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Kwantu Private Game Reserve
Ranked #1 of 1 Sidbury B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Excellent time!!”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

my hubby and i booked the luxury lodge! it was so beautiful! the theme and style of the room gives you an amazing safari feel, with a five star effect and a calming relaxing feeling. Our room overlooked the water hole where we could see all the animals from our room as they came to drink water. the staff are so helpful and so friendly. They try there best to make sure you are comfy at all times! This was just a perfect place to just unwind! The decor of the place is just so beautiful! Our visit to the predator park was an amazing experience, we saw a little lion cub that was two days old, which was too cute! i would recommend everyone to go check the place out as the have the big 5 and various endangered animals such as rhinos, white lions, and many others! The food was also delicious, and halal which we enjoyed very well. We had a lovely time and will go back again! The game rangers are excellent as well.

Room Tip: The luxury lodge is so nice, the view is out of this world! very peaceful as well! They are enormous...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Samee s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BushloverSouthAfrica, General Manager at Kwantu Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Samee

We are very happy to read about your positive experience at Kwantu Private Game Reserve.

We would like to thank you for sharing this with us and are pleased that your stay was a most unforgettable experience.

I am also pleased to inform you that the baby white lion cub is doing well and is turning out to be quite the "king of the jungle"!

Yours in Africa

Kind regards
Kwantu Game Reserve
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

My family and I booked the luxury lodges at the Kwantu Game Reserve from the 21-24 December 2012. This reserve is one of the only halaal reserves in the country and we wanted to check out the reserve before bringing a group of 20 family members from overseas to the reserve. It was a stroke of luck that we first came to check out the reserve or we would have subjected our extended family to a miserable holiday.

Bookings and transfers: Our troubles with this game reserve started with the bookings. We booked the luxury lodges for 4 adults and paid for 4 adults and they gave us confirmation only for 2 adults and on different dates! We had to send through multiple emails and phone the reservations department several times before things were finally sorted out! Once this was ironed out our next problem related to the transfers from the airport to the reserve. We arranged with Kwantu to collect us from the airport at a cost of R400 per person. On arrival in Port Elizabeth, it was extremely hot and we were looking forward to traveling in an air conditioned bus to the reserve. However this did not materialize either. 10 minutes into the journey, the driver informed us that the bus did not have any air conditioning. If the resort had informed us upon booking that the transfers were without aircon, we would never have booked with them. It is easy enough to arrange private air conditioned luxury transfers to the reserve with a transport company. If only we knew this was just the beginning of a nightmare of a holiday.

Luxury lodges: Having booked the luxury lodges, we assumed that we would receive all our meals at the entertainment area at the lodges (if you see the pics on their website and watch the YouTube videos, you see food being served in the luxury lodge lounge). This did not happen and we had to be transported to the main hotel for meals in addition to all other activities. The staff made it known to us that it was an effort to keep transporting us up and down from the lodges to the main hotel and back. In fact, after one particular activity, we had almost 2 hours before the next meal, and were told by Lucky (one of the hotel employees) that “he hopes we will not want to be transported up and down!” They made us feel like we were a terrible inconvenience. It made for a very unpleasant stay. After meals or activities, we would have to wait at least an hour to be transported back to the lodge. We spent most of our time sitting around in the lobby waiting, while we should have been in our lodges enjoying the view and amenities that we paid for! No amount of complaining helped. The one day we arranged to be collected at a certain time from the lodges, so that the staff could have ample time to organize a van and a driver for us. We were ready 10 minutes before the scheduled time. We waited and waited. Nobody phoned to say there was a delay. When we asked, we were told the van was on its way. In the end, we ended up waiting for one hour before the van came. No explanation given. When we demanded an explanation, we were told that there was “an emergency in the bush”, and the van and driver were needed elsewhere. We are not unreasonable people. Had they phoned and told us there would be a delay, there would have been no problem at all. But we were left to wait in the heat, after having made a firm booking for the van to collect us. This is no way to treat anyone, especially not paying guests.

