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“most pleased @ Nkoroh Bush Lodge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nkorho Bush Lodge

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Nkorho Bush Lodge
Hluvukani, Kruger National Park 1363, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Jupiter, Florida
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
“most pleased @ Nkoroh Bush Lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2008

Hello Fellow Safari Traveler,
We stayed at NKORHO, Bush Lodge in August 2008 for 4 nights. We had a wonderful time. We feel this Lodge is a “ hidden secret” in Sabi Sand. Moderately priced, located almost at the border of Kruger Park, they do have a waterhole on site, we had the good fortune to see a lot of activity including Lions and Elephants.
Be sure to stay in Chalet number 3 or 5, or the big Honeymoon suite. These rooms are up to date in their décor and have been renovated. We stayed in number 5 and were most pleased with the accommodation, from here you have a direct view to the waterhole too.

The food was real good home cooking, nothing fancy like a gourmet restaurant, but it was plentiful and good tasting , as well it was well prepared, we never got ill as one visitor wrote. It was just perfect for our diet.
The daily two game drives were excellent too, we saw all the Big Five, many Leopards, and the Cheetah as well. They do have lots of kilometers in “traversing rights” to find the animals, I can assure every photographer , they will NOT be disappointed. It was awesome.
The Staff at the Nkorho Bush Lodge was very pleasant and they really made an effort to make you feel at HOME in the Bush. I salute them all for doing a fine job.
In closing I will tell you, that we will return because we were well taken care of and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Now , have a great SAFARI, Erfurt.

Manfred H. Braig, 500 Ocean Trail Way, Suite 302, Jupiter, Florida, USA 33477-5530

  • Liked — they were updated, room was recently renovated, it was clean
  • Disliked — nothing, I was very pleased
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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182 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2008

We went to Nkorho in August for two days, just after Kapama, and we had a very good time there. The Bush Lodge is small, there is neither TV nor phones and it gives a feeling of intimacy. It has no fences (only some wires against elephants) so you are not supposed to leave your room at night after curfew except for emergencies and it makes you really feel in the middle of the bush.
The patio has a wonderful view on the bush and on a watering hole visited by many kinds of beasts (and a “resident” fishing eagle). There is even a webcam with an infrared system so you can enjoy close ups day and night from a laptop screen in the bar. You can find this webcam on the net at Africam.com and I have a look everyday, just to remember the good time passed there.
The game drive we had were excellent, even better than in Kapama, we saw a herd of 400 buffalos, lions feasting just after a killing and much more. The part of Sabi sands open to Nkorho people is bigger than Kapama so we ended up driving longer distances but it was rewarding in terms of diversity and quality of sightings. The rangers did a really good job and were very nice, as all the rest of the staff. We found that having one ranger attending to us for the drive and the meals was a good idea. The food was ok but plentiful, the wines from the cellar quite good.
We only had a problem with our room. We had chalet #1, which is definitely not on par with the others, especially the shabby and smelly bathroom. We felt angry to pay the same price than the people in the other chalet with the nice bathroom and the outdoor shower. The management told us that the chalet were given on a first reserved first served basis, with #1 as a last item and that we were unlucky but I think this is not a satisfying answer. The owners should at least make clear on the net that there are big difference in comfort level between the chalet or, even better, make a different price for this item.
Apart from this, Nkorho is a beautiful place with a great atmosphere and a high value for money. I will gladly return there…in an other chalet.

  • Liked — The view on the bush from the patio deck
  • Disliked — our bathroom
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Toronto, Ontario
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2008

We stayed at Nkorho for 3 days in May, before moving on to Kruger park. Our stay at Nkorho was the absolute highlight of our trip to South Africa.
The lodge is very luxurious and comfortable. We were upgraded to the honeymoon suite, a new room, which was beautiful and very secluded. At night, we could hear the impala battling outside our deck. The facilities are great at Nkorho. There are two pools, one overlooking the watering hole and the restaurant is open.
We had a fantastic experience on game drives. Our ranger was Ruan, who was very knowledgeable and lots of fun. Within 10 minutes of starting our on our first game drive, we stumbled on a lion and 12 hours later, we had already seen the Big 5 plus a cheetah and hyenas! The next day, we were lucky enough to witness a leopard killing a warthog. The game drives were amazing and we had a great time on the walks as well.
Overall, Nkorho was a wonderful spot, especially relaxing midway through a fairly busy holiday. It is expensive, but much less than some of the other neighbouring lodges, and definitely worth every penny.
We hope to return to South Africa one day and to Nkorho.

