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“Beautiful setting”
Review of Ntshondwe Lodge

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Ntshondwe Lodge
england
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting”
Reviewed August 6, 2010

We stayed at Ntshondwe on the way from Sodwana Bay to Kruger and loved it. We went on the recommendation of friends from Jo'Burg otherwise we may not have chosen it due to the lack of predators.

However, the scenery was just incredible and it was a very different safari experience to Kruger. We arrived mid-afternoon and did a short self-drive prior to checking in. When we reported for check-in we received a very warm welcome. The cottage was lovely. Not as rustic as many we have stayed in and a good amount of mod-cons. We had spent a week in the St Lucia Wetlands so were pretty keen on some comfort which we did get. The TV did not work in the room but we didn't really want to watch it anyway!

We went out for an arranged game drive in the evening. It was lovely. We saw a great deal of Rhino and the sunset was incredible.

We ate dinner in the lodge restaurant and it was a good South African buffet. The wine was great and the staff were lovely. We had a great breakfast on the terrace although we had to move indoors halfway through due to the cheeky monkeys.

A beautiful place, we should have stayed longer that 1 night. I would really recommend it as an alternative to the bigger game parks.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank sallywally2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sussex
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2010

Stayed 1 night. Very comfortable and well equipped thatched chalet, complete with covered patio area and barbecue.
Drove ourselves round when we arrived and saw a variety of game including kudu, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest.
Went on the evening game drive, just the two of us and the driver, very good, about 21/2 hours.
Had lunch from the snack bar and dinner & breakfast in the restaurant. All good and met the bush baby mentioned in a previous review! He must be a regular visitor.
As we stayed on a Thursday we qualified for the low season rate of 325R each which makes it extremely good value and also meant we virtually had the place to ourselves.
We would liked to have stayed longer if our plans had allowed this.
When driving off the main access roads, you do need to watch out for ruts and dips in the track, but if you're careful and take it slow it's OK.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank SussexRos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petersfield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
358 reviews
161 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 553 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2009

We spent one night here while passing through the area. The individual lodges are set out in a small "estate" type development at the bottom of the hillside, and almost hidden from view until you reach the entrance gate. A paved road links all the lodges together with the reception and restaurant buildings. We did find this road a bit confusing as it twists and turns like a maze (especially in the dark), but soon enough we were parked outside our cottage. Compared with the likes of Kruger, the Ntshondwe rest camp was very quiet, perhaps only a couple of dozen people staying there, and even fewer using the central facilities (restaurant/bar/game drives).

We wer pleasantly surprised by the size of the accommodation: a bedroom, large bathroom with bath & shower, a fully equipped kitchen and a very large lounge/diner area, not to mention the outdoor patio and braai area. The lounge even has DSTV with considerably more than 4 channels (very unusual in South Africa, not that you'd come here to watch telly). No aircon, just a ceiling fan but fortunately it wa cool during the night we spent here. A few minor niggles about the cottage: only 2 single beds provided when we would have preferred a double, and a previously broken window pane in the bathroom had been replaced by a clear, non-frosted piece of glass so that all could see in!

As we arrived late in the afternoon, there was no time for any game drives, so we contented ourselves with a short walk up to the lookout point on the top of the hill at the side of Ntshondwe for an impressive sunset.

We had dinner in the restaurant which was generally OK (apart from the rather tired desert buffet, which we decided to skip). The a/c was not working in the restaurant, but we asked for the doors to be opened - just as well, as we spotted a bushbaby on the patio while we were eating!

We did a self-driven game drive the following morning around the reserve. The main access road is fully tarred, but the game drives are on compacted gravel, but generally OK for all cars. Not particularly impressive in terms of number of animals (mainly zebra and impala), but the scenery is really spectacular and we basically had the place to ourselves (unlike Kruger). In hindsight, it would have been good to stay another night and see some more. We will be back one day.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gordon2112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ntshondwe Lodge

Property: Ntshondwe Lodge
Address: Ithala Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Ithala Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Ithala Game Reserve
Hotel Class:2 star — Ntshondwe Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 67

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