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“The Best of the Bush” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Londolozi Private Game Reserve

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Londolozi Private Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Londolozi, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Santa Cruz, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“The Best of the Bush”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We are getting ready to leave for our 3rd trip to South Africa in 5 years. We are "bush junkies," preferring to spend time viewing animals. We were told we would like Londolozi best of the 5 lodges where we were staying in the Kruger area the first time we went. They were right. The next trip we booked for 9 days, going from there to Botswana.
This year we are returning for 14 days at Pioneer Camp in the Londolozi reserve. Friends will be joining us.
The lodge houses are perfect - spacious, well appointed. Even a long bench in the dressing room where you can not only lay out your suitcases, boots, etc. The staff from the entire reserve - not just your lodge - makes the experience the best of the now 11 lodges where we have been. Food - fabulous - atmosphere also fabulous.
BUT THE BEST is being out on game drives. So many places have quit hiring trackers and you simply ride around in a Land Rover on a road to see what you can see. At Londolozi the trackers and rangers are the perfect team finding leopards and lions every day and so much more. I am going to site their blog so that you can see for yourself.

google: Londolozi Blog to see the week in pictures and get background on the Varty family and view the five camps in the reserve

Pricey, yes, but worth every bit of it. It is all inclusive - game drives, food, alcohol, laundry, etc.

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Hi Jo Lynne,

We look so forward to seeing you and Fred again, everyone is getting extremely excited for you visit! Another Boma with guitars will be fun!

Much Love,
The Londolozi Family
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292 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (101)
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Bangkok
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Going on a safari has always been one of the things that my wife and I wanted to do but nothing could prepare us for what Londolozi and South Africa have to offer. We travelled in a party of 6 (3 couples) and none of us has ever been to Africa. While planning the trip for us, I was awed by the images on Londolozi's website. Elsewhere, the real thing cannot match the pictures on websites but that is not the case for Londolozi. The accommodation, the surroundings, the staff and, last but not least, the wildlife were just perfect.

All of us stayed at Founders Camp which is perfect for those travelling in a group as families or friends. The rooms are cozy and huge with large private decks and plunge pools. Although we never used the pools due to the temperature of the water was too cold. We made an effort to visit all the camps and I have to say that the favourite one (apart from Founders) is Pioneer Camp.

Coming from Thailand, we take pride in our hospitality but I have to say that the level of hospitality from the staff at Londolozi really exceeded our expectations. Everybody was friendly and really treated us like we were friends visiting their home. Tammy, Phil and Erin we as friendly as anyone could ask for. Thoko who was our butler really treated us like family serving us all the delicious food and drinks prepared by the chef, Tom.

However, your experience on a safari really depends on your ranger and tracker. Special thanks from us to Sandros our ranger with 25 years of experience (probably the most experienced out of the 5 camps) and Eckson our tracker with 14 years track record. With the combined 39 years experience, Sandros and Eckson knew the animals so well we were stunned by it. Everything Sandros said about the behaviours of the animals were spot on. He said the lion or the leopard that we were watching would do one thing and then 15 seconds later they did just that. While we were watching a family of hippos in the water, Sandros said he heard a cry of a predator making a kill so he raced us to an open plain nearby to find a leopard dragging a dead impala. Sandros said that this Leopard will drag the impala into a thick bush to feed on the kill and then she will go get her cub to feed on it too. That was exactly what happened! There was only enough room for one car so we were the only people who got to witness this moment. Back at the camp, another ranger told me that it has been almost 9 weeks since a leopard has been found with a kill. Also, we got to see not only the Big 5 but also the Baby Big 5. Kudos to Sandros! :)

Londolozi has made a big impressions on all of 6 of us. The experience on the safari was like nothing we have experienced before and we still want more. We don't want to visit a zoo again after seeing the animals in their natural habitat. Now we are back in our "concrete jungle" and I can say on our behalves that all of us miss Londolozi very much and will definitely return!

Room Tip: Founders Camp if travel as a group Pioneer Camp as a smaller group or couples Granite Suite as a c...
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  • Stayed April 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.
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Hi Pahn,

We are so grateful for your wonderful review. It is always special to have guests arrive and immediately feel like family! We look so forward to your return visit and until then you can keep in touch with the family, animals and people, on the Londolozi blog.

Much Love,
The Londolozi Family
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Edmonton, Canada
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Londolozi will make the biggest impression on people like me. I have travelled extensively, but don't make a habit of staying at Relais &Chateaux quality accommodation. For many, an African Safari is a once in a lifetime trip. If the cost of Londolozi makes you wince, please know it is worth every single penny. Londolozi is family owned and operated and this is reflected in the attention to detail that elevates your experience from great to superb. From the minute you are greeted on arrival to the moment you are ( sadly) shown off, guests are made to feel valued, respected and very special. Special mention to our camp manager Tammy and our butler Mendrew.
My teenage daughter and I stayed in the Founders Camp, one of the larger of the five camps at Londolozi. Our room was spacious, private and beautifully decorated. There is a well stocked bar in each room that is replenished daily. Complimentary daily laundry service is a great touch. I also loved the daily yoga class held at noon at Varty Camp.
You are fed very well on Safari. Breakfast starts with a full continental buffet, always beautifully displayed and featured the best cold Norwegian salmon I have ever eaten. Following this, eggs to order and a daily breakfast special are available. Lunch is buffet style featuring a chilled soup, a variety of salads and a roast of some type. The location of dinner changes. Without giving away the secret, one evening's setting rivalled anything you would see on The Bachelor fantasy date. It literally took my breath away. Dinner starts with soup or the Londolozi salad followed by a choice of three entrees , vegetables, sides and dessert. There is no a la carte dining here but the informal "dining in the bush" format is well executed and almost all dishes were excellent.
Lovely accommodations and great food are merely an adjunct to the highlight of your stay which is the game drives. Londolozi is on 57,000 hectares in the Sabi Sands reserve and has reciprocal access to a neighbouring reserve. This is not blindly driving down a road and hoping you stumble on some animals and when you do, having twenty jeeps converging. The land rovers are completely open with "theatre seating" so everyone has a great view. Unless you are a large family, no more than six guests will be in a vehicle. Our tracker ( Life) and ranger ( Mike) made a great pair. From Life's stories, which my daughter loved, to Mike's commentary , each drive was a real treat. So much planning goes on behind the scenes and the result is brilliant and varied game viewing. We had been told many times that late summer was not a great time for viewing, but this was not our experience. Our drives included a mother cheetah and the first cubs seen in Londolozi in five years, a pride of lions, leopards and leopard cubs, rhino and baby, a buffalo herd, giraffe, zebra, hippo, crocodile and the adrenaline highlight: a pack of wild dogs attempting a cheetah kill. Each afternoon game drive featured the very civilized sundowner cocktail. No red solo cups here;it was a sophisticated safari tailgate party enjoyed as the sun went down.
This experience is all the more special when you learn the staunchly conservationist roots of the Varty family and how they have managed to build a world class lodge that works with the local people to provide economic benefit to the area. Dave Varty' s "The Full Circle" is a fantastic read which outlines the history of Londolozi and the creation of CCAfrica.
In closing, if an African Safari is on your bucket list and South Africa is one of your destinations, you will not regret a stay at Londolozi.
TIP:
I walked to all five camps. They are all beautifully appointed. If you are with your family or prefer the energy from other guests, Founders and Varty would be good choices. If travelling as a couple, Tree Camp was the most beautiful and would provide a private ,very exclusive experience. Our regret was not taking the flight into Londolozi's private airstrip but rather doing the two hour drive over mostly rough,unpaved roads to the Kruger airport. Make sure you arrange travel so arrive at the lodge early enough to hit the 4 pm game drive and arrange to leave in early afternoon so as not to miss the morning game drive on the day of departure. They are too fantastic to miss!

  • Stayed March 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Dear Auroraof5,

Thank you so much for the incredible review, so wonderful to get such extensive feedback. I will be sure the convey your kind words onto the Founders camp team, they will be ecstatic to hear that they had such an affect on making your stay so special.

Until your next visit, dont forget to get your 'bush fix' from our blog!

Much love,
The Londolozi family
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Singapore
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

Thirty years of travelling for business and pleasure across seven continents, spending up to 200 days a year in hotels and this was the best travel experience of my life. Front of house staff led by Tammy and Philip were so welcoming and made our stay so very special. F&B and bush banqueting team were great and food scrumptious. Then of course the reason why you go, a fabulous safari experience with the wonderful James and Mike - knowledgeable and entertaining and make a mean G&T and hot chocs with Amarula.
It was in the little touches and attention to detail makes this place stand out.
We stayed at Founder’s Camp and loved the cabin – so well appointed and comfortable, plunge pool went unused but we enjoyed the deck and lingering wildlife. Four perfect days.
A lot of resorts talk about the customer experience – at Londolozi, it is in their DNA!

  • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear OzAbroadView,

Thank you for your kind review on Founders camp at Londolozi. Tammy and the Founders Camp team were incredibly happy to have you with us and Bejay from the living shop sends her regards to you and your mom.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the future!

Much love,
The Londolozi Family
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

This was my first true safari and its one of the best experiences I have ever been on. We were situated in Pioneer Camp and the staff were funny and very welcoming. The food was always delicious and there was plenty of it. The ranger(Dave) and the tracker(Enook) were world class spotting every single detail. they made the early mornings so much more enjoyable sharing their vast knowledge and stories. the rooms are also great and the beds and very comfortable. I had an amazing visit and would definitely go back again. You can beat having breakfast in the morning and having an elephant walking only 75m away from you moving through trees. Class experience.

Room Tip: Go to Pioneer Camp, great views in the morning and also more secluded from other camps.
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Dear Rounded_Traveller,

We are so glad to hear that your first safari was so enjoyable. I will be sure to send your wonderful review through to all the staff at Pioneer camp. We hope that you were enticed to return for a second safari with us.

Much Love,
The Londolozi family
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Ashtead, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

Londolozi really is excellent. The food is wonderful - everything fromm homemade soups and breads to salmon and filet of beef. The staff genuinely want to help you and make the stay the best. We have been on a few safaris but our ranger and tracker - the M & M Team - shared their boundless enthusiasm for the wildlife but were modest about their skills. Our drives were the closest we are ever likely to come to wildlife on demand. A must-do if you can.

Room Tip: All three rooms in Pioneer Camp were excellent, although room 1 had the most intermittent WiFi.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, April 6, 2013
Hi John W

Thank you for your great review on Londolozi. I will be sure to get your feedback to the M&M team! We look forward to your return visit!

Much Love,
The Londolozi Family
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We spent 3 days trekking around Londolozi and it was far more than we had expected. The safari experience was top notch with a fantastic ranger/guide (Melvin) and tracker (Milton). They were smart, funny and enjoyable and we found some fantastic animals. But equally important was the experience of the lodge (we stayed at Pioneer Camp). Very nice, large suite, world-class customized service and some of the best food we have ever eaten - anywhere. We highly recommend.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, April 6, 2013
Hi TripJunky1971

Thank you for your review. We are so glad to hear that you were looked after so well at Pioneer camp. I will make sure that Melvin and Milton receive the wonderful feedback!

We look forward to your next visit.
Much love,
The Londolozi family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Londolozi Private Game Reserve

Address: Londolozi, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 40 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Class:5 star — Londolozi Private Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 32
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Also Known As:
Londolozi Private Game Reserve Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Londolozi Private Game Reserve South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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