserve, so over two days we spottet all relevant animals, including Lions, Cheetahs and a Leopard, what is very, very seldom. All in all it was absolutely stunning and the highlight of our trip to SA. Service in the lodge was outstanding and the tents were enormous in size and equipment.
Bayethe Lodge at Shamwari is highly recommendable!!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Hendrik S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St leonards, Sussex, England
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

One of our many highlights of our South African adventure was our trip to Shamwari. We stayed at the Eagles Crag Lodge which for me was perfect because it was surrounded by woods and cliffs and gave us great privacy. Moreover you seem to be more at one with nature with birds tweeting all around you. Our room was spacious and with half of it surrounded by windows you had a birds eye view of what was going on around you. This was hepled by the addition of a telescope and tripod that was included in each of the rooms.
The food was of a high standard and although the wines with the meals were not included in the price the prices on the list were very fair with a good selection on offer.
The stars of the show were of course were the animals. We saw all the big 5 including the elusive Leopard at close quarters. This was mainly due to our fantastic ranger Bethuel. His gut instinct was perfect he was always ahead of the game if you don't mind the pun. The close ups of the lions and the Leopard were particularly awesome. His knowledge was also fantastic, this was helped by the fact that he had been at Shamwari for over eighteen years. He managed all of this despite the terrible weather and muddy conditions. I look forward to the next time and hope the waether will be a bit kinder.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tedwood_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2013

Just spent 3 nights at shamwari and we were not disappointed.totally looked after.staff charming and nothing is too much. The lodges are stunning and very spacious.beautiful spa on site too. You are up early for the morning sighting.. You get an alarm call at 5am to be in the jeep for 5.30-5.45. There is tea/coffee set out in bar area before you go. You are away until 9 am. Very cold in morning..I wore 4 layers,a hat and the jeep provides blankets which I used. You go out again at 3.30 till 7 ish but don't be fooled by the warm sun. Again it gets cold coming back and again I wore layers.Our ranger was Jan who was absolutely amazing. We saw the big 5 in the 3 days we were there. How he finds his way back is beyond me.very comfortable beds and lovely pillows,nice quality.The food is lovely and first night we had an outside barbecue which was lovely. Lunch is nice and quite a few choices. Portions are not too big. Bar is Nice but but my husband felt bells whiskey is not upmarket enough..should be replaced with famous grouse! All in all a beautiful stay and especially lovely for a special occasion.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JAG27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 8, 2013

We recently spent two nights in Bayethe Lodge in the Shamwari Game Reserve and to say we were blown away is probably an understatement. Our welcome, the accommodation in our luxury tent, the scenery and our experience were all superb. We were lucky to have a fantastic Ranger called Richard who went to every length to ensure we saw the 'big 5' and could not have been more friendly and knowledgeable about his job. Service excellence was certainly achieved here and we were delighted that we spent a little bit more and thoroughly enjoyed the last three days of our amazing honeymoon in South Africa. Well done to all involved, a definite 10 out of 10.

Room Tip: Our room was right on the lake so the noise of the frogs at night was incredible. It added to our ex...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TheTCHTeam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey uk
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed November 6, 2013

From the minute we arrived everything was amazing , the lodge ,food ,staff & the am & pm safaris. It was a once in life time holiday we will never ever forget it . We can recommend every thing about it . 10 out of 10 in everything !!! Thank you so much x

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jersey1966
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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