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“Wow -- just wow!”

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Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 July 2014

This was our first safari experience -- and it was superb (interestingly, even better than our second one at a pricier lodge in an upscale private reserve adjacent to Kruger!) The main lodge had a lovely restaurant area, large comfortable "living room" areas (with roaring fires in the fireplaces), a small gift shop and small library -- and a sizable outdoor deck overlooking the river. Guests stay a short walk away in villas that were absolutely wonderful -- spacious units with walls of floor-to-ceiling windows that gave wide angle views of the landscape. There was also a private plunge pool for each villa (a little chilly for a winter trip, but we sat on the edge and soaked our feet), an outdoor shower, an expansive deck with comfortable chairs to just sit and revel in the beauty of Kwandwe. Monkeys and small antelope browsed within a stone's throw (and apparently leopards had taken a liking to unit 6 a week or two earlier ; ) There were morning and late afternoon game drives that gave us close encounters with cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, hippos, elephants, white and black rhinoceros, warthogs, wildebeest, and all sorts of antelope. Alfie was our guide and he was excellent. Clearly this was not "just a job" for him -- but something he truly loved (plus he had a great sense of humor). We feel like we've been through a hands-on course in "Animals of Africa" -- and had a ball doing it. How cool is that! Food was delicious, creative and well-prepared. (I came home with the recipe for a to-die-for polenta cake). And one last (but important to me) plus: no mosquitoes, no risk of malaria and no wretched medicines to take! Would I recommend Great Fish River Lodge? Absolutely!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank halljk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2014

Dear halljk

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your first ever safari at Kwandwe! We will be sure to pass on your comments to Alfie and the rest of the Great Fish River Lodge team.

We hope to welcome you back to Kwandwe in the near future.

Warm regards,
The Kwandwe family

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145 - 151 of 287 reviews

Reviewed 8 June 2014

Our first "safari park " experience and was very satisfied to have chosen Kwande and Great Fish River Lodge .It is not possible for us to compare with other similar Reserves or Lodges but the experience was without fault .Staff superb , friendly, helpful and knowledgeable ; nothing was too much trouble. Food very adequate Game viewing was well organised and a great experience - the driver and tracker exceptional . Spa service excellent
The Suites ( villas ) are spacious and very comfortable as well providing extra viewing of animals feeding close by
Can recommend without hesitation

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank newmarket18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2014

Dear newmarket18

Apologies for our delayed reply. Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your first ever safari at Kwandwe! We will be sure to pass on your feedback to the rest of the team.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Warm regards,
The Kwandwe family

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Reviewed 28 April 2014

Tour company recommended this romantic lodge to us: excellent choice! 2 hour drive from Port Eliz. (further than Shamwari and a few others), but an enormous game reserve with a wide range of animals and birds to see. Accommodation was spectacular. These romantic villas were spacious and indulgent. Wish we had stayed one or two more nights!

Game drivers & trackers were so knowledgeable and a lot of fun; vehicles comfortable. So much to see. 4 days flew by.

Service was considerate; a bit low-key, but very good and personal. Meals were delicious. Light breakfast, but enormous brunch. Afternoon tea was sweet and savoury. Dinners were lovely.Stocked bar in our villas, too. In-room massages. Laundry service included. No fitness facility, to note.

THANK YOU!!!

Room Tip: Room 9 is very private (we thought it was the best) and closer to the main lodge than room 1, for ex...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TracyAP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

Dear Tracy

Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your time at Kwandwe and your stay at Great Fish River Lodge, and will be sure to pass on your comments to the rest of the team.

We hope to welcome you back to Kwandwe in the near future!

Kind regards,
The Kwandwe family

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Reviewed 29 March 2014

We have just returned from our second visit to Kwandwe Great Fish River and found the experience to be even better than our first. Welcomed by the manager, Clyde, we were quickly reacquainted with our surroundings.

Game viewing was simply outstanding. To watch an original inhabitant of Kwandwe (a very old leopard) come down from a small tree in which he had taken his warthog kill and then hide in the long grass adjacent, quietly snarling at us, was remarkable.

A further sighting of a vehicle-friendly female leopard was magnificent as she came forward and lay close to our vehicle, summing us up.

We enjoyed leisurely elephant sightings and to quietly track two lionesses with their cubs to the river where they crossed was just amazing. Rhino viewing is outstanding and special. Cheetah sightings were plentiful.

We love the variety of vegetation on the Reserve and as return guests, our guide and tracker ensured we enjoyed every part of what the Reserve has to offer by way of all its inhabitants, not just the larger animals.

Staff attention to detail is very, very good and the food choices for each meal are delicious and plentiful. I was happy to see my breakfast favourite, wholemeal scones in abundance! Dinner by firelight each night was most enjoyable and the rack of lamb the stand-out dinner of our stay. Wine is limited, but good. Other dinner options were also delicious, but I don't want to spoil your surprises.

