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“WOW!”
Review of Cheetah Plains

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Cheetah Plains
Certificate of Excellence
johannesburg
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“WOW!”
Reviewed 28 March 2013

We spent 3 nights at Cheetah Plains and had one of our best safari experiences ever.

The food, accommodation and service were all excellent. Each night we had dinner at a different venue – the dining room, boma and around the pool. (The pool overlooks a dam that has crocs and hippos in it). On the game drives we didn’t have the normal boring peanuts and biltong snacks – we also had fresh fruit, Snacker chocolate bars and Amarula coffees!

Anyway, back to the important stuff – the reason why most people come on an African safari – the animals. Our first sighting on our first game drive was a cheetah mother with three cubs (most appropriate for a stay at cheetah plains!)

Thereafter the sightings came fast and furious on the remaining 5 game drives. We had a pride of lions, four leopards, an African wild cat (very rare sighting), two male waterbuck having a huge fight, a white rhino mother with calf and numerous buffalo and elephant sightings.

Our field guide, Justin, was great – he knew his animals and he knew how to please his guests. Normally the requests from guests are to see the big-five animals but he had a few unusual requests such a giraffe (may sound like an easy request but we had not seen any for the first two days), a bark spider plus hippos and he found them all.

On our last game drive Justin got a call to return to the lodge as a leopard had killed a warthog right in front of the lodge and was in the process of dragging it to a suitable bush. We arrived in time to find the leopard with the warthog still kicking! (Yes, Justin was ‘just-in’ time for all these great sightings!)

What else made our stay special? Well the Sabi Sand game reserve basically has three parts, the southern, western and northern areas. Cheetah Plains is situated in the less crowded north so we had nearly all the sightings to ourselves! In addition the field guides worked together – at the lion pride sighting, which was at night, the other field guide (Doctor) positioned his vehicle behind the male lion and shone his spotlight so that we could get some backlit photos – that’s teamwork.

We returned home with many quality images, so for photo safaris this lodge has to be one of the top destinations.

Cheetah Plains is definitely a lodge that we would visit again – one stay isn’t enough!

Room Tip: We found the standard rooms were great but if you need a bit more space (or an outside shower) then...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank KrugerToKalahari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, 4 April 2013
Dear Mario and Jenny,
Thank you for your great review, we really appreciate it, and the whole team, was very pleased to read your excellent feedback on your stay with us. We are certainly pleased and honored that you rate your visit to Cheetah Plains as one of your best Safari experience ever, especially considering that you both, as seasoned wildlife photographers, have experienced some of the best safari spots in Southern Africa.
Your wildlife images that you took at Cheetah Plains are fantastic, thanks for sharing them.
The game viewing at Cheetah Plains is truly special, not just in quantity, but also always in the quality and uniqueness of the sightings. We are very blessed that we can share this with our valued guests. We are also already looking forward to your next visit. Please stay in touch.
Wild wishes,
Willem du Toit
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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2013 via mobile

Had 2 nights and 4 safari excursions--saw "the big 5 animals" during the first 2 outings. "Doctor" our guide was amazing and a great tracker. We saw a pride of lions with 2 very small cubs just resting in the grass after a big meal very close to our vehicle; many Cape buffalo, rhino, elephants, giraffe, zebra, hippo, leopard, different antelope.
Hard to name them all, plus beautiful birds.
The staff was so very helpful--we thought it a great value too. We planned the safari the day after our arrival flight from the US and it worked out great because we could rest a bit in between excursions and the staff had everything else thought out for us.
Thank you all
Jane &Jim

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, 21 March 2013
Hi Jane & Jim,

Thank you for your great review, we really appreciate it. I have shared your message with Doc, he was very pleased about your kind words on his guiding and tracking skills. Doc, like all our guides are really passionate about the bush, and fully enjoy sharing their knowledge with our guests. We are very pleased that you enjoyed such an incredible wildlife experience.
Please stay in touch, and you are welcome to share some of your favorite pictures on our Cheetah Plains Facebook page, we would love to see them. Till we meet again,

Wild wishes
Willem du Toit
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London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2013

Well worth the dirt track drive to get there (we self drove from jo'burg with no problems). We were welcomed & made to feel very relaxed & at home. We stayed in a deluxe room which had possibly the most comfortable bed I've ever slept on! The outside shower was also great & made for a great experience. The food was plentiful & delicious, served in different places each evening. The wine was reasonably priced too.
The safaris was fabulous. What a spot they have. We were lucky enough to have a safari on our own one afternoon! About 8 or 9 hours per day seemed incredible value. We saw the big five & plenty more. Felt like we were in the wild, watching lions eat buffalo & then try (unsuccessfully) to defend that kill from a new male lion. Leopard & babies was a treat too.
Unfortunately, because of recent heavy rain, there were no cheetahs (but the manager was actively searching each day) but that gives me a reason to return!
I went with my sister, it was mainly couples - of all ages - but I would happily travel in any sort of group here.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank London_Redstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, 21 March 2013
“Amazing lodge, friendly staff & great food (not forgetting the animals!)”
Thank you for your great review, we really enjoyed reading about your amazing experiences at Cheetah Plains and are happy that we could do our part to assist in creating your special safari memories. We are fortunate in the fact that Cheetah Plains is in a very magical part of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve where it is still very wild, with not much “traffic” and spectacular game viewing all year round, especially of the big cats. It definitely is the best spot for wild life enthusiasts, who would like to have a true bush lodge experience. We are already looking forward to welcoming you and you sister back!

