Tembe Elephant Park

Tembe Elephant Park

Road P522-2 , Sihangwane, KwaNgwanase 15 km off R22, Tembe Elephant Park 3963 South Africa
Glamping, Tembe style!
Traveller (415)
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Room & Suite (90)
Breakfast-Dining centre
Dining (22)

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About

4.5
#1 of 1 campsite in Tembe Elephant Park
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
There is a place in Africa where the wild elephants still roam. The legendary Ivory Route where the great tuskers still tramp their ancient pathways through dense sand-forest and tall yellow grass. This is Tembe Elephant Park, a 300 square kilometer reserve between Zululand and Mozambique, home to Africa’s largest elephants as well as the smallest antelope, the suni. The Big Five also find their home here – lion, leopard, black and white rhino and buffalo, as well as more than 340 bird species and myriad other animals and plants. It is a world of hot silence and white sand, where the busy modern world ceases to exist and only the rising and setting of the sun marks the passage of time. It is also the ancestral home of the Tembe people, who co-own and manage Tembe Elephant Park Lodge: a place of warm African hospitality, classic safari food, world-class personal service. This is where you will find the Africa of story and legend, of adventure and myth. And it’s waiting for you….
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Property amenities
Free parking
Public wifi
Pool
Free breakfast
Babysitting
Spa
Concierge
Gift shop
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Massage
Outdoor fireplace
Laundry service
Room features
Minibar
Refrigerator
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Hidden Gem
Romantic

Location

Road P522-2 , Sihangwane, KwaNgwanase 15 km off R22, Tembe Elephant Park 3963 South Africa
Getting there
King Shaka Intl Airport
313.4 km
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1 Attraction
within 10 kilometers
375Reviews5Q+A75Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Louis P wrote a review Feb 2020
Orford, Canada
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The lodge is situated right inside Tembe park. You are welcome by singers and accompanied to your luxury tent. The price includes two safaris, one in the morning at 6am and one in the evening at 3pm. Staff is very pleasant and the guides on the safaris are extremely knowledgeable and very professional. The food is good but nothing to write home about. Well recommended is you want a more close and personal safari in comparison to Kruger park. The park has 210 elephants, many giraffes, wate buffalos, etc...
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Peter F wrote a review Jun 2022
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Having not been very happy with my last stay, I decided to give the lodge another try and take a friend who had never been and wanted to go. The booking was very straight forward and it was much better for us having a 4x4 so could drive ourselves to the lodge and hide when we wanted. Unfortunately they still don't tell new arrivals about the hide and that you can ask your guide to take you and this really needs to become part of their standard introduction.

The food had improved from last time and whilst the portions are still not big, just go up for seconds. They don't tell you that you can but for us of a prop forward build, it's the only way you'll get enough food. The crème brûlée our first night was one of the best I have ever had! The chicken the second night was back to being over cooked but overall the food was better.

The guiding was better this time with Kulu as our guide who was very knowledgeable and patient. The road network is not massive and will need some attention after the heavy rains this year but this is better than what I had seen elsewhere in KZN. The accommodation was very comfortable with some nice touches like handwashing powder next to the sink, a small fresh milk and tables for leaving suitcases on. It's still a long way to come if you are not doing Kosi bay or Mozambique but I'm pleased to say it's now back on my list of go-to places to stay in KZN.
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Date of stay: June 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
OlmovonMeijenfeldt wrote a review Jan 2022
Johannesburg, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A jewel of a park and quite unique in SA's park and safari offering due to its biotope and location. The lodge offers possibly one of the best safari value for money: it offers the full package with game drives, all meals and accommodation at an affordable rate. One would be hard-pressed to find a better deal anywhere else, in such a serene and natural environment.

The service at the lodge was good, though the staff is not particularly communicative. Though this humility is said to be a form of respect, typical to people from the area. The Safari tents, though not the most luxurious, offer everything you may desire, have a lovely outside shower area, and are situated under beautiful coastal forest trees filled with a variety of birdlife and the requisite owl or two hoooting you to sleep at night. The lodge offers plenty of privacy, if one books the right tent, and some local wildlife in crested guinea fowl and Nyala roaming about.

