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“Very exsotic, less comportable” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bongani Mountain Lodge

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Bongani Mountain Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Mthethomusha Game Reserve, on the southern border of the Kruger National Park | Off the N4 between Nelspruit and Kaapmuiden, 1295, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Israel
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Very exsotic, less comportable”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2011

No air condition - a tremendous disadvantage. Bath tubs in the middle of the room, no doors to the bathrooms. Some rooms do not have showers, only bath tub n the guest room - no privacy at all

  • Stayed January 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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145 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    97
    37
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    2
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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 (21)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Antonio, Texas
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

We booked this lodge at the suggestion of our tour company. My adult son and I went in June 2010, the week before the World Cup. We happened to miss the big tour groups, arriving as one left and leaving before another arrived. We had the place to ourselves for much of our stay, which was nice for the game drives, but a little too quiet during meals and in the evening. It is normally busier. As we were leaving, a group of 60 arrived.

The location and the wildlife are the principal attractions of this establishment. It is a mountain lodge so there are not the vast plains seen in the other parts of South Africa. We did see the "Big 5" as well as too many other animals to mention on the morning and evening game drives. Our Ranger, Neil, was excellent. His knowledge of the plant and animal life is encyclopedic. We left with a much better understanding of the natural South Africa.

Our rooms were very spacious and comfortable. We were able to get a room overlooking the watering hole and could sit and watch the animals as they came to drink in the afternoon. The food is good, but not gourmet quality. It is buffet style with large groups but being the only two there we were given a choice of 2 entrees each evening. I found it very satisfactory, a lot like diner food, and I like diner food.

Between game drives there are limited choices for activity. There are two swimming pools, though in June they were too cold to use. We relaxed, read and watched the animals in the distance.

This lodge is much less expensive than the older, luxury camps and it is an excellent value. They take children, though I did not see a lot of kid type activities and I would investigate that further if you are booking for a family with children. There are also very strict rules in South Africa about what children can and can't do in game parks. This park is right on the southern edge of Kruger and it would be a great place to either start or finish a trip to Kruger.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2009

This lodge has been recently taken over by new management and largely refurbished.But it needs finishing and the details attending to if it is to justify its price. The position is superb and perahps unique in being over 1300 metres up a mountain- but the access road is terrible and needs repair as well as sign posts.
Food is disappointing and the hotel side ineeds tighter management. The game drives have been subcontracted out and our guide Neal was excellent if a little frustraed by the limited game on the reserve which is owned by the local community. In spite of two fences, a road and a railway line apparently some lions had escxaped into the Kruger!Lots of rock art from the San people which needs better guidance.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2009

Greatest safari ever, super sweet staff and rangers.
Special thanks to Sibusiso Vilane for showing us around.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 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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Oxfordshire, UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2009

Bongani is just brilliant. The staff couldn't have been nicer to us, welcoming and made us feel so special on our honeymoon. The rooms were everything I had hoped for, Safari lodges with touches of luxury. The game drives were exciting and breath taking and life changing beyound my wildest expectation, just awesome... in the true sense of the word. Going off road in an open topped land rover tracking leopard and prides of lion, driving right up to a herd of buffalo at night... the first sight of a Giraffe breaking through the cover of trees to walk right past the front of the land rover... enjoying sundowners from a high cliff side looking over a beautiful landscape punctuated by the calls of animals in their rightful habitat... honestly just unrepeatable moments, all of which was backed up by great food, drinks, and service, the like of which I have never experienced anywhere else. I would return in a heartbeat, and as soon as our children are old enough we will do!

