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“Excellent game lodge”

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Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Excellent game lodge”
Reviewed 17 January 2014

We stayed at Elephant plains for 3 nights in early January 2014 and it was a great experience. We were in the Manyeltti Suite which was huge and very comfortable. The staff were all very friendly and the lodge itself is quite luxurious and well laid out with a nice pool and sunbathing area. We found the food good also. However as in any good safari lodge it is the game drives which are important and these were brilliant. Our ranger was Dawie and tracker was Tuli, we saw all the big 5 including a pride of lions and a Leopard in a tree. Dawie has great bush knowledge and show's a genuine interest especially for someone who does this every day. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Elephant Plains and would definitely return there and recommend it too friends. Great Place.

Room Tip: Make sure you to map the journey to the lodge before you set off if driving yourself!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank killianf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 29 January 2014
Thank you for your kind review and all the compliments. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. I will also make sure to pass your compliments to Dawie and Tuli! Please do visit us again one day of you ever return to South Africa. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Beaconsfield
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2014 via mobile

Five days, ten game drives. Unusual, but it's what we wanted, to unwind and soak in being away from phones, work, stress. We were here for four days in 2009 and loved it. We were not disappointed with our return visit. Got to know the staff really well: honourable mention to Remember, for his sense of humour, and Walter, for his inspired mixology (ask him about his latest creation comprising of banana curaçao, Amarula and chocolate liqueur. Asking for it got me into trouble with my daughter :) This time I also took advantage of the African Spa for some greatly needed back massage, and was very pleased with Lynette's help. The views from the Spa are the best in the camp. Our two youngsters used and enjoyed the gym daily, as well as the table tennis and footbolito. This time round we found that the food was even better than in 2009, so use of the fitness facilities was essential. All rangers are very friendly, and every guest raves about theirs. We had Morne' and Derrick looking after us on the drives, and we saw it all..... apart from those BABY LIONS, Morne'! : ) On our very first drive I asked to see chitas. My request was tongue in cheek because I know they are pretty rare in the area, yet there one was, large as life, resting in the grass, then eating from its kill. I would bore you if I listed everything we saw over the ten drives. Honourable mentions go to the wild chase of the dogs (I chose my words carefully there), and the rather closer encounter with the elephant in must, that made use of biological washing powder a must for us as well. We loved every single minute of all the drives, though. Even the long hour spent doing nothing other than watch a very sleepy male leopard (Lamulla) hoping that he would Finally get his act together with Moya! Being in the area for leopard mating was a first for us. Next time I will return at a different time of year, to see how the bush changes with the seasons. Elephant Plains will be my first port of call again.

Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank StefBeaconsfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 22 January 2014
Hi Stef
Thank you for the very kind feedback. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and it is always a compliment to welcome return guests to the lodge! It sounds like you had a fabulous time once again. Thank you for all the compliments on the facilities, food and staff. I will make sure to pass these to the staff members you specified. We would love to welcome you back for a third time. Keep well till then. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2014

This is 5 star in every sense from the accommodation through to all the staff but especially our extraordinary guide Devon and remarkable tracker Vuise. Our family with two children aged 9 and 10 were on a trip of a lifetime and Elephant Plains ticked every box in style. I know nobody can guarantee seeing The Big Five but we did and a whole lot more including wild dogs - 3 sightings in 24 hours was pure magic! We are certain that this was primarily due to the skill of Devon & Vuise especially the leopard on our last morning. And our unsung hero? The young lady chef who cooked up a storm for every meal and made New Year's Eve 2013 very special indeed!!! We cannot recommend this lodge highly enough...

Room Tip: Book the Rhino Suite! Perfect for a family but it would be brilliant for a romantic break if we coul...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Angela F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 22 January 2014
Hi Angela
Thank you for the very kind feedback and for calling us 5 star in every sense! What a lovely compliment. I am glad to read that you enjoyed your time with us and that the whole family enjoyed the holiday. I will pass your compliments to the staff, especially Devon, Vusi and Annike, the chef who was on duty during your stay. Please do visit us again one day - maybe for a romantic break! Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Paris, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 January 2014

