We found Idwala Game Lodge through the internet, so we were a bit apprehensive. We also had never visited South Africa and were not sure whether a smaller reserve would be as memorable. While I can not compare the experience to Kruger, I can say that Idwala was a truly unforgettable experience and would whole-heartedly recommend them to anyone.
We were treated royally from the moment we arrived. We were greeted by the friendly ranger - Alistair - who made sure we left understanding and appreciating more about the African wildlife. We were doubly fortunate because for the first 2 nights we were the only guests and had 4 private game drives. It was such a treat.
The lodge only has 4 rooms/cabins so even when there were other guests you are still treated like royalty. The little extra touches were such a nice treat. For instance, every evening there was a little bed-time story about an animal left on your pillow. A few days without mobile phones, internet and television was bliss. I loved every minute of it.
Each little cabin has an unobstructed view of the valley with a small deck. We spent the afternoons between the little deck and the plunge pool. Remember, to shut your windows at night time as there are monkeys close by. It all adds to the fun.
The food was well prepared and the cook made sure we had lots to eat. In fact, she made some special meals especially with me in mind as I am not a big meat-eater.
The guides were fabulous. Alistair looked after us for most days but when he had his day off Nicole was a wonderful substitute. We pretty much saw everything - cape buffalo, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, hippos, impala, nyala, warthogs, giraffes, zebra and more. It was a special time because it was spring time and we were treated to a whole host of babies.
Thanks to the entire staff for making our first stay at Idwala a brilliant time. If you have questions, I'm happy to answer them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A breathtaking setting on a dramatic ridge, overlooking a lush green valley, Idwala is a stylish family run lodge in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. With only 4 thatched chalets, privacy is ensured and each is spacious, air-conditioned and has a private patio. Game drives to spot the big 5 and offer excellent birding. Relax at the pool and enjoy sweeping views and spectacular sunsets. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Idwala Game Lodge South Africa/Sidbury