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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 13, 2006

Stayed here for 3 nights at the end of a 2 week visit to S Africa. 5 choices of luxury accommodation at this fab reserve. We went for the tented accommodation - Bayethe - certainly never stayed in such an opulent "tent" before - complete privacy and your own plunge pool on the decking.

Not cheap to stay here but an experience I would definitely repeat. 2 game drives a day - 5.30am and 4pm. Don't be tempted to lie-in, you never know what you might miss !!

Great game viewings, excellent personal ranger (Chris) and comfy vehicle to spend your 4 hours in. All food (great quality) and drinks inclusive, including the fantastic sundowners that you get whilst out on your early evening drive.

Probably only mistake we made was to end our hols here, rather than starting with this experience - time over the two weeks to catch up on the early morning starts would have been a bonus!

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank hotelscout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 9, 2006

I thought it was only right that I tell others what an amazing place this is. My father and me stayed here for 4 nights in June 06 whilst in SA.

On arrival we were greeted with home made iced tea and hot towels to freshen up. We were then taken to our rooms to get ready for our first game drive. Being with my father we had 2 separate enormous suites, which were extremely luxurious.
We caught up with our ranger and another 2 guests who we going on game drives twice a day with. Dave, our ranger, was extremely polite, and knowledgeable. He really made the experience special. We saw the big 4, didn't manage to see black rhino, but caught the white. We were up close and personal with lions, elephants, leopards, and so many more. Dave also personally woke each of his guests up with a phone call every morning to make sure you are up in time for breakfast, a very nice touch. He also dined with my father and I, along with the other 2 guests we shared the drives with, at breakfast and dinner. It was lovely to sit around and talk about what you had seen that day, and Dave could share his experiences from the past with us. You are fed 4 times a day, and the food is exquisite, probably too much based on my waistline once I left. Nothing is too much hassle for the friendly and attentive staff. The surroundings are amazing, especially the BBQ in the bush. Try BBQ'ed ostrich, its divine!

All in all, it was amazing, once in a lifetime trip, I will never forget. It is my dream to go back one day, would be a great honeymoon stop off. The only tip I would give you, if you go in SA’s winter, take warm clothing, 7am game drives are very chilly!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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12  Thank Amy_Hep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2006

We stayed for two nights in the Bayethe Tented Lodge on honeymoon and found them to be simple superb. there are nine suites in total each with canvas walls and a thatched roof. Each 'tent' has a massive bed, dressing table with safe, electric blankets, air conditioning, a minibar and a bathroom area with two sinks and large bath. The outdoor deck area consists of a couple of comfy chairs, a plunge pool and an outdoor shower which was remarkably therapeutic when combined with rain. To say that the accommodation is tented is stretching it a bit far, I would be more inclined to class them as cottages with canvas walls.

The lodge itself was very cosy and the meals were of a very high standard and inclusive of wine and other drinks. Each day begins with a quick cup of tea in the lodge and then its into the landrovers shortly after 6am. We usually spent 3-4 hours in the morning and again on the evening drive which started around 4pm. Contrary to what I had read elsewhere the reserve does not feel like a theme park, indeed our ranger was keen to stress that several lions were taken out of the park because they were making too many kills - and that the management in no way use the viewing pleasure of the public as a factor when deciding on animal welfare.

Over the three days we got up close and personal with all of the big 5 as well as multiple zebra, giraffe, jackals, hippos and even a few eagles. Our guide was very informative and passionate about the animals and sat with us every evening at dinner to discuss what we had seen that day.

The lodge was open for breakfast when you returned from the morning drive and remained open until 3pm by which time you should have had your lunch as well, however we very often found that if you went for one meal you missed the other as they would be too close together. Since there isn't anything by way of snack food in the mini bar or the lodge shop I would advise that you bring something, even just a packet of biscuits to go with a cup of tea (if you get hungry after 3pm it a long wait until dinner after the evening game drive)

We were lucky enough that the weather was nice on the first day and overcast, but without rain, after that. however, even on the warm days it will still be cold in the first two hours of the morning drive and the last two hours of the evening - so make sure you bring plenty of layers.

We really loved our Shamwari experience, and although we are not really animal lovers the anticipation of what might be round the next corner had us hooked. It is amazing to see the animals in their natural environment and when you combine them with the luxury accommodation that Bayethe offers it makes for an unforgettable stay

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank Craigtown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2006

Yes, we did have a good time here and the food was fantastic, but it was the only place in our whole trip ( stayed in 9 places) that didn’t quite live up to our expectations, partly because of the raving reviews on this website. However it wasn’t far off and we had a really good time. I realised I am being slightly picky, but we also stayed in Gorah (see my review) and if you haven’t decided between them this may help you decide.
The room itself was spotless and the bathroom lovely, but areas were slightly shabby – broken concrete around the pools and steps into the rooms. Pools, as elsewhere were unheated also they were a bit public – right outside dining room.
The rooms were quite spread out and down steep, slippery, cobbled slopes – which I found difficult on crutches and young children may struggle with– we had warned them about my broken ankle and they had acknowledged our email, but still put us in the furthest rooms from main buildings. The whole site was spread out – we hadn’t expected this from brochures and the website. I suppose this is partly because we stayed in smaller places elsewhere and there were lots of families here and so this felt slightly ‘Butlins’ like. Again I know I am being hard but it is just my personal review on how we felt. Maybe if we get the opportunity to go again, which we would do, we would stay in one of the smaller lodges.
We saw a lot of other animals here – for instance there are giraffe here but not at Addo. The radio contact also meant you got to see more than you may have otherwise spotted. However I liked the fact that at Gorah you stopped to discuss whatever you came across, be it a Red Hartebeest ( antelope type animal) or a dung beetle, some of the time at Shamwari we felt we were roaring past interesting animals because there was a radio report of a larger ‘rarer’ animal. Having said that some people go to tick off the big 5 and may not be interested in a secretary bird, you could have booked a whole truck and asked the ranger specifically what your requirements were, again we would consider this. We were actually very lucky on our drives and saw a serval, bat eared foxes and a brown hyena.
You eat with the others in your group and the ranger assigned to you. We were lucky to have just one other couple with us, who were very interesting and Ranger Dave – who was great fun and very knowledgeable.
Overall it was a great place to visit and we would go back.

14  Thank Ilovemypets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Northern Ireland
19
Reviewed April 6, 2006

We kicked off our honeymoon at Shamwari and it turned out to be the best decision we ever made. Upon arrival, the staff make you feel welcome and provide you with all the information you need to get started.

There are only 5 lodges at Lobengula and all of them are what you would expect of a 5 star establishment. We stayed at the end of March which is the end of the summer but temperatures reached a pleasant thirty degrees.

Be aware though that the game drives start at 5.30am although your ranger wakens you at 5am with a coffee delivered to your door. The rangers are absolutely first class, they were able to answer all question about the reserve and the game. Thank you to both Lucky and Morne. We saw all Big 5 on the first morning drive so everything else was a bonus.

All meals are eaten together with the other guests at the lodge (maximum of 10) which gives everyone a chance to discuss the day’s activities. The food is first class and gives you a chance to sample all the local dishes. My nearly vegetarian wife is now addicted to Eland, Kudu and a host of other meats!

I would definitely recommend Lobengula as the best at Shamwari and the service is second to none.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2006

38  Thank HolmfirthWanderers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
london england
423
Reviewed March 3, 2006

10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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: $645 - $1,323 (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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