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“A wonderful first safari!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elandela Private Game Reserve

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Elandela Private Game Reserve
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4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Elandela Private Game Lodge, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
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West sussex
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A wonderful first safari!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

From the moment we arrived my 10yr old daughter and myself were made to feel so welcome, we were greeted by carina the lodge manager, the staff were singing and playing the African drum as we walked up the path. Elandela is beautiful, the grounds and lodge are immaclate the staff are amazing and can't do enough to make sure you are well looked after. Steven the chef checked to make sure we were going to enjoy the food he was going to prepare for us, the food here is lovely and you certainly would not go hungry!!! The boma was a lovely surprise on our last evening eating outside with the sound of the hippos nearby. The game drives were the highlight of our stay and our ranger was a lovely man called jv he gave us plenty of time to admire the animals we had spotted, seeing the white lions so close was quite emotional, his knowledge of the animals,birds and the surrounding area was incredible, this man never seemed to sleep he worked such long days and always with a huge smile and great since of humour, jv is a huge asset to elandela, both jv and carina are very passionate about what they are doing to help protect the white rhino. We had an amazing time at elandela thanks to the lovely hardworking people that they employ.

Room Tip: Choose a room at the main lodge as I think it would have been a little inconvenient to have had to k...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
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136 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Handforth
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

We had the most lovely end to our holiday with 4 nights at Elandela Lodge. Wonderful setting, wonderful staff, and an up close experience with some of the most amazing wildlife on the private game reserve.

Lets get one thing out of the way - Elandela is not Kruger. No, it does not have elephants, and you go to Kruger to see the animals on a blockbuster scale. But the private game lodge experience is a must - you get so up close and personal to the animals, with really knowledgeable and experienced game rangers - Carina and JV, you were excellent. Besides, you get a half day Kruger trip included in your stay, so you get the blockbuster and intimate art house experience all included.

The accommodation is very comfortable and an amazing setting beside a waterhole. Often giraffes and zebras are drinking when you get up and you could set your watch by the hippos coming out of the water to eat on the lawn every night.

The staff are incredible. The kitchen is run by a genius called Steven, who makes you lovely and well balanced six course dinners ever night which are ready shortly after you get back from your evening game drive. They cannot do enough for you. My wife is an incredibly picky eater, but Steven and his team made such an effort to accommodate her tastes, it was above and beyond the call of duty.

I cannot recommend Elandela highly enough. On my last morning it was my birthday and they were so lovely and generous to me. It was a wrench to leave.

One final thought for travellers to South Africa. I noticed lots of tourists being slightly imperious with staff and waiters along my way. This is South Africa, remember? This whole "them and us" thing is slightly passe. Please pack your manners when you visit this wonderful place. The staff will indulge your imperiousness, the other tourists will think you are a knob.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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philippines
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Our trip to Krugger was fruitful & exciting. We were able to see 4 of the big five, all except the elusive leopard. We were like 15 mtrs away from 4 white lions. The Elandela staffs were all wonderful, they were very attentive & willing to assist. Chef Steven was wonderful, always there making sure we are enjoying the good food he prepared.Jv drove & guided us on our safari drive to the national park.Corina drove us around the game lodge. They gave us information about the animals & birds we saw, Answering all questions from our group.
Elandela as a place is nice, its staffs & people are great & wonderful. Some of the setbacks?
that they charge you everything aside from what is included. We were charged ZAR 150 per pax when we opted not to take the 2nd free safari & preferred to walk around the lodge w/ our guide. JV. No complimentary bottled water inside the rooms bec they let you drink from the tap & have to pay for water during meals. No WIFI in the rooms & only available at the Bar but at ZAR 100/ hr. Our unbeleivable experience w/ the Yvonne,the owner is when she told JV that we have to move back to our rooms bec they have to lock the bar w/c is the only covered lounge area in Elandela, bec. she is going out. Didnt she know that travellers also have to do their work through computers & cel phones? After checking out, they let you fill out a form to declare how much tip you want to give to each staff as we,ll as declare the tips already given directly. Actually i felt bad for their people bec i was told in advance that whatever you leave to the office for the staffs never reaches them. We were glad we handed each & everyone their tips directly bec they deserve to have it.
On my next trip back, it will be some other lodge where they have more activities for the guest & more functional areas to move around.

Room Tip: ask for room in the main building so that you need not wait for someone to get you from your lodge b...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo-7
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

We saw white lions on two separate occasions. It was a rewarding experience to see the Lions in an environment which is very similar to their natural habitat. Karina and Rocco took us on those two safari's and they were just excellent. They provided us with valuable information about the flora and fauna in the area. Also, I highly appreciate the efforts by the hotel owners (Rocco and Yvonne) to aid and protect white rhinos. The young rhinos Roccy and Clova seems to be well looked after and happy considering their traumatic past. Unfortunately our night drive with J.V which we expected to very exciting wasn't happening. We saw only few animals but it is understandable because the nocturnal species are often the hardest to glimpse.
The Hotel was great from the comfortable rooms to the cute African grey in the lobby. Everything about the room was pure perfection except the bathroom. In the five rooms we had some rooms had problems with slow water draining from the shower-room and the sinks. If those were fixed the hotel room would be extra-ordinary. Also, since we stayed in the standard rooms I except the suites to be in much better conditions.
The food was also really authentic and tasty. Steven made us feel like home while he presented us with game meets and other tasty dishes. We specially enjoyed the Booma and roasting marshmallows.
Overall, Wonderful experience. Highly recommend it. Wish to come here again in the future

