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Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
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Reviews (1 182)
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Reviewed 20 December 2013

Everything about this place exceeded expectations, and then some. The lodge is even nicer than the pictures on the website. Our visit to Shamwari was the highlight of our South Africa Garden Route trip. After an extremely long flight from NYC and a 1.5hr drive from Port Elizabeth we were thrilled to pull up to Shamwari.

From the minute we got there, they took care of everything for us. They had us eat lunch first as it was already a bit late and then showed us to our villa. We couldn't believe our eyes as we walked in. A private building with a 4-post king bed, standing tub, indoor shower, outdoor shower, private patio and private plunge pool.

Generally speaking all of the wait staff was friendly and very nice and accommodating. The meals were very good, with plenty of food, you could order as much as you wanted and though they had a set menu daily, you were allowed to deviate from it. The dishes ranged from OK to fantastic. One thing that was consistently good were their soups.

The highlight meal was the Braai which was set up outside and so cute and cozy with a large pit fire in the middle and the guests surrounding it along with our rangers. Speaking of, our ranger Jan, was absolutely fantastic and made our trip. He was amazing, not just knowledgeable and professional, but fun, engaging, and entertaining. He shared his personal experiences and by the end of 3 days, it had felt we'd known him for years. He was always thinking about his guests and took great care of us.

We saw all of the big 5, baby cubs, a massive herd of elephants, journeys of giraffes, and cheetahs. His passion for the wildlife and the game reserve made the trip. He went out of his way to make sure we got the most out of every drive. I really can't highly enough of our experience at Eagle's Crag and with our ranger Jan. We visited the spa and had the most amazing scalp and head massages and facials, so would highly recommend booking an appointment daily there.

The only thing I'd recommend is for them to include beverages in the rate just for convenience. The cost of drinks is so minimal, it was just a bit of a nuisance to have to sign for a couple of dollars every night. Otherwise, this was the top travel experience so far. Thanks so much to Jan and everyone at Shamwari for an absolutely amazing experience. We hope to visit again.

Room Tip: All the same
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nancy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013 via mobile

So I did some trip advisor research and thought we should go with baythe lodge, however it was full and instead we booked two nights at eagles crag. Eagles crag is actually on the reserve, baythe isn't. With baythe you lose up to one hour of each game drive just getting onto the reserve going through a sheep farm etc. Eagles crag two minutes and you are on the animals trail.

We had Jan 'ranger of the year' three years running as our game driver and highly recommend him.

We stayed in room 1, which had a private outdoor shower and a plunge pool.

The game vehicles are very spacious and with spaces for seven with ponchos and blankets.

Food was plentiful and delicious.

The quality of the sightings was amazing, they really try to track and get you good quality viewings. Also when getting a good sighting they ensure that only two vehicles are near the animals at one time. This is a good touch showing they respect the animals (unlike others in kruger who were practically harassing the animals for photo opportunities)

This was by far the best part of our three week honeymoon, highly recommend the lodge and especially Jan.

Wifi in the main reception area helped us send the great photos back to people at home.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank rahh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2013

From our arrival to our departure the staff at Shamwari were like family. The room was stunning and they didn't miss a thing. Anything you think you may need was available. From our room that looked over a small river we could see giraffe, Warthog, impala, hippo plus more. The food was incredible. The game drives and our driver Hedman was knowledgable, relaxed, professional and fun. It was the small details that made this place a winner. Will we return? you betcha!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Livindreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2013

We stayed at Riverdene lodge for 2 nights and it proved to be a wonderful experience. The staff were friendly and the service impeccable. They even washed our car. Our ranger, Vincent, was accommodating and knowledgable. He helped us to find four of the Big Five (were told the jaguar had not been sighted by anyone for about 2 months). We enjoyed an almost up close and "personal" encounters with these animals. We even followed a pair of lions for an extended period of time on a failed hunting expedition and spent some time with a pair of cheetah siblings sharing a kill.

For the price, we think it is fair as the accommodation was cozy (would be nice to have our own private plunge pool and an outdoor shower area), food was of good standard (not exactly fine dinning but close enough) and the game drives were excellent. We visited Kruger (not the private reserve) more than 10 years ago and did not get so close to the animals. The fact that we could go off roads added tons to the experience. Don't waste your money visiting a park whereby you need to stay on the tarmac and hope the animals come near you, unless you have loads of time.

Considering this is a 5-star facility, it would however be nice if they could extend the range of the wifi to all the rooms. Did not bother us much though.

We look forward to return to Shamwari in the future.

Room Tip: There are 9 rooms at Riverdene and they are on the same rows and very near to the common pool.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Wee B C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2013

We have just returned from our 4th visit to Shamwari which was wonderful yet again. The game drives we had with our ranger, Nadine, were superb and her enthusiasm made them all more memorable. We saw a vast array of animals and a fantastic view of a leopard even for us as experienced safari goers. Every game drive always shows you something different either with the type of animal you see or their behaviour and the rangers always respect the wildlife with a maximum of 2 vehicles at each sighting.
One of the main reasons for visiting Shamwari is to go to The Born Free centres, meet the wonderful team there and see the animals which have been rescued from appalling conditions from zoos and circuses. Your ranger can organise a visit there and is highly recommended to all animal lovers although it can be heartbreaking to hear their life stories.
We stayed at Long Lee Manor for the 3rd time and as always our stay was great. The rooms are luxurious, food is plentiful, of high quality and the service you receive the moment you arrive from all the staff could not be better.
We can't wait to return in the near future for our 5th stay at Shamwari.

Room Tip: We were in room 11 which had great views over the landscape.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank poppyr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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