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“Superlative”
Review of White Lion Lodge

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White Lion Lodge
Southam, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Superlative”
Reviewed 25 February 2014 via mobile

When you enter the gates to San Bona game reserve you have a 15 minute drive over gravel tracks to the lodge and the last bit it quite bumpy. On arrival you are welcomed with refreshing towels. From this moment on it only gets better ( and better). There are four lodges, all exquisitely furnished, and the main house. The lodges face north in a deep valley and are laid out so that they are quite private. The normal programme is to have a game drive each day starting at 5.30 and an afternoon drive on the first afternoon to learn about the flora and fauna. We chose to only have the one early morning drive and one night drive starting at 7.30. The guide, Israel, has an amazing knowledge, most of it first hand from his upbringing in this type of country. The only disadvantage to White Lion is that it is one hours drive to get to the start of the area where most of the game is. Game drives are a lottery but our last day was excellent with close up contact with elephants and giraffes. White Lion is effectively all inclusive with all meals and drinks included and we paid just under £1000 for a couple for three nights with all game drives included. The staff cannot do enough to make your stay enjoyable, informal and friendly.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank howard c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2014

Absolutely fantastic experience! Wonderful staff and service! Food; wonderful and I'm a fussy eater! Cannot believe how yummy ostrich is; like a tender, sweeter beef. The views from the bungalows are stunning and beautifully appointed! Little touches like the zebra themed door to the bathroom etc...amazing bath! Just simply put; brilliant in every way! Now the drives; beyond spectacular! We actually saw two male cheetahs take down an eland! Rare and amazing experience!

Room Tip: Bring comfy clothes & shoes for the drives; blankets, food, drinks & binoculars already supp...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank scorpiofi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gosford, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2014

White Lion Lodge is a luxury experience! It is a breath of fresh air as a holiday destination and was a fascinating retreat that provided informative and authentic safari experiences.

The setting is absolutely divine and the quality of the accommodation and food was outstanding. We were warmly welcomed when we arrived and settled into our rooms. There is no time wasted at White Lion, we went out on a drive shortly after we arrived in the afternoon.

A special mention to Israel- he is the real deal! He is a fantastic guide and has an intuitive sense of the Sanbona Reserve. His nature drive is a highlight- so informative and interesting.

We were not disappointed by the safari drives- we saw so many animals (the white lion, the tawny lions, elephants, zebra's, hippopotamus, rhinos, baboons, kudu and springbuck within close proximity, some very close. It is a fantastic memory to have of our South African trip and definitely one of the highlights.

White Lion Lodge is a special memory for my whole family. We loved our time there and learning off Israel. The conversation around the breakfast and dinner table with the other guests and staff were very engaging.

Thank you to all the lovely staff at the Lodge for making our stay so comfortable.

Ross, Gerri, Carole and Sheree Hansen

Room Tip: All rooms are outstanding
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gerri143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
425 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

We spent 2 nights at White Lion Lodge with our 4 children and were the only guests which was fabulous. There are 4 rooms and we had 3 of them, and what stunning rooms they are! Our children were gob-smacked when we arrived - not having been on a safari before they were absolutely blown away by the beauty of this lodge. We were made to feel very welcome by all the staff and immediately felt right at home. The children were in heaven when they saw their rooms and so were we - the huge spacious rooms with every mod con you could require. An outdoor shower on a private and very large balcony was a highlight for me - this place seriously has it all.

The food was very good and diverse. The springbok was particularly delicious and the children haven't been able to stop talking about it! They all had seconds which certainly wasn't an issue with the chef or staff. Israel, our guide, was a pure delight. His knowledge of the flaura and forna is exceptional and the first afternoon we went on a nature tour with him which I thought the children may find a little boring - but I was wrong, they were fascinated because he made it fascinating.

