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“First safari visit as a solo traveler - worth every extra penny”

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Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 November 2012

My first visit to Sabi Sands area, my first safari, and worth the extra costs and the super bumpy ride to the gate (i had been warned by my shuttle driver). I hadn't heard of Inyati, my travel agent uses them alot so i trusted her - its like the best kept secret place.

I was shown to the bar area to complete paperwork and offered a welcome drink as well as a lunch menu which would be made for me while i get settled in the room. I was booked into the Executive Chalet which was massive and is shown on the website - a king size bed which was very comfy, front/back lounge areas (saw impala), large bathroom. The room was hard to leave it was so very nice. The mini-fridge was stocked with free bottled water which was great. There were fresh flowers in the amenities basket which was a nice touch. A welcome pack was in the room and i was a bit disappointed it said "dear guest" rather than personalized.

You are warned to lock the door at all times as the monkeys and baboons are quite smart and can access the room - at night you are walked by security to the rooms as the property does not have a fence and animals may wander in - i saw monkeys and impala during my stay on the property but since the common areas overlook the water, you will see other animals from the lodge.

The game drives are nicely done with a guide and tracker. I was assigned to Kimbini and his brother Richard - they are so knowledgable. kimbini also manages the website and takes amazing photos. The vehicles are stocked with water & blankets (you will use them) and for coffee and sundowner breaks stocked with your drink of choice and snacks.

Going off road to get a closer look was absolutely well worth the stay at a Sabi Sands property - i liked that they shared the space and worked together to ensure that you see as much game as possible with a limit of three vehicles per sighting. During my time, i saw a few leopards in trees (very cool!), one wild dog and the elusive black rhino. I wasn't there for the mating earlier in the week or the buffalo kill but did get to see the lions eating the buffalo - circle of life! Each game drive was different and it was a fun thrill ride. One time a herd of elephants surrounded us eating the trees around us - there were about 20 of them and we shut the engines off and just enjoyed the view - this is what you go on safari for - to be in touching distance of such amazing animals.

I was surprised that nothing was offered in between the brunch and next game drive - i was not told of any walks or other activities - i did hear others talk about a village visit they arranged prior to their stay so i just returned to the room after brunch to read/nap before tea time/next game drive. I would have preferred to do something with this down time.

On my last day, the staff arranged to pick me up mid-drive to ensure that i could have breakfast and prepare to check out before my airport transfer arrived. A vehicle was sent to meet us and i tranferred over and had a great private ride back to the lodge, interrupted (of course) by a herd of elephants on the road blocking us so we waited for them to pass - i appreciated that they recognize that on the last day you really do want to do it all - no time to sleep in (you can do that on the plane!)

The staff was so friendlly and when i asked at tea time to save me a brownie for after the drive, i was presented three at dinner! when i went rogue (with the brownies) the chef reminded me that she had made me a special dairy free dessert due to my food issue. When i asked for a crunchie to take on the flight, i was given a few wrapped up for the flight. The dinners in the bbq area were such fun with the staff singing/dancing -wow are they talented and genuinely seemed like they were having fun too. i thought that the food was good and the breads were fantastic at brunch.

The guests during my visit were in the 40-60's age range with a diverse group of US, German, Brazilian and local SA travel agent on a site visit. Everyone was friendly and as i was traveling solo this mix worked out well for me, I met some great people and we all shared our travel stories and photos - I'd recommend Inyati to anyone traveling on their own.

You pay more to be in Sabi Sands and it is well worth it - this was my first safari experience in South Africa and Inyati made it so memorable it will be hard to top!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank philatravelgirl_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
InyatiHO, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2012

Thank you very much for your kind review.

I am pleased that you have enjoyed your first experience at Inayti and shall pass on your sweet mention of Khimbini and Richard to them.

We certainly look forward to welcoming you back to Inyati.

