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“2nd time around”

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Shumbalala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London
1 review
“2nd time around”
Reviewed 17 January 2008

we went back to shumbalala for the second time, taking with us, our close friends, everything was superb, the staff, the guides, accomodation, and the superb food, we saw all the big 5, and cannot wait to go back, to this superb game lodge.we would like to thank Jeandra, and all the fab team, for a wonderful time


R Cimerman
London

Stayed December 2007
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245 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
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Australia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2008

We stayed at Shumbalala in November 2006. I can't believe it took me so long to write a review!
At first, I was worried that nothing good justify the amount of money we were spending on our 3 day stay... but how wrong was I!!!

The hotel is wonderful, small, private and gorgeous. Thanks to a well connected friend/travel agent we were upgraded to the presidential suite. An amazing 2 bedroom villa with private lounge and dining room, swimming pool (the private deck slides to reveal the pool), outdoor bonfire area and view over the waterhole.

The food was really nice, with a different breakfast every morning and a "rotating" dining room. One night we had a communal dinner in the cellar, another one in the dining room and the third one more romantic on the main deck. The service was impecable, the wine selection excellent (wine is also well priced and the only real extra cost in the hotel).

The safari part was great. We went out twice a day with our driver, Michael and our tracker, Rexon. They were very friendly and very knowledgeable. Saw the big 5s, enjoyed the gorgeous sunsets and would have loved to stay longer!!!

We would love to go back again!

  • Liked — The plunge pool and the spaciousness of the villa
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Margouille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds
1 review
Reviewed 4 September 2007

We stayed here for the first 3 days of our honeymoon and we couldn't have been happier!

On arrival (7pm-ish) we were greeted by a full line up of the lodge staff - Elize, Elfia et al. We were given a glass of sherry and a towel to rid our faces of the dust we had picked up en route from the main Thornybush lodge.

We were the only people at the lodge on the night of our arrival and so were upgraded to the Presidential Suite which is simply stunning!

Elize and her team are unbelievable...the attentiveness - always there when you need them, but never when you don't; attention to detail - immaculate!

The game drives were superb (don't think that just because you have seen the Big 5 by your second drive, that's it - it isn't! The key is to see the animals doing different things).

The food at the lodge was gorgeous - you are offered 2 choices for every meal but if you don't fancy either (i.e. you're clinically insane or super-festidious), you may request something totally a la carte.

The drinks are dirt cheap.

The rooms are spotlessly clean.

And the piece de resistence was on our final night...on returning from our evening game drive, rose petals had been left on our bed, with a trail from the bed to the bath (or vice-versa!), the bath had been run for us, candles had been lit and a bottle of champagne was standing by the bath with the compliments of the staff...what a touch!

I would recommend Shumbalala to anyone, without hesitation, and look forward to returning in some years from now.

Thank you Elize & team!

  • Liked — I've never experienced the level of attention to detail like I did here
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LeedsSelwyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2006

Excellent all round. Without wittering on, the food, the welcome, the knowledge of the staff, the game, the accomodation all A1. They don't rip you off on drinks & pheripherals either.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — Go
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Rob&Alison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2006

I think the last reviewer must be mad. This place is incredible - the people are lovely, the service was friendly and efficient and the food we had was delicious, and it in no way looks rundown! I cannot recommend Shumbalala highly enough.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Maccers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 6 January 2006

Being in South Africa for the third time we went to Shumbalala, one of three lodges we visited in the Kruger Park area.

Lodges like Shumbalala usually offer real Out of Africa experiences combined with luxurious rooms and excellent food and service.

Shortly before x-mas Shumbalala had major problems to reach this standard. They were really short of staff - the ranger had to serve meals and drinks and they put up to nine people on thei Landrover because there was no second ranger. Additionally the place looked a little run down and was not too well maintained (on one mornig their pump broke down and there was no running water - facing a price above $ 1,000 per night not really acceptable.

However the ranger was pretty skillful and so it did not matter too much that everytime we saw animals, there were four to five other safari vehicles around. Thornybush game reserve seems to be pretty crowded.

If your are looking for better service nicer atmosphere and exceptional wildlife exrerience, check Tintswalo lodge right around the corner.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 17 November 2005

This is was quite simply the best holiday i have ever had. The staff, the game drives, the food, the accomodation were all of the highest standard. Every effort is made for you, nothing is too much trouble and you can tell the staff take a very genuine pride in offering the best possible service. Erich, our ranger, was extremely knowledgeable and made such a fuss of my two sons that they will never forget this trip and are still talking about it 6 months later. I felt so comfortable, and so at home that i almost wanted to help clear the table after dinner; i don't think i could pay a greater compliment than that. If you are looking for pure luxury, wonderful game drives whilst at the same time being in such relaxed surroundings that you do "feel at home", then Shumbalala is for you. I have already booked my return trip next year!!

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shumbalala Game Lodge

Property: Shumbalala Game Lodge
Address: Thornybush Game Reserve | Greater Kruger, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Shumbalala Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It’s a vast, wild place where the lions roam at Shumbalala Game Lodge, deep in the Thornybush GameReserve, one of the country’s great tracts of untamed game-viewing.Set as it is in a dry, singeing savanna of Mopane, Acacias and Umbrella thorns, quartered by easterly-flowing rivers densely shrouded in giant figs, fever trees and phoenix palms, the land is an ancient tapestry of natural wonder.Over-head the Loeries call their sharp warning while horn-bills swoop in an ungainly ballet between trees whilst vultures elevate on thermals portending an electric storm.As you push on through the bush it is the serendipity of nature that amazes most as your vehicle skirts art deco zebra, dozy giraffe, bright eyed bush babies, wildebeest (made, it is said, by the committee of left-over parts) and the rest Africa has to offer.It is even more of an adventure when you stumble upon a leopard lazing in the V of a Jackalberry tree or; a hyena giving you a lazy yellow eye in the gathering dusk; a majestic bull elephant crashing its way through the riverine thicket in search of sweet reeds or; a surprise sunrise encounter with a lion pride on the prowl.This is the world of Shumbalala. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shumbalala Game Hotel Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Shumbalala Game Lodge Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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