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PassionwithaPassport ✨ Travel Blogger
Toronto, Canada
Absolutely Fantastic!
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 29 Mar 2023
I was so impressed with this safari experience. Everything was fantastic; the food, the staff, the guides, and even the wildlife! Whatever you need, you'll be taken care of. Everyone talks about Kruger, but this is so much more of an intimate experience all around. I would easily stay here again!

Also, this property works with Pack with a Purpose. So bring a few extra items in your suitcase (ie. books, crayons, toothbrushes, etc.) to help local school children out. Such a fantastic program!
Date of stay: December 2022Trip type: Travelled solo
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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Reviewed 17 October 2022 via mobile

We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many excellent safaris around the world in the last 30 years but our recent experience at the Zulu Camp, Shambala must rate as one of the best.
There is always an element of luck but in all four of our drives we were treated to some magical interactions with the wildlife. A herd of elephants playing, lions eating a recently caught wildebeest, a rhinoceros and her young offspring, spotted hyenas and ‘Rocky’ a seriously hard rhino! The head warden Shaun was an amazing guide and his knowledge and enthusiasm was second to none.
The camp setting, bordered with water berry trees filled with weaver bird nests and their constant efforts was entrancing.
The staff perfect, the food excellent and whilst the gorgeous Zulu huts will be undergoing some renovations in the next few months they were still thoroughly charming and comfortable.
Did I mention the sunset cruise on one of the biggest man made dams! That was magical.
Thank you especially to Shaun, Brendan and Abram. We will be back and look forward to a fully working telescope to enjoy the night sky 😉

Date of stay: October 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank 7clifton
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.
Reviewed 20 September 2022

On arrival you know the Shambala is going to be special. We arrived by car from the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg (2.5hrs) and transferred to a jeep with our guide for the stay. Even the drive from the main gate to the lodge is a stunning experience with amazing views and the first of many game drives. Our guide Gehardt, was engaging, entertaining and extremely knowledgable about everything from animal behaviour, local fauna, geology and even the stars. Everything from the lodge, food, and the staff was excellent. The entire stay was personalised to our needs and wants from the outset and Lwazi the lodge manager was routinely checking in with us to ensure everything was as it should be. He even delayed our departure as what we had booked was too early for our return flight from Johannesburg. During our stay we saw many varieties of animals including lion, elephant and rhino. We also learnt a lot about conservation, tracking animals as well as the problems caused by poaching and climate change. We always felt secure, both in the lodge (due to 24/7 security) and during our drives (due to the expertise of our guide). Our butler (Abram) was attentive, flexible and recommended some excellent SA wines during our stay and it must be noted that housekeeping attend the room FOUR times a day to ensure it remains spotless. The attention to detail at every level by all members of staff was evident. Please note this was all done in a low key and relaxed way that was at no point imposing. The feeling from all the staff was that you were here to relax, recharge and enjoy the location and the animals. I cannot recommend the Shambala enough and I genuinely mean this when I say will will return in the near futrue.

Date of stay: September 2022
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank ForeverFlying1970
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.
Reviewed 18 August 2022

Lovely place and had a nice rest - but the management lied about the boat that was broken. Pretended it broke that day but staff confirmed that it has been broken for months. They still keep on advertising the sunset cruise as part of the package even though they know it’s not working. And then calmly lie about it. When I asked why they don’t just remove it from marketing and booking - they clearly stated that they are worried clients will not book. Left a bad taste on a nice trip

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank johannbS5568KL
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.
Reviewed 2 February 2020

Now I know how Her Majesty The Queen is treated!
We arrived at Zulu Camp ( this is the part of the reserve that contains the chalets, restaurant, bar and spa) mid afternoon November 2019. While touring the camp I asked our manager Brendon where all the other guest were? He said there weren’t any other guest – you have the whole place to yourself. We stayed 3 nights in chalet number 2 which was beautifully appointed with full bath – separate tub and shower plus an additional outdoor shower overlooking the small creek running through the camp. Jan was our server, bartender & butler during our stay and truly made us feel special (like royalty). Our chef Matthew would inquire what our likes were for lunch and dinner and prepared several fabulous meals with his culinary flair.

We had a game drive on the afternoon we arrived and two drives everyday: one early morning 06:30 and one in the afternoon around 15:00. They were all spectacular! One evening we had a sunset boat ride with our captain Tinus on the lake near the dam. Here we saw rhino and crocodile with wonderful cocktails and charcuterie. We did not use the spa however we did use the shooting range and Pieter and Dion were wonderful instructors (10 out of 10 at 100 yards .30-06 Springfield).

By far the best part of our stay were the game drives. Our driver and guide Jacques did an outstanding job and we tip our hat to him. He really knows what he is talking about, is enthusiastic and answered all our questions.

Shambala is owned by the same group that owns the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg. See our review of the Saxon. As I mentioned in my Saxon review, everyone at Shambala is at the top of their game. We give 4.5 stars. My wife’s only slight complaint was no wifi. I loved being off the grid. We hope to return someday!

Room tip: CHalet 2 had an outdoor shower that overlooked the lake.
Date of stay: November 2019
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank NewZealandPatriot
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.
GeorgeCohen, Managing Director at Shambala Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 13 February 2020

Dear NewZealandPatriot,

Thank you so much for your wonderful review of your stay with us at Shambala Private Game Reserve!

It is such a pleasure to receive this kind of feedback from a guest, especially regarding our valued team members.We do look forward to welcoming you back again in the future!

Best regards,

George Cohen

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2019

from the gate guard Simon..to the lodge manager Rhomello,our private butler Thabang..chef Dayne(thank you for the extra couple of pounds)..and the most fantastic Monnique,thank you all for making our engagement weekend unforgettable..even the game put their best foot forward..lions elephants,buffels,giraffes,and just for good measure a cheetah kill...monnique thanks for all the trouble with the extra flowers romantic rose pebble dinner.your alsways friendly and comforting gestures when i was nervous for asking the big question....guys this place is a must do for everyone

Room tip: we stayed in room 2 next to the waterdam
Date of stay: October 2019
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank FILI V
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.
GeorgeCohen, Managing Director at Shambala Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 17 October 2019

Dear FILI V,

Thank you for your review of your recent stay with us at Shambala Private Game Reserve - and also for choosing to spend such an important weekend with us. We are delighted to hear that you had such a wonderful time with us on the farm and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Best regards,
George Cohen

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