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“Great up and coming place, get in before everyone knows”
Review of Sable Sands

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Sable Sands
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 24, 2013

This was just such a special place to stay. Marleen and Brian have restored this place from a neglected lodge to a beautiful one that still has so much potential for additional things thanks to Marleen and Brian and their forward thinking ideas. They and their staff, plus MC the wise cracking game driver "send me an email if you see anything back there" just go out of their way to make every thing just right.
Brian, missed our morning chats by the fire with a cuppa as soon as we left. You both have so much "depth" to your thinking.
Peter and Michelle from Australia (came with African Adventures Safari Company - Plug for you too John)

Room Tip: All that we saw were great - even try the tree house for a night
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Peter K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sikumi, Owner at Sable Sands, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2014

Dear Peter and Michelle!

We hope that you are doing well? Thank you for your very special and in depth review:-). We are grateful for guests like you to share ideas and stories and make the stay more personal! Luckily we seem to attract just those guests..
yes, MC is an amazing guide, he gets many compliments about his style, passion and knowledge and we will pass on the compliments!

Hope to see you back?

warmest regards,

Brian, Marleen & team

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100 - 106 of 150 reviews

Reviewed August 24, 2013

We spent three amazing nights at Sable Sands by Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The lodges were tidy, clean and we loved how eco friendly they were, with solar lights and wood furnaces for showers. The setting is beautiful, nothing quite beats sitting and having breakfast overlooking a vlei while a herd of elephants come to bathe! The whole experience was peaceful and we felt very close to nature. A fantastic place and we will return for sure!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank AlexFranklin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sikumi, Owner at Sable Sands, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2014

Dear Alex!

Thank you for your lovely review!
We are happy that you felt close to nature and were lucky to watch and hear bathing elephants during your outdoor breakfast: every time we see this spectacle we melt.. we'll never have enough of that!

Hope to welcome you back to Zimbabwe and Hwange!

brian, Marleen & team

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Reviewed August 23, 2013

This is such a lovely place to stay. It's so good that Zimbabwe is opening up again as places like this are so good to see. Marlene & Brian have done a great job in renovating it and the service they provide is so friendly and personal that you feel a part of the family.

We were only able to stay for one night as it was a last minute booking and it was a shame that we couldn't stay longer, but I hope to make it back.
The game viewing in Hwange is fantastic. The accommodation is comfortable, private and provides you with everything that you need. The food was excellent and really interesting. The value for money was incredible, I work for a top end tour operator and I thought that this was as good as some of the 5 star

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Hamish D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sikumi, Owner at Sable Sands, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2014

Dear Hamish!

Thank you for your flattering review, and apologies that we haven't responded to your effort to write!

You write: 'The value for money was incredible, I work for a top end tour operator and I thought that this was as good as some of the 5 star'.
This makes us blush as we do try and give the best value and service, but are not aiming to ever become a 5 star lodge :-)

We are happy that you felt at home and enjoyed, it was great having you around, even though it was way too short!

When are you next in Zim?
welcome!

Brian & Marleen & team

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Reviewed August 22, 2013 via mobile

Great friendly family run place.Personel touch from the couple everywhere.Rooms are comfortable and located far from each other which is very good.You need a 4x4 to get to the camp from the airport or from the painted dog center. The painted dog center is a must see place.Packed sandwiches available for early morning game drives.A bar with drinks. Night camp fire where dinner prepared by the owner couple is served is great good atmosphire and warm.Before early morning game drives cofffe tea and cereals served around camp fire is lovely.Good family holuday place with kids also.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank SE s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sikumi, Owner at Sable Sands, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2014

Dear Senthoor,

We are very happy to read your kind words 'Great friendly family run place' as we notice that reviewing has become your profession with over 78 reviews! We are happy that you enjoyed your stay. Thank you so much for the description and recommendation, we hope to welcome you back!

warmest regards,

Brian, Marleen & team

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Reviewed July 9, 2013

We visit Sable Sands on our way from Vic Falls to Harare. We didn't have a car of our own and had to use public transport, but actually the Pathfinder Buses were great and one stop on the way is just a few kilometers from the Lodge. We were picked up at the bus stop, so that was ideal for us. The Lodge itself is great set on edge of a dried up river in the middle of nowhere. Food was excellent, the lodges were great, clean and beautiful. Best of all was of course the Safaris. We had two on our two nights stay, once into the National Park and once around the lodge. I would not even know to say which one was better. Seeing Lions close up being surrounded buy about a hundred elephants is pretty impressive, and that was just the Safari around the corner, the park boasts lots of more animals that the guide that the lodge organized for us showed us. All in all it was a great stay and I would always come back.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Chris_Marburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sikumi, Owner at Sable Sands, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2014

