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“Kruger NP - Viva Safari/ Marc's Treehouse” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marc's Treehouse Lodge

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Marc's Treehouse Lodge
Motlala Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Kruger NP - Viva Safari/ Marc's Treehouse”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

It was interesting reading the reviews, both before my trip and now afterwards. I think the difference in the evaluations is expectation. My 5 day safari was an excellent value. The guides were good and Texan was just super. The treehouses are "funky", but perfectly adequate and seeing animals all around was just great. Pretty, the hostess at Marc', is very welcoming and tries very hard to make everything flow smoothly. I highly recommend doing the 5 day tour, or at least the 4 day tour. Three is way too short - it's a 7 hour drive from Jo-burg, so 2 days are travel days, giving one only 1 full day in the park. The 5 day tour includes a visit to the Mohalohalo Rehab Center where there is an excellent tour.

Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I am a seasoned traveller and have happily stayed in some pretty sketchy places over the years, but I have to say this was one of the poorer places I have ever stayed at. I have visited around Kruger a few times, and was looking forward to being able to stay in a bed instead of the usual camping that I tend to do in the area. For this place, a few of the 'tree houses' were okay, but most are quite derelict, and many of the guests had real problems, especially the older ones. (Based on comments from other guests, especially if you are over 50, think twice about staying here!) I am accustomed to staying in rooms with animals and bugs, but for the price I paid, i did not expect to have a family of rats living under the bed (which kept me up most of the night), large spiders all over the room, and frogs infesting the bathroom. I know, i know--- some people are going to read this and think it is all very charming. For me, after long hot days walking in the bush or in the jeeps, it really wasn't charming. And if you think the vermin is charming, not all of the issues were cute--- there was a girl who was electrocuted in the shower (I had no hot water but at least there was a lack of electricity) and lost the use of her leg for a couple of hours--- seriously. The staff knew about this beforehand and still put people in this dangerous situation. But to be clear---- the staff were good--- Pretty in particular was as helpful and accommodating as she could be---- but they had very little to work with to make guests feel comfortable. In short, it is a very rough and derelict place--- I think Marc needs to revisit his property and look at some upgrades, or else reduce his rates. Personally, if i were him, I would not want my name associated with this place.

Room Tip: Make sure you at least have a bathroom attached to your room--- the 'public' bathrooms are t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VivaSafaris, General Manager at Marc's Treehouse Lodge, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Hi Amy
Thank you for your constructive criticism.
As advertised, the treehouses at Marc's Treehouse Lodge are not insect-proof. Because they are well spaced out, any light in the treehouse will necessarily attract insects in a radius of 100 metres. These, in turn, attract frogs and rodents. Camp management reports that the "rats" are in fact Gerbils.
If you look at our website www.vivasafaris.com you will find a detailed comparison of the venues Tremisana Lodge and Marc's Treehouse Lodge. It is clearly and unambiguously stated that the treehouses are attractive to insects when the lights are on and also to monkeys if food items are left in the treehouses.
As far as the electrical problem goes, Ronald Masango claims that he did inform the clients of the problem in the one shower. This problem arose at night and was sorted out by an electrician the following morning.
We recommend that all guests who are not adventurous and young at heart book into Tremisana Lodge or alternatively request accommodation in the two Guesthouses or five tents at Marc's Treehouse Lodge. These are more likely to keep insects out as long as the doors are kept shut.

Piero Colia
GM Viva Safaris
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bor, Jonglei State, South Sudan
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

Staying in Marc's Treehouse Lodge was awesome! Our treehouse was lovely, very clean and cosy. In the morning we had a nice view out of our treehouse: looking at grazing impala's just a few meters away. And in the evening we had company of a friendly, also grazing, buffalo in out 'garden'. Amazing! The food we got served was really good and the staff was helpfull and friendly. At the time we were there, two ladies were in charge and they did a great job. Thanks Pretty and Margreth, you enriched our stay in Kruger Park!!!! Greets from Paul and Susan from the Netherlands (13-16 jan 2013)

Room Tip: The authentic treehouse is so romantic...
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  • Stayed January 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
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San Francisco, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

I did a short 3 day safari at the end of a business trip to Johannesburg. I was very lucky in that there were only 3 people in my group the day we went into Kruger National Park. We each had our own row in the safari vehicle.

