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“A jewel in the Karoo and so close to Cape Town”

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Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 5, 2012

I have visited many game reserves and lodges in South Africa and Botswana and was quite honestly sceptical about a visiting a reserve only three hours from Cape Town. Sanbona exceeded all my expectations!! The games drives, the game we saw, the food and the accommodation were outstanding. Our guide Pascale was the best guide I have ever had. She was knowledgable, charming and the passion she has for the bush, animals and conservation was truly inspiring. I would recommend this location for anyone visiting Cape Town for a minimum of two nights so that you have time to see everything and enjoy the lovely surroundings. I travelled with my family including my two daughters and stayed in Gondwana.

Room Tip: All rooms are fabulous - try if you can to get one of the upstairs rooms at Gondwana
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank The M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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405 - 411 of 635 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2012

We had a great trip to Capetown and the Garden Route but this was the highlight. We are not particularly into animals and did not know what to expect at Sanbona but would recommend to all - it was so exciting, not knowing what animals you would see. The staff were great , the accomodation first class. Food was good but maybe not quite up to the standard of other facilities there - room for improvement but nothing to complain about. Would recommend to one and all

Room Tip: We stayed in a Dwyka lodge tent - really splendid.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Radders777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2012

This was our second stay at Sanbona and Tilney Manor is a wonderfully luxurious relaxing place. The rooms are spacious and beautiful with a free standing bath, patio and, of course, the outside showers!

We enjoyed our safari drives. However we were a little disappointed at not being able to get out of the jeep to see animals close up.

Meals were excellent with plenty of wine and superb service from the waiters.

Special mention must be made of the massages in the spa given by Kobus.

Altogether a wonderful oasis of luxury.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tony_Eileen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights at Sanbona (Godwana Lodge) a few weeks ago. The staff were very friendly and the food was really good. We stayed as part of a family group of 11 (+ 3 children of ages 1, 5 and 9) and some of our group had done 10+ safaris in the past. Our ranger (Pascale) was rated by all our group as the best they had ever come across ever. She was extremely patient, exceptionally knowledgeable and able to bring that knowledge across in a very interesting and engaging manner. The drives were fantastic. We got to see the white lions twice, giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, various antelopes and many many more. The early morning drives are brilliant with the rising sun being very spectacular. The whole reserve is very geared towards conservation, with the "safari business" being only ancilliary. This is ow it should be. We all came away with a deep sense of respect for the work they are doing and the clever but also fragile balance of nature and how easily simple conservation acts can help but also how easy it is for people to destroy it.

Restaurant - Staff were sometimes slow in fulfilling orders with drinks not always being served within enerally accepted norms.

Rooms - very clean, very smart. We looked right onto the savanna, with the animals just walking past our lodgings! Magical!

Children - the lodge had animal skulls and cast tracks of various animals. The children get a little booklet / quizz book. They can ever collect dry elephant dung and thake it home :-)

We highly recommend Sanbona. We certainly will be back.

Room Tip: Our family group used all types of rooms. All thought they were very good.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Stalisfield28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

We spent two nights at Dwyka Tented Lodge (we could have done with a longer stay). The accommodation was sheer luxury and the food wonderful, both choice and content.
Our game drives with our Ranger Janni was truly awesome. I cannot describe how interesting,exciting and enjoyable he made each drive. His knowledge of the animals and the area was second to none.We saw many more animals than we had hoped for, even trailing the lions, cheetahs and rhinos on foot. The whole experience was amazing.
Finally, Sharin,Bernard and the rest of the staff (including Chantelle in the Retreat) work extremely hard to ensure your stay is as perfect as possible.
What a truly wonderful and memorable experience.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sheila B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

We stayed at Dwyka Tented Lodge for one night and our only regret is that we didn't stay longer!

from the arrival to our departure everything was just perfect!

To start, the animals were amazing! we saw cheetahs, lions, including the awhile one, zebras, giraffes, elephants, baboons, many types of antelopes.. we went out twice for about 3 hours each time... I'm not sure what a safari looks like but as my first one this was amazing! our Ranger, Rudy, was great. very knowledgeable.

Now for the accommodation... this was puts luxury. The "tents" are just perfect.... huge rooms, very very secluded.

The staff was great too. very attentive.

I would go back anytime!

I would really recommend at least 2 nights. One day there goes way to fast!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chicago_Ludwig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2012

My daughter & I arrived at Tilney Manor for the start of our 2 night stay, greeted by staff with cool towels & delicious iced tea. We were shown to our suite - even more luxurious than in the photos. Huge bedroom with a fabulous view, & a huge bathroom with a free-standing tub, indoor shower & outdoor shower. No keys needed here, no need to lock doors. There is a spa, and a lovely infinity pool with ample lounges, tables & umbrellas for shade.
The outdoor covered dining area is light and airy, and tables can be pushed together so you can dine with your newly found friends. The food was outstanding - everything - & as vegetarian with food allergies, feeding me can be a challenge!
We had two game drives daily - one at 5:30 a.m. & the other at 4:00 p.m. For the morning game drives our vehicle was loaded with lots of warm blankets to wrap around us until the sun came up. Near the end of the morning drive is a stop in a lovely setting for warm beverages & snacks. At the end of the afternoon drive, another stop as the sun is setting, to enjoy wine - soft drinks - and pre dinner snacks.
I cannot say enough about our experience here. I would return in a moment, and not even consider another lodge. The staff were incredible! I could write more, but my photos will speak for themselves.

Room Tip: I believe all rooms (6 of them) are the same.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank TerriRH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Address: R62 Between Montagu & Barrydale | Die Vlakte, Montagu 6720, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Montagu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Montagu
Price Range: $813 - $1,226 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanbona Wildlife Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heart of the Little Karoo, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a three-hour drive from Cape Town, along Route 62. At the foot of the towering Warmwaterberg Mountains, Sanbona boasts sculpted Cape Fold Mountains, wide open Karoo plains, indigenous flora and fauna and rare examples of San rock art, some dating back more than 3, 500 years. Explore all this from your choice of 3 different luxury lodges. Whilst the free roaming Big 5 call Sanbona home, it’s the vastness of the landscape and the raw beauty of the boundless plains that make safaris at Sanbona unique. Explore the 54, 000 hectares of this malaria-free premier, private game reserve for an ultimate safari experience close to Cape Town. PLEASE NOTE THAT BOOKING IN ADVANCE is ESSENTIAL FOR VISITS TO SANBONA WILDLIFE RESERVE. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Hotel

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