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“Fabulous, exceeded my expectations” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nguni River Lodge

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Nguni River Lodge
4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Nyathi Concession, Addo Elephant National Park 6105, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fabulous, exceeded my expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

My wife and I stayed at Nguni River Lodge for four nights, and we loved it. The lodge is in a beautiful setting and the individual rooms are extremely comfortable (the outdoor showers are great, too!). We were met on arrival by the manager, Craig, who made us feel welcome, and the food and service for the whole time we were there were very good. Of course, we went to Addo to see the wildlife, and we were lucky enough to see elephants, lions, buffalo and rhino, and a whole host of other animals. Our guide, Reinhart, was terrific, and we felt that he was trying very hard to make sure he tracked down as many sightings for us as possible. We really enjoyed our stay here.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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31 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    22
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    2
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4
20
Solo
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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
    5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Northallerton, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2011

We stayed at Nguni with friends in early February, but reading previous reviews it would appear that we stayed in a 'different' place. We found the accomodation, food and service exceptional.
We were greeted by Craig who made us feel immediately at home, he introduced us to the staff who could not do enough for us.
The units were simply amazing, everything you might need had been anticipated. The food was well cooked, varied and well presented. The staff were friendly yet unobtrusive.
Our guide was well informed and found us everything that we wished to see dispite the weather. I would have no hesitation in visiting again.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Tzaneen
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2011

Me and my husband got married and went to Nguni River Lodge for our Honeymoon. We got a warm welcome from the Manger and the GM (Arno)when we arived at the Reception. The we took the drive up to the lodge. When we arrived at the lodge we were greeted by ever so friendly staff and handed nice cold clothes to wipe our hand and faces and a lovely welcome drink. We didn't have to worry about our lugagge because everything was put in our room. We had our welcome drink on the deck and then one of the friendly stuff took us to our room that was nice and cool on that very hot day.

The rooms was amazing!!!!!A dream!!!A nice view from out our room. And we had outr own private splash pool that is so nice!!!We received a complimentary bottle of champagne and a romantic turndown with rose petal and a bath full of bubble bath and candles around the bath. What a great suprise!!!!

The food was amzing and always ons time. We were so happy with the service and all the staff. We never went hungry and always had outstanding food.

The Game drives was amazing and we learned so much while we were on the game drives.

The GM gave us excellent assistance and took us to the Elephant back Safari's.

There is nothing we can complain about.It was an outstanding stay that we will neve ever forget. Best Staff, Best Food, Best Service and Best Accommodation!!!!!I can recomend it to anybody that want a relaxed stay in the bush!!!!We will always remember our holiday at Nguni River Lodge. Thank you to all the Staff and especially the General Mangager Arno du Preez for all his help and assistance!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2010, 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.
Odessa, Ukraine
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2011

I would like to draw your attention to some details of our stay at
nguni lodge on the 11.01 to 13.01.2011
We were two families- both with teenage kids.

1. Absence of hot water for day one. The same for day two-only
afterlunch the problem has been fixed. After two complaints. And this
is for 3 houses.No apologies or compliments on that problem. Despite the
fact that we were travelling the whole day and could not take a
shower in the eve. And this is for 8 guests or 3 houses. Ive talked to a german couple at dinner-they said they had no hot water as well.

2. Waiting for food-no matter when you asked for food-you have to
wait for at least an hour before you can even get starters. This is
strange cause they know exactly when we come from the gamedrive. Certainly a
break between 2.30 and 21.00 is big and all got hungry especially kids. Nothing worse
than sitting for an hour and smelling the kitchen meanwhile.

3. Alcohol- we had everything inclusive , however after talking to
eloise i did not understand which alcohol is free and which one
is paid. This was very unclear. In fact the system is like this- you have to remember what kind of alcohol you have in your room and the same will be free at the bar. How am I supposed to remember 8 bottles out of 30?

4.Game drive #3- we were mixed with new guest and had to listen
about every zebra again( we asked all questionsat the beggining but new
persons naturally wanted to know it all). The guide was quite good,
however ppl had to be separated on newcomers and oldies. and there was a chance putting us together with guys that arrived the same day. Simple management mistake.

5. We have booked for 4 gamedrives, however due to our flight it was
clear that we will skip the last gamedrive. Despite the fact that the
tour was booked 2 months in advance and the schedule of transfers was presented- nobody proposed to refund for 1 gamedrive.

