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Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Reserve
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Reviews (544)
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All reviewswatering holeour honeymoonsabi sandshippos and crocslarge lakesafari experienceprivate deckplunge poolon a daily basiswild dogswater buckan amazing experiencesouth africaexceeded our expectationsmain deckwine cellarfood was wonderful
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Reviewed 28 June 2014

I've been meaning to do this review for ages so here goes! The whole experience was fantastic. With the aid of Surprise,our guide,we saw the big 5 and loads more(a cheetah for starters)-speaking of which the food was brilliant and so were the sundowners! Our room no 1 was amazing -the attention to detail was outstanding. The private pool and outdoor shower were another very welcome surprise on our decking overlooking the water hole. The outdoor dining under the stars was so romantic. The management and staff were all wonderful-go there!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dianagood1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

We were 4 couples of Mexico and we stayed 4 days at this place. This place surpasses our expectations. We had an amazing time. The lodge is beautiful, the rooms are super comfortable and gorgeous!!!!!!! Claudia and Leon really made us feel at home.The staff is very friendly and very helpful. Thank you so much for this unforgettable and incredible vacations!!!!!!!! We loved it.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank GranMateo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2014

It was truly a magnificent experience. In a remote area,it was beyond our imagination to experience such hospitality and devotion of staff. Claudia and Leon are the best hosts ever.... They guided us throughout and were always present when we needed them. The location of the lodge was incredible, with views of the beautiful lake and African Savannah. We could see hippos, crocs and animals just outside of our deck. Foodie lovers!!! You wont be disappointed as they have amazing african fine dining dishes and mind blowing hot chocolate. Our ranger Andres was hilarious and very tough so we didnt feel scared of the Big5. What do you think the rooms would be like in the jungle?? What ever you think, youll surely be amazed by the appearance of the room. They have mosquito nets and comfortable pillows for peaceful sleep, but the only con would be the noises of hippos. Well,you will obviously hear them if you are staying in the jungle. The staff was very polite, respectful, kind and were always at our service. We were lucky enough to see the Big5 in a single game drive!!!
So now you know how amazing chitwa chitwa is and it truly was the time of my life.......

Room Tip: For families i would prefer Charsley Suite as it has a more comfortable and social environment for families to stay/ Rooms nearest to the main unit are better.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Ibrahim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2014

