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“Askari surpassed all expectations”

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Askari Game Lodge & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Durban, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Askari surpassed all expectations”
Reviewed March 26, 2011

Askari Game Lodge surpassed all our expectations, taking us on a nostalgic trip to the 1800s. The attention to detail was evident in every area of the Lodge, stylish décor, well-kept gardens and wagons and artifacts of yester-year on display. Our chalet was absolutely magnificent with extra little touches that made us feel really special; an unexpected wine & snacks hamper and complimentary sherry welcomed us and was much appreciated. The food was out of this world, attentive staff going the extra mile, and of course the highlight was the game drive. Askari’s ranger Theo has a keen eye, spotting game long before us, and very knowledgable too. Sadly, due to an ankle injury, I could not take up the elephant experience, but the elephants nevertheless gave us a show in one of the ponds right in front of our chalet. This outstanding lodge really should get 5 star status.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank LizelleBright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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426 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2010

After a week in Johannesburg I was faced with either exploring for a day or two or taking an early flight home to U.S. One of the best decisions I've made in a long time was to choose the former and stay at the Askari Lodge.
I stayed in a deluxe chalet (very little cost difference from the standard rooms and well worth it). The meals (included in the cost) were terrific, and the brand new lodge at the top of the hill was beautiful. The entire stay was fairly affordable compared with other locations, and took just 1 1/2 hours to drive there from northern Joburg - much shorter drive than to Kruger, and we had the chance to stop off at the Cradle of Humankind nearby.
The chalet itself was very nice - the decor kind of reminded me of my grandmother's condo, but it was clean and comfortable, and the bathroom had a nice clawed-foot bathtub near a window where you could watch the wildlife coming over to the pond for a drink. That evening after dinner, the staff made a roaring fire in the fireplace and I went outside to find the most stars I've ever seen. Total solitude - I slept well and was only awakened at dawn by the hippo who lived in the pond near the chalet.
2 things you will want to know:
1. The safari / nature guide here was fantastic (can't recall his name exactly, but he was a young Afrikaaner guy maybe named"Tinnus"?). I've never before seen someone who liked his job more. He took us out on a 5 hour safari on the Askari Preserve and we spotted every animal I wanted to see - lions resting on the track just a few feet away, a giraffe family, rhinos, herds of zebras, etc. The next day he took us on a Pteroglyph exploration up in the hills where we discovered dozens of ancient carvings in the rocks scattered across the hills. They were literally all over the place - it felt like being an anthropologist. Along the way, he gave us an ecology tour of the native plant and insect species, including the medicinal/traditional uses.
2. There is no bus/train/cab that could get you here easily - well, maybe a cab, but cheaper/easier to rent a car from Johannesburg. While all the travel guides warn visitors about how dangerous it was to drive here, I found otherwise - The drivers were much better than in the U.S. and it was not hard to navigate. Total cost for the car rental was about $120.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank dcpatlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Orange, New Jersey
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2010

We stayed here for a few days right before the world cup, the place was basically ours. June is a great time especially for the game. Elephants played everyday right in front of us. Lions, Rhinos, Cape Buffalo and much more African wildlife. Evenings, the monkeys would start running around the resort area. Awesome! Rooms were good. Service was great especially the game rangers. The nights where dinner was served, the food was great. But, the buffet nights could use some work. We would definitely go back for a day or two on our next South African adventure. The only reason sleep quality was a 3 is due to the noise from the pack of jackals as they came to the watering hole at night

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank danielmangan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2010

We stayed here at the beginning and end of a 3 week trip to SA and loved it. It was quiet, the staff were beautiful, the food very good, and the rooms well designed. Booking through the website with a 20% discount on the weekend made it great value. Game animals come close to the hotel - hippos, elephants, kudu etc - to feed and it was a sweet, semi-wild intro to SA game lodges. This place is clearly aiming for the conference/meeting market but for us it worked a charm as a quiet resting place. Internet was a little slow but it is in most places in SA.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mnicolson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Askari Game Lodge & Spa

Property: Askari Game Lodge & Spa
Address: 1 Doornspruit Road | Magaliesberg, Hekpoort 1791, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Hekpoort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Hekpoort
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Askari Game Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Askari Game Lodge & Spa is situated on the Plumari Africa Game Reserve in the Magaliesberg, just over an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria and offers guests a memorable Big 5 wildlife experience within a malaria free environment. Plumari Africa Game Reserve is set within a pristine wilderness area of over 5000 hectares with natural African bushveld and an abundance of flora, fauna, birdlife and wildlife. Two game drives, each approximately 2 - 2,5 hours in duration, are scheduled daily. Elephant Experiences entails interaction with our elephants, which include a 'touch and feed' experience. The main lodge, which is in fact the old Bodenstein family farmhouse, overlooks the Elephant Dam and invites guests to take a step back in time while admiring South African decor pieces dating back to the 1800's. Slipper baths, a coal stove, wash stands, luggage chests, antique Oregon cupboards and tables are subtly placed within the luxury four-star surrounding, to emphasize the captivating history of the Magaliesberg area. Askari Lodge has one of the largest private collections of ox wagons, carts and other animal drawn vehicles from the period 1800 to 1900. A variety of stone and iron-age arte facts, items from the Boer War and San Bushmen rock carvings tell the history of the area, which is also known for the nearby Battle of Nooitgedacht. Examples are available in the museum and guided bush walks take guests through areas where many stone carvings can be found. In contrast with the rich Boere and Afrikaner history depicted by the main farmhouse decor, the Day Visitors Center is abundant with African symbology, rich earthy colours and unique African decor focal points. The two contrasting decor themes pay homage to the history while highlighting the significant influence of the indigenous African tribes of the area. Askari Game Lodge caters for romantic getaways, conferences, teambuilding initiatives, training courses and weddings in both the main lodge and Day Visitors Centre. Nature lovers and birding enthusiasts will find the experience most rewarding, while stressed city dwellers will leave feeling rejuvenated and well-rested. Askari Lodge - the legend lingers. ... more   less 
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