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“The road less traveled” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Thunzi Bush Lodge

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Thunzi Bush Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Maitland Road | Maitland, Port Elizabeth 6018, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The road less traveled”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

As a seeker of points remote and uncrowded, Thunzi seemed like a good choice...and I must say I was correct! Hornbill is a perfect choice for those happy with self-catering. Given the location, it felt appropriate to rough it in that regard. The staff were gracious and the scenery stunning. Pooh to those who complain of mosquitos in other reviews... It's called nature!

Room Tip: Loved Hornbill!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Calkyva, Owner at Thunzi Bush Lodge, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Dear Gary
Thank you for your review, we are happy that you enjoyed your stay and appreciate the natural surroundings that Thunzi Bush Lodge offers.
Kind regards, Tren
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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127 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
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22
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Moscow, Russia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

The place is not that easy to found, which makes it more valuable. Hospitable and attentive owner, provide you with all necessary information regarding stay and activities around. I must recommend to visit Predator's Sanctuary, which is nearby, following with amaizing sunset on the coastline of Seaview town. Dinner in Thunzi makes you feel at home, but the beautiful view over the lake, overgrown with reeds, that nature sounds, makes you feel even more relaxed.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
Calkyva, Manager at Thunzi Bush Lodge, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Dear Alexeynavnav
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Thunzi Bush Lodge. It was a pleasure hosting you and we hope to see you soon.
Kind regards, William
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

I decided to spend a special birthday away from home with some friends and decided on going to Thunzi Bush Lodge. I booked the Hornbill self-catering chalet as well as the Turaco Suite. The Hornbill chalet is very spacious and has breathtaking views of the indigenous forest and wetland. It was wonderfully peaceful and we thoroughly enjoyed our private boma where we could make our own fire and enjoy a braai without being interrupted by anyone. The chalet was very clean and tidy and had all the necessity's expected. It does have DSTV Select with plenty of channels, but we didn't watch too much as we were far more interested in doing the forest walk and bass fishing. I can highly recommend the self-catering chalet for families.
On the day of our departure we decided to have breakfast at the main lodge and the staff were very friendly and made an effort to make my birthday special. The breakfast was delicious and what made it extra nice was the fact that we sat outside on the balcony which has a lovely view of the estate. Just before leaving we all had a swim in the "lazy lizard" pool which was very refreshing and once again stunning views.
The best thing about Thunzi is that all the chalets are completely private and nestled in the forest. These aren't ordinary log chalets that are rickety, they are very well built, sturdy and well maintained.
All the main guest areas (dining room, lounge, bar, etc) are well away from the chalets and this lends itself to not interfere with the guests "living" area. If you aren't feeling up to a quick walk to the main lodge from your chalet you can drive up. For us we had to work off our breakfast so we opted to walk :)
I will be back. Thanks William, Bettie, Sbongile and the Thunzi Staff.

Room Tip: Self-catering chalet a must for families. If you want meals you can opt for this with this chalet
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  • Stayed August 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.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

My wife and I stayed over at Thunzi for a romantic weekend at the beginning of October and it is a little piece of heaven! The chalets are all completely private and secluded in the indigenous forest. The view from our Narina chalet was of the wetland and forest which has a magnifiscent sound of birdlife, soothing for the soul, especially if you live in a city. We woke up each morning, opened the french doors leading on to the balcony and sipped on our coffee while enjoying the sounds of nature around us. We decided on the breakfast basket option for breakfast as we wanted to enjoy a meal on our private balcony. This was delivered to us each morning at our chosen time and was definitely a hit with my wife. The dinners were delicious and for a lodge of this size (only four chalets) it was great to be able to have a choice for dinner (choice of two starters, two mains and two desserts). Normally there is no choice at small lodges and you eat what is served...not at Thunzi. The manager also let us know that they will alter the menu should there be anything that we cannot eat, which I thought was great as they had 8 other guests at the lodge and would have had to have made a special meal should requested. We thought the menu perfect so didn't have to make life complicated, but it was nice to know that they would have gone out of their way. We will be returning for summer as we didn't swim in the lovely pool and we would also like to try their picnic option for lunch. I feel I must compliment them on their grounds and chalets as everything is very well maintained and neat and tidy. The staff are super friendly and all in all it is a lovely break away from city life.

