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Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge
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Reviewed 25 March 2013

From the moment you arrive at Sibuya Reception, you are made to feel so very welcome. You meet your guide for the duration of your stay and then you walk down to the river for your transfer by boat to the camp. You are handed a Sibuya Water Bottle rather than take plastic water bottles with you - nice touch.

We had come from London and had a lot of luggage (including golf clubs) we left them all in our car, just taking a small bag for your two night stay.

The main thing that attracted me to Sibuya was mention of the boat transfer to the lodges, this took about 40 minutes, we were all offered drinks (beers, wine, etc) and we slowly made our way up river taking in the stunning scenary enroute. Birds were in plentiful supply as our journey progressed.

We were staying at River Camp, being mid-week it was quiet, this camp is smaller than Forest Camp, but children can stay in this camp - something to consider when booking, although this is made clear on their website. We arrived and were immediately taken in by the sense of utter calm and sense of peace. Having been show to our 'Tent' which was enormous, we had some time before we went back to the main lodge for lunch. The tents are situated amongst the trees, and you get glimpses of the river rather than full views from the decking area.

Food at the lodge was plentiful, very tasty, and with a number of options at all sittings - again advise in advance if you have and special dietary needs.

After lunch you have time to just relax, either in the main lodge, or at your tent, or you can go with a member of staff and explore. We chose just to sit and enjoy the wonderful surrounding and let nature come to us.

At 4.30 you meet and after a short boat transfer slightly further along the river you start your game drive. We saw plenty of wildlife, the birding at Sibuya is great, and Mike our guide, was very knowledgeable on the subject. After our safari it was a transfer back to the lodge for pre-dinner drinks around the fire before sitting down to a very hearty dinner with wine.

Then back along the lantern lit pathway to our tent. Lighting is reasonable, but I would recommend you take a torch to help light your way.

The tents are wonderful. Huge comfortable beds, our tent also had a sofa and the decking area, with cushions, was a lovely place just to sit and consider life! And what a wonderful nights sleep with had, being lulled to sleep with the sound of nature just feet away!

The following morning, a 6.30 meet for another wonderful game drive in the cool of the morning. We came across 6 sleeping, snoring White Rhino on the track in front of us. We were so close to them, what wonderfully strange creatures they are. We were also lucky to see a very young buffalo (perhaps a week old) feeding from its very attentive mother.

Between drives again a subtantial lunch and free time in the afternoon, before our afternoon drive and then dinner.

Our last morning started with a 6.30 drive and then back for breakfast before our transfer back to reality.

Sibuya is very much a place to relax, contemplate life and realise that we can survive without our phones or internet, and that without them time actually slows down. Your eyes are opened to all the wonderful sounds and sights that nature can provide both big and small.

Our thanks go to all the staff for making this such a special stay. Mike, thanks for helping me get so many new bird sighting, and being such fun to be with. You and all the staff at Sibuya run a very special place.

Room Tip: River Camp does allow children but is the smaller of the two camps.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CareySJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2013

Thanks Carey for your wonderful praise - I will pass on to Mike and all in camp.
We look forward to welcoming you again to share our wonderful estuary and reserve.... Sibuya ...we (you, hopefully!!!) will return!!!

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Reviewed 19 March 2013

My wife and I just returned from a self-imposed weekend away from civilization at Sibuya. From the moment we arrived in Kenton-on-Sea, left our vehicle in their secure parking area, enjoyed a "spot of tea" before boarding the boat to head upriver with Woerner and Brian for a bit of bird watching and midday libation, we knew this was going to be a different experience from other Game Reserves or Lodges in the Eastern Cape. We were right, In our experience, to date, and having stayed at a variety of four- and five-star accommodations in the area, Sibuya is the place to where we WILL return before leaving for the 'States in July. Definitely. The facilities are simply elegant. The kitchen staff knows how to prepare satisfying, tasty, and just plain-old-good meals. From Impala kebabs to rib eye steaks, from curried chicken (which is moist, savory, and bottomless) to fried calamari, to prawns caught in the river outside of the camping grounds, everything served to us was very good.

The rangers on staff are knowledgeable and engaged. These guys make your time on site educational and enjoyable. Early morning and late afternoon game drives are the norm, with more than 70 km of Land Cruiser roads to choose from, and a variety of ecological biomes from which to choose. The reserve has the BIG FIVE, and we were lucky to see 3/5 on this trip. The elephants had been "hiding" for two weeks, and the leopards (okay, we DID see a probable leopard trackway) are elusive as ever, no matter which game park you visit. If the cheetah had been named one of the BIG FIVE, then we would have checked the 4/5 box. Three thousand impala, 350 Cape Buffalo (we got to see a newborn calf less than 24 hours old), an undisclosed number of Rhino, 6 lion (soon to be more because of the "acts" we were able to witness early one morning), Eland, Bontebok, Waterbok, Reebok, Duiker, Zebra, and nearly 30 giraffe (got to spend a few hours with two different groups) keep your attention.

Our bottom line follows. Although the price per person per night is expensive, but not as expensive as some other reserves in the Eastern Cape, our "donation" to keeping Sibuya running and profitable was well worth the contribution. The title of this review says it all. Great Facilities, Great staff, and Great Food.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LopingianTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2013

Oh wow!!!
We are so privileged that our little piece of paradise can inspire such enthusiasm.

Yes, luckily, we are do have a bit of an "edge", being blessed with a magnificent and unique estuary, stunning vistas and being in the coastal belt which is so rich and diverse that we are able to carry such a variety of game and in such great numbers.

But all those great assets pale when compared to our great team that work so hard to enthusiastically share these delights with all our guests.
From our "rugged rangers" Brian, Chris, Mike and Werner to our wonderful camp staff Miles, Sidney, Welcome and Bonga, and all the others in camp and behind the scenes - they give us our real "edge" - they are the ones that get our guests saying "Sibuya" .... we will return.

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Reviewed 17 March 2013

We were in Sibuya River Lodge in March 2013 for 2 nights.

When you arrive by boat at the lodge you really have an "away from it all" feeling. The tents, the service and the quality of food and beverage are far above average, the team does everything to let you have an unforgettable stay. We had lovely gamedrives but our favourite was the early morning riverboat safari up the Kariega River. We didn't see much animals, but the quietness and the views largely made up for that. We went to Sibuya to experience with all our senses, and we got that in a very large portion !

Absolutely advisable to friends and family who are not afraid to live close to nature for a few days !

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Karin0064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2013

Thanks Karin for your lovely words.
We are so happy and privileged to be able to share our very special and unique estuary with all its wonderful bounty with you.

We hope you are saying .... Sibuya ... we will return !!!!

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Reviewed 16 March 2013

My daughter and I stayed in River Camp for 3 nights in March 2013, it was really nice and comfortable. Loved the lanterns lighting our way to the tents in the evening, the peace and quiet was superb. We saw 4 out of the big 5, the leopards as usual were not co-operating! I enjoyed the fact that there is no TV, and it was nice to talk with the other guests from other countries. Unfortunately I developed a tooth abcess on the way there, so the staff made an appointment with the Doctor in Kenton in the morning, drove me there, I saw the Doctor and got the medication, and was back in time for lunch. My only sorrow is that I couldn't always enjoy the lovely food! Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday, the game drives were fantastic, (Werner is so knowledgeable) and the river trip lovely. Memo to self - must stay longer next time.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank DemonNan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2013

Thanks for your lovely review - I will pass on your compliments to Werner
Hope your tooth is better now
We all look forward to a hosting you for a longer stay next time .... remember Sibuya...we will return !!!!

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Reviewed 14 March 2013

We stayed for three nights in February, so went for six game drives and one game walk (next to the safer animals). Saw lots of wildlife, and the rangers were excellent spotters of game and birds, as well as very knowledgeable and friendly. This is definitely glamping (glamorous camping) - huge beds in the large tent, full bathroom facilities, hot water. Lights run off solar-charged batteries, I think, so are dim, but fine for most purposes, including reading in bed. We liked the food and there was plenty of it. Forest Camp is nicely laid out, with each tent out of sight of all others, set in the trees but with boardwalks to the reception/dining/sitting area. Recommended if you want to see game and birds while staying somewhere comfortable but not out of place.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank AndrewP59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellielover, Owner at Sibuya Game Reserve: 4 -Star Luxury Tented Camps and Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2013

Dear Andrew
So happy to hear you had a great stay - we hope to see you back here sometime soon.
best regards
The Sibuya team

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