Sandibe Safari Lodge

Reviews of Sandibe Safari Lodge

Excellent(93%) From 57 travellers
Excellent
43
Good
10
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
1
Below are independent comments from 57 of our travellers who have visited Sandibe Safari Lodge, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs C - Shropshire
Arrived on: 11-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Birthday at Sandibe Lodge.

We hadn't seen a leopard at Lebala Camp (not from the lack of trying) but within three minutes of getting off the plane at Sandibe we were sitting in the wagon watching one (a female that had not long killed a female impala and her young). The male impala was about 4 mtrs from the leopard snorting at it and being ignored!!

Our lodge was just great and we even had a visit from an elephant one morning - it was about 3 mtres form the door! Our guide and tracker at this lodge was BT and Bring who again were brilliant (BT had a great sense of humour). Again for much of our stay here we had the vehicle to ourselves so we could concentrate on birdwatching. We did however see more wild dogs, lions and leopards as well as a host of birds.

The fruit bats in the roof of the main building were quite cute although each night a genet came in to try his luck for one we also had a visit from an owl (Pearl spotted I think) which was after the flying insects attracted by the lights.

Again you couldn't fault the food and many thanks go to Bruce, Sasha and Ollie for putting on a birthday treat in our lodge a most memorable experience. Bruce I hope the hippo problem has gone away!!

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Mr & Mrs B - BC, Canada
Arrived on: 2-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Sandibe Safari Lodge review

The game viewing was excellent. You can't beat a pack of wild dogs killing 3 impala babies. Gee was an excellent guide.

The manager, Sasha, is an extemely efficient and caring person. Sasha went out of her way to help my wife deal with a medical concern.

The food was pleasantly good and available to suit the guests. It is a camp we would return to.

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Honey badgers from France
Arrived on: 5-Sep-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Sandibe Safari Lodge review

We really felt good and very welcome here. Eveything is done to make you feel home.

Activities also excellent, the only drawback for us was the location completely hidden in the reeds, so no view at all. The room in itself was just beautiful !

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Mr and Mrs D from Bogogno, Italy
Arrived on: 31-Aug-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Poor
Poor
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Slightly disappointed by CCA in Sandibe

We had already been in some CCAfrica camps (Ngala Lodge, Soussuvlei Mountain Lodge) and we have always been happy about the guides professionality and the managers ospitality. That is the reason why we chose Sandibe over other lodges.

We were disappointed by the total lack of management ( every day there was a different manager who was never aware of what had been arranged the previuos day). As a result of this situation the clients were never treated with the attention we were used to.
The guides (a different one every day) did not look motivated at all. During the so called long day safari one of them quickly stole our place on the sleeping bags to take a nap leaving us standing up and waiting to start again. Another one gave us a terrible impression throwing a piece of dirt toward a hippo to find out wether was sleeping.

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Expert Africa comments

We passed this feedback onto CC Africa and have had this response from one of their directors, Graham:
"I was really concerned to read about the total lack of Management that the guests experienced at Sandibe as well as the guide behaviour. CC Africa prides themselves in the quality of their staff and we put an enormous amount of time into training them, but clearly we have let your (and our) guests down and for this I must apologise. Please assure them that I will personally handle this going forward with the guides and management at Sandibe and make sure it never happens again."

Mr and Mrs Y from Ponteland
Arrived on: 16-Aug-2008 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Sandibe Safari Lodge review

A very warm welcome and pleasant rustic atmosphere. The game drives were varied and exciting, taking into acccount individual wishes with very good guiding (Gee and KB - a good , amusing double act!) We also did a short walk.

The water activities were a little disappointing as mokoros weren't on because of hippo in the channel and we didn't see much from the slow electric boat although it was entertaining.

If we hadn't done water activities at previous camp would have been disappointed.

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Crowned plovers from Suffolk
Arrived on: 5-Jul-2008 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Sandibe Safari Lodge review

We had to wait for pickup at the airstrip and were eventually met by a mechanic with a torn T-shirt.

The staff at Sandibe were almost all excellent. But in common with some other guests we felt that the top management couple were a bit out of touch. The lady told us she was looking for a transfer (not a good thing to say to guests) and she was conspicuously absent for most of our stay. We formed the impression that she was not very happy.

After two guests complained about a lack of service her partner (Bruce) suddenly became much more visible and he was in fact very good at the front of house stuff.

