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Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
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Reviews (686)
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All reviewsdwyka tented lodgegame driveson footcape townsafari experiencegame reservewhite rhinomain gatehot towelsour honeymoontwo nightshis knowledgeclose encounteronce in a lifetimefantastic experienceamazing animalsprivate reserve
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493 - 498 of 686 reviews
Reviewed May 1, 2011

We had read the reviews and Sanbona was exactly what we had expected and hoped for.
The accommodation in Tilney Manor was great - the room was exceptional, great quality. Food was very good, and service also.
The range is large so the safaris did involve searching out the animals in their habitats but it made it that much more rewarding when we did track them down. Elephants were great, including a baby. The Lions were great - we were lucky to find the White Lioness with the 2 young cubs, which were very cute.
Only down side was the weather - we had picked the coldest week of the year so far in late April - and even with lots of layers it gets cold.
Overall, we were well looked after and had an experience we will remember.

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

WE stayed at GONDWANA lodge, which is the family lodge. The setting is beautiful, the rooms large and well appointed. Gorgeous views from all the rooms. Food is fine, not mind blowing but GOOD. The kids selection should be a bit larger. The game is OK for someone who does not have the time to go to any of the lodges in the Sabi Sands or Kruger National Park, but not satisfying enough for someone who has traveled from across the world to see the BIG 5. Their child care is excellent, our child minder was fantastic. Their SPA therapish Julia was AMAZING. I would go again just to get Spa Treatments from her all day :-) they use a very local aqnd beautiful line of products. It does take over 4 hours from Capetown because it takes 3 hours DOOR to DOOR to their GATE and then AT LEAST another hour + to actually get to the lodge. So plan accordingly. The drive is pretty!

Room Tip: ROOM 8 & 9
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank foreverluxurytravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2011

Through the last 15 years I have been to several South African Game Lodges and I can quite clearly say that Dwyka at Sanbona is the best experience I have ever had.
What a fantastic place.
Everything about this place was 5 star; however I will say one thing - don't expect an huge number of animals - this is an intimate experience. We tracked and walked up to Lion, Cheetah and Rino and at no time did anyone feel insecure, thanks to our outstanding Ranger Geran Ellish.
In short - GO THERE!!!

Room Tip: Book directly
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled on business
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Thank PatrickMenzies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2011

I stayed in Sanbona for two nights and two days, When I made the reservation I repeatedly expresed my desire to view herd of animals in its natural environment. Not one of the represantives mentioned the fact the Reserve's vegetation CANNOTsupport large number of animals. I found this out later after my arrival from a visiting ranger from another Lodge. During my stay I participated in five drives, each of which lasted about three hours. The combined number of animals I saw was EXTREMELY limited. On top it, mos of the time one needed binaculars to identify the animals. The ranger's (guide) style eas to drive around and around for hours and not making any effort to demonstrate even that limited wild life. A lot of time was spent on explaining the characteristics of the local plant life. That belongs to a Batanical Garden not in a Safari.

In short it was a rip off.

On the plus side, the Reserve is immense in size, the rooms/food/in-house service 5*.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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Thank zeevp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2011

I'm so glad I waited to review Sanbona until after our visit and safari. There are a couple downsides but based on how amazing the Dwyka Tented lodge was and our amazing safari, I'm forced to rate this very high.

Negatives:
1. Booking this was a nightmare. I sent my enquiry form online and worked through email to set up my reservation. I sent in my credit card authorization via email and fax over and over again, but nobody from the reservations office said they ever received it. It took over 20 emails back and forth, and escalating to the US office until any action was taken. Very poor service for such an expensive retreat. I recommend making all your reservations through the online system with NO human interaction.
2. When we arrived at the welcome lodge, we had to wait about two hours before anyone picked us up. We were tired and hungry, but luckily still excited to be there.

Positives: EVERYTHING else. The Dwyka lodge is sooo beautiful and has all the amenities of a luxury hotel, set up against a beautiful mountain side. Nature is right outside your door, but with the comforts of a resort on the inside. We wished we spent more than 1 night there so we could enjoy our surroundings a little more. Food was great, service overall at Sanbona was great. Our safari guide was very knowledgeable and made sure we saw almost everything we wanted to - lion, elephants, hippos, rhinos, various antelope types and other wildlife. He even went out of his way to let us experience coming in very close range of two cheetahs! Such a great experience to learn about the preservation of these beautiful animals and observe them in an open range and natural environment.

Overall, more expensive than other safaris in the Cape Town area but WELL worth the money for what you get. A few hiccups in the booking and arrival but the memories of your trip and the amazing animals you see will last a lifetime!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Meem510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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