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River Bend Lodge
River Bend Lodge

Reviews of River Bend Lodge

Wildlife sightings and reviews

5 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited River Bend Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

Showing 1-5 of 5
Duration
Arrival date
Mr G & Mrs C
London

"River Bend Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 20 Mar 2018
"This was our third safari and we didn’t have any expectation beyond seeing Elephants. However, our fantastic guide, led us to Male Lion and Black Rhino on the first drive. The restaurant overlooks a watering hole and is a great place to have breakfast. However, the management team seem entirely disinterested in their guests, for example, leaving us sitting in the restaurant for 90 minutes until eventually one of the waitresses showed us to our room! Fortunately the location and rest of the team make up for this ‘shortcoming’" See all these reviews: 9n in South Africa
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs C
WestBridg

"Great stay at River Bend Lodge"

3 nights Arrived 1 Dec 2017
"We loved our three days at River Bend Lodge, which we'd chosen for it's malaria-free location since Clare was pregnant at the time of our stay. It was our third game lodge experience after two stays in Botswana, and is clearly much less wild than there. That said, after a time, the power lines that run adjacent to the property and the road and ran links that run along its edge, rather fade into the background other than when you are taking a photo of wildlife and don't want a backdrop of a pylon!

The accommodation was very spacious, including the biggest bed either of us has ever slept in! Furnishings are slightly colonial-style and comfortable, although the bathroom in particular was starting to look a bit tired. The rooms are in small lodges set within a pretty and well-tended garden, with the main lodge a very short walk away. The dining area is both indoor and outdoor, with the outdoor tables giving onto a small grassed area and then directly onto the game park, from which it is protected by a relatively inconspicuous electric fence. This means that - as happened on all three of our mornings at the Lodge - you can have the privilege of eating your breakfast with a herd of fifty elephants also breakfasting on the surrounding vegetation within no more than a hundred feet of you: an amazing experience! We were apparently outstandingly fortunate for this to happen every day that we were there - it does happen fairly often, but is far from guaranteed.

Food was very good, with an extensive breakfast, plentiful light lunch options and well-cooked dinners, accompanied by a good wine selection included in the per diem rate, and plenty of more expensive bottles too. Service was very good, especially from the charming and ever-smiling Moses, who looked after us charmingly.

From a guiding perspective, we were looked after throughout our stay by the effervescent Simpiwe, who was a relatively new addition to the staff. He admitted that he needed to do some additional study on all the birds that we saw, some of which he was unable to identify, but as far as the larger fauna were concerned, he guided us expertly and with great humour. River Bend was relatively empty during our stay, so the guides were very happy to flex some of the game drive timings, organising a night drive instead of an evening safari for us, which was an excellent additional dimension to our stay. In terms of wildlife variety, there was less variation than we have seen in Botswana in the past, but the elephants are of course the highlight. We also saw plenty of other large fauna, some distinctly rare, and much of which was at exceptionally close quarters given the nature of River Bend's terrain and vegetation.

The Lodge was well-run, although Adrian the manager (similar to our experience with the manager at The Last Word Franschhoek) tried a bit too hard at times. His language was a bit too hyperbolic - although that's maybe just our English sensibilities! Clare also took advantage of one of the pregnancy massages that River Bend offers as an extra, and raved about how good it was.

Overall, a very good stay indeed, within a very easy drive of Port Elizabeth, and I imagine that River Bend Lodge would be great for families with its friendliness, accessibility and lack of malaria. Thank you!" See all these reviews: 11n in South Africa
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Good
The S family
Norfolk

"A very enjoyable safari"

3 nights Arrived 16 Dec 2015
"We started this leg of our holiday with a poorly 8 year old son. Two flights had wiped him out so by the end of the first day he had developed swollen glands and a temperature. As a result, he missed a couple of the game drives.

Steve, our ranger, was absolutely fantastic. He was brilliant with the children and he pitched his tours at exactly the right level. We thoroughly enjoyed the game drives.

The lodge was quaint but chaotic . It was never really clear who was in charge in the dining room or in general so we got the impression that the place was disorganised e.g. food orders were often misinterpreted and on one occasion we waited for a children's pudding that the staff kept telling us was on its way but in fact never turned up so we just gave up waiting and no mention of it was made again by the staff!" See all these reviews: 17n in South Africa
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs B
Wales

"superb"

1 night Arrived 28 Feb 2015
"Sophisticated lodging with very attentive staff, excellent food and wine. Lovely spacious room and a good atmosphere. A welcome pool after the hot drive.

A fun game drive with plenty of "off track" and very close encounters with the elephants.

Strongly recommended" See all these reviews: 17n in South Africa; 3n in Zambia
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
F + M
Dortmund

"Perfect climax of our trip"

3 nights Arrived 25 Feb 2015
"Ideal with kids - very childfriendly. Relaxing days, exciting safaris in the morning and in the evening with a very knowledgable guide. The only thing disturbing the perfect safari feeling was the view of some powerlines in the distance.

The whole familiy loved it, we would love to come back." See all these reviews: 11n in South Africa
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Showing 1-5 of 5
92%
5 reviews of River Bend Lodge by travellers since August 2007
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