FOOD: The food provided for each meal was adequate, although not up to a 5 star rating that the reserve proudly advertises. We were appalled to see guest taking breads and other food with their hands and then changing their minds and dropping what they had just touched back into the basket. The other guests were then expected to eat the food that had been touched. The children were not supervised and they also touch the food with their hands. In Islam it is a good practice (Sunnah) to eat with your hands, but it is not Sunnah (good practice) to use your hands to touch the foods that other people have to eat. We were served chicken, fish, mutton and beef. This is not a place where wild game is served.

Management: We brought our grievances to the attention of the manager, Shakir. He was aware from the start about the problems we experienced. However, until we formally spoke to him, he did not acknowledge that there was a problem. In fact, even after speaking to him, we could see that nothing was going to change. He could not acknowledge our grievances, and instead insulted us by saying he could give our money back, implying that he did not need our money, as the reserve is well subscribed. Our critic was aimed at helping him to improve the service at his reserve - instead he chose to ignore it and to do nothing to address the problems. We received no apology from the staff. We were just lucky that the vehicle that collected us for the transfer back to the airport had aircon!

Game Drives: The only redeeming quality of this reserve is the game drives. The Ranger, Howard, was knowledgeable, friendly and went out of his way to make the game drives interesting and fun. However unlike other 5 star game reserves we have been to, Kwantu rangers don’t carry rifles with them. There are elephants, lions and rhino anh Hippos on the reserve.

Accommodation: Our lodge was large and comfortable with a TV, under floor heating and a large bathroom. The windows and balcony overlooked the watering hole where the animals came to drink. It was awesome to watch the sun rise and set from the balcony.

Swimming Pool: The swimming pool was not well maintained and was in need of serious cleaning. There are no change rooms at the pool area. Perhaps they assume only guests from the hotel would use the pool? In which case, a guest would still need to run in wet clothing back to the hotel to change. There is a small “gym” near the pool area, which we were told we could use to change into and out of our swimming gear. However, the room was constantly locked, making it difficult for those of us who lived a distance away in the lodges to change in order to use the pool. On one occasion, we had to wait at least an hour for them to find the keys to unlock the room. In the end out of shear frustration we went to change in the hotel bathrooms. There were also no clean towels at the pool and every time we wanted to swim we would have to go to the front desk to first request that the change rooms be unlocked and that towels be brought to the pool.

Final notes: Note that if you live at the lodges, you will be seen as an inconvenience to the staff at the reserve. We have stayed at 5 star resorts around the world and can say without a doubt that this was the worst resort we have stayed at. We can never recommend this reserve to any of our friends and family or to the Muslim community (who really deserve better than this from a Muslim owned establishment!!!). We will rather advise people to go to one of the other 5 star reserves in South Africa if they want a true 5 star African experience. The reserve advertises a 5-star rating, and we would like to know if anyone has reviewed this since it was first rated? Because the lodges could use a bit of maintenance, the main hotel is definitely not up to 5-star standards, and the new “self-catering” facility with broken toilets and leaking taps, certainly does not fit the 5-star bill. In the end, paying 5-star prices for 2 star treatment is really just not worth it. Don’t buy into the hype and advertisement.

Room Tip: If you stay at the luxury lodges you will have to be transported up and down to the main hotel for m...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Hooda5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BushloverSouthAfrica, Manager at Kwantu Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
Dear Hooda5

I would like to thank you for sharing your comments with us on Trip Advisor.

After perusing your comments, there are some points which we would like to set out below as we feel that your comments are somewhat skewed and/ or inaccurate:

1. Bookings are done according to the request of the clients. Therefore, if the dates you received were different to your intended dates, then this was based on the information received by us

2. Unfortunately, at the time of your visit, Port Elizabeth was experiencing severe heat waves. Therefore, this played an integral role in the heat which was experienced during your transfer. All of our vehicles have operational air-conditioning.

