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“Fantastic trip - highly recommended!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Paperbark Bush Retreat

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Paperbark Bush Retreat
Sheffield
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic trip - highly recommended!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2008

We have just returned from a fantastic safari with Back on Track safaris. We started the trip at the beautiful Paperbark Retreat - it was lovely - set in beautiful mountain scenery and incredibly relaxing.

The Paperbark retreat is run by Will & Carol Fox and they were brilliant - they made us very much at home. We had a lovely stay there. The ranger, Anton, was also great. He took us on numerous walks around the estate and taught us how to identify animals from their tracks, and highlighted different wildlife, flora and fauna to us throughout our stay.

We spent 5 days visiting different game reserves (including Kruger and Sabi Sands) with an amazing guide - Gerrie Camacho. He was an excellent guide - extremely knowledgeable, had vast experience of wildlife and he was great company throughout the trip.

There were so many memorable and exciting parts to the holiday - far too many to list - probably the most memorable was our first sighting of a leopard - we saw 2 leopard cubs during a game drive. We spent ages watching them as they ate an antelope which their mother had killed. It was fantastic and we got the opportunity to take many special photographs. Our next sighting of a leopard was also fantastic - on another game drive we spent over an hour following the movements of a female leopard. It was amazing - there was just us 2, a guide and driver and we felt so privileged to spend so long observing such a beautiful creature. It was a proper wild experience - not like some of the other game drives/safaris we observed where you queue up amongst many other vehicles for a quick glimpse. Instead we were able to spend so long and had real quality time observing the wildlife.

The whole holiday was fantastic from start to finish - definitely a trip of a lifetime!

  • Liked — Very relaxing, great scenery, hospitality and delicious home made meals!
  • Disliked — Nothing - couldn't fault it at all
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SheffieldBecks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Chicago
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2008

Paperbark Bush Retreat is a beautiful and comfortable eco-lodge in a rural area South Africa between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park. It is the perfect place to decompress after a long international flight. The hosts, Will and Carol Fox, have seen to every detail to assure a great stay. Cabins are solar-powered and the gourmet food is local,organic and delicious. At the Lodge you learn about the Ingwe Leopard Project and conservation in the Leutla Valley. There are frequent nature walks with the naturalist. You have an opportunity to set camera traps for photographing all sorts of wildlife. The Valley is a wonderful spot for learning about the South African Bush. It is a great jumping off point for the Back on Track safari with conservationist and ranger Gerrie Camacho to Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Kruger National Park. We saw all the big game and learned about their behavior in the wild. The most excting parts were at Sabie Sands Game Reserve, where we took late night game drivers with Gerrie with very small group of between three and eight people. It was on one of these drives that we saw a female leopard stalking her prey. She came within a few feet of the vehicle. Through out the safari you see elephant, girafffe, zebra, wildebeest, cape buffalo, heards of antelope of various types and sizes. Our photo logs have over 80 different animals. This was the trip or a lifetime. We will always be grateful to Gerrie, Will and Carol for teaching us about conservation in africa.

  • Liked — The setting was beautiful.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank travellers9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2008

We returned from an amazing safari in South Africa in late February, after what had been the trip of a life time. We travel to Africa regularly and finally we have found a safari which gave us the chance to enjoy and view wildlife but also to experience the bush.
Back on Track Safaris provided a 14 day package which from the very start did exactly as promised and provided us with memories which will last a lifetime.
Our safari started at the Paperbark Bush Retreat, where the owners Will and Carol went out of their way to make us feel at home. Paperbark is the home of the Ingwe Leopard Project and head ranger Anton, soon had us enjoying bush walks within the Paperbark conservancy.
After a few days 'gettng our eye in' it was off to Sabi Sands and the Kruger National Park with Gerrie Camacho. Once I met Gerrie I recognised his face from TV documentaries. In Gerries company we went on bush walks and night drives in big five country. Gerrie is a world renowned zoologist and his very presence opens doors, which remain closed to most tourists. He took us out late at night following a pride of lions as they hunted. All the time we felt very safe and secure . Gerrie has been there and done it thousands of time and in his company we were priviledged to see Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino all at close quater. An amazing experience.
We then returned to Paperbark Bush Retreat for some well earned R&R, Paperbark is a splendid carbon neutral bush lodge hidden away in the mountains. The food was great, nice wines and luxurous nights spent enjoying good company and laughter will stay with us for a very long time. We're both heading back to Africa in October for more. Gerrie is releasing some Lions into a new reserve and we want to join in and help relocate wild lions.

  • Liked — Food Wine and carbon neutral operation
  • Disliked — Nothing it was brilliant
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GregSSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wilts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2008

This was our 4th trip to Africa and and we wanted something more involved than just looking at the game.

Paperbark is the base for Back on Track safaris and Will and his team gave us everything from animal tracking with their excellent ranger Anton (known as the Leopard man) while based in a large thatched bungalow with solar power right in the midst of prime leopard country. I should add that this contained a superb library of books which we could not even dent!

We radio tracked leopards and set camera traps to catch animal movements over night, and went on game walks and trips to adjacent areas of their conservancy monitoring leopard movements.

The safari to Sabi Sands and Kruger was with Gerrie Camacho, a world renowned zoologist and conservationist. The trip combined animal viewing without being intrusive and at an affordable cost. We chose the 14 day black leopard trip and can say that the accommodation, food and trip was outstanding.

We celebrated my birthday whilst there and Paperbark made a genuine effort to make the day special with a present of some leopard casts at a champagne breakfast. A local Caracal made it even better when he was photographed on one of the cameras.

The trip includes pickup/drop offs to Joburg and I can say that we had absolutely no complaints and would reccomend this company to anyone looking for involvement in African Conservation with some comfort.

  • Liked — The effort to gear the whole experiemce to our own desires from first contact
  • Disliked — Leaving..seriously
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Clare778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paperbark Bush Retreat

Property: Paperbark Bush Retreat
Address: On Track Safaris, PO Box 3065, Lydenburg 1120, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Lydenburg
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Lydenburg
Number of rooms: 5

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