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“The best family vacation we have EVER had!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Idube Game Reserve Lodge

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Idube Game Reserve Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Maryland
Level Contributor
147 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“The best family vacation we have EVER had!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2011

We spent four days and nights at Idube, arranged through Jensen Safaris out of Pretoria. The food was absolutely top notch, the staff was incredible, and accommodations were first rate. Ten-passenger open Land Rover bush vehicles took us twice daily out into the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, where we saw every animal we ever associated with Africa. Our driver, Andreis, was very knowledgeable, and our tracker, Titus, was great, too. The lodge is comprised of several individual buildings, each with just two bedrooms, and was extremely comfortable. Without question, this was the BEST family vacation we have ever had. Our kids will be talking about this one for decades to come.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank QRooBound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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322 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
Date | Rating
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English first
Broomfield, Colorado, USA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2011

My husband and I planned a trip to Africa for our honeymoon. This was our first stop and what an amazing way to start the trip. The staff was very welcoming and personal. We had Andres as our guide and he was very knowledgeable about the bush and all the animals. The chef was amazing and we have tried to replicate different items such as the omelets since returning home with no luck.

The first night drive we did we saw a rhino and lion briefly claim territory. We also saw 2 cubs with their mom and then listened and watched a lion roar. We saw giraffes, rhinos and elephants. We had seen the big 5 during our first two drives. The drives were unbelievable! We never imagined witnessing the animals we saw and watching them live their lives. I could go on describing everything we saw, but words truly can not describe the experience that Idube provided us.

The minor suggestion I would have for Idube is having different families and groups join the rides. We had Andres the entire 4 nights we were there, but when people arrived or left they joined the same vehicle.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CP2_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2010

I stayed in Idube for 2 nights just after my arrival in ZA and was extremely positively amazed. I took a charter fight from JHB airport, was picked up at the sand strip and within 15 minutes in the Lodge. Fresh cool drinks, care taking people, lots of information.
I was afraid, as I traveled alone, that it could be boring. Idube is far away from that. Everybody shares one table and its very easy to communicate with all other guests and get into contact. Go there, you cannot be disappointed.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DetMunich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2010

My girlfriend and I stayed here and had the most amazing time. I can't fault anything about the place. The staff were great, really friendly and always helpful. The meals were brilliant, particularly the evening meals around the open fire. The rooms were lovely and the outdoor showers were cool. Lastly the safari tours were also fantastic. in summary we had a terrific time here.

Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank scy81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
38 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2010

Our guide & tracker were extremely good. Took us off-road to look at the animals close up - that was the highlight of the drives. Saw elephants, rhinos and leopards in this manner - out of this world! Our guide (Andries) was knowledgeable and good in what he did, but a little too full of himself which was annoying.
Food was good but not fantastic. Rooms were comfortable and well equipped. The hostess (Melinda) is very helpful and a genuinely nice person.
Gift shop is surprisingly very reasonably priced and we bought some gifts from there.
It gets bitterly cold during the game drives though, as the land rovers are open top and we were there in winter.
Lovely grounds to explore.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HK7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2010

I don't even know where to begin to describe this excellent place! My husband and I spent 2 weeks going all over africa, and this was our second destination after CapeTown. We were greeted by the staff as soon as we arrived there and they were absolutely amazing to us. They greeted us with a welcome drink and walked us to our room. When we saw the room, we were so amazed by it. The room was beautiful and perfect! We immediately went out for a game drive as soon as we put down our stuff and it was just amazing. The ranger made it a personal commitment to get extremely close to the animals and be extremely friendly. It had been my dream since I was 7 years old to go see the animals in africa. They made my dream better than I could ever imagine and they were honestly amazing to both my husband and I. After 3 hours of chasing lions and leopards, we went back to have dinner. The chef takes the personal responsibility to make you a delicious meal. We all stayed outside in a beautiful table dinner setting and had drinks at the bar before hand. The next morning, we went out for another game drive and it was amazing too. We got extremely close to the elephants and it was just indescribable. We had an amazing breakfast, as well as an amazing lunch. We went out for another game drive and the ranger made sure we saw all the big 5 throughout our stay. The shower is outside, which helps make you feel in touch with nature, I loved it! They were amazing and if anyone out there has the same dream I had of going to a safari, go here. There is no fence between Idube and Kruger National Park, which means all the animals come over here where there is less people than Kruger. I would recommend this to everyone, thank you idube for making this experience amazing!!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KTBSPAAAF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2009

Our three night stay at Idube Game Reserve came at the end of a three week vacation touring other parts of South Africa. Everything had been wonderful - a vacation of a lifetime, all leading up to what we were promised would be the highlight of the trip. I can say that it was, but it was also like an entirely separate vacation from the former weeks of the trip. We had been self-driving - independent and mostly alone. As we arrived at the reception area at Idube the staff came out to welcome us. We were gently, but firmly guided and assisted out of our car and very warmly greeted. Debbie, and I think her name is Daveen (sorry if I'm wrong on that), and Tim made us feel as though they had just been waiting for nothing else in life but to meet and welcome us. Our car disappeared as if by magic, and we were told not to lay a finger on our luggage - that we would meet up with it again in our room.
A welcome drink followed in one of the dining areas, whilst Debbie introduced us to some of the resident game - "Rosie, the nyala, who comes when you call her and loves baked goods. Try to save her a piece of toast or a muffin. You can feed her by hand." - and described to us the pattern that our days would follow during our stay.

