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“Breathtaking beauty perfectly delivered” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mtentu Lodge

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Mtentu Lodge
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Mtentu Estuary, 4800, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Breathtaking beauty perfectly delivered”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

Once you're there you'll have a real feel for paradise. An absolute adventurers paradise. Beautiful hikes, stunning canoe rides, beaches for surfing, trails for hiking. We fell in love with the place. And the hospitality of the owners and their staff was the icing on the cake!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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28 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    23
    4
    1
    0
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Some people say that it’s a bit of a challenge to get to the secluded Mtentu River Lodge…I think the challenge is leaving it. You can't even imagine how amazing this place is until you've experienced it first hand. You won’t want to leave. Mtentu River Lodge is the full package: natural beauty, good food, social, action-packed, calm, secluded, cultural, relaxing, adventurous. Make what you want out of it. The easy-going and welcoming owners, Russ and Bridgette, will make you feel at home. Mtentu River Lodge is located in one of the most beautiful corners of this world. I came all the way from Canada and I would still travel twice as far to get to this dreamland. I'm already scheming my next trip.

  • Stayed October 2012, 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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Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Great family spot with magical walks, clean, sparkly ocean and wholesome old fashioned meals. We loved the tented accommodation with sea views and a shower to die for. We also enjoyed the cultural aspect with a trip to a local sangoma. Cant wait to go back.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Mtentu River Lodge is an incredibly unique paradise. I loved ever aspect of it from its inspiring vision to the fireflies you can see at night from the outdoor solar showers.

Lodge life is amazing. The cabins overlook the vast Indian Ocean, Mtentu River and the nature reserve (where you can see baboons from time to time in the morning while eating breakfast)! All the staff are incredibly kind, friendly and make delicious meals! The managers Bridgette and Russ had an outstanding vision for the lodge and continue to make that vision come true everyday. They are super welcoming, kind and a ton of fun!

The area and landscape is too unreal to describe, you have to go see for yourself! I have never felt so free and safe in my life. Mtentu river cuts through a steep valley and had waterfalls entering the river all along. You can paddle up the river, hike and swim up the waterfalls, spend days at the beach and swim in the ocean. It was incredible to go out for the whole day and see absolutely no one else. It was very peaceful and refreshing.

Truly the most perfect place!!!

  • Stayed November 2012, 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.
Durban
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

The road is long but its so worth it and the drive is just a small part of the adventure. There are many great spots to stop along the way and take in the scenery. Ive been to many places in the world and none come close to the untouched beauty of Mtentu. Its a great place where you can explore the surrounding areas or just chill out at the lodge and enjoy the peace and quiet. Russel and Bridgette are brilliant hosts and make one feel very welcome and at home.Cannot wait to go back! :)

  • Stayed June 2012, 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.
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

The drive through to the lodge is an adventure in itself, but a great amount of fun and often a good laugh on the trip. When you arrive at the lodge, you realise that you are away from civilisation, no cellphones, no real electricity but you look around and see the picturesque landscapes, the fresh sea air all around. You can enjoy a shower looking out over the sea and watching the whales splash in the distance (if that's not a good enough reason to visit what else is?).
I cannot put into words the feeling of joy and freedom I feel when I am there. Truly one of the most beautiful places. Every time I visit I feel like I am coming home. They have created an environment where you can just relax and truly enjoy your surroundings. This is just the lodge on its own, but when you decide to take a little walk or paddle etc you get to experience the wonders of nature, the beautiful waters of the lagoon, stunning waterfalls. It is absolutely the best of everything. One of my most favourite memories and indescribably beautiful experiences was paddling up the Mtentu river and watch the waters change of turquoise to sapphire as my canoe is surrounded my giant King fish, so close I could touch them.
This place, the people, the community, the landscapes will spark something in you, you will never put out.
These people provide you with comfort in the wild, and I can promise you, you will not leave without laughing till your sides hurt and this uncontrollable sense of happiness every time you think about its pure beauty!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Victoria, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

If my words can't express how amazing this place, perhaps my actions explain it. I went for a weekend ... stayed for five months!

Now I'll try with my words... I absolutely fell in love with the place, the people, the view, the activities, the beaches, the rivers, the waterfalls, the hikes, the village, the language, the peaceful evenings or the parties, the food, the staff, the cabins, the comfy beds, the outdoor-ocean-view showers, the birds, the rolling hills, the cultural experiences, the adventures, the stunning drive in and out, the chill-out room, the sunsets and sunrises... ALL of it.