My husband and I and our 3 children spent 4 nights at Elephant Plains from January 3rd to the 7th 2014. I am lacking words to say how unforgettable this stay was for all of us. The lodge is beautiful (we had great suites overlooking the savanna), super clean, the scenery is magical but what made this trip unforgettable were the safaris and the talent, patience and kindness of our ranger (Devon) and our tracker (Vusi). What a team! We saw the big 5, even though the lions had crossed to another lodge for a while before our arrival and we were consistently the first ones on sites to see leopards, rhinos, elephants etc. Devon and Vusi were relentless in getting us to see up close as many animals as possible and they succeeded, sometimes against all odds (like for the lions!). We got so close to the animals that I admit at times I was extremely afraid. However, Devon's deep knowledge of the environment and of the animals was key in reassuring us. He was cool under all circumstances and he transmitted his calmness to all of us. We were so lucky to be on Devon and Vusi's team. The lodge was beautiful with luxurious rooms. The personnel was extremely nice and friendly (special mention of Walter and Remember that my kids really liked) and we got lucky with the weather. Only thing that was good but not great was the food. The breakfasts were excellent but the lunch buffets a little bit disappointing. Most of the time my kids couldn't eat anything (too much onions, peppers, fruits everywhere). Dinners were better and eating around the boma was wonderful. After all we didn't really care because everything else was so wonderful and the goal was not to eat, we can do that anywhere, but to live a different experience. This was the best vacations we've had as a family so far. The friendliness and patience of Vusi with my 10 year older needs a special mention. Devon was also very soothing with my oldest daughter who was not comfortable being so close to wild animals. I whole-heartedly recommend this lodge and cannot give enough praises for Devon and Vusi who made this stay so magical for all of us. We miss you very much!!!. We booked it through Rhino Africa which was very helpful in the selection of game lodges and handled all our plane tickets. Extremely competent help from Denis who was always available to answer questions. We all cried when we left and dream of returning there!

Room Tip: We stayed in the suites (Wild Dog and Zebras) and they were wonderful.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Muriel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 13 January 2014
Hi Muriel, thank you for your very kind and thorough feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for all the great compliments! I will be sure to pass all your compliments to the staff, especially Devon and Vusi. Concerning your comment on the food - too many onions, peppers and fruit - we will look into the salad selection, but please also keep in mind that most guests prefer lots of vegetable and fruit options. Also, we have special kids menus available, so if they were not happy to eat the normal meals, we could have arranged a whole other selection for them. Unfortunately we can do nothing about that now, but if you had asked the chefs at the lodge they would have been happy to prepare different meals for the kids. We would love to welcome you back to the lodge one day. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Manchester
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We stayed for 3 nights on our honeymoon. Fantastic lodge. We stayed in the honeymoon suite which was absolutely ginormous and had an equally large private deck outside with private plunge pool. The stay was very organised and had set game drive, breakfast, lunch and dinner times. The staff at Elephant Plains made the stay extra special for us. Morne our guide and Derrick the tracker we're an absolute pleasure to be around and we're extremly knowledgable and passionate about the bush and the animals. I would have loved to have a drive of the Land Cruiser though!!! We also went on a bush walk with Dawie which was great and very informative as Dawie had a vast knowledge of the bush and was equally as passionate. The food was good and varied. Thanks Elephant Plains for contributing to an amazing honeymoon in SA.

The only thing I would mention to future travellers is if you hire a car at the airport go prepared with a good map as the one supplied is quite scarce and there we're a lot of turnings that we we're unsure about which wasn't great in the middle of SA! Also stick to the main roads where you can. The last 10km or so is on a dirt road which is very rough and I was worried that our little Ford Figo wasn't up to the job or was going to get a puncture so get a 4x4 if you can.

Room Tip: Go for the honeymoon suite
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank BarryFromTheMountain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
Hi Barry, thank you for your kind review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your honeymoon with us! Thank you for all the kind compliments, I will be sure to pass them to our staff. Concerning your comments on the map, I agree with you. It is better to use the map that we provide on our website, rather than using maps supplied by car rental agencies. Our map is very detailed and there is no option of being unsure or getting lost when driving with it. We would love to welcome you back to the lodge if you are ever in the area again - maybe for an anniversary?! Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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New York
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