Most impressive are the elephant, buffalo and lion. Not to mention the rare wild dogs which are difficult to see at Tembe. Our guide was lovely and relaxed, even when we were charged by one of the younger elephant bulls who had wandered in from Mozambique and was not too fond of humans due to his memories of poaching there. Quite the spectacle.

The food was not spectacular, but honest and fresh and offered a variety of game meats which was lovely for an adventurous pallet. A slight negative is perhaps that the lodge is situated close to the main road and a local shebeen, which partied hard on the Saturday eve we were in Tembe, with subsequent music on the background as a result, well into the night.

I will see and experience Tembe again, whenever I get the chance. If only to continue to support this inspiring community-owned lodge.
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Date of stay: December 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ian L wrote a review Mar 2022
Durban, South Africa
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Great venue. Tented accomodation is luxurious, air conditioned,mini fridge and with great outdoor shower. Every unit is private in the sand forest. 3 meals daily simple but tasty meals including well prepared game meat for those interested in tasting game meat. Well stocked bar and good selection of wines. A good coffee machine in the bar serves great coffee to take on your game drive or to enjoy on the deck. Game Drive are run morning and afternoon. Self drive is allowed but thick sand requires a good 4X4 with low range. All wheel drive will not cut it. Getting to the lodge is fine for high ground clearance cars so you can park at the lodge and unpack which is good as your vehicle is safe in the lodge car park. The forest is thick so game spotting is best at the waterholes and hides. Highly recommended.
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Date of stay: February 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wendy wrote a review Sept 2023
London
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We really enjoyed our time in the park. The rooms were very comfortable and quite spacious. The outdoor shower was a nice touch and even though it was quite cool weather, the shower was nice and hot. The games drives were great and we saw lots of different species, including lots of elephants up close. The food was plentiful and quite tasty and my husband enjoyed trying Kudu Stroganoff and impala kebabs. But they also had plenty of standard dishes (chicken as an example). Most of the meals were served buffet style. Drinks prices were reasonable as well.
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Date of stay: September 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: We had a 2 wheel drive vehicle and did make it through from the gate but we were concerned as the...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
flafla_06 wrote a review Oct 2022
Europe
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent two days in this nice park and in this lodge, completely managed by people from the local community.
Our tent was cozy, nice and with enough space for bags and stuff and the tents are very far one from another, that is very appreciable. We loved the outside shower. Meals are good.
Our guide Thulani was very nice and skilled and it was a pleasure to have game drives with him.
Meals are good.
Something I didn’t like was the lack of transparency about price of beverage during safari and meals: it was completely unclear, they informed us only during our second day – and only on my request - that a bottle of white wine for sundowner costed just 3 time a glass, otherwise I would have ordered the bottle since the first day. We were told that the red wine for dinner costed Rand 170 but on the final bill we found Rand 190. For breakfast, I ordered an espresso coffee that was charged Rand 20 and I was not informed about it. I think these matters are very important.
The place (park, tents, safari, our guide) would be rated 5 but for this lack of clarity about price I rate it 4.
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Date of stay: August 2022
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Anne H wrote a review Apr 2021
Darling, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We have just revisited Tembe Elephant Park and yet again we had the most memorable stay.
The staff are so friendly and nothing is too much trouble. Our tent was spotless and there are now fridges and air conditioners in all the tents. Perfect for a hot Zululand day and night. There is also a pool to cool off in.
After a delicious lunch it was all aboard for our first game drive with our knowledgeable guide. We saw 4 of the big five that afternoon.
Home after sundowners, there’s time to freshen up before supper and a chat round the fire with the other guests.
Morning drives leave at sun up after a light meal and there’s a coffee break in the bush. Back for a hearty breakfast and then time to relax in the heat of the day.
Can’t wait to be back, hopefully this year!
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Date of stay: April 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nicki Steenberg wrote a review Nov 2022
4.0 of 5 bubbles
All and all Tembe is great. The food was amazing staff was incredibly helpful and friendly the tents were comfortable and the massage tent next to the fence was just the best massage Ive ever had and reasonably priced. We did however take the package with the game drive not included as we prefer to do our own thing and drive ourselves, and one thing we noticed is how badly we were treated by the guides compared to other guests who would go on the game drive. They would ignore us, if they did answer our questions it was rude and submissive and made us feel incredibly unwelcome as if we taking up space for people who could do the drive and taking away their tips. This upset me as we are still spending money at the lodge and they are still wearing tembe uniform and should treat everyone with respect and at the very least be friendly. Its such a pity as I feel the place is such a gem and value for money.
