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“Game Safari” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mpongo Private Game Reserve

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Mpongo Private Game Reserve
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   N6 National Road, Macleantown District | East London, Mpongo Private Game Reserve 5201, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Game Safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We were taken to Mpongo by froends that live in a East London as ws had nlt managed to visit any other Game Reserve whilst we were in Sputh Africa. We booked lunch follpwed by an escorted drive. The food was excellent and our guide showed us a variety of animals including Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra, Ostrich, Impala, Wildibeast,
Springbok. We were sad not to have seen Elephant. Whilst not huge, we got to feel we were in the real bush. We felt that we got very good value. Thanks to the staff for a very warm welcome.

Stayed April 2013
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30 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
East London
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
94 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

There are two lodges, so I chose the River Lodge, I wanted to be in East London but not in the city per se, so this was a good choice so I had absolutely no idea what was in store. When I arrived at reception, I was met by a gorgeous young man with an amazing smile and I did arrive after six (silly me, I was navigating Mdantsane! and that's my excuse and I am sticking to it); who asked me to follow him for a 4km drive to the River Lodge, I was very concerned during the drive, but then we arrived and we were met by smiles. The cellphone network is patchy (excellent if you want to disconnect and that's what I needed), no wifi (great for talking to your partner) and though we didn't sample the food but we could see the dinner was well prepared and there is an in-house chef. This is not a place for those that love the rat race and they shouldn't be allowed to influence the rhythm of this perfect hideaway, the Huberta Lodge on top next to the Lions and the Hippos has sufficient cellphone coverage, so choose that one, but this place really stands out in all aspects and as visitors we should know well enough when to let things happen as they should and must, this is one of those places that shouldn't be forced to conform to anything or anyone! There are about three 2-bed chalets if you have a bigger group that you need to hide away from the world with, either as a family and companion friends. I didn't do the drives but the lions as you come into the lodge are a spectacular site and the Hippos in their pond. There is a touch-farm next to reception which is very good for youngsters. Then, I had this great idea to have a working meeting at the Lodge because I didn't want to leave on Monday and my colleague drove from East London, we were plied with coffee and drinks, it was brilliant! So, definitely a place for me to explore further! Absolutely Lovely!!

  • Stayed April 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
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London
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

We booked a night here on hotels.com as a B&B looking for a quick night stop between Port St Johns and Port Elizabeth. As it happened we left Port St Johns early morning and decided to skip our planned journey to the Hole in the wall so we arrived here at around 2pm thinking we may not have much to do.

So we were quite surprised to realise we could go for a self-drive trip through the Private Game Reserve. We spent nearly four hours in there and saw many great game. We missed the elephants by minutes however and also failed to spot any Rhino or Buffalo.

We booked a game drive for the morning and the guide/ranger was very informative and professional. Again we failed to find the elephant and buffalo but we did spot Rhino.

Dinner and breakfast were fine. Nothing to complain about and the kitchen staff were very helpful in accommodating my girlfriend's food allergies.

The B&B room are slightly remote and they don’t have much of a view but were comfortable enough.

Our stay here was a highlight of our 3 week visit to South Africa.

  • Stayed March 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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Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

Mpongo was our choice due to the extremely affordable rates, proximity to East London and free game drive. We arrived in the evening following a rainy day. We were promptly guided in by a kind but shy guide who didn't do the greatest job in the world at helping us avoid some insanely nasty muddy potholes. None the less we were delighted when we found that we had been upgraded to an amazing and spacious room. We would like to think this upgrade had something to do with our charm or looks but in reality we soon realized that we were the only guests at the resort. After a good nights rest in our classy room we were excited to check out the restaurant which is situated overlooking a pond with two large hippos. The breakfast staff was friendly and quickly brought out our pre prepped 'cold breakfast'. This breakfast reminded me of something you might received on an international flight, comprehensive and adequate but it felt strange that we weren't given options or an menu. After pecking at our meal with were then offered 'warm breakfast'. The server mentioned five or six options of eggs, meats, cheeses ... etc and we being near full decided it might be nice to have an egg or two. Now I will admit I did not think this meal would be free of charge but the whole ordering experience made me confused. I would later find out that because I chose cold and warm breakfasts I would need to pay R125 each (+-$15). In South African terms this is ALOT of money, way too much for the calibre of breakfast. I will say though the breakfast staff was pretty cool, the music was amazing, and one of the staff members went out of his way to get the hippos to come close to the shore for bread. The game drive was nice. Do not expect Krugeresque experiences. Do not expect to see Elephants or Rhinos, if they even exist. Do expect a nicely groomed road with lots of pretty wild life. We found a few spots along the 30KM drive that were filled with beautiful animals. Overall this place was nice but I would not pay more than R500 or so for another stay here.

