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“Unbelievable!”

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Shumbalala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
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!

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank LeedsSelwyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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226 - 232 of 258 reviews

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.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rob&Alison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank Maccers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
hamburg, germany
18
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.

8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
london,england
12
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
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2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2005

My wife and I spent more than just a few weeks scoping out game lodges in South Africa for a 4-day safari stop on my honeymoon. It was a challenge trying to tell the difference between places simply by looking at their prices and web sites.

We settled on Shumbalala and we could not have made a better choice - the stay was simply amazing. Its small size guaranteed that drives were intimate and personalized and the viewing was outstanding.

The lodge, which is one of several lodges located in the Thornybush Reserve, offers five luxurious cabins, all of which offer viewing decks overlooking a watering hole for lions, giraffes, leopards, and everything in between. There are no fences separating the lodge from the surroundings, so the bush is literally right outside your door. It was not uncommon to have impalas and warthogs eating grass outside out cabin in the morning. My wife and I even saw lions hunt down a warthog while we were taking a dip in the small swimming pool.

It will suffice to say that the food was fantastic. Good variety and excellent quality. The lodge even offers a wine cellar with an impressive selection of South Afrtican wines (we are hooked!) for its relatively small size.

Of course, no review would be complete without mentioning how truly special the staff is. They simply put on an amazing show (and I mean that in a good way) in all phases from beginning to end. Being in the lodging business myself, I realize this is no easy feat. I got the impression, however, that the people truly enjoyed working with one another and this lead to a seamless experience.

What more can I say. It was simply the most memorable travel experience of my life.

6  Thank G_Zorella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago
Google Translation

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sqall83
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

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: £811 - £1,016 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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