3. The main Pollards Inn Lodge is where we conduct our meals for our guests as we have different accommodation types. It is unfortunate that you made the incorrect assumption of where your meals would take place as this was not due to any information given to you by us. The lodge was however open and available for you at any time should you want to have made use of this.

4. I am sure that you are aware that we cannot reasonably be expected to take responsibility for other guest's actions during meals.

5. When brought up, your comments were heard attentively and were addressed immediately as committed to you. A refund was only offered in response to various of your comments.

6. Due to safety issues, the pool and change areas are attended by staff and are opened for resident guests upon request. Once guests request from us, we then arrange towels and other amenities for the guests.

7. It is strange that you have comments on our new villa accommodation without ever staying in it or seeing it.

We once again would like to thank you for your comments and hope that our response puts this into perspective.

Kind regards
Management
Kwantu Game Reserve
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2013

We had the most amazing time here. Thank you to all the staff who were very attentive and made our stay so enjoyable. We stayed in the lodges.... definitely worth the extra. Do not stay for less than 2 nights... when you come here you will not want to leave. We stayed for 2 nights and it really was not enough!

Thanks again,

Asif and Debbie Patel

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank pasifx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Upon arriving in port elizabeth I was greeted by the sea breeze and countless corporate buildings

Kwantu game reserve was the escape I was looking for without the comprimises that are usually entailed in going out into the wild


Sign posted it was easy to find the entrance to the game reserve where I was then greeted by the staff upon arrival at the reception area

I had a short stay of 2 days and 1 night and had asked the receptionist if they can accomodate the whole experience into my limited schedule

As expected I was placed on to an afternoon private game drive which allowed me to have a shower and freshen up

This goes without mention the rooms are emaculately furnished and fitted with international and national sockets which made it very easy for me with my UK gadgets. The bedroom at first glance was huge in floor space which gave a very open feel with accomadated balcony that boasts the lengthly view accross the reserve.

On the game drive, there were many animals to see and in terms of length and expertise it was of a 5 star standard.

The evening was qued with a tasty indian menu which filled the tastebuds and suprisingly was very authentic.

The nights sleep was very comfortable on the king sized beds. Not to forget the numerous amount of satelite channels on flat screen television which helped to mellow out and relax in the comfort of the bedroom.

In the morning I chose to visit the amenties which ranged from a cricket pitch, tennis courts, lounging area and swimming pool with gymnasium. This hotel did not fall short on the criteria of a 5 star standard hotel.

Ended my visit with a walk around the predator park and was greeted by the white lions and tigers roaring to mark their territory.

Overall it was a great stay, with a last minute visit to the curio store.

I recommend a night or two stay at the game reserve as there is also an elephant santuary accross the road that it also part of Kwantu game reserve.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank londonlad3006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2012

I recently stayed at Kwantu Game Reserve...and what I time I had.

Myself and my family were in dire need of a nice relaxing break where we could be at leisure, but have activities available when we wanted to participate. Not to mention that my husband is a food lover...so that was also a big hit with him while at Kwantu.

The staff were friendly, attentive and courteous at all times.

The facilities itself were more than expected and we were very comfortable in the Pollards Inn Lodge (which is very spacious...even for the size of our family!)

While we relaxed, there were many other facilities for the other members of the family such as an entertainment room, touch farm, herb garden, tennis courts, swimming pools, and much more. So there was something for everyone.

The game drive itself was awesome with most of the big 5 being spotted in the first drive...how lucky were we?!!

Overall, I would recommend Kwantu to anyone as this is great value for money and a real experience where is guest is treated as the only guest in the lodge.

Room Tip: If you are travelling with your family, the Pollards Inn accommodation is perfect if you want someth...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WildlifeLover12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape town
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2012

What a gloomy and depressing hotel. Definitely not a 5 star hotel as advertised. Website is misleading and the 5 star certicates all around the hotel refer to the lodge. False advertising is illegal !!

