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“A wonderful place to stay ,highly recommended”
Review of White Lion Lodge

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White Lion Lodge
Ranked #13 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Montagu
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Me and my friends stay there for 2 days and i've never had a good service as there , the onwner Gerhild and here staff ,cook Libby and guide Israel were very nice . the food was excellent we even had cooking class from Libby it was great , Israel the guide (ranger) he has taught us a lot , about plant and the animals (big 5) . The rooms are a dream to stay in , all the luxury , the view and very romantic . Thank you Gerhild ,Libby ,Isreal and the other Staff for a wonderful stay , we felt at home . loves Katia ,Thierry ,Nadia and Kim . xxx

Room Tip: All rooms are great.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Katia E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitelionlodge, General Manager at White Lion Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2013

Dear Guest,

What a lovely sentence “ We felt at home”. I am thrilled that you felt at home as that is exactly how we want you to feel. Thank you so much for your kind words and taking the time to share them following your stay with us.

I’m so delighted that you loved the room; the bathroom and you enjoyed the romantic atmosphere.

At your next visit, Libby will check up on your cooking and share some more tips and tricks with you and your friends.

The White Lion Lodge is a little home away from home and now that you have found your new home away from home I do hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you and your friends back in the not too distant future.

Kind regards

Gerhild Cuje-Jakoby

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Reviewed October 27, 2012

From the moment you arrive at the lodge, which is tucked deep inside the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, you are met with friendly faces and warm service. My group of five weary travelers arrived in the mid-afternoon and were met by the manager of the lodge, Gerry, as well as Israel (our guide) and Laura. They showed us to our rooms and from the first moment we were wowed. The rooms are beautifully appointed and cared for and very comfortable.

As soon as we were settled, Gerry and Israel got us packed into the Land Rover for our evening drive. The evening drive focused on the southerly portion of the reserve, which has less free-roaming big game than the northern portion. Israel taught us about the flora in the area and its many uses for the animals and the indigenous peoples (the Khoisan, of which he is a member) of the area. We stopped to enjoy sundown with a picnic of snacks, wine, and beer, and with a sense of excitement and anticipation about the big game drive we would undertake in the morning. Note: if you have never been on an open-air drive before, trust your guide about how much clothing to wear. It was very windy and cold on our drive and our group would have been miserable but for the cozy ponchos and blankets Gerry and Laura provided us with.

Later that night we assembled in the main lodge's dining room and were treated to the remarkable food produced by the main cook, Libby and her kitchen helpers. Truly, Libby's food was a surprising departure from what I expected and was on par with food I have eaten in fine restaurants around the world. The highlight for me was the smoked kudu carpaccio with wild sorrel and avocado. A dish I will not soon forget!

The next morning, before our game drive, the staff filled our bellies with delicious yogurt, muesli, and nectarines, along with scrambled eggs, fried tomatoes, warm bread and jam. We set out with Israel a little after 9. It takes about an hour or so to get to the gate that separates the southern section of the reserve from the northern section. As soon as we made our crossing, we were treated to sightings of baboons, springbock, and giraffes. Israel heard over the radio that the white lions were sunning themselves at the top of a ledge, and he hauled off toward the coordinates. Along the way, we were treated to elephants and zebras and kudus. Just when we were all sure we'd lost the trail of the lions, Israel crested a ridge and there they were! After that, we encountered a herd of zebras who were content to let us drive right among them. What a sight. After spending about 20 minutes among the zebras, Israel drove us up to a clearing at the top of a ridge where, to our surprise there was a "proper toilet", running water, and a picnic pavilion. While we scanned the valley with our binoculars and cameras, we spotted a pair of white rhinos in the distance—by the time we looked back to see what Israel was up to, he had already set up a propane-fueled cooking station, and was busily preparing us a warm, hearty lunch of chicken, vegetables, and rice.

We returned to the lodge to meet a new group of guests who had come in that afternoon. They headed out for another drive, while we relaxed with a bottle of local wine and snacks on the open deck of the main lodge feeling very lucky. Our two groups dined together that night and enjoyed an opportunity to exchange conversation and food across countries and cultures.

The next morning, we needed to get back to Cape Town, so we could not go out on a second game drive, which was a shame, as it was included in the cost of our stay. Had we gone out, based on the reports of members of our companion group, we'd have seen more giraffes, lions, white rhinos, kudu, and more. If I ever get a chance to return, I will be sure to time my stay so as to take full advantage of the included game drives.

