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All reviews colonial style attention to detail magical experience exceptional food outdoor shower the reserve every meal luxury tents are out of this world game drives african bush head chefs chef dion treated us like royalty main tent solar energy prepared delicious
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Reviewed 22 October 2022

First of all, thank you so much for doing everything to give us the best experience we could imagine.

All the staff did an extraordinary job, and everyone was super friendly and helpful. Shortly after arriving, we felt like we were part of the family. A big thank you goes to the chefs who did an excellent job adapting to our plant-based diet. Every meal was different and delicious.

They get very creative to make every day somehow unique and different. For example, once, as a surprise, dinner was prepared and served around a bonfire outside of the lodge. To mention one.

Our guide did a fantastic job. Every drive was somehow unique. With his lovely attitude, tremendous knowledge, and professionalism, we learned so much new stuff about all the animals and plants and also had fun all the time. As the lodge isn't that big and they have two vehicles, we were never more than four people in one car, which was great.

The luxury tents are furnished with love and were another highlight of our stay. Our favorites were the private pool, outdoor shower, vintage bathtub, and cozy seating area from which we could see the animals around the tent while having a drink. Besides, the bed was super comfortable.

Furthermore, we highly appreciate the many environmental efforts Rhino Sands take to keep its footprint as low as possible. Sustainable building materials, biodegradable soaps, and reusable water bottles for every guest are only a few examples.

If you're looking for a Safari Lodge that is truly eco-friendly and treats every guest as a family member, then you definitely have to choose Rhino Sands.

Date of stay: October 2022
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank sunchasingtravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Shannon Airton, Owner at Rhino Sands Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2022

Thank you so much for sharing your experience here. I am glad to hear the kitchen was able to cater so well for your plant-based diet, as many guests are switching to different diets for health and earth-friendly reasons, we pride ourselves on celebrating that diversity and enjoy catering for many different dietary requests. And thank you for highlighting our environmentally-friendly aspects of the camp. The camp was built to be eco-friendly and we try to infuse that in all of our operations and decision making in the camp. We aren't perfect but we are working to reduce our environmental impact as much as we can. Thank you again for sharing your experience here, I think you did a wonderful job describing the camp and I know it will be very helpful for future guests. It was a pleasure hosting you.

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Reviewed 1 October 2022

We visited Rhino Sands as part of our honeymoon trip to South Africa. This was our first ever Safari experience and this absolutely did not disappoint.

Lodge - The lodges are expansive and very private, you really feel like you have your own little bubble of heaven in the middle of the bush! The outdoor bathroom was brilliant along with the pool & relaxation areas to relax in between game drives.

Food & Drink - the team surprised us with their attentiveness and the variety of food and drink on offer. They took an interest in getting to know what we wanted to experience & try and tailored the menu accordingly. The team took every opportunity to do something different to make our trip even more special, whether this was the beautiful sunset drinks set up in the bush, private candle lit dinners, camp fire drinks… the list is endless!

Game Drive - Anton is the best!! His knowledge and experience was second to none. He went above and beyond to give us the best Safari experience we could ask for. Again, as newbies to Safari we didn’t know what to expect & how likely animal spottings were or weren’t. We were blown away! We have too many memories to share but the main highlights we’re seeing a herd of over 30 elephants emerge out of the bushes to the watering hole and also seeing 2 cheetah cubs and their mother having dinner & playing together.

Service - As mentioned, the team stopped at nothing to make this experience extra special for us. We felt like nothing was too much for them and they were happy to help us in anyway. Even helping us with recommendations for our onwards travel around South Africa. If I could rate them higher than 5* then I absolutely would! Everyone was so kind and the collaborative working approach made for a wonderful environment for us to be in. The attention to detail does not go unnoticed and made this a trip we will never forget.

Date of stay: September 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank G7903IHsophier
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Shannon Airton, Owner at Rhino Sands Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2022

My apologies for my delayed response, this review seemed to slip through without a notification. Thank you for choosing Rhino Sands for you honeymoon and for your very first safari experience ever. It really is such a priveledge to be able to make special occasions like this memorable for our guests. We truly appreciate you sharing your experience here and I am so happy to hear that the team took such wonderful care of you. I think you have really reflected on what we hope sets Rhino Sands apart from our competition, the individually tailored experience and one on one service designed to make each trip memorable and enjoyable. Anton is a wonderful experienced guide and it sounds like he was able to guide you through some exceptional experiences. Thank you again for sharing this here. Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness together and I do hope we see you for an anniversary trip in the future!

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Reviewed 23 September 2022

Wow - just wow! This was our first time ever on safari and experiencing the African bush. Everything about our stay was absolutely magical and exceeded all expectations.

