Sanbona Wildlife Reserve - Tilney Manor

George, Garden Route

The hotel

The ultimate initiation into the world of South African safaris, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve brings you the 'Big Five', all your classic safari experiences, and extra encounters like visiting ancient rock art sites – and all just a few hours’ scenic drive from Cape Town, through the famous winelands. Its location makes Sanbona the go-to reserve for those wanting to mix urban adventures in Cape Town with wilderness adventures in a 58,000 hectare reserve. The malaria-free reserve offers every kind of safari experience (including game drives, boat safaris, nature walks, stargazing, and relaxation retreats) and every kind of luxury led safari sanctuary (with its secluded Dwyka Tented Lodge, set in a dry riverbed and featuring private Jacuzzis; its luxurious Tilney Manor refuge with its rim-flow pool; its seasonal Explorer Camp for wilderness wanderers; and its Gondwana Family Lodge, with its unique Kids on Safari programme).

Amenities

Where is it

The reserve is located along Route 62, half way between Cape Town and George and just beyond the Winelands. It is in a fantastic location for those self-driving Cape Town to George/Knynsa. Transfer time from Cape Town Airport: 3 hours.

Hotel information

Tilney Manor features 6 spacious open-plan suites that lead on to private verandas, air-conditioning, fireplace, en-suite bathroom with shower and freestanding bath in the centre, outdoor showers, tea/coffee-making facilities and mini-bar. Suites sleep maximum 2 adults.

Gondwana Family Lodge offers 6 suites on the ground floor with private deck and 6 suites upstairs with private balcony/viewing deck. Each of these suites have air-conditioning, underfloor heating, , and free standing bath, king-size bed or twin beds. Suites sleep maximum 2 adults and 1 child.

All Inclusive of: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tea/coffee, water and game-drive beverages. Daily game-drives and guided walks.

The secluded Dwyka Tented Lodge has only 9 suites, in the shape of a horseshoe. All suites have comfort cooling/heating air-conditioners, private deck with spa bath, en-suite bathroom with shower and freestanding bath, outdoor shower, king-size bed or twin beds. Suites sleep maximum 2 adults.

  • Long stay offer: stay 3 nights or more and receive a 10% discount on your accommodation costs. Valid for stays 1-30 Sep '18, 1-22 Apr '19, 24 Apr-30 Sep '19, 1-9 Apr '20 and 14-30 Apr '20.

3 luxurious lodges and back-to-nature Explorer Camp. Tilney Manor has both in/outdoor dining facilities, rim-flow swimming pool, lounge with fireplace and a Relaxation Retreat* with steam and sauna room. The family friendly Gondwana Lodge offers a Kids on Safari programme as well as indoor and outdoor play areas and a child-friendly pool. The Dwyka Tented Lodge, set in a dry Karoo ravine, features an open-air dining boma, wine cellar, lounge with fireplace and a Relaxation Retreat*. Range of safari activities available including bird watching, game-drives, nature walks, boat safaris, rock art and star gazing. Complimentary WiFi.

2 nights between 1 Sep '18-30 Apr '20.

* Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (272)
  • Very good (36)
  • Average (14)
  • Poor (3)
  • Terrible (2)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Such a treat

Sep 4, 2019 Darlene D Montagu, South Africa

Stayed at both Tilney Manor and Dwyka Tented Lodge and enjoyed it very much. Dwyka Tented Lodge however was definately my favourite. Its spectacular setting and luxury accommodation left nothing to be desired! Game drives, meals and attentative staff made this getaway a memorable trip. Will definately return again soon.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Incredible!

