We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Would go back in a heartbeat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Ngala Private Game Reserve
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
5.0 of 5 Ranch   |   Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Would go back in a heartbeat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Our trip to South Africa was truly the vacation of a lifetime (although I do hope to have the opportunity to repeat it). We spent the first three nights of our trip in Cape Town and then traveled to the Ngala Game Reserve. When planning our trip we did an extensive amount of research on game reserves & we’re happy when we finally booked with Ngala. The booking experience was quite pleasant. All of our emails were responded to in a timely & professional fashion & all of our pre-trip questions were answered.

Ngala did not disappoint. The staff impressed us before we even arrived. We were able to get on an earlier flight from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit. After frantically searching for & figuring out how to use the airport payphones we were able to call the reserve & ask them to pick us up several hours ahead of our planned arrival. When we arrived a Hoedspruit, the reserve transfer was waiting for us – with a cooler full of water!

When we arrived at Ngala (around noon), we were greeted by name & introduced to our butler, Given. He was wonderful! All the staff we encountered were friendly & eager to help in any way possible. We were shown to our “hut” which was quite spacious & nice, although it kind of had a funny smell (but that is really my only complaint about the whole place). We had a tour of the reserve during which time our bags were delivered to our room.

In the afternoon we made our way to the dining area for afternoon tea (cakes/cookies/coffee/juice) & to meet our guide, JP. JP & Sam, our tracker, were absolutely amazing & they knew EVERYTHING about Ngala, Kruger & all the animals, birds & insets we saw. I was continually impressed with their knowledge. All the guides we met were quite friendly but I feel like JP really made the trip for us.

As most of the reviews mention, food is in abundance at Ngala. You will surely not go hungry when you visit. The variety & taste is excellent. We ate & drank very well our entire trip. Be sure to go on the nature walks or for a swim when you are there to get some exercise. The nature walks are a great way to see & learn more about the plants & insects. Although, some of the information can be repetitive on the walks day after day, it’s very interesting to hear the different stories, etc. from the different trackers giving the walk. I highly recommend going as often as possible.

I have to admit I was a bit over cautious when packing for this trip. I used bug proofing spray on our clothes & waterproofed our shoes. I don’t think it was necessary. Although we did wear long pants & shoes during the visit, I felt completely comfortable wearing a tank top during the day when weather permitted. We took Malarone during our stay as a precaution but there has not been a reporting case of malaria in the area for several years. I didn’t even see any mosquitoes when we were there. We brought binoculars with us which were nice to have but not necessary. JP shared his binoculars with everyone else in our vehicle.

As other reviews say, game drives are from like 6am-9:30/10am and from 4pm-7:30/8pm. It’s lots of time in the vehicle. I found it quite comfortable but if tend to get sore sitting for that long a time you might want to considering bringing an extra cushion to sit on. There are only 6 guests per vehicle which I believe was completely acceptable. We had no issues viewing the animals & were lucky to have friendly & personable people to chat with. They provide a wool blanket for each guest in the vehicle as early mornings & evenings did get a little cold.

This was our first (hopefully not last) safari and we were very impressed with all the game we saw. We saw all the Big 5 (buffalo, elephant, rino, lion, and leopard) as well as numerous other animals. We also saw a pack of wild dogs which are very rare with 11 pups so that was a real treat.

I believe a huge selling point for Ngala is that the reserve is not fenced in; animals can come & go as they please. Many of the other reserves are fenced in, so there are few surprises.

Overall, I would highly recommend Ngala. The whole experience was beyond amazing. We truly had an amazing trip & would go back in a heartbeat. Maybe next time we’ll stay at Tented Camp, which is a bit more private & exclusive. We visited & it was really lovely.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

215 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    189
    20
    6
    0
    0
See reviews for
59
102
14
2
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 (42)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Madrid, Spain
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We stayed at Ngala in July 2012 for 5 days, and had a fantastic time. Thank you Susan Coulson for organizing this wonderful stay!! Ngala has top notch service and food (as in all the &Beyond lodges!!!) and Noel our butler, is amazing, took very good care of us and really made our stay perfect!
Presence and Mamma Connie are great hostesses and my daughter adored Mamma Connie's big hugs!!
The rooms are thatched chalets, tastefully decorated and the beds are very comfortable. The main area of the lodge is beautifully laid out with various lounge areas, dining areas and there's a deck where we had tea before the afternoon safari. All have wonderful views over the grounds where warthogs act as ecological lawn mowers. Lovely shy bushbuck wander by and cheeky squirrels bound along towards you, changing direction at the last moment to scamper up the nearest tree.
We had an excellent ranger called Kyle, who is very knowledgable and patient, our tracker was Sandros (who is the father of Coswell, our previous tracker at another lodge!!) Both Kyle and Sandros have eyes like eagles, they could pick out the slightest movement in the tall dry grass and immediately identify what was hiding there. They are a brilliant team!
As we were a family of 4, we had a jeep to ourselves, which was ideal as I'm an avid wildlife photographer, so we could choose to stay and watch and photograph the animals or scenery at our leisure.
Wildlife sightings were incredible, in one morning we saw 5 white rhinos and unknowingly at that time, we were seeing the last days of an old bull rhino that was found dead 3 days later, due to the injuries caused by a territorial fight with another bull rhino. Such a shame and so sad that another precious rhino has gone.
We followed lions, saw many leopards, giraffes, elephants, a honey badger, jackals, kudus, steenboks, impalas, hyenas and a hyena cub outside the den, old dagga boys (male buffaloes) looking grumpy and muddy resting by a water hole and one evening we had the most amazing sighting of wild dogs!!