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Elandela - the rooms were pleasant and clean, the food thoughtfully prepared and best of all was the expertise of our guide, JV, who is the reserve's best asset. With JV's tracking expertise we learned some of his vast knowledge of wild life in South Africa imparted with passion and good humour. If there was a downside then it had to be the limitations of the reserve (no elephants and very small number of lions actually present) though an organised trip to the Kruger Park more than made up for this. Also, it was not clear if tips intended for staff reached them in full and in addition to their basic salary ; we felt ambushed when challenged to record what we had tipped for excellent service particularly as staff work very long days and in some cases covering multiple roles. More embarrassing was staff were asked if they had received a tip in front of us. Not the best way to end what was otherwise a good holiday with fond memories. We will try another reserve next time for more variety.

Room Tip: Request four poster bed for couples - lovely sized room.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandlers Ford
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Outstanding, Superb, Fantastic, beautiful, dedicated are just some of the words to describe Elandela.

The Owners, Yvonne and Rocco have a truly amazing place to live and you can share it with them in this 14 luxury bedroom private lodge.

When you arrive you will be greeted by the female staff banging the drums. You will be impressed with the lush garden that is very carefully tendered and straight away you lnow that you have arrived in to a very friendly and courteous lodge.

Corina the lodge Manager will warmly welcome you and explain the various things that we as guests need to know.

My partner and I arrived just before lunch and we were quickly shown to our room. Straight away we were impressed with the cleanliness and high quality of the fixtures and fittings. The four poster bed was magnificent. The bathroom contained a very substantial shower that even enabled me who is on the large side easy access and lots of room to move around. You will also find a fully stocked minibar, along with a hair dryer and tea and coffee making facilities in your room. All rooms are fully air conditioned.

You will know when Breakfast, lunch and dinner are being served as sound of the drum beats and the smells from the kitchen will soon have you moving nicely along to the dinning room. While we were there Precious did the honour of the drums. Her big smile was a pleasure to see and the attention that she gives you is second to none. All the staff have the same attitude and They cant do enough for you. On our last night we had dinner in the Boma. I won't spoil it for you but leave it as a surprise. But I will say that you won't be disappointed.

For breakfast you will be greeted with fresh fruit, followed by porridge then by eggs any way you want them and various side dishes. For lunch there is a light three course meal and for dinner you will be amazed by the six course offering. But don't worry it was enough for me and my partner who eats like a pigeon managed quite well too.

The first Game drive which starts at 6.00am was hosted by either JV or Corina. Their knowledge is truly amazing and will ensure that all your questions are answered even if you think it's a silly one. You will stop halfway through the Drive for a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and a biscuit.

On the second drive which starts at 3.00pm you will stop half way through to watch the sunset and will be offered a beer, wine or soft drink. This will be charged to your room. In fact the drinks prices here are very reasonable indeed. Tea and Coffee are free.

The animals that We saw in the three days that we were there are listed below

White lion, Brown lion, Mongoose,
Jackal, Porcupine, White Rhino, Leopard, Giraffe, Zebra, Wild Cat,
Imparla, Hippo, Crocodile, Various Eagles, Bat, Antelope, Ibis, Warthog,
Wilder beast, Water Buffalo, Vulture,
Guinea Fowl, Kudu, Batter ear Eagle,
Lilac Breasted Roller, Njala - Black Antelope, Brown Hooded Kingfisher,
Tawny Eagle, White Back Vulture,
Yellow Billed Hornbill, Red Billed Hornbill, Elephant, Eland - South Africa Largest Antelope, Hare.

It was in May this year that poachers had tried to attack the Elandela Rhino for there horn. The Rhinos had been shot but miraculously were not killed. They are now kept with the lions for their safety. You will also meet Rocky and Clover who were orphaned when the poachers were successful in killing their mothers for their horn a couple of years ago.

I find it very hard to fault anything at Elandela. In fact I have already booked for next year. The only criticism that I have is that in the three days there we were there we never saw aTiger (wink).

Ian R Ladd

  • Stayed August 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geelong
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Elandela. Yvonne and Rocco were gracious hosts and JV was a knowledgeable and friendly guide. The brick chalets were spacious and comfortable - choose one overlooking the river. The best-kept secret, however, is the 5-star cuisine prepared by resident chef, Stephen, who delighted us by serving beautifully-presented, delicious meals, the best we ate all holiday.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the river are private and tranquil but further from the pool
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elandela Private Game Reserve

Address: Elandela Private Game Lodge, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #75 of 143 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Elandela Private Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elandela Lodge is an owner managed 4-star Game Lodge adjacent to Kruger National Park. We are perfectly located, on the bank of the Klaserie River, to appreciate the spectacular sunset views of the Blyderiver Canyon and Drakensberg mountains! This is big 5 country and we offer you opportunities to view African wildlife and birdlife from as close as you care to go during your Game Drives and Walking Safaris on our reserve! The Elandela Private Reserve iniatiatives to reintroduce White Lions back into the area from whence all White Lions originate, as well as our project to care for young Rhino orphans, allows our visitors an unique opportunity to experience an environment where animals are all important. These opportunities to approach wild animals, the purpose designed rooms and huge lawns confirm our child friendly reputation! Our guests become our friends and feel at home because of the intimate and warm ambiance Elandela is famous for! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elandela Private Game Reserve Hotel Kruger National Park

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