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“The Quintessential South African Wildlife Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

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Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   PO Box 862, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
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Pay for 2, Stay for 3!
Richmond, VA, USA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“The Quintessential South African Wildlife Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

We spent one night at Mohlabetsi as part of a week-long wildlife excursion with Southern Circle Tours. This small lodge was our favorite stop along the way, with traditional African rondawel hut accommodations and an outdoor boma dining area. There is often lots of wildlife visible just outside of the lodge, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, and impala. The rooms are very well furnished, and you don't feel like you're staying in a hut at all! There is an enclosed outdoor shower, and it was a great experience to see the stars and hear the sounds of the African bush at night while taking a shower.

Both of our game drives (afternoon/evening and the next morning) were amazing, including sunset drinks in the middle of the bush followed by a night-time rhino encounter, among others. The most memorable sighting on the morning safari was a leopard, which our two guides Nick and Lucky skillfully tracked. Leopard sightings are fairly rare because they are often skittish. However, this one was very relaxed and allowed us to get a long look at him, even showing off his teeth a few times.

After a great end to the last game drive of our trip, we rounded out the morning having breakfast with a view of a large group of animals grazing nearby. For us, Mohlabetsi offered the quintessential South African wildlife experience, with less than a dozen rooms, very attentive staff, and excellent game viewing.

  • 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
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153 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (16)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

My wife and I stayed in Mohlabetsi for 2 nights. The lodge was beautifully designed down to me very details. The al fresco shower was fun, and dinner around a bonfire in the traditional boma was a real treat. Lunch on the lawn, looking out at the wide expanse of the national park, was very relaxing. The staff was very well trained and knowledgeable. The duty manager made sure to greet us at the driveway whenever we return from safari drives. The food was absolutely delicious, way better than all the meals I had during my subsequent week in Johannesburg. The safari ranger and trackers were also very experienced and professional. We had such a great time in Mohlabetsi, I almost made up my mind to migrate to South Africa so that I can visit it frequently! I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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High Point, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

I recently returned from a 10 day stay at Mohlabetsi for the 4th time.The best way to experience Africa is living in the bush with monkeys in the trees overhead, dining outside at night to the calls of jackals, lions and hyenas, watching giraffe and impala at the water hole while having lunch in the fresh air, and doing so in inexpensive luxury! From rusks at daybreak to banana flambe around the fire in the boma at dinner, we want for nothing. I travel with college students and the staff could not be more dedicated. They learn every name by the first dinner and you truly feel like family. Our students mentioned an American tradition of S'mores around the campfire and we were surprised with the treats (after dessert!) the next evening. No one is happier to find amazing sightings than the amazing guides and trackers. And I have always felt unconditionally safe. Tony and Alma are dedicated to the comfort, experience, and well-being of every single guest. We are already scheduled with another group for 2014. I've taken students to a half a dozen countries in Africa, but Mohlabetsi is the only place we keep returning to.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 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.
George, Western Cape
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

We recently stayed at Mohlabetsi for three nights and what a treat it was. I love the setting of the lodge overlooking the bush and lunches under the trees and Boma dinners will be remembered for a long time. I cannot speak more highly of Tony and Alma and their team at Mohlabetsi, they were so friendly and went out of their way to make our safari a memorable one. On top of that, the game viewing was excellent with us seeing elephant, rhino, cheetah, leopard, lions, buffalo, giraffe, and so much more. Our guide and tracker were amazing and we really experienced their skill when we tracked a heard of buffalo. The food was delicious and overall we had a brilliant safari - thank you

  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bremen, Germany
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

I don't know whether my english vocabulary is large enough to describe how wonderful and amazing our stay at Mohlabetsi was...

Starting with the friendly and heartily welcome from Lindley, we soon felt home at Mohlabetsi. Our room was wonderful, comfortable and with attention to details decorated, and to take an outdoor-shower while listening to the roaring of a lion a very special experience ;-). Breakfast, lunch (served in the shadow of a big tree) and dinner (at the boma) were fantastic and the game drives outstanding (special thanks to Solly and Rodgers!). Never before we learned so much about African animals, wildlife, flora and fauna...

The familiar atmosphere, the friendliness and opened-mindness, the personal contact to all members of the staff was beyond comparison and gave us the feeling to be more than welcomed.

We'll certainly come back! :-)

  • Stayed February 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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Antwerp, Belgium
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

A 7 km route to the lodge where you already see some animals (giraffes) is a nice opener to come into this very pleasant lodge. A nice open place in the middle, where you can lay down on seats, of 8 lodges and main building, enough parking space at the back

Nice lodges with good beds, shower outside (to cold in winter to bear before morning safari), everything you need is there.

Swimming pool also good to chill, the bar is a chill place to rest overday. After the safari dinner is served next to a big open fire where all the tables are put around so you eat in a very cool atmosphere.

The owners weren't there (only thing that was a pity) but very good staff!! Amy and lindley are very friendly and helpful and open to have a chat with in the evening.

Breakfast is fantastic with a lot of choice, lunch is more than enough and dinner is also Always to much! Sometimes I wasn't hungry to start with dinner because we had to much to ate in breakfast and lunch.

Overall very good place!! aanrader!!

Room Tip: the lower the number of your lodge, the closer you are to the main building
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 4 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.
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

This was our first time to Mohlabetsi and it certainly won't be the last. We took our 83 year old Mom (very nimble) to experience a luxury lodge and she was just bowled over. This is a real gem of place - Tony and Alma Williamson and their team have created a wonderfully warm environment that is personal whilst highly professional. The staff are exceptional - all of them. The setting is great - rolling lawns that join seamlessly with the bush. The rooms are lovely - we stayed in one of the two family rooms - two rooms adjoining with a great view of the bush and water hole. Loved the outdoor shower and the special touch of the surprise hot water bottle in our beds each nite! The food is really really good - my husband follows a non-wheat and dairy diet and every meal was perfect for him - with Tony and team checking in regulary to ensure all was ok. And the safari's where just perfect - guide Nick and tracker Lucky were wonderful in making the daily drives a wonderful experience. We also had a great massage - highly recommended. Everything about Mohlabetsi is special - we recommend it highly!

  • Stayed May 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.

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Additional Information about Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

Address: PO Box 862, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Balule Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Specialty lodging in Balule Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are situated in the vast Balule Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger Park. Get close up to the Big 5 & other animals on vehicle safaris & walks. Luxurious accommodation in a small, privately owned camp, excellent meals & South African hospitality at an extremely affordable price. Easy access via self-drive or daily flights & shuttles from Johannesburg. Relax around a swimming pool & enjoy aroma-therapy massages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mohlabetsi Safari Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge South Africa/Balule Private Game Reserve

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