Travelers hoping to see wall-to-wall big game in grasslands will not get what they are looking for from Sanbona, and should aim for a Kruger safari. Sanbona is in a hilly/mountainous semi-arid region, so the look and feel is very different from what you might see in Kruger or Namibia or Tanzania. On the other hand, if you want to have a lovely experience in the Western Cape at an incredibly fair price with a great guide, the White Lion Lodge in the Sanbona reserve can't be beat. There are other lodges within Sanbona, but I will definitely return to White Lion if I get the chance.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are similarly fabulous. If you will need wifi in your room (as opposed to in the ma...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank cottageindustrialist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitelionlodge, Manager at White Lion Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your lovely feedback following your stay at the White Lion Lodge.
It is greatly appreciated. I am delighted that you and your group enjoyed your stay and the Wildlife Experience in the South and the North of the Reserve.
I’m very pleased that you enjoyed your breakfast and the bush lunch and I’m delighted to read that the dinner was on par with Restaurants in the “outside world” and the red sorrel and wild rocket, which grows in our own Lodge garden, was highly appreciated.
I have passed your constructive and kind comments to all the team who take great pride in the level of service they provide to our guests.
We appreciate your time in writing this review. And I hope that with your overall experience that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you and your friends back on your next visit to the Western Cape.

Warm regards,
Gerry Cuje-Jakoby

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Reviewed June 22, 2012

The lodge & bungalows were so tasteful with attention to detail. The weather while we were there was quite poor but on a warmer day with sunshine this place would be amazing. There was a gas fire in the room but made to look like a real fire so very welcome when you are cold. I loved the bathroom & the huge picture windows in bedroom & bathroom. Very much a restful romantic getaway. Sarah the hostess told us to watch out for the thieving baboons but didn't see any due to the weather.Needless to say we didn't use the outside shower either luckily there was an indoor shower & bath. The towel rail was like a tree branch. Colours are neutral. There is a pool but not really suitable for a winter stay!

Day 1 arrived at lunchtime & warm meal provided.
We were due to go on a game drive at 3pm but it was raining loads so the hosts decided to postpone it to allow the rain to blow over. It didn't so we eventually left later. We did have showers & it was during this time got very cold as the rain blows in to the open-sided vehicle. White Lion Lodge loaned a poncho fleece & poncho waterproof - I really never expected it to be THAT cold in Africa!

After getting very cold & wet on a late afternoon game drive it was so nice to arrive back to a warm drink & open fire in the lodge itself. 3 meals provided during our 1 night stay. Food more suited to adults - my children (16 & 14) are very fussy eaters which was a lttle embarrassing when they pretty much just ate bread but my husband & I enjoyed it. Alcohol offered along with soft drinks.There was another couple staying making 6 guests so nice to have adult conversation at meal times. After evening meal children went back to their room while we stayed to chat.

Day 2
Up at 6am as we were going on a game drive at 7:30am. This was our choice as it was departure day so 3 hour drive back to Cape Town & 17 hour flight plus 3 hours in Dubai awaited. What a great place to unwind.
Today weather was much better as we started the long drive to where the animals generally roam.
Been driving maybe an hour - then we saw her. Cheetah Mum. She was so beautiful (we are cat lovers) I could have watched her for hours. The ranger & our hostess told us the noise (chirrupping) meant she wasn't very happy & was calling her cubs. Sadly didn't see them.We learnt the cheetah is fussy eater. We saw elephants across in the distance at the foot of a mountain. I never realised something the size of an elephant could be so difficult to see. The reserve is huge with mountains & open plains but full of vegetation. Next was giraffes. How can it take me a couple of minutes to see something that tall, it wasn't even that far away plus had move on before I could even see giraffe no.2. We got really close to the Zebras before they moved off. Saw lots of hoofed animals Kudu,Springbok, & Oryx. Half of which had been on the menu for my 16 year old daughter during our stay in Cape Town - did I say she was fussy?
We didn't get to see hippo rhino or lion but this was due to the fact that we had very limited time (4 hours) before we needed to leave to head back. Our host had even brought a continental breakfast for us. On our return we saw a lonely elephant up close but WOW.

Sanbona is definitely a wonderful Game Reserve & White Lodge a terrific private lodge to stay in. Highly recommended. The other great thing about Sanbona is it is malaria free so no nasty tablets or injections were needed for this trip.