Russel and Bridget, with all of their amazing staff, have created an eco-friendly, community-based lodge that is an absolute treat to visit. Even before you arrive, the vistas start to take you away into what feels like a different time period. As long as you are staring out the window at the epic scenery, and not in a huge rush, the drive is the perfect way to transport yourself from the bustling hecticness of everyday life, into the slower-moving, peaceful, tranquility that you will find once you reach Mtentu River Lodge. No emails, no cell phones (your phone will work a short walk up the hill if you need it for emergencies), no traffic, no rush, no worries. Life is good at Mtentu River Lodge.

The cabins are all perched high above the river-mouth, and connected by charming wooden boardwalks. They are clean and the beds are comfy. The bathrooms are located near the main lodge, and are very clean and pleasant. The best part is that each cabin has a beautiful porch where you can sit and enjoy a morning cup of coffee, an afternoon read or sundowners before dinner. There are also many places to relax and hang out in the main lodge, in the chill-out room or around the fire. If you want to relax and never leave your room or the lodge, you will be absolutely at peace and in heaven here. If you want to take advantage of everything else that the location of the lodge has to offer, there is more to do than you'll have time for. (I don't think I did everything I wanted to, and I have spent five months there over the past year).

Resting above one of the only protected estuaries on the Wild Coast, and looking out across Mkumbati Nature reserve, Mtentu River Lodge is indeed located in a truly special place. This area is home to more than 2200 species, of which 196 are endemic. To put this in context, the entirety of the United Kingdom is home to 1400 species!

I can also safely say, I am not the only person who loves it there. Every guest who came through over the course of five months absolutely loved the place, and many people returned time after time. Many had young kids, and they also had a blast. Kids of all ages can have an amazing time at the lodge. I had a few guests from Canada visit the first time, and they never wanted to leave. When I returned the second time, I took a few volunteers to do work in the community. One was there for two months, one for six weeks, and one for two weeks. All of them shared the same sentiment when it was time to go - they did not want to! The South African friends that I invited to visit me there fell in love as well and are itching to return. It is a magical place.

I have been traveling and living around the world my entire life. I have visited well over 40 countries. And I don't hesitate in recommending Mtentu River Lodge as an absolute MUST-VISIT!! It is by far one of the most amazing places I have ever been. Russ and Bridget have done a phenomenal job.

Feel free to check out my blog posts at http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/maia/4/1331681669/tpod.html (This is one of the first ones, but there are many more about life at the lodge)

A list of things you MUST do when you go:
- paddle up the river (at LEAST to the first waterfall)
- paddle/hike to Swallowtail falls
- hike to the Five Waterfall viewpoint
- go to a Sangoma dance
- have sundowners on one of the "sunset rocks"
- have a bonfire on the beach if the tides are right
- enjoy a braai and great company around the fire in the evening
- look at the stars
- walk along the beach to Strandloper cave and waterfall!! (Check out the shipwreck on the way!)
- chat with the wonderful local staff (there is so much more to them than their gorgeous smiles)
- sit on your porch and look at the view
- SHOWER IN THE OUTDOOR SOLAR SHOWERS (don't worry, they're still private)
- gallop a horse along the beach
- eat Thandi's chicken stew

Room Tip: They are all amazing, but my favourites are probably 5 or 6. You can't go wrong though.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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 Mtentu Lodge

Address: Mtentu Estuary, 4800, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 372 Specialty Lodging in Eastern Cape
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the banks of a turquoise estuary where turtles wallow and kingfish play,Mtentu Lodge lies in an isolated part of the Wild Coast between Port St Johnsand Port Shepstone. Getting here is almost as much fun as staying here - take your pickfrom a hike up the Wonderfully Wild Coast, a pony ride across the rolling hills, or a 4x4drive with directions that smack of finding buried treasure. On arrival at X-marks-the-spotyou'll find wooden boardwalks leading to thatched huts, each one with a deck gazing outover the ocean. The lodge has a communal boma for nightly gatherings, a well stocked barand a tuck shop. They cater for all meals.So what to do? Get on yer pirate gear and go swashbuckling... Find that Wild Coastshipwreck full of treasure, hike those trails, catch those fat frisky fish, walk the plan ... more   less 

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