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Needles Lodge
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Reviewed July 27, 2009

Recommended by our friends, we arrived in Needles Lodge, in the middle of the Bush in a private park, greeted by a curious warthog and by Gary& Alta. And, there the "show" started. Out on the Lodge's Deck we sat enjoying a cold beer and watch all the wild animals come greeting us wellcome! Ever tapped a wild 200 kg Kudu on the muzzle? And still have your fingers? I have! Zebras, mungoos, bushbabies and those ugly, dirty, but sooo funny warthogs! "Forget the full-moon romantic silent night in the Bush" - feeling, with snoring Warthogs under your Deck!
We were extremely lucky. We were there off-season, the only guests. Treated by Gary & Alta as Royalties, as long awaited personal friends.We had the 3 night/2-day tour-package in Krugerpark. That meant that the royal treatment was going on all day, the day in the park, the evening on the Deck with outstanding dinners in a warm and friendly atmosphere, watching all the animals.
In the early mornings, we went to Krugerpark in an open 4x4 as the only guests with our really professional guide Lelaine. Few other tourists, so we had the front seat to all the scenery. Can you imagine how big the head of a male lion is from 1½ meter??
Needles Lodge was for us a wonderful experience! Everything was perfect! The Lodge in itself is beautiful and cosy; the room was clean, the beds wonderful, excellent food, friendly staff ! And, finally, something you all will like, The Bill!
Don't hesitate! Go there!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank tjalle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2008

We visited this website before we left for SA and were a bit concerned after reading the last review... as our travel agent had booked us into the lodge for a two night stay.

However, our concerns were completely unfounded. Needles is under new management and the couple that now own the lodge have turned it around. The place is amazing!!! we couldn't recommend it enough! If you are after a true Africa experience then this is the place for you.

The rooms are beautiful, spotless, the food fabulous and the hospitality superb! An absolute MUST when visiting the Kruger region. We stayed at a total of eight lodges during our two week stay in SA and Needles was, without a doubt, one of our favourites.

The zebra came within an arms length as did the warthogs, impala and kudu. FANTASTIC!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank TanSheals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2007

I have to say I was a little disapointed overall. The rooms were looking a bit tired and frayed around the edges and generally a little past their sell by date.
Mike, the owner, whilst friendly spent almost his entire time on the setee in the lounge watching television. The only time this ceased was when he welcomed us and when he gave us the bill at the end of our stay. The only exception to this was when a thunderstorm forced us inside to dine. Mike had vacated his setee to another room until shortly after 9pm when we had finished our meal and were chatting to fellow guests and he came through and asked us to leave the room back to the balcony so the staff could clear up. It had stopped raining by this time but the reality was Mike wanted the roomso that he could resume his television viewing.
Our guide on our two day safari told us that Mike is sellng the lodge very shortly and I presume this is why he appears to have stopped maintenance of the rooms and his guests.
There are animals wandering close to the lodge,on or first afternoon some monkeys came over quite close and on our last morning some zebra wandered over but remained at a distance. I understand some warthogs live under the lodge but we didn't see them.
The safari guide, Cliff was superb. He is freeelance but works regularly for Needles. He is extrememly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the Kruger and the animals. He is also very personable and easy to get on with and i is worth booking with Needles just to get him as your guide.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Rodski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2006

I cannot recommend Needles Lodge highly enough. The rooms are great, the staff friendly and the food is fantastic. Mike, who runs the Lodge, is the best host you could ask for and looks after you so well. Our holiday really was made by the fantastic standard of accommodation. The value for money can't be beaten.

3  Thank Monkey1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2006

I’m pleased to be the first to review Needles Lodge in Marloth Park, South Africa. My husband and I read about it on Safari Now and decided to give it a chance.

Needles Lodge is situated in the middle of a private game reserve abutting the southern part of Kruger National Park. Its location makes access to the park and neighboring Mozambique and Swaziland, easily accessible. Best of all, there are animals wandering through the reserve and on to the grounds of the lodge. During our stay we saw baboons and were visited a couple of times by friendly zebras.

There are only six room available at Needles, so it’s quiet and private. The owner, Mike, lives there and is a very amiable and knowledgeable host who will tailor the food and activities too meet your needs. We made it our routine each night before dinner to join him in the lodge’s main common room, watch CNN with a glass of wine, and talk about the news.


We had meals outside on the deck with the other guests. Breakfast featured lots of good food including eggs made to order. Dinners were excellent, and they even made special dishes for me as a vegetarian, which I so appreciated. The chef, Washington, is a genius.

Before we arrived, we booked three day-trips: Kruger Park, Maputo in Mozambique, and Swaziland. We had the same tour guide each day, a young knowledgeable guy named Cliff. He was an excellent guide, and if you’re lucky enough to get him before other guests you won’t be disappointed. We highly recommend the three trips we took – each was totally unique and memorable. Kruger, of course, is not to be missed. Don’t miss the excellent seafood lunch at the Costa do Sol in Maputo, overlooking the Indian Ocean, or the interesting architecture by Gustav Eiffel (of tower fame). Swaziland in particular was the perfect place to do gift shopping in the beautiful shops that sell unique jewelry, mohair wool, crafts, Swazi candles (great!), and more. There is a fourth option – a panoramic tour – which we did not do but is surely as good as the others. We stayed four nights which was a perfect length to get in the three trips, making it a diverse three-country experience. Having a driver and guide (Cliff) meant not having to deal with the difficulty of driving on the right side and hassles of some border crossings on our own.

The charm of Needles Lodge is that you really are out in the bush. Its remoteness means not having a TV or phone in the room, but we didn’t mind that at all. And it really is a tiny sacrifice when what you gain is being able to pet zebras outside your room. You can’t put a price on that!

Emily and Adam, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

7  Thank PhillyMLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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