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All reviewsgame drivesthe reservebush walksundowner drinksfamily chaletwild dogssouth africafood was greatcomfortable accommodationwe loved our stayturn down servicemeal timesspent nightswonderful experiencean amazing placefire pitwealth of knowledge
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Reviewed 13 January 2018

We had not done the fully catered game experience, so firstly that was a most pleasant treat! But beyond that, the accommodation was clean and inviting. The food was delicious! Because we were there for Christmas, having delicious Christmas meals prepared for us, alongside game drives and a special evening setup in the bush made Christmas even more special.
The staff are also exquisite!! Claire that runs the lodge, Bertie the host and Deon our ranger were all fantastic!! Thanks to Rhino River Lodge for a great stay!

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
Thank LittleSharde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RhinoRiverLodge, Manager at Rhino River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2018

Dear Sharde and Family,

I have to say having the entire family was very warming to all the staff over that period, seeing happy families over Christmas is always such a great feeling.

I hope the "love Birds" have decided on a final date for the wedding...
Please keep us informed about how it all goes...

Thank-you so much for this lovely review, they really do go along way.
Ps: Thank-you for wearing your Christmas Hats (as small as they were - They were fantastic) otherwise I wouldv'e felt a little awkward being the only one wearing one! Hahaha

Your family is great and I do hope that it does not take another several years for you all to come back!

Kind regards,
Clair Naude

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Reviewed 11 December 2017

We booked the homestead so had 3 bedrooms, one for each sister.
The house was equipped with everything we needed.
Our patio and pool area was spacious and we were able to just relax in or out of the sun between meals and game drives.
Our game driver, Murray was amazing and this knowledgeable young man was full of new information for old bush travelers.
We were made to feel special as it was my birthday and also our yearly sisters get together from far afield.

Room Tip: If a big group go for the homestead, so worth it.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank hadlowco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2017

Our visit to Rhino River Lodge was part of our 10th wedding anniversary celebration, Having stayed there 4 years earlier, we were hoping for a repeat of the high standards.
This time we stayed in The Cottage - beautifully furnished with its own pool and private view of the river (unfortunately dry, due to the drought). We had abundant birdlife and nyala drinking from our birdbath.
Our ranger for the visit was Murray. He pulled out all the stops to make our drives interesting and special. We were hoping to see cheetah, as in our 6 visits to South Africa, we'd never seen them in the wild. What a treat for our first drive - white and the elusive black rhino, a shy steenbok and then rather a lot of vultures. This heralded our sighting of 2 cheetah with an ostrich kill. On our way back, when we thought things couldn't get any better we stopped and watched an amazing lightening storm - a real African storm as Murray put it.
Further game drives did not disappoint, Murray even took us out the following evening with storms threatening. We got fairly wet, but maybe some ponchos thicker than the ones provided would have helped. The next morning only us and a lovely intrepid German couple turned up for the drive. Part of the reserve was closed due to the bad weather, but Murray still found us plenty to see including a different cheetah family. He is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable for someone who hasn't been in the job for that long, birding being a speciality.
We were also taken to have a look at the new Rhino Sands camp - very impressive.
On our last evening, he had a surprise for us - racing across the reserve, we had a brilliant sighting of a lioness with her 4 four week old cubs playing rough and tumble in the road in front of us. Amazing.
After another tasty evening meal, we arrived back at our cottage(with a guide by torchlight) to find the room candlelit with a bottle of bubbly on ice for our anniversary. What a lovely thoughtful surprise.
On our last morning we had a bush walk with Dale and Murray. This is a totally different experience and well worth doing. Dale is extremely knowledgeable and we felt safe at all times.We followed lion tracks, but despite the fact that they'd gone deep into the bush and we didn't see them, didn't detract from the experience.
All in all, a brilliant stay. All members of staff so friendly and helpful, tasty well presented food, lovely accomodation, fantastic game drives.
Thank you to all at Rhino River, especially Murray.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank LynneandMark2111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2017

The staff at Rhino River Lodge are without exception friendly and accommodating. The rooms are clean, the beds comfortable. The meals were very good. Our guide, Murray, managed the perfect balance between pursuing big 5 sightings and drawing our attention to the smaller (and often more interesting) events of the bush. The reserve is beautiful with plenty of variation. We had a wonderful couple of days and will definitely return

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Philip B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2017

We were over from the UK and staying with family in Durban when we decided to book a last minute stay at Rhino River Lodge which was recommended to us. We got very lucky and I think only got a room because of a last minute cancellation.

The location is stunning, staying within the reserve is incredible, there is really nothing quite like driving along and seeing a heard of zebras in front of you. There is also a family of warthogs living at lodge (at the time we were there, the babies were being looked after by the lovely manager who greets with a smile). They are sweet, love a little scratch and if you are patient, it is an incredible experience to interact with them.

The accommodation is gorgeous, we stayed in a family chalet and the main bedroom on a mezzanine level is spacious. There are mosquito nets over the beds to protect you from any pesky mozzies plus the largest moth I have ever seen in my life. The main lodge is lovely and food is served either there or outside by the fire pit which is a great experience. The food itself is very tasty and the service is great.

The game drives are the highlight of the stay and we did the morning and afternoon drives on both days we were there. The morning drives involve a very early start (if you love your sleep) but are well worth it. Our guide Andrew was very knowledgable and clearly enjoys his job very much. He tried very hard to make sure we saw everything and we enjoyed our night time 'steak out' trying to track down the lions. Even though we didn't see them, all the drives were really enjoyable. Andrew answered all our questions, no matter how silly, and kept us entertained.

Other great aspects of the stay include drinks out on the game drive and waiting for you when you get back and the pool which is perfect if you fancy a cool down between drives. The only negative to our stay was that we did overhear some derogatory comments coming from the kitchen staff whilst we were swimming in the pool regarding us being a same sex couple. This isn't uncommon when we travel however is of course always disappointing. These comments were not said directly to us and were in Zulu, probably on the assumption that we would not understand but as my partner was born and raised in Durban with English as her first language, she can speak Zulu very well. We did not mention anything at the time being terribly English but also understanding that at this time we cannot assume everywhere we go will be as accepting, it is a work in progress. This should absolutely not take away from the work of the rest of the staff who provide a great experience, outstanding service and are very friendly and welcoming.

If you are looking for a true KZN experience I would highly recommend this lodge, you will not be disappointed. As a side note, whilst you are there, do the elephant interaction at Bayete, it is unbelievable.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Katie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShannonAirton, Owner at Rhino River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 December 2017

Thank you so much for your review. It sounds like you had a wonderful experience. Unfortunately little Sizzles and Peanut are no longer at the lodge as they have moved onto a space where there are no tourists as they become mature warthogs, but it was such a pleasure for us and our guests to have them at the lodge and watch them grow up. Andrew has also moved on as he and his girlfriend are shortly expecting their first child (!) but we miss him terribly...he was a wonderful ranger, as is evident in your review.
Lastly, please let me extend a sincere and heartfelt apology for the comments you overheard our staff making. I do wish you had told us at the time because that sort of behaviour is not ever accepted or condoned at our establishment and we would have taken the situation very seriously and ensured that it did not go unpunished. I want to make sure that you know that those horrible comments do not reflect the views or policies of our establishment (or myself personally). We have always attempted to hire a diverse staff compliment and never discriminate based on race, gender, or sexual preference. We expect this policy of non-discrimination to carry over into our customer service and behaviour like you describe is NEVER tolerated. I am terribly disappointed that you had this experience while staying with us. I will have the manager address this with the entire staff. Once again, please accept my sincere apologies and know that we will work on educating our staff and ensuring that this never ever happens again.

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