Chitwa Chitwa is a magical place. We thoroughly enjoyed our 5 nights in this luxurious safari resort. Our hosts, Leon and Claudia could not have been more wonderful. Located in the Sabi Sands reserve, within Kruger National Park, about 6 hours drive from JNB. There is also an airstrip if you choose to fly all the way in. Chitwa accommodates 28 people maximum, so in some ways it is a bit like a B&B in terms of the personal service and people interactions. Here are the positives that influenced my assessment:
People - Leon and Claudia, the general managers, do a phenomenal job running the place. They are seasoned hospitality business professionals, and totally focused on ensuring a first class experience for their clientele. They were up from before dawn to well after dinner each night, always with warm smiles on their faces, taking care of any/all guest requests. The rest of the staff, from Dinho the bartender, who knew all our names the first day and kept our room stocked with Coke Light, to our Ranger, Andreus, and our Tracker, Rincen, with their superb knowledge of all the animals and plants we encountered. We felt secure throughout our stay, in addition to being well cared for.
The Property- We stayed in Room 12, the Chitwa House, with our 3 kids. Two large luxurious bedrooms, dining room, living room, 3 decks overlooking a water hole full of hippos, crocs, etc, and our own private pool. Each bedroom has its own fireplace, bathroom with tub and both indoor and outdoor showers. Perfect for a family or multiple couples. The other suites (stand alone houses really) have 1 bedroom and are luxuriously appointed, each with its own deck overlooking the water hole. The main lodge includes bar, restaurant, wine cellar, decks, and tons of artwork. There is also a Mac for guest use, and wifi, but be warned, it is quite slow, through their cell tower I believe. They also have a boma (outdoor circular eating area with a bonfire in the middle, a 100+ candles, and a fence around it to keep animals out), where they served us a private family dinner.
Cuisine – Excellent food. They have a Swiss chef on loan who has taken things up a notch. Meals included breakfast, lunch, high tea, and dinner, all at a set time. Ostrich fillet, kingklip, grilled calamari, and the desserts were particular favorites. Their wine cellar has a nice selection of S African wines, many not available anywhere else. The Webersburg 2008 Cab Sav was excellent, if you can get it. Leon is quite knowledgeable about them and always had an excellent recommendation. Make sure you have a “private dinner” one evening.
Safaris – Two per day (morning and afternoon/eve) on their private reserve, plus neighboring reserves who have contracts with each other. Our guide is in radio contact with the other guides, which maximizes your chances of seeing stuff. I don’t know the total acreage they tour, but it’s enough to see the “Big 5”, and then some. Leopards and lions are a particular specialty of the area. Our driver and tracker were quite knowledgeable on virtually every manner of beast, insect, or plant we encountered. We felt completely safe the entire time, even with a pride of lions hunting around us. We were also served a sunrise coffee, and a sundowner cocktail on the morning/evening safari’s respectively. A very civilized way to tour the bush!
On the improvement opportunity side, here are some things I’d suggest:
• A 5 star place should be 5 star all the way around. The gym needs work, it’s 1 star. Weight machine cables were frayed making it inoperable, treadmill shut down every 2 minutes, spinbike chain kept jumping. Note: they will take you running outside with a Ranger driving behind you.
• Fireplace vent stacks in Chitwa house are undersized. They light a fire in the room at night, which is a nice touch, however when we entered, there was visible smoke in the foyer, and the kids room had so much smoke it burned their eyes. We cancelled our fires for the rest of our stay.
• Speed up the wifi and put it in every room.
• Our Ranger, while extremely knowledgeable and a wonderful man, was at times difficult to understand (granted, his English is far better than my African). I’d also like him to proactively explain more what’s going on with the animals (eg tracks, droppings, warning calls, what we’re tracking, etc). Some of the hesitancy I suspect has to do with comfort level with the language. Perhaps some English lessons? I would also suggest the Ranger and Tracker speak only English to each other in front of the guests so we get a better sense of what’s going on.
• Put screens on the windows/doors so we can enjoy the lovely African evening breezes without the worry of the malaria mosquito and other flying critters.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank CulinarySnob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

The Chitwa Chitwa is really a super lodge with fantastic service and great game viewing.

We landed at the elephant plains airstrip and it was a leisurely 40 minute drive to Chitwa Chitwa. The lodge itself has their own air strip (which we used on the way out) however this can only accommodate small aircrafts. We got to the lodge to be welcomed by the lovely couple, Claudia and Leon. I must say here, these two people really made the difference between a good and phenomenal holiday. In fact our travel agents had messed up our transfers and Claudia managed to sort everything out without us having to do absolutely anything.

Rooms - We (2 couples and 2 children - age 9 and 6) stayed at the Chitwa house. The Chitwa house is HUGE! 2 large ensuite bedrooms. Large bedrooms with even larger bathrooms. Very nice sunk-in bath which my daughter used everyday. Apart from the bedrooms there is the large living area, complete with a dining table, lounge area and the works. The deck area is large, again with a separate dining table, lounge and plunge pool. The views from the deck are amazing - overlooking the large private lake with loads of hippos. Across from the lake you can always spot numerous impala, kudu, crocodiles and other game. Overall, very rich and spacious rooms with a warm intimate touch.

Lodge - the lodge itself is cosy and very nice. A nice pool, great viewing area and lovely bar (with a separate wine cellar). The food is excellent. We were 4 vegetarians in our group and the chef went out of his way to create some fantastic veg food.

Game viewing - the lodge itself owns a very small game area (about 450 hectares - which is extremely small by KNP standards) but they have tied up with a number of neighboring lodges. This effectively means your gaming experience isn't at all comprised. Our ranger was Surprise (Yes - I have not misspelled this), and he indeed was excellent. We spotted the big 5 pretty easily and spent considerable amounts of time watching leopards. The only animal we couldn't view was the cheetah, nonetheless we saw virtually everything else at very close range with excellent photo opportunities.

Overall an extremely good stay. No doubt one of the better lodges in the area. Would not at all hesitate to recommend this to anyone. Thanks again to Claudia and Leon for making our trip really memorable.

Room Tip: Chitwa House really is excellent.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Dapppa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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