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“Fabulous - "Out of Africa"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gorah Elephant Camp

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Gorah Elephant Camp
5.0 of 5 Inn   |   Rt N10 & Addo Heights Rd, Addo Elephant National Park 6105, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Stock, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Fabulous - "Out of Africa"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

This place was amazing! I kept hearing the theme tune from "Out of Africa' the whole time I was here! The lodge is a beautiful old colonial Dutch 'farm'. There is only electricity for a couple of hours a day (although if your laptop or phone needs charing they can do it in the office from their generator). This means that in the evening there is only candle and firelight in the lodge itself, which is just magical. The verandah opens out onto a massive plain with rolling hills from which you can sit with a very decent glass of wine and watch the elephant herd grazing in the distance and then walking to the water hole 20 meters in front of you to drink and rest. My goodness I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes! At night you can sit and look at the stars (the milky way is just visible with the naked eye) and listen to the bush. The food is wonderful. The service is very friendly but not obtrusive. We asked about choices at dinner for our 10 year old. The chef came out to chat to us and reassured us that he would be happy to cater for her whatever she needed. She decided to eat from the menu and loved every mouthful - as did we! The rooms are described as tents. Its true they are wooden constructions with canvas sides but that is where the similarity ends. They are truly lovely and can easily accommodate 2 adults and 2 children (in camp beds). The main bed is huge and massively comfy. It in fact held all 4 of us when the lights went out and the children could hear the hyenas not far from the camp. This camp has no electric fence. There have been elephant etc in the camp at night scratching their backs on the wooden tent frames! We did not have that experience, but there were a few 'bush' type noises. Nothing that kept us awake for too long though. The game drives were great. We had Corny (Cornelius) who was great fun, very chatty and very knowledgeable. We were not lucky enough to see the Big 5 here, but got up close and very personal with some (huge) elephant, kudu and springbok and some amazing rutting Hartebeest. All of the staff at Gorah were absolutely lovely and so great with the children. The girls did go to the pool (which is electric fenced), but it is not heated and the water was so cold, even they did not last too long. Overall this was a fabulous stay and is definitely on our list of 'returners'.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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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195 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (28)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Savannah, Georgia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

We visited the Goree Elephant camp in March of 2014. We had never been to Arfica or on Safari before. My husband and I were amazed at the number of animals. We saw: rhinos, zebras, lions, warthogs, puff adders, hyena, and many other animals. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly. The staff was very accomodating. Our tent was wonderful - wooden floor and canvas sides and top. There was a full bath and a king bed. It was much more luxurious than I expected. Our meals were served in the main lodge. The food was excellent and the wine was good too. Although it got cold at night, the camp arranged for hot water bottles in our beds before we went to bed so it was very cozy. We also had hot water bottles and blankets on our morning game drives. . . so thoughtful. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

We've just returned from three weeks at Camps in South Africa, during which time we stayed 3 nights at Gorah. The main lodge is very "out of Africa" and offers wonderful viewing of a variety of animals who drink at the open waterhole within view of the Lodge verandah.

Elephant viewing was indeed fantastic as was that of two of the six male lions on the reserve. Our guide Jugo was pleasant and we enjoyed our elephant viewings. There is a very limited variety of animals within the Park. This was our third visit to SA Game Reserves, but our first to Gorah.

The tents are very well sited and set up and we were completely happy in the knowledge there is little power and what is there is available during short hours. This was not a deterrent - were were there for the elephants.

However, Gorah lacks a number of things. The first is the staff, who go about their tasks without smiling and do not offer any assistance. Apart from a reasonable breakfast (but be prepared for a very long wait), the food is barely average and poorly presented. A variety of wines are on offer and unlike every other Camp we've visited, they are charged for in addition to the room rate.

Laundry is offered, but as it has to be sent off-location, it can only be returned within a 2 day period.

When departing there was difficulty and our driver, who had delivered us to the main gate lodge where we were later transferred to the Camp, was told he must collect us from the Camp. Very hard going for an ordinary vehicle after the previous weeks' heavy rain. Our bill upon departure also included a 300 rand "park fee" of which we had no knowledge until departure.

In summary, we found Gorah to be well below the standard that could be reasonably expected to be reflected in their charges.