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Copenhagen, Denmark
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2008

Had the pleasure to stay at Bongani Mountain Lodge for 3 nights in February. Bongani is located far up in the mountains in Mthethomusha Game Reserve, bordering Kruger National Park. When we arrived at Nelspruit Airport we were picked up by a staff-member, and transported to the lodge. The roads up to the lodge are very bumpy and I guess the first introduction to how the game-drives are going to be… Rough and crazy- so be prepared to hold on tight and have fun! Bongani has it all; great location, brilliant, friendly and knowledgeable staff, tight security, delicious food, and last but not least adventurous game-drives! We enjoyed every single second of our stay and got the impression that the rest of the guests did the same. Bongani offers unforgettable mountain safari with breathtaking views. We saw more or less everything, but lions. Nelson was our ranger and he did everything he could to track down the animals. On our first night, the lions actually showed up – and we were literally flying through the air to the spot. But when we finally got there, the lions were gone. On our last day, we got to see a leopard – and since leopards are even more rare than lions – it kind of made up for it all. Totally unforgettable! Bongani Mountain Lodge uses Land Rovers on the game-drives, which can literally take you anywhere. If the ranger or the tracker see an animal, they’ll take you there – and you’ll experience close encounters for sure if the animals are up for it!!! The only thing I can think of, that can be improved is the quality of the lodges. Some dusting would be good and maybe some tightening of the cracks... I’m not too fond of creepy-crawlies and especially not in Africa where they actually can be poisonous! So would be great with some extra maintenance! All of the chalets offer two en suite bathrooms, air con, fan and a private deck – and the beds are good. We got to see giraffes from our deck, and one morning there were 20-30 baboons outside our lodge! Pretty exotic, hugh? On our last night the staff spread rose petals in our bathtub, a very nice and romantic touch! Thanks for that. All in all an awesome retreat I’ll recommend to everyone who’s up for something special.

  • Liked — Game-drives
  • Disliked — The spiders in our chalet...
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Copenhagen
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2007

Whenever you want to leave civilisation without being cut off from modern amenities, this is the place you need to go. High up in the mountains right next the Kruger National Park you get nature at its best ... well, at least as long as you don't prefer scuba diving or seeing pinguins belly-skidding on icy grounds. We had three days in a really relaxing atmosphere and although it was hard to get up at 5.30 in the morning to be ready for the first game drive of the day, we did that three times. We have not been disappointed by what we got to see, neither by flora nor by fauna. It was impressing!

The service at the lodge and on the game drives (thanks to William and Wonderboy, you did a great job and the best to track the leopard anyway) was nearly unbeatable, even for South African measures. The food was rich and delicious, sometimes it was actually better not to ask about what was in the pot. There was probably nothing that could not be arranged. Just the wheather (morning drives at 10°C are f***reezing cold) was obviously not included in the service...

The quality of the lodges was the only thing that was improvable. It appeared as if they already had passed their best days. Anyway, there was plenty to make up for that again.

If you want to experience something extraordinary, something that not everyone has done yet, the Bongani mountain lodge offers you all possibilities. For us, it was there perfect finish for our first trip through South Africa. And it was surely not the last.

  • Liked — The nature
  • Disliked — Standard of the lodges
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bongani Mountain Lodge

Address: Mthethomusha Game Reserve, on the southern border of the Kruger National Park | Off the N4 between Nelspruit and Kaapmuiden, 1295, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 305 Specialty Lodging in Mpumalanga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bongani Mountain Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bongani Mountain Lodge is situated at 745m above sea level in the middle of the magnificent Mthethomusha Game Reserve South Western Kruger National Park. Just outside the boundaries but sharing the same constitution and similar eco ethics to the preservation of diverse spacies in their own environment.Bongani is 4 star rated and offers extreme value for money and 5 Star service and amenities. We have a total of 38 rooms. 9 of which are joined via a small passage which ensures that families are kept close to their children. While the remaining 20 suites offer greater privacy as well as King size beds, bath, indoor as well as outdoor showers, mini bar stocked to your requirements, robes, tea and coffee and hot chocolate centre, in room safe, mosquito net and much more.Rates include: On time transfer to lodge from welcome center, accomodation, all meals, safaris, and 2 sundowner drinks per day.Rates exclude: late arrival fees, conservation fees of R100.00pp per stay and all other items of a personal nature not mentioned above in the incudes section. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bongani Mountain Hotel Mpumalanga

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