The next morning we went on a fantastic game drive - it does take a while to get to the animals but the drive is interesting and quite beautiful. On that first game drive we saw tawny lion, cheetah, many types of antelope, zebra, giraffe, elephant and more. The evening game drive also treated us to rhino and the white lions who were lying right next to the track within touching distance. Magnificent animals. It started to rain quite heavily that evening and we had to take the long way around back to the lodge as the track over the pass was too dangerous - the bonus was we got to see hippo out of water on the way back. We had planned our final game drive for early the following morning but unfortunately the rain had persisted and we were evacuated early due to flash flooding. On the positive side, it added an element of adventure and excitement to the experience - you can't tame the weather.

I really enjoyed White Lion Lodge and would happily have stayed an extra few days. If you are used to safari's in places like Botswana, Zambia or Zimbabwe then you may be a little disappointed by the game - however having said that, this area is absolutely beautiful and worth visiting for this alone. Our children were thrilled with the game viewing and we were all thrilled with the lodge and the warm welcome from Gerry, Israel and the rest of the staff. This is definitely a place worth visiting if you are looking for a luxurious relaxed break.

Room Tip: All the rooms are the same and all have the same exceptional views and privacy.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank kgreenwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Memphis, Tennessee
1 review
Reviewed 20 January 2014

Even though I had heared that his lodge is something special I was not at all prepared for the magnificent rooms with a view that equal parts took my breath away and made me want to squeal like a five year old! Apart from this, everyone made us feel welcome and we were fed and wined like at no other place I have ever been. This lodge is worth a visit for the dining alone.
The safaris were fantastic - thank you Israel for your great stories and always engaging knowledge about the local plants and animals : )
Thank you to all the animals who basically paraded in front of us as if wanting to show off - especially the lions who were actually getting ready for some hunting action. Amazing. We could have stayed there forever. I could not recommend this wonderful lodge more! Go visit, you will not regret it.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Steph S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geneva, Switzerland
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014 via mobile

Sensational lodge style rooms with luxurious, modern furnishings guaranteed to exceed your expectations.

Wonderful, friendly staff team and fun guides.

The cuisine was exceptional - wonderful evening meal on the deck.

Game drives are a lot of fun - takes a while to reach the area where most wildlife is but we saw more than we imagined we would including Rhinos, Hippos, White Lions, Zebras, antelopes, snakes, deers, elephants, giraffes, birds of prey and we even walked to the cheetahs with two game wardens. The lodge supplied refreshments and blankets for the trips.

The route to the lodge is somewhat tricky and you should definitely print maps rather than relying on gps - signal is limited. Also terrain is more off road and although in a VW Polo I did wonder if we would make it!

Would highly recommend this lodge. Elegant, sophisticated, safari style accommodation.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Flybywirejb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poole, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013

Had a fabulous 2 night stay at White Lion Lodge earlier in December - wish it could have been longer. The Lodge was positively luxurious, the food & wine good and the staff looked after us very well indeed. It is about 30 mins outside the actual Sanbona Reserve, and then a further drive before getting to the main areas for seeing the animals, but on the way the scenery is fantastic and you do see things like klipspringer, baboons, birds of prey etc, as we did on our way back to the Lodge. The guide, Israel, was brilliant at taking us where the animals were and we saw a great variety, including elephants and dung beetles, although sadly no big cats.
If you're visiting the Western Cape and want to visit a game reserve without going to the Eastern Cape, this is a wonderful place and very good value compared with similar venues.

Room Tip: All 4 suites are much the same - supremely comfortable.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Caroline M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about White Lion Lodge

Property: White Lion Lodge
Address: on the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Montagu 8000, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Montagu
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 34 Speciality Lodging in Montagu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The White Lion Lodge is situated on the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve a 3 hours drive from Cape Town. Sanbona is home to free self-sustaining White Lions, the Big Five and the endangered riverine rabbit. The privately owned White Lion Lodge offers luxury accommodation, exceptional personal service and delicious cuisine. The Lodge lies in the southern part of the Reserve and is set along a tranquil, remote river valley offering an ultimate Karoo experience. ... more   less 
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