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“Fantastic!”

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Rippon's Safari Lodge
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic!”
Reviewed 10 July 2014

We had a fantastic 2 nights at the Rippons safari lodge. Our room was lovely, clean and modern. We were sent a treat to the room one night as well to celebrate our honeymoon - lovely surprise. Our guide Morpheus was brilliant, so knowledgeable and a real laugh which was good for him as he had a crazy bunch on the game drives, we met some wonderful people whilst we were there! Managed to see 3 of the big 5 and spent a morning drive on "Operation spot a cheetah".

Food was fantastic and plentiful, you wont go hungry here! All in all we had a brilliant stay and wish we could return! I will never forget stopping for our evening drinks and having to rush back into the truck as a Rhino decided he wanted to gatecrash the party. Amazing memories!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Brian_and_Sarah_ZS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014 via mobile

It was our second visit after coming initially in 2012, my husband booked it for my birthday and we combined it with driving the garden route.
After our first visit we have recommended Rippons to friends and they have also had an amazing time.
The accommodation is clean, tastefully decorated and comfortable but I think what sets Rippons apart is the atmosphere, on both of our visits we have met a mix of likeminded people of all ages from all sorts of backgrounds and really bonded as a group, where we have had great fun and also been overwhelmed by the sights of nature on the drives.

Both guides Francis on our first visit and Nofias on our second have been outstanding and their different perspective and styles and have brought something new to every drive. As a keen and talented photographer Nofias was brilliant at getting the right camera angles for us all. On our drives we saw both packs of lions regularly, and it was lovely to see the cubs from 2 years ago now adolescent and very much part of the pack, the alpha male lion is always a breathtaking sight. So magnificent and the epitome of cool! We saw new cubs with the proud mother, everyone was amazed that Nofias had managed to find them as they were very well hidden. We saw cheetahs, hippos, zebra and lots of rhino and elephants. The elephants were very much my favourite, we witnessed them playing and trying to engage with a baby rhino, so funny and amazing to witness, they are such characters.

Brian is the perfect host, full of character, tales and good humour, such a genuine down to earth guy. We could spend hours just listening to his stories! The rest of the staff can't look after you enough, I know his sounds silly but it really is like staying with family.

For my birthday the staff baked me a cake and came and sang happy birthday along with some traditional African songs, it was so moving and amazing, which really sums up Rippons. I have suggested they do a recipe book as the food is delicious, every meal was lovely, and you must try the picnic lunches! We stayed in the long barn which was quiet and relaxing, spending time in the grounds relaxing during the day.

To summarise, I cannot imagine a place that is better to witness the magic of the reserve than Rippons. We can't wait to return.

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Donna F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2014

Rippon’s Safari Lodge was a fantastic place to stay, and our safari experience was excellent. Our guide, Rhynhardt, was terrific, incredibly knowledgeable and very keen to show his guests the very best that Shamwari has to offer. We had very exciting close encounters with elephants, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras and many more creatures besides. Rhynhardt explained all about the animals’ and birds’ habits and provided great practical examples of how to track them in the bush. Nothing was too much trouble for either him or any of the other extremely friendly and helpful Lodge staff, all of whom went out of their way to give us the very best experience, both of going on safari and of South African hospitality. We stayed in a duplex suite in the main lodge, which was extremely spacious , comfortable and clean. The food was plentiful, cooked and presented to a very high standard, and every meal offered guests a choice, with the chefs very willing to accommodate any special requests. Rippon’s is on the Shamwari Game Reserve in the north-eastern sector. We could not understand why other reviewers made reference to driving out into the Reserve, because as soon as we exited the lodge, the Shamwari started for us, with giraffes, antelopes, wilderbeest and warthogs right on the doorstep. Some game drives did take us through some intervening farmland, but that was purely done for speed in order to access the southern part of the reserve, and in any case, we saw many animals and birds on those parts of the drives. If we could give Rippon’s more than five stars, we would!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Brucie243
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 15 June 2014

