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“Luxury Safari” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gondwana Game Reserve

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Gondwana Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Garden Route | 4 hr drive from Cape Town, Mossel Bay 6500, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Half Board Winter Package
New York, New York, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Luxury Safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

This was my first safari, and my husband and I stayed for two days. We saw giraffes, elephants, hippos, and a lion, not to mention scores of zebras, antelopes, impala and herons. The food was amazing, our guide was knowledgeable and kind, and we'd go back in a second. The spa was also great - I got a hot stone massage and it's one of the best massages I've ever gotten (and one of the best values, also). My husband got a facial that he loved.

  • Stayed June 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.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear Michael. Thank you for the wonderful feedback on your recent stay with us. I am pleased your experience was memorable and enjoyable and that you managed to experience as many of our offerings possible. It was our honour to host you both, and look forward to welcoming you and Rafael back soon. Regards, Neil and the Gondwana team.
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279 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (40)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

We spent 4 days in the Gondwana Game reserve and were blown away by the beauty of the park, the mass of game, the food and the service. Normally you would think of your Bush holidays being in Kruger or Botswana, but Gondwana offers everything you find there with a view of the sea and on the garden route! We took a laid-back 4 hour drive from Cape Town and found ourselves in a different world of plunging valleys with a Langeberg backdrop. We opted to stay in the Villa which catered to our every whim - great views from the bedrooms, fireplaces, stunning bathrooms and a very comfortable kitchen/dining room/living room - but the lodge rooms looked fantastic as well. We had a numerous game drives with a ranger who was very knowledgeable about not just the animals, but the birds and flora as well.

Certainly one of my top game reserve experiences and I would go back in a flash.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
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GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, June 22, 2013
Dear Brian and Louise. Thank you for the wonderful feedback on your recent stay with us over the Fathers day weekend. The Villas are great for families and the space and privacy allows you to enjoy the Reserve, views and everything that comes with them in your own time and comfort. We are sorry Nick and his family could not join you, and hope they will be able to come through and experience the Reserve soon as well. I trust you were spoilt on Fathers Day! Kind regards Neil and the Gondwana Team.
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We were a group of 8 members of the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) who spent a weekend in June at Gondwana's Kwena Lodge for our annual forum retreat. The accommodation was impeccable and the attention to detail in terms of interior design and creature comforts hard to fault. The food was five-star (although way too much as is often the case with these establishments!). With regard to the conference facilities, it was also everything we needed in a beautiful and peaceful setting and with great service.

And the game-viewing experience was a pleasant surprise. The reserve is obviously still a work-in-progress with plenty of alien vegetation around while the property is being rehabilitated to its original state, but one gets the sense that these guys are really serious about this project and don't just see it as an opportunity to cash in on the demand for a Big Five experience close to Cape Town and the Garden Route. The guiding was first-class, bearing in mind the difficulty of the terrain, and we even managed to see an eland-kill by cheetahs!

Overall a perfect venue for a corporate bosberaad, but definitely fits all the criteria for a romantic breakaway too. We loved it!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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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GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, June 22, 2013
Good morning Handri. Thank you for the wonderful feedback on your recent getaway with the EO Group. The Reserve is definitely settling in as a genuine Fynbos experience and the teams work around the clock in minimising the Wattle in areas of the Reserve and a successful project is in action eradicating them. Its rewarding to see, and the long term benefits will be immense. We hope to welcome you back soon with your partner and family, and perhaps give you the opportunity to enjoy the Villas and more of the Reserve. All the best, Neil and the Gondwana Team.
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Calvia, Spain
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

Gondwana is not a typical African bush experience because of its location in a fynbos area and its relative age. In that context it is an excellent destination. The accommodation is very comfortable (Kwena huts) and the staff are friendly and helpful. The food was outstanding when the head chef (JC) was in attendance and was otherwise acceptable but not brilliant. The location is very scenic. The park shows its young age in that it is not yet mature so the biodiversity is not the same as a mature reserve and most of the animals are by definition newly introduced. We saw excellent Lion with cubs and were privileged to see a cheetah run down a small Eland. I was a bit disappointed in the bird life and it will take a long time for the place to feel truly wild but it is certainly one of the best game farms within 4 hours of Cape Town. There is a story online of the female elephant who was relocated from Bloemfontein Zoo to Gondwana and its an interesting conservation story. Two of the elephants were originally circus elephants who were also reintroduced - they could have more easily taken surplus elephants from Kruger but this gives a different angle and is more interesting.

We used the conference facilities for meetings and it worked very well. Its not really a location targeted at experienced African game viewers and game viewing was certainly not our main objective. I think its more for foreigners looking for a quick, convenient (and very comfortable) game experience on the garden route. Locals looking for a night or two with a difference on the way to Plett or wanting to take visitors to a game farm nearby to Cape Town won't be disappointed. Its not cheap but there is no good game reserve which is.

