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“Enjoyed our stay at Mabula”
Review of Mabula Game Lodge

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Mabula Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Enjoyed our stay at Mabula”
Reviewed May 7, 2009

We booked Mabula Game Lodge on the basis of an article in a local newspaper and were a bit apprehensive about how it would turn out. But we had a fabulous time there.

The room was clean & comfortable and had a rustic feel. The food was awesome. A mention is must about courteous and very helpful staff.

Game drives were fantastic. Peter, our ranger, was very friendly who took keen interest in showing us animals and shared our excitement. Because of his efforts, we could see lions after searching for more than an