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“5 Stars”

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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“5 Stars”
Reviewed 12 July 2012

We have just spent 2 nights with the family (4 children 22- 14). Had the best experience. Wonderful informative game drives, fantastic food super, super service! Well done Shamwari!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ssom8888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,043 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    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 (244)
Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
61 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2012

What can I say? Time of my life? Best place ever? I think that would be understating it. Let me start with the "rooms". There are 12 luxury tents that are permanent with thatched roofs. Each one is isolated enough that you don't see the others when you're on your deck. The tents are immaculately decorated. There is a wood-burning fireplace, a large tub with nice bath amenities, double sinks, and an outdoor shower. Yes, we were both skeptical at first, but it was quite an experience! They also keep the room stocked with wine and other beverages--all complimentary.

The meals were also incredible. They serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. The best meal I had the entire vacation was here at dinner (Blesbok in a red wine sauce). Every other night, there is a group barbecue (or braai, as they call it). You eat with your ranger and safari group (you are with the same people, typically, for each game drive). This was the most fun we had at any meal--and I am a very shy person! The six of us pretty much "closed down the lodge" that night.

Ben was a fantastic ranger, who went out of his way to show us the most incredible time I've ever had on vacation! We saw four of the "big five" in our three days there (the only we didn't see was the elusive leopard). He was informative, entertaining, and friendly.

I have been missing Shamwari since we left. SO SO glad we chose to go there!

Room Tip: Pay the extra money for a superior tent. We had tent #12 and loved it! The fireplace is great in the...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank JSplain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai
Level Contributor
70 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2012

stayed for 2 nights at Bayethe lodge in July-2011, its cold month and rainy that time, had a good game viewing, very good service, its a big five reserve and manage to see all the big five :)

the reserve looked like as farm land than a harsh landscape you experience at other game reserves where you relay feel the bush like Madikwe.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Khalil A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2012

I stayed in the Sarilli Lodge at Christmas and it really was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. The safari experience was amazing. The accommodation was excellent (I particularly loved the big bath and warm robes and slippers which were placed out for us post game drive). The food was very good (not as good as I had anticipated but good nonetheless). The staff were extremely attentive and helpful, and the Ranger went out of his way for us.

As soon as we drove into Sarilli and walked into the lodge the experience was fantastic. There was a lovely, relaxing, calm and welcoming atmosphere. The lodge is very luxurious and feels like quite a treat! The safari experience was brilliant with the Ranger really going out of his way to show and explain many things. It felt so romantic that my now fiance got on one knee and proposed on a game drive (having arranged this with the ranger that morning who kindly organised champagne and flowers for the occasion too). For me Shamwari is a very special place and I cannot recommend it enough.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Maggie899
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
161 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2012

Thank You Amanda, Lemerie, Abel, Ntobeko,Thabie and everyone at the Riverdene lodge for making our stay so very special.The safaris they do are out of this world!Their hospitality is commendable. They even prepared a complimentary bdy cake for my Uncle.The rangers are so well informed and go out of their way to make the safaris so amazing!
The mini bar is complimentary and the food exotic and tasty.The chef even went of her way to cook delicious indian for us.

Room Tip: all rooms are the same, all wonderful.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank guptaratika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
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
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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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mol
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 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.
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  • 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
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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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