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Royal Kruger Lodge
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225 - 230 of 324 reviews
Reviewed June 3, 2013

We stayed in the Royal Kruger Lodge just recently with our grandchildren. A wonderful time was had by us all so from the age of 10yrs to 75yrs it suited in every way. The highlights of course was the activities, several safaris, seeing the Big Five, and the traditional Boma.Plus awaking to see Zebras come in for breakfast and Warthogs roaming nochantly around the lodge was delightful. Food was exceptionally good and the staff were fabulous. Nothing was too much trouble for them.

Room Tip: The Lion room was well away of the entertaining area. For us oldies that was very thoughtful of them
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank samanthaBilpin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

We spent 5 nights at The Royal Kruger as part of our honeymoon and it was everything we could have wanted!

We had been planning the trip 12 months before travelling and Vic was always on the end of the e-mail. He answered any questions quickly, helped us plan our stay and gave us loads of tips.

We arrived at the lodge late in the evening, and even though dinner had finished several hours ago we were offered a full meal. We were shown to our room...Lion, which was great. It was very comfortable, clean and the corner bath was just divine after a long day in the bush.

Tim, Leanne and Sean were on hand to help us arrange our itinerary and make the most of our time. We did several game drives, a sundowner and the Panorama tour which was a nice contrast to hunting out the Big 5!

Robert and Rick were great guides, we saw so much wildlife and they were so knowledgeable-from birds to buffalo, insects to impala they were able to provide endless information! And we managed to see all the Big 5.

Julia and the ladies in the kitchen did a great job for the evening meal and the food was great. Make sure you come with an appetite though!! Every evening we commented "I'll never eat the full 4 courses tonight" and every night there were clean plates!!

The lodge felt like a proper community. We made some wonderful friends-both with the staff and other guests. I don't think I have ever laughed as much as I did in those 5 days.

Hats off to the staff at Royal Kruger. We had so much fun.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Amy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

We spent 6 nights here, and found it to be so different to any other holiday. The planning took 9 months, and Vic answered my emails promptly. We hired a car from Johannesburg Airport from Sixt - a Toyota Etios for around $230AUD for 7 days - and headed in the direction given by the car hire folk, (after going around the airport again!) You don't actually meet the N4 until you've driven about 100km along the Boksburg road and there are no signs at all to Nelspruit or Kruger from JNB. We had to stop and ask for directions. The trip took 5-6 hours as there are lots af roadworks. We soon got used to pulling over to the wide paved verge to allow the many speeding drivers to pass us! They flash their hazard lights twice to say thanks. There are many trucks to contend with, and the speed limit is 120kph.
Do NOT take the sand road as suggested on the website. For sand read extreme potholes which could damage your hire car. Just drive about 4km further along the N4 to the sign to Tenbosch, turn left and continue along this tarmac road past the Shell servo and shop another 2km to Oribi Avenue, which is about 8-10 km total from the N4 turnoff.
We were welcomed by Tim and Lynette, and had the Hippo room. The beds are firm, and I (as usual) discarded the quilt, and just used a sheet. We found the lighting to be very weak, and it's annoying to get out of bed to switch off the bedlamp which is quite far from the bed.
The 4.45 wake-up call was exciting for our two game drives. Dress in layers as I now understand wind chill factor! Arriving at the gate at 6am as the sun rose was an experience and we saw a black rhino soon after. Robert was our guide and he had an amazing ability to spot animals, as well as being very knowledgeable. We got good views from the truck with no sides and the windscreen lowered. Being higher was a big help too.
The breakfast stop at Lower Sabie had full facilities with a good shop, restaurant and a huge deck overlooking the Crocodile River. We could see hippos wallowing.
There is a brief stop at the Gate on your return for toilet trips and a smaller choice of souvenirs.
We also did the night game drive which had quite long stretches of nothing, but we did see elephants, giraffes the usual impala and a cheetah which casually strolled across the road in front of us. No wonder it's called the Kruger Lottery, as groups the two nights before us were within a few metres of lions roaring and mating.
We made up for the lack of lion or leopard in Chobe, Botswana, a few days later, where we watched a lion eat a warthog a few metres away, and a leopard walked close by.
The Boma dinners had a special atmosphere with flares, fire and friendliness. The soups were tasty, and the main meals like home cooking. Salads need improving. Desserts - always a surprise - were not to my taste apart from the caramelised banana. Well, half a banana. There are banana plantations on the roads by the park! They needed ice cream,or custard.
The two burger lunches were poor - dry, barely warm with a bit of iceberg lettuce and a slice of tomato. One had cold fries. The shepherd's pie was tasty.
I agree with Krista's suggestion that some fresh afternoon snacks would be welcome. Perhaps a fruit and vegetable platter with a simple dip or two, but not awful purchased packet snacks.
Breakfasts had a choice of cereals and breads with spreads, yogurt, some cold cuts and delicious eggs cooked to order.
The veranda area was good to talk to others and have a drink. We were visited by the resident "lawnmower" warthog, and giraffes and zebras which we could hand feed.
We did not use the awkward shower over the bath, but used the outdoor shower. This is lovely especially after the game drive when the sun is shining on you and perhaps a baboon watching from the roof!
We drove the Panorama route one day to the Blyde River Canyon and saw some amazing views. Every tourist stop has its market stalls with cheap prices. Don't miss the Potholes lookouts. Have lunch at Harries Pancakes in Graskop. Yum! There's an excellent souvenir shop next door. The Berlin Falls are quite impressive and there are several stalls there too.
It would be good to have a map of the area to get our bearings - one on the wall and ones in the room too to take with you on walks or drives. Also a world map would be a talking point.
We found all the staff very friendly although we were not demanding guests. I borrowed the hairdryer each day, so just ask.
The pool needs a handrail by the steps.
The Lodge was full when we were there, with mostly Australians who were a diverse, friendly and entertaining bunch. Tim, Lynette, Rick, and Robert and later, Vic, joined us in the evenings and were good hosts. Lynette's massages were popular.
On our return trip we stopped at the Nelspruit Botanic Gardens which we enjoyed. It's also on the Crocodile River, with some small waterfalls.
All in all, we did enjoy ourselves, met some great people and have good memories.

