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Reviewed March 25, 2016

I stayed at Elephant Plains for 3 days in June 2015 and have very good memories of the place. We were upgraded from standard rondoval to luxury suites(Wild Dog & Zebra as we had 2 kids). We saw lot of animals including Big 5 many times and many leopards very close. They went to great lengths to get vegetarian dishes prepared for us(procuring lentils from nearby lodges). Only minor complaint is: Supper is

Room tip: Luxury suites are best which have outdoor shower. Kid had visits by kudus during his shower.
Date of stay: June 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank smbayguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2016

Thank you for your kind review and for calling us excellent value for money. It sounds like you have some spectacular sightings. I am glad you enjoyed them. Thank you also for mentioning that we produced special vegetarian dishes for you. We would love to welcome you back one day. Kind regards, Marlet Swart

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Reviewed March 23, 2016 via mobile

The place is nice and very african in that we stayed in a rondavel and luxurious suites among 6 friends. The staff are superb and especially our ranger Louis and our tracker Thomas. They did their utmost to make our safari experience something we will never forget. We went so close to the big five you wont believe it. Whatever we wished for the day we got. We saw the leopard every game time. We had games early morning and at 5 pm. Had midday walking tour too. The rooms have good airconditioning and beds with mosquito nets. In the evenings we ate in bon fires . Awesome experience. The toilets are nice too , in the luxurious rooms there are two tolets and three baths. Big rooms too.

Date of stay: February 2016
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank Myrna234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2016

Thank you for your kind review and for calling our staff superb. It sounds like you had some amazing sightings. I will be sure to pass your compliments to Louis and Thomas. Please do visit us again one day. Kind regards, Marlet Swart

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Reviewed March 22, 2016

I was really happy that I managed to book Elephant Plains Game Lodge for our first safari trip to South Africa, Kruger National Park. I had booked it 9-10 months in advance of our trip. Hence, I would advice all who are interested in this reasonably priced lodge to book early. In fact, I was too late in getting the family rondavale, but a blessing in disguise, the luxury suite turned out to be amazing too.

What I like about Elephant Plains (EP)

- The luxury suite was spacious with mosquito netting for all 3 beds. The room is well furnished with fridge, coffee making kettle and a small sitting area. The room also has repellant and spray for our use. The bathroom was spacious with a tub, shower and outdoor shower area too. Toiletries provided was good quality. Even though, there is a notice not to waste water by reusing the towels, the housekeeping actually replaces the dirty towels every time we are out for a game drive. Just a little unusual to have the safe inside the toilet. The safe is quite small, so big items cannot be stored in the room safe.

- I love the laundry service as the clothes were collected early in the morning when we go for morning game drive, and then returned later in the evening when we get back from our evening game drive. Laundry has to be paid for but at a reasonable price.

- I do like the fact that the pricing includes the 2 game drives, the meals (light snack before morning drive, breakfast after morning drive, lunch, dinner), the lodging and bush walk.

- very good service from the butlers serving the meals and the chef, who is friendly and chit chat when he takes order for our dinner.

- Good housekeeping - good job to all the housekeepers. Always tidy up the room and change our used towels to fresh ones.

- Saw the Big 5 plus many other animals. The ranger and tracker did try their best to ensure we get to see the Big 5. Hence, they kept going back to where the lion and leopard were previously sighted and we even get to see the mating of lions. The ranger did not rush through each game drive and even watched the time, and when need be, they extended the game drive to ensure we are happy and have a unique experience after each game drive. 100 marks for the effort.

What can be better?
- we stayed a total of 3 days, so it means 6 game drives. However, we were allocated to a ranger and tracker together with other tourist who already had a few game drive ahead of us. No wonder, they seems a little bored / uninterested when we got so excited just seeing impalas. When we had about 4 game drives, we have newer tourist joining us. It was then we realised that as the ranger tries to let them see as many of the Big 5 as possible, the time spent looking for them or stopping to let the new joiners observed the behaviours of the animals feels draggy for us. After about 4 game drive, we have sighted the Big 5, hence, we were hoping to sight catching of prey or even leopard / cheetah on trees.

Suggestion - maybe EP can review how the experience can be better improved for its customers by matching similar no of games drive. In addition, I think our ranger was also a bit tired as it was his last week before his break. Hence, maybe rangers should not be working so many weeks without a break. When they get tired, the level of service is somewhat compromised. As we only managed to get one bush walk out of our 3 days stay. On the second day, we were in a way "discouraged" to go for bush walking. Sad.....

- Can more vegetables be provided at each meals ? I understand that the diet in South Africa is consist of mainly meat, however, I suffered indigestion from all the meat that was on offered as EP makes an effort to serve different meat daily for each meal.