Room Tip: If you are a family stay in the Hornbill self-catering chalet as this is the largest of the chalets...
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amberieux, France
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

It looks nice when you see the pictures, but the reality is quite different. Yes, there is some water (couldn't call that a lake) but... as a result, it's full of mosquitos.
Huts are in fact getting old and would need a renovation. Not so clean. No view. Quite depressing. Main reception area is far away from the huts.
No internet connection from the rooms.
Owner is a very nice person though.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calkyva, Owner at Thunzi Bush Lodge, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
In response to the review "Don't trust the pictures", I would like to make note of the fact that I tried to email and phone the reviewer on many occasions in order to discuss this review and to find out what exactly we can do to improve the guests "dislikes". Unfortunately the guest did not respond and was not contactable so I can only write Thunzi's side of the investigation...

1) Most of the pictures advertised on all of our websites and used for marketing material are either taken by the owners, managers or guests. Any professional pictures taken have not been Photoshopped and are an exact replica of what we have to offer. I tried to contact the reviewer in order to find out where they saw the pictures of Thunzi in order to check them myself. It would have given me the opportunity to assess the pictures and to make sure that they were infact advertising Thunzi. As Thunzi is advertised on thousands of sites on the internet, and some of which we do not even know about, it is important for guests to notify us should they see a picture which is not correct .
2) We noticed that the guests had left a French publication advertising South Africa in their chalet and when I paged to the Thunzi Bush Lodge Advert in this directory it was an advert which we did place with correct info and pictures. BUT there was text below this advert which was written in French of which we did not place and did not authorise. For some reason the journalist decided to write that there was a lake in front of the chalets (of which there is not. it is a wetland) and the way he worded it would make one think that we had hippo's and crocodiles. I have no idea why he would have written this. This advert was placed 3 years ago and we do not advertise with this publication any longer. Unfortunately, as above we do not always have access to all information published or on websites.
3) It seems that the evening the reviewer stayed in the chalet there were mosquitos. We do not normally have a problem with mosquitos as we have a very good eco-system with many frogs and bird species habitating the wetland and forest and this in itself keeps the mosquitos at bay. On the odd occasion we have more than normal, but we do supply mosquito repellant for all the guests in the chalets. We have recently had floods and this could also have been the cause as there is much more water around than normal. We are keeping a close eye on this and should it become a problem it will be addressed.
4) My main aim to contact the reviewer was to find out exactly what they meant by the "huts" getting old and needing a renovation as we keep all our buildings very well maintained at all times. I wondered whether they meant refurbished and would have liked the opportunity to discuss this? We are not a modern lodge offering hotel furnishings. We offer a very comfortable chalet and a theme to fit our bush lodge. I can only think that the reviewer did not approve of our decor.
5) The view from the Narina Chalet is of the wetland and indigenous forest and this chalet is very often booked for it's view, setting and location as it is the most private of the chalets. On the day of reading this review I took a photo of what one will see when looking from this particular chalets balcony. Please email me should you require this picture in order to put your mind at ease. It was taken with a cell phone so has not been enhanced or "made to look pretty".
6) All our chalets are privately situated and are approximately 100m from the main lodge. Guests are welcome to drive to the lodge or take a leisurely walk. We have specifically designed Thunzi for guests privacy and for this reason have divided the main lodge dining and reception in order that the chalet guests are not disturbed by the every day work at the lodge.
7) We have free Wi-Fi and this is at our main lodge. We have investigated having full wi-fi throughout the lodge but it is not possible due to Thunzi being 25km from the city and being situated in valley. Guests are welcome to work from their laptops and enjoy a drink or cup of coffee/tea while browsing or doing some work. Various seating is available for comfortability.

Please contact us directly should you wish to discuss any concerns, we are happy to assist wherever possible.
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

I could not say anything bad about our stay at Thunzi Bush Lodge. We were there for our honeymoon and had the best time. The chalet's were amazing, private, secluded and extremely romantic. We were treated like royalty. Every morning we were treated to an amazing choice of breakfasts. The staff was so friendly and incredibly helpful with every request. They went out of their way to make sure our stay was the best possible, from suggestions for dinner restaurants to suggestions of Day trips and exciting places to visit.
Wiliam, the manager, ran the lodge like a champion. Best manager and staff i have ever experienced.
Great stay and amazing honeymoon.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

