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“breathtaking!”

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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
Fareham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“breathtaking!”
Reviewed 3 March 2012

We booked a two night stay in Bayethe Lodge and from the moment we arrived we knew we would be in for something special. The tents are huge with beautiful furniture and furnishings. The bathroom has a large roll top bath and there is an outside shower which is completely private and unusual. There was a large deck area overlooking the reserve with a small jacuzzi plunge pool. We enjoyed 4 fabulous game drives with Matt who is relatively new but certainly not lacking in enthusiasm and knowledge! We saw all the big 5 and much more a great experience and a great ranger! The food was excellent and in fact we couldn't cope with it all. There was a 3 course menu for lunch on arrival with wine and coffee followed by afternoon tea and then either a lovely BBQ or a 3 course dinner. Breakfast was also from a menu and we couldn't fault anything. Shamwari is expensive but it is luxury and the game drives are excellent.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank caro198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (251)
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2012

We have stayed in similar lodges before and in comparison, this one was up there with the best. The tent was stunning, huge with all the mod cons. The air con was however not able to keep up with the heat of the day. It was, we were told, one of the hottest days of the summer.

Our ranger, Jacques was fantastic, and entertaining, while teaching us a few new things. Very glad we were teamed up with him.

Food was very good, not the best we've had but good quality and plentiful. We are not fans of the braai laid on for overseas guests, but can appreciate it "must be done". Service at lunch was a bit slow. You have to order all courses up front, as they do not ask you again. We skipped lunch the second day as there is just too much good food and snacks on offer all day.

A really nice change from the &beyond lodges we tend to choose and different game experience to Kruger. Whilst the bush is thick, it is not as high and easier to spot game. The game is not as plentiful, but there are species we had not seen before.

Highlight of the trip was seeing a caracal with 3 kittens which we almost drove into, and followed... Also following a lioness off road through the bush, thrilling....

  • Stayed February 2012
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Helpful?
Thank Sssib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bracknell
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2012

We stayed 3 nights in Sarili Lodge. We had one of the two rooms overlooking the inner courtyard and pool. There are four rooms with balcony and view over the river and the reserve which we would specify next time. But the room was very comfortable and we did not spend much time in it except to sleep.
We arrived at midday a little early but after a very warm welcome from the staff we were shown to our room.It was not long before we were assembling for a quick tea and introduction to JJ our guide and ranger for the four o'clock game drive.JJ was outstanding. A very careful driver on the rough tracks. Extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the reserve and of the animals and habitat. On every drive he was well prepared with snacks and drinks for a half time break. Using radios the guides collaborate with each other in providing information on location of the animals and also ensuring that no more than two vehicles are present on any viewing.We saw the big five albeit the Leopard was some distance away asleep on the bank of the river at the bottom of the ravine.But the two main highlights for us were the lioness with four young cubs who were initially only about 100 yards from the lodge and the two cheetah brothers we followed on our last evening. At the end of each drive the staff were waiting for us at the door with hot towels and a hot or cold drink.
The location of Sarili is perfect and being the newest lodge ismodern, well designed and comfortable. The food was excellent and the staff very pleasant and professional.
We shall remember our holiday at Sarili for many years to come and will hope to return one day.The highlight of our holiday

Room Tip: They are probably more expensive but I would recommend the rooms with a view over the river
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank rjg4321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

We (my wife and I) just finished three nights at Eagles Crag between February 17 and 20, 2012.

If you were like us, you have had a difficult time in differentiating between the various lodges at Shamwari. So here is a little background: Shamwari is a privately owned game reserve. All of the lodges on Shamwari are owned by the same group. The differences in the Lodges are as set on the website, but Eagles Crag and Bayethe are more centrally located within the Shamwari Reserve which allows ease of access to the entire Reserve -- not unimportant as the Reserve is massive.

So to maximize your time in seeing the Reserve and the animals and minimize your time travelling across the Reserve, you may wish to consider these two Lodges for their central location.

The rooms at Eagles Crag are lovely and private. The amenities are fine; sadly, they will be installing TVs in all of the rooms due to client demand. We couldn't imagine wanting to be in such a lovely location and wanting to watch TV in your room, but there you go.