Warm bushveld regards

Leighanne Dawkins
Inyati Game Lodge

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297 - 303 of 440 reviews

Reviewed 29 October 2012

I didn’t think anywhere could match Arathusa, our safari lodge of 3 years ago but Inyati managed to surpass it on several fronts.
(The access by car to the Lodge is pretty horrific, please see my separate posting about self-drive to Newington Gate).
We had the rooms furthest from the main building - 8/9 - shaded by trees overlooking the river, though not perhaps brilliant for game viewing as we didn’t have a clear view of the open areas where game tended to appear and the bush is quite thick there. In fact the game tends to be much further away from the Lodge than we expected, given the Sand River frontage. Game viewing from our own terrace at Arathusa was better.However, we did have some lovely Nyala grazing around the lawns outside our chalet and a leopard at night seems to regularly make its way through the open Lodge grounds. We also had a baboon trying the door handle the first morning – thankfully we’d heeded staff warnings and kept it locked at all times. Never saw it again thankfully, as it’s the only animal I just don’t like.

Food was generally excellent – decent homemade food, tasty and plenty of it. Maybe desserts were a bit stodgy and often the same but some nice baking/muffins etc. The Boma meals were buffet style and were excellent.

Game viewing with our Ranger Kimbini was just out of this world. Mating lions…hurtling after a hunting leopard on several occasions.....sitting feet away from a leopard on its kill…a roaming male leopard calling beside our vehicle at night for a female, which then appeared. We were within feet – touching distance almost - of the big predators every game drive. These guys know their ‘beat’ so well, they know where the animals are likely to be and of course a kill - and mating - can keep the big cats going for days. If it’s lion and leopard you want to see, this is the place.
Yes, there are a few other vehicles (from more expensive Lodges) but I think this is an advantage –they all share by radio ( no matter how much you’re paying) what’s happening and take turns to check out different sections of the huge area they all traverse to maximize sightings for us all. Otherwise it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack I suspect.

I just don’t know how you could go back to self-driving in Kruger and not be a bit frustrated at that experience. The fact you are in an open, super comfy vehicle and can fully see, smell and hear - and almost touch! - what’s happening and there are no walls between you and the wildlife, is all part of it instead of being locked inside a car. It makes photo opportunities incredible.

The bush in this part of Sabi Sand is very beautiful, more so than what we saw further north. Staff were all very friendly and the local dancing display they put on several times was just fantastic. It seemed so real somehow, as it was the local staff singing songs close to their hearts – I was moved to tears by it, the sounds were so evocative of Africa. Very special.
My only slight criticisms (apart from the drive in and that’s a big one!) is the way they divvy up the day, which wasn’t as good as we’d experienced before. There is quite a gap between brunch at 10.30am and dinner at 8pm (albeit tea/cakes mid-afternoon) but a small point really. I did think too that perhaps the game walks and other activities could have been promoted as being available more often. There was a sense that everything shut down activity –wise after brunch until the 3pm game drive. When we asked about a walk it happened I think the last day of our holiday, so only that one opportunity and I didn’t get the impression it was something that was offered often. At Arathusa every game drive in the morning was followed by an opportunity to go for a different walk in addition to the drive. Our walk was done instead of having the last hour of our drive when we were dropped off near the lodge and walked in. It was great but more limited than we’d had 3 years ago.
We’d go back in a minute to Inyati though….a few tears shed on leaving, it was just so good I wished we’d been able to stay the whole week instead of 4 nights. A world-class experience in terms of game viewing. Yes, it’s expensive but we’re only here on this earth once so I’d say….do it….save up… and you’ll never forget the experiences that money pays for.

Room Tip: Chalets 1/2 though close to the public area, look like they have the ebst views over the lawns and o...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Scotlandmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
InyatiHO, Marketing at Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2012

I am pleased that you have enjoyed your first experience at Inyati and hopefully it won’t be the last one.
As speaking on behalf of the Inyati team, we all look forward to welcoming you back soon.
In the interim, we will endeavour to find a solution to the signage and access roads via Newington.

Warm bushveld regards

Leighanne

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Reviewed 24 October 2012

After visiting Sabi Sands private reserves two years ago, I had the opportunity to do it again and I do not regret it. Sabi Sands and in this case Inyati delivered on the special experience that is hard to describe till you experience it yourself. Sitting in the middle of breeding herd of elephants or following leopards or watching lions who are 5 meters away roar are amazing experinces. The most amazing of them was prior to our first ride when we saw from the dinning area a leopard crossing the lodge lawn and passing not too far from my room.

The rooms were excellent with all things expected ranging from fridge, high quality towels, good bed, etc. All this set in beautiful location. Our ranger was Piet; our tracker was Nelson, and both delivered on the big 5 multiple times during our 3 day stay. Piet was very knowledgeable about the animals and birds, making our drives not just amazing but also educational. The food was OK. I would like to thank them for making special effort to accomodate my sister in-law dietary requirements .

