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andrew p
Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Outstanding friendly staff and hospitality

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 21 Mar 2024
Thankyou to all the fantastic staff - always polite, really friendly and professional. The food , service, hospitality were all excellent. I can’t remember names except Mingo and Lolo on the game drives , who were both very professional and informative with safety first in mind . Lolo - I agree with your mum - get chartered 😄
Date of stay: March 2024
Room Tip: Tip the staff
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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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.
Tafa Manyowa, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this review
Responded 24 Mar 2024
Dear Andy Plant

Thank you for this lovely review. It is truly gratifying to read such glowing feedback regarding our staff.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future and continue to be your preferred safari destination.

Kind regards
The Shepherd's Tree Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 20 March 2024 via mobile

Great place to stay right within Pilansberg. The lodge is made up of 32 rooms. We were in one of the 2-bedroom villas - lots of space and nicely appointed, including a private patio with a plunge pool. The villa was about 1 km from the main building, but the golf carts were always available to zip us back and forth. Everyone raved about the food (I ate more than my fill of cheese plates and fresh fruit, but the menu was quite varied including the opportunity to try different types of game like gemsbok and kudu). The boma night (every Saturday and Wednesday) was fantastic. When we were there, the guests were mostly Australian, British, German or French.

Even better than the lodge itself were the safari rides. 2 a day at 5:30 am (for sunrise) and at 4:30 pm (for sunset), in a modified Toyota Hilux or Landcruiser. We were fortunate to have a private safari truck and ranger - absolutely made our experience (if you can afford to, I would highly recommend asking for a private guide). The regular safari rides were 6-8 people which was also quite good (as we saw some in the park with upto 24 riders, who just looked hot, tired and crowded). (Note that the sister property - Ivory Tree is bigger and seems to have bigger groups). All the Shepards Tree and Ivory Tree rangers seemed great and very friendly.

Huge huge huge shout out to our ranger, Njabulo, who was amazing. He literally would see an elephant flap its ears from far away or smell a rhino and would zip over the truck to get us fabulous sightings. We saw 4 of the big 5 (no buffalo), thanks to his efforts and "spidey-senses". Njabulo seemed to know everything about the animals (including how to coax an elephant off the road so we could pass) and told the best stories. Each drive was different and interesting in its own way. Njabulo really has a passion for the animals and we were the lucky beneficiaries. An unanticipated thrill was a dash back to the lodge in the middle of an unexpected storm - Njabulo can definitely drive and we called him Indiana Jones after that!

If you like elephants, rhinos, zebras and various deer/antelope, you will be in heaven. Saw more than imagined! Highlights included an elephant mama giving baby a sand bath, a zebra crossing, a baby rhino nursing, and a lion pair devouring a wildebeest.


Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank 584anun
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.
Tafa Manyowa, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2024

Dear Anu N

Thank you for the detailed lovely review.

We are absolutely delighted to hear that you found everything to be superb. Everything at Shepherd's Tree is prepared with meticulous detail to ensure our guests enjoy. I will be sure to share this feedback with all our friendly and passionate team members especially Njabulo.

We look forward to welcoming you back at Shepherd's Tree for another magical experience.

Kind regards
The Shepherd's Tree Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2024

The game ranger Answe explained us everthing necessary to be safe and also was very kindly.
During the games we were able to see several animals.
The hotel's staff are very good. They do everything that they can to make us fell good.

Date of stay: March 2024
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Blunoc
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.
Tafa Manyowa, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 March 2024

Dear Bluno C

Thank you for this lovely review. It is truly gratifying to read such glowing feedback regarding our staff.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future and continue to be your preferred safari destination.

Kind regards
The Shepherd's Tree Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2024

It’s been 3 years since i was last at Shepherds Tree & they did not disappoint. I was happy to see that the lodge was well maintained, looked clean & fresh. The staff were attentive & friendly & the food as delicious as I remember. Game viewing was good, but leopards remained elusive as expected. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the lodge is taking diversity seriously & hiring female game rangers! I highly recommend this lodge, especially if you prefer a hotel room experience over a traditional tented or thatch roofed lodging.

Room tip: The executive suites with private heated pools are amazing. If you want a guaranteed big five sighting, Pilanesberg is not a good choice.
Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Happiness27863503738
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.
Tafa Manyowa, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2024

Dear Happiness

Thank you for the rave review. It was a pleasure to have you stay with us again and we are delighted to hear that we were able to make your visit memorable. We have passed your genuine appreciation to all our team members to whom it has been a great source of inspiration to continue in their efforts to deliver exceptional experiences to all our guests.

We value your patronage and look forward to another opportunity to host you again at Shepherd's Tree.

Kind regards
The Shepherd's Tree Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2024

The highlight of the 3 night stay was the amazing high level of service from all the staff, and the fabulous array of dishes available at breakfast, lunch and dinner and the quality of the food. The game rangers were all knowledgeable, but a shout out to Mingo, who was our guide for the duration of our stay. Room was very nice, with everything you need. As it was hot, it was great to shower in the outdoors.

Date of stay: March 2024
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank dthcfuller
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.
Tafa Manyowa, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2024

Dear Dthcfuller

Thank you for the lovely review.

Shepherd's Tree is renowned for its highest quality service standards which are delivered by our team members with astute perfection. Every detail of the guest experience is designed to not only delight but to record our essence in our guests' hearts.

It will be an honor to welcome you back to Shepherd's Tree sometime in future.

Kind regards
The Shepherd's Tree Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2024

Fantastic experience in the bush, room had great views, food was incredible. All the staff were willing to go the extra mile and assist in anyway possible.

We had some very fortunate sightings, Pilanesburg is great and not far from Joburg.

Mingo, Simba and esspecially Oupa were stand out staff

Date of stay: February 2024
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Nick M
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.
Tafa Manyowa, General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2024

Dear Nick M

Thank you for the review.

It warms our hearts to know that you had an enjoyable and amazing time at Shepherd's Tree. Your lovely words inspire us to do better and continue with our commitment to excellence.

We look forward to welcoming you back for another delightful experience.

Kind regards
The Shepherd's Tree Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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