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“We won´t be going back”

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Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Hampshire, England
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“We won´t be going back”
Reviewed 20 February 2013

We stayed here, five of us, in December. The rooms are comfortable, although a bit dark, the food is average and, in fact, we only eat soup and bread for dinner each night because the main meal was not good. Lunches and breakfast were much better. The drives were excellent and we saw everything. The rangers are very good, very knowledgeable and very helpful. There is an open bar and everybody is extremely friendly and relaxed. However, this is definitely an eco camp and that is not made clear in advance. That means that there is very little lighting and no power in the rooms. My husband had a bad accident whilst there due to the lack of light and had to be taken to hospital in Port Elizabeth - a very long way away in an emergency. The first aid facilities at the camp are inadequate for anything other than a very minor incident. In the end, our ranger stayed with us throughout the night, driving us around and generally helping us.

However, be aware that it is only when you arrive at reception, having paid for the trip in full, flown to Port Elizabeth and then driven for another hour and a half to Kenton on Sea, you are presented with a form which you have to sign which unconditionally releases Sibuya Game Park from any duty of care.

For all these reasons I wouldn´t recommend Sibuya for older people, children or those who are not fully fit.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank jaylou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, 25 February 2013
Dear Judith,
Thank you for the positives in your report – when you threatened to “expose us on TripAdvisor” after we referred you to our insurers when you requested compensation I expected much worse – so thank you.
As those who know us on TripAdvisor are aware, I make it policy to try and answer all comments in detail, good or bad. However I think in this case it is better I just copy the relevant portions of my email to you (edited and shortened) after your request for compensation and let the reader decide for him/herself what the actual circumstances surrounding this event really were.

For the benefit of the reader, the accident referred to occurred when the gentleman, who decided to relax in the bar instead of going on afternoon game drive, fell off a walkway and onto one of the lights, in the process breaking the wine glass that he was carrying, which then cut the artery in his wrist.

Dear Judith,
Thank you for your email and for choosing Sibuya as your Game Reserve destination.
I am very sorry to hear about your husband's accident and I hope he is recovering well. Please wish him a speedy recovery from us all at Sibuya.

Your email requests us to consider compensation of some sort and lists a number of reasons why you believe it should be forthcoming. As a SATSA member (South African Tourist Services Association) we are bound to take out Public liability insurance and accordingly deal with a brokering company called SATIB.
However, before you decide whether you wish to proceed with a claim with them, let me answer some of your points for the edification of all concerned.