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank s5351b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
InyatiHO, Marketing at Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2012

Thank you so much for your review. I will personally pass this lovely comment to both Piet and Nelson as I am sure it will make their day.

We all look forward to welcoming you back to Inyati soon.

Warm bushveld regards

Leighanne Dawkins
Inyati Game Lodge

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Reviewed 19 October 2012

What a marvelous place!! Best safari we ever did! Great people and safari. Comfortable camp. Guest average age is pretty high (we went with teenagers), but didn't matter. Rangers and Trackers are EXCELLENT! Food is ok. We stayed 3 nights (shouldn't do less).

Room Tip: Had Room #1. Very good view and closely located to the main building.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ella R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2012

Everything about Inyati is first class and it is no wonder that people come there many times - we met people who have been coming each year for 5-10 years now. From Keith and Frances who run the place, to every single team member, it was a pleasure inteacting with them and seeing them try and meet your every requirement. The rooms were excellent, the food and drinks was great and the wildlife sighting out of this world. We certainly were delighted with our choice and the experience was far more than we expected.
There were 6 of us - two who had never been on a safari before and we were more than satisfied. Keith and Norman who took us around were special. Keith's passion for the fauna and flora came through in everything that he did and while being extra careful not to do anything to upset the wildlife/flora that we viewed, we still ended up having some amazing sighting: the only two we missed were the cheetah and the wild dogs. With great co-ordination between the lodges in that area, everyone gets to see so much more. We had a truly wonderful 3 nights stay here

Room Tip: All the rooms are great but those closer to the river are the ones that you must book
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank dilipjc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
InyatiHO, Marketing at Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2012

What a lovely review! Wow and thank you!

We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay and the amazing game viewing.

We all look forward to welcoming you back to Inyati soon.

Warm bushveld regards

Leighanne Dawkins
Inyati Game Lodge

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Reviewed 8 September 2012

We have just returned from South Africa; 2 families including 4 teenagers. We couldn't fault the accommodation; the food; the pool area; the whole experience was better than we expected - the rooms included a decanter of sherry and pringles; chocolate and water in the fridge; plenty of lovely toiletries in the bathrooms; towelling robes and hairdryers in the wardrobe and a beautiful location. Our guide was Piet; our tracker was Nelson, and both could not have been more accommodating or found more animals if they tried; in fact we were so lucky that it was almost as though it had all been staged - we usually were in exactly the right place at the right time and typically a few minutes ahead of the 'Richard Branson' game reserve jeep! Amazing; a great co-ordination between the other reserve trackers so we were assured of our 2.5 days being action packed and sightful, as were the other game reserve guests, whichever lodging they were guests of. The food was fabulous; we sat out around a fire and was so atmospheric. Perfect.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Sue R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
InyatiHO, Manager at Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2012

Hi Sue

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your review. I look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Kind Regards

Leighanne Dawkins

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Reviewed 15 August 2012

My son and I had a fantastic time at Inyati Game Lodge. Little did we know about what it would be like and so we were in for a number of surprises. To find such a well kept place in the middle of the bush where everything would be done to make our stay memorable was a real pleasure. Going on safari with Piet was such a delight. We came so close to so many animals that we had to remind ouselves that this was real and not a dream.
We enjoyed to see wildlife entering the grounds and to listen to lions and hippos at night.
We can strongly recommend Inyati to everyone.

Birgit and Eric
Germany/the Netherlands

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Birgit S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
InyatiHO, Manager at Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2012

Thank you very much for your delightful comments. I am very pleased to know that you have enjoyed your safari experience with us. We hope to welcome you back soon.

Kind Regards,

Leighanne Dawkins

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Additional Information about Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve

Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Inyati Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Inyati Private Game Reserve
Price Range: £732 - £908 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the lush banks of the Sand River, Inyati Game Lodge offers the ultimate safari experience combining diverse wildlife with authentic African hospitality. From the warm welcome you receive upon arrival, to our comfortable chalets, hearty home style cuisine and highly experienced guides, every guest departs with unforgettable memories and the imprint of Africa in their soul. #inyatisafari ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inyati Game Hotel Inyati Private Game Reserve

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