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Reviewed 6 March 2018

My husband and I stayed 3 nights in a Tented Lodge and Shamwari. I can honestly understand why this Safari Lodge is rated one of the best in South Africa. The attentiveness of the staff from the lovely Bianca who greeted us and explained our schedule whilst we were there, our excellent ranger guide Matimba to the staff in the restaurant was exceptional. The tented lodge where we stayed was beautiful and spacious and it was amazing being in the middle of jungle-like surroundings away from the masses and being at one with nature. We saw all the big 5 and more. Too many photos to post on here - go see for yourself!

Room Tip: We loved the tented lodge.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 954sallyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

We stayed at Lobengula Lodge, which is easy to reach from the Northern Gate on the road from the N10 to Alicedale. It is a wonderful lodge, nicely tucked away in a lush green valley, with stunning rooms, a cosy central area and a nice swimming pool.
The advantage of being in this lodge is that our outstanding guide, Morné, made us discover the beauty of the northern part of the reserve, which is - usually - not so dense with large animals but is simply beautiful nature. We did get to see a lot, both up north and down south, as always in Shamwari.
What more is there to say? Shamwari stands for excellence. Staff is superb, food is exquisite, wildlife sightings among the best, accommodation like in a dream ... And Lobengula entirely and enthusiastically lives up to the Shamwari high standard.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 and 2 are a tiny bit further away from the central buildings which offers a bit of extra privacy at the private pool
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Rudi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

This Lodge in the heart of Shamwari really gives you a magical feel and truly brings alive that feeling that you are staying in the bush The staff are fantastic can not do enough for you the rooms are spacious with plunge pools the food is very good and plentiful with many choices Our stay was made by our Ranger Patrick whose knowledge of the animals was just fantastic We had never been on safari before and I thoroughly recommend this Lodge

Room Tip: All rooms have great views
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2018

My wife and I and three other couples were a group of 8 who stayed at Sarili for 3 days, 2 nights in February, 2018. We would have loved to stay at least 2 more days. The staff were incredibly warm and welcoming, the rooms were well beyond what we expected, and the meals were varied and exceptional. We were presented with menus which gave us numerous delicious choices. The 4 game drives (2 in the early mornings at 6 am, 2 in the late afternoons), expertly led by Siya, were truly memorable. We saw 4 of the Big 5, missing only the leopard. We encountered giraffes, zebras, lions, kudus, warthogs, numerous birds, many different antelopes, elephants, both white and black rhinos, etc, etc. One of our group kept checking off the species on the little pamphlet, and she was kept busy indeed. When we returned from our drives we were met by staff with a beverage, and refreshing cold (or warm) towels to welcome us back. There were 5 very comfortable en suite rooms, 4 of which our group occupied), a lovely pool, and spectacular views over the adjacent Bushmans River. Sarili was truly a unique place, and we very highly recommend this amazing experience.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank RSfromPriorLake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2018

Where to begin… the summary.

If you can go… then go.

From the moment we arrived in Bayethe, it was just fabulous.
We were met with drinks to check in and then advised to go and eat so that we could join the afternoon game drive. The first difficult decision, what to eat as the choice was so good. You look at what others are eating and think .. yes, I’ll have that and then someone else gets something and you change your mind. Whilst eating, we saw Wart Hogs come down to the waters edge which the hotels patio overlooks. We had already seen Giraffes when we were driving towards the hotel from the main road from Port Elizabeth.
The rooms are tents but not tents in the way you think with air con, log burner, big comfy bed, coffee machine, outside plunge pool and a shower that looks like it should still be a tree.
We were met by our ranger; Aymar, who asked our names once and never forgot them. He asked what we wanted to see and advised he would do his best and he certainly did. Our Land Cruiser had three rows of two seats so we took in turns to sit at the front with the other two couples we shared the jeep with.
We wanted to see the usual big animals and we were not disappointed. Numerous variants of Antelopes, a Hippo and loads and loads of Elephants, Giraffes and Zebras. Aymar advised that there were some lions with cubs but the weather was not great so they may have hidden them before it changed too much. Sure enough, as the thunder and lightning storm started (and quickly finished), we found the lionesses but no cubs.
Sundowners will never have the same meaning now as this word will forever remind us of watching the sun go down whilst having a cheeky drink and snack looking over the reserve.
The next day we found ourselves in the same place as our sundowner and Aymar saw a Black Rhino in the far (far) distance. A mad chase followed but alas, the Rhino had gone. How he saw it, no idea but that was how good he was.
Not to be beaten, we were all on Rhino watch and we did see it again later but this time up close and personal. We still needed to see the Lion cubs and all the rangers are in contact with each other by radio and if one ranger in one part of the reserve saw ‘something’ then all rangers knew. There was a formal who could get close and when so that the animals were not surrounded by Jeeps and so all Jeeps could have look… and yes, we did see the cubs.
There was over the few days we were there, the potential to see Cheetahs but these were somewhat elusive. Again, with the sight of Superman (although with a pair of binoculars), Aymar saw them. A white knuckle dash down a valley and up the other side got us close. One minute later and they would have disappeared into the bush as we did not see them again. The photos were rubbish, but the memories are priceless.
During one of the drives, we ‘parked’ in the middle of a herd of Elephants and they ate and just wandered around us. There were large females and tiny calves. They weren’t bothered about us and we just sat there enthralled. Later, we were on one of the reserve roads, when Aymar saw a large male Elephant with a large female. We got closer and parked off the road in the bush. This male who was in musk just walked towards us. We were warned by Armar to keep quiet and still so we did and it walked towards us and eyed us up. It was literally a foot away from the Jeep…Wow. These memories are priceless.
I’ve not mentioned the food in the Hotel. This was really good. We had some version of venison one night that wasn’t great, but other nights were fabulous. The choice of food was excellent and the service was good. Together with some local wine, could it have been better?.
This is the longest review of anywhere I visited and if my honest comments do not put across just how highly this hotel should be rated, I apologise. I’m sure you could go to far cheaper hotels or even take a day trip to the reserve, but for the whole experience, even being woken at an unearthly hour to have a snack before going on a morning drive, then this was simply brilliant.
No hesitation even for the cynical, this really is a special hotel and whatever we spent getting there, it was worth every penny.
My final comment is to thank Aymar for making the visit so special as without him and his driving / Ranger skills, the memories would not be the wonderous ones we have.

Room Tip: All rooms are good
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Jonofromcas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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