Elephant Plains is privately owned and run. The lodge aims to be as unobtrusive as possible within the surrounding landscape, while caring for the local environment and the local peoples too. It has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, in recognition of high service standards! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, teas and coffees, morning and evening game drives, bush walks, and Wi-Fi.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via 45 minutes’ road transfer from Sabi Sands’ Gowrie Gate. It’s situated on the dry Manyeleti riverbed, overlooking an open area featuring a popular waterhole!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation consists of five rondavels, six luxury suites, and the Manyeleti Honeymoon Suite. Each rondavel comprises a timber, stone, and thatch roundhouse with a lovely location, within the exquisitely landscaped gardens of Elephant Plains’ original family holiday camp. A few steps lead up onto a private sundeck. Inside, you’ll find a double bed or twin beds with mosquito nets, bedside tables and lighting, and a host of amenities including air conditioning, overhead fans, tea-and-coffee station, mini-bar, and electronic safe. The en-suite washroom contains flush toilet, washbasin with mirror over, and step-in shower. The luxury suite option, which is glass fronted, benefits from all the amenities mentioned, and it also has a lounge, twin washbasins, an outside shower, and a private viewing deck. Finally, the Manyeleti Honeymoon Suite is glass fronted too, and it boasts an additional daybed and a private splash pool!
The communal building at Elephant Plains is also made out of timber, stone, and thatch, with wood-framed windows and doors. Its interiors include a large lounge, with comfortable sofas and armchairs around coffee tables as well as an intimate corner bar. In the main dining area, chunky square tables and upright chairs are set up ready for delicious meals. The lodge contains a wine cellar too, as well as a curio shop that also sells some clothing. Fitness fans can enjoy a workout in the property’s separate gym, while business clients can make use of the well-equipped conference room – please note that Elephant Plains must be booked exclusively for a conference. There’s also a very pleasant library, and a games room where guests can play table tennis, table football, and snooker. Outside the lodge, there’s a spacious deck, with two swimming pools and rows of sunloungers alongside – perfect for relaxing between activities in the reserve!
Elephant Plains offers an exciting mix of things to do. Expertly guided vehicle safaris take place during the morning and the late afternoon into evening. Drives focus on exploring the northern region of the Sabi Sands and enjoying sightings of a wealth of wildlife! The area’s savanna, woodland, and water sources support an impressive range of species. All Big Five are in residence – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. The big cats are particularly prolific, and you can look out for cheetah too.
Other predators to watch out for include hyenas, jackals, and the rare wild dog, while the herbivore count features hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and oodles of antelopes! The reserve is also home to approximately three hundred types of bird, from raptors to songbirds to waterbirds. Bush walks can include birding, and they also provide opportunities to scrutinise plants and insects, and to track larger animals. Photographic safaris are available too. Where children are thought too young to participate in safari activities, they can get involved with the Mini Tuskers programme, which offers drawing, painting, beading, constructing an ant farm, going on mini-bushwalks, and more! And everyone can have fun stargazing at the end of each day, with the knowledgeable guides on hand to point out various constellations and clusters.