busanga plains_Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Elephant Plains Game Lodge Reviews & African Safari

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(Last Updated On: December 26, 2022)

Located within the Sabi Sand Recreation Reserve, adjoining the Kruger National Park, Elephant Plains Game Lodge provides wonderful Big 5-game viewing, luxurious lodging, and luxurious delicacies.

Game drives are done in open Land Cruisers, allowing rangers to drive off-road and provide visitors close-up views of the animals as well as fantastic picture opportunities. Off-road driving is done in conformity with regulations established by the ecologists of the Sabi Sand.

Off-road driving is only permitted under specific conditions and in specific locations. We use spotlights to locate nocturnal creatures on drives in the late afternoon or at night.

You can be confident that the wildlife drives at Elephant Plains Game Lodge will live up to your expectations of Africa. Along with a high likelihood of seeing the Big 5, you also have a good chance of seeing the more elusive wild dogs and elephants.

Location

Excellent Big 5 game watching is available at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, which is located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve next to the Kruger National Park.
a reserve

The Sabi and Sand Rivers, which both flow south of Elephant Plains Game Lodge, are the names of Sabi Sand’s two principal rivers. To provide the animals a larger space to roam in, the fences between the Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve were removed in 1993. The Big 5 game watching in Sabi Sand is recognized across the world.

Ownership

Etienne and Marlet Swart, proprietors of the independent Elephant Plains Game Lodge in South Africa, frequently entertain guests individually.

There has been a family vacation house in this location since 1962, and throughout the years, it has undergone significant changes, subdivided, and enlarged.

In its current incarnation, the lodge debuted in 2003.

How to get there

The property is almost always reached via regularly scheduled light aircraft flights from the international airport in Johannesburg and airstrips in the greater Kruger area to the local airstrip, from which it takes a vehicle safari of about 20 minutes to reach camp with a good chance of early sightings en route.

The camp can also be a part of self-drive safari excursions across Kruger, generally in conjunction with one or more other safari destinations.

Unless you request otherwise, we normally include all the connecting transportation for your journey.

Kruger

In South Africa’s Kruger region, in the Sabi Sand North Reserve, sits the Elephant Plains Game Lodge.

The biggest and best-known game reserve in Southern Africa, Kruger spans 19,445 square kilometers, almost the same area as Israel or the state of New Jersey. This massive area of land stretches for 350 kilometers along the borders of Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Kruger was initially set aside by the government in 1898, and in 1926, South Africa officially established its first national park. Many of the continent’s vast wilderness areas have been preserved for future generations in large part because of this circumstance.

The reserve is located in the Lowvelt, a region of gently sloping hills that is sandwiched to the west and east, respectively, by the Lebombo and Mpumulanga Drakensberg mountains.

The terrain is primarily made up of thick thornscrub, with sporadic rocky kopjes, sizable open meadows, and some beautiful riverine regions.

A wide variety of species may be found here, most notably elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and spotted hyenas. These broad grassland regions often have the most animals, and in some “sweetspot” locations, sightings can be quite abundant. In fact, a safari in this region may be so lavish that it is occasionally derisively called “the big five before breakfast.”

Due to the reserve’s size, a huge variety of environments and experiences may be found here. The ideal region for you to visit will primarily depend on your budget, as lodging may cost anything from $30 to $2500 per person per night. The lower end usually consists of vast, low-quality self-drive rest camps located inside the main reserve, while the higher end usually consists of chic, polished camps on private, exclusive-use reserves.

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Image Credit: Uganda Lodges

Sabi Sand

South Africa’s Kruger region has the Sabi Sand Reserve.

Though it is frequently characterized as one reserve, this region really consists of numerous well-known private reserves, including Singita, Londolozi, Mala Mala, Sabi Sabi, and Lion Sands.

Together, they occupy 660 square kilometers and have around 40 modest lodges, equating to about one square kilometer for each individual (which is actually quite busy, in Botswana the average is closer to 20 square kilometers per person). It’s still a world away from the frenetic scramble for space surrounding sightings in the neighboring national park, though.

