We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very good ovearall”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I stayed in Elephant Plains lodge for 2 nights at the end of July 2014 before moving to Nkorho and then Nottens Bush Camp. In my opinion Elephant Plains has got the top spot for "best value for money". Excellent game drives, very good accommodations and general settings of the lodge. Friendly and helpful staff. Food is adequate to the price, but nothing special. Pleasurable experience and 100% satisfaction on fulfilment of my main target - taking good photos of a wildlife.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank andrevictor1957
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 reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Hi Andre, thank you for your kind feedback and compliments. I am glad that you enjoyed your stay! Thanks for awarding us top spot for value for money! I am glad that you got nice photos. Please do visit us again some day! Kind regards, Marlet Swart

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (877)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

285 - 291 of 877 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2014

After lodging in Madikwe and Welgevonden a year ago i immediately began planning our next safari. Because the main aim was to view leopard i wanted a lodge in Sabi Sands. Using TA reviews as a guide along with value for money i settled on Elephant Plains. EP has weekly website updates re their sightings and lodge owner replies to every single review. Hence, i expected EP to have a strong 'attention to detail' focus. On the initial two game drives we saw 4 of big 5 along with pack of wild dog fighting with hyenas. Even a herd of elephant joined in! On our last afternoon drive the entire vehicle wanted to see leopard. Early into the drive Dawie (guide) stopped the land cruiser and explained he intended to find a female leopard which had been seen by others in the morning drive. We drove around one section of the conservancy for quite some time at a slow speed. Finally Dawie stopped vehicle, killed engine and announced a leopard would cross the road ahead within '30-60 seconds'. Right-on-cue she appeared and we followed her for over 20 minutes only leaving so a 3rd vehicle could join the sighting. The whole search process seemed natural and the strain Dawie was under only dawned on me when he clenched his fist and relief flooded across his face when leopard appeared. In hindsight i realised he had been methodically working the section in conjunction with another vehicle via his radio earpiece and he was concerned the cat would cross into adjoining territory. It was a highly professional effort and a credit to the expertise and diligence of guides/trackers involved. The big leopard Tom the next morning before we left was yet another highlight.

Liked: Kitchen made real effort with gluten-free bread and other dishes for my wife. Also liked that Dawie joined the guests each evening in bar area.

Esp liked: I suffered a nasty foot injury several months ago and still have to be careful where i walk. Every single light along pathways around EP works! Every pathway is swept daily.

Camp highlight: The main pathway from deck area to the accommodation has row of aloes on both sides. These tough plants are low maintenance and water efficient. They were filled with winter flowers and 3 species of sunbirds along with other nectar feeders provides guests with lovely sights and sounds esp in the mornings after game drive.

Gripe: In bathroom area lodge places notice asking guests to be be green and save on water. No problem. Yet basin taps have no indication re hot or cold and we wasted plenty water discovering which was which. We would forget and next day repeat the process. I mentioned this to manager and hope it was been remedied. My wife loved EP but felt coffee was not up to the standard of everything else.

Conclusion: 'Just as I expected' EP runs like a well oiled sowing machine. It delivers the goods and is highly recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MGM1954
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 reviewResponded 10 August 2014

Hi Mike, thank you very much for your kind and thorough review. Thank you for all the compliments on the lodge, staff, meals, the game drives and our guides commitment, as well as the general upkeep and even our gardens! A lot of guests do not understand the amount of strain our guides are under to provide the goods in terms of great sightings for their guests and it is very thoughtful of you to mention this. As I pointed out on my e-mail to you, we were waiting for hot/cold signs from a service provider, but all the taps that needed replacement signs has been sorted out. You also mentioned that your wife did not enjoy the coffee - we use Miko Colombian blend for the filter coffee, as well as Illy pods - not sure which one she did not enjoy. We would love to welcome you back to the lodge one day. Kind regards, Marlet Swart

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

This felt like a hidden gem. The journey there (we drove) was a bit arduous but as soon as we arrived I felt it was worth every bump. If you are driving get instructions from the lodge and follow them carefully. Lovely room overlooking the water hole, great food and friendly. We saw several leopards, really this was the experience of a lifetime. The rangers were great, really made the drives enjoyable and the jeeps are great fun. Brilliant experience.

Room Tip: We had the honeymoon suite, large with a lovely deck and plunge pool.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Alison O
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 reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Hi Alison, thank you for the kind feedback and for calling us a hidden gem! Thank you also for the compliments on our staff members, the rooms, food and game drives. Please do visit us again one day! Kind regards, Marlet Swart

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

My wife and I had an amazing stay at Elephant Plains. The best part was our game drives. Dawie and Thully were both amazing and did an unbelievable job sighting animals and getting us a great view of the animals. We not only saw the big five, but experienced many quality sightings, including a leopard in a tree with an impala kill, a mother and baby elephant playing, and a pack of lions going after two buffalo.

My wife and I stayed in one of the rondavels. The accommodations were pristine. It was our honeymoon and as added touch the hotel put a complimentary bottle of champagne in our room. We both thought this was so nice and above and beyond what would be expected.

