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“Unforgettable 3 days - We loved it!”
Review of Idwala Game Lodge

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Idwala Game Lodge
london
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Unforgettable 3 days - We loved it!”
Reviewed February 12, 2012

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.

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely. They all have an unobstructed view of the valley
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank praguelondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

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Plettenberg Bay
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2011

We have just stayed at Idwala and what a wonderful weekend. Lee-Ann, Joline, and Themba made sure that everything at the lodge was just superb - food, drinks and sleep. Richard took us out on our game-drives, and made sure we saw everything - lions, cheetah and her cubs, eles, rhinos and lots of healthy looking antelope. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank frandermo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
189 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2010

We had the pleasure of staying at Idwala AGAIN for the Easter weekend. It is such a special place, situated high in the rocks with nothing but silence around you. Go for the peace and quiet and the great food. We had a rainy day and relaxed around the fire spending some good quality family time playing games together. Nicole, our ranger was great and Morgan your food is superb, are there any shares for sale Alida?? Owned and managed by the du Toit family ensures excellent service all round. We will be back.......

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank travelbabe40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2010

On our way out to the lodge from Port Elizabeth we were asked by our independent driver how we found Idwala Lodge. We replied "good old Trip Advisor". He said, "you have been very well advised. I take many people to all the reserves around here, including Shamwari and the Idwala visitors always seem the happiest". He couldn't have been more right. From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty. The drives were truly sensational and Gerhard our Ranger was an absolute star. Morgan the lodge Manager couldn't do enough for us and the rest of the staff were awesome. I cannot say enough words or use enough adjectives to tell you how fantastic it is, suffice to say that I had to be arm wrestled into writing this review because I didn't want to share this little gem with anyone else. This place is an absolute must !!!!! I will definitely be back. LOVE YOU IDWALA.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Craigy11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich/Bavaria
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2010

we booked 4 nights at the lodge. our rhino room was very quiet and clean. the only negative point regarding the room is to less lights.
the food was excellent and they were very flexible if you dont like something. two game drives a day in an open jeep.in this game reserve they have the big 5 and we saw four of them. our ranger organized very exciting drives. maximun guests at the lodge are 8 people. very private and very nice. during the day you have to stay at the lodge and enjoy it. you can not go for a walk ( big 5 around) and you leave the car at the reception which is 15 min away by the jeep. all meals and drinks are included. the staff was very friendly and helpful. 4nights are a bit too long. two would be too short. enjoy the lodge

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Heike_Rafael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2010

We stayed at Idwala on the 6th Feb for two nights and agree wholeheartedly with the other positive comments. The attention to detail is outstanding though the plunge pool needs some work and the sunbathing area needs a bit more thought to bring it up to the same standard as the rest of the place but this did not change my opinion of the place, LOVED IT.
It was a nice surprise to be whisked off in a jeep from reception and driven into the bush where the lodges are very discretely located ( we passed other lodges which were located just off the main road ). There are only four lodges so it has a small and personal feel about it. They have a very proffesional team of staff who are helpful, imformative and very friendly.The rooms were beautiful, roomy and comforable with a great view.
Morgan the chef / manager made us some top quality meals, I will be looking for his recipies on their website.

Gerhard, our brilliant ranger, managed to find Lions (just made a kill and were tucking in), Rhinos, Giraffe, hippos,buffalo, zebra, monkeys, warthogs, impalla etc etc but my favourite were the elephants. The heard slowly passed the jeep one by one, bulls and babies, one little one was chasing a butterfly, so cute..
We also appreciated the maximum of two vehicles per sighting rule that they had on the reserve.

We will never forget Idwala. a real gem and a definite recommendation. Thank you all..

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brecon4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EDINBURGH
1 review
Reviewed February 28, 2010

We went to idwala on our honeymoon and from the cocktails on arrival to the hot water bottle in bed every night it was perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!! The staff are brillant and couldnt do enough for you (including taking us all the way back to reception to watch the rubgy. Morgans cooking was exceptional as was the different african decor of the table every night. The small details is what makes Idwala 5*. The game drives were cold but very very exciting. True untouched wildlife, we even seen a pride of lions eating their kill. We would recommend this to absolutely anyone. Your days consist of early morning game drive, followed by a cooked breakfast then some lounging by the pool. after which you have afternoon tea then your night time game drive. 100% we will be back.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KINGDOM13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Idwala Game Lodge

Property: Idwala Game Lodge
Address: Sidbury Grahamstown Eastern Cape | PO Box 6482, Sidbury 6141, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Sidbury
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Sidbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Idwala Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 4
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

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