Room Tip: Any of the ten rooms would be good.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mudcake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Royal Kruger Lodge for 6 nights in April 2013 and it was a dream come true! We were picked up at the airport by Sam who was very friendly and talkative! We arrived at the lodge and was greeted not only by Leanne (who is wonderful) but by the resident herd of Zebras, which we feed carrots and apple slices:)
The rooms are gorgeous and impeccable..do use the outdoor shower it is lovely and you will soak your bathroom with the hand held!
Right away Leanne helped us plan our next 6 days by booking our game drives and extra activities which I will review in detail
Sundowner - Wonderful way to wind down a day...you go to the watering hole along with a cooler of beer, wine, whatever and how ever much you want and you enjoy the african sun setting over the river and watch the animals come down to the watering hole - we saw buffalo, hippo's, crocs and elephants. It really is wonderful! It costs $150 rand each time but you will spend that on drinks at the lodge anyways so go and have a beautiful view while enjoying some cocktails!
Panorama Tour - Fantastic Day! You spend the day driving the panoramic route to gorgeous scenic look outs, such as God's window, Bourkes Potholes, waterfalls and The three sisters.....you stop in a little town for a pancake lunch and a little shopping as well! Our guide even took extra time to take us to a cultural village but it was closed for a holiday! It was a wonderful day!
Elephant Experience - This is about 40 minutes from the lodge and involves an interactive session with the elephant where the guides educated you about them and you can take pictures with them. The elephants will even play games with you:) The elephants are on a private game reserve and you go through the bush on the back of an elephant ...it is amazing. The guides are so passionate about the elephants and are considered part of the elephants family. They are amazing! The elephants eat ALL the time! LOL It is a very fun experience and the elephants are very loved and well cared for.
Game Drives - the game drives are what make this lodge....first of all the guides are amazing. Robert is amazing - he has eyes like a hawk and he gets so excited to show you all the wildlife. He tries so hard to try and find you what you want to see. Also he is very funny and a genuinely nice person:) Cliff is also a great guy - we didn't get to do a game drive with him but he joined us on a Sundowner and he was a lot of fun:) The game drives leave really early - you are up at around 4:45 in the morning! Dress in layers and make sure to bring a hat and warm socks! It is an open game vehicle so the drive over to Kruger can be quite chilly! Maybe bring a few snacks - you have a packed breakfast- but sometimes depending on how the wildlife viewing is it can be delayed a little!! We were very lucky to see all big 5 on our first game drive, as well as a cheetah and hyenas! We did 3 game drives and they were all wonderful! We also did a night drive which was fun too - you get to see the animals at night with a spotlight! Not as much game viewing but really fun!
Kruger Walk - One of the biggest privelages we had was booking a walk through Kruger. IT was amazing. It is very serious though - you are given a briefing - you must walk in a straight line ( to appear smaller and for snakes), no talking and if charged by an animal you must not run! you do this tour with two Kruger Rangers fully armed with rifles. It is an amazing once in a lifetime experience to walk where these animals live - we came across 4 Rhinos, and elephant, zebra and our guide though he briefly saw a cat on the move. Be aware it is a good hike and at a brisk pace.
The staff at the lodge is wonderful! All of them! Tim and Leanne are very welcoming and helpful and so nice. Leanne is great too - they are all very easy to be around! The kitchen staff is also great and the food is wonderful! If there is something you don't like just let them know and they will accomodate you! Desserts are great!
For sure do the Bush Walk through Marloth with Rick - he is such a nice guy and so smart . He will tell you all about the local trees, bushes, animals and he is obviously very passionate about it all. It was wonderful to take a stroll through the bush with him!
There are several Zebras that often come for a visit - you can feed some of them, they are wonderful and will come right up to the sitting area! There is also a family of warthogs that stops by also - the babies are too cute:)
One of the best things is while eating dinner and laying in be is listening to the Lions roar - they sometimes sound like they are right outside your door:)
You can also walk around Marloth Park on your own - there are animals in the park like zebra, wildebeast, Kudu, impala, giraffes, warhogs, lots of birds and apparently the occasional leopard. We walked around and came across a few animals but they didn't seem bothered by us at all! You can actually walk to the fence line of a reserve called called Lionspruit, where a few lions reside. You can also walk to the Kruger fence line as well!
Overall this is an amazing place. You feel very at home and we met some wonderful people here. We would recommend this place very very highly to anyone looking for a Kruger adventure!
Thanks to all the staff that made our trip unforgettable!

Jill and RJ Wilhelm

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jwilhelm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Can highly recommend Royal Kruger Lodge. Very warm friendly atmosphere, management and staff made our holiday the best holiday for a long time. Julia's cooking was amazing, and guides that took us on game drives very knowledgable. We were lucky to see the Big 5 on both days.
We had a very relaxed and enjoyable time and would highly recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 2ofus907
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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