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“Luxury Wild Experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Elephant Plains Game Lodge

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Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Maputo, Mozambique
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Luxury Wild Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2012

I came to live in Africa from Europe 2 months before my wife, and when she arrived, also being her birthday, i wanted to provide her with a memorable experience. By that time (Jan2011) i had no experience with lodges in Africa, and by the time i'm writing this review (Aug2012) we have visit dozens on lodges around kruger, so i'm writing this review having had many other experiences in the Mpumalanga region.

Despite that, Elephant Plains remains our top African Lodge experience, which is to say a lot as there are many options to consider when booking a lodge in the kruger region and competition is fierce.

Elephant Plains outstands from every other lodge i have experienced for it's wild luxury style, accomodation, service, staff friendliness and overall experience. If you want to live a remarkable experience, in a romantic and luxury atmosphere, this option wont disappoint you, on the contrary. The rooms are amazing, very well decorated breeding wildlife on every corner. The bathroom is very very nice, and the outdoor shower is a must do. Our room had a very large veranda from where you could lay back in a chair and loose yourself watching the wildlife in the plains just in front of you. From our balcony we saw two large water buffalos just staring back at us for hours, some zebras on the horizon doing their thing, beautiful scenery.

Dinner is around a bonfire under the starry sky and listening to the wild just outside the fences, great ambient. Food is varied and very tasteful, you get to taste several local dishes and game meat, everyone is very nice, and try to attend to all your requests (we had a birthday cake with an elephant on top as i specifically asked for).

Morning game drive are one of the best i have witnessed. First time ever saw a leopard. Brand new landrovers, guides and trackers are extremely knowledgeable, they know almost every animal on the reserve, what they did in the past days, who they fought with, what they ate, which animal they hunted, their names, their families, impressive. They even keep a log on the sitting room with everyday activities of all animals they spotted on that day, so they can track their history and every guest can also get a grasp of what has happened the days before. Very common to see all the big five, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, wild dogs, and many others on a single game drive.

Staff is extremely polite and nice, which makes the experience even better. The living room is top, you feel like you're living a scene from Out of Africa, the movie, with that african romantic atmosphere mixed with adventure and wilderness.

Although we have by now gone to several game lodges in the area, Elephant plains still remains our benchmark as "the" top experience.

Room Tip: We got the Buffalo Room. Very large, spacious with a large veranda with a great sight in front of yo...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NunoCaldeiraOliveira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 13 September 2012
Thank you very much for your kind feedback and also for calling us your top African Lodge experience. Please do come and visit again, seeing that you are living quite close now! Kind regards, Marlet Swart
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804 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (179)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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  • Any
English first
New York, NY
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2012

We went here for the last three days of our game park trip. Very nice accommodations in individual cabins with verandahs overlooking the park. When we stepped outside as we arrived, an antelope jumped the fence into the property. On the other hand, the fence is wire to keep elephants out which is just as well; one night several of them came up the hill and spent an hour or so eating loudly a hundred yards or so from the cabin (which gave us a better view the next day since they tore up some trees). Food was fine, dinner in outside dining area with big fire pit and heaters (in the winter), elaborate breakfast after the first game run, lunch casual. This was part of a less expensive package from Julian Harrison at Premier Travel but it seemed pretty luxurious to us.

Wonderful views of animals--we saw the big 5 in the first day and lots more, but you actually get up close to them. You are driven in an open truck into the middle of herds of elephants or buffalo or next to lions and park and watch or move along at pointblank range (a little more distance from hippos or rhinos). We were there in June, their winter; prices are lower, there is less brush to hide the animals, and no punishing heat in the day. The weather is like winter in Arizona where I grew up--short sleeves in the daytime, colder at night. Take some warm clothing--there are two game runs, the first starts before sunrise (6-9 am) and the second ends after sunset (4-7 pm), and it's cold on either end (they give you blankets and hot water bottles in the trucks but still...). The trucks are open so if rain is expected dress accordingly (we didn't see a hint of it while we were there). They break the runs for tea in the morning and drinks in the evening in the park which is a nice touch.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RoyL_NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 13 September 2012
Thank you very much for the kind feedback and also highlighting the value for money part. Please visit us again one day! Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2012

