We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Their mistake ruined the most romantic night of our trip”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Their mistake ruined the most romantic night of our trip”
Reviewed 3 June 2012

When we arrived to Shamwari, it was our last night on the Garden Route and we were so excited. It was such a treat for us and we stayed in the Bayethe lodge. We were greeted by a lovely lady, offered a glass of iced tea and brought to the living room to relax as we were early. We then had lunch in the outdoor area. Lunch was absolutely delicious the food was amazing and the scenery fantastic. The Shamwari experience was really good for the games and the our Ranger was very knowledgable, it is great to share dinner with them in the evening and be able to ask all the questions you want. The two things that let us down were dinner and our bedroom. Dinner was ridiculous (as mentioned in other reviews) ! Specially after such a delicious lunch, I was expecting grand things. It was a Braai (local barbecue) of various meats (including burger) and some grey mash potatoe and boiled corn. Also, forget about having your meat done the way you want, it s all cooked together ! what a let down ! But again breakfast the next morning was excellent with warm croissants, pains au chocolat, fresh fruit salad and other treats. The biggest problem happened with our bedroom: I had made it very clear when we booked our superior room that we wanted a bouble bed. When you book a romantic night for two in a 5 star resort, it is much nicer to be in the same bed with your partner !
and we weren't... we were in our own individual single bed, tucked nicely. Unfortunately we only discovered that as we were going to bed at 1am and as we were quite tired we just went to bed. We were surprised the morning after when asking our fellow safari partners to hear that they had had a proper double bed, without even asking for it! We did tell the staff who said they did not receive our request from the central booking team, they apologised and said it was going to be investigated further. However, it was too late and sort of ruined the experience for us. As we were leaving they asked us to pay the balance for using a pair of binoculars for a grand total of 8£. I had to tell them that given the circumstances of our stay it would have been quite nice for them to make a "grand gesture" and offer us this service for free. They agreed and mumbled away. It would have been nice if it would have been their initiative. To this day, we are still awaiting to hear what happened there and we are still to receive an apology. It is such a shame that a great luxury resort is not consistent in offering top notch service for the price it is charging customers.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank VeryFrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kaysa, Manager at Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Thank you, for the feedback regarding your stay at Bayethe Tented Camp , we value your input and I have investigated your comments thoroughly and found that during your stay the standards appeared consistently high. If we did not reach your expectation I would like to formally apologise and reassure you that your concerns are being dealt with.
We offer the Local Barbecue to our guests on alternate nights as a taste of African Cuisine & these are very well received usually. Guests choose their cut of meat & the way they would like it cooked on the fire. I am certain you would have had more option than “grey mash” and “boiled corn” as our Barbecue menu includes an extensive selection of salads & vegetables, as well as soup & desserts.
We are service driven and I will most definitely commend the Game ranger for his positive contribution. We would only make up the bed as a double if the request was made. (We do this by changing the mattress into a very comfortable King size). I do apologise if this ruined your first night but I was glad to learn that we were able to change this for the rest of your stay with us.
We spend countless hours strategizing on methods to develop and improve our guest experiences and we have a professional team at the lodge to ensure just that. Rest assured that we will continue to adjust our processes to ensure a satisfying guest experience for all our travelers.

Gunther Strauss
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

1,077 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    973
    72
    21
    8
    3
See reviews for
226
658
20
8
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (251)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mol
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2012

My husband and I spent six nights at Shamwari Bayethe tented camp and were taken care of by Ranger Jacques who showed us many animals from very close-by. We enjoyed the sightings of the big five but also of cheetahs, hippo, lots of antelopes (nyala, kudu, bushbuck, springbok, impala, ...) We had some very close encounters with animals who didn't care us being around: lions eating, black rhinos browsing, elephants on the move with their babies almost caressing the jeep, brown hyena going to drink, black backed jackals, lots of giraffes, zebras. Don't think the animals are just packes together: it takes some time to find them and sometimes they seem to have disappeared. That means they have enough space to walk about and can choose to avoid tourits if they want to. Jacques even took us on a 5-hours hike through the reserve to arrive at a platform where lunch was being served. Wonderful!
The entire staff is very friendly and make you feel at home. The food served is delicious and breakfasts are a very nice beginning of the day before you set out on a game drive. You always have vegetarian choices.
You stay in very luxurious tents, not too close to each other giving the impression that you are staying in the wild. Nyalas walk up to your tent and you can get very close to them.
We also visited Born Free Sanctuary where big cats are taken care of that cannot be released into the wild and the Shamwari Rehabilitation Centre where animals can recover till they are fit again to be released. It's certainly worth visiting Bayethe and we will certainly return some day.