6. After all that I asked eloise if it is possible to have an early
breakfast (30 mins earlier) and i only wanted scrambled eggs ( we
are 4 adults and 2 kids) before our trip to cape town- I was refused.
She said this is because i want bfast at 6.30 and staff only comes for 7.00
I believe this letter speaks for itself. Pls note that all staff has
been very friendly except for receptionist- Eloise and the GM Arno.

Taking into account the above i requested a repayment. You know what I got? A reply to my travelagent saying that they dont want to talk to me. incredible. Worst management ever.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
warwickshire
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2011

This Lodge deserves more than its 5 star rating. All the staff were warm and friendly. The food was out of this world and the chef deserves a Michelin Star.
A room with a view is an under statement, it was fantastic watching the Baboons walking across the plain from our window and Wart Hogs outside our door.
Apollo’s safari drives more than lived up to our expectations especially searching for and finding two Black Rhinos and the Elephant herds.
This is an idyllic place to relax and enjoy the quiet surroundings of a game reserve.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 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.
Ducktown
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2010

We arrived in the afternoon and Steven, our Ranger vfor the next 3 days, picked us up at the reception. Craig welcomed us at the lodge and showed us around, told us everything we need (and a little too much for my exhausted wife ;) ) and then we went right off to the first game drive. 20min and it started downpouring, add some thunder and lightnig and so we had a very thrilling start with Steven "Schumacher" as we called him after his race back home.
That was the only misshappening the whole 3 days. We saw Lions, Rhinos, Elephantherds with Babys, all the antilopes etc., We didn't expect Giraffes, Hippos or what else doesn't belong to that area - informing before is very helpfull ^^
Service and the friendliness of the staff was amazing - special thanks to Craig and Tami and last but not least, our "MAN" Steven, who still thinks we're not listening :)
We had most fun - next time in Addo, this will be my first choice again!
One thing left, the food was very good, but still a little piece away from excellent.

  • Stayed November 2010, 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.
South Africa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2010

Nguni River Lodge should be zipped up and moved to the Kruger National Park!

The Lodge itself is absolutely stunning and set in a beautiful location overlooking a large open plain (although the only animals we spotted here were baboons, warthogs, bushbuck and red hartebeest) and a river bed (which was unfortunately dry from the drought). We stayed for two nights in a King Suite with our two children. It had 2 large bedrooms, both with ensuite bathrooms, and a swimming pool.
Unfortunately the food was a huge disappointment! The steaks were tough, the children's food VERY salty. On our first evening the choice was fish or curry, so the chef offered to make our daughter Spaghetti Bolognaise. This was dry and tastless. To our surprise we were then all served the leftovers the following day for lunch!
While we were there the Lodge experienced problems with their water pump! This resulted in us not being able to shower after our afternoon game drive, before going to bed or the following morning!!!!
All these negatives would most likely have been overlooked if we could at least have seen some animals..............this was not to be!!! After 3 game drives, we are still wondering where the black rhino, elephants, buffalo, lions, hyena, leopard and general game are...... this was not due to a lack of trying - our game ranger brilliant, but the animals were scarce & elusive!!

In closing all I can say is that if you are deciding between the Kruger Park and Addo - there is no decision to make. Because of Sanparks' decision to keep only "indigenous" animals at Addo, the variety of animals is extremey limited. They do not have white rhino, giraffe, springboks, impala, waterbuck - to name but a few. The area is huge 164000ha with thick terrain and believe me tracking the 12 lions (which are not in Nguni's concession!) and the "grey ghosts of the bush" (elephants) is not going to be easy. If you would like to see warthogs, zebras, ostriches, red hartebeest and kudu, then this is the place for you. Sanparks have also forgotten about maintaining the roads in the Nguni concession - they are absolutely shocking compared to those in the main park!!
We have stayed in many 5 star resorts and game lodges around the world, and this experience has to go down as one of the most disappointing!! Very sad considering it is in our own "backyard".....

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nguni River Lodge

Address: Nyathi Concession, Addo Elephant National Park 6105, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Addo Elephant National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Addo Elephant National Park
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Nguni River Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the malaria free Addo Elephant National Park, Nguni River Lodge offers a combination of game viewing and luxurious accommodation. Eclectic selections of shapes, textures and colours offers the guest at Nguni River Lodge accommodation in seven suites and one King suite. Each suite boasts private plunge pools, stone baths and outdoor showers. One can experience and enjoy a relaxed chat in the lounge, or assist with the preparation of African cuisine in the interactive kitchen. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nguni River Hotel Addo Elephant National Park

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