PS: we finally found the cheetah last week, a female with her cubs, very special to see.

Wild wishes,
Willem du Toit
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Westerville, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

This was my first trip to South Africa and this was our first camp & safari experience. The staff was extremely welcoming. The greeted you upon arrival and after each and every safari. They really went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and see to it that our experience was the best it could be.

The chalets are adorable, each with their own name. They are clean and perfect for two. The amenities were also very nice.

I didn't have any expectations re how the food would be and the chefs at Cheetah Plains are incredible. I looked forward to every meal because not only was the food delicious but the staff and service was also top notch. Hats off to the chefs. Also, they provided you with lots of yummy snacks on your safari trips as well as high tea in the afternoon.

And, Doctor. He's simply the best. He's incredibly knowledgeable and an amazing guide/tracker as well as a great host. We gave him some challenges and he always delivered. Each experience was different (you go on 2 safari's a day). I don't think there was a time he wasn't first to find the game and others to follow. He's careful to make sure everyone is getting the best safari experience possible. I learned so much and he provided us with unforgettable memories that make us want to go back as soon as possible. ;-)

It was truly incredible experience.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank alinnis03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, 6 March 2013
Dear Allinnis,
Thank you for your great review. The team and I are really pleased to read your feedback on your safari at Cheetah Plains, Doc was especially appreciative of your kind words.
We are delighted that we could play our part to ensure that your first safari experience to South Africa was an unforgettable experience.
Please stay in touch, if you have some great pictures of your safari, please share them with us on our Facebook page, it would be great to see.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back soon.
Wild wishes,
Willem du Toit,
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Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2013

If you are looking for an exciting Safari experience; this is the place. Action packed activities, great smorgasbord food choices, small intimate camp. We even saw a Leopard from the Lodge, via their spot lighted area across a pond.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Chances99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, 6 March 2013
Thank you so much for your review. We are very happy that you enjoyed all aspects of the lodge. That open area infront of the lodge is also one of my favourite spots, especially when the spotlight is on during dinner time in the boma, there is always something to see out there.
We hope to see you again soon, please stay in touch
Wild wishes
Willem du Toit
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London
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Cheetah Plains. The entire team made us feel welcomed upon arrival until the sad day when we had to leave. We selected Cheetah Plains as the camp size seemed fairly small and it didn't feel to touristy or commercial rather. Our rooms were cosy and we appreciated the air conditioning. The outdoor shower had plenty of hot water. The food was tasty and of course the drives were incredible! We saw EVERYTHING! Prides of Lions and lion cubs, packs of elephants, cheetahs, giraffes and more! When we weren't on a drive the camp was quiet making a nap around the pool or reading a book in a hammock relaxing and peaceful.

Overall our visit to Cheetah Plains was perfect and I would recommend this special place for anyone considering a safari holiday.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank JeffSeattleLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, 6 March 2013
Hi Jeff,
Thank you for your great review, we really appreciate it. All of us here at Cheetah Plains really enjoy what we do, and we are always happy to share our beautiful corner of the world with our guests.
Cheetah Plains, is ultimately a traditional bush lodge, and we would like nothing more, than for our guests to experience an authentic safari, with great game viewing experiences, fire cooked meals and great conversations around a crackling camp fire and just relaxing. We are very pleased that that was your experience.
We hope to welcome you back to our lodge soon, please stay in touch
Wild wishes,
Willem du Toit
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California, USA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2013

It was truly a great experience and I will highly recommend to anyone looking for a experience of a life time with great friendly staff, excellent cooks and extremely knowledgeable rangers. The grounds are well maintained along with great accommodation. I would suggest avoiding rainy season, as game drives are very dependent on road conditions. Also plan for no less than a week to really experience the nature and wild life at its best. I want to specially thank the following folks for making my trip a memorable one.
Andrew for always accommodating and being an amazing ranger with deep knowledge of nature and wild life
Richard for great food
Goodman for night walks and morning wake up calls
Kelly for listening
Candice for my massage
Thank you all!!!.
Simi

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Simi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willemdutoitgm, General Manager at Cheetah Plains, responded to this review, 7 February 2013
“Experience of a Life time!!!”
Hi Simi,
Thank you for your kind words. I have shared your review with all the staff mentioned and they were all very happy to hear your feedback. We are very pleased that we could all play a part in ensuring that you have the experience of a lifetime.
You have a very valid point regarding the rainy season. If we had heavy rains for a couple of days, we are restricted with the roads that we can use, and the amount of off-roading we can do. However, luckily we have a very large traversing area, so it ensures that there are enough “hard” roads to also travel on, till the smaller roads dry out again.
Please stay in touch, you are very welcome to share some of your pictures with us on Facebook, we would love to see them.
We look forward to welcoming you back again soon,
Wild wishes,
Willem du Toit
General Manager
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Additional Information about Cheetah Plains

Property: Cheetah Plains
Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve | Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa, Kruger National Park 1383, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cheetah Plains is a small, authentic bush camp in the world renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, with 500 hectares of privately owned land & another 8000 hectares of additional traversing - you can be assured of exceptional game viewing - especially leopard and the rest of the "big 5". Cheetah Plains has only 8 traditionally thatched rooms - set amongst indigenous gardens - creating a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.We focus on freshly produced meals in wonderful surroundings - complementing the friendly and attentive service from all at Cheetah Plains. We look forward to welcoming you to our special bush home. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cheetah Plains South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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