Room Tip: Tent No. 2 has a partial view of the waterhole.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haarlem, The Netherlands
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

Gorah Elephant Camp is located near a waterhole which attracts many different animals. The gamedrives are excellent. Especially Rian, our guide, has been passionate about all aspects of nature and conservation. He also has a good eye for small animals and insects and impact on eco systems. The ambience and food are good. The only negative point, far below the standards of a Chateaux et Relais hotel, was the service when the shower broke down. In stead of swapping us to an other tent (it was not fully occupied), we had to complain every time we wanted to take a shower the warm water still did not work. 1 1/2 day later we left the camp still unshowered, which is not very pleasant when it is quite hot

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
NW England
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

What a great place! Our guides were very knowledgeable, and went out of their way to inform us about the interactions of nature. I say a big raspberry to people who complain about looking at birds and termites- they are part of the ecosystem and without them the big guys would not be on the reserve! I wanted to see everything, and Corne ensured that we saw as much as possible- even in poring rain and mist. It was a delight to return to camp as the sun set, and to see the candlelight all around, and the warmth of an open fire to remove the chill of an evening drive. Thanks to all the staff who made our stay so enjoyable and relaxing.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
Mugla, Turkey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Gorah over Christmas 2013 and we loved it.
Unfortunately our travel agent hadn't paid enough attention to our arrival and departure times. It's worth checking on the times of drives and meals before booking flights etc. Fortunately, although we missed afternoon tea on the day of arrival the drive did wait for us, as we hurriedly grabbed items from our cases; leaving them to be taken to our room.
The room/ tent was lovely, very comfortable beds, good shower, twin sinks and very un-tent like.
The drives were amazing, stopping for coffee on morning drives and something a little stronger on the afternoon one. Our driver Corney was both entertaining and informative. We saw lions, elephants, buffalo, warthogs, zebras, ostrich, jackals, a distant black rhino (or was it a cardboard cut out?) ,.... the list goes on and on. Our concerns at being cold (or wet when there was rain) were unfounded as there were ponchos provided for warmth or waterproofing!
The other staff were all friendly and helpful without being intrusive.
The manager didn't introduce herself however her hand written notes and little touches in the rooms were lovely, great attention to detail. On Christmas Eve a stocking on the bed was a lovely thought, as was the sherry & biscuits in the room. On cold nights a hot water bottle was put in the bed at turndown.
We didn't experience an issue with the limited electricity, you just needed to be organised with charging things. There was unlimited internet in reception.
Between drives we enjoyed the pool area and sunbeds overlooking a watering hole.
The food was plentiful and in our three nights stay we ate in 3 different areas, with a different style of service each time. The wines were reasonable and when we got our bill they'd forgotten to charge for a bottle of wine, which we of course reminded them but they certainly weren't out to overcharge.
Thank you to everyone at Gorah, it was a Christmas to remember.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

This was the highlight of our silver wedding trip and was greatly anticipated by the both of us. Although I'd been on safari before, this was my wife's first time and she was a little nervous about what to expect. The drive down the track has been criticised by a few before, but we found no issue. If you're going to Gorah, don't hire a compact super mini, get at least a mini SUV and you'll be fine. The greeting at the lodge was excellent and the whole process of checking in was flawless and very welcoming.

You have to quickly get used to the Eco Lodge concept of minimal power and no zircon or you will be very frustrated. Once over that transition things are a lot easier to deal with. After some lunch at the lodge we were taken to our tent to get settled in before the first game drive. The tents are very spacious and comfortable, but without aircon can get stuffy, so remember to get the staff to open vents etc. if needed. Our fan was a little noisy but not obtrusive.

The game drives were led by Devon who was excellent and very knowledgeable, entertaining and generally good fun. The safari trucks are open top, so remember a hat in hot weather, blankets and ponchos are provided if it rains or gets colder.

If you're looking for Elephants, Gorah is the place. We saw a great deal of Elephants over the two days as well as a multitude of other animals including a black rhino. However, lions escaped us and no matter where we tried we didn't get to see them. But that's the fun of a safari, the unexpected and a few people complained on our trip about the wildlife, but my view was if you want guarantees go to a zoo...

Now to a few of the negatives. Firstly service in the restaurant. Slow, very slow and sometimes not there at all. If you are looking for a leisurely pace then fine but we were still waiting on our main course at 10:30pm at night! By which time my wife and I just weren't hungry. The staff don't use pads to write orders down on so forget things. For example in the morning I had to ask five times for toast. Secondly, it was VERY hot on one day, nearly up to 43 degrees C. But we were left in our tents between brunch and the afternoon tea with no water. Yes we could go and get some from the lodge, but given the price paid for the stay, surely a member of staff could have come along to each tent taking room service orders or bringing cool towels etc. A little matter of detail that disappointed.

Finally, the price. This place is expensive and although a great experience, I would question the value for money.

If you want the safari elephant experience at Addo, this is a great place and very friendlily. But you r are paying for it...

Room Tip: Tents 3,4 and 5 had great views of the waterhole.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 2 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 Gorah Elephant Camp

Address: Rt N10 & Addo Heights Rd, Addo Elephant National Park 6105, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Addo Elephant National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Addo Elephant National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gorah Elephant Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The incomparable thrill of quietly observing a passing herd of elephant while being served tea on the veranda of a stately Colonial manor house is the stuff of dreams and legends. This exclusive safari lodge recaptures the romantic mystique of authentic safari of centuries past - the awesome natural world of Africa merged with colonial nostalgia and modern sophistication to deliver an unforgettably unique 5 star adventure. Gorah is a member of Relais & Chateaux. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gorah Elephant Camp Hotel Addo Elephant National Park

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