• Cause - we accept that lighting in general in a tented bush camp is not comparable with that of a hotel in town. It is most definitely not intended to be so. We offer a genuine bush experience with lanterns being the main source of lighting. Initially lanterns were the only lighting in our camps but subsequently we installed a "solar power station" mainly to replace our gas fridges but also to give added low lighting in the tents and walkways to the tents.
• Injuries - I cannot speak for the doctor, but while your husband was in the doctors rooms I was constantly in touch with my staff who were there at the time. As you will recall I reported back on the radio that he was expected back in camp soon as the doctor had almost completed the stitching. Later on I passed on a message from my staff that the doctor wished to send him to a Port Elizabeth hospital for observation. The main reason, according to my staff at the doctor's office, was because the doctor was a little concerned at your husband's continued slurred speech. Apparently the doctor was not sure whether this was from shock, loss of blood, pills he may have taken or due to the alcohol consumed by him before the accident, and accordingly thought it best that he be kept under observation overnight.
• Facilities - before the season every first aid bag/box in every camp, vehicle and boat was checked and replaced or replenished where necessary (we do this at least twice a year). I can fully accept that a few bandages from a standard first aid box would not be enough to stem the flow from a cut artery and that extra Carlton paper might be required.
• No first aid training – all our ranger/guides are FGASA (Field Guide Association of SA) and DEAT (Dept. of Environment and Tourism) certified. Likewise is our camp manager (Mike) and some of the camp assistants. This first aid certification is redone every two years to keep the guides current.
• Thought to serious injury - we are contracted to and insured by SATIB. They have a doctor on call 24 hrs. a day for such an emergency. This doctor has ambulances, paramedics and even helicopters at his disposal and dispatches them as and when required.
• Negligence and lack of care – I understand your tremendous concern for your husband’s welfare but I worry that this point might have been made hastily and without due consideration to the tremendous effort that my staff put in to ensure your husband’s very best care under the circumstances.
As I understand the course of events were:
Your husband fell off the walkway on his way from the bar to the boma for dinner at about 7.45pm.
Brian and Mike (both first aid certified) immediately attended to him.
They then rushed him through to the Doctor, in one of our vehicles, where he arrived about 8.30 – 8.45pm
Kari contacted the 24 hr. SATIB hotline and engaged the services of the 24hr medical service
Kari, Mike and Bryan were at the doctor’s offices with the patient. I was on standby at the radio at the reserve offices and Chris was on standby at the camp with the rest of the family. At least 20 radio and huge number of cell phone calls were made, arranging doctors, contacting SATIB and keeping the family in camp up to date with the unfolding events at the doctor’s rooms. All calls and transport (including to PE) were done at our expense.
The doctor attended to the wound (and I gather inserted stitches) and suggested the patient be monitored in hospital until the “slurring” stopped (in consultation with SATIB)
SATIB organised Guardmed to transfer the patient to PE.
The family who had been constantly updated via radio wanted to accompany the patient to PE
Bryan collected the family and drove behind the ambulance, to PE as none of our regular transporters were available at that time of night
Kari, in the meanwhile (at 11.30pm), organised a hotel room for the family in PE
Bryan arrived in PE at Greenacres hospital at about 1.00am. After dropping family members at the hospital and then later checking them into the hotel, he left PE at about 3.30am. He got back to Sibuya at about 5.00am.
All in all 5 of our staff were involved in the operation as well as the services of our local doctor, SATIB’s 24hr call advisor, a paramedic team (who supervised the patient until the ambulance arrived) and an ambulance team.
Bryan, in particular, was with the patient and/or family from the time of the accident until all were either settled at the hospital or in their hotel in PE at about 3.30am (for which I am told your family were so appreciative that he was suitably rewarded).

As you are aware, we are in the adventure section of tourism. As such, accidents can and do happen, although rarely.
Because of this, we strongly recommend in our detailed guest fact sheet and on all booking forms, that all guests carry travel insurance especially for medical expenses and evacuation to cover them specifically for this kind of accident.
However, as mentioned above, we do carry Public Liability insurance with SATIB but are obligated, by them, to ensure all our guests fill out an indemnity form on arrival. You might remember one was handed to you for signature in reception. This is standard throughout our industry.

So generally, any claim for compensation of this nature, should be made against a guest’s own travel insurance policy which is specifically designed to cover such occurrences.

However, all that having been said, if you wish to take further steps to claim compensation from our insurers, this can be done by submitting a claim to them. Accordingly, please send the amount you wish to claim and the detailed reasons therefore, either to me or directly to Carri at SATIB and she will forward to the underwriters for their consideration.


Again I wish your husband a speedy recovery and you and your family all the very best for 2013 from us all at Sibuya
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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268 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
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English first
Newquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2013

We finally had time for a return visit to Sibuya. This time we stayed at River Camp, having sampled the delights of Forest Camp on our previous visit. Absolutely stunning....and even that doesn't do it justice. Hospitality is fabulous and Mike's expertise means that game drives are a real joy. Loved every minute of our time, especially swimming up the river to Forest Camp and back, complete with support boat. Thanks, guys! You make Sibuya a little bit of paradise.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KateandSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, 18 February 2013
Thanks Kate and Steve ...... wonderful !!!!!!!! - Sibuya - "we will return " (in Zulu) - we hope you will be back again and again.
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Ballina, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2013

We stayed for 3 nights in early January and had the pleasure of Ranger Chris as our guide.
From the twice daily safaris, to fishing for crabs off the jetty, or kayaking up the river this was a diverse way to enjoy our safari experience.
Our luxury tent (cabin-8 ) at forest camp was overlooking the waterhole and we were lucky enough to witness the animals in their daily rituals.
The food was amazing and plentiful and free booze was a welcome bonus.
Chris's incredible knowledge of all animals, birds and fauna was astounding. He is a hilarious and great fun and made sure our stay was memorable.
Thanks to all staff, we had a ball!!

