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“Wonderful safari experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Makweti Safari Lodge

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Makweti Safari Lodge
Limpopo Province, Welgevonden Game Reserve 0530, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful safari experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

My family and I just spent 3 nights at Makweti Lodge and I wanted to let the world know what a wonderful experience we had. Other than the attention to detail and high quality of service, the highlight was undoubtedly our guide - Test. What a professional: friendly, knowledgeable and intelligent. We learnt, we laughed and we ate! I was there with my two sons (10 and 13 years old) and other members of my family including teenagers and we all thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The food was excellent and the staff went out of their way to cater for all our different needs. My only criticism would be that the rooms are cold and need more heating in both bedrooms and bathrooms but other than that they are clean and attractive. The breakfasts were particularly outstanding and we enjoyed the picnic lunches which were beautifully packed in special lunch boxes.

I would highly recommend this lodge to anyone who wants to learn and experience the wonders of safari without compromising on their creature comforts!

Room Tip: All the cabins are great, especially the ones with plunge pools.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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55 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Gaithersburg, MD
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This was an amazing experience. My daughter and I were there for 3 nights in early May 2013. Everything about our experience at this great lodge and the game reserve was wonderful. Our cabin was spacious and beautifully decorated. All the staff were incredibly friendly. All the meals were delicious. We liked that the lodge was not fenced in where animals could freely enter. In the evenings when we went to the main lodge for dinner, our guide escorted us to and from.

We liked this was a small, cozy lodge with 5 cabins, with a maximum of 10 guests. In planning our trip, I contacted Dawn, the co-owner with her husband Allan who owns this lodge. Dawn comes to NYC a lot, and I spoke with her several times asking her many questions. She was so friendly and very helpful. And Dawn is the one who has done an amazing job of decorating the two lodges and the cabins.

At one of their 2 lodges, they have an outside, raised patio deck where you could comfortably view a watering hole close by (about 35 yards). On one of the 3 days we were on the deck, and we had an incredible treat where, in the early afternoon, there were so many animals (Zebras, wildebeests, velvet monkeys, warthogs, kudus, and others) around the watering hole area. They were feeding on grass, drinking at the watering hole, and just roaming around the area. Most of the animals stayed there for over an hour. And after most of them left, another big group came there about an hour later. This was an amazing site to behold, and I got many great pictures.

We had a great guide, Justin, who took us out on 2 game drives each day (early morning and afternoon/evening), and he was with us at all our meals. We saw many exciting sites of wildlife, including watching for almost a half-hour a lioness on the side of the road with her 4 cute cubs across the road. The cubs were playing with each other, and one of them came right up to our land rover. We also watched a male lion eating a recently killed zebra, and while he was eating it, we could hear the loud cracking of the zebra's bones. We watched 5 white rhinos walking a few feet in front of our land rover. And our most exciting experience was when we were watching a bull elephant who was in a field, about 40 yards from where we were on the road, when it started walking directly towards our land rover. I was getting some great pictures, and it started getting pretty close. Finally, with just a very short time to spare, we pulled away. It looked like he was going to ram us, and then when we pulled away on the road, he followed us for several minutes. I was looking for adventure and I found it.

This wonderful experience at this great lodge had exceeded our high expectations. If you want a great place to go to at a very affordable rate, I highly recommend this safari lodge.

Mel Rovens, Gaithersburg, MD
Lisa Rovens, Drexel Hill, PA

Room Tip: I think all the cabins are similar, but I think 2 of the 5 cabins have outdoor, small pools, where...
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  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

The 3 days at Makweti were magical! The location's ambiance together with the well guided safari were the ideal combination for a perfect safari experience. The lodge is perfectly built and situated to view animals. The crew works together to make the guests feel at home. We were extremely lucky to have the lodge by ourself.
The guided safari was well organized, with tea and coffee or a picnic in 'the wild'.

  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

What an amazing experience. It's only 2.5 hours away from Johannesburg.
Stunning property with only 5 lodges that are beautifully furnished and come with an outdoor deck and a pool. All meals are communal but beautifully presented and prepared. The picnic in the bush was also very memorable.

