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“Savanna says it all” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Savanna Private Game Reserve

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Savanna Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
White River, South Africa
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Savanna says it all”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

Truly a memorable stay. Tent was perfect nothing missing small attention to detail in the most natural of ways. Loved the quail eggs for soak time. Accommodation and staff first class always with a smile and very attentive to our needs.Having stayed in more than one lodge in the Sabi Sands this stay made a difference. Wonderful sightings and our guide Neil truly knowledgeable passionate and well informed . But then famous people are wife included . Paddy thank you for your time and truly hope your recovered fully. we felt truly welcome and will return soonest .

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AAA6911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
savannalodge, Marketing manager at Savanna Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 1 October 2014
Dear AAA6911

Thank you for taking the time to post your review and we are very pleased that you enjoyed your time at Savanna and also hope to see you again soon.
Best wishes
The Savanna Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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391 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2014

Sabi Sands is right place to go for the animals- small # people viewing, great animal populations- from there it's all a bit of the luck of the day*. Savanna is the right place for EVERTHING else.
The rooms are fantastic- lovely, tasteful, understated, a bit trendy and in perfect order.
The food is fantastic- interesting salads and lunch dishes, very sophisticated dinner menus, local game is delicious and interesting addition, deserts- great. Everything we had was top drawer in quality, presentation and taste.
*The guides and trackers (the one variable in the animal viewing equation)- very good at their jobs- extremely knowledgeable, personable, professional
Staff- friendly, efficient, really really good at their jobs so that everything happens the way it's supported to, when it's supposed to.
Couple of examples that make it extra special:
When you get home from the afternoon game drive dusty and tired and have 45 minutes until dinner- you walk in your room, the bath is drawn, just add cold water, the candles are lit, and 2 sherries are poured and waiting on the table by the bath.
Dinners at the long communal table are better than family, it's like being at a fabulous dinner party with the most socially skilled hosts. Your guide and most likely his partner host you, suggest where you sit then sit nearby and animate the conversation so that everyone has a nice time.
I didn't think SA could top the Mara for a safari experience but it did.
Well done to all the staff at Savanha- I would definitely come back.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AandAontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
savannalodge, Marketing Manager at Savanna Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear AandAontheroad

Thank you for taking the time to post such a lovely review and we are pleased that you enjoyed all aspects of your time at the lodge.
We hope you will be back for a visit one day, and until then take care and safe travels.

Warm wishes
The Savanna Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014 via mobile

Absolutely amazing experience, guides are really knowledgeable and accommodating leading to the best viewing, accommodation and staff is first class and the friendliness and brilliant service makes this destination one worth visiting. This was truly a lifetime memory!

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Clinton S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
savannalodge, Marketing manager at Savanna Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Clinton S

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.
We are so pleased you enjoy your stay with us and hope you will be back for a visit one day, and until then take care and safe travels.
Warm wishes
The Savanna Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
177 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

Having stayed at more than one lodge while in Sabi Sands, it was interesting to experience the differences. This review will be a little long in order to help those who might be looking for detail about the overall atmosphere as well as the general food, room, value info before making a decision on where to stay in Sabi Sands. What sets Savannah apart is the exceptional staff.

If you're looking for a place where you'll feel like you're staying with a great group of friends, having a good time sharing their love of animals and genuinely wanting you to join in their fun, then Savannah is perfect. There may be options that are more “exclusive”, but after having spent four nights at Savannah and then another four nights at a separate lodge, our feeling was that Savannah has a comfortable and casual atmosphere that is very inviting. The rangers join the guests for meals, so you get to hear all the amazing and often hilarious stories they have to tell, but they never take over the conversation from the guests so you still have a great time visiting with all the other people who're staying at the lodge. And it's not just the rangers at Savannah who are wonderful company, we visited with many other staff members who also seem less like employees performing their duties and more like part of the overall group of friends who jointly decided to run a high quality lodge.

The dinners were especially wonderful (still not yet talking about the food), from an experience perspective. One evening we had the privilege of seeing a performance by men and women from a nearby village. Their voices were enchanting, their outfits were vivid and their dances were so engaging it was truly a highlight. Again, even the performers seemed to be having a good time together, laughing and kidding each other as opposed to just “performing” for the tourists. It was really enjoyable to watch. Another evening we had dinner in an old refurbished dining car from the original train that used to run through the area about 100 years ago. The dining car is gorgeous inside and it even rocks ever so slightly while people are moving around inside so you almost feel as though you're having dinner on a moving train. Outside the train car was a big bonfire, with chairs around for relaxing and tons of lanterns adding to the ambiance.