Jul 31, 2019 artichokee New England

What a great experience! We spent 2 nights and 3 days at this beautiful place and missed it as soon as we left. When we arrived, our luggage was taken to our room while we were given an orientation of sorts to familiarize ourselves with Sanbona. Our rooms were beautiful - huge with an incredible view and cozy fire place, gorgeous bathroom… Read more
What a great experience! We spent 2 nights and 3 days at this beautiful place and missed it as soon as we left. When we arrived, our luggage was taken to our room while we were given an orientation of sorts to familiarize ourselves with Sanbona. Our rooms were beautiful - huge with an incredible view and cozy fire place, gorgeous bathroom that included an outdoor shower for two, and a very comfortable bed warmed by electric blankets at night and snacks left by the bed. To lay in bed and look out the patio doors at the stars - what a way to fall asleep! The food was great! Many options are available that made all of us happy. A vegetarian option was available for every meal. The food was presented beautifully! You will not go hungry here! Snacks were put out after game drives. After a game drive, you are greeted with a warm, steamy hand towel. You can come inside and sit by a huge roaring fire while having a snack, some amarulla with hot chocolate and chat with other guests about what we saw. Our guide, Alwyn, was great. He really made an effort to make sure we saw different animals every time we went out. He was willing to answer all of our questions and was very interesting to talk to and very passionate about what he does. He definitely made this experience great for us and we learned so much from him! We all enjoyed sundowners while watching the sun set and chatting about this beautiful area - what a great experience! We were definitely sad to leave this magical place! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating The most amazing experience!

Apr 6, 2019 Nicola D Hessle, United Kingdom

This was a very expensive 2 days but well worth the money for to also be contributing to the conservation programme for so many wonderful endangered species. We feel privileged to have observed wildlife at such close proximity. The food was superb, staff all super friendly and helpful, room amazing. The views from the pool are awesome. The game… Read more
This was a very expensive 2 days but well worth the money for to also be contributing to the conservation programme for so many wonderful endangered species. We feel privileged to have observed wildlife at such close proximity. The food was superb, staff all super friendly and helpful, room amazing. The views from the pool are awesome. The game drives were an absolute delight. We saw lions, giraffes, zebra, oryx, kudu, red hartebeest, baboons, a group of 11 elephants (1 large dominant male within touching distance as he lumbered in front of the jeep to join the main group), rhino, hippo’s (on the reservoir in the distance), eland, buffalo and a puff adder. All the extra little touches made it a 5* experience. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A Dream with wonderful cast of characters

Mar 10, 2019 dlcyh Prince Rupert, Canada

My wife and I stayed here for 3 days and could not have enjoyed our time more. The staff and venue outstanding the lodge (swanky tents) were gorgeous and luxurious as well. The animals are completely wild as this is not a bunch of caged sad animals in some sad excuse for a petting zoo. You experience the animals in their natural state guided by… Read more
My wife and I stayed here for 3 days and could not have enjoyed our time more. The staff and venue outstanding the lodge (swanky tents) were gorgeous and luxurious as well. The animals are completely wild as this is not a bunch of caged sad animals in some sad excuse for a petting zoo. You experience the animals in their natural state guided by exceptionally committed and passionate staff. Out guide, Jordan had answers to any question that came up and was the perfect person to explain the world we were in while there. Really though, everything about this place was a learning experience and the staff made us feel like family. Do not hesitate to go to this magical place and leave happy in the knowledge that it is all non-profit with any proceeds going right back into the preservation and quality of life for these stunning animals that deserve the dignity they are afforded at Sanbona. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating a fantastic experience

Mar 9, 2019 jackiewaller Cobham, Surrey

It is a lovely reserve. And Brenda, our guide for our stay, was fantastic. Totally passionate about her country and her subject, and polite in her silence even to an awful racist rant from one of the guests (not British I'm delighted to say). We were treated to an amazing stargazing lesson by Brenda. She told us how to navigate using the… Read more
It is a lovely reserve. And Brenda, our guide for our stay, was fantastic. Totally passionate about her country and her subject, and polite in her silence even to an awful racist rant from one of the guests (not British I'm delighted to say). We were treated to an amazing stargazing lesson by Brenda. She told us how to navigate using the southern cross. We were incredibly fortunate to see a young male cheetah stalking 4 Oryx. He took out one of them, and although we saw a lot of thrashing, I'm glad I didn't see the actual kill. We were then asked by one of her fellow guides (who had a gun) whether we would like to walk up to the cheetah, who would be recovering from the exertion of the kill. We did, and it was the most amazing experience. We were 20 metres away from the cheetah. He recovered and came out to drag the Oryx into the shade. I got it all on video.....amazing!! Sundowners in the little Karoo - beautiful sunsets. And early morning drives - beautiful sunrises. The food at Sanbona is excellent, as are all the staff. Breakfast, lunch and dinner all fantastic. We relied a lot on the laundry service, as we were living out of a suitcase. It was excellent and inexpensive. All in all an amazing experience Read less