This is an intense safari vacation with twice-daily game rides. During our stay, we were fortunate enough to see the Big 5. The staff is cordial and knowledgeable. The service was impeccable. The location of the property is absolutely spectacular. The tranquility of the nature and beautiful starry sky at night are irreplaceable.

The property is located by the watering hole with a beautiful viewing deck. I highly recommend this property to anyone looking for a unique experience in South Africa.

Room Tip: All lodges are the same, we stayed at #3.
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  • Stayed May 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

Makweti is only 2,5 hours from Johannesburg. Thats makes it 2.5 hours from Oliver Thambo Airport as well. Foreigners coming into Johannesburg who might not have the time to make the 5-6 hour drive to further areas but wishing they had the time to go to the bush for a safari should consider this option very carefully. For similar reasons it is also a convenient bush break location if a Gauteng (Johannesburg-Pretoria) resident want a quick escape. If you are looking for a luxury lodge, you will not be disappointed with the standard. The food and service were both out the top drawer. I have only one request and that is that on cold winter nights, it would be nice if fires were lit in rooms to await guest returning to their rooms from drives or dinner instead if by guests themselves upon their return after dinner. As is the case with most luxury lodges, I am pretty sure that had we asked for this they would gladly have done it. While these aspects of a lodge are under control of the lodge staff, much of the bush break are not and that is what one encounters whilst on drives or in the case of Makweti (bieng a non fenced camp) within the camp. Vehicles traveling in the Welgevonden (where Makweti is located) are not permitted to go off the roads in the reserve and although there is an intricate network of roads one can be restricted from getting close to sites from time time. During our visit, close up encounters with wildlife was however not limited. On one of our early morning drives an undetected rhino popped in on a coffee break. We all quickly jumped into the vehicle while the rhino sniffed it up and down. The only sounds were our beating hearts. Justin the ranger was fantastic in making sure were remained safe and didn't feel too threatened given the circumstances. They don't come closer than that. Later that day after lunch we were unable to go to our rooms as 2 elephants spent an afternoon digging up water pipes, overturning 100kg + rocks and emptying swimming pools leaving us trapped but highly entertained at the dining deck which overlooked the playful carnage. I highly recommend the place for circumstances mentioned at the beginning. If you have more time available, the head north to Sabi or West to Madikwe where terrain is in my opinion better and off-road allowed.

Room Tip: Ask for a pool room
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairbanks, Alaska
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

My husband and I stayed Makweti during a business trip. We were so amazed at the quality of the experience that we will return for a personal vacation. Makweti has elegant, African-themed architecture and furnishings sandwiched between a watering hole and a beautiful gorge. The watering hole, visible from the comfortable deck, was always teaming with wildlife including elephants, giraffe, kudu, zebras, wildebeest, and impala. The guides were incredibly knowledgeable and made viewing the wildlife and plants a fun learning experience. The food was varied, delicious, and beautifully presented. We loved every minute of our stay and are really looking forward to returning to rest and be pampered in the luxury lodge in the wilds of South Africa!

  • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

This really was a once in a lifetime experience for our family, which included two teenage boys. The accommodations were superb beyond belief, the staff warm and welcoming, and the game drives were top top notch.The ranger was incredibly knowledgable and kept us engaged from early morning to the end of the day. The food was so delicious and always beautifully presented. And the common areas of the lodge were so beautiful and inviting with creative touches everywhere in everything….. even every night the table was set with different things and themes.
I would recommend this lodge highly to anyone interested in a South AFrican game lodge that is in a non-malaria area. Oh and the spa massages were the best we've ever had!!!

Room Tip: The rooms with the private plunge pools are incredible!! The height of luxury.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.

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Additional Information about Makweti Safari Lodge

Address: Limpopo Province, Welgevonden Game Reserve 0530, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Welgevonden Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Specialty lodging in Welgevonden Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Intimate and luxurious, Makweti has five stone and thatch suites some with private plunge pools. Fine dining and an extensive selection of wines are available. Evenings may bring elephant, lion, rhino and other game right to your doorstep at the waterhole. Safaris in this big 5 area are conducted in open safari vehicles with expert guides. The camp is unfenced, therefore expect the unexpected! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Makweti Safari Hotel Welgevonden Game Reserve

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