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“A bush experience unmatched with incredible hospitality” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bushwise Safaris

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Bushwise Safaris
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   PO Box 909 | Marloth Park, Marloth Park 1340, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A bush experience unmatched with incredible hospitality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

A close friend of mine recommended Bushwise to me when I was looking for a great place to bring folks to Kruger, and they did not steer me wrong. After leading a group of 6 volunteers through Southern Africa for a week, we were hoping to find an oasis to relax and have a great bush experience at Kruger. Well, Bushwise is just that. The accommodation is top notch, the staff friendly and very knowledgeable and the food better than we could have imagined.

This intimate experience offered us a beautiful opportunity to connect to nature and one another as we sat under the African sky, whether sitting in the pool or eating dinner. Their guide was one of the more knowledgable I've come across, and the hospitality of the proprietors was classically South African.

But, on top of all that, we had a particular experience that could have tested this hospitality. As we were driving to the lodge, our van got stuck in a ditch on a dirt road about 10kms from the lodge, at 11:30pm. With no idea what to do, we called Tim at the lodge and before we could lose our cool, he and Werner (lodge manager) came to our rescue. They spent two hours digging us out and pulling us out of the ditch. We could not have gotten out without them, and they never once complained about the situation.

I strongly encourage you to stay at Bushwise and experience the best Kruger and South Africa has to offer.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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208 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

Not having taken a break for a while I decided to go down and visit Tim and Annette at Bushwise Safaris again, they are running a special ! The Crocodile River was in flood from the recent rains and the bridge into the Kruger has been closed on several days so the guests have had to use the Malalane gate to get into the Kruger. I was lucky and on entering the Kruger via Crocodile Bridge we see a Lion standing on a branch in a Jakelberry tree, a classic Africa pose ! First time I have ever seen a Lion in a tree ! Although a lot of roads were closed due to the rain the guides made sure we got to see as many animals as possible. The new rooms added onto the Lodge are great and offer a different accommodation experience to the main lodge, I like them personally. There were two American ladies at the lodge at the same time as me and they summed up Bushwise better than I could. They said it was like staying in someones house, they felt at home and that their stay exceeded their expectations and that was unusual. I agree thats why I go back !!

Room Tip: Romm 4 has the best view and the two new rooms offer nice seclusion
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

The group I was with had a fantastic time here. The rooms were clean, air conditioned with comfortable beds. The food was good and the views from the roof pool/dining area were spectacular. The staff made the stay, Tim (Owner) and the guides Vernor and Donald were incredibly knowledgeable and their stories about things they'd experienced inside the park were captivating. I highly recommend staying here.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Grange Park, Illinois
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

The Bushwise Safari staff is incredible. Our group stayed there for 3 nights. They are helpful, courteous and entertaining in sharing their stories of encounters with the wild game animals. The views are unparalleled, their accommodations are clean and comfortable and their staff is available 24/7. Their guided tours of Kruger National Park are top-notch, and they are willing to coordinate all the rest of your activities. They are not far from Crocodile Bridge, which leads to a less busy entrance into Kruger. The drive to the lodge within Marloth Park also includes some wild game animals that are free to wander and create wonderful photo opportunities. All around a wonderful experience. Perfect location for a quality safari experience.

Room Tip: One room that I know of did not have a shower, only a tub. So inquire while making reservations.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

Had an amazing two days! Thanks for the hospitality! Unfortunately we only had roughly 48 hours in this lodge. Lovely dinner and amazing half day safari. We couldn't have asked for more. Thanks Tim! Hope to be able to return some time down the road.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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BushwiseSafaris, Owner at Bushwise Safaris, responded to this review, February 27, 2014
Hi Christian,
Like wise, we all here at Bushwise enjoyed your company and uplifting conversations. Always nice to have people here who appreciate the African Bush and have such a positive and enthusiastic outlook in life.
Hope to see you again soon.
Keep in touch
Tim
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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

We stayed at Bushwise 3 nights and found the place to be terrible all-around. The senior staff were not hotel people but animal park guides. The kitchen / housekeeping staff were surly. None of the staff seemed like they liked their jobs and seemed to hide from the guests. The dinner food was the worst and inedible. We ended up eating only the lettuce with salad dressing and drinking the overpriced wine. The pool is more the size of a big hot tub. It also has a dangerous suction on one wall of the pool which was very painful when contacted. We discovered that Bushwise marked-up the price of activities they reserve at Kruger and take an obscene amount of profit just for phoning in the reservation. There were stink bugs everywhere in the hotel, especially the bedrooms, which crawled all over you in the middle of the night, making sleep impossible. When you took a bug off your body, it left a nauseous smell on your hand that smelled like cleaning fluid. I wish we had passed on this place and spent more time doing some research. Live & learn...