Then she led us to our cabin - more like a small cottage, really. A huge romantic bed, complete with mosquito net and flower petals strewn on it, a very spacious seating area, with several comfy overstuffed chairs, some excellent magazines to read, a drinks table, a writing desk, and a fabulous deck. Our cabin was not overlooked and neither did we overlook anyone else. The deck was wonderfully natural to complement its' setting. The bathroom, I have to say, was not so great. Extremely dated. There was a huge outdoor shower. At our previous accommodation I delighted in the outdoor shower, but did also have the option of an indoor one. Here there was a bath indoors, but no shower, and it was sometimes chilly out there to be naked and wet. Not only that but I found the drainage system to be unhygienic. The shower head was not adjustable, so there was only one place to stand under the flow of water, which was right over the drain hole. But the water, far from draining properly, seemed to back up and leave me standing in a large puddle of drain water. We were told that some renovations will soon be under way for the cabins, so I do hope that the bathrooms will receive some attention.

A little while after our arrival it was lunch time. Lunch is served at 15.00hrs. But bear in mind that you did not eat breakfast until 09.30. Lunch is a splendid buffet, of all sorts of cooked foods plus salads, fruit, wonderful assorted European style cheeses and crackers, plus dessert. It was hard not to eat too much, so delicious was it, but we knew that another fabulous meal was promised for dinner that night.
At 16.30 we set off on our first game drive. Every wonderful thing you might ever have imagined a game drive to be is exactly what it is. Our ranger/driver was Andruis, who proved to be very capable, passionate about his chosen career and the wildlife, entertaining, amusing, and certainly determined to please his guests. He works partnered with his tracker - Titus, who was equally adept, and the two of them made a great team, and certainly enhanced our experience. Within minutes, it seemed, we were spotting many of the animals we had come all this way and paid all this money to view. Elephants, rhino, cheetah, leopard, lions. In the days to come we would also see giraffes, hippos, many kinds of deer and antelope, wild dogs, hyenas, a tiny baby crocodile, a chameleon, some fabulous birds, and I can barely remember what else. Every drive was a wonder of wildlife.
You are assigned to a vehicle and ranger/tracker team for your stay, so you get to meet and know a little bit, the other guests with whom you share your vehicle. We met some super people.
Dinner was at about 21.30, following cocktails at the bar. Dinner was a social affair, outside, under the stars, around a fire. For me, I preferred the lunch to the dinner, but still the evening meal was always very good. Breakfast was another super meal - buffet of everything you could possibly want, plus food cooked to order. Breakfast and lunches were outside, under cover, but open to the park setting, and all kinds of animals wandered up close for us to enjoy as we ate. We had only been there for a couple of hours on our first day and as we ate lunch a large herd of elephants came within twenty feet of us and stayed, grazing, drinking. One of them was apparently only two days old. There is a bridge to cross to a hide so that you can get even closer to them, without being observed.
At 06.00 you are awoken each morning, and your ranger provides you with coffee and muffins before your morning drive. It was so very easy and pleasing to fall into this daily routine. During your morning drive you stop for hot drinks, and on the evening drive for sundowners. Delicious - should be compulsory the world over.
For the times in between the safari drives, although it might seem that there was nothing to do, in fact the time passed very pleasantly, sitting on the deck enjoying the warthogs, the nyala, hornbills, and anything else that came our way. Or you can take a nap, take a shorter safari walk with your ranger, play board games, meet up and chat with your fellow travellers, use the swimming pool. It was anything but boring. I also enjoyed passing time shopping in the handicraft shop on site. They had some beautiful items, very reasonably priced.
Some of the things which did not go unnoticed by us were the things to which we did not have to pay any attention. For instance, unlike when you stay in a hotel and have to sign for everything - meals, drinks, items procured from the reception, etc., at Idube everything like that was just very discreetly taken care of out of sight. If you had drinks at the bar, the staff knew what you had ordered and it just went onto your bill - nothing so crass here, as asking the guest to sign to guarantee payment. that made us feel like very, very special and honoured guests. And our ranger definitely gave the impression that he took very seriously his responsibility to ensure that we were always satisfied with our safari drives. We had one very exciting morning drive, chasing around at quite high speeds because Andruis had received word that some extremely rare wild African dogs were in the area. He pursued with great determination, and was so proud when we finally tracked them down and were able to sit and watch them for a while.
Our travel agent in Cape Town booked our stay at Idube, as she did everything else on our vacation. We did not ask her to break down the price of everything for us, so were not aware of the cost of staying at Idube. It was worth every cent, anyway. Later, after arriving home I looked up the cost of staying there. It translated to approx. $510 CDN per person, per night. (More, in reality, because the exchange rate quoted online is not equal to the bank rate.) I know my husband. Had he seen that beforehand, he would have made a lot of negative noises about it, saying that was not the sort of thing we could afford. I know that our travel agent would have worked to get us a good deal. Indeed she said that off season some good deals are to be found at the game reserves. But I think that even my husband would agree with me, after our stay there, that really, when compared to hotels of equal calibre in the world's cities, and given everything that came with our stay at Idube - fabulous meals, safari drives which were almost sensory overloads, a cottage sized luxury room, and the fact that we were made to feel like wealthy celebrity guests during our stay - it was a bargain.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank butler1NovaScotia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Idube Game Reserve Lodge

Property: Idube Game Reserve Lodge
Address: Portion 1 | Wallingford Farm, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Idube Game Reserve Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idube Game Reserve is a safari lodge situated in the Sabi Sand Reserve, in the heart of South Africa’s premier wildlife conservation area of the Greater Kruger Park. Game, including the Big 5, is viewed really close by from open Land Rovers, or spotted on guided walks. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with South African Hotels so you can book your Idube Game Reserve Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Idube Private Game Reserve Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Idube Game Reserve Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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