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“Fascinating jungle”

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Kabalebo Nature Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Fascinating jungle”
Reviewed 19 September 2012

After having explored Paramaribo for three days, we decided to go for the jungle experience and took a trip to Kabalebo. After an hour's flight over the amazing jungle (or 'broccoli' as the Surinamese call it), you arrive at this remote and peaceful resort. It is one of the most special places we have ever visited and you will feel it the moment you get off that little plane. We stayed in one of the three river cabana's, a 10 minute walk from the main lodge and situated along the stunning Kabalebo river. During our stay we went for hikes in the jungle, went on kayaking tours, conquered Misty Mountain and took refreshing plunges in the rivers and creeks. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the elusive jaguar but we did see many monkeys, snakes, tiny little colourful and poisonous frogs, caimans and even a massive tapir. But we always felt safe in the capable hands of our guide Giovanni, whose knowledge of the jungle and it's animals was impressive. In between tours we relaxed at the pool or just enjoyed the sounds of the jungle from our cabana terrace. During the daytime we heard the chirping of the many birds while the cicada's and howler monkeys took over at night.
The buffet at the lodge offered a variety of flavoursome Surinamese dishes. You could even come here exclusively for the food and have an amazing time!
The staff was very friendly and helpful and seemed to get along really well, which benefited the overall atmosphere.
We loved every minute of our time at Kabalebo and it turned out to be the perfect introduction to the Surinamese jungle.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Zwef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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129 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
the netherlands
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2012

With our family of 4 (2 teenagers) we spent 4 days at the resort.
After a flight from Paramaribo we were warmly welcomed by the staff with a drink and a lunch; we stayed at the next door lodge Experience Point: good rooms with (noisy) airco, loved it.
Daily trips were organized by the staff and 2 guides went along: hiking, boat trips on the Kabalebo river with korjaals (boats made out of one piece of wood/one tree). We saw losts of birds, monkeys, ajoeti's, alligators, butterflies; it was amazing.
Thank you Vivianne for your great hospitality!

Room Tip: Inspiration Point: best location
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank helenTheNetherlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kralendijk, Bonaire
Level Contributor
112 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2012

We extended our stay with 3 days - that says it all. We were lucky since we were they only two guests in the resort. And while it was rainy season had great weather. Climbing to Misty Mountain is a must and also the moi, moi waterfalls are beautiful. During the many hikes and drifts on the Coorials (boat made out of one piece of wood) we saw lots of wildlife, monkeys, birds, alligator, frogs and amazing trees and flowers. I go back in an instant! Thank you Jerry, Giovanni ( our guide) and the staff

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Marijke W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ede
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2011

The positive feedback on Kabalebo on this site made us book a four day trip to this nature resort. It was perfect, we enjoyed our time here very much!
Giovanni and Guilermo were our guides these days and made it very relaxing and enjoyable. You even get bathing towels when they take you on a trip to swim in the river! And how about swimming in the pool while watching the sun go down and the moon go up.
We stayed at the Inspiration Point which we found the most perfect location of the three posibilities. You can find your rest here, it is near the Mainlodge and very nearby the swimming pool. The river cabins are also great, but you must keep in mind that it's a lang walk across the landing strip to get there (approx. 1 km). By the way, they have a service to bring you by golfcar. We had the luck to see an anaconda sunbathing on the rocks and a swimming tapir on the river, just perfect!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tirz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerp
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2011

