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Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge
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Reviewed 21 March 2015

We have never been on Safari before and arrived at Sibuya with great expectations.

We were greeted by friendly faces at the reception upon arrival and were told we were the 'first' people to try out the new Bush Lodge. I have to admit my heart sunk at this point imagining a half finished shack in the bush. However, this was my only negative thought during the entire remainder of the trip and the Bush Lodge was anything but a shack!!

We spent three nights in the Bush Lodge and had our safari lead Chris to show us the ropes. We saw an immense amount of wildlife from the obvious lions, elephants, buffalo to the beautiful birds and plants in the park as well as the odd snake and creepy crawly! Chris was a very knowledgeable guide with a good sense of humour and was willing to go and find the animals we wanted to see rather than having his own agenda.

The food and drink was free flowing and of very good quality, we felt embarrassed at times having to send food back but we were fit to burst after many meals! The snacks and drinks on the game drives were also a great idea and Chris would often find us an amazing view to enjoy these from.

Our hosts at the Bush lodge were very accommodating and the lodge itself was modern with a nice homely feel to it with open fires, polished concrete floors and modern decor.

Overall this was an excellent experience and we look forward to coming back to Sibuya at some point, I have recommended it to family and friends so keep up the good work!

Room Tip: Bush Lodge is the luxury option
  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Katy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2015

Greetings Kathy H...we're delighted that you had such a wonderful time enjoying the luxury of Bush Lodge & Chris' boundless knowledge, humour & passion while out on the Reserve. Fulfilling your dreams & creating memories to treasure is what we intend, so it's always great to hear that we did achieve this & that you appreciated our efforts! Please spread the good news, as we believe that enthusiastic word of mouth is the best form advertising! We appreciate your support, wish you happy days & look forward to welcoming you back!

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Reviewed 8 March 2015

My wife and I stayed at Sibuya Forest Camp for 3 nights as part of our South African trip to celebrate my wife's big birthday. On arrival we met our guide for the stay (Pierre) and our hostess (Paula) who stayed with us for the duration of our stay and could not have been more accommodating. This was our first visit to a game reserve so the format and experience was entirely novel and I have to say exceeded all our expectations. Pierre was very adept at finding animals for us to photograph and very knowledgable. Our accommodation (tent number 8) was very well equipped and contained a lovely en suite complete with large bath that 2 could share !!
Meals were served in the main complex and comprised of a good range of meat, vegetable and fruit options accompanied with free drinks from the well stocked bar. Paula made sure we didn't want for anything and the dining format where we took all our meals with our guide meant we had the opportunity to swap stories with fellow guests and interrogate Pierres' knowledge. I'm sure that there are other reserves that are able to offer a larger range and more numerous animals but as a first time experience Sibuya ticked all our boxes. There is little cell phone service on site and no Internet access but this was not a problem for us (if you needed to catch up on e-mails etc then the reception area at Kenton On Sea is only a 25 Minute boat ride away). Overall I would recommend this Reserve to others as a first time experience and over the course of a 2 night stay with 4 x 3 hour game drives you would be guaranteed to see a good range of animals within some stunning locations.

Room Tip: The recently refurbished tents at Forest Camp offer more room and upgraded facilities - tent number 8 although a 5 minute walk from the main lodge is well equipped and nicely furnished.
  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Cruzzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2015

Greetings to you Cruzzo & your wife! Many thanks for your wonderful review...it's great when we exceed expectations...most rewarding when our passion is shared & appreciated...thank you! I'll pass on your kind words to all at Forest Camp. Maybe you'll return to celebrate the next milestone Birthday? We look forward to welcoming you back...'Sibuya'...means 'We have returned!'

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Reviewed 3 February 2015

We stayed with friends at the Sibuya River camp for 2 nights and had a marvellous time. The smooth trip up the river is a special way to start, offering an abundance of birdlife we didn't expect. The river camp is a small very private camp with only 5 tents. The tents are warm and welcoming, nicely tucked away in the lush vegetation offering complete privacy. The beds are big, super king size and comfortable, there is a shower and a bath tube. Just outside the tent is a lovely hammock the perfect place to enjoy the peace and tranquility. The stuff went to every effort to make our stay comfortable and spoiled us rotten. Food was excellent, the bar had a wide selection of wine, beer and spirits. Daniel, our ranger was very friendly and on hand to answer any questions we put forward, never rushing us. But beyond that, he managed to infect us with his passion for the wildlife, making each game drive a real adventure, creating memories to be cherished. Wether we had our first coffee of the day whilst saying good morning to the baby zebras or watched the amazing african sunset in the company of the giraffes, he created for us some unique moments. It is our third time in SA and after visiting many different game parks, we found Sibuya to be one of the best.Thank you for a wonderful time Daniel and everyone at Sibuya, it was truly legendary.

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank JohnJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2015

Greetings John James from Wales! Many thanks for the wonderful review...you've made Dan & the rest of the River Camp team smile & smile! We're delighted that you so enjoyed the 'Truly Legendary' Sibuya experience & hope you pass it on & on! It makes it all so worthwhile when we can impart our passion to others. We look forward to welcoming you back one day.
Wishing you happy days from us all.

