it was such a let down - but where to begin? We travel a lot as a family, usually to 5 star resorts and a lot of trips have been Safari-Style in South Africa which was where I was raised - so I feel qualified on all counts to benchmark, and Bakubung Bush Lodge has let the side down, hiding behind the beauty of the surrounds of the Pilanesberg, to gain it's star rating. If you ask anyone in our family what there is to do there we shall answer in unison, only a game drive twice a day and go for a swim. There may be more on offer, I noticed a tennis court, but on checking in to the Lodge, we were given no warm South African or even customer friendly welcome and no introduction or information as to what there was on offer. Our room was fine and we decided to go straight to the pool. No deck chairs were available and when we asked if there were any more, then waited for a response, and then for someone to have to "clean off" two and point us to them - we were a party of 4. The pool service was slow and muddled, and we started to feel like were staying at a wasp-infested, tired, early 80's timeshare resort, but nonetheless looked forward to our 4:30 pm - be there no later than 4:15 - game drive. We and everyone else were seated by 4:12 and the driver showed up at 4:40 - no excuses, no apology. Our driver/ranger seemed so unexcited to be there, he was not engaging nor seemed particularly interested in the game drive. The whole drive - whilst utterly beautiful and breathtaking, was slightly mundane and got monotonous, we felt like we would've done better on our own steam. The passengers had to keep yelling for the driver to stop for game that he seemed to not notice. We have done different game drives through the Pilansberg in the past and even when it was difficult to see game, they were a lot of fun! The drive ended in what was touted as a BOMA Braai Dinner for which we still had high hopes - this is a country of food especially meat, and you guessed it, it was another sad let down, buffet style salad and dry over cooked meat, with some potjiekos (slow cooked stew) options, and a few puddings. Oh there was a fire, slightly apart from the rows and rows of bench style tables! Our driver had told us that if we wanted to leave a little earlier after dinner, we should just let him know and he would drive us back to the Lodge, which we did. He told us to wait for him to finish his supper, and then led us to the truck, started the engine and disappeared - leaving us waiting for him for a total of 45 minutes! We arrived back to find, our lunch room service tray still outside our room, the tea tray still inside our room, and, although there had been some sort of turn down service, our wet dirty towels were still on the bathroom floor, with no fresh replacement. WHen I called for fresh towel, the housekeeping staff member quizzed me about why I needed 4 towels and was I sure there were 4 people staying, and then sent a surly, sullen staff member to our door with 3 facecloths. When we explained what we'd wanted she rolled her eyes saying but this is what I was given.......We only arrived at this place this morning and have decided on an early exit in the morning in order that our family holiday isn't further marred. It has been a truly unpleasant day...I take it back, this place deserves only one star. How hard it is to smile and offer a warm welcome in such beautiful surroundings?
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 18, 2013
Please accept my sincere apologies for the poor service and game drives that you experienced at Bakubung Lodge. I would like to assure you that this is certainly not our normal standard. I have had a meeting with all my HOD’s with an instruction that they follow up and report back to me on all aspects of your complaint. There is certainly no excuse for an unfriendly welcome, lack of directions and information at Reception. It is also totally unacceptable for the service at the pool to be ‘muddled’. Unfortunately the litany of errors seemed to continue on the game drive and at the Boma. This is totally inexcusable.
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Once again, please accept our apologies.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.