Fabulous Safari!

Old May 7th, 2010, 06:44 PM
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Fabulous Safari!

My husband and I recently experienced the absolute pinacle of South African hospitality and wildlife. We were guests at the Shamwari Game Reserve. We initially selected Shamwari because of their numerous awards for conservation and their world renowned animal rehabilitation program. Quite frankly, we wanted to avoid the “Theme Park” experience of 10 jeeps on top of one lion. We had heard that Shamwari’s safaris were much more exclusive; That they focused on the comfort of the animals while allowing each guest an upclose, private experience with the amazing creatures that make Africa exotic & great. And that was indeed true. Beyond our wildest dreams, it was true. We had our own personal guide throughout our entire stay. Ben was the perfect mixture of professionalism, knowledge, safety and fun. What we didn’t expect to find during this vacation- the luxury accomodations & personal treatments. Shamwari has seven lodges on over 25,000 hectare-acres, each with a different flair, so there is something that will appeal to every taste. We chose the Lobengula Lodge because it was the smallest, just seven bungalows, and most remote. We were in the Chief Suite. It turns out that the “Chief Suite” was actually where Shamwari’s visionary, Adrian Gardner, lived when he was developing the Game Reserve. The staff at our lodge went above and beyond for us. To say they took catering and pampering to a whole new level would be a gross under-statement. When we walked out of our door, someone was there to accommodate our every whim. No request was too small or too large; They made it happen. Within our lodge we even had our own luxurious spa. Treatments by a professional therapist from facials to massages were available. For meals, we had the option of eating at the lodge’s plushly landscaped open-air dining room or privately in our own suite. After we arrived we learned that we could have called ahead and requested our own menu. Not that we would have changed a thing… because the food was fabulous. All in all, on a scale of 1-10 we would give our Shamwari Experience a 10+++++. To sum it up in just a few words, it was bush-lodge elegance combined with a top-notch wild-life experience of a life-time. The perfect combination of adventure, relaxation and fun. We are already planning our next visit. And this time we are bringing 6 other couples with us so we can reserve the entire Lobengula Lodge! Shamwari is a true gem in every aspect.

p.s. For visitors who are only interested in visiting the Game Reserve in South Africa, Shamwari staff will pick you up at the Port Elizabeth airport and personally escort you to and from the game reserve! Totally safe... and thoroughly pampered!

p.s.s. It's malaria free!
KellyMoberg is offline  
Old May 7th, 2010, 11:40 PM
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Great, you had a great time. How would you compare/rate Shamwari to other safari camps you've been to?

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Old May 8th, 2010, 06:23 AM
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This "trip report" sure doesn't make me want to go there. I'm more interested in the wildlife than the spa treatments and wildlife wasn't even mentioned.

You could change a few words here and there and use this "trip report" for many resorts around the world.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 06:33 AM
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While I share the views of Sundowner, there are other people reading the forum who will be looking for exactly the type of trip you had. Glad it was a hit for you and you've described Shamwari's qualities for anyone seeking experiences similar to yours.

Your desire to return with a dozen friends is an excellent indication of how pleased you were.

Thanks for posting and have fun on your next trip.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 07:05 AM
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You are right, atravelynn, and I am sorry, KellyMoberg. (I thought this was an ad disguised as a trip report and I'm wrong. It isn't.)

With that out of the way, it's great that you enjoyed your trip so much. I hear your enthusiasm and I feel the same way on every trip to Africa. I hope your next trip with your friends goes as well as the first. I'm sure it will because it sounds like Shamwari has it all figured out.
sundowner is offline  
Old May 9th, 2010, 08:18 PM
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Hi KellyMoberg

I am pleased you enjoyed Shamwari! It must have changed a lot since I was there in 2000, as I am not in the least tempted to return. Admittedly, it was early days and most of the animals were frightened by the vehicles, exception being the white rhino! Plus the lions were still in fenced enclosures, which doesn't make for a very natural gameviewing experience!

You don't really mention what your gameviewing experiences were, and I would be keen to know as it was very limited in 2000 but I suppose in the past 10 years more predators have been introduced! What exactly did you guys see in the time that you were there?

Kind regards

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Old May 12th, 2010, 03:14 PM
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hi Kelly,

we were in Shamwari in 2007 and our reaction was about half-way between yours and Kaye's. we stayed at Bushman's River Lodge and certainly found it luxurious - if anything too luxurious, if that's possible. the contrast between the opulance there and the conditions we'd seen in the township down the road [where presumably all the invisible people making it happen lived] was a little hard to take, and the gameviewing was mostly no better than ok, though we did have some stellar moments with elephants and giraffe.

of course it's lovely to stay in a place with heated bathroom floors, free wines [not much use to our tee-total children who still paid full price] and hot and cold running everything. but for all round experience, we preferred our day and night at Schotia just down the road, where we saw almost as much game, had a great evening in the boma, and spent the night in a roundel with no electricity and just the sounds of the bush for company.
annhig is offline  
Old May 13th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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It's really great that there are so many choices in South Africa for eveyone-it sounds like you had a great time and that's what matters most. I am sure you are counting down the days to your next trip.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 02:22 AM
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Hi KellyMoberg

So glad to hear you had such a lovely time in our country - Shamwari sure is a special place and the Born Free rehab & rescue shelter is a project that is very close to my heart. Have you been to other parts of South Africa as well - it sounds like this wasn't your first visit to our country...

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Old May 20th, 2010, 01:16 PM
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Regrettably it's not enough what clients pay for a bed night at Shamwari.

Their greed and lack of ethics is unjustifiable:


spassvogel is offline  
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