As it has become a long story, here are the highlights: GO AND VISIT KABALEBO. It is beautiful, you will hike, go down the river in a boat, go kayaking, swim both in the river and in the swimming pool and see and hear wildlife. Take a standard tour for easy comfort, custom tour for more luxury and freedom, or go on a fish tour if you are big game fisher. They have very experienced native guides, and all the staff are very friendly and efficient. The tours are carried out with high quality, not to be found elsewhere in Surinam. It is for all ages (I took my parents when they were 71 and I will bring them again in December when they will be 74) and shapes. Check out their website for lots of info: www.kabalebo.com. Don’t forget to look at my pictures.
Then the long version:
Over an hour flying from Paramaribo, in the middle of the jungle, you will find Nature Resort Kabalebo.
You can go hiking, up Misty Mountain if you feel like it, or to Mooi Mooi waterfalls where you can sit behind the waterfall if it's not the dry season, or walk one of other trails they have set out. All this is done under the guidance of experienced native Surinam people, who can tell you everything you want to know.
In the typical 'korjaal' (but not on the wooden seats as usually in Surinam but in a nice folding chair) you will explore the river and the wildlife in and on it. They will turn off the engine, so you can enjoy the sounds of the jungle and make beautiful pictures and movies. You will see all types of birds, alligators, river otters and if you’re lucky, anacondas, capybaras, tapirs and jaguars (the last being very rarely sighted but it happens, check out my pics).
You can go kayaking and, if you book the right arrangement, you can go fishing. You can go swimming in the river or in the swimming pool. You can relax and you will always have a good time.
One of the best things here is that you start your day early (woken up by the howler monkeys probably), coffee from 6.30 and breakfast from 7 o'clock. The mornings are the most beautiful part of the day in Surinam and surely here. Why don't you go bird spotting before breakfast at the break of day? You will see beautiful birds, but also other wildlife, at this hour.
Usually the program starts at 8.30. Sometimes you will have lunch on the lodge but other times you will bring it with you and stay out all day. Food is good and plenty. Water and sodas are free. Wine and beer can be bought.
There are 3 types of arrangements.
If you book a 'standard' tour you will sleep in the main lodge (10 rooms), with or without air conditioning, and your day program is set. But don't worry, it is a very good program and you will explore a lot in the jungle and on the river. The main lodge is, as said in the other reviews, more noisy than the other accommodations, because of breakfast preparations and people staying at the dinner table in the evenings. But usually everybody goes to their quarters early to rise early in the morning, so I didn't think it was a problem.
A custom tour (maattoer) will give you more freedom in choosing what you want to do in the daytimes and you have a choice between 2 accommodations, both of them more luxurious and quiet than the main lodge. Inspiration Point is about a 100 meters from the main lodge, with 6 bigger rooms and new beds and air conditioning. It is quiet and you have beautiful views from your porch. The Cabanas are a 2 minute drive (golf car) from the main lodge. There are 3 and they are built high above the river. There is one room per cabana and a veranda. So if you want to have a quiet and/or romantic hideaway, go here. In the morning you will spot tapirs or other wildlife if you are lucky.
In a custom tour you can go fishing for half a day, which can be great fun.
You can always choose to stay a night at the bivouac (bivak) camp, which is a place in the jungle 10 minutes boat drive from the lodge with only a roof where you can sleep in a hammock. Beware: it gets very, very dark in the jungle and you will hear all the night sounds (without knowing what it is probably), but it is a wonderful experience. You want be alone, someone will stay with you.
Finally you can book a fishing tour. You will not stay in the vicinity of the airstrip, where all the other accommodations are, but they will take you on a boat ride for 3 to 5 hours – depending on the level of the river – to a cabin called Uncle Piet. It is a wooden cabin with 3 bedrooms. There is electricity from solar panels but not a lot (but the freezer is wonderful, you will have fresh food every day and cold beers). There you will stay (don’t worry one of the ladies of the main lodge will go with you to cook meals and stuff!) and you will go out fishing every day with a special fish guide. He will know all the right places and you will catch fish: anjumara, catfish, and piranha (well, actually that last one isn’t really fish but bait). You will be dirty and hot (ever tried fishing in tropical sun?) and tired but it is worth it. Beware, you have to know how to fish (and I mean really fish) and bring your own gear and it must be very heavy gear. Forget European trout or carp rods, they will break in 2 on your second fish (if you’re lucky). Why don’t you buy a Heavy Duty Ugly Stick in Paramaribo and fit your reel with a 60 or 80 pound line (I’m not kidding). Bring steel underlines. Best thing is to fish with circular hooks, because J-hooks damage the fish. And here the motto is: catch and release! So you want to be as gentle as possible (even if the fish isn’t).
All the staff is very friendly and up to the task. Everything is carried out with high quality. No hanging around for hours until the guide decides it is time. They are efficient but they can also improvise. If the weather isn’t right for your program, they will change the program.
Most of the staff have had emergency training and nowadays they have satellite telephone. I have never felt unsafe and I have been coming for 5 years already. I have been there with my partner, with family (my parents well in their seventies loved it and participated in as many activities as they felt like) and with friends and I have been there alone. There has never been a dull moment (and that is an understatement).
So now you understand why you have to visit Kabalebo. There’s no doubt this is the BEST PLACE to be!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank AttyAntwerp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Netherlands
Level Contributor
81 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2011