What can I say, we were truly amazed by the warm welcome we got from Brian and his team! With Rippons as our first destination we got to the beautiful lodge just after 1PM and after a full day travelling we were cooked an ostrich steak dinner which was a lovely start to the stay. We checked in no problem and were offered an upgrade to the Long Barn which was very spacious, clean and modern. We were very impressed at the impeccable detail and personal touches which made the stay what it was. It wasn’t long until we experienced our first game drive with Reinhardt who was very knowledgeable, we were impressed with how much he knew about the bush! Reinhardt was very personable and friendly, and he managed to find every single animal we could have dreamt of seeing plus more! Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Giraffe, Rhino, Elephant, Hippo and more! We came back after a full day game drive and Brian had lit a huge log fire on the lodge grounds which we all sat around and drank South African wine late into the night and discussed stories from the bush, we couldn’t of imagined for a more perfect ending to such an adrenaline packed day! The service and food we received at Rippons was second to none and I would not hesitate in recommending it. were really sad to leave the Rippons as we had what we feel was a truly inspiring, exciting and thrilling experience. We cannot wait to return to Rippons! I will have no problem conveying this to my clients.

Room Tip: All 3 room types are very spacious and modern. The long barn is good for couples and it overlooks th...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SebBurgess92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 June 2014

A 5* experience Brain and his team made you feel like VIPs , very friendly and nothing was too much trouble from the start the food was plentiful and tasty, accommodation very clean and comfortable . Brians stories in the bar in the evening were very interesting and funny ask about the ' cheetah and the elephant' he made you feel like one of the family.
Our Game drives were just amazing and out of this world and our tracker Rienhardt was awesome with his passion and knowledge for the animals and the wild life we didn't miss a thing.
It was our first visit to SA and Rippons lodge and it certainly wont be the last I cant wait to go back best holiday ever thank you

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank June B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

For our honeymoon we planned a three week tour of south Africa. Part of that tour was to include a safari. My husband is particularly interested in animals and I was happy to go as thought it would be something I would also enjoy. I had completely underestimated how much I would enjoy this. It is an experience that will change you. Having seen animals in captivity and zoo's by far to see them wild is an experience like no other. I cannot put into words how much you will get out of this. The team at Rippon's have something fantastic here. Our driver Rhynhardt (apologies if spelt wrong) was beyond knowledgeable, not just about the animals but the surroundings, the land, and the nature around the reserve. The hotel has lovely, welcoming facilities and had a wonderful mix of being homely but also a hotel treat, where you are looked after well. The whole day is well thought out and you will lose track of time having enjoyed the game drives. The evenings are entertaining with an amazing amount of wonderful home cooked food-you will not go hungry! Do not expect your safari to be a relaxing break. It is action packed, fun filled and extremely informative. You cannot leave without this experience having changed you for the better. We long to return again one day, as no two days were the same. Thank you for making our honeymoon so memorable.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank SARAH F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2014

This was our first visit to Africa & so also our first safari, and I cannot imagine wanting to do one anywhere else as this was so fantastic.
We found Rippons Lodge very comfortable and accommodating as they fitted into with the timing of our visit so well.
The food was very good, just too much of it !
The atmosphere was very friendly and all the staff were very friendly & helpful.
Obviously the highlight was the Safari drives. Our guide Nofias was outstanding, he was incredibly knowledgeable and we learnt a great deal. We loved the early morning & early evening drives and enjoying the spectacular scenery and seeing wild animals in their natural habitat was amazing, literally jaw dropping at times. We were very close to a lioness & her cubs, fending off an unwanted male, and a herd of elephants came right up to our vehicle. We also saw rhinos, hippos, giraffes, zebras, many antelopes, wildebeest, water buffalo, monkeys & of course wart hogs. The joy was to be able to spend time quietly observing all these wonderful creatures, Nofias never rushed us, and yet he still managed to drive all over Shamwari so we saw so many animals, and he still got us back to Rippons in plenty of time for our next meal, and he also stopped for us to have a Sundowner !

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Caroline C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rippon's Safari Lodge

Property: Rippon's Safari Lodge
Address: N2 Between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown | Eastern Cape, Sidbury, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Sidbury
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Sidbury
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Rippon's Safari Lodge, a new and exciting landmark in the Eastern Cape, one of South Africa's top game viewing areas - a lodge where down-to-earth affordable luxury and a respect for the environment go hand in hand - right in the centre of some of the best game viewing regions around. Rippons Safari Lodge is situated ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rippon`s Safari Hotel Shamwari Game Reserve
Rippon's Safari Lodge South Africa/Sidbury

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