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“Fantastic stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

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Buffelsdrift Game Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Cango Caves Road | P.O.Box 268, Oudtshoorn 6620, South Africa   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Brighouse, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Fantastic stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

I spent 3 weeks here as a volunteer in August and had an amazing time. As most of the other reviews on here say - it is an absolutely beautiful place to stay. Being a volunteer I was up before most of the guests and would eat breakfast in the restaurant watching the mist lift of the lake showing the hippos swimming as the sun rose. If you're up early enough at that time of year it's lovely to watch, especially as the surrounding mountains had snow on them.
I ate all my meals in the restaurant so after 3 weeks I pretty well placed to say that the food was delicious and the portions huge. The restaurant looks out over the lake and there's outside seating too which was nice for lunch when it was sunny.

During the day there were safaris to go on or elephant feedings and walks to do. All 3 are a must, on the safaris the guides are good enough so that you almost always see the animals you want to - and even if you don't the views are pretty spectacular. With the elephant experience you get the chance to feed the elephants who will give you a hug with their trunks and you can sit on them. They were particularly popular with families. You can go on elephant rides through the bush too, or on a horse if you prefer!

I didn't stay in the tents but lived with the guides in a house a short walk away so I can't comment on the accommodation other than to say it looked very comfortable.

Overall though I would recommend to anyone, for the excellent staff and food, the number of activities to do both on the lodge and in the surrounding area, and for the beauty of the location.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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307 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
    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 (79)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Buffelsdrift is a "must do" experience. The gorgeous sunsets, peaceful mornings, wildlife, friendly and helpful staff, fantastic restaurant - and the friendly hospitality that makes one want to return. It offers a relaxed atmosphere for those who just want to sit and read and watch wildlife, or activities including horse riding, bush safaris, and not to be missed the amazing and delightful elephants and their trainers - simply joyful.

The managing director and his wife - ensure guests are satisfied and their friendliness is contagious. The reception team, the top-notch safari guides and all of the restaurant cooks and assistants - ensure a quality experience. Make sure you try the unique Bufflesdrift salad - delicious - and you have to see the "ellies" - maybe go for a ride - or a visit and feeding. I would recommend this experience to anyone!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

We didn't actually stay here but popped in when it was recommended to us. I was actually quite appalled at the lack of service. We waited for ages in the restaurant area to get served and a couple of members of staff walked passed without acknowledging us at all. I suppose I wouldn't have thought too much of it if it hadn't been so highly recommended to us!
Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful setting, absolutely gorgeous! I actually watched a wedding with elephants from the distance! So gorgeous! However the lack of service really did bring it down. I'm sure they were just having a bad day though - I would still try again!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
Buffelsdrift, Manager at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
As you mentioned that you did not stay here, we would have preferred you to put this comment on Buffelsdrift Game Lodge's Restaurant's Tripadvisor as you only refer to the service (But thank you for taking the time to write this review). We are known for our excellent service and have been voted one of the top 3 Game Lodges in South Africa for three consecutive years. You mention that you watched an Elephant Wedding from a distance - when there is a wedding, the majority of the clients are people attending the wedding and therefore our waiters serving on the deck probably thought that you were wedding guests. This matter has been brought to the attention of our Food and Beverage Manager. We humbly apologize for you not receiving the necessary attention. We trust and believe that when you visit us again, you will receive the excellent service and affordable food which we are known for.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

The Cape Pioneer MTB race started on the Buffels Drift private game farm. I booked tented accommodation with buffet breakfast included. The owners of the farm were very involved in serving the patrons and making sure everyone felt welcome, this was a comforting experience!

The tent I stayed in overlooked a damn that had fish, birds and huge hippos. There were paths leading from the tents around the damn, so at sunset you could take a peaceful walk around the damn, listen to the wildlife and enjoy the tranquility.

The service was great at the restaurant. Breakfast was included, the first morning I went to breakfast I tried everything on the buffet table. The last morning I stayed I needed to eat oats porridge before my race, they didn't have that the first day, so I requested outs for my race and they were more than happy to prepare what I wanted.

I would certainly stay here again!

Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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Kraaifontein, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is an experience I would share with everyone. Estie and her staff made us feel so welcome from the first minute we arrived at the lodge. Service, accomodation and food was 5 star!! We would like to say special thanks to Sumone Venter, Alicia de Wet and Patricia Malgas for their excellent service at the tent. You made our honeymoon and stay there very special. Memorable. I can with all honesty say this is worth your while to go and visit Buffelsdrift. Estie helped us with accomodation on very short notice and really went that extra mile for us. My wife and I would just want to say THANK YOU for an great time. You are 5 star!! Thanks to each and every staff member at Buffelsdrift, you were all very friendly and helpfull. Mr & Mrs Kriel - Paarl

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We spent one night at Buffelsdrift during October 2012 and could not have been happier with our choice. I've read reviews on TA about people being disappointed with the Tented style of accommodation, but really - what would you expect from a tent? In fact, I think its a fantastic alternative and my first stay in a tent on safari and absolutely loved it!

The tent is spacious and very comfortable, with 2 outdoor decks - one at the entrance and one facing the dam where resident hippos can be spotted. There is also an en-suite bathroom (spacious) and a private enclosed outdoor shower.

Once you've announced yourself at the security / entry gate, you make your way to the parking bay and they send a buggy up to collect you and your luggage and transport you to reception for check-in, then to your accommodation. Some of the tents are situated a short walk from the main lodge & dining area, but you could just phone reception and have someone sent over to collect you in their buggy (at no charge).

The game drive was outstanding - we started seeing game just 1 minute into our game drive! Our ranger was extremely knowledgeable and was happy to answer any questions we had. We were given great insight into the animals and flora, stopping along the way to sample some of the plants and herbs even. JD was our ranger and we couldn't have asked for better - he's a total asset to Buffelsdrift and I cannot commend him enough on his outstanding service!

At dinner, the restaurant was quite full. We were made to feel very welcome by our waitress and not rushed at all. The food was great and so was the wine.

Breakfast was a full buffet of hot and cold stations, a variety of fresh juice, coffee & teas. Again, we were made to feel welcome and relaxed.

The main lodge is great for relaxing and getting some 'me-time'.

There is a swimming pool available as well for the warmer days.

Overall, I was very impressed and the lodge exceeded my expectations greatly.

Highly recommended and I wouldn't hesitate in going back again! Very fond memories and terrific game drive with a sunset stop - beautiful!

  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Simi Valley, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Buffelsdrift is located right near the wildlife park and Cango Caves. Great place to take your kids. We took our daughter here to see and feed the elephants, and she loved it. They have great food, and it's so nice to sit outside near the water while dining.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

Address: Cango Caves Road | P.O.Box 268, Oudtshoorn 6620, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Oudtshoorn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Oudtshoorn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Buffelsdrift Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is a sprawling game farm situated in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains in the Cango Valley, Oudtshoorn. Only 5 hours drive from Cape Town and less than an hour's drive from George Airport. This game farm is located 6.5 Km outside of Oudtshoorn, en-route to the Cango Caves. Pristine bushveld, lush vegetation and a 5 hectare dam provide a haven for twenty-two game species and more than 217 bird species. In May 2004 this beautiful Nature Reserve became part of the 6th South African World Heritage Sites offering a wealth of endemic plant species. It is our aim to bring the highest quality of service to our guests and to this end we try to anticipate their every need.Buffelsdrift Game Lodge offers 9 waterfront, 16 luxury and 4 family tents each one with en-suite bathroom and private outdoor shower, air-conditioning, mini-bar, digital safe, tea / coffee making facilities and a game viewing deck. We can accommodate a total of 50 guests (50 beds) in our 25 tents either with twin or king size beds. A lookout lounge is situated next to the reception with a large round stone fireplace in the middle, overlooking our dam with the Swartberg Mountain Range in the distance. A charming wedding chapel is situated on the edge of a natural water hole with a wide wooden deck as entrance. The deck is an extension to the A la carte restaurant which creates a beautiful space for wedding guests to take their seats and witness the couple exchanging their wedding vows. Conferencing at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is quite unique. Our fully equipped conference hall is situated right next to the dam, and also extends onto the deck connecting to the restaurant. Activities offered are Bush Safaris (game drive), Meerkat Safaris and Elephant Excursions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buffelsdrift Game Hotel Oudtshoorn

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