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Mvuradona Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 20, 2010

After a busy week staying at the Kruger in various rest camps I wanted to book somewhere for my husband I to stay to finish off our fabulous honeymoon. Firstly corresponding with Jay was great, so helpful and completely accommodating, especially when we got upgraded to the most fantastic house (part of the lodge's property). On arrival Sandra made us feel so welcome and took wonderful care of us. We then got taken to the holiday house - stunning! Two floors and the most beautiful observation deck overlooking the Kruger Park. We had a swimmimg pool, massive garage, lots of space!! To top that off the staff had made our visit extremely special by leaving champagne, chocolates and a gift - far more than what we expected but we felt completely welcomed.

We had a private table both nights to enjoy beautiful food and drink. The atmosphere was completely relaxing and so perfect for our honeymoon. The range of animals around the lodge made the bush experienc even more enjoyable. The lodge offeres a great deal of activities to take up during your stay, we thoroughly enjoyed a day trip into Mozambique with a local man, Nick, who takes tour groups - he made the trip fantastic.


The area lends itself for a good stay but the service and care of all staff made our stay more special and worthwhile. We had an amazing honeymoon and are so greatful to all at Mvuradona for contributing to it in such a big way.

Rachael and Iain

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Peyto10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 3, 2010

Mvuradona is a beautifully maintained private lodge in a subdivision of bush homes just on the border of Krueger. The lodge is small, private, and gorgeous and the staff go out of their way to create a luxurious retreat at very affordable prices. The maximinum occupancy of the lodge is about 8 or 9. We spent 4 nights at Mvuradona and found consistently outstanding service throughout the entire stay. We lounged in the pool one hot afternoon while cute baby warthogs did the same in a little waterhole just a few meters away from us. During evening walks through the neighborhood we were thrilled to have close encounters with lots of game. Later at night we heard the big cats roaring from just accross the river. The lodge has a well stocked honor system bar, and excellent food. There is full time staff on site providing excellent customer service. We were four singles travelling together and loved this place. The lodge can arrange virtually any kind of tour or transportation you could want or need through local vendors. Roads in the immediate area of the lodge are not paved, but we were able to negotiate them easily in a little Fiat. It's about 15 minutes to the Crocodile gate at Krueger, and this would make an easy base for self-driving safaris in the park as well. Wish we'd have stayed longer...

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank rmurray5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2010

We stayed at Mvuradona during our honeymoon. I am not at all surprised to see such mixed reviews by past guests. There were some positives about this hotel. The food was excellent and the main room is not bad (it is quite large with a nice bathroom and a great balcony). There are also some opportunities to see certain animals around the hotel – ie we saw Kudu, Zebra and Warthog. The service was also quite good and the hotel did seem keen to make you feel comfortable. Ie they gave us a private dinner for a birthday we had while there.

There are however definitely some big down sides.

Firstly (and to me most importantly) is the location. I looked up the hotel on google maps and saw that it was very close to Kruger park. I thought it would be easy to get into the park whenever we wanted. However – while you can see the park from this hotel, you can only enter the park via an entry gate and it is a LONG drive to get to either of the closest entry gates (Malelane or Crocodile Bridge Gate). It is at least 45 minutes to crocodile Bridge (the time depends on whether you have a 4x4 – see note below) and longer to Malalene. Therefore if you wanted to get to the park it is a really long drive – which may not sound too bad but when you want to go for just a morning safari or a night drive it really makes a difference.

Secondly – the roads getting into and out of the hotel are terrible! We had a rental car and to be fair it was a small Toyota. However, the roads are dirt with fairly big pot holes and we found it really arduous driving. Not necessarily dangerous but just hard work – especially because you are driving on these conditions for around 45 minutes and really bad if it is night time. It would however be better with a big 4x4.

Also, there is almost nothing around this hotel in terms of restaurants or bars. It is extremely secluded. This might sound nice but it is nice to go out and have a meal out or check internet etc. And with such a long drive to anything it really is too isolated.

We also didn’t think the place was nice enough to want to stay so secluded alone at the hotel. Ie the pool needs some work and the gardens were not as nice as I had expected given the remoteness of the place. The bedroom and bathroom was ‘nice’ but not excellent.

Given the state of the grounds and rooms, plus the distance to the park gates, it is hard for this hotel to get a good review. I booked this hotel as an option that was close to the park while not staying in the lower end park rest stops and not paying the hugely high prices of most of the private lodges. I expected a lush, tranquil hotel that was a quick drive into Kruger. However this was not at all the case.