Room Tip: Only 4 bungalows all designed to be private but the 2 we rented were identical.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank lyke2snype
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2012

We loved this first leg (2 nights) of our trip to Cape Town and along the Garden Route. I felt pampered from the moment we arrived -- very nice to have everything organized for you and such beautiful and comfortable accomodations. We didn't see as much dramatic wildlife as we would have liked to, maybe because this place is not in the main reserve area of the Sambona park. But I loved the safari drives to reach that area through the semi-desert and over the mountain ridge bundled up in warm ponchos. We were there in December for a kind of second blossoming of the wildflowers following some heavy rains and the deserty landscape was starkly beautiful especially in the late afternoon and early morning light. We did see a white lioness and her cubs and lots zebra and different South African kinds of gazelle and antilope as well as hippos and rhinos from afar. Sarah, the hostess, and Travis, the ranger, were very nice and gave us lots of advice and helped in planning the rest of our S.A. trip and we loved the delicious home cooking. It was possible to swim mini-laps in the lovely saline pool. If I ever go back to South Africa I will definitely stay at the White Lion Lodge again.

Room Tip: Our group had two and they were similar.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ilexandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

Arrived in 41 deg C temperatures to a very welcome glass of chilled Chardonnay! The staff are so polite and helpful, instantly making you feel at home. I was shown to my wonderful lodge with all mod cons...full height glass windows/doors looking out to the balcony and beyond, outdoor private shower (lovely and refreshing on a cool morning!), huge comfy bed, a/c, satellite TV, mini bar, etc, etc.

The main lodge building has a lovely balcony overlooking the warm saline swimming pool where you eat lunch and chat to your fellow guests. Inside there is a beautiful lounge, dining room and upstairs a very peaceful library. In the evening, they light candles all around the property, making it rather magical place to be. The furnishings and decorations throughout are perfect for the setting.

The drives with Travis were great. Two evening drives, one long drive north and a short morning drive the day I left. Saw all manner of wild animals (giraffe, rhino, hippo, zebra, gemsbok, springbok, etc) plus Travis we extremely knowledgeable about the plant life. The skies in the evening were amazing, but at night when the stars come out, it was spectacular! On one of the evening trips, Travis showed me the ancient cave paintings towards the north of the reserve, just as huge clouds rolled in from the South…amazing skies!!

Every meal, cooked by Libby, was fantastic and served with fine wines. I have to say the Ostrich steaks were outstanding!

Lastly a word on Gerry, the owner. I was the only guest on my last evening, so Gerry joined me for dinner and we whiled away the hours chatting over some lovely wine. She has produced a wonderful environment to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the reserve combined with great staff that really make the whole experience truly memorable.

I will be back!!!

Room Tip: Only 4 lodges, all the same.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank dwrgodden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2011

A wonderful 2 days despite temperatures of 15 degrees at the end of November! Luxurious accommodation; our hostess Sarah was always on hand; Libby the cook provided the best food we had during our whole holiday in South Africa, and Travis the Ranger imparted his knowledge of the flora and fauna with such enthusiasm that you came to realise there was so much more to the area than just trying to tick off the Big Five. Having said that we did see a good variety of game and all within a few hours of Cape Town. Expensive but a unique experience that we would recommend.

Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Jane642
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2011

It was our most luxurious stay in South Africa, and worth every bit the price that we are paying. The lodge is luxurious, definitely not something that I expect in a safari .... it's like my dream home ! The service and food was so good. Wished we had stayed another night !

The safari game drives were good, and our guide Trevor was very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area. We saw 4 lioness, rhinos, oryx, zebras and many species of the antelope family. We didn;t see the cheetahs but saw their pawprints in the sand.

It is a long drive in from the nearest town of Swellendam. U need to follow the directions given on the website closely, and travel by the road. We followed the GPS coordinates, and went on a wild goose chase through the mountains. Not the fault of the owners, but just that the GPS prob went on a "shortest route through the mountains" plan.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank mereytan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about White Lion Lodge

Address: on the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Montagu 8000, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Montagu
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Montagu
Price Range: $503 - $651 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — White Lion Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The White Lion Lodge is situated on the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve a 3 hours drive from Cape Town. Sanbona is home to free self-sustaining White Lions, the Big Five and the endangered riverine rabbit. The privately owned White Lion Lodge offers luxury accommodation, exceptional personal service and delicious cuisine. The Lodge lies in the southern part of the Reserve and is set along a tranquil, remote river valley offering an ultimate Karoo experience. ... more   less 
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