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“Dwyka Tented Lodge, a little bit of heaven on earth.”

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Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
birmingham
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Dwyka Tented Lodge, a little bit of heaven on earth.”
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Stayed with friends for 3 nights, and this was an experience in every sense of the word, where to start, the mountains at dusk, the silence of a herd of elephants, the real sundowner, the sheer luxury of the suites/tents, the friendly and helpful staff and the care that Brenda took to give us the best possible first taste of a truly wonderful landscape.

Room Tip: Any one, just pick any one!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank elliebirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Stayed here in dec and had an amazing time. The ranger was fantastic and went out of her way to find things for us. Lucky enough to see 4 of the big 5 and some very close encounters with rhinos, elephants, and a cheetah stalk and chase that felt like a David Attenborough moment!!!
Food good and plentiful. Rooms lovely, and the whole place was very well camouflaged into the environment. Went with kids and there was more than enough to do, lovely pool. Great if you have not got time to go to the bigger parks, close to Cape Town and route 62 was a great road and l it's to see as well.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Janegypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Spent 3 nights here in October as a minimoon after our wedding. Absolutely loved it. The staff, game ranger, accomodation (Dwyka), food and in particular the wine was amazing. There were a few things that could have been improved around order of the day what to expect when but service was excellent. The game viewing was truly exceptional including close ups and real insight into the flora/fauna. All told an exceptional stay and I really hope to visit agin soon.

I would say, even for a private lodge Sanbona is not cheap....

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Londonboy73_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve was the second station on our honeymoon trip. It was also our first experience with wildlife resorts in general. We have to admit: It was just great. The location itself didn't looked like a five star resort from the first view but that was camouflage. The personnel is really caring and friendly (something we experienced all over South Africa).

The room was exceptional great, scenic view into the wilderness, comfortable beds and romantic interior is a combination which makes such a stay a real memorable one.

The wildlife experience was - even compared to other experiences we got later at the Addo - was exciting. The wild life personnel was motivated to show us all the highlights the park can show.

Of course such a trip through a wild life resort is not compared to a walk through a zoo. animals may not be there where you want them to be. But that makes it an experience.

The only problem was that we just booked one night. We recommend two at least.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tina_und_Henning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed at Sanbona for 2 nights in late November whilst on a 3 week trip to Cape Town and the surrounding area. Sanbona was without doubt the highlight of the entire trip. The 3 hour drive from Cape Town is picturesque to say the least (and we apparently took the 'less scenic' route!), and once you turn off the main road and onto the gravel track leading to the welcome lodge and beyond, you can already start keeping an eye out for various animals. We were greeted with a drink at the welcome lodge, a small but welcoming building with amazing views out over the reserve. We were then driven via the two other lodges to our location - the Dwyka tented lodge, which was fantastic. Kobus (the lodge manager) greeted us with another welcome drink, and explained what to expect on our stay.

The Dwyka tents are fantastic, and the food at Dwyka was brilliant throughout. The dining area provides a nice quiet / relaxed environment to sit and talk about the events of the day.

The game drives were also fantastic. Whilst some recent reviews have highlighted the relatively small number of animals at Sanbona, we did not find this to be a problem at all, and actually enjoyed the experience of just driving through the reserve spotting animals.

Whilst it is extremely unlikely you will see a leopard, we were well aware of this before our trip having done a bit of reading up on Sanbona. This didn't put us off at all, and we saw plenty of other animals. The highlights were a 45 minute spell sitting 10m from two cheetahs as they relaxed in the late afternoon sun, and a stand-off between 2 lions and a zebra family ending in an attempted kill! This was breathtaking stuff, especially in what seemed such an intimate setting (just two jeeps, far fewer than you'd find on safari in Kruger!). Our guide Suritha was excellent, and managed to track down most of the animals before the other rangers had a chance!

A stay at Sanbona can cost a lot, but so does any safari experience. We initially booked this as a 'once in a lifetime' experience. I think it is safe to say that spending those two nights at Sanbona has convinced me that at some point in the future I will be making it at least a 'twice in a lifetime' experience!

Room Tip: Dwyka tented lodge was fantastic, and looked the most '5 star' out of the three lodges we sa...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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1 Thank tpcharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Besides the very good game viewing (which was excellent), the whole experience was average.

For the amount that you are paying, you would expect very good food, wine and service. What you receive is average food, below average wine and (in some instances) staff that were unattentive and poorly trained.

For the price - I would recommend that you look elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank NoordhoekTravelGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

The lodge is beautiful and the cabins are pretty new. We did not use the pool due to the bad cleanliness. The spa is higly recommended. The staff needs training, cause they are quite new. Managament new, too. Game drives are ok - the guide makes photos on his own - this is disturbing to the customers.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ha_Bae
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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