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“Personal attention in a magical setting”
Review of Royal Kruger Lodge

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Royal Kruger Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 24, 2011

This is a truly special safari experience. I can honestly say that it exceeded all expectations. It's not just the intimate atmosphere of a small, friendly lodge that allows the guests to bond by the outdoor fire at dusk as the first night's four-course dinner appears effortlessly and the next day's dawn drive is planned with Gavin and Verena. It's not just the anticipation of seeing the big five as Gavin's bush vehicle heads to the very front of the queue at the Kruger gate at dawn, and we sit hushed with cosy blankets on our knees, stuffed with Julia's muffins and tea, eager and a bit nervous. Will we see anything? Will we be safe? Within minutes, there's a female lion training her daughter, adolescent giraffes lanking and dipping by the vehicle, and -wow- a sumptuous leopard padding purposefully right across our path, inches from us. And it just goes on getting better, with elephants, rhino, kudu, impala, birds of all descriptions, cheeky warthogs.
Where is the special magic of the Royal Kruger experience? It's not just the utter quiet of the bush in the afternoon, with the daft 'go away' bird calling; or the gentle voice of Julia announcing the evening menu (always with a surprise pudding), or the evening drives by Crocodile River with G &T sundowners and unaffected kindness from the attentive and knowledgeable Verena, jokes and lightly-worn expertise from Gavin. It's a combination of everything. You want to have a guided bush walk on foot in the morning for a change? Gavin arranges it at the drop of a hat, at a time to suit us. We have the privilege of two and a half hours in Rick's company, seeing birds and plants up close, stumbling on a herd of zebras, tracking giraffe prints, gathering discarded feathers, laughing and relaxing at our own pace.
Why Marloth? We chose The Royal Kruger in Marloth Park for a three-night stay as the conservancy adjoins Kruger, making access pretty quick for dawn and night drives, while also allowing for safe rambles: the big predators are inside the park while Marloth is unique in its abundant wild life. Also, as we flew up to Nelspruit, then hired a car, we wanted fairly rapid journey times, and it took only about an hour from the airport, mostly easy roads. Our room was very comfortable, with a huge corner bath in the bathroom. Julia's cooking was delicious every night and her gentle hospitality added to the sense of welcome. Gavin arranged our game requests effortlessly and proved an excellent guide; Verena's friendly smiles light up the room. The special atmosphere comes from these two, I think. They made a dream stay for us and we are very grateful.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jennym007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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274 - 280 of 297 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2011

My girlfriend and I had a great time at the Royal Kruger lodge, we were treated like family members rather than paying customers. We arranged a full day game drive and were treated to some spectacular animal and bird sightings. Gavin was excellent as a guide, he has a expert knowledge of all of the animals especially the birds and we would have missed a lot without him pointing things out. I would also recommend the night drive, this is organized by the lodge but run by people in the Kruger park, we saw lots of animals that you don't get to see during the day time.

The area around the Royal Kruger Lodge is also really pretty, we took a trip to Jane Goodall's Chimp Eden which is set in gorgeous surroundings and had a great lunch at the Nelspruit botanical gardens.

The lodge is clean, safe, well maintained, friendly and the staff keep you well fed and watered - everything that you would wish for.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank joshua_davies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

My boyfriend and I had extremely wonderful time at the lodge! We were treated like royalty and felt very special. We got to experience a truly ‘wild’ experience and got to see many game! We will definitely be back to experience more of what this lodge has to offer! 

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank wishfulJohannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2011

From the initial booking, to our check out, we had the most fantastic experience. The Staff were friendly and welcoming and the food was amazing. Our game drive was one of the best I've been on. Gavin was extremely knowledgable and was able to cater to all our requirements - from seeing the big five, to the little five and the whole diversity of nature in between. We are now fully able to distinguish between the male and female of most species!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joppers_JJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2011

We hired a car at the local airport (an hours drive away) and began our adventure. The main roads were well maintained and very easy to navigate. Once on the local road (dirt track) we possibly wished we had softer suspension! Through the park gates into Marloth Park. We found the Royal Kruger Lodge about 5miles from the main road. We were greeted by staff who were friendly yet professional. They told us that we would be the only people at the lodge for the duration of our stay so we could pick which room we would like. We settled in and then Gavin offered to take us on a mini drive within Marloth Park. For my first trip to Africa, it was the best introduction. We made our way along the dirt tracks in the open-sided 4X4, through the bush to a viewing point of Kruger Park which ran along side Marloth Park. Gavin pulled up and out came the beers and nibbles to keep us watered and fed whilst we watched the animals the other side of the fence.

There are also animals in Marloth Park, although no predators, who walk freely through the lodge grounds. We had the privileged of meeting some local Zebra who were nibbling the well kept lawn outside our room. And the giraffe and warthogs were often found in the car park.

Up early the next morning for our full days drive. I think we left at about 4:45am? It was still dark! About 1/2 hours drive to Kruger Park gate. As we were the only guests we got to pick and choose which animals to focus on. Gavin was an excellent guide, with his expert knowledge on the birds and rest of the animals.

We also did a night drive whilst at the lodge, run by the Kruger Park Rangers. This was a totally different experience to the day drives and well worth it. Lots of different animals to the ones seen during the day.

The food at the lodge was excellent and you certainly didn't go hungry - 4-course meals every night. Muffins left out for breakfast. Whilst out in the day Gavin would make sure we arrived at the stop off points for breakfast and lunch.

I would definitely recommend staying at the Royal Kruger Lodge.

Few pointers -

We were two female travellers and felt totally safe hiring a car and driving to the lodge. Rules of the road are pretty simple - if you are going slowing than the person behind, pull over! (I think they should adopt this in the UK!)
Make sure you have correct change for the toll road as they didn't like my foreign credit card.
The petrol station close to the airport will not take foreign credit cards so we had to take the car back without filling it so we got charged a small fee by the hire company.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SallyRepRap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2011

With awesome staff, great food and wonderful nature all around you you can't go wrong with Royal Kruger Lodge. We needed a calm, serene weekend in the bushveld with some game viewing and time-out from the hustle of Jhb and that's exactly what we got. Loved the tame Zebra and almost tame warthog's in Marloth Park and truly enjoyed the sundowners at the Crocodile River.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sim206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2010

We absolutely loved our stay here at Royal Kruger Lodge. The rooms were cozy, the location was peaceful, and the staff was excellent. They were all extremely accommodating and so friendly.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank mm415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Kruger Lodge

Address: 1235 Oribi street | Mpumalanga, Marloth Park 1330, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Marloth Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 33 Specialty Lodging in Marloth Park
Price Range: $203 - $922 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Kruger Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Kruger Lodge ensures guests relaxation, adventure and a oneness with nature. This 4-star, privately owned game lodge is renowned for its exceptional personal service and intimate atmosphere. Situated in the Mpumalanga Province in the Wild Frontier region, the Royal Kruger Lodge is just beyond the Crocodile River and borders the Kruger National Park. ... more   less 
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