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“The ultimate bush experience.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vuyatela Lodge & Galago Camp

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Vuyatela Lodge & Galago Camp
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3.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Djuma Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“The ultimate bush experience.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Having visited Galago camp with family we took the opportunity to visit Vuyatela with friends. We are a group that have been making annual trips to Sabi Sand self catering lodges for the past 9 years.Camp staff met us on arrival and assisted us in getting settled. As the camp is self catering there was a lot of stuff to carry and unpack. Texan was our ranger with Amos as his tracker and together they formed an exceptionally capable team. A big difference at Djuma is that there are significantly fewer game vehicles in the bush during the drive times. This does increase the pressure on Ranger and tracker as they have to find the game and cannot rely on sightings radioed in by other vehicles. Texan and Amos were more than ready for the task and from our first sighting of wild dog to our last , a magnificent leopard they fulfilled our daily wish list. Take a pride of lions on a buffalo kill being chased of by a bigger stronger pride of lions. You cannot imagine the noise and frantic activity , enough to scare the less experienced among us. Leopard with baby zebra kill in tree, lions on zebra kill, herd of elephants bathing and cavorting in a water hole, regular leopard but also hyena, jackal buffalo,etc etc. When on these sightings a big benefit is the extended time available for viewing. No need to make way for other vehicles , fantastic. Texan quickly got used to us and joined in the friendly banter and wisecracks among the group. Returning to the lodge you find breakfast or supper prepared according to your menu by the excellent chef Luzelle and her team. Every meal a treat and the gym is no luxury. The rooms are fantastic and the outside showers enjoyed by all. Rooms are nicely spaced and the only ones gazing in are the passing game. Game viewing from your deck will be very rewarding. Once you been to Djuma you have experienced the African bush at its best and all 10of us will be back next year

Room Tip: Be the envy of your group and take room 1, iit is the only guest room with view of the waterhole and...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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93 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

This camp sleeps 10 but we came with a group of 7. This actually worked out best because to have 10 people on a vehicle at once would have been a bit crowded. What an experience. It is self catering with an offer of a chef, which many of the reviews recommended and raved about. We chose to just do our own cooking but never had to wash a dish. Ladies came to do dishes each morning with smiling faces. There are 4 chalets apart from the main building and a couple more rooms in the main building. The chalets have outside showers but there is also a tub inside if you prefer. You have a dedicated driver and tracker which is great because you can be flexible with your drive times. Since we chose to cook our own meals we opted to go out earlier on the afternoon drive – 2:30 instead of 3:30 and get back to the camp a little earlier in the evening. There is a small water hole in front of the main building and braii area. Had an amazing sighting one mid day – small bush buck was walking down to the water with a leopard stalking it. The bush buck must have gotten wind of it and bolted and the leopard continued his mid day stroll to our viewing delight. And the game drives were incredible. Our driver was Aubrey and tracker was William. There was a buffalo kill not far from our camp which kept 3 lionesses, 2 young males and 3 eight month old cubs happy for 2 days. Followed a huge male leopard for almost 25 minutes our first evening. Saw several large male lions, rhino, elephant, herds of buffalo, kudu, hippo, zebra, rollers, wildebeest, nyala, impala and a herd of water buck down by the dam. Actually saw the Big 5 two of our three days. Highly recommend this amazing camp.

  • Stayed June 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

A group of friends and myself spent 3 nights at Galago self catering camp and enjoyed every minute. The camp has just the right amount of luxury without being ostentatious. Kitchen is well-equipped and staff are really efficient. We also had great game viewing in a good safari vehicle. Only small change I would recommend is to equip the ranger with an ear-piece so that the guests are not subjected to the enormous amount of drivel spoken on the general radio channel. I understand the need for this radio but it is a huge distraction. This is no reflection on the abilities of the ranger.
Highlight was the game and especially a leopard walking past the camp in the middle of the day!

Room Tip: The 3 suites are great for couples and there is a room suitable for guide/pilot.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Johannesburg
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

We were at Vuyatela a group of 10 of us for a few nights in Aug 2013, and following this trip we immediately book a longer stay for the same period in 2014.
The staff are ever so welcoming, and I am not going to lie the inclusion of a chef into this self catering establishment was the icing on the cake.

Rex and his team were amazing on the 2 daily game drives, with us seeing the most amazing wildlife closer than we ever thought possible. The 2 and a half hours at each time flew bye. The accommodation is def 5 star with the perfect distance between each room to give you the privacy you need, and still having the ability to wake up and seeing the wildlife as soon as you get up in the morning. The dining area has an amazing view, and great for spotting animals in the waterhole.

The drive is a 5/5:30 hour drive so take that into consideration, but its worth ever minute when you get there. One thing we learnt is that the chef makes the most amazing rusks( so take note and order as we will a few days before).

We cant wait to go back.

  • Stayed August 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Over the years my wife and I have been to a number of self catering camps in the Sabi Sand and Timbavati areas, including several previous visits to (the old) Djuma Galago. This time we went as a group of 10 with family from Switzerland and SA and spent 3 nights at Djuma Vuyatela. The weather was kind and the spotting was outstanding. Driver (Taxon) and tracker (Amos) are both very good at what they do and personable with it. I can honestly say that our Vuyatela experience was the best ever. Some of that is down to good luck with the weather and the wild life, but a lot is attributable to the facilities and the staff. Luzile, the chef, is outstanding and she and her kitchen team produced consistently great meals. Vuyatela used to be a fully catered main camp and the facilities reflect that. Highly recommended to anyone who is in a position to transport themselves there with enough food and drink to keep the party going for a few days.

Room Tip: Some of the chalets have a splash pool, some don't. Ask on arrival if this is important to you.
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

If you enjoy the finer things in life though appreciate being out in the bush - then you can't go wrong with Vuyatela.
The wild life in this particular part of the bush is particularly busy - you're absolutely guaranteed of seeing almost everything you've ever wanted to witness - and it's all 100% wild.
My sister and her husband own these lodges, so I am biased somewhat.
I have a non-commercial lodge an hour away and we don't get nearly as much game as Vuyatela.
Vuyatela has changed to self catering, though you can arrange for "attendance". Game drives are of course standard and not to be missed.
Enjoy your trip.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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White River, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

Been twice to Vuyatela, great little seperate chalets that sleep 2, and a main living and eating area. The second time we went it had been changed to self catering with staff and you have to book the place out - enough space for 10 people and more kids...bearing in mind that a vehicle could only fit 10 people max. The staff were amazing - very friendly and well trained to help us set up and put out what we wanted for breakfast as well as prepare what we had brought for dinner. There is a small plunge pool and a great boma area as well as a lookout point. There is a watering hole situated near this area which means you get to see plenty of game whilst just hanging out. Have never seen so many leopard!!! Was awesome - they seem to hang out in that section of Djuma!

Room Tip: The rooms are all the same - you are either closer or further away form the main living area - if yo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Vuyatela Lodge & Galago Camp

Address: Djuma Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Djuma Game Reserve
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Djuma Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Vuyatela Lodge & Galago Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Vuyatela Hotel Djuma Game Reserve
Vuyatela Lodge & Galago Camp South Africa/Djuma Game Reserve

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