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South Africa Safari

Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Return to Map of Sabi Sand Game Reserve

View images of Elephant Plains Game Lodge: Elepant Plains Images


Situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park, Elephant Plains Game Lodge offers excellent Big 5 game viewing, luxurious accommodation and sumptuous cuisine. The lodge caters for the discerning traveller, offering a variety of accommodation options, varying from rondavels and luxury suites to the Manyeleti honeymoon suite.

Elephant Plains Game Lodge is world renowned for excellent Big 5 game viewing and guests can enjoy two game drives and a bush walk per day. Facilities include two swimming pools, a spa, gym, conference centre, small library and games room. We also cater for small, intimate weddings. The lodge is owner run and can accommodate a maximum of 24 guests. This guarantees personal service and attention to detail. Our unpretentious style ensures that guests regrettably leave the warm and friendly atmosphere of our little piece of Africa.

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve was set up in the 1950's by a group of private landowners who dropped the fences between their properties in order to create a larger area for the animals to roam freely. The reserve is named after its two main rivers, the Sabi and Sand Rivers, which both flow to the south of Elephant Plains Game Lodge. In 1993 the fences between the Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve were dropped to allow the animals an even bigger traversing area. Currently the Kruger National Park encompasses an area of around 2.2 million hectares. 

The Steyn family used to own the Seville property, a farm just outside the village of Utah on the way to the Orpen gate. In the early sixties this land was reclaimed by the government and along with many other neighbouring properties it became trust land. The reclamation led to the creation of the Manyeleti Game Reserve, situated just to the north of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

Koot Steyn, his son, Dries Steyn and a third partner, Jannie Wilkens then bought the farm, Arathusa from Mr Tresford in 1962. At that time the only buildings on the property were the old main building and two rondavels, currently Rooms 2 and 3. More rondavels (Rooms 1, 4 & 5) were added and the camp was used as a holiday place for family & friends.

The infamous Harry Kirkman became warden of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in 1958 and frequently visited the farm. After having captivated friends with his incredible wildlife stories around the campfire, he would always sleep on the porch of Room 2, despite a ready-made bed indoors.

Koot Steyn passed on and the northern section of the property was sold to the then German Ambassador for South Africa, Mr Jackel. It has since been re-sold. Jannie Wilkens's southern section was sold to Mr Abrahams.

The farm is now owned by his daughters, Shirley and Joan. This is the private camp one can see from the original pool deck. Dries Steyn divided his property in two and in 1994 the farm was inherited by the Witpoort Family Trust. Dr. Etienne & Margie Swart are the current owners.

The Swart family decided to share their piece of paradise with visitors and on the 1st of October 1998 Elephant Plains Game Lodge opened its doors to the public. Initially we only accommodated 10 guests in the rondavels of the original family holiday camp.  The construction of the new main lodge and six luxury suites during 2003, as well as the honeymoon suite in 2006, has allowed us to take 24 guests. The lodge is owner-run by Etienne & Marlet Swart, who reside on the property. With the help of a wonderful team of staff members, they are living their dream…

Accommodation            For images of Elephant Plains Game Lodge, click Elephant Plains Images
Guests are able to choose between five rondavels, six luxury suites and The Manyeleti, our romantic honeymoon suite. The main lodge houses the reception, dining areas, bar, lounge & wine cellar, as well as a small library and curio shop. Facilities include two swimming pools, the African Health Spa, a gym, conference room and games room.

Honeymoon Suite
The Manyeleti honeymoon suite provides honeymooners, or guests that are just romantic at heart, with elegance, privacy and a stunning view.  This glass fronted suite has all the regular luxuries and also boasts a private splash pool and daybed, ideal for a mid-morning nap.

The Luxury Suites
Decorated in warm, earthy tones, the natural design and architectural flow of the six glass-fronted luxury suites fall softly on the eye.
 These exclusive, open-plan suites each have a lounge, double bedroom, en-suite bathroom and a private viewing deck that offers spectacular views over the riverbed and open area. All suites feature air conditioning, overhead fans, fireplaces, mosquito nets, electronic safes, as well as mini bars and tea & coffee facilities.

The five rondavels are set in the beautifully landscaped garden of the original family holiday camp and one can still feel the old bushveld charm upon entering. The five rondavels have been renovated and redecorated to pay tribute to Oupa Dries and Ouma Anna Steyn, without whom Elephant Plains Game Lodge would not have existed.

The rondavels have sundecks, en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, overhead fans, mini bars, tea/coffee facilities, mosquito nets and electronic safes. While elegant and luxurious, the rondavels offer affordable game lodge accommodation.

The African Health Spa
The African Health Spa is just the place to go if you have the need to rest, relax and rejuvenate, or just feel like spoiling yourself. While relaxing to the sound of soothing music playing in the background and heavenly aromas filling the air, focus your attention to the waterhole in front of you while waiting to spot one of the Big 5, coming from the plains to drink...

The African Health Spa offers a unique range of treatments to pamper you from head to toe. We use Thera Naka products, an innovative, sense soothing safari range. Choose between revitalizing body treatments, relaxing massages, manicures and pedicures or even rejuvenating facials.

We also offer a few fun spa options for the kids! The African Health Spa comprises two treatment rooms, both overlooking the open area in front of the lodge. We have two internationally qualified spa therapists. Come and experience this timeless place of peace and tranquillity. Spoil yourself with a treatment at The African Health Spa!

Dining & Cuisine
Mealtimes are sumptuous affairs, with a combination of international cuisine and South African specialities. Breakfast and lunch are enjoyed in the dining room or on the pool deck, overlooking the open area. Dinner is served around a log fire in the boma, whilst enjoying the mystical nocturnal sounds under the African sky.

Bordering the Kruger National Park, with no fences dividing them, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is world renowned for excellent game viewing. At Elephant Plains Game Lodge you can be sure of game drives and bush walks that will live up to the Africa of your imagination! Not only will you have an excellent chance of close encounters with the Big 5, but you may even be spoiled with the more elusive wild dog and cheetah sightings. As the lodge is situated on a dry riverbed, the surrounding habitat is favourable for leopards, as these creatures enjoy the riverine and denser bush areas.

Keen birdwatchers would also be mesmerized with over 300 bird species to choose from. Over time and due to a carefully planned habituation process, some of the animals have become habituated to the game drive vehicles. This enables our guests to view the animals undisturbed, as they go about their daily routine.

There are two game drives per day, during which your experienced game ranger and local Shangaan tracker would share their extensive knowledge and love of the African bush with you. Each drive lasts about three hours with an intermediate break.

During the morning game drive you will be spoiled with coffee and homemade rusks and in the afternoon your ranger will find a suitable spot where you can enjoy the stunning views, whilst enjoying your sundowner drink. After sundowners your tracker will use the spotlight to find nocturnal animals, before returning to the lodge for dinner. Your ranger will discuss the various game drive regulations before you leave camp.

During game drive you will note that the rangers sometimes drive off of the road and into the bush. This is one of the many game drive aspects that enable us to bring you closer to the action! We do, however, work in accordance to guidelines set out by the Sabi Sand Game Reserve ecologist. We only allow off-roading in certain areas and with special precautions. The rangers do not drive over sensitive areas, will only drive over small trees if they are encroachment species and if necessary, they will do brush packing afterwards to limit the impact on the environment.

Top           Return to Map of Sabi Sand Game Reserve          Return to Map of Lowveld Game Reserves          Return to Map of Limpopo Province

For tourist information and activities in the Limpopo Province, click More Limpopo
For further information about Kruger National Park, click More Kruger

For further information about South Africa, click More South Africa

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