At the outset I should say that Mjejane's location forgives a lot of sins. It is surrounded by Kruger National Park with its abundant game, making it an ideal vacation spot for wildlife lovers. Despite its many flaws, and as the property is further developed, Mjejane might be a reasonable choice.
The night we arrived it was dark and as we traveled from the main road (N4) down the 8 km gravel road to our chalet, a male lion, in full mane, sauntered right past our car. It literally came within 18 inches of us and stared straight at my wife!
The game drives that Mjejanae offers are fairly tame. They are confined to their reserve, but on the one and only game drive we did with them we did see five lions hunting in a pack. The rest of our game drives we self-drove through the incomparable Kruger.
The lodge we stayed in (#75) was quite nice, with two bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs and a loft with double beds upstairs. There are first and second floor decks. Everything was clean.
In the pool area there is an oversized chess set, a play gym for children, sand box and open lawn. There is a small store to buy water, charcoal and a few other items. Town with the nearest grocery store is about 25 km away (Melelane).
On the negative side, you are adjoined by another unit and the walls are fairly thin, so you hear walking, talking and television. When we arrived there were holes in the ceiling of the bathroom (see image). The shower in that bathroom was a mere trickle and when we went to turn the shower head to get that trickle away from the wall so you could at least pretend you were showering, it broke (see image). It took a full 3 days before it was repaired.
In the master bathroom the water drained so slowly that it backed up and flooded the bathroom every time we showered (see image). The glass divider between the shower and the bathroom was lined with dark mold along its base (see image).
If you elect to stay here you should also pay attention to the checklist that you are given upon arrival. It documents all items in the unit. We found numerous items missing and reported them at once.
Some of the pots and pans were a bit used, as can be seen by the image. We could not even use one of the frypans because the Teflon coating was worn away, creating a health hazard.
There are no laundry facilities at all on the property, a real drawback if you are spending a week, as we did. There is also no Internet access in the units themselves. You have to go to the reception area to go online or use their WiFi connection and even then it can be slow if more than one person is online. Another problem is that if you want to use the reception area at night you must drive the short distance, as it can be dangerous walking there at night. Also, the reception area is open only for limited hours during the day and closed at night, so there is infrequently anyone to offer help.
There is a pool on the property, but sediment on the bottom of the pool and cloudy water was not appealing to us.
The staff is generally friendly and helpful, at one point even washing our car for us (extra, of course). The restaurant at the River Lodge is nice. The atmosphere is very pleasant, candle-lit, with the tables surrounding an open pit fireplace. The food, however, was good, but not great. However the prices were very reasonable.
One extremely irritating thing is that every time you enter or leave the property you must hand fill out a sheet that asks for your telephone number, car license, time in/out, number of persons, name and date. Something should be done to make this process far easier.
I do not want to appear as the ungrateful American. In fact, we put up with these issues without a hassle and always with a smile and a positive attitude. But I feel that it would be a disservice to fellow travelers to not give an honest and realistic assessment of the property.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Full service Lodge offering Meals & Game Drives in Big 5 Territory ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mjejane River Hotel Hectorspruit