There are two game drives a day which total about 7 hours. If you are there in summer season, as we were, then the morning drive begins at 5:30am. You return from the drive to breakfast around 9:00 to 9:30 and thereafter have until about 3:30pm for the afternoon drive. Lunch is served between 12:30 and 2:30pm.

The afternoon drive ends at about 7:30 and dinner service begins at 8:30. As you can see; your day is quite full! We made the mistake of only booking for 2 nights initially, but were lucky enough to be able to add an extra night on the fly (they were quite full all around our extra night). In our opinion, two nights felt rushed and does not allow you to get into the rhythm of the whole experience.

The staff are all wonderful; in particular the host Kim was friendly and ensured that any request we had was addressed immediately. The serving staff are excellent and we were lucky enough to be served by Vera a few times.

We were lucky enough to be "paired" with a fantastic couple from the UK and another couple from Quebec, Canada for our game drives and they along with our Ranger, Jan, made for 6 truly enjoyable game drives.

Our only suggestion for improvement is tipping: as everything is included, we chose to leave tipping to the end. The Ranger is to be tipped separately, but apparently Eagles Crag treats the servers at the restaurant and cleaning staff distinctly from the hosts that meet you after each drive and take care of any requests (more water in the room etc.). We made the mistake of leaving an envelope with our host Kim for tips for "all staff" and only found out by fluke that the envelope would not include Kim (we were able to tip her separately).

Eagles Crag really should follow the example of several other higher end properties we have visited of having a global "tip box" that allows the guest to tip once secure in the knowledge that the monies will be split by all staff (seen and unseen).

Other than that, a truly glorious, once in a life time experience. Well worth it!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6 Thank SKD13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Penrith, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

stayed at eagles crag for 3 night in february 2012 with 6 game drives we got to view all the big 5 and more,
our guide jan was amazing so enthusiastic in every way he really could not do enough to keep us entertained,
This was our first visit to shamwari but will not be our last,
Thanks for all the staff for a wonderfull experience,

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank stephen a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

Amazing, early morning and late afternoon game drives - elephants, lions, cheetah can go on for ages. You feel relaxed as soon as your arrived. We stayed at Long Lee Manor for 2 nights, our room was excellent will views over the plains. Only a electric wire keep the animals out.
Thanks for a great time.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fansKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hadleigh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2012

Fabulous. Stayed at Long Lee Manor & had an amazing safari experience. Our suite overlooked the watering hole which constantly had giraffe, springbok and many more species taking advantage of this. Our guide was excellent and had no trouble finding the Big 5. Food was very good and staff amazingly friendly, we couldn't have wished for more and will certainly be back

Room Tip: Luxury Suite
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Virginia W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges

Property: Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Address: N2 between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown, Shamwari Game Reserve 6000, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Shamwari Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Shamwari Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges 5*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A mere 75 km from Port Elizabeth towards Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Shamwari is the crown jewel of private game reserves situated in the malaria free Eastern Cape, the birth place of Nelson Mandela. This privately owned 25 000 hectares of prime natural terrain has received numerous international awards. Shamwari is an exploration of nature with close encounters of free roaming wildlife and the coveted big five with a choice of unique lodges, an exclusive private villa and the adventurous Explorer Camp. Luxury accommodation is offered in 7 different game lodges on Shamwari Game Reserve, all of which are 5 Star graded. Choose a game lodge that perfectly compliments your ideal African experience. EAGLES CRAG LODGE - Exclusivity, privacy and serenity for the most discerning of travelersBAYETHE TENTED LODGE - The ultimate in luxury tented accommodationSARILI LODGE - A colonial and bush experience. Perfect for families or small partiesLONG LEE MANOR - Refined elegance from a bygone era. RIVERDENE FAMILY LODGE - Colonial Africa in an elegantly restored CHILD FRIENDLY frontier home. VILLA LOBENGULA - Villa Lobengula is a beautiful and tranquil space tucked away in the depths of the valley bushveld. Booked on an exclusive use basis only. EXPLORER CAMP - Camping & walking experience among the Big 5 on the magnificent Shamwari Game Reserve ON SAFARI - Game drives can last up to 3 hours each and are conducted twice a day in open vehicles / Guided walks / Star gazing RELAX - Various treatments can be enjoyed at our Relaxation Retreats which are situated at Eagles Crag, Lobengula Lodge, Bayethe Lodge and Long Lee Manor ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shamwari Game Reserve Hotel Shamwari Game Reserve

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