I was lucky enough to stay at the marvellous Buckler's Africa for 5 nights in November 2009. It was booked directly with Robert (the owner) who was attentive and prompt in replying to my many e mail questions before our visit. I visited with my parents and sister ages 33 - 60 - for my step-mother's 60th birthday.
From the Mpumulanga airport, we hired a jeep (pretty essential for a good experience) and travelled the easy hour and a quarter to Bucklers. This is a toll road (approx 42 rand I think). Be aware that this long road has lots of speed cameras - usually parked patrol cars just after a speed change. My dad received a 1000 rand fine on the way there!!
Komatipoort is not very big, but it does have shops and a big "Spar" to buy any self catering things you need - the meat for the Braii is super cheap - about 90 pence for a big T bone steak!!! Delicious! There is a good off licence and a cash machine here too. The drive throught Komatipoort itself is basically just a big street with a couple of restaurants and small shops and houses.
About 5 minutes after Komatipoort you turn into a road - non tarmac but frequently used (The jeep was great for this road). Another few minutes up here, past citrus orchards and sugar cane fields, you reach Buckler's Africa. Wow!!
Once through the gates we were greeted by Gurda who was standing in for Robert for a few days. She made us feel so welcome straight away. We were taken through the house to the main part of the lodge, overlooking the crocodile river and the Kruger Park. It is exactly like it looks on the website, but even better!!! Our first glimpse of the Kruger park, suitcases in hand, and we see a rhino just ambling along beside the river!!! We were sold!!
Our accomodation was wonderful, we had a single room (my step-sister) and a suite. I had a twin room within the suite - immaculate, huge vaulted ceiling, beautiful en suite bathroom with a bath, and my own patio door looking onto the pool, immaculate gardens and the outstanding view. There was a lounge area, kitchen, double bedroom, further bathroom, loft room and an outside "bush bathroom". We loved this - an outside shower, toilet and basin. A wonderful experience to have your shower under the sky.
We had use of a Braii and outside dining area and enjoyed a good couple of evenings cooking, eating, drinking and relaxing after our exciting days! Gurda kindly even made my step-mam a delicious "tipsy cake" for her birthday. It was the most delicious alcohol laiden cake, and so big we were lucky enough to be eating it for days! It's kindness like this that makes your holiday even more special.
We were so amazed to find 5 elephants just metres away from us on several occassions and they even came and fed from the tree by the balcony and loungers! Just like the picture again!! How magical to be sitting having breakfast with elephants, rhino and hippo as your view - it doesn't get any better than that!! I even saw 3 lions on the last morning! Other guests were also really excited to see the animals so close and we had some lovely chats with them - couples and families with children too. The overall feeling in the lodge was relaxed, safe and happy! We didn't want to leave.
The location was good -especially for entrance to the Kruger via the Crocodile Bridge Gate. This was only about ten minutes away. We never paid for a safari guide, we just drove ourselves around and saw everything - all of the big 5 and more. We visited twice and loved it both times. We visited Swaziland (approx an hour and a half away), and Hazy View (because my parents had stayed there 5 years ago). It is also close to Mozambique, but we just didn't have the time. We also went on a flight over the border of the park, supposed to be in a micro light but we had to use a small "bush baby" plane instead because the weather conditions weren't perfect. This was all arranged by Robert the owner. I must conclude in saying that he is such a lovely guy who genuinely cares about his lodge, the people who work there and ultimately that his guests have the best time possible. It was a real pleasure to meet Robert and stay in his amazing African lodge. We couldn't have asked for anything more - Book it now!!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.