Room Tip: Go there during the week and hope to be upgraded like we were... :)
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  • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Itala, Italy
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Mpongo is a great way to be welcomed in the East London area, after the long drive from inland. The place is a point of interest itself, due the large wildlife area of the property, and the opportunity to enjoy lions in the fenced part close the accomodations.
Ideal for families.
Room was warm and well appointed, with complimentary water. No aircon and tv, but the silent fan worked flawlessly. The common room is huge, with large sofas and african decor, plus the relax of books and magazines. There's a kitchen in the corridor for guests.
Unfortunately during our stay the restaurant was closed, thus we cannot give a try for dinner and breakfast.
Value for money positive, location is excellent, close to city but enough far away.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We booked more than six month in advance for four adults and three kids, when we arrive there, they had a booking only for two adults but they managed to accomodate us. Was a very hot day so we wanted to have a shower before go to the game drive, but the water came out green!!! we decide to ask once we were in the administration for the game drive, so we try to switch on the aircon and it wasn´t working, already angry we went to the game drive and then we realized that it wasn´t a big 5 reserve as they informed us in our enquiry. They don´t have leopards, the lions are captives and the ranger only saw the bufalos 4 times in one and half year, of course we didn´t see them as well as the rhinos. When we came back we complain again for the accomodation (water and AA) and they moved us to a chalet, but was very oviously that it wasn´t used for a long time because the dust and died bugs that we found there despite the rangers were preparing the place for us almost for two hours. Dinner was very poor, simple salads, rice, potato, some veggies and the only meet was spicy so we couldn´t give it to the kids because they aren´t use to spicy food. The wench was very kind but she wasn´t trained to do that task, so she had to ask all the things, even when we asked her about the breakfast hour because we wanted to leave very early in the morning, she had to ask to the cheff. This also was a new problem because he told us that the first hour was 7 am, so 7:15 we were in the restaurant and what a surprise we had, nobody was there! Finally 7:45 a ranger came to pick up us to gave us a lift until the vehicle that we were driving, and only then we could talk with a manager. Very bad experience!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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East London, South Africa
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

A Family outing proofed kwite nice as We went to Mpongo park, The Huberta Restaurant is kwite cosy in winter as the fireplace keeps it warm, nd the 'Premier Hotel staff were top class in attending to our every need, The self-drive game spotting is kwite affordable @R50pp which makes it Especially good for a group of people, on the downside thers no curio shop, bad roads in, No roadsigns from the N2 or on the mainroad inn, which makes u think u mite be going wrong way, empty pools, no Hippo's in the hippo dam which used to be a highlight years ago wen i was ther, no backpackers accomodation? kwite an otherwise dry athmosphere.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Mpongo Private Game Reserve

Address: N6 National Road, Macleantown District | East London, Mpongo Private Game Reserve 5201, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Mpongo Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Mpongo Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Mpongo Private Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mpongo Private Game Reserve, only 35km from the popular coastal city of East London, offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience of game viewing and true South African hospitality. Home to elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, numerous antelope and bird species, Mpongo Private Game Reserve offers a unique blend of luxury and gaming experiences on more than 3500 ha of conservation land. Enjoy a day, weekend or a whole week at this magnificent reserve in the heart of the Eastern Cape. With its rolling hills, river valleys and luscious surroundings, it caters to the heart of even the keenest eco-tourist. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mpongo Private Game Reserve Hotel Mpongo Private Game Reserve
Mpongo Private Game Reserve Eastern Cape

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