  • Liked — Room, activities
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2008

This was the first of two lodges we stayed at while visiting Sabi Sands (the other was Elephant Plains). How much you enjoy Nkorho may depend on your preferred style of 'vacationing.' If you love the intimacy of bed & breakfasts, Nkorho is for you. There are only a handful of guestrooms, and we were the only guests there for most of our stay. As mentioned in previous reviews, the rangers and owners (although not the trackers, who we were most interested in getting to know) take meals and visit with you throughout the day. If you're more of a solitary traveler (as my husband and I are), you may prefer a larger lodge that permits a higher degree of anonymity. The common areas of Nkorho are beautiful: the patio and pool area are pristine and overlook a watering hole frequented by many animals throughout the day. There are also a variety of books and magazines around the grounds to keep you entertained while not on safari. The drives were fantastic, and our tracker Freeman was absolutely amazing in the animals he could spot. We saw all the Big 5 while at Nkorho and many other smaller, equally interesting creatures like bushbabies, chameleons, dwarf mongoose, etc. Definitely take advantage of each and every drive!! Although our room was beautifully decorated and well-furnished, it was not designed with an eye for privacy. The bathroom had a floor-to-ceiling glass sliding door but sheer curtains, which made it hard to make use of the gorgeous tub without giving the rest of the lodge an eyeful. The shower was beautiful (open-style, no shower door or curtain), but an uncovered glass door looked directly into the shower; I was very glad that we were the only guests there or I would have had to rig up my own 'shower curtain' from our towels. Aside from a surprising lack of privacy, the room was very nice; housekeeping did a wonderful job of cleaning unobtrusively and left fresh flowers all around. If you're looking for a small, comfortable, intimate lodge, go with Nkorho. But in all honesty, we enjoyed our stay at Elephant Plains a lot more (it was similarly priced with nicer rooms; more amenities because it was a bigger place; we didn't feel 'obligated' to be social because of the larger size, etc).

  • Liked — Amazing game drives, beautiful pool area
  • Disliked — Lack of bathroom privacy, felt a little obligated to socialize
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2008

We returned to South Africa to again stay at Nkorho after first spending a few days in Kruger Park. Many wonderful changes were made to the facility since our stay five years earlier. There is now a large deck overlooking their watering hole along with a swimming pool. We watched jackels, velvet monkeys, kudu, giraffe, and zebra frequent the waterhole. (Nkorho has a webcam positioned there that you can access via Africam). Attached to this deck is a beautiful, large bar with a nice wine cellar located below.

There are seven chalets available, each with their own large deck. When sitting on the deck you’ll enjoy watching the abundance of Nkorho birds (southern yellow-billed hornbill) found on the property. Our room was nicely sized with quite a large bathroom.

Each day starts with a morning drive lasting three hours. You will always have the same Ranger and Spotter for each drive. In fact, the Ranger basically stays with you through the day – taking meal and drink requests as well as chatting with you during meals. We were lucky to once again have Frankie as a spotter. What he can track and see at night is incredible. He spotted some kind of chameleon one evening that was about 50 yards away in a bush. Phenomenal eyes!!

A mid-morning walk is offered daily, which largely focuses on the local fauna, etc. After the evening ride dinner is served. Most evenings dinner is served in their boma. However, we were fortunate to be there on a Saturday night when dinner is served in the bush. Aside from the game drives, this was one of my favorite experiences there. During dinner we were surrounded by hyenas, which didn’t bother us, but their sounds certainly added to the atmosphere.

As for game, we saw plenty, leopards on just about every drive, rhinos, buffalo, elephants, and of course lions – including a mating pair and a mom with her young male and an even younger cub. But on our last morning drive we were lucky to be in perfect light as three lions walked to a watering hole, allowing us to get some of our best shots.

We'll undoubtedly return again.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2008

We stayed at Nkorho for 3 nights this March, and this was probably the best vacation we have ever taken. We saw every animal that we had ever dreamed of seeing in Africa, almost all of them at extremely close range. We relaxed with good food, comfortable lodging, and friendly people - all at a reasonable price!

We saw (all at close range) rhinos, elephants, leopards, Cape buffalo, lions, jackals, hyenas, zebras, impala, kudu, waterbuck, baboons, vervet monkeys, mongoose, warthogs, giraffe, wildebeests, hippo, steenbok, lots of birds (eagles, ground warblers, rollers, franklins), spiders, snakes... We also got to see the animals in action, including bull elephants tussling with each other, a leopard cub calling for its mother, lionesses hunting at night, a pride of male lions roaring together for 5 minutes straight, lions mating. It was just spectacular, and an experience we will never forget.

The rangers are extremely knowledgeable, and have lots of amazing stories that they are more than willing to share with the guests. Andre was our ranger for our stay, and he was excellent. You could tell how passionate he is about the bush and wildlife, and we felt lucky to have him as a guide. Our tracker was Freeman, who was excellent at helping us find game.

The setting was lovely, with individual cabins for the guests. High ceilings, thatched roofs, simple wooden furniture, big bathtub and shower. The housekeeping is excellent - rooms are made up while you are on the morning game drive, and while you are on the evening game drive. There's no air conditioning, but we did not need it. The fan kept the room very comfortable.