There are no barriers between the reserve and the far-off border with Mozambique, which makes the reserve, which is unfenced to the east, a component of the larger Kruger protected area.

Although human habitation is encroaching on the reserve’s western edge, it only really affects the safari experience in lodges that are near the fence line. The vast, desolate wilderness to the north and east makes up for the existence of these settlements.

The normal mixture of undulating hills and dense thorn scrub can be seen here, but there are also some noticeable granite kopjes, small open grasslands, and breathtaking riverine places to add some variety. Species viewing is fairly dependable all year round, despite the fact that the wildlife is allowed to move in and out. In fact, this is one of the greatest habitats in all of Africa for big cats and rhinos.

Elephant Plains Game Lodge Reviews & African Safari

The Elephant Plains Game Lodge caters to the discerning traveler, providing quite a lot of lodging choices, various from rondavels and luxurious suites to the Manyeleti honeymoon suite.

Elephant Plains Game Lodge is world-famed for wonderful Huge 5 game viewing and guests can take pleasure in two game drives and a bush stroll per day.

Amenities embrace two swimming swimming pools, a gymnasium, a convention center, a small library, and a games room. We additionally cater for small, intimate weddings.

The Elephant Plains Game Lodge is proprietor-run and might accommodate a maximum of 24 guests. This ensures private service and a spotlight on the element.

Our unpretentious model ensures that guests regrettably go away with the nice and cozy and pleasant environment of our little piece of Africa.

Hotel Features

The resort provides amazing sunrise and sunset views of the plain from its location on the banks of the dry Manyeleti riverbed. On the other side of the camp, a drinking hole where animals frequently congregate is visible from the pool deck.

The lobby, dining area, bar/lounge, wine cellar, library, and curio store are all located in the main lodge.

In addition to creating delectable delicacies from throughout the world, our chefs are experts in South African cuisine. Meals are enjoyable, mouthwatering occasions with hand-selected wines from our wine cellar.

The design of the lodge meets the demands of the discriminating traveler by providing a range of lodging options. We provide luxurious comfort at an economical price.

For those who don’t know an excessive amount about Elephant Plains, this can be a game lodge positioned inside the Sabi Sands Recreation Reserve.

Why that is vital is a result of Sabi Sand instantly adjoining considered one of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park, which is dwelling to an excessive density of untamed animals together with the Huge 5.

Extra importantly, the fence that was there to divide the grounds was dropped in 1993 so animals at the moment are capable of roaming freely.

There are at the moment 23 personal lodges on this piece of land together with Elephant Plains.

Family owned and run, this Elephant Plains Game Lodge caters to travelers that need genuine safari expertise with the luxuries of snug lodging, wonderful meals, stunning grounds, and professionally operated game drives.

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Image Credit: Wetu

Accommodation

Five rondavels, six luxurious rooms, and The Manyeleti, our enchanting honeymoon suite, are available for guests to select from. The lodge is owner-operated and has a 24-person capacity.
Accommodations at Rondavel

There are five well-appointed thatched rondavels available at the lodge. Each rondavel overlooks the lodge garden and has its own unique personality and cozy appeal.

A family would benefit from one of the Rondavels’ two separate bedrooms.

The Elephant Plains Game Lodge is perched subsequent to the dry Manyeleti riverbed which supplies it with a superior vantage level of the open savannah and watering gap. The max capacity for the lodge is 24 guests.

Elephant Plains Game Lodge provides spacious air-conditioned bungalows and rooms with elegant furnishings. Some rooms have personal balconies with views of the watering gap.

Elephant Plains Game Lodge features a health center and a convention room with satellite tv for pc TV.

Visitors of the Elephant Plains Game Lodge can take pleasure in game drives, bush walks, and photographic safaris the place they will take wildlife footage. Couples significantly like the situation — they rated it 9.5 for a two-person journey.