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Date of stay: November 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
penny n wrote a review Jan 2020
Western Cape, South Africa
+1
3.0 of 5 bubbles
The tents are very comfortable with good amenities. It is wonderful to sit on your deck and enjoy the sounds and activities of nature. Staff are very friendly. However, their enthusiasm is often intrusive ~ trying to rest and you can hear them from your tent; trying to enjoy a peaceful meal and it’s overpowered by their chatting and laughing. Just turn down the volume!! Our game drive guide was good but slow to impart his vast knowledge. Disappointed that guides didn’t share sightings. Extremely attentive management interaction with guests yet they failed to “reign in” the noise factor of staff. Food disappointing.
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
HelenbarnesOslo wrote a review Aug 2023
Oslo
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Special place with very comfortable accommodation, good food and amazing game drives. We had a wonderful stay - 100% recommend. The family tent was beautiful - we were very glad it had electric blankets for the night time chill. The outdoor shower was perfect for the warmer days with Guinea fowl poking their noses around. We had some incredible animal encounters and memories to last a lifetime.
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Date of stay: July 2023Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Ian E
Honolulu, Hawaii38 contributions39 helpful votes
Happily there is a bore hole that pumps more water into it. If you look carefully on the webcam you will see elephants drinking directly from the bore hole as it is nice and fresh and not all muddy like the pan itself!
Answer from Edith S
Teufen, Switzerland99 contributions27 helpful votes
January is very good to visit Tembe, ask for driver „Kulu“, the best one. Unfortunately we don’t know about connections from Richards bay. Have a nice time.
Answer from ErnestofTembe
Durban, South Africa6 contributions4 helpful votes
Yes sure. Please e-mail Claudette on the email on our website for more details
Answer from Claudette S
Durban, South Africa
Dear Sir / Madam Thank you for your enquiry. If you are in a 4 x 4 vehicle, no 2 x 4's with difflock or bakkies you are most welcome to self-drive around the park. Self-driving day visitors are limited to 10 vehicles per day and we do not take bookings therefore, first arrive - first in. Gates open at 6 am and close at 6 pm. Gate fees: R 35 vehicle entrance fee R 30 pp conservation levy If you are not in a 4 x 4 vehicle then you will need to book a private game drive. These go out at 11 am - 2 pm (3 hours) and need to be booked 48 hours in advance. Private game drive costs: R 800 for the vehicle & guide R 100 pp on the vehicle (max 10 people per vehicle) Plus gate fees as mentioned above If you are staying at the lodge then your accommodation / meals / teas & coffee / two daily game drives are all included in your rate. You would only be required to bring your clothing / toiletries / swimming costume (if you are joining us in the summer months) / a torch / insect repellent. Kind regards Claudette
Thomas L asked a question Jan 2018
richard schütte kommt aus dem sauerland?
Wendy wrote a tip Sept 2023
London29 contributions56 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"We had a 2 wheel drive vehicle and did make it through from the gate but we were concerned as the road is sand and quite soft."
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Robin H wrote a tip Mar 2023
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Don't forget to donate a little to help care for the Rambo and Racheal. "
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yvonne w wrote a tip Sept 2022
Warrington, United Kingdom102 contributions86 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"We stayed in tent 20, this was next to the fence and we had lots of wildlife to watch."
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Taryn wrote a tip Jun 2022
Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique6 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"A snack Bar would’ve been nice where my hungry teenage son could be a pack of crisps, cashews Ect"
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Peter F wrote a tip Nov 2019
16 contributions1 helpful vote
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you have never been to the hide, go!"
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Not the right property for you?
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PRICE RANGE
R 4,184 - R 4,641 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
South AfricaKwaZulu-NatalTembe Elephant Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
16
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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TEMBE ELEPHANT PARK - Campground Reviews & Price Comparison (South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Tembe Elephant Park
Which popular attractions are close to Tembe Elephant Park?
Nearby attractions include Tembe Elephant Park (0.9 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Tembe Elephant Park?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Tembe Elephant Park?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Tembe Elephant Park?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Tembe Elephant Park?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Is Tembe Elephant Park accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access and reduced mobility rooms. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.