Dear Chris,

We love your review! The fact that you mention that food was excellent, the lodges were great, clean and beautiful and your advise about the Safaris. 'We had two on our two nights stay, once into the National Park and once around the lodge. I would not even know to say which one was better. Seeing Lions close up being surrounded buy about a hundred elephants is pretty impressive, and that was just the Safari around the corner'. yes, there are times that the wildlife is more impressive around the corner, and there are times that it is better to make that combination of national park and our ow estate :-) Well pointed out! Thanks again!

hope to see you back for more!

warmest regards,

Brian, Marleen & Team

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Reviewed July 8, 2013

Thank you Brian, Marlene and staff for a great stay. It was a shame that we could only stay for one night due to our trip schedule but it was extremely relaxing and enjoyable. The game drives were fantastic with Zebedee who was very knowledgable and experienced guide. If anyone wants a holiday to remember deep in the Zimbabwe bush with amazing facilities and total relaxation then go no further.

Room Tip: All the rooms were fantastic with beautiful decor
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Craig K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sikumi, Owner at Sable Sands, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2014

Thank you Craig for the great review of your stay!

We hope you will come back for more soon!

warmest regards,

Brian, Marleen & team !

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Reviewed July 6, 2013

Special setting, special people, special form of hospitality!

Until about 12 months ago, Sable Sands was a collection of derelict buildings on the fringes of Dete Vlei near Hwange. Now it is a tranquil and at the same time thrilling place to experience the African bush.

A water hole draws different animals at different times of the day. Depending on temperatures, moring mist rises from the Vlei and you can watch the sun breaking through. You are on the border between forest and open grassland - so you get to see and experience different habitats and the animals that live there. Sometimes lions will roar all through the night.
I was lucky to also see them on one of the game drives.

The food is amazing. Never gets boring. Always a little different.
Coffee is brewed in the open fire.

Marleen, Brian and their staff try to give every visitor a unique experience. (When one staff member realized that I was forever hovering outside with binoculars, always close to the bush, he carried my breakfast table outside the main dining area so that I could enjoy an even better view while eating.)

The main building with its soaring grass roof is beautiful and at the same time very much part of nature. The individual rondavels are clean, tastefully furnised and very pleasant.

The lodge is still being developed and undergoing descrete construction work and improvements. Solar power and local materials are used wherever possible. It has no wlan, but you can catch a lift to a neighboring hotel (about 15 minutes' drive a way) to check your e-mails.

But it is already beautiful and gives you a very personalized bush experience.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank U P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sikumi, Owner at Sable Sands, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2014

Dear Usch!

What a detailed and fantastic review you have written! Thanks so much!
For us, the 'personalized bush experience' is a great description we like to make use of if we may :-) and of course we hope to welcome you back, this time we do have wifi, hence our response so late!

Stay in touch and welcome home!

warmest regards,

Brian, Marleen & team

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Additional Information about Sable Sands

Address: | Dete Vlei, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Matabeleland North Province > Hwange National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Hwange National Park
Price Range: $369 - $372 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The eco friendly Sable Sands has 16 traditionally thatched 'rondavels' with en suite bathroom, making your lodge the perfect blend of ancient culture, nature and modern convenience. The lodge is owner managed and has built up a great reputation for the enthusiastic team and hospitality. Sable Sands is situated on a forestry concession and the lodge harvests dead wood for cooking and heating up the hot water through wood boilers. A generator is ran in the early morning hours and evening for guests to charge their cameras and batteries, and lighting is provided through solar lights after the generator has made place for the sounds of nature at night. Laundry service is provided and limited wifi is available in the evening before and after dinner. This African forest home also has a tree house and a refreshing solar powered swimming pool. The main building composes of a dining area, lounge, library and bar and just in front there is a large outdoor fire pit where guests can have dinner under the stars instead of inside. From here you overlook the Dete Vlei, which frequently hosts wildlife visitors at the solar pumped water hole. Here you have a chance of seeing sable antelope, zebra and thirsty herds of elephant, buffalo, and if you are lucky you might spot lion, cheetah, painted dog, jackal and more. The Vlei is also renowned for its incredible bird population: no less than 350 different species in all. Safaris are conducted on the private and neighboring concessions or through pre booking inside the Hwange National Park (18 kms - 40 mins game drive to the entrance of the park). During the safari, coffee/tea/water or water and soft drink/beers are provided and included. Sable Sands does not offer any credit card facilities yet, and guests are asked to settle their extra's (eg. laundry, bar bill, extra safari) in cash upon departure. ... more   less 
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