I loved my treehouse and found it quite comfortable. The best thing about the lodge, though, was the staff. Pretty was welcoming and funny. The food was good. The company excellent.

I would definitely do another safari trip at Marc's.... preferably a little longer next time so that I get more time in the park.

Thanks Pretty!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Wheatland, Wyoming
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Marc's certainly won't be every bodies cup of tea but I absolutely loved the place!
I had booked a tent type accommodation but was show to a treehouse, number 5, the highest one in camp. I reluctantly pointed out their error but they said it was their mistake so I could have it for my two night stay. It was a piece of heaven with a commanding view across a water course that provided the soundtrack for an excellent nights sleep. It is a treehouse made of native materials so you could see through the cracks in the wall between sticks. Not bug proof by any means but I never saw a bug in the room while there. I did see many monkeys that had an Oliver Twist look that seemed to say, "please sir, could you leave your room open? We surely would like to go inside."! They were not allowed in and the room was secure enough that they couldn't gain access. The facilities were down the stairs, across the path and open air. I gave it a 3 for cleanliness simply because it is open to nature, not because of any staff failings.
The staff of the lodge were very nice and provided excellent service and food(BD). After dinner there was a fire pit to sit around and tell stories, one of the best single evenings was listening to a guide tell his tales and make animal sounds he uses to draw predators in. Animals wander freely through the grounds and a simple walk to the dining area provided buffalo sightings and dung beetles doing what they do with buffalo exhaust!
The only nick was late on our Kruger game drive. We stopped at the Timbavati picnic area and saw elephant in the pools of the mostly dry river bed. We started down the Timbavati Road but then back tracked the way we had come. I questioned the guide because I knew the best chance for seeing game would be along the river bed. He claimed that route was much longer and we would barely make the Orpen Gate before it closed. The difference between the route was barely three kilometers AND the closing time at the gate was actually 45 minutes later than he claimed. We reached the gate a half hour before his stated closing time, we had more than enough time to drive the better route. As a matter of fact basically the only animals we saw after turning around were once we rejoined the river along the Orpen-Satara road. It is very hard not to see this as deliberate abuse of paying customers who would never realize anything was out of line. And this is exactly a complaint voiced the night before by the guide who was talking at the fire. I had experienced this elsewhere in Africa and I think it is nothing but laziness on the parts of some guides. This was not done by the people at the lodge but it was by a guide they employed, otherwise I would have given them the highest score possible.

Room Tip: Tree house #5 is the highest with great views.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nashville, Tennessee, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Dec 16-22, 2012, We spent two nights at Tremisana (with a night at MoAfrica at the start & finish) before 4 nights at Marc's Treehouse Camp. Both were fabulous and exactly as advertised/described! If you read the reviews and email any questions, you won't be surprised by anything such as critters in the camp, bath or treehouses. The guides were knowledgeable and informative (thanks Theo, Elvis, Texan, Dominic). We saw elephants, hippos, zebras & waterbuffalo shortly after we arrived! The staff was helpful and friendly (thanks Margaret & Pretty!). They arranged a very special welcome at our treehouse for our anniversary evening! We went on safari 3 days into Kruger and saw the Big Five each day!!! Twice on one day- for a total of four times!!!! Incredible experience! We saw every animal you can think of except the wild dogs and we saw them at the rehab center. We recommend that tour for everyone. You really need to understand what the villagers and the animals face as they try to live together. Thanks to Terry at Budget Safari, Piero at Viva and Anthony at MoAfrica for making our trip memorable. Dean & Kelly C, Tennessee, USA

Room Tip: Tremisana lush & tropical, Treehouse #2 small, but on river & tree growing throught it, bath...
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  • Stayed December 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We stayed for a couple of nights to do Kruger safari. The service was exceptionally poor. On three occasions our group was split up and had to wait for hours to do pe-organised activities, due to a lack of planning in their part - they were completely disorganised. The place ran out of bottled water to buy on both days so we bought it elsewhere. We were told that it would be safe in the communal fridge as the hostess watched this but all three of our bottles were stolen, with the hostess not really caring. We were severaly overcharged to do a small load of washing for 150 rand (elsewhere this was 50 rand). It's about 50 minutes drive to the park entry. Would highly recommend staying elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Marc's Treehouse Lodge

Address: Motlala Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #82 of 138 Specialty lodging in Kruger National Park
Also Known As:
Marc`s Treehouse Hotel Kruger National Park

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