Our Suite was No. 6 at our request. Decadent bathing options were enjoyed and each time we returned to our suite it had been freshened. Laundry was done daily and delivered to our suite. We stayed five nights and were truly sad to leave.

This Lodge and its people is outstanding - come and stay - you won't be disappointed!

Room Tip: Room 6 is close to the Lodge, but all are good.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tuppy1Brisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2014

Dear Tuppy1Brisbane

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your return visit to Kwandwe, and hope to welcome you back again in the near future.

We will be sure to pass on your comments to the rest of the team.

Warm regards
The Kwandwe family

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Reviewed 17 March 2014

Absolutely marvellous place. Great attention to detail. Staff very friendly and efficient. Really cant find anything negative to say at all about our lovely weekend. We felt thoroughly spoilt. Game drives fantastic!
Will definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank vindoux_management
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2014

Dear vindoux_management

Thank you for posting your feedback, we are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your short stay at Kwandwe and hope to welcome you back in the near future!

Kind regards
The Kwandwe family

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Reviewed 28 February 2014

Kwandwe is truly an exceptional place. The service is incomparable, the game drives excellent, and the food rather good as well. The main lodge is a wonderful place to gather, dine, or just relax and read a book and opens to the outdoors situated high above the Great Fish River. There are only a few units in the lodge and with the way the events are timed, you feel as though you are on you own private safari. The individual rooms are spacious, nicely decorated, and very private. Plenty of game in the reserve including the big cats, and if you are lucky, you might even spot a leopard or two. Management is focused on guests safety both around the lodge and on the drives. It was was never an issue for us. Breakfasts and lunch are amazing. Dinners are not quite so good, but all is included. The ranger and tracker assigned to us were outstanding. This is a heavenly place with amazing vistas only two hours from Port Elizabeth. The only complaint I could find was that they had difficulty making a martini. But, hey, that is something we all can live without for a couple of days.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank ckv500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2014

Dear ckv500

Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay at Kwandwe, and will be sure to pass on your feedback to the rest of the team. Thank you too for your feedback about dinners at the lodge, we will be sure to address this (great to hear you enjoyed the breakfasts and lunches).

We hope to welcome you back to Kwandwe in the near future!

Kind regards
The Kwandwe Family

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Reviewed 25 February 2014

I think the Kwandwe Reserve totals over 150 square miles and you do wonder what you will find at the end of the road into the reserve. Don't worry. This is an exceptional place to stay. You leave your car at reception and get transferred to your lodge accommodation in a Safari vehicle. This takes a good 15-20 minutes, such is the scale of this wilderness area.

There are only 9 rooms in the Great Fish River Lodge. There are a couple of other Lodges on the reserve but it is so big you won't even see them. Our room had a private deck and plunge pool, and outside shower. Inside there is a bath and separate shower, washing area and plenty of room to sit in a couple of easy chairs. All the staff were friendly and most helpful.

The evening Game Drive was good but from a photographers point of view the morning Drives are better as the light is steadily improving. (They will get you up at 5:00am for a 6:00am Drive) but it is worth the effort. That of course is what you stay here for, there is not much to do during the day, except catch up on some sleep and relax on the deck.

My wife did see the big 5 game animals. It is not guaranteed of course that you will do so, as the policy is not to pressure the animals. If a Safari vehicle is already "on" a particular animal, your vehicle may not get a look in, but you will already be looking for your own species in a different area of the reserve. We did get some close up views and some good photos thanks to our guide Ross and our tracker/spotter Vusi.

Stephen & Sara Read

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stephen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2014

Dear Stephen and Sara

Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay at Kwandwe, and will be sure to pass on your comments to Ross, Vusi and the rest of the team.

We hope to welcome you back to Kwandwe in the near future!

KInd regards
The Kwandwe 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 Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge

Address: Heatherton Towers, Fort Brown District | Grahamstown, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve 6140, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Price Range: £547 - £3,511 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This founding lodge with only 9 privately situated suites features a classic-contemporary style of simple elegance that embraces the lodge's splendid setting high up on a steep bank overlooking the Great Fish River. The colour scheme comprises a calm and natural palette of earthy tones, from khaki browns to charcoal greys.Pewter and glass add an effortless yet understated glamour to the furnishings; artefacts such as ostrich eggshells, hides and horns create subtle points of interest and relevance to the lodge's surrounds, whilst natural linens and plenty of texture preserve its simple but sophisticated atmosphere.Watch majestic kudu meander down to the river from the Lodge's expansive viewing decks, or observe playful Cape clawless otters swimming in the cool waters below from the comfort of your private balcony. Suites are spacious and feature en-suite bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers, personal in-room bars and private decks with plunge pools overlooking the vast reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kwandwe Great Fish River Hotel Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge South Africa/Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

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