For anyone needing adventure in combination with a remote location (neareast city 200 km) go to the Kabalebo resort. The highligths:
- Flying in a Cesna from Paramaribo to Kabalebo
- Guided tours by native Surinam people on the river and in the rainforest
- Fishing
- Kayaking on your own (they release you one hour upstream)
- A swimingpool !
- Good personal service. Tours can be customized.
- No internet, TV, radio or Mobile phone possible
- Reading a book in a hammock

We had the luxury of having only 6 visitors around when we visited Kabalebo, so a real private treat. The resort holds up to 30 visitors...

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank JaaaJaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
183 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2011

We spent 4 nights at Kabalebo Nature resort. It is in the middle of virgin rainforest, totally isolated. We stayed at the main lodge where the rooms are small but clean, the AC works great and there is hot water available if you figure out how to get it (I found the card with the directions hidden in a drawer at checkout -no one else had figured out how to get hot water either but its so hot you don't really mind cool showers). There is a newer lodge that has slightly larger rooms, seems to be available to those in the know. The cabanas are exactly the same size as the main lodge rooms but much more isolated. There is more chance of seeing wildlife at the cabanas, especially in the morning, but you are about 1km from meals etc. The staff shuttles you back and forth in a golf cart.

The staff and guides are all great. Unfortunately, we were the only non-Dutch tourists there at the time and even though the staff all speak some English, only about 5% of anything said got translated for us. When you are not hiking you are being transported by motorized canoes that hold up to 6 guests, so they break you up into groups of 4-6. If you do not speak Dutch you might want to try to come as part of a group of 4-6 so you can have your own guide. Our fellow tourists were all very sociable and many of them did translate for us. The hiking can be a little challenging so good physical condition is required. The rainforest is amazing. The fishing looked good. We didn't see as many animals as I expected but the forest is so huge I suspect animals stay far away from any human activity. We saw a lot more animals in Costa Rica but I think that is because the animals are forced into small areas due to human encroachment. The birds are plentiful and are best seen from the river. One of our guides was especially knowledgeable about medicinal plants, which was fascinating. Lounging around in the waterfalls is fun and a nice cooling break. We like to kayak and enjoyed the kayaking on our last morning.

The food was good but not much choice. They do ask about food requirements on the application form so if you do have food allergies, are vegetarian etc you need to be sure to tell them, or you might end up eating nothing but rice! We enjoyed all our meals there, even if breakfast was sometimes "interesting" - tuna salad for breakfast?

As an aside to anyone travelling to Suriname from the US- you might seriously consider combining it with a trip to Europe first and flying direct from Amsterdam. Then go to Trinidad for a few days on the way home.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank allisonodenthal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Kabalebo Nature Resort

Property: Kabalebo Nature Resort
Address: Bakhuis mountain, Kabalebo, Suriname
Region: Suriname > Sipaliwini District > Kabalebo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Kabalebo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Kabalebo Nature Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kabalebo Nature Resort is a nature resort located in pristine, uninhabited Amazon Rainforest in the west of Suriname. The resort has 6 types of lodges, varying from basic to very comfortable cabins at the riverbank. The resort only offers all-inclusive packages. All packages include: domestic round trip ticket, accommodation, standard activities, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks can be purchased at the resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nature Resort Kabalebo Hotel Paramaribo

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