The only reason I'm giving this lodge a 4 out of 5 is that I thought the food was a bit inconsistent. At some meals it was really amazing and other meals it was just average. Overall though, I would definitely recommend this lodge and had a great experience here. A great value for Sabi Sands, lovely rooms, friendly and helpful staff, and amazing game drives. A true once in a lifetime African safari experience!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank BKTraveler2014
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 reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you very much for your kind review and all the compliments on our staff, the rooms and the game viewing. Thank you also for recommending us as good value for money. We would love to welcome you back one day! Maybe for an anniversary? Kind regards, Marlet Swart

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

We stated for 4 nights. Everything perfect. The game dives were just so good. Well worth the 5.30 early morning calls!!! Accommodation was spacious and luxurious, even to the fire lit for you in the evening.The Boma Dinners were just wow. We saw so many animals, even Leopard mating and a wild dog kill

Room Tip: They all were fabulous.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ChrisBuckels
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 reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Hi Chris, thank you for your kind review and compliments. I am glad you enjoyed your stay and we would love to welcome you back one day! Kind regards, Marlet Swart

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

My husband and I stayed at Elephant Plains as part or our recent tour of South Africa. We loved it! We had a lovely LARGE cabin (we stayed in the Rhino room) with private deck. The place is family owned and operated and you could definitely tell that from the attention to detail and the service provided. All of the staff were wonderful and helpful. The food was very good and we enjoyed meals in the company of other travellers. The game drives were the best ever (we have stayed at other lodges in South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania and this was definitely the best for game viewing). We highly recommend staying in Sabi Sands rather than Kruger. While both share an unfenced border so the animals move freely between them, in Kruger you have to stick to the roads and everything is much more crowded. At Elephant Plains the rangers literally would take you through trees to get close to the animals. Our Ranger, Dawie, and our Tracker, Tewy (sp?) were fabulous. It is still a mystery as to how they could locate a leopard in a tree with a kill based on a few scrapes in the sand miles away! We got so close to animals that you could feel their breath. The staff, however, are all very careful and protective of the animals and are clearly very highly trained. We never ever felt unsafe. The night drives, which I initially thought might be uninteresting, provided some of our best moments. I can still sense the eerie feeling of being surrounded by the glowing eyes of laughing hyena (the really do laugh!) in the dark. The only reason we didn't give this place a five stars is that the safari vehicles seemed slightly crowded. There were three seats in each row and all seats were occupied throughout our stay. Hence, someone had to have the middle seat on every drive which isn't great for taking photographs. Also, our room was the closest one to the main lodge. When we were trying to rest (after 5am game drives), we could hear a lot of noise from the main lodge (other guests and staff preparing for lunch). It didn't give us the "away from it all" feeling we had hoped for.

Otherwise it was a fantastic stay and we highly recommend it. We also love the weekly email updates we still receive on the sightings for each week. We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: The larger suites are amazing, however, Rhino room is the closest to the main lodge and can be noisy...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank CAM1202
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 reviewResponded 24 July 2014

Thank you very much for your kind and thorough feedback. I am glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you also for the compliments on attention to detail, helpful staff members, good food and the best ever game drives, seeing that you've been on safari elsewhere in South Africa as well as in the rest of Africa. What a nice compliment! As we run on a fairly high occupancy (we take 24 guests and have 3 game drive vehicles to lessen the impact on the environment) our vehicles can sometimes carry 8 guests per vehicle, if the camp is fully booked. We have, however, found that guests do not generally mind swapping seats so that everyone can get the opportunity of having a side seat when the vehicles are full. Guests also have the option of hiring a private vehicle for the duration of their stay, which would mean that you have the entire vehicle for yourself, obviously subject to availability and booking well in advance. Maybe you should consider doing this when you return for your next safari? We would love to welcome you back to the lodge! Kind regards, Marlet Swart

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We visited elephant plains as a family in mid July. We stayed in the family villa. Luxury accommodation, top quality food and an unforgettable safari experience. We saw many animals, unfortunately just not rhino of the big five. Highlights would have been seeing a pair of mating leopards, a pride of lions with cubs and a second group of four big males on the same day, and watching wild dogs hunting (they chased a leopard up a tree and at the same time a hippo was caught in the commotion and came running across in front of the vehicle, bellowing - it was hilarious!). Our only regret is we didn't stay longer. We drove in to the lodge, a very long and bumpy drive. I would recommend flying in. Reasonably priced compared to other lodges in this premium game reserve but as with the other private game lodges you need to book well in advance.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NZcowcocky
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 reviewResponded 24 July 2014

Thank you very much for your kind review. I am glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us! Wow, it sounds like you truly had some amazing sightings, even though you missed out on seeing some rhino. Thank you also for mentioning that we are reasonably priced, in comparison with surrounding lodges. Please do visit us again one day - per charter flight if you prefer. As you have seen, our gravel airstrip is a two minute drive from the lodge, making transfers via Johannesburg etc. a whole lot easier. Kind regards, Marlet Swart

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Sabi Sand Game Reserve hotels
12.6 mi away
Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge
Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge
#12 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
513 reviews
6.1 mi away
Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve
Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Res...
#1 of 1 in Inyati Private Game Reserve
443 reviews
7.5 mi away
Nkorho Bush Lodge
Nkorho Bush Lodge
#14 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
423 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.9 mi away
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
#3 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
462 reviews
9.9 mi away
Umkumbe Safari Lodge
Umkumbe Safari Lodge
#1 of 1 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
336 reviews
1.1 mi away
Simbambili Game Lodge
Simbambili Game Lodge
#15 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
352 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Elephant Plains Game Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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 #16 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: £383 - £623 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com and Agoda so you can book your Elephant Plains Game Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing