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Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Beyond expectations !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2013

We booked a Dwyka tented lodge for 3 nights, less and you will find it hard to see all there is to see. We arrived in time for lunch and the afternoon game drive; thereafter there were 2 drives per day and 1 drive prior to our departure. Each drive (up to 4 hours) revealed different sightings and we never returned disappointed. The luxury tented lodge was very comfortable, spotlessly clean and not overlooked. Sundowners during the evening drives - a very nice touch and the food was good. Our small game drive group of six all agreed that our guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sutree1213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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577 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)
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English first
UK
Level Contributor
162 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 277 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2013

We spent 2 nights in Dwyka (having booked Tilney Manor and swapped at the last minute)and had the most wonderful and memorable experience. The "tents" are fabulous and very luxurious and the most remote of the 3 accommodation options.
This is no" petting zoo" type of reserve and there are no elephant rides or walks with the animals here.
You get up early and spend 3-4 hours,twice a day, in an all terrain vehicle searching for the animals ,led by a very experienced and knowledgeable ranger.You stay in the vehicle unless told to get out and then you must do as you are told by the rifle bearing ranger. Do not be put off by these facts as you truly feel you are having an authentic and wild experience where the animals are respected and protected on every level.
The land is immense and rugged and supports all manner of animals which, historically, were always on the cape. We saw everything thanks to our wonderful guide who went to inordinate lengths to give us a wonderful experience but she was honest in telling us that the animals wander freely and will only be seen if they choose to be and are not corralled at night etc for the titillation of the paying visitors.
We will never forget this magical place and would return in a heart beat.
The visitor numbers, and hence the number of vehicles, is kept low and hence only one vehicle at a time will stop to view the animals and there is no time limit for viewing(we were told this is getting more unusual in the more famous National Parks where visitors almost feel they are on a conveyor belt with time restrictions).
If you can afford the time and cost then please book 2 nights(or more) at this wonderful wildlife reserve. One night only may mean you do not have the opportunity to view some of the spectacular game in the reserve and we saw people leave, frustrated by the time limit that was self imposed as they had not appreciated the vastness of the area and how far the animals can actively roam.
Cold weather/wind/rain may also limit sightings so keep your options open by booking 2+ nights.

Room Tip: The tents at Dwyka are a great experience but adults /older teens only They are the most remotely pl...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank voa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2013 via mobile

We were here for one night so unfortunately so didn't have time to fully appreciate the accommodation which was 5 star - we were upgraded to Dwyka lodge at the last minute & didn't want to leave. Gorgeous place, great staff & food, needed more time to see the big 5 as it is a vast place, although our ranger climbed a mountain to try to find the lions but they were hiding!! We did see many other animals, elephants & rhino were fab - would recommend but for at least 2 nights (others saw the big 5 but they had more time!)

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Tessalo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in Tilney Manor for a night en route to Cape Town during our honeymoon. We booked the manor to try & make the experience very different from our first safari but were still disappointed. Although the suite was gorgeous and featured a gas fire & free standing bath the experience did not live up to our first safari. The food was average, and only 1 staff member really stood out as giving the 5 star experience you would expect. The game drives were great & we had some excellent sightings - white lioness on the move, cheetah and her 4 cubs, lots of elephants & rhinos, our guide Dale was really friendly & knowledgeable too but the group they put us in for the drives was unfortunate! Worth a visit as close to Cape Town & lots of animals but not the real wild feel you get in some other safaris, nor the 5 star experience you expect especially on honeymoon.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank elainetaylor_dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013

Very easy drive from Cape Town, just about three hours, great roads easy drive, beautiful grounds, great accommodations, good game drives, two a day, the luxury tents are very comfortable and In a beautiful place. Would suggest at least two days so you can see all the animals.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jherr7114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

In 24 hours we saw 20 baboons, 12 giraffes, 11 elephants, 10 kudu, 5 rhinos, 3 white lions, 2 zebras, 1 hippo. Our guide was knowledgable, the service was friendly, and though we were in the middle of a 54,000 hectare reserve, we felt secure and spoiled (fireplace in room and outside showers were a fun bonus!)

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NMVanKerkhove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2013

My wife and I took time to consider whether to fly to Kruger or Port Elizabeth from Capetown for a safari. We decided on Sanbona because we wanted to relax and focus on Capetown rather than extra flights. For us, this was perfect. The drive from Capetown was 3 hours and generally well marked, though at the end a GPS on our phones was helpful. The drive back was nice as we went through Hermanus and saw some wales. Our game ranger, Jared, was outstanding. I have been to safari (though not at Kruger) and this was a great, intimate, personalized game experience. We were able to see cheetahs up close, white lions, elephants, etc. All in the wild. The size of the park is about the size of Singapore, and the animals are in the wild. Great place for us. The food was very good and the rooms at Tilney manor were large with beautiful views.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LATraveler20132013
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 33 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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Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Hotel

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