We had wonderful bush breakfasts in the wild. There was the option to do a guided walking safari back to the lodge, which my husband and I did (to try and keep in check all that food...and be able to fit into our clothes!)
At the lodge, we had tasty buffet lunches, tea time with delicious cakes, candle lit dinners and the sundowners in beautiful areas in the wild.... We were totally spoilt and didn't want to leave!

Ngala is the perfect place for everyone, for honeymooners, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, friends and for families with children, my daughter really enjoyed doing the activities they have for kids, such as making biscuits (that we had for tea time) or making bracelets and necklaces and painting pictures.

  • Stayed July 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed at Ngala in July 2012 and had a fantastic time. Thank you Susan Coulson for organizing this wonderful stay!! Ngala has top notch service and food, as in all the &Beyond lodges!!!
Noel took very good care of us. Our rooms were lovely with big comfortable beds and nice bathrooms.
We had an excellent guide called Kyle, who is very knowledgable and patient, and our tracker was the father of Coswell, our previous tracker at another lodge!!
As we were a family of 4, we had a jeep to ourselves, which was perfect as I'm an avid wildlife photographer and didn't feel the rush to photograph quickly before going on, as we could choose to stay and watch and photograph the animals at leisure.
Wildlife sightings were amazing, in one morning we saw 5 rhinos and unknowingly at that time, we were seeing the last days of an old bull rhino that was found dead 3 days later, due to the injuries caused by a territorial fight with another bull rhino. Such a shame and so sad that another precious rhino has gone.
We followed lions, saw many leopards, giraffes, elephants, a honey badger, jackals, kudus, steenboks, impalas, hyenas and a hyena cub outside the den, old dagga boys (male buffaloes) looking grumpy resting by a water hole and one evening we even saw some wild dogs!!
We had the most wonderful bush breakfasts in the wild (and the option of a walking safari back to the lodge, which my husband and I did to try and keep in check all the food!!)
At the lodge we had tasty buffet lunches, tea time with delicious cakes, sundowners in beautiful areas and firelit dinners.... We were totally spoilt and didn't want to leave!
Ngala is great for honeymooners, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, friends and for families with kids, my daughter really enjoyed doing the activities they have for kids, such as making biscuits (that we had for tea time) or making bracelets and necklaces and painting pictures.

  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

I have been on safaris before and nothing compares to the beyond amazing experience of Ngala Game Logde. This place is truly magical!

We saw everything ! Lions with their cubs, cheetahs, leopards eating their impala kill I a tree , elephant herds trumpeting and a new born they we protecting, giraffes, rhinos, ostriches, wildebeests, zibras, warthogs with their babies by the pool, hippos running and swimming, baboons and all the impala at Ngala.
This place is now in my heart forever.

I am certain each group feels this way but my group truly had the best guide and best tracker of all in Pieter as our amazing guide and Elvis our tracker. Pieter was so generous with his kind heart knowledge and fun. We learned so much from him! We laughed and smiled the entire time.

The staff was so attentive and wonderful and never hovering ! Mama Conni is a perfect ambassador for Ngala. Every guest is truly treated as one of her children. Everything and anything you needed or didn't know you needed She took care of with ease and finesse. Her singing and dancing with all the others is still in my head. She and the staff are amazing AND BEYOND !

The food is endless with a variety of choices at each meal. I don't eat meat and still had numerous options to choose from They feed you frequently so Be prepared to eat ! All was delicious And Beyond.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We stayed at the Ngala Tented Camp and the Ngala Safari Lodge - they are so different but they were both so special for different reasons. Tented Camp is beautifully decorated, food is wonderful, the personal attention with the game drives was exceptional, the lodge staff were incredible. I have not experienced game drives of this calibre ever before. Thank you Dylan for the most memorable moments on a game drive. each meal was a different experience and when the weather was good the dining venues would change, each day was so special. Thank you to Francois and Richard.
The Safari Lodge was a step back in time and felt so colonial! The food was exceptional, the staff outstanding. Once again we would have our meals at different locations. The game drives exceptional. Thank you Robin and Ernest for such memorable game drives. Dennis was always so helpful and Noel was a wonderful butler.
We can't wait to visit again.

Room Tip: Tented camp request a riverbed room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We have been on 4 safaris in Africa and the only lodge we have returned to every time is Ngala Tented Camp. Like all andBeyond lodges, the rangers are outstanding and the entire staff makes you feel like they exist solely to make your stay with them truly memorable. There's always a surprise in store, whether it's an elaborate bush breakfast set up so that you don't miss watching the herd of elephants bathing at the water hole, or your lunch delivered poolside on a hot day.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Washington, DC
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

I stayed at Ngala this past November and found it to be beautiful. They recently renovated the lodge after a flood, so everything is new and in great condition. Please note however, they are expanding slightly and were doing some construction. We raised this issue to the manager after the noise became too distracting and fortunately the staff quickly addressed the problem and we didn't hear the noise after our initial complaint.

Absolutely no complaints, other than for those who are vegetarian, please be very clear and forceful about this requirement. While everyone was quite accommodating, South Africa is a very meat heavy culture and you'll need to remind them of any limitations you require.

Room Tip: All tents were impeccable!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 4 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.

Been to andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge

Address: Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Ngala Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty lodging in Ngala Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The romance and mystery of Africa come alive in 20 thatched cottages tucked under a dense canopy of tamboti trees at Ngala Safari Lodge. Exuding classical safari charm, the spacious veranda, with its wonderfully comfortable armchairs, looks out onto a popular waterhole. For pure indulgence, the Safari Suite offers an elegant sitting room, private swimming pool and exclusive use of a safari vehicle. Mouth-watering meals are served in the shade of an enormous weeping boerbean tree, while a large swimming pool lies on the edge of thick riverine woodland. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngala Safari Hotel Ngala Private Game Reserve
AndBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge Ngala Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Bookmark for later
Save Saved
You added andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge to your Saves list