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“Mid-week at Mabalingwe” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mabalingwe Nature Reserve

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve
R516 Rooiberg / Thabazimbi Road, Bela Bela, South Africa
27 (014) 736 9000
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Ranked #4 of 7 Attractions in Bela Bela
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
Attraction details
Welkom, Freestate
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Mid-week at Mabalingwe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

Our 9 year old Grand-daughter was visiting from New Zealand so we wanted to take her into the Bushveld to see some wild-life. I got a mid-week break through RCI Exchange and we were allocated unit 97 in Phiri Camp. The accommodation was perfect for us but I wouldn't recommend more than 4 people per unit as the upstairs 'bedroom' is far too hot to use in the summer months and offers no privacy. We were warned against the monkeys raiding the units so when we went for a Game Drive we made sure everything, doors and windows, were properly secured. Imagine our surprise when we came home to a totally wrecked unit and just about all the food (non of which was on display) eaten! Mr. Monkey was still inside the unit...conclusion...he had gained access to the unit whilst we were there and then got locked inside...so beware...check every nook and cranny before leaving the unit..!! The staff were most helpful even though it was late at night and brought a team to move us to Unit 99. The resort PRO came to visit us the following day and brought us a voucher for a meal for 3 at the Lodge, I thought this was a very kind gesture.
During our stay we booked 2 Game Drives with the resorts Rangers , one Sunset and one Sunrise, we were fortunate to see lots of animals, only the Elephants didn't make an appearance although we did see a lot of 'evidence' that they had been around! We did 2 drives into the Reserve with our own vehicle but didn't see many animals which makes me think the Rangers know exactly where to look for the animals!
The Units are well appointed and the views spectacular. The resort offers a pleasant escape from the hustle-bustle of City life.
Our unit was situated in Phiri Camp, a good 4km drive from the main reception/restaurant and pool facilities....if I ever return to Mabalingwe I would be sure to request accommodation closer to the main camp as it was a bit of a drag having to drive to and from our camp area.
There was a private pool in our camp which was well maintained and we did make use of it but the main pool area offered more activity for our Grand-daughter.
Be sure to do food shopping in Bela Bela (or at home if you are not travelling far) as the little shop on the premises carries very limited stock and no fresh fruit,veg or meat. It's quite a drive from the resort to town so planning meals etc. in advance is advisable!
We found the Mid-week break (Monday to Friday) to be long enough...a week would have been too long.

Visited January 2014
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Great week end but lodge expensive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We stayed at one of the private lodges (Itaga 716) as a family celebration for our 40 years wedding anniversary. It was supposed to be a 4 bedroom lodge but the up stairs bedroom ??? was extremely hot , sleeping on 2 bed settee which were very uncomfortable and no bic.
At R2800 a night I expected a little more comfort and to top it off the main sliding door fell off the runners when it was opened, the patio umbrella was broken and the pans in the kitchen were rusted.
The maintenance staff did fix the door the following day and said that it was ok when they checked it prior to us arriving. Sorry but prevention is better than the cure this didn't just happen it was poor maintenance by the staff or lack of.
The nature reserve was fantastic, very peaceful and we saw plenty of animals which the children loved. The reserve is well worth a visit but the lack of maintenance, I would not recommend this particular lodge for the price they ask for.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Spring Family Visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

Our visit to this reserve had two legs: 4 nights in a private home deep in the reserve and 2 nights in one of the camps operated by the reserve.
The private home is in the Idwala area and we stayed in #3. The dwelling is well-appointed but lacks a bit of maintenance. The house has 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. Linen and towels were provided. There is a swimming pool and a very nice bbq area. The biggest problem in the reserve is the baboons. One cannot leave a door or window open and it was rather hot! Luckily there are fans installed in all rooms. The tranquility and scenery are absolutely magnificent. The house is high on a hill overlooking a dam with lots of hippo's. We will surely be back.

The next leg was in Tloe Lodge where we had a family weekend. The chalets are okay, but in extreme contrast with our "luxury" home the previous 4 days. Staff are friendly and helpfull, but the chalets lack maintenance. Our group rented 5 chalets, and there were lots of maintenance problems: broken fridges, fans, stoves, lights. I get the idea the maintenance are fairly reactive in their approach. The Kalahari Oasis pub in the reserve is a must-see. We only used the restaurant for a sandwich, and that was quite enjoyable. Infra-structure in the reserve is really good, and we can really recommend this as a destination!

Visited September 2013
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Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Mabalingwe camping long week-end”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

Nice camping site. Friendly staff, good ablusion block- very clean and tidy. Restaurant and pub very exciting with marvelous views and good food. Game driving was great - good roads - and much to see. The Kalahari Oase Bush pub was a highlight. Will definitely come again.

Visited August 2013
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Pretoria, South Africa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Mabalingwe has it all!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

The big five, sightseeing on horseback through the reserve, swimming pools, tennis courts, putt putt, and so much more to see and do. Roads are in great condition to take the family in your car to view the many wild animals. We got up close to the elephants, giraffes, kudu, zebra, warthogs and many more while on horseback and when we returned with our car later, they were still easily spotted. A lion camp is also on the premises, but our
4 days stay didn't allow to visit the camp nor the hippo pool. Two great golf courses are close by such as Elements and Zebula. Will definitely return to Mabalingwe soon.

Visited April 2013
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