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Reviewed 18 January 2015

We have stayed in tents at other game parks before. The tents here are not the same as the photos on the brochure. There was no information that the tent had no 240 volt power or air conditioning. when we arrived we had no hot water. The shower water tricked out of the tap and then stopped then restarted. I complained to the staff about the problems, they said sorry. This is a standard answer as most people only stay 2 nights and their problem, the customers leave. After the second day of no decent shower and the promise of it being fixed, at 5.00pm still not fixed. It appears other people had the same problem in nearby tents. The problem was repaired at 6.30pm on the second day after I asked if we could shower at the managers house as they must be the only people with a descent shower. Game drive OK. Food average. Boat ride predictable. If you want ice for your drinks best to order in advance, they always run out.
The cost of more than $1200 AUS or R12000 for two days is over the top for what you get.
No information was given as to walks or any activities only fishing or canoeing. They are only interested in game drives. Shop around, Namibia has wonderful tented camps for $65 AUS or R650 per night with air conditioning and power. Do your research, we didn't.

Room Tip: Its a hot tent with on air conditioning (its called eco friendly?)
  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Graham F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2015

Wow! There is so much negativity in your Review that it’s difficult to know where to begin!
I would however like to start with a sincere apology to you & your friends, in the next tent, for the frustration & inconvenience you suffered with the water situation you unfortunately encountered. It is of great concern to us that you think that we at Sibuya ‘couldn’t care’ & let this sort of glitch just roll on, so that the following guests also experience the same issues. This is unthinkable & unfounded! Because of circumstances beyond our control, as we live in the bush, we do on occasion experience problems & would not deny this. By way of explanation, so that you may possibly understand the logistics of the situation a little clearer, the water is piped over the rugged terrain of the Reserve from a borehole 11 kms away & goes through 7 reservoirs & multiple filters before it gets to Forest Camp. Unfortunately your problem was only reported by you fairly late on your first day & when maintenance was informed, it was too dark to walk the pipeline to check for possible causes. On occasion leaks are caused by the elephants pulling up & damaging the pipe, which could substantially reduce the water pressure. Basically, checking the line took some time & the maintenance crew thought the problem had been rectified. Unfortunately, that was not the case & eventually it was discovered that a filter was partially blocked & had caused the reduced flow. Apparently, as your two tents were at the end of the pipeline, you were sadly the ones to suffer from the lack of pressure! Your Ranger, Fred, was totally unaware of the situation until you asked if you could ‘shower in the manager’s house’...which by the way is also a tent... he thought you were joking, as that was the first he knew of your problem! He adds his sincere apologies.
To briefly address some of your other issues: With regard to your comments re the picture of the tent not being what you got...there are three Camps with totally unique rooms in each Camp...you strongly imply that we do false advertising - you are definitely mistaken & we object to this allegation! Are you sure you were even looking at the relative picture for Forest Camp? We would suggest that you check & verify this on our website before making unfair allegations.
In every tent there is a comprehensive Guest Information File which gives all the details of activities, Solar electricity restraints, water saving, game drive etiquette etc. & also an explanation & motivation as to why we are ‘eco-friendly’...apparently you must have missed this. In addition, every guest booking by email is sent a full fact sheet, detailing in particular, the electrical limitations due to our Solar System.
Because of our attempts to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible, our ice is made elsewhere & transported into Camp on a daily basis. The ice had apparently arrived in Camp but had not yet been unpacked by the Student Volunteer...she apologises for the fact that you were inconvenienced by not receiving it when you needed it.
Generally our guests are truly exhilarated by the experience of a fascinating 11km boat trip up the stunning pristine Estuary to access our Camps...regretfully you found it ‘predictable’ & the game drive with a host of beautiful animals just ‘OK’... We welcome constructive criticism as it helps us to maintain our standards of excellence to our highly valued guests... bearing testimony are our Local & International Awards of Service Excellence...voted entirely by our guests...see TripAdvisor.
Thankfully our lives are full of choices & while we sincerely regret that we did not meet your expectations, it is clearly apparent from you review, that an air-conditioned tent in Namibia, would definitely have been more your style & a better choice for you...

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Reviewed 13 January 2015 via mobile

We stayed at river camp with the guide Chris and I can't complain about anything. They do that little extra and have a genuine passion for the animals and what they do! Wonderful tents that is more like a hotel room, very comfortable. We saw all the big five except for the leopard. Only thing was that the lions are trapped in their own area and feed by the staff, so not really wild. But they are planning to let them loose but they first have to buy more area to make it legal to let them loose; they were open and honest about it.

But it was simply magic!

Stayed: January 2015
Thank Julia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carol f, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2015

Greetings Julia - we're happy to hear that you enjoyed sharing the magic of Sibuya with Chris & hope you made memories to treasure forever! As 'Sibuya' means, 'We will return!' ...we look forward to welcoming you back! Best wishes for a 2015 filled with happiness & adventure.

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