It really was all the little things at Savannah, as the vast majority of prior reviewers have mentioned. We never had the feeling the staff was talking with us because they were paid to. Or that the village performers were just trying to entertain us because they were paid to. It somehow feels like everyone there is just having a good time and they hope you get caught up in a fun with them. How unique is that? Like lightning in a bottle...or spotting a honey badger.

So on to the usual review items. Our ranger was Neil, who we absolutely loved. Awesome sense of humor, so knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. As an added bonus he is an avid photographer so he he knew exactly where to position the Land Rover to get optimal photos. Our tracker was Nordic, who we also loved. He found the cheetah everyone in Sabi had been looking for over a couple day period. Also a very friendly, sweet person with a great sense of humor (and a lot of patience to deal with us). Together Neil and Nordic found the most amazing sights for us. Our first drive we saw a leopard up a tree with his kill and a pack of hyena under the tree waiting for scraps. We saw white rhino, kudu, elephants and jackals as well on that first drive. In addition, they found us giraffe, hippos, baboons, impala, nyala, buffalo, lions, several more leopards including a mom with her two little ones, all kinds of birds, and several other animals I have a million pictures of. It's breath-taking how close you are able to get to all these beautiful creatures. And honestly, I think Land Rover should do a commercial showing what Neil can do with their vehicle. Sales would sky-rocket.

The rooms/tents are so incredible. Huge bed (although we noticed a theme at the different lodges of a hard mattress...probably because otherwise guests would never leave), great open room looking out on your own plunge pool and deck as well as the plains with animals strolling by. The bathroom was amazing, big huge tub they fill for you each night while you're on your evening drive. Great big double shower with two rainfall shower heads. Lovely outdoor shower as well. Fully stocked mini-bar with snacks and beverages. Hair dryer, huge dual sink counter, lovely bath products. Also took advantage of the little gift bag they provide with sunscreen, lip balm, bug spray, etc...

The food was also excellent. Each morning you are provided tea, coffee and water along with fruit and cookies prior to departing for the early game drive. When you return for breakfast there is a large table with all kinds of fruit, juices, breads, cheeses, yogurt, cereal, etc... Then you are asked if you would like the daily special, which could be anything from a Savannah sandwich to eggs Benedict, or if you'd prefer some other hot breakfast option like scrambled or poached eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast and probably anything else you could dream up. Lunch was my favorite since they always had that large table full of all kinds of wonderful vegetarian options along with all the meat. I've always enjoyed buffet type meals when there is so much variety in order to be able to try little bits of lots of things. Dinners were also great with several starter and main dish options along with incredible desserts. You could easily gain weight here if you're not careful!

Savannah is my #1 recommendation for Sabi Sands, I can't thank the staff enough for making our stay the trip of a lifetime.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank rmcareer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
savannalodge, Marketing manager at Savanna Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear rmcareer

Thank you for your wonderful review and we are proud to have made it as your number 1 recommendation in the Sabi Sands!

We are so pleased you enjoy your stay with us and felt part of the family.
We hope you will be back for a visit one day, and until then take care and safe travels.

Warm wishes
The Savanna Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bribie Island, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

My friend and I made an impulsive trip to SA in July and spent a week at Savanna, Most people stay 3 nights and move on to another lodge. I don't see the point if staying in Sabi Sands area covering the same concessions. We saw the big five in the first three game drives and from then on was just bonus after bonus. Our two Excellent rangers were David and Neil. Great camera advice from Neil. All staff were caring, attentive, cheerful and the week was special because of them. Great massage by Eve. Meals were always interesting, including game, and wonderful presentation. All drinks were included (except some labels, which was fair). There were some non alcholhol drinking guests while we were there and I wondered if they had a deal and if teenage kids pay the same. Worth an ask perhaps.
Because we were there for a week we spent a day outside the reserve doing a panoramic drive, including the third biggest canyon in the world, waterfalls and lunch at Graskop. We saw a another side of South Afruca on this drive. Ask at the office. Now we are home we wish we had travelled to White River and Hazyview as I was interested in art and non tacky souvenirs.
All in all I would recommend Savanna very strongly for game sightings, for photography enthusiasts with Neil and say thank you to all staff for their commitment to making sure we had a great experience.