We had the most incredible and relaxed time at Elephants Plains. The staff is friendly and goes out of their way to make sure you have everything you might need--they prepared special meals to meet our dietary needs/preferences and got a fire going in our room on a chilly morning. The game drives were unbelievable. We saw the big five within our first two drives. Over three days, we saw leopards on all but one drive, and lions twice. We were lucky to see wild dog pups eating impala and super excited to see a herd of 25 elephants at a watering hole. Our ranger Louis was very knowledgeable and kind. The luxury suite was gorgeous with a mosquito-net covered bed (though we saw no mosquitos there), a huge tub from which you could bird-watch, and an indoor/outdoor shower. The dirt roads to get to the northern entrance of Sabi Sands were fine for an ordinary rental car if you go slow (and less annoying than the potholed paved roads) and follow the map they email you. If you are coming from the Kruger Gate entrance to the park, it takes three hours to arrive because you have to drive around Sabi Sands to get to the proper entrance. The property has a nice gym, which is really worthwhile when you are spending six hours a day on game drives. We were generally five to seven guests in our car. It's a full schedule from the 5 am wake up knock, with tons of food, a very welcome nature walk, and a bedtime story on your pillow. It's an incredible experience not to be missed, and we were very glad we did it at the Elephant Plains.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Pigaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
Thank you so much for your kind review. I am delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. Please do visit us again, if you ever return to South Africa. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2013

We spent 3 nights at Elephant Plains game lodge in December 2013. Our group had 8 people and we stayed in a combination of Rondavels and Luxury Suites. You really can't go wrong with either room choice (both are very nice) since the biggest difference between the two room options is that the luxury suites are larger and have a living room and large balcony. Otherwise, the rondavels are very comfortable with nice beds and bathrooms. I did a lot of research online before booking our trip and two of the factors that made Elephant Plains stand out was 1) how highly rated they were on Trip Advisor and 2) the fact that the owners responded to so many posts to both thank their clients and discuss any issues people may have had during their stay. After returning from my trip, I can say I definitely made the right choice. The price for our stay was very reasonable compared to many of the other lodges and the staff at Elephant Plains were amazing. By the end of our first day, almost all of the staff that we interacted with had learned our names, making us feel right at home. I was also pleasantly surprised with the food service. The food was really good (especially the daily fresh baked bread with lunch) and each meal had a variety of options. In addition, two of the members of our group had food allergies and the chefs checked in with them daily to make sure they had options available to them for every meal.

Because we had 8 of us on the trip, we had our own vehicle for our game drives each day. Our ranger (Louis) and our tracker (Thomas) were amazing guides and a great match for our group. Not only were they willing to joke around with us (something our group really enjoyed) but they were great at their jobs. Within 2 games drives we saw all of Big 5 and during one game drive, they had personally located 4 of the 5. In addition, they were very knowledgeable - answering any question we had related to the area and the animals.

One of the other aspects I really appreciated about Elephant Plains was that every staff member went out of their way to make an effort to ensure we had a great trip. The lodge had two people (one ranger and one office staff) working at the bar after dinner each night. Even though they had to be up early the next day, they never pressured us to leave and allowed us to hang out and play games until we were ready to leave.

In addition to Louis and Thomas, our group really appreciated the effort made by the rest of the staff including Dawie, Remember, and Jeanine. Thank you again to Elephant Plains for helping to make our trip as memorable as possible.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Daniel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 23 December 2013
Hi Daniel. Thank you so much for your kind and thorough feedback. We are delighted that your group enjoyed your stay with us! Thank you also for pointing out that we take time to respond to all our reviews. I believe that this is equally important, on par with looking after our guests while they are at the lodge. It sounds like your group had a wonderful time during game drives and also enjoyed the rooms, food and our friendly staff. They are one of our biggest assets and I will be sure to pass your compliments to each and everyone that was mentioned by name. We would love to welcome you back one day, so if you are ever in South Africa again, please be sure to come and visit. In the meantime, keep well. Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Property: Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Address: Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Elephant Plains Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elephant Plains Game Lodge is situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. This owner-run lodge caters for the discerning traveller, with a variety of accommodation options including 5 Rondavels, 6 Luxury Suites and a Honeymoon Suite. Activities include two daily game drives and a bush walk. The lodge also offers a spa, gym, conference facility / TV room, games room, small library and two swimming pools. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elephant Plains Game Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Elephant Plains Game Nelspruit
Elephant Plains Game Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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