4-star lodge close to Mala Mala Recreation Reserve

2 outside swimming pools, a restaurant, and a 24-hour health heart can be found at this lodge. Free full breakfast and free self-parking are additionally supplied. Different facilities embrace a bar/lounge, WiFi in public areas, and concierge providers. All 12 rooms supply WiFi, balconies or patios, and TVs with satellite tv for pc channels. Visitors will even discover minibars, premium bedding, and separate bathtubs and showers.

All rondavels have:

  • double beds
  • air-conditioning
  • overhead fans
  • en-suite bathrooms (bath and shower)
  • mosquito nets
  • mini bars, AND
  • a sun deck
  • electronic safes
  • tea and coffee-making facilities

Luxury Suite Accommodation

The warm, earthy colors used in the six luxurious rooms’ décor harmonize beautifully with the surrounding landscape. The suites have views of the lodge’s dry riverbed in front of them.

Small children can sleep on a couch in some of the suites. An additional bed can also be provided.

These exclusive open-plan suites have:

  • double bedrooms
  • electronic safes
  • en-suite bathrooms (inside/outside shower)
  • air-conditioning
  • tea and coffee-making facilities
  • mini bars, AND
  • a private viewing deck
  • a lounge
  • overhead fans
  • mosquito nets

Elephant Plains Recreation Lodge provides 12 air-conditioned lodgings with minibars and safes. Rooms open to balconies or patios. Beds function premium bedding. Satellite tv for pc tv is supplied.

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Image Credit: BushBreaks



Bogs embrace separate bathtubs and showers and complimentary toiletries. In-room wi-fi Web entry is on the market for a surcharge. Moreover, rooms embrace complimentary bottled water and low/tea makers. Housekeeping is supplied every day.

2 outside swimming pools are on web site together with a 24-hour health heart.

Honeymoon Suite

The facing suite Jackalberry trees surround the Manyeleti Honeymoon Suite, which is tucked away deep among the jungle.

The suite offers elegance, solitude, and a breathtaking view to visitors who are on their honeymoon or who are simply romantics at heart.

It features all the standard conveniences, a sala, a private plunge pool, and a daybed. It also has a double outdoor shower.

Electrical and electronic

Since the property is powered by a generator, high-current appliances like hair dryers shouldn’t pose an issue.

In Africa, the electrical current is 230 Vac and 50 Hz. Nowadays, the majority of electronic gadgets are made to handle this, although travelers from the USA and Canada in particular should verify their equipment specs if their country’s voltage or frequency differs from this.

Power outlets with the South African standard three big circular pin configurations are available in the rooms for charging electrical devices (type M). Although adaptors are typically accessible, it is always a good idea to bring your own. In this situation, we advise purchasing them in advance rather than attempting to do so at the airport while en route because they frequently run out.

WiFi is accessible all throughout the place. The connection may be interrupted and move at a sluggish pace.

There may be a little amount of cell phone signal here.

Activities

The activities offered at Elephant Plains Game Lodge are varied and enjoyable.

The majority of these are frequently covered by the hotel charge. Actual inclusions and exclusions are listed in your complete itinerary, so please refer to them.

African health spa

In front of the camp, and across from the watering hole, is the African Health Spa, which has beautiful views.

We offer two licensed therapists and a wide range of services, from calming massages to reviving facials. Come and enjoy some indulgence.

Star gazing

Come observe the stars with them beneath the African sky. Elephant Plains is the perfect location for stargazing because of how far away the resort is.

Learn intriguing details about nebulas and clusters while viewing constellations like the Southern Cross and Scorpion.

Vehicle safari

In most cases, a vehicle safari is the greatest way to see animals in the wild. Since the animals are fairly accustomed to the presence of cars and do not perceive them as a threat, this is likely how you will have most of your close encounters with them.

This region of Sabi Sand North is well-known for being a fairly dependable place to see animals in Africa.