Room Tip: We were lodge 8
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Coolaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
savannalodge, Marketing manager at Savanna Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Coolaz

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us and we are very happy you enjoyed your time at Savanna.

We hope that you do plan another trip to SA (and Savanna) soon, until then take care and safe travels.
Warm wishes
The Savanna Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zug, Switzerland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

We spent two nights of our honeymoon at the Savanna and it was absolutely amazing! The rooms, the service and the food (including the choir) were fabulous and the safari tours with Neil were both very entertaining and informative. We went to Sabi Sands to see big cats and got to see five different leopards, male and female lions and a cheetah. Our stay couldn't have been better. Going back to Savanna is on my bucket list. Thanks again, Neil. Cheers, Roli

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Roli S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
savannalodge, Marketing manager at Savanna Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear Roli S

Thank you for the excellent review, we are pleased you have list us as “THE best”!

We are so pleased you enjoyed your honeymoon and stay at Savanna, and we do look forward to seeing you again.

Take care and safe travels.
Warm wishes
The Savanna Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, Virginia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

It seems that most of the Sabi-Sands lodges get fantastic reviews, … but Savanna worked out perfectly for us. Here’s why:

Safari - The wildlife was my top priority. Up front I told our guide, Neil, exactly what I was hoping to see (my “top 5” if you will): (1) Cheetah, chasing something; (2) a Leopard in a tree with a kill; (3) Lions – in action; (4) a fantastic sunset; and (5) a giraffe.

I figured that was a tall order, but Neil came through (although the Cheetah didn’t get a kill, he tried – and the lions were mostly hanging out). Tons of leopards, including a mama with two cubs. That was incredible to see them interact.

Anyway, Neil did a great job. He made the trip fantastic – working hard to hit my list, all the while making the experience just a perfect 10. And, it turned out Neil is a professional photographer. So, I finally learned how to make the Nikon do what it was supposed to. Truly, an amazing experience.

Lodge – I lucked out here. I wanted fantastic food and a first-class lodge. But, I didn’t want a stuffy, over-the-top, place where you couldn’t unwind. Savanna balanced it nicely. The family meals were great. So, you got to meet/talk with others. But, the rooms were completely private. It was like you were in the bush on your own. Perfect balance – for me at least.

Staff – All excellent. No question, they put pride and passion into everything they do. Very nice.

Food – perfect. Savanna had great food, simply served. After talking with the other guests I learned many of the lodges were into gourmet food, delicately presented like a five-star restaurant. I get that kind of thing in the city. I’m glad that wasn’t the approach here.

Room – We had an executive suite. I loved it. Really, perfect. Very private. Screen door if you wanted to hear the wildlife at night (did get spooky though). Outdoor shower was neat. I used the plunge pool, but it was very cold (it is winter).

Other things …

I think what I really liked about Savanna were the little things: a drawn bath and hot bed warmers; the FREE laundry service! – FANTASTIC; complimentary stocked bar in the room, etc. That just made the stay so completely pleasant. WiFi worked – although I found the mobile connectivity to be a bit better.

Really cool, also, was the sunset bar they set up in the bush. Just stellar, … the lights in the trees, a drink, a snack, the stars, and folks to laugh with. Spectacular! I also loved the outdoor dinner setup. Very quaint. My wife loved the children singing. They were amazing. And, to hear the animals roar (literarily) in the night – yeah, very cool.

All in all, great job Savanna. I don’t usually go back to the same place twice, but in this case, I’ll be back with the whole family next year.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mattva1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
savannalodge, Marketing manager at Savanna Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 August 2014
Dear mattva1

Thank you for the wonderful and very thorough review.
We are so pleased that Neil found most of the items on your “top 5” list and that you enjoyed the lodge, food and all other aspects of the lodge.

We hope you will visit again one day, until then, take care and safe travels.
Warm wishes
The Savanna Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Savanna Private Game Reserve

Property: Savanna Private Game Reserve
Address: R536 Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger National Park 1242, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Savanna Private Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Savanna Private Game Reserve is a luxury five star Game Reserve in the Sabi Sands South Africa. The Sabi Sands is acknowledged as the best area in the world for leopard viewing. Our object at Savanna is to give our guests the best wildlife experience possible. See guest comments on Trip Advisor to see just how our guests are blown away by the Savanna Experience. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with South African Hotels so you can book your Savanna Private Game Reserve 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:
Savanna Private Game Reserve Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Savanna Private Game Reserve South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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