Room Tip: Room 11 is the last room at the end of the footpath.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Chemoeketess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mol, Belgium
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2012

Shamwari has been on our wish-list for a very long time and while our expectations were high, Shamwari exceeded our wildest dreams.
This is the place to be for those who want to see not only the big five, but a wide range of other game as well, in a breathtaking natural setting. Lion, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, black- & white rhino, elephant, hippo, brown hyena, black-backed jackal, nyala,zebra,, giraffe, ..., you name it! For true animal lovers, a visit to the Born Free sanctuary and the Shamwari Rehab centre is a must.
Bayethe tented camp is a nice starting point for your game drives. The tents are luxurious (only the use of canvas makes them - technically - tents) and positioned so as to guarantee discretion and a peaceful enjoying of the surrounding bush. Staff is outstanding and all efforts are made to make you feel comfortable and satisfied. And they are good at preparing a nice surprise! Jacques, our field guide proved to be a great character, showing excellent skill in doing game drives, taking us on a hike through the reserve and - last but not least - serving great sundowners out in the bush!

Room Tip: We were in room 11 - "far from the madding crowd". Great if you don't mind a minute wa...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rudi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2012

We stayed at Bayeth and had the time of our lives, everything was amazing, especially our guide and safari group were truly amazing, we loved ourlong trek and amazing lunch that the staff did for us and our guide jack was truly exceptional! The accommodation was great, a plunge pool, outdoor shower and the food was great. We saw a hippo sauntering accross the plain, a leopard posing, a lion with a kill and a tower of giraffe!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sreenname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2012

We stayed 3 nights at Riverdene and were very sorry to leave again from the minute we arrived. This is the place to go if you travel with small kids (ours were 3 and 5) and want to offer them and yourselves an unforgettable safari experience plus all the comfort you could ask for regarding the lodge itself. We were given two very spacious rooms with a connecting door (as a grand-parent was traveling with us as well) and all rooms have a terrace and lead to the garden through which you can reach the pool and the lounge area. The rooms offer every comfort, delicious cookies are refilled daily and we never managed to eat and drink all that was offered during each day. The place is very well prepared to welcome kids. A very big outside play area with everything, kids like to have, including a sand pit (away from the pool which, in any event, is well fenced) plus a play room with toys, puzzles etc. Our kids loved it there after they had been traveling near toy-free for 2 weeks. A very kind and lovely woman (Founiswa) offers to look after the kids, which is a complimentary service. You might need to check how this works if you really plan to rely on it (which we did not need to). When a family with a small baby arrived, it seemed that the care service was pretty much taken. So do check with the lodge up-front if you plan to come with a baby and really need someone to look after it while you are on a game drive. Founiswa also is prepared to do babysitting in the evening.

The game drives (two three-hour trips a day) were amazing. We were lucky to have the ranger (Vincent) all to ourselves and he really did everything he could to present us the whole diversity of the astoundingly big Shamwari Reserve. He was so knowledgeable about all the animals and plants without forcing information onto you. He inculded the kids and helped them to get all the required things for their Shamwari activity booklet which they received upon arrival together with a great bagpack and hat. The kids loved it. We had the most wonderful and scenic picknick on a hill overlooking the reserve on one of our game drives and truly felt like part of the "out of Africa" crew there. The reserve has so many animals and those in the main park are extremly relaxed about the approaching range rovers (different in the separate breeding area where the animals normally keep their distance). It is good that there is no self-driving allowed. We had experienced the latter as quite a nuisance at Addo Elephant Park, where unexperienced and unaware people do everything to stress and upset the animals - everything for a good picture including leaning out of cars, "halloing" the animals. At Shamwari you will be up-close to eg lions and cheetas (we missed the leoprads) and they will go on with their business not caring that you stick around. We saw lions on the hunt or having a cosy family-lie in. And of course all the other animals are there as well (including the beautiful mountain zebras).

