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Why did we hand pick Elephant Plains Game Lodge?

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  • Excellent Big 5 game viewing in the Sabi Sand Game reserve
  • Owner-run, with a maximum of 24 guests, for excellent, personalized service
  • Luxurious rooms and sumptuous cuisine

Elephant Plains Game Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

70km from Hazyview


-24.7447, 31.4783


Initially a private family camp, Elephant Plains was opened to the public in 1998 and is currently owner-run by Etienne and Marlet Swart, who are living out their dream of inviting visitors to experience the natural joys of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in complete comfort. The Lodge is situated on the dry Manyeleti riverbed, overlooking an open area with a watering hole often frequented by Big 5 game. Decorated in warm, earthy tones, the natural design and architectural flow of the six glass-fronted Luxury Suites falls softly on the eye, while amenities include air-conditioning, fireplaces, mosquito nets, safes and a minibar, along with a lovely deck offering views over the bush. 

The more homely 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, but they are still luxuriously equipped with similar amenities to the suites. The glass-fronted, expansive Manyeleti Suite has all the regular luxuries and also boasts a private splash pool and daybed, ideal for a siesta.

The main lodge has a comfortable lounge and bar with wine cellar and a curio shop for collectibles, as well as two swimming pools, African Health Spa, gym, library, games room and conference centre. Meals are sumptuous affairs enjoyed in the dining room or pool deck during the day or around a log fire in the outdoor Boma at night.

Two game drives are conducted each day, during which an experienced game ranger and local Shangaan tracker will share their extensive knowledge and love of the African bush.

Big 5 game, and specials such as African wild dog and cheetah, abound on the reserve. The daily bush walk takes place after breakfast and offers the opportunity of taking a closer look at animal tracks, birds, different types of grasses and trees and other smaller details of the bush.

Elephant Plains caters for all members of the family, with the Mini Tuskers kids program guaranteed to keep the little ones happily distracted.

Rates & Summary

6 Suites

Each sleeps 2 or 3
Lounge and private deck
Views of riverbed and plains

5 Rondavels

Each sleeps 2, 3, or 4
En-suite with bath and shower

Manyeleti Honeymoon Suite

Sleeps 2 adults
En-suite with bath and shower
Large private deck 
Splash pool and daybed
Views of the riverbed


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included.


Children of all ages are welcome, and the special Mini Tuskers kids programme includes painting, drawing, beading, constructing an ant farm, and mini bushwalks. Special children’s menus are available, and babysitting can be arranged.

Why Stay Here?

Elephant Plains Game Lodge offers excellent Big 5 game viewing and guests can enjoy two game drives and a bush walk per day. The lodge is owner run, and accommodates a maximum of 24 guests, ensuring personal service and attention to detail. Elephant Plains is situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and offers luxurious accommodation and sumptuous cuisine, with a tranquil riverbank bushveld setting.


  • Excellent Big 5 game viewing in the Sabi Sand Game reserve
  • Owner-run, with a maximum of 24 guests, for excellent, personalized service
  • Luxurious rooms and sumptuous cuisine


The Manyeleti honeymoon suite provides seclusion and complete privacy.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, binoculars for birding and game watching, swimming costume, insect repellent, warm clothes for night drives, raincoat for summer showers. Elephant Plains is located in a low risk malaria area so consult your doctor for any precautions you may need to take.

Road Conditions

The approach is on 20km of fairly good gravel road, suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Two swimming pools
  • Health Spa & Gym
  • Games room
  • Pool deck
  • Outdoor boma
  • Game drives
  • Bushwalks
  • Birding
  • Star gazing
  • Photographic safaris


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Air conditioning
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Licensed
  • Fridge or minibar


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Good cell phone reception
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 50km
  • Nearest fuel further than 50km
  • Shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe




Panorama & Lowveld



The Lowveld-Legogote region is the urban hub of Mpumalanga. It is home to the dynamic capital city Mbombela/Nelspruit and KaNyamazane township. It also contains the towns of White River and Hazyview, known for their arts & crafts, their good living and bonhomie.

All roads round here lead to the Kruger National Park (KNP) which is the region’s border and its biggest attraction. Another big attraction is the amazing Sudwala caves - the world’s oldest dolomite caves and the geological highlight of the Lowveld.

To the west of Mbombela/Nelspruit is the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon, the third-largest green canyon in the world and highlight of the Panorama Route. This is a scenic route along the escarpment edge, taking in the mountain towns of Graskop, Sabie, Pilgrim’s Rest and Lydenburg. To the east of Mbombela/Nelspruit lies the region dubbed the Wild Frontier. It is known for its lively gold rush history and mysterious stone ruins left by early indigenous people.

The Lowveld-Legogote region has strong ties with neighbouring Mozambique and Swaziland, offering an intriguing mix of culture, language and style. 

The Lowveld is sometimes referred to as the ‘Slowveld’ –and it’s not hard to see why. It’s hot, subtropical, laid-back and friendly. This is a region that has always worked alongside the rhythms of the wild.