The pace of the day at Nkorho makes your time really relaxing. It is awesome to be up at 5:30, and on your game drive by 6am. You feel you have accomplished something by the time you get back to the lodge around 9:15 or 9:30. Then a delicious, full breakfast, with lots of fruit, cheese, yogurt, granola, fresh breads/pastries, eggs, bacon, etc. Then a quick change so you can go on a bush walk with the ranger. Then back to your room to relax...lay by the pool, read a magazine, nap in your room or on one of the lounge chairs.... There are no phones, no TV's, so you can really let go. Then lunch around 2:15, followed by some more rest, and off of your evening game drive from 4:15-7:15 or so. Then a big dinner around 8pm, and off to bed, to be ready for the early wakeup call. WE LOVED IT.

The food was very good and plentiful. There were always lots of vegetable and fruit choices, and the meats and starches were good. It was a nice treat to eat in the boma by firelight, with a lovely buffet laid out for us.

Finally, we found Nkorho incredibly well-priced. It is MUCH cheaper than most of the other private game lodges, and we thought it was excellent value for money. If you need ultimate luxury (e.g, private butler, private plunge pool, or cooked-to-order meals), Nkorho may not be for you, but if you are going to see wildlife, relax, and be comfortable, then you cannot do better than Nkorho. We would love to return for a week-long stay, and to share this place with our family and friends.

We highly recommend going to a private game lodge that allows off road driving. We would not have seen half as much (or gotten half as close to game) if we had done a self-drive safari in Kruger instead of going to Nkorho. Do NOT do a private lodge safari followed by a self-drive safari, or you will be highly disappointed. The off-roading is what puts the safari experience over the top.

Also, we drove from Johannesburg following an overnight flight. Don't recommend this - the drive was long (6.5 hours), and stressful. Lots of people walking on the roads, especially from Hazyview to Acornhoek.

On the way back to Hazyview from Nkorho, we got stopped by the police at a speed trap. (We weren't speeding.) We ended up experiencing some of the rampant corruption in the South African police force, when they made my husband get out of the car, and told him he had to pay 800 rand ($100) to the cop on the spot based on going 5 mile per hour over the speed limit. The cop did not collect any information from my husband or issue him a written ticket. He made us feel like we had no choice but to pay him the money, or bear unknown and likely scary consequences (all the police were very visibly armed, and there were 4 police cars together at a random spot miles from the nearest town). This made us very nervous driving during the rest of the trip.

Thus, we would recommend taking a private flight directly to Nkorho (there is a landing strip for small planes), or flying to Hoedspruit and having someone drive you to Nkorho. This would eliminate the driving stress, and make for a pretty much perfect vacation.

We do have a few suggestions for the owners, which would make things perfect from our perspective:

1) Give a guideline on what average tips are for the rangers, guides, and staff. We asked but were told it was purely up to us. We had no idea what was appropriate, so left wondering if we had been ridiculously generous or embarrassingly cheap. Not a good feeling when you leave, and easily remedied by telling guests a suggested range for average and excellent service.

2) Offer a drinks-inclusive price option. All meals are included in the rate, but alcoholic beverages, bottled water, sodas, etc, are all charged separately. It would be even more relaxing for guests if they could get these beverages without considering the tab. You could offer an option with alcohol or without.

Happy to answer questions from fellow travelers on this!

  • Liked — Location, game viewing, knowledgeable rangers, comfortable accommodation, tasty food
  • Disliked — Having to pay for drinks individually and not getting guidance from management on appropriate gratuity
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, SC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2008

WOW! That should sum it up, however, we want to elaborate. This was our first bush camp during a 2.5 week trip to SA and this set the bar very high. From the moment we arrived, we felt welcomed and comfortable. The lodge itself is incredibly warm - as if you have walked into a close friend's home. Milo and Spotty, the resident Jack Russells, only added to this feeling.

The people - everyone, and we mean everyone, were terrific. Greg, our ranger, was witty, knowledgeable and had the energy and enthusiasm of the Energizer Bunny. He obviously loves his job as does all of the other staff. Birthdays are very special occasions here and one that won't soon be forgotten with Happy Birthday being sung in Shangaan and English!

We saw the Big 5 on the first day and saw leopard 7 times including a mom and her 2 cubs. The ability to go "off road" takes on a whole new meaning here and you will not be disappointed, if not a little concerned, with how close you get to the king of the jungle. Absolutely do not miss a single game drive!

The food was fabulous and innovative. The braai we enjoyed was complete with traditional SA foods and dinner in the large boma - not to be missed. The entertainment by the Shangaan ladies is a treat so make sure you stay at least (if not more) 2 nights to be treated to this experience! We were there 5 nights and it was hard to leave!

We will never forget the people and experiences that we had at Nkorho. It is a must for any SA trip if you want personalized attention, great company, super food and memories to share for years to come.

  • Stayed January 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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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Additional Information about Nkorho Bush Lodge

Address: Hluvukani, Kruger National Park 1363, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled near the unfenced borders of the Kruger National Park this luxury four star Sabi Sand lodge offers a diverse abundance of classic African Wildlife. Nkorho Bush Lodge offers a comfortable environment in which to become one with nature, whether it be bird watching or game viewing from an open vehicle we offer a bushveld experience extraordinaire. Nkorho Bush Lodge creates and atmosphere of relaxation, sheer contentment a feeling of unity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nkorho Bush Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Nkorho Bush Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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