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“Pretty good value for money” 3 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge

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andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
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5.0 of 5 Ranch   |   Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Hong Kong, China
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“Pretty good value for money”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2005

However, we opted for the flight from Jo’burg to Ngala (at ZAR3,750 roundtrip) making it less good value for money. In hindsight, we would have considered driving, not so much because of the cost, but the flight takes between two to three hours (not the advised 1.5 hrs, and direct flying time is 40-50min.) and more cost effective driving takes five hours on good, paved roads. The problem with the flight is that you cannot be sure of being taken directly to your destination. Fed Air and Ngala neglected to inform us that they drop off other folks at Londolozi, Singita, etc. before dropping us off. The return trip took an unbearable 3 hours as Fed Air changed our pick-up time from 1:30pm to 12:30pm. We were rushed to the Ngala landing strip, flown to Nelspruit and had to wait over an hour until another plane arrived. Then, they first dropped folks off at Londolozi then Singita before taking us to Jo’burg. The lodge was okay, but nothing to rave home about, not exactly Small Luxury Hotel standard. Everything was clean, tidy, and in good working order. And, every time you returned to your room, someone had clearly been in to clear out the rubbish bins, change the towels, put candles out at night, etc. The food was very good on the whole. However, certain things just makes you cringe. My husband is a vegetarian. When we arrived, we asked the hostess who received us, “Monica”, for some food since the flight did not have any vegetarian food and he hadn’t eaten for 6 hours. She said that she will arrange for something from the kitchen. After we unpacked, we arrived at the dining area where there was plenty of afternoon snacks available, but clearly no vegetarian food. When we reminded her, she went into the kitchen and returned with a huge tray of food. Unfortunately, the vegetarian cheese was on the same plate and placed next to non-vegetarian items like beef jerky. When someone is a strict vegetarian, eating off the same plate as meat is pretty offensive. For dinner one night, I asked her if the mashed potatoes served to me contained dairy since I am allergic. “Monica” said that they knew that I am allergic so the chef has made sure not to include dairy in my food, including the mashed potatoes. When I asked her to double-check, she had this look of shock like how dare I question her. When she returned, she quickly whisked my plate away and retuned with a new plate replacing the mashed potatoes with new potatoes and apologized. On top of that, she continues to address us (as well as the other guests) as “guys”. “How are you, guys”, “is everything alright, guys”, “how was the safari, guys”. This got to be annoying as we didn’t appreciate being referred to as “guys”. The breakfast and lunch had a good variety. However, it was a buffet and there were hoards (I kid you not) of bees all over the freshly cut fruit, floating in the juice, on the cheese, jams, meats, salads, cereals everything. It was a truly disgusting sight. When this also happened at lunch, we pulled “Monica” aside and asked if she would mind covering the food to make it more hygienic. She had this look of surprise yet again and seemed like she could possibly arrange for this but it was a big favour to us! Anyways, the highlight of the trip and what really makes a difference is the ranger. We had Richard and he had this enormous enthusiasm for the animals and the environment. The rangers there really work as a team and triangulate where the animals are, so we would get the best chance of seeing them. We saw everything we wanted from lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, buffalos, secretary bird, zebras, wildebeests, empalas etc. It was truly an amazing experience. For our fourth night, we opted for the Ngala Tented Camp which was much more luxurious than the lodge, but despite being closer to where the big game animals inhabit, had a less successful game drives. That’s the trade off, great hotelling but less exciting game drives.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
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259 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2004

This place is incredible. I had the pleasure of staying here for 3 nights in August. If you want luxury in the bush, this place is it. Ngala has exclusive access to nearly 15,000 hectares in Kruger National Park, one of the largest nature reserves in the world (encompasses an area larger than England). The lodge is not fenced in so animals are free to roam. I was awakened one morning at 5am by a large male elephant eating the leaves from a tree right outside my bathroom window. On our first game drive, we saw a pride of approximately 13 lions feeding on a giraffe kill. Our extremely skilled safari ranger parked about 20m away. The accommodations, staff, and food are all superb. I have heard that all CC Africa properties maintain this level of quality. I can't wait to return.

  • Stayed August 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2004

An 'open' lodge and therefore liable to have lots of wildlife walking about (and hanging from trees!). You are escorted back to your bungalow from the main lodge at night by security guards. A wonderful Hotel, very friendly staff, excellent food but they let the Monkey's get away with murder during breakfast time! There are two brilliant safari drives during the day, about 3 hours each, the early one is at 6:30am and another at 4:00pm after afternoon tea, very civilised. Both totally worth it - you get to see the animals at the watering holes during the cool mornings at sunrise and then again in the dark, very exciting indeed! The guides were brilliant and really knew their stuff. Wouldn't hesitate to return to Ngala again.

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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 andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge

Address: Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Ngala Private Game Reserve
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*
Number of rooms: 21
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

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