The word ‘legogote’ means ‘place of the skins’ and refers to the leather makers who once lived here in the Legogote Mountains. They were known for their skill in crafting leather thongs supplied to early ox-wagon travellers.

The Lowveld has long been a trade route and trading post. Explored by early hunters and pioneers, it developed on the back of the discovery of gold. From old Delagoa Bay (present-day Maputo) to Mbombela/Nelspruit and on to the Panorama Route, you will encounter colourful tales of early adventurers, prospectors, bootleggers, gamblers, traders, chiefs, kings and shysters.

Mbombela/Nelspruit is a big, busy city that includes historic Nelspruit, ever-growing residential developments, and the vibrant, sprawling township of Kanyamazane. Cutting right through the centre of the city is the Lowveld Botanical Garden. Popular among residents and tourists, the garden is set on the banks of the Nels River and is a delight of indigenous greenery. It has a large cycad collection and an African rainforest.

Mbombela/Nelspruit was a host city for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM. Its beautiful stadium is an icon of the city’s progress - along with the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, with an innovative design reflecting a modern African spirit. In Mbombela/Nelspruit you’ll find excellent hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. It is home to a mix of peoples and cultures, with an Afro-chic flavour. From Mbombela/Nelspruit you can do artists’ routes and township tours, visit casinos, nightclubs, and artistic and historical spots. And yet within a short time you can be right in the middle of the KNP gazing out onto the ancient African wilderness.

Incredible mountain scenery and excellent outdoor action - that’s the spirit of Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route. From Mbombela/Nelspruit the route heads east through subtropical foothills and farmlands, into the mountains of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon. The route takes you along a series of historic mountain passes to the towns of Pilgrim’s Rest, Sabie, Graskop, Mashishing/Lydenburg and Orighstad. Scenic highlights include God’s Window, the Three Rondavels and the Bourke’s Luck Potholes. The Blyde River Canyon Reserve is also there - home to plenty of wildlife and birdlife and some of the best views in South Africa.

Pilgrim’s Rest is where gold was first discovered and is a heritage town. Graskop and Sabie are timber centres, and renowned for their adventure activities. There is a wide choice of things to do here, from gorge swinging, rock climbing, abseiling, and hot air ballooning, to river rafting, bungee jumping, quad biking, fishing, sailing and 4x4-ing.

Look out for

The Kruger National Park - Flagship of Mpumalanga, the Kruger National Park has good infrastructure and services, with routes, game drives, guides, camps, watering holes and other animal viewing spots. Your chances of a lion sighting are the highest in the central Kruger Park, where nutritious grasslands support a diversity of creatures. There are great spots for humans too, from luxury lodges to remote camping hideouts.

Mbombela/Nelspruit - Mpumalanga’s capital city is a friendly and fast-moving mix of cultures. These include Tsonga, Pedi, Swazi, Mozambican, Afrikaans, English, Dutch, German and French. The city is a central place from which to access the Lowveld and Panorama regions. You can take a cultural tour of Kanyamazane township, and visit arts & craft centres, traditional healers and shebeens. You can see an excellent collection of South African art at the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature buildings, or spend a quiet hour or two in the Lowveld Botanical Garden in the heart of the city.

Sudwala caves - The world’s oldest known cave system, said to be nearly 3 billion years old, the Sudwala Caves are completely surreal. In the heart of the Mankelekele mountains lies this vast subterranean city of passages, tunnels, caverns and chambers. There are timeless dripstone formations and eerie bottomless lakes. The highlight is the Crystal Tour – a five-hour 2km hike into the heart of the caves culminating in a cavern containing incredible stalactites and stalagmites.

Outdoor action - Sabie is the adventure capital of the Lowveld and Panorama, offering just about everything you can think of in an incredible canyon and mountain setting. Experience the adrenalin rush of the world's highest cable gorge swing with a 68m (18-storey) freefall. You’ll go from 0-160km/h in 2.3 seconds! The hiking is exceptional, and there are excellent rock climbing, paragliding, and abseiling opportunities.

The Artists Route - The beautiful setting and laidback lifestyle of the Lowveld has long attracted artists and creative souls. In the White River/Hazyview area you can visit the studios and showrooms of some of the country’s foremost artists. These include potters, weavers, candle makers, glass-blowers, sculptors and even taxidermists. Both these towns are hip and happening, offering charming eating spots and great rural retail therapy. For good shopping head for Casterbridge Centre on the edge of White River, and Perry’s Bridge in Hazyview.

Kaapsehoop village - Explore the misty heights of this historic gold mining village. It is popular for its quaint coffee shops, pubs, bistros and more than a hundred wild horses.

Innibos Cultural Festival - A music and arts festival held in the Nelspruit/White River area in June and July. This is a cultural ‘must-do’. For 14 days the Lowveld rocks. This arts festival is held at over 60 theatre and music spots across the province and features everything from big stage concerts to assorted theatre and cultural activities. There are also more than 400 craft stalls to explore.

When to go

To Do

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