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“Fantastic Game Lodge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bush Lodge - Amakhala Game Reserve

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Bush Lodge - Amakhala Game Reserve
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4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   N2 between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, Addo, 6139, Amakhala Game Reserve 6130, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic Game Lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

We ended our first South African adventure here with a 3 night stay. We had previously had great hotels and hospitality and we were not disappointed here either. The whole experience of getting up early, going out on the drive with morning coffee and muffins served from our jeep by a very friendly and knowledgable ranger to the sherry and hot bath waiting when we returned from the afternoon drive was absolutely Devine. The food service and hospitality were second to none. During our stay we went on two drives a day and by the last morning we had not seen any lions but undaunted our ranger was determined to find them which he did. We can not praise the organisation more highly and will definitely return. Thanks very much for a fantastic end to our two weeks in South Africa.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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116 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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England
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

After landing in Port Elizabeth and spending a night there, we traveled to Amakhala to start our South Africa trip. Most people seem to start in Cape Town and travel east along the garden route ending with a safari. I really do recommend starting with your safari and ending in Cape Town. It sets the scene of this truly wonderful country and we found it a privilege to be in the animals environment.

Everyone has described the accommodation, food and treats and I totally agree. It was luxury without being pretentious. Local, well cooked food without being fussy.

The staff were absolutely fantastic, Graeme, our ranger, was a font of all knowledge for all things safari. Rene is extraordinarily helpful and the service is excellent.

After years of trying to get my husband to go on safari he is now hooked. Thanks Amakhala!!

Room Tip: The tents at Bush Lodge are a great choice.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We stayed here for 4 days and saw much more game than we anticipated. The Rangers were excellent and the experience was personal and memorable. Food and rooms at the Lodge also good - especially the drawn bath after each drive!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Essex
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Stayed here for just the one night, but wish had booked for longer. Accommodation is perfect. Large room with huge bath which is filled for you on your return from safari. It gets quite windy on safari so the warm fire and bath were much appreciated. We had a safari in the afternoon and another in the early morning. Both were around 3 to 4 hours and we saw a lot ie zebra, giraffe, 2 lions, wart hogs, elephant, kudo etc.
the food here is an excellent standard. I could not fault it.
Staff are very welcoming and friendly.
If I am in SA again I would definitely return.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

This was the 6th and final stop on our trip to SA to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We were recommended to this lodge by our travel agent - who got it SPOT ON.

From the welcome we received at the reception area, to the drive up to the lodge, to the welcome and intro we had here, to the rangers, to the food, to the safaris, everything was just fab.

My wife normally leaves me to complete 'comments' books afterwards. When we left Bush Lodge she wrote half a page of thanks and compliments - leaving little room for mine!

We've never done a safari before. There are never any guarantees as to what you will see. but over our 5 drives we saw EVERYTHING. I feared i might have been a tad bored, but not a bit of it. I loved the whole thing. IT was worth getting up at 5.30 each morning so that we could set off at 6 am and then be back for breakfast. We then relaxed and chilled until lunch which was a light one course (always very tasty) after which we went on our 2nd drive of the day and returned in time to shower under the stars (amazing!) and have dinner. After each safari we were welcomed back with warm towels and in the evening also by a glass of sherry and a hot bath in our room.

The views from our room, from the restaurant and all around the reserve were amazing.

I could go on an on but must stop. Suffice it to say - we loved the place and the experience.

Room Tip: Room one is the closest to the restaurant area. We were in the furthest room (4) but even that is ju...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I've never missed a holiday or a holiday place as much as I miss this one. As I had been on a safari a couple of years ago, expectations had been a bit set in terms of what to expect. This far surpassed my expectations. Amakhala Bush Lodge provides more than just a safari. The staff (all including the ranger and hospitality) provide an experience.

We spent 4 days at Amakhala, each day unique. The previous reviews detail the agenda and lodge accommodation so I won’t be too repetitive. I can only say that this place is truly special and is highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

“I think it was there!” … and it was.
A first little tip for the people travelling by car from PE, with a sat nav set to bring you to Bush Lodge: turn right at the sign “Reed Valley”, this is the right entrance for you, whatever your sat nav is telling you. .. (those things lie all the time)

Reed Valley Inn is where you’ll check in . An easy process where you fill up a form saying you understand that you’re about to deal with wild animals, snakes, spiders and so on and that it’s obviously at your own risks. We come from London, surely we deal with far worse everyday, so we signed! ;)

As soon as this was done, a beautiful vintage land rover was outside waiting for us. From the moment you get on board, you know that you’re up to great adventures. The large electrical gates of the reserve give the feeling you enter Jurassic Parc or something. From now on, there’s no turning back! But don’t worry, you won’t want to turn back, you won’t even want to leave when it’s time…

It’s a 5-10min drive to join Bush Lodge from Reed Valley. You’re in the reserve so don’t forget to open your eyes already.
Fresh and tasty welcome drinks were waiting for us. A quick round of the main lodge where meals are served daily and we were brought to our tent, where our bags had been brought already.

The room is definitely on the luxury side of the fence, while maintaining a rustic edge. A perfect balance. The views are stunning, no matter where you are: on your private deck, in your bed, in your bath, under the shower.. It is really done for you to have the feeling to be in the middle of it all. And you are, animals will surely pay you a few visits. No panic though, even if you can’t see a thing, the site is protected so you won’t have the bad surprise to find a buffalo taking a bath in your plunge pool in the morning.

The staff at the Bush form a small family and will do their best to make you feel part of it very quickly. They’re friendly, funny, interesting, outgoing, attentive, caring and professional. A bunch of very endearing people that we truly miss today.

Your meals will be cooked by Godfrey, the Chef who’s growing wings. A very entertaining character who will come and see you every day to make sure all is fine. Very talented too, we ate so well! There Godfrey, your wings just grew a bit more ;)

Our ranger was the very knowledgeable, witty and caring Tim. We spent hours at the back of his bumpy Rangie and wouldn’t have missed a drive for the world. His passion for the wildlife was definitely contagious. You learn to open your eyes, to listen and slowly this beautiful world opens up before you and reveals its secrets one by one. You scan the horizon and all of a sudden, they’re there. Elephants, zebras, rhinos, buffalos… this is something you will never forget.
People will probably want to see as much as possible and come back saying they saw the big 5. We’ve been tracking the lions for almost 3 days, and if the feeling of joy in the car was indefinable when we finally found them (I would have gone and given them a hug! ;) ), the hours looking for them have been simply amazing.
So sit back, be patient, open your eye, enjoy the nice drives and you’ll come back home with some of the most beautiful memories of your life.
We had sun, we had wind, we had rain, we’ve been hot, we’ve been cold but each time we came back a little bit richer and a little bit happier.

Thank you so much to everybody for a truly amazing experience. This was by far the highlight of our road trip in South Africa.

If you look up, you might spot our hearts hanging somewhere above the Bush…

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bush Lodge - Amakhala Game Reserve

Address: N2 between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, Addo, 6139, Amakhala Game Reserve 6130, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Amakhala Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Amakhala Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Bush Lodge - Amakhala Game Reserve 4.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discreetly positioned in the bush at the top end of an open valley in the reserve, each of the superlative en-suite, tented and thatched suites overlook a watering point with big sky views.Each suite has a secluded private viewing deck with intimate plunge pool. Within the spacious interior hot and cold air-conditioning, an atmospheric fireplace, large oval bath and romantic alfresco double showers make this the perfect bush retreat. ... more   less 

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