Arrived on the 29th of July in time for our afternoon game drive where we met our excellent ranger Richard and our tracker Clement. The animals in the Sabi Sand reserve are varied and plentiful. You will find your big five here quickly an so much more. Each day gets better and better. We stayed two nights in the Manyeleti Suite. It was wonderful with the fireplace lit every night. The King bed is a very comfortable sleep and I wish we could have brought it home! The outdoor shower is a treat not to miss, looking out over the plains. It was a little cool for the plunge pool but it sure did look inviting.

Meals around the Boma were terriffic. I never thought I would eat as much game as I did. I think I am getting squeamish in my older age but this meat was spiced just so and so tender you didn't know it was in your mouth. Lunch out on the deck was a treat also looking out over the plains and the water hole in the distance.

This a great lodge for everyone but excellent for honeymooner's. We stayed 2 nights and enjoyed every minute of it. It was very hard to leave.

Room Tip: For Honeymooners, the Manyeleti suite is it. If you want a view of the water hole the best bet is ro...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SafariSpecialist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 13 September 2012
Thank you so much fro teh kind feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us! Please come and visit again soon. Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2012

Wonderful lodge and we stayed in a superb "Luxury suite" with great view of wildlife. The game drives were very good in a relaxed atmosphere. The ranger was very knowledgeable, but could have been a bit more "talkative" and given more general information about the rich wildlife. A bit too "Big Five" focused ,in my opinion, but it was truly special too see a leopard up close on the ground.
The dinner "setting" was very nice, but the food was not great. To have great food you probably have to go to even more expensive lodges. Wife and daughter was happy with the Spa facilities though.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 15 August 2012
Hi Bard, thank you for your feedback. We are glad that you enjoyed the room and that your wife and daughter enjoyed the spa. Your ranger is on leave at the moment, so I can unfortunately not reply to your comment about his game drives, but we will definitely take it up with him once he is back. Although this is a Big 5 reserve and a lot of guests that come here are interested in seeing the Big 5, it is important to also show and share the smaller details of the bush. We will look into this. Regards, Marlet Swart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
102 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2012

We stayed 2 nights (4 game drives) and it was just fabulous.

The highlight have been the 4 game drives. We saw the big 5 and more or less everything else you can think of. The best drive was with Willie and Conny, where we had roaring lions and trumpeting elephants. The only animal we missed during the drives was the giraffe, but it actually waited for us when we drove out of the park on our own :-)
For the cold morning drives, hot-water bottles have been provided.

We stayed in a rondavel, very luxurious and romantic and perfect for our honeymoon (we still wonder who blocked the honeymoon suite). The last evening the staff prepared champagne and a hot bath for us as honeymoon surprise (thanks again!).

The main lodge, the staff, and the food: everything was perfect. And the organisation was also very good. We arrived last minute to get on the afternoon drive, so we would have missed the lunch, but they had prepared something for us, so that we could have a quick lunch before starting for the game drive.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dr_Ju
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EP2, Owner at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, responded to this review, 15 August 2012
Thank you very much for your kind and positive feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your honeymoon with us. If you are ever in the area again, please come and visit us! Regards, Marlet Swart
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Property: Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Address: Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price range (per night): ₹ 32,908 - ₹ 51,864
Hotel Class:4 star — Elephant Plains Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elephant Plains Game Lodge is situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. This owner-run lodge caters for the discerning traveller, with a variety of accommodation options including 5 Rondavels, 6 Luxury Suites and a Honeymoon Suite. Activities include two daily game drives and a bush walk. The lodge also offers a spa, gym, conference facility / TV room, games room, small library and two swimming pools. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elephant Plains Game Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Elephant Plains Game Nelspruit
Elephant Plains Game Lodge Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

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