Our guide at Sandibe (Bee) was a lovely guy but was not very good at handling his group. He did not communicate well and his timing was all over the place; this caused some resentment He also got us stuck in a river which we had successfully negotiated earlier in the day - he took a different line through the river for reasons best known to himself. This was after dark and the rescue team was not very fast off the mark; I suppose we were stuck for something over an hour.

The next day we had a puncture - hardly anyone's fault - and the day after the starter motor started playing up - perhaps a lack of maintenance?
Angela's dietary requirements were forgotten several times - we had to remind them.
No candles in rooms - requested some but they did not arrive.
One night we were stranded in our tent as the guide forgot to pick us up.
This was symptomatic of the lack of management we experienced in Sandibe.
It was very cold while we were at Sandibe and it seemed that the normal timetable of drives etc was inappropriate. The would drive around for 2 hours in the morning without seeing any game - we were assured that the animals were staying in the bush keeping warm (while we were driving around keeping cold!)

When this was mentioned we got a later start time organized, but even that was too early. Why do the camps adhere to the breakfast-drive-brunch-high tea-drive-dinner formula? When we got to Meno a Kwena their breakfast - walk or drive - lunch - walk or drive - dinner formula worked perfectly. They suggested that the other timetable was a hangover from the days of hunting safaris when people would breakfast, then drive two hours or so to the hunting ground, hunt then brunch, drive back to tea, etc??
Most of the other camps we went to had timetables similar to Sandibe's, but we question the value of this.

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Expert Africa comments

Sandibe Safari Lodge comments as follows:

Dear Sir,
Thank you for taking the time to send us your comments regarding your visit to Sandibe Safari Lodge. The majority of the issues raised all relate to effort and attention to detail, which is certainly something CC Africa Lodges are mostly very proud of. I am so sorry that in this instance we disappointed you and assure you that your feedback will be used in a constructive manner and will be addressed. I appreciate that despite this, you did still found some of the staff "excellent" and that you rated your overall stay "good". We do hope that you will return to one of our Lodges in the future and give us the opportunity to make up for were we fell short during this visit. Debra Fox - CC Africa Group Operations Director"

Mr & Mrs B from London
Arrived on: 26-Feb-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Excellent game drives at this friendly camp

We thoroughly enjoyed our game drives at this camp. Our guide Katambo was excellent, getting us close to lions and leopards as well as the herbivores. He was extremely knowledgeable and gave us lots of information. Also, like all of our guides on this holiday, he allowed us plenty of time to stay near the animals and to take photographs. His tracker K B was veryfriendly and also shared his knowledge with us.

Our room had a wonderful outside decked area overlooking the delta, although the linens/towels etc were a little shabby.The management here were all friendly and helpful.

However, we were disappointed that, as in Nxabega, the motor boat was not available (these were both CC Africa camps).

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Mr & Mrs G from North London
Arrived on: 26-Dec-2007 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Sandibe Safari Lodge review

Sandibe was perhaps the most luxurious accommodation, being a lodge with stone huts rather than tents. So we found it made an interesting combination with the tents. We loved dining outdoors by the fire when the weather permitted it. Everyone was very friendly but we would have preferred to eat all together rather than having separate tables for each group. Moreover, although the managers were also available in the dining room, they tended not to sit and eat with the guests and the guides did so only on some occasions. The food here was also good although we found the brunch was rather heavy (more like a full lunch) for that time of day.

The guides were, again, very skilled and knowledgeable and were very keen for us to see some wonderful animals. We saw lions here as well as leopards

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Mr B from Zurich, Switzerland
Arrived on: 7-Dec-2007 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Sandibe Safari Lodge review

Very nice staff and excellent guides with a tremendous and detailed knowledge about the wildlife.

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Dr H from Habsburg, Switzerland
Arrived on: 7-Dec-2007 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Sandibe Safari Lodge review

We had the best overall experience of our trip at Sandibe. Our guides Katembo and James just excell at their job, both not only in terms of the quality of their guiding. Katembo and James were very amiable and considerate throughout our stay at Sandibe. The management team was very competent - and the food was very, very good. We can recommend to visit Sandibe during the rainy season, despite the fact that animal densities are fairly low at this time of the year. Katembo worked very hard to track leopards, and finally succeeded to find one with a fresh impalay kill. We saw large herds of Giraffes, and Elephants were still fairly abundant.

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