Room Tip: I stayed in room 1 at Kwena which is right at the end of the row and feels very private. A longer w...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, June 22, 2013
Good morning Arnold. It was our honour hosting the EO Group at Gondwana Game Reserve and trust the stay was as productive as it was enjoyable. Thank you for the balanced feedback on the groups stay! JC our new Exec Chef has worked hard in lifting the standard of the food offered on the Reserve and his team have taken to the challenge. We are excited at the prospects of what they can and will achieve. I am disappointed at the mention of the lack of birdlife. This is one of the very unique factors of Gondwana Game Reserve and the Fynbos Biome and as a birder I found it challenging in the beginning to adjust to the 'way' you go birding in Fynbos. We would be delighted to host you again soon, and will gladly arrange a specialist birding trip for you on your return. Kind regards Neil and the Gondwana Team.
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Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

We spent a wonderful weekend at Gondwana in April 2013. Our kids took part in the Junior Rangers experience, and had an absolute ball. Food, accommodation and guiding was first rate. We were very spoilt and saw a lot - eles (including the new calf), lots of antelope - eland, wildebeest, red hartebeest, springbok, zebra - and the male lion and two cubs. I'm not especially hung up on seeing the Big Five (I got more excited by the secretarybirds), so was very satisfied with the game viewing. Staff were wonderful - lovely, warm and professional service and attention to detail. And the fynbos is amazing - and to see big game against this backdrop is a revelation. Definitely worth a trip, especially if you've 'done' cape town and you're heading up the Garden Route.

Room Tip: If you're travelling with small people, book a bush villa - you'll have it to yourselves and...
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  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Dear Sarah, Jonathan, Rebecca and Ruby. Thank you for the wonderful feedback on your stay with us over the weekend in March. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed hosting all the families. We were watching the videos again of the Kiddies and their favourite animals and the 'Pony' sticks in our memories well. We look forward to welcoming you back on the Reserve for the girls to continue with the Junior Ranger Experience. All the best for the Holidays ahead. Regards Neil and the Gondwana Team
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Bento Goncalves, RS
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

You can have here a really nice experience. We saw cheetahs, lions, rhynos, zebras, hypo, bucks, elephant, wildebeest.. and a few more.. We did a game at sunset and one at the sunrise.. was a bit cold.. but it worth it.. the room is actually some kind of Luxury tent.. with bathtube, fireplace and minibar with wine.. beer.. etc all inclusive.. and also, once you lay down your bed and look at the top you can see the sky trough a window at the roof.. The food is also amazing. At night you cant walk around by yourself because of the animals... they can be around.. at bight you can hear then talking to you.. ;)

  • Stayed March 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, June 11, 2013
Dear Gregory and Francine. Thank you for reviewing us on your recent stay in March at Gondwana Game Reserve. We appreciate all the feedback we receive from guests and are pleased to hear you had a wonderful experience. The Kwena rooms are fantastic, being comfortable, elegant and private allowing you to stay close to nature. We hope to welcome you back on the reserve soon, hopefully for a longer stay! Kind regards, Neil and the Gondwana Team.
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

8 of us chose to hire a rental pool home on Gondwana for 2 nights in mid May - 17,18 th. We had a ball, 'tween the beautifull valleys, the abundant birdlike, sunsets/rises and of course the game drives with knowledgeable guides. Also, the central 'clubhouse' was very smart yet apropriate for the surroundings with views 'for Africa'.
Loved seeing the hippos, rhino and searching for lion, elephant and leopard but did also see numerous eland, impala,springbok, grysbokkies and various others.
A wonderful Cape based experience in a region with great drives.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
To the van der Spuy and Franklin families. It was our pleasure hosting you all over the past weekend. Winter has set in so you timed your visit to the Reserve well, the weather certainly played its part. We look forward to seeing you all on the Reserve again soon. All the best, Neil and the team.
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Additional Information about Gondwana Game Reserve

Address: Garden Route | 4 hr drive from Cape Town, Mossel Bay 6500, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Mossel Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 23 Specialty lodging in Mossel Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gondwana Game Reserve 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gondwana Game Reserve provides the perfect safari break less than 4 hours drive from Cape Town and 45 minutes from George airport along South Africa’s popular Garden Route. The 11,000 hectare private game reserve offers a distinctive malaria-free safari experience in a spectacular mountain and Fynbos landscape adding vivid colour and interest to a Big Five wilderness experience. This exclusive reserve offers guests attentive service, superb cuisine, inspiring interiors, expert game rangers and a fun Junior Ranger Program for the kids. Kwena Lodge boasts 14 Khoi-San inspired Kwena Rooms. Each open plan suite is nestled into its spectacular surrounds with 180-degree views of the spectacular surrounds overlooking 2 waterholes where elephant frequent. The rooms offer sky lights for star gazing, clay pot fireplaces and deep baths to keep you warm upon return from an evening game drive. The spacious lodge facilities include a large infinity pool, chic open-plan lounge and bar, with food and beverage services offered in an elegant dining room set around 2 open fireplaces or in the outdoor boma. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gondwana Game Reserve Hotel Mossel Bay

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