The CAMP itself was luxury without pretense which is exactly what we were looking for in our 5-night stay. The shared spaces were well appointed and every inch of the camp is decorated with great attention to detail. The tent created a secluded, luxurious space to get a restful night's sleep or haven to relax between game drive. The outdoor shower was my husband's favorite with mine being the claw-footed bathtub. We were there in early spring but did take a few quick plunges in the pool to cool off in the late afternoon before lounging on the deck listening to the sound of the bush and watch the wart hogs and nyala only a few feet away.

The SERVICE was first class! Shout out to the amazing hospitality staff - Obi and Spah couldn't have been more pleasant and accommodating. We were greeted in the parking lot when we arrived by a friendly smiling face and sent off 5 days later with smiles and well wished.

The FOOD...oh my goodness, the FOOD! I read reviews on how exceptional the meals were but honestly, Chef Dion surprised and delighted each and every meal! There was a wide variety of menu options and the chefs took time to learn our preferences and catered to that. 5 star all the way. Chris is such a perfect compliment to the kitchen staff making sure that we received excelling service at the table.

We were so very fortunate to have had the camp all to ourselves for my birthday. What an unexpected treat. I have never felt so spoiled! We were treated to a 5-course meal, catered to my preferences, served fireside by the boma. Both the food and the service were impeccable and a memory that I will treasure for a lifetime.

The GAME DRIVES - the highlight of our trip and the reason we came to Rhino Sands - were incredible. Anton was our guide for our entire stay and was phenomenal. I loved everything about our game drives from the first cup of morning coffee by the fire before we headed out, to the mid-morning coffee/tea/hot chocolate break in the bush (hot chocolate with Amarula is a must try) to the sun downers at the end of our afternoon drives. Anton ensured we had fantastic experiences watching so many beautiful animals. We were thrilled to see so many lions, white and black rhinos, elephants, buffalo, giraffes, zebra, hippos, antelope, wart hogs (so many cute Pumbas), baboons, monkeys, gnu and stunning birds. The highlight for me was spending an hour watching a momma cheetah with her two young cubs. Thank you Anton for making our first trip to the African bush so very memorable.

We leave with memories that will last a lifetime but I am already dreaming of our return!

Room tip: You can't make a bad choice with any of the tents!
Date of stay: September 2022
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TheSkyAuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Shannon Airton, Owner at Rhino Sands Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2022

What an honour it is to host someone for their first safari. Thank you for choosing Rhino Sands, and I am just absolutely thrilled to read your feedback on your stay. We have a wonderful team, many of which you mention by name, and they really take pride in providing an exceptional safari experience for our guests. And also thank you for taking the time to share such detailed feedback here. This really is such a wonderful tool for future guests to know what to expect during their stay. I am so happy the team treated you to a special birthday dinner, and I am so glad you had such wonderful game viewing during your drives with Anton. We certainly do hope you will return to see us again one day...especially now that you are safari veterans! Thanks you again from all of us at Rhino Sands.

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Reviewed 17 September 2022

Rhino Sands is a luxury haven in the bush that merges seamlessly with its surroundings. Open to the elements everywhere when the weather is good, but completely private, this is an amazing place. We saw a large herd of elephants walk within 30 meters of our balcony, had warthogs underneath our tent platform, and on our drives saw everything we had hoped to see. The food was amazing and the staff and guides were first class all the way.

Date of stay: September 2022
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank maxcT8283ZW
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Shannon Airton, Owner at Rhino Sands Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2022

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. One of my favorite things about the camp are all the animals we get to see in the riverbed in front of the camp, and sometimes even in the camp itself. It really is magical getting to watch the elephant herd walking past the camp from the safety of your tent. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and once again, our sincere gratitude for taking the time to share your feedback here.

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Reviewed 4 August 2022 via mobile

The 4 of us are Safari veterans and over the last 20 years have stayed in many private camps and lodges all over Africa. We just had a 6 night stay at Rhino Sands and it delivered on every front for us. The staff are fabulous and nothing was too much trouble for them. Anton and Roy the chefs created amazing dining experiences and we have all put on weight as we could not resist what was on offer! We are photographers and Jono was our driver/guide. We had some very memorable moments in the reserve with Rhino and lions in particular. If you have the time during your stay try to walk with a rescued Pangolin. The Zululands conservation trust are rehabilitating Pangolins that have been rescued from poachers. We also enjoyed maximising our time in the bush in the mornings by leaving before sunrise and taking a packed breakfast with us.

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank yolc
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Shannon Airton, Owner at Rhino Sands Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2022

Thank you so much for sharing your feedback here. Hosting well-travelled safari veterans like yourselves can always be an intimidating prospect for a small camp. That being said, the praise then becomes all the sweeter. I am thrilled to hear how much you enjoyed your stay with us, and I know the team has already expressed their joy at your feedback. Thank you for mentioning the Zululand Conservation Trust's Pangolin Experience. When it is available, it is such a special way to get up close and personal with one of the most unique endangered species in the world. Rhino Sands is extremely proud to be a part of Manyoni's conservation effforts on behalf of pangolins. Thank you again for choosing Rhino Sands and for sharing your kind words with us.

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