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BushwiseSafaris, Owner at Bushwise Safaris, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Hello again,
Thank you for your comments about Bushwise Safaris, we will always strive to improve in every aspect. Such a pity that you did not enjoy your stay with us, especially with the bugs here in the bush, something that we have no control over. Interesting fact is that the stink bug only appears for about one week every year and then disappear again until next year... strange indeed, not a pleasant experience I can not agree with you more. This is why we always suggest to our guests to keep all the insect screens closed and the lights off if they are not in their rooms. If one does that you have no problem with insects in your room - may be something that you should keep in mind when you go to the African bush again in the future? Regarding your remark about our staff: - Differences in culture have caused a lot of misunderstandings in the past, so I would like to explain their behaviour so that you might judge differently in future when confronted with the same scenario. Even though it is possible to get well educated staff from the cities, it is our principle to always employ our local people in order to assist in the unemployment rate in our own area. Therefore the fact that our staff is shy (it is part their culture that the ladies in their tribe are not allowed to speak before spoken to) might easily be taken as 'surly'. But I can promise you that I am very proud of our ladies and I think that they are doing a great job. As you can see in all the other reviews, all our guests just loved our meals, may be the traditional South African meals are just not part of your favourite cuisine? We have a lodge manager - Werner and an experienced field guide - Donald, and many a guest have told us how lucky we are to have such a great team here at Bushwise. You came to stay with us during a very busy time of the year and Werner had to answer a lot of enquiries and see to the maintenance and house keeping of the lodge. I am sure that you appreciated the fact that your questions were attended to within a very short turn around time every time that you sent an email during your booking process - an activity that took up a lot of his time because he was the only one in the office while we as owners also took a short break during the Festive Season. Our wine prices are in line with any hotel in the area, and we also did not charge a cork fee when drinking your own wine, a courtesy from our side that I am sure you did not have reason to complain about. Regarding the drives that are conduced by the Kruger Park, we make the reservation, pay for it in advance, take our guests there, wait there until they come back from the sunset drive or morning walk and then bring them back to the lodge. Again, our price mark up is in line with any other establishment in the area - we are all running a business and have to show a profit after our expenses are covered. However, we don't have a problem with a guest who would prefer to make their own booking for these drives and drive there themselves. And I can not agree with you more that one should do a lot of research before booking to be sure that you book accommodation at a place that fit your requirements perfectly, as everyone has a different view on what is important and what not.
Tim
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Uppsala, Sweden
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

Our stay at Bushwise safari lodge was truly amazing. Nice rooms, great home cooked food and excellent staff that was very commited to make us get the most out of our stay, everything from meals to the tours where tailored to suit us personaly.

We stayed for 6 nights and booked 3 full day safaris, one morning walk with a evening tour later in the day and the Panorama route full day tour. All of the tours where very well organised and we saw more animals than we had dared to hope and the scenery on the panorama route was spectacular. The guide was very knowledgeable and always asked what we wanted to see so that he could do his best for us to see the animals we wanted to see the most. I can highly recommend all of the tours that we went on.

For vegetarians;
I'm a vegetarian and sent a email saying so before booking and that wasen't a problem at all, I got a separate meal cooked just for me every evening that was delicious.

Over all highly recommended and my girlfriend and I would definitely stay there again!

Room Tip: We had a room on the second floor and I can really recommend it, we could walk out on our balcony an...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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BushwiseSafaris, Owner at Bushwise Safaris, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Hi Riaan,
It was lovely to have both of you here, and thanks so much for fixing the handles of my sideboard, much appreciated! I do want to share this with everyone - I only mentioned to Riaan what a special piece of furniture it was ( It came from the Matonka tribe who live on the banks of the Colorado river near the Rocky mountains) and the door handles broke off in transit to Bushwise.... next morning when I walked into the dining room it was fixed - magic!
What a kind gesture, and you are always welcome at Bushwise.
Annette
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Additional Information about Bushwise Safaris

Address: PO Box 909 | Marloth Park, Marloth Park 1340, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Marloth Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Marloth Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Bushwise Safaris 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The best of Africa distilled into one lodge - Bushwise Safaris. We combine luxury accommodation with the real Safari experience. From our Safari Lodge base on the banks of the Crocodile River (overlooking Kruger National Park), we take guests into Kruger in our open safari-vehicle with our experienced guide who has a passion for the African Bush and its animals. Not only will he seek out the Big Five but he will also tell you about all the wonders that this unique eco-system has to offer. ... more   less 
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