If you are in the same situation I would recommend staying somewhere in the town of Hazyview rather than here. We stayed in Hazyview for 2 nights and it was great.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank mikeg113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2009

Having seen a couple of negative reviews I was very close to not booking this lodge. As all other lodges on the Crocodile River were full I decided to take a chance. Thank goodness we did - we loved it. I am very fussy about standards of accommodation, locations and atmospheres but you can't get much better value for money than Mvuradona. I have already recommended it to everyone I know. It's very comfortable, lovely setting, great staff, beautiful intimate boma for candle lit dinner then miles of walking along the crocodile river. At 7am we ran down to the fence (which kept us safely away from the animals in the Kruger Park on the Croc River) as we heard lions making a kill. Didn't see them but heard them. Our 2 and 3 year olds loved it and we spend hours just ambling along the river seeing hyena, hundreds of buffalo and all sorts of interesting things. We are still not fans of Marloth Park but this lodge has river frontage so you really do not feel you are part of Marloth Park and just get all the benefits of being in a relatively safe area to walk and take in the surroundings. We'll be back as soon as we can!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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Thank MorvenMaputo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2009

I returned to Jay's place having been absolutely blown away by the place when I was in South Africa in 2006 and I had the pleasure of meeting Jay back then. I took other members of my family who had flown out from Cyprus for and expected it to be just as great this time round as well, we stayed 3 days.

I'm sorry to say I was dissapointed and I suspect it's because Jay isn't managing the place herself anymore. It's definetly lost its personal touch for me.

The manager lives just a few houses away from the lodge, so the dinner is served by Dumisane at 7 sharp and then everything is locked up - the lounge, kitchen and bar at 8 at night!! Not what you expect on your holiday. We also felt pressurised into finishing a three course meal in 1 hour because she wanted to get home. It just isn't good enough...Mvuradona might be cheaper than most Private lodges, but its not that cheap!!

On a positive note, the game was plentiful, we saw all the BIG 5 at Krugerpark on a game drive arranged by the lodge, the hogs still run around freely at your feet, and the new pool has made a huge difference to the experience.

The food at the lodge is delicious, but you dont get time to enjoy it and BEWARE of the expensive bar tab - they charge a corkage fee which we weren't aware of until the 2nd day. My advice is take your own booze, we paid through the back teeth for supplied lager and Wine.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank NicolaQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2008

I booked the lodge for June/July of 2009 by sending approximately $250 to reserve our spot. When we booked, I asked about the cancellation policy. Jay, the lodge owner, told me that it was a full refund if cancelled 60 days or more in advance. We had to cancel our trip and depsote 3 requests to credit my card for the refund, Jay has not repsonded -or-refunded my card.

Stayed: July 2008
1  Thank kimeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded November 27, 2011

This is so unfortunate, as the guest has been refunded. At the time of cancellation of booking, we responded to the guest on email which kept bouncing back undelivered. We desperatley needed the credit card details to do the refund. The guest profile also had no telephone contact details. After much frustration, the refund was eventually processed with the help of the banks.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2008

Our visit to Mvuradona in Marloth Park was a truly memorable and unforgettable experience. Having booked a Virgin 8 day tour for our family of 7 starting from Kruger and going on to Mozambique and Swaziland, I decided to add on a night on either side of the tour. I am so glad I found Mvuradona through tripadvisor! On entering Marloth park we immediately saw an elephant with her calf, some rhino, buffalo and monkeys. Our flight was delayed 3 hours so we arrived at the lodge too late for the evening game walk which was included in the package. However, Sandra, the manager, said she would take us for an early morning walk instead. She showed us to our rooms which were so "African" and extremely comfortable. The cook then grilled chicken around the open fire and we tucked in to a delicious meal served on the verandah - several warthogs also tried to join in! However, it was the early morning walk that will live in our minds. It is just a few minutes walk to the Crocodile river and within half an hour we saw a pride of lions appear on the opposite bank of the river (which is in Kruger Park) and stroll magificently along the riverbank. It was a bit scary being so close and only separated by a thin wire fence but Sandra assured that none of the guests had become breakfast to date!! There were plenty of other animals to see, including buffalo, zebra, warthogs, impala, kudu and leopard.

The walk was followed by a delicious breakfast, again served on the verandah alongside the swimming pool.

Mvuradona is not 5 star luxury (it gets pretty close) but if you want a truly African experience in a very beautiful and unspoilt area close to Kruger with wonderful hosts and very reasonable prices, this is definitely the place!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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Thank Graham2109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mvuradona Safari Lodge

Address: Cnr. Seekoei & Raasblaar Road | Marloth Park, Marloth Park 1321, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Marloth Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Marloth Park
Price Range: $116 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mvuradona Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Mvuradona you are guaranteed to experience the peace and tranquility of the bushveld. Your stay with us will leave you relaxed, well rested and filled with memories of an unforgettable wild life experience. Mvuradona lies in the heart of the bushveld with wildlife on our doorstep. Take a stroll or bicycle ride along the riverbank where daily sightings of animal and bird life are a certainty. Our riverside accommodation depicts an authentic African thatch lodge with suites beautifully appointed in white linens and teak furniture. Large rooms and open communal areas promote a warm atmosphere and a feeling of personal space Relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy the splendour of Mvuradona! ... more   less 
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