The hotel is run on skeleton staff in busy December who unfortunately know nothing about anything,agreed upon by the manager. Try getting a cool drink in the lounge area they'll tell you to get one from your mini bar in the room or a latte for breakfast , a cup of tea maybe before a 3 hour game drive at 5am ? Broken pillow casses and sheets. The guest get juggled around to suit the hotels lack of staff and you end up waiting 2 hours for your predator park visit. The hotel smells of food and smoke and the list goes on .... Maybe it was my bad luck , or high expectations ?

On the contrary the elephant sanctuary, lion rehab centre, animal farm and reserve is well maintained, but not worth the drive from Cape Town. The ranger David and " pony lady " were great and the hotel manager does his best with the little resources available to him.

Definately not worth the visit , maybe if it was a 3 star facility priced accordingly and you knew this it would be ok.

Not too fussy
Cape Town

Room Tip: There a no options.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Notoofussy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BushloverSouthAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Kwantu Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, December 20, 2012
Dear Guest

Many thanks for your most valued post.

We would firstly like to apologize for the experience which you have related, however, we would like to clarify certain salient points in order for us to contextualize this post:

1. Kwantu Game Reserve has been graded by the tourism grading council of South Africa. These signs are displayed around the property as per their requirement. We are graded in the category of a lodge, as you have rightly pointed out, as we are a big 5 game lodge and not an hotel establishment.

2. During our December period and other peak periods, we increase the number of staff on site to ensure that the guests are well attended to. I apologize if this was not the impression/ experience which you had received.

3. We operate scheduled game activities, which is the norm in most larger establishments. The wait which you refer to was due to the fact that you had arrived early for your scheduled activity, which other guests were also booked on. This is also dependent on the package which you had booked with us. This package also determines the inclusions such as the beverages etc, as you have booked onto the standard package, where the beverages in your room are complimentary.

I would once again like to to thank this opportunity to thank you for bringing this to our attention and to apologize for your experience which you have related. These items will be investigated further.

However, as is indicated in the previous post by a traveller which stayed with us during the same period as you, their experience related was to the contrary (senior TripAdvisor reviewer).

Thanking you

Yours in Africa
Kwantu Private Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2012

Stayed here for three nights in December 2012. One hour outside PE. Kwantu has quite a few things going for it:

1. Conservation: I was impressed with the efforts being made to transform a former farming area back to its natural indigenous state. David, our game ranger was knowledgeable and passionate. A trip to the elephant sanctuary is well worth it. There is also a volunteer program, although the volunteers don't seem to have direct interaction with guests.

2. Staff: must compliment the staff who were friendly, very accommodating and very obliging. They are a credit to this place. Can't remember all the names, but Long, Sandeep and others are to be congratulated.

3. Meals: Plentiful food. Food is all Halal. This is more home style than haute cuisine, but tasty, well presented. No complaints. Again, chefs and support staff were very obliging.

4. Hotel: rooms were pretty well appointed, clean and staff were efficient.

Kudos to this place and its staff. Hope you go from strength to strength.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank osmosishol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BushloverSouthAfrica, Director of Sales at Kwantu Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, December 20, 2012
Dear Guest

We are delighted to hear of the experience which you had at Kwantu Game Reserve, as we strive to ensure that all of our guests receive the highest level of quality and experience while visiting Kwantu.

We hope that you will visit us again when you are next in South Africa

Kind regards
Shakir
Kwantu Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kwantu Private Game Reserve

Property: Kwantu Private Game Reserve
Address: 1 Daniel Street, Sidbury 6000, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Sidbury
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Sidbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kwantu Private Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kwantu is situated near Port Elizabeth with its offering spanning everything from the big 5 to Kwantu's own elephant sanctuary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kwantu Private Game Reserve Hotel Sidbury
Kwantu Private Game Reserve South Africa/Sidbury

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