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“Like Staying with Friends” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Umnenge Lodge & Charters

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Umnenge Lodge & Charters
4.0 of 5 Guest house   |   1 Eden &15 & 17 Smuts Street | De Kelders, Gansbaai 7220, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 29 Gansbaai B&B and Inns
London
1 review
“Like Staying with Friends”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2008

This place is amazing! We arrived in Gansbaai late one evening (about 9:30), hoping to get some cage diving arranged for the following day. We drove through town and out the other side before we realised we'd arrived, and couldn't see any guest houses on the main road, so we stopped at a restaurant called Tolbos, and asked for advice. This is when everything started to go right!

The owners told us that a couple of their friends (Richard & Mary) had recently opened a guest house, called Umnenge Lodge, and it sounded really nice. They phoned the owners who explained that it's a little tricky to find in the dark, so they offered to drive out to the restaurant and guide us back (after we'd had dinner, of course!), which they did.

When we arrived it was getting on for 11, but this didn't seem to phase Richard who got on the phone to a couple of dive boat companies to try to arrange a trip to cage-dive with great white sharks the following day, while we sat at their well-stocked bar and enjoyed a couple of drinks.

Our room was sumptuously decorated and had a view out over the bay, so we could watch the whales from the balcony. Breakfast was superb, and we almost wish we'd taken up Mary's offer to cook us dinner. However, as an alternative they offered to take us out to their friend's birthday bash which made us feel more like friends than guests. We were there on honeymoon, and staying here was one of the highlights of our trip. Just like staying with friends...

We're sure to return :o)

Stayed September 2008
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100 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 (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Dallas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Umnenge Lodge in October and it was honestly the highlight of our trip to South Africa. We saw and heard dozens of whales from our bedroom, which were swimming literally only a few meters from land. Our bedroom was five-star worthy (bed and bathroom especially) and the hospitality was by far the best I've ever experienced. Richard and Mary hosted a South African braai (barbeque) for dinner during our stay. The food Mary cooked was amazing and we had a blast. They really make sure there guests have a good time and experience what it's like living in this beautiful South African town. There is no question that I will recommend their lodge to family and friends that visit South Africa. The only regret I had was my wife and I only stayed a night since this was my first visit to Cape Town and we only had five days in the Cape Town area. I would recommend to stay at least two days because it seemed like there was a ton of stuff to do in Gansbaai and it was really just a breathtaking, surreal, and relaxing town (and very safe, especially for South Africa). Plus the room rates were way less than the Cape Town hotels we stayed at which were around $300 USD at the time, it was an incredibly good deal. In summary, if you're looking for absolutely stunning scenery, great white sharks and whales, and a fun and memorable experience, then this is definitely your place.

  • Liked — View of whales and hospitality
  • Disliked — Wish we stayed longer
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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sa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2008

WOW what a fantastic lodge. We had an awesome stay here. The decor throughout the lodge is stunning. The rooms and bathrooms are five star and the views from the bedroom are breathtaking, you literally have the whales on your doorstep.
The food was out of this world and the hosts Richard and Mary are the perfect hosts, nothing was to much trouble. They really made us feel very welcome. The lodge is also very child friendly. We had our two year old with us and everything was very secure and safe. We highly recommend this lodge and we cannot wait to go back again.

  • Liked — The accomodation as a whole was great.
  • Disliked — The fact that we had to leave.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2008

Umnenge Lodge is simply a fantastic place to stay and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The rooms are very luxurious, spacious and finished with a lavish African feel. A nice touch was binoculars in my room – perfect as Southern Right Whales can be regularly seen from the coast below. My bathroom was lovely – a real spoil, it was difficult prizing myself out of the shower!

However for me the real gem in this treasure was Mary and Richard who run Umnenge Lodge. They could not do enough for me. I felt so welcome it was like going to stay with old friends. One night we had a braai which was a great opportunity to hang out with Mary and Richard, and other guests - eat good food and sink a couple of beers while talking about the day, swapping ideas on places to go and things to see.


Gansbaai itself is simply a magical place anyway. The rugged beauty of its coastline and my god the wildlife! It’s the home of Great White Shark cage diving which is spectacular and during the southern hemisphere’s winter months Gansbaai is home to Southern Right Whales which can be seen and heard in abundance from Umnenge Lodge. You can hear them as you sleep in your bedroom.

My only regret was that my stay was short. I can’t wait to come back

  • Liked — Very claen spacous well appointed. Great value for money
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Umnenge Lodge & Charters

Address: 1 Eden &15 & 17 Smuts Street | De Kelders, Gansbaai 7220, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Gansbaai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 29 B&Bs / Inns in Gansbaai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Umnenge Lodge & Charters 4*
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Umnenge is a family friendly luxury African lodge situated on the rugged cliffs of De Kelders near Gansbaai in South Africa. Umnenge Lodge is a member of Guest House Association South Africa and has received 4 Stars from the Tourism Council South Africa. "Umnenge" is a Xhosa expression meaning 'whale in the bay' and refers to the Southern Right Whale which can be seen from Umnenge Lodge, frolicking in the waters of Walker bay from June to January. ... more   less 
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