Room Tip: Go for tent 8 at forest camp. Views over waterhole
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Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank aussielovesaholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, 31 January 2013
Dear Aussies
Thanks for your wonderful compliments - I will pass on to Chis and all in camp
Chris also has some really great pics in our latest newsletter - I hope you got a copy of that. If not please contact reception so they can fwd a copy and add you to our mailing list.

All the best from all here in sunny SA

The Sibuya team
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Randburg, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed 24 January 2013

This is definitely one of the places to see before you die!!! Don't miss out on this piece of Paradise. I spend a day with New Zealand visitors at Sibuya and it was worth every cent. Everything you can think of is available at this beautiful place. The hospitality, the staff, the management — they are all superb. The food was plentiful and delicious. They definitely went the extra mile for every single person. The game was plentiful and in beautiful condition. Thank you for such a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Clean, comfortable, lots of good food, friendly and just worth every cent.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Tereza M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, 31 January 2013
Dear Tereza,
Thank you for your wonderful compliments.
We really hope that you can visit us again sometime soon
"Sibuya" (we will return)

Best regards from all at Sibuya
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 January 2013

This was certainly the highlight of our South African trip! Having been to other top up-market South African reserves, this for me beat them all! Sibuya is unique in that not only is it tops re accommodation and beautiful location, food and wonderful wild-life, but I've never felt so relaxed and chilled and welcomed in such a personal way before. Our game ranger was available 24 hours and the other staff couldn't have been friendlier, and yet it was all done with such gentle humour and in such a laid back way, that I found myself relaxing and unwinding very quickly. I think what struck me so much about our ranger was his obvious love of the animals and nature in general, and he seemed to so love what he did. It was a great privilege to experience this wonderful place and what they are doing to promote wild life. Sylvia and John

Room Tip: We stayed in the Forest Lodge and it was superb. I would choose this one again for sure, as we weren...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sylvia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, 22 January 2013
Dear Sylvia and John,

Thank you for your wonderful comments and high praise... yes we are very fortunate to have such great staff and i agree they really do make such a difference. I will be sure to pass on your high praise to the ranger and all in camp.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Sibuya sometime soon.

All the best from myself and the Sibuya team
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ENGLAND
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 January 2013

What a day - 1 hour boat ride into game reserve through great scenery, then 3 hrs+ searching for the big 5. Jeep with ranger who was brilliant. Drinks and snacks along the way too and a brilliant lunch in the middle of the reserve (5*). Saw lions, cheetas, impala, rhinos, buffalo, elephant, monkeys all manor of animals it was awesome. Highly recommended! At £65 approx each including lunch - excellent value for money.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ZENAWARRIERPRINCES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, 17 January 2013
Hi and thank you for your wonderful comments about your day excursion.
Next time please let us host you in one of our two wonderful camps so that you can truly experience the wonder and uniqueness that is Sibuya.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sussex, England
1 review
Reviewed 1 January 2013

We would thoroughly recommend Sibuya. The location is stunning, the accommodation superb, (takes "glamping" to a new level) and the staff are exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable. It makes such a difference to have a guide who can tell you so much about the plants as well as birds and animals. We saw so much on our game drives and what a treat to have a sundowner watching the sunset over a view it would be impossible to beat anywhere! We were extremely envious of our fellow guests who were staying on longer!

Room Tip: The tents are all superb, simple and yet luxurious.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank FoxySussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp, responded to this review, 10 January 2013
Thanks very much for your lovely words.
"Sibuya" !!!!!! see you again soon!
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Additional Information about Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp

Property: Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp
Address: 39 Eastbourne Road, Kenton-on-Sea 6191, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Kenton-on-Sea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Kenton-on-Sea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sibuya has more navigable river than any other game reserve in South Africa. The unique experience starts immediately with a half-hour boat transfer to River/Forest Camp - luxury en-suite tented accommodation nestled in riverine forest and constructed in an environmentally conscious manner. Guests are hosted and guided by a team of experienced professionals. An abundance of wildlife from elephants to otters, Big Five, cheetah breeding program and prolific bird life await you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sibuya Game Reserve And Tented Camp
Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp Hotel Kenton-On-Sea
Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camp South Africa/Kenton-On-Sea

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