We stayed over two nights on our Garden Route road trip. I actually would have left this one out if I had to do it over again. The cabin was clean and that was fine but I was irritated by having to ask for our towelling gowns which was advertised on the web. Considering we were the only guests there! it is not as if they were busy.
The food was ok but really overpriced... Not a very diverse menu at all and nothing catered for the kids. They offered to make the kids pasta which was made with instant white sauce (terrible). The pudding was probably an Ina Paarman cupcake charged at R45. there was only two wines on selection which was way overpriced.
William was very friendly but overall I was disappointed in this accommodation.
This is a nice place if you want to camp out in style but it is not what I consider 4star luxury accommodation.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calkyva, Owner at Thunzi Bush Lodge, responded to this review, July 26, 2012
As the owner of Thunzi Bush Lodge it is disappointing to read the review below. It has been fully investigated and management has responded as follows:

The guests opted to book our Hornbill self-catering chalet which sleeps 4 guests (two bedrooms, one bathroom) The booking was for 7 guests. Management was concerned that the comfortability of the guests would be jeopardised as the capacity of the chalet was for maximum five guests (one mattress is usually added on request). This was discussed with the owner before the arrival of the guests and it was decided that we would offer the guests a luxury one bedroom chalet at a 50% discount. The guests were offered this option on arrival and were informed that we were concerned about 4 adults & 3 children in a four sleeper chalet. They declined the offer.

Due to the fact that the self-catering chalet usually sleeps four guests there were only four towelling gowns provided in the wardrobes (the three extra guests were under 18 yrs of age and we did not think that it was necessary to provide more towelling gowns when preparing the rooms). We provided another gown on request from the guest without hesitation.

As a smaller, intimate lodge we offer a three course dinner every evening of which there is a choice of two starters, two main meals and two desserts. If any guest has specific dietary requirements we are happy to oblige. We do stipulate this in our confirmation form when booking and before arrival of the guest. Guests are offered the evenings menu after the morning breakfast or on check-in and have a choice of dining with us or eating out at a restaurant of which we are happy to make a booking for them. All prices are displayed on the menu. We feel that our meals are fairly priced and in some circumstances are even better priced than restaurants in the area and Port Elizabeth. All our food is prepared by qualified chef's, we constantly monitor our food to make sure that we keep improving on a permanent basis and should a meal not be to your satisfaction please feel free to inform management in order that we can rectify it immediately. Management was very surprised to read this review due to the fact that management did enquire what they thought of the meal and they were very complimentary about the evening meal.

Unfortunately the one wine that was first selected was out of stock, management offered three other wines similar to the one out of stock and within the same price range. The guest decided to order another type of wine, the most expensive white wine on the menu, the price was displayed and we don't know whether they realised this at the time. Once again all our wines are within the normal price range of restaurants in and around our area. We monitor this on a continual basis.

Lastly, should guests not be satisfied with anything during their stay we urge them to speak to us about it in order for us to rectify it immediately. We are always open to recommendations/complaints and managements policy it to continuously check that guests are happy and comfortable at all times. We cannot better ourselves should the guest prefer not to inform us of matters that are within our control at that present moment.
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Additional Information about Thunzi Bush Lodge

Address: Maitland Road | Maitland, Port Elizabeth 6018, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Port Elizabeth
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 53 Specialty Lodging in Port Elizabeth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Thunzi Bush Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thunzi in isiXhosa means "in the shade," describing a typical lazy afternoon in the forest valley. This tranquil sanctuary of coastal forest can be found 20 minutes West of Port Elizabeth and is nestled at the base of a 44 hectare private valley overlooking a pristine and lush river wetland. Luxury 4* Self-catering Chalets are fully equipped and have their own private boma's nestled under a milkwood/acacia tree in the indigenous forest where family and friends can gather and enjoy a few drinks and braai (barbeque). Added extras for your convenience include various DSTV select, dressing gowns, air-conditioning, tea/coffee amenities, mini chocolates, heating, hair dryer, daily housekeeping service and laundry facilities. There is a free Wi-Fi hotspot at the reception area and cellphone reception throughout the estate. Guests can enjoy bird watching, bass fishing, forest walks, spa treatments as well as beach walks and sand boarding at the Maitland Beach only 3km from Thunzi. Gourmet picnics are on offer Tuesdays to Sundays and you don't have to be an overnight guest to enjoy this - day visitors more than are welcome! ... more   less 
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