Leopards, lions, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, wild dogs, elephants, white rhinos, hippopotamuses, buffaloes, reedbucks, and nyalas are among the animals that are likely to be sighted.

Vehicle safari at night

A guide or an expert spotter will use high-powered torches to locate animals during a nighttime car safari.

It’s an excellent opportunity to spot some of the area’s nocturnal wildlife, such as bush babies, genets, civets, and porcupines. It may be a genuinely spectacular experience to follow lions, hyenas, or leopards on a hunt if you are fortunate.

The night safari at this specific camp often lasts only an hour or two on the way back from sundowner cocktails.

We often like to go on a real night drive after dinner since we think that this increases the likelihood of successfully following hunts. You can attempt to find out if it’s feasible by asking.

Don’t forget that a genuine night drive may be hit or miss; they can be amazing, but they can also be quite exhausting. It’s a chance.

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Safari on foot

Walking safaris provide you the option to venture outside while being accompanied by an armed guide and get some exercise.

Walking safaris out of this specific camp are often somewhat low-key events that focus on the less abundant flora and animals as well as the opportunity to learn a little bit about tracking and other bush skills.

We often advise visiting sections of Zambia or Zimbabwe if you’re seeking a more intense walking safari where you purposefully follow and approach hazardous animals.

Gym

Visitors are invited to utilize the gym if they don’t wish to continue their workout routine at home.

It has a treadmill, a stationary cycle, a multi-gym, and free weights.

Conference facilities

A lounge space with satellite TV, a conference room with a projector and large screen, as well as a tea and coffee serving area, are all included in the Elephant Plains conference facilities.

Please be aware that we only allow up to 24 visitors to each conference, and that the entire camp must be reserved.

Dining

At Elephant Plains Game Lodge, the food is frequently of a rather good standard.

The guides and management often host the meals, which are either served in the main dining room or outside by the campfire at separate tables in the traditional restaurant format.

As long as you inform us while making the reservation, special diets like vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and other variants shouldn’t be an issue.

Child policy

This property has no specified minimum age for children.

The property is not designed with kids in mind, is not fenced in, and might be quite dangerous, mostly due to wild animals. Constant adult monitoring is necessary.

There are no particular facilities for youngsters, who are required to behave with proper care for other visitors, despite the fact that the personnel and guides will naturally endeavor to modify the experience to suit all guests.

For some riskier hobbies, there can be greater age restrictions.

Rate exclusions

  • Spa Treatments
  • Laundry Service
  • Lodge Transfers
  • Airport Tax
  • Bar Account
  • Game Drive Drinks
  • Mini Bar
  • Curio Shop Purchases
  • SSW Entrance Fees
  • Child Minding Services
  • Telephone Calls
  • Faxes & Internet Usage

Tip guidelines

Although tipping is customary in Africa, it is not required. If you thought the service was exceptional, you could think about leaving the following tips.

  • Lead guide: $10 per visitor each day
  • USD 5 per visitor per day for an assistant guide or tracker.
  • Camp employees: $5 per visitor per day

You should tip whatever you feel comfortable with because staff members are aware that visitors from different cultures have quite diverse tipping customs and they modify their expectations appropriately.

Typically, tips are paid in cash, ideally in one of the following currencies. In locations where credit cards are allowed, tip payment through bank cards is frequently an option.

Final thought

On the dry Manyeleti riverbed, Elephant Plains Game Lodge looks out over a wide region with a watering hole in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Visitors may enjoy two game drives and a bush walk each day, and it provides exceptional Big 5 wildlife watching.

Five rondavels, six luxurious rooms, and the Manyeleti, our enchanting honeymoon suite, are available for guests to select from. The reception, dining spaces, bar, lounge, and wine cellar are all located in the main lodge, along with a small library and gift store.

There are two swimming pools, an African Health Spa, a gym, a meeting room, and a games area among the amenities. The casual aesthetic makes sure that visitors sadly leave the welcoming and cozy ambiance of a tiny piece of Africa.

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