Kruger National Park
Elephant Plains Game Lodge

On a dry riverbed, at the end of a dusty track, in a little corner of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, lies Elephant Plains Game Lodge.

Carefully hidden within the ancient bush-veld landscape and adjacent to the huge plains of Kruger Park, it offers a more affordable option for those in search of unbeatable game viewing. Family-run, it is infused with a warm and homely ambiance, comforting yet luxurious facilities, food on which to feast and safaris that compete with the best.

Facilities & Activities

It’s prime safari game viewing here. There are two games drives per day, both with experienced game rangers and local Shangaan trackers who are full of information about their beloved African bush and, when the occasion calls, will head off road into the bush to ensure the best viewings. The reserve borders Kruger National Park and unhindered by fences allows extraordinary sightings of the legendary Big Five but also the elusive wild dog, cheetah and leopard, along with the myriad of other smaller species and birds.

In between the exhilarating drives, there is plenty to relax and restore the senses, with a choice of two pools and an opulent spa overlooking a waterhole; spot the wildlife coming to drink in between the rejuvenating treatments. Take a guided walk and learn about the flora and fauna, relax in front of the fire, potter in the curio shop or go star gazing under the moon – the seclusion of the lodge means star gazing is unsurpassed. You may also pass the time in their gym or games room.

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Dining

The lodge is a feast for the senses and a feast all day. The morning breaks with a mug of hot coffee and fresh rusks, before you head out on the first of the safari adventures. On your return, there is a buffet style breakfast – fresh, home cooked and offering a huge variety of choice. Lunch is served in the dining room or on the pool deck, followed by sumptuous afternoon tea. Sundowners are taken out in the bush, usually with an incredible view, and dinner is savoured beside the log fire under the great skies and is a combination of international and authentic South African specialties.

Rooms

The five authentic rondavels, found in the beautiful landscaped garden, offer cosy accommodation with en-suite bathrooms and sundecks. And while they are elegant and full of luxury, they do offer a more affordable choice for a safari stay. Alternatively there are six spacious suites which offer a stunning glass fronted lounge, double bedroom and en-suite bathrooms, along with a spectacular viewing deck overlooking the river bed.

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Family

Children of all ages are welcome here and they’ll flourish in the warm, friendly atmosphere. They will love the two pools, exploring the grounds and can even enjoy child friendly treatments in the spa. There is also a special children’s programme full of exciting activities such as painting, drawing, beading and getting out into nature with mini bushwalks and constructing ant farms.

There are plenty of food choices when it comes to meal times and special children’s menus are available. Accommodation is in the five lovely rondavels in the garden. While they do not interconnect, they are close enough together for older children to sleep safely nearby. For families with smaller children, then additional single or sofa beds can be placed in the rooms. And if you want to enjoy a peaceful evening, then babysitting can be arranged.

Sustainability

They have put in place a number of conservation measures, such as the removal of alien plant species, habitat management via carefully planned block burning, and the regeneration of erosion sites. They consider their guests ambassadors for conservation in South Africa, as they hope that the enriching wildlife experiences they provide will be passed on to others after their visit. To enable this, their staff are educated on the sustainability of resources, which they can also pass onto their communities. They use local suppliers and services whenever possible, which helps provide local businesses with a steady income stream.

Location

The lodge is found on the northern point of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, which forms part of the greater Kruger National Park, and despite being at the end of a dusty track, is relatively easy to get to. From Johannesburg and Cape Town there are scheduled flights to Kruger/Mpumalanga International Airport, or fly to the smaller access Airports of Hoedspruit and Skukuza (located in Kruger Park itself). From there it’s a short hop on a smaller shuttle flight to the landing strip or road transfer to the lodge itself. All they ask is that you are in time to enjoy lunch. How civilised!

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