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“Fantastic Opportunity to Sample Safari” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Lodge

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Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Fantastic Opportunity to Sample Safari”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

We travelled to Sanbona and the Dwyka Lodges following a flight from London - so be prepared for a long trip as the transfer is around 3.5. hours and at least an hour and a quarter is on dirt track - take a sickness bag!
The lodges themselves are very clean, well furnished and with complete privacy for both the plunge pool and the outside shower. The staff are very friendly but could be more attentive, they seem to focus on service at mealtimes and then disappear into thin air!
Food in the restaurant is very good and meals are timed around the safari drives. There was also a good choice of wines, albeit that we drank mainly water because of the heat.
There is also a Spa, which came in very handy, as without any other amenities, I found that I had too much time on my hands. Take a lot of books, as there is no wifi in the lodges.
We saw more a wildlife than we imagined and had a fantastic experience of meeting a troop of elephants at dawn - literally a few feet away.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gingersheep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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571 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (145)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

We stayed in Gondwana for the second time. The accommodation is superb, the game drives spectacular - ask for Pascale she is a jewel but the food and service need improvement. For the rates you pay you expect all wines to be included in the price and this has recently been changed - the management should reconsider this as going to private lodges you always expect everything to be all inclusive. Also the restaurant staff are very willing but need training - took ages to get orders taken and served with wine. Food buffet is good but not great. Sanbona is a very special reserve and so unique so close to Cape Town and with a bit of tweaking it could be perfect.

Room Tip: Room 12 is fabulous - try get a room on the first floor the view is breathtaking!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank The M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

I went to Sanbona nine years ago, so I was amazed at how it has changed. It has so much more now, including a lot more animals.

Before I say more, that nobody will read, I will explain the title. I was asked to pay a deposit at the time of booking. This I did. Then, about two weeks before the visit, I was asked to pay the balance. This I did. They, in the meantime, took the balance (having had my debit details). So, I paid the balance twice. It took about nine days for them to repay me, but I lost £90 due to fluctuating exchange rates. I have not been compensated.

This time, Sally and I visited the Dwyka tented lodges. Wow, it's pretty luxurious. We had a great time, and Chris, our guide, was fantastic. I would recommend it highly, just be careful when paying.

Room Tip: The Tented Lodges are amazing. They are in a large horseshoe and are all the same.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AngusMcBain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
106 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

The Dwyka tented camp at Sanbona is an outstanding place. The staff are wonderfully helpful and attentive, the weather was superb and the baboons on our stoep provided an extra frisson! Excellent food, super attention from ranger Rudy and some excellent memories to recall before we return.

We had previously stayed at Tilnet manor, which is a lovely old manor house but Dwyka is much more in the centre of the wildlife actrion. The reserve deserves every credit for its efforts in preserving endangered species.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank John J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sevenoaks District, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

Staying at the Dwyka tented lodge at Sanbona is an amazing experience. We loved it from the moment we arrived. Although the drive from Cape Town is more like 3.5 hours it isn't difficult. On arrival, we drove through Sanbona to Dwyka - so exciting looking out and seeing so many animals! At Dwyka we were greeted and shown to our tented accommodation, which was superb. Our first Safari drive was wonderful - lions, cheetahs, many different antelopes and, of course the sundowners! Every one of our 6 drives was so enjoyable and so many thanks to our ranger, Danie. If you get the opportunity, do also go on the Safari Boat - Adolph (no relation!) is great! Do also, if you can, try and arrange a walk out with a Ranger - another great experience and you learn so much. We loved the food - I have read some negative comments but we thought it was excellent. Enjoy!

Room Tip: More than 2.5 hours from Cape Town!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank coxyboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birmingham
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank elliebirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Janegypsy
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 - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Lodge

Property: Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Lodge
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 34 Specialty Lodging in Montagu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Lodge 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. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Hotel

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