- If only wi-fi is provided and included in the cost. Really inconvenient to have to pay and then go to the office area, in order to get wi-fi connection. Besides, the charges paid is only limited to one device.

Suggestion - can EP offer a better wi-fi package that allow more devices to be logged in based on limit of data instead.

Other than the 2 points that I feel that EP can do better, I would still recommend my friends to go to EP as the pricing and service level is reasonable.

Date of stay: December 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank joltt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2016

Thank you very much for your detailed review and suggestions. Thank you also for complimenting the room, laundry service, waiting staff, as well as the housekeeping and ranger and tracker team. It must have been very special to see mating lions and I am glad that you did not feel rushed through sightings, but had the time to really enjoy the moment. I would like to also respond to your suggestions. It would be nearly impossible to allocate all new guests to a certain ranger, as some guests stay for one night, while others stay for seven. What is special about the way we do it, is that guests form a bond with their allocated ranger and tracker and as they get to know their guests, they have the ability to offer a greater experience according to their guests' needs. As every single sighting (whether it is impalas or a leopard, differ with each game drive I can not imagine that anyone can become bored in a sighting.) As to the ranger that was tired - we do have 5 rangers and only three of them drive at any given time. We work on this system so that there is always one ranger on leave and another one as a relief option, because the rangers drive so often due to our very high occupancy. So if a ranger is tired, the relief ranger always takes over. You suggest more vegetables. During lunch we serve 4 different salads (and two meat dishes) and during dinner we serve three different vegetable options as well as a side salad. You were welcome to request more vegetable options and our chefs would have gladly complied to your request. We also have vegetarian dish options that would possibly have aided with your indigestion, if you told us you were suffering from all the meat that you ate. It is very difficult to rectify a problem or complaint after a guest has already left the lodge. We are looking at other wifi package options. Thank you for recommending us and for stating that the pricing and service levels are reasonable. Kind regards, Marlet Swart

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Reviewed March 13, 2016

This place is truly amazing and has some very special people working there. The rooms are huge, well decorated and spotlessly clean like the entire venue. The food is great and you never go hungry. The Rangers and drives are fantastic. Dawie and Justice showed us the big 5 in just under 3 drives. They were both very knowledgeable and more than happy to answer any question. There is a very relaxed atmosphere at the lodge and it is very easy to relax. Tersia and her staff were amazing as they allowed us to have our wedding at sunset by the watering hole. They had made a cake, lined the route with signs. Staff even assisted with my wife's hair and make up. We had the most amazing wedding we could have ever dreamed of and it was the most beautiful location we could have dreamed of. You want for nothing if you stay here and are guaranteed to have a great experience

Room tip: Great views from everywhere
Date of stay: February 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Chris D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2016

Thank you so much for the lovely review. I am delighted that you enjoyed your wedding here and that you found it to be amazing. Thank you also for the compliments on the room, the food, the game drives and the special mentioning of Dawie, Justice and Tersia. We would love to welcome you back one day. Kind regards, Marlet Swart

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Reviewed March 10, 2016

This was luxury in the bush! The staff were delightful especially Morne our ranger who was a fountain of knowledge. We learnt so much about the animals and nature through him and every day saw so many animals in their natural habitat.To stop for our daily sundowner (everyone out of the vehicle) and to get a radio call to say "everyone back in the vehicle" as around the corner came this magnificent male leopard who walked right past the vehicle is not something that happens every day! Our rondavel was spacious enough for the 3 of us and to sit on the terrace and watch the elephants playing in the waterhole on the bank opposite was a treat. The resident family of bushbucks were so trustful whilst the vervet monkeys were really naughty, lying in wait for you to leave the table at breakfast before jumping down from their posts in the trees to steal your jam and honey.The food was delicious and plentiful at every meal, the head chef was very proud of his meals and regularly checked with clients that everything was satisfactory. Not many people did the daily bush walks but we did every morning.One day we rounded the corner and there was an elephant who lumbered off into the bush, another day there was a female leopard with her cub so we were told to slowly retreat and not to infringe on her "space" and she would leave us alone.I shed a tear on our last game drive as I didn't want to leave but we will go back, it was such a memorable experience.

Room tip: Try and have a room overlooking the waterhole.
Date of stay: February 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Giverny112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2016

Thank you for your very kind review. I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay and would like to return to us. Thank you also for calling us a piece of heaven, for the compliments on the game drives, Morne your ranger, the food as well as the staff in general. It sounds like it was quite an amazing experience that you had during sundowners - Africa at it's best! We would love to welcome you back one day. Kind regards, Marlet Swart

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