All the lodge staff was very friendly, very flexible and always helpful. And they keep checking whether there is anything else that you could possible need to make your stay even better. The only one point that did not satisfy us fully was the food. The breakfast in the morning was good and plentiful. Sometimes timing here was difficult, as the warm toast regularly arrived after you had finished up the eggs and the breakfast as such. Lunch and dinner were good as well but gave the feeling that the kitchen tried to reach more than it actually could. So the menu gives off a bit of an haute-cuisine feeling which the food in preparation and quality cannot quite match. We would prefer more basic but quality-wise better food (in particular regarding the meat: where, overall, the meat experience in South Africa is amazing the meat we ate at Riverdene was only average). That said, we enjoyed eating there very much and of course Riverdene always has a kid's menu (although the kids could choose from the other menu as well).

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anette M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kini909
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2012

Great place. Perfect safari with highly motivated rangers. Did the big five and enjoyed every minute. Tents are luxurious and decorated with passion. The only thing I rate below average for such a place is dinner. Barbecues are ok but only average which is just not good enough for such a place

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kini909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kaysa, Manager at Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges, responded to this review, 4 June 2012
Dear Traveler
Thank you, for the feedback regarding your stay at Bayethe Tented Lodge at Shamwari Game Reserve recently , we value your input and I have investigated your comments thoroughly. If we did not cook to your expectation I would like to apologize and assure you that we spend countless hours strategizing on methods to develop and improve our guest experiences and we have a professional team at the lodge to ensure quality.
I have also studied the guest questionnaire feedback forms and found the food experience listed at 89% in the excellent category.
We are service driven and I will most definitely commend the team for their positive contributions you mentioned. I want to re-assure you that we will continue to adjust our processes to ensure quality, excellence and distinction for all.
Kind regards,
Gunther Strauss
Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2012

We're coming to the end of our afternoon game drive. Jacques the ranger asks the six of us in the Land Cruiser to close our eyes and imagine what the setting truly means to us all, telling us only to open our eyes when he's driven on another hundred yards. Is it another sunset viewpoint? More than that - it's a drinks party in the bush, specially laid on for my 50th. Who could ask for more?

We had 8 game drives, every one different and all totally enjoyable. The pride of lions on the very first drive, complete with the cub playing with fire as he sunk his teeth into his father's tail, will hopefully end up on YouTube one day. Only the leopard eluded us but the cheetahs and black rhino made up for it, as well as every other known beast of the area including a puff adder and a giant tortoise.

Add to that an ideal setting, luxurious tented accommodation, superb food and wine throughout, guest service that went the extra mile every day, and Jacques' knowledge of the wildlife and expertise behind the wheel on the game drives, and we could not have asked for more. Just go - you'll enjoy every minute!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DMCRH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Shamwari Game Reserve
22.5 km away
Kichaka Luxury Game Lodge
Kichaka Luxury Game Lodge
#1 of 4 in Grahamstown
350 reviews
0.0 km away
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
#1 of 1 in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
52 reviews
35.2 km away
Pumba Private Game Reserve
Pumba Private Game Reserve
#1 of 32 in Grahamstown
1,168 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
26.9 km away
River Bend Lodge
River Bend Lodge
#3 of 12 in Addo Elephant National Park
431 reviews
17.1 km away
Lalibela Game Reserve
Lalibela Game Reserve
#1 of 1 in Driekoppen
502 reviews
3.0 km away
Amakhala Safari Lodge
Amakhala Safari Lodge
#6 of 7 in Amakhala Game Reserve
236 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity.ca, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Cancelon and Priceline so you can book your Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges 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:
Shamwari Game Reserve Hotel Shamwari Game Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing