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All reviews bird sightings a wonderful place to stay an amazing experience the river loved every minute game reserve three nights whole experience kent tent adventure solar boat impala pablo nature comfort
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Reviewed 3 May 2017

If you are looking for something unique and slightly different when it comes to BIG5 experience then you should look at Sibuya Game Reserve & Lodges in the Eastern Cape. Why you may well ask?

Their point of difference begins in the small beach side town of Kenton-on-Sea, 90 minutes’ drive from Port Elizabeth airport, only slightly longer from East London. Here you leave your car (secure parking provided) and board their boat for a 45 minute transfer up river to the Lodge of your choice. This adds to the excitement as you depart close to where the river enters the ocean and its golden beach (voted best beach in SA for past two years) from here we head inland where the terrain and vegetation begins to change to cliffs and bushveld. You are treated to some great bird sightings and explanations from your Ranger as he negotiates the tidal waterway. By the time you are at the Lodge jetty you are totally relaxed and in the safari mode.

Forest Camp impressed me from first sight, I felt I had arrived in wild Africa, none of the pretentious 5 start hotel fit out here, just down to earth comfortable rustic furnishings a welcoming lounge and boma area with very attentive staff, who attend to your every need. Drinks in hand, briefing done we are escorted to our tented accommodation, which had great appeal. It is not classified as luxury, but the bed is full size and very comfortable, there is plenty of room to move around, a deck with bean bag to unwind and seating that overlooks the river and opposite banks, where game can often be seen.

The bathroom has everything you would want including a claw foot bath and separate shower, all under canvas. Amenities are provided, the water is hot and safe what more do you need. Being an Eco Lodge they have taken it seriously and lighting is via solar (12v) water heating is gas, all perfectly adequate and add to the camping out feeling. Recycling is paramount and nothing is wasted.
I was impressed with their initiative and goals to keep your whole experience as natural and close to nature as possible without sacrificing comfort in anyway. There are only 8 tents sleeping a max of 20 persons so everything remains personal at all times.

Game drives consisted of boat and game vehicle with very professional guides ensuring you see as much as possible in the allocated 3 hours. Dinner is wholesome locally sourced food with fresh salads, hot foods and yummy desserts enjoyed in the company of fellow travellers. The stories continue as we retired to sit around the log fire with drinks in hand.

The morning game drive took followed on from the afternoon, with guides assisting you find the animals you are looking for, you even receive a beautifully illustrated leaflet so you can tick off all the sightings and keep as a souvenir. Your breakfast egg order is radioed through whilst on the drive so ready on return to camp, nice touch. It doesn’t end here, with lots of other activities available or just chill out in the lounge or your deck where there Impala and other bucks wander past reminding you are in the heart of wild animal country.

If travelling with children then book into the River Lodge still tented accommodation (4 tents) but a lot larger sleeping two adults and two children. The staff love entertaining and educating the little ones so they will get just a big a buzz from their African holiday.

If tented accommodation is not for you then head to the Bush Lodge their premier brick and thatch accommodation with well-appointed air conditioned rooms, pool area and other hotel style luxuries.

Everything is included in your package so no money is required in any of the camps, making it even more relaxing as you order a quality wine or spirit any time during your stay knowing it is all covered.

This is the perfect game lodge and location to end your Garden Route holiday, leave on a high with the very last thing you experience being a game drive before catching your flight home. What better way to finish a memorable holiday in South Africa. Alternatively start your SA adventure with a bang.

Plenty of time to get to and from the camp, with the boat departing at midday, arriving back at 11am which gave me plenty of time to reach PE airport, fill the car and return to rental company before my 1425 flight to Jo’ burg and on wards.
Being close to the coast helps keep temperatures to enjoyable levels even in the heat of summer, which cannot be said about inland isolated game lodges.It is also Malaria Free so good news all round

Room Tip: GPS for directions ensure you enter the reception co-ordinates not those of the lodge no roads to your lodge just access by river
  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank AustralianTravelGuru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve-Forest Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2017

Greetings Australian Travel Guru! Thank you very much for taking the time to place such a lovely comprehensive Review - we're happy to hear that you appreciated the multi- faceted Sibuya experience & hope that in the not too distant future, you return to share the magic of our little piece of paradise. 'Sibuya' means 'We will return'...so we look forward to welcoming you back! Wishing you wonderful adventures & happy days. Carol & the Sibuya Team.

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Reviewed 15 April 2017

This exceeded my expectations: an amazing experience from beginning to end. Approaching the camp from the river we were already learning about the local birds and environment. Our ranger, David, stayed with us from the beginning to the end of the trip and couldn't have been more helpful or informative (and always cheerful, even at 5.30 in the morning). We were very lucky to see close up all the big animals seen regularly on the reserve, and so much more besides. The two drives a day were amazing: we even learnt the difference between elephant poo and rhino poo. The luxurious large tents are all beside the river, the food is very, very good, and wine exceptional. On one early morning drive we got Baileys in our coffee (a sun riser?). They really do try to be ecological and thoughtful in what they do...and the other guests were lovely too. I cannot recommend this highly enough, and would give it a ten if TripAdvisor would let me.

Room Tip: I thought the lodge at Forest Camp was slightly more attractive than the one at River Camp, but it's a personal opinion
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Thank JCQ19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve-Forest Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2017

Hello JCQ19 - Your Review is one which makes us all feel proud - thank you! It is really rewarding when we hear that we've exceeded expectations...something we always aspire to achieve! David loves his lifestyle & would have enjoyed sharing it with enthusiasm to appreciative guests such as yourselves. It's great to hear that you had wonderful sightings too. We hope you'll share your memories of Sibuya & that they'll inspire others to come share the magic... As 'Sibuya' means 'We will return!'... we look forward to welcoming you back one day too! Wishing you happy days from Carol, David & the Forest Camp Team.

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Reviewed 14 April 2017

We are a family of 4 from Northern Germany and had an absoulutely fantastic time!!! Accomodation, service and food in Forest Camp were just marvellous! The whole concept of being picked up by boat, living in luxurious(!) tents in Forest Camp, enjoying excellent food and going on game drives in the late afternoon and early morning is already beyond comprehension if you come from somewhere completely else like we did. On top of all this, our guide Kent was so perfectly knowledgeable, friendly, caring and also very, very funny that our two days (one night) are the two days we'll remember best in an all in all extraordinary Southern South Africa experience.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Martin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve-Forest Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2017

Greetings! You say that we gave you two days that were the highlight of your SA trip - well, Martin H - you made my day! Kent will really appreciate your kind words of praise too - thank you for the wonderful Review! We feel we live in a little piece of paradise & we love to share it so it's great to hear that you enjoyed it too. Lisette in Catering will be very happy to hear that you enjoyed her meals - she's really creative with the little typical 'African twists' she's introduced. We hope that one day you'll return to relive the memories. Best wishes from Carol, Kent & the Forest Camp Team.

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Reviewed 13 April 2017

What a great experience! The eco-tents are stunning. So spacious all with ensuite and fire. It was great on a cold night to return to my tent to have a fire going and the tent lovely and warm. The safaris are fantastic, Pablo our guide went out of his way to make sure we saw every possible animal even taking us out early in the afternoon to start our drive. That day we did 9 hours of safari driving. All of the staff are fantastic and friendly. They went out of their way to cater to my dietary needs making special food for me. One of our group had a birthday along with one of the guides so they made a large birthday cake for them. I am not a camper but I loved these tents. Top place to stay.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank maureend105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve-Forest Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2017

Hi Maureend105 - I’m glad that you enjoyed your time with Pablo & the rest of the team at Forest Camp & we're delighted to see that you had a good time making memories to treasure. We do our very best to give our guests an informal but informed & personalized stay so we’re very happy to see that you shared their enthusiasm. They’re all passionate about their life-style so would have enjoyed sharing their little piece of paradise with appreciative guests! Thank you for the great Review! We hope that one day we'll be able to welcome you back....best wishes from Carol & the Forest Camp Team.

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Reviewed 22 March 2017 via mobile

We had a most fantastic time with our guide, Kent. He was fun and knowledgeable. While we have a game farm of our own, he told us things we did not know. The catering was brilliant with due care given to special dietary requirements. The reception ladies I must take my hat off to as well. Professional and successful at eliciting our card details! The game and farm are in great shape. Thanks and take care of your remarkable beasts!

Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
Thank MelanyCottrill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve-Forest Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2017

Hello MelanyCottrill - what a lovely Review - thank you! Everyone here is passionate about their life-style so will be delighted at your praises - hugely rewarding! Thankfully last night we had great rains so the animals will soon be grazing fresh green grass - the drought has been a huge worry - I'm sure you will appreciate this as you have a farm of your own! Maybe one day you'll revisist & stay a couple of days in one of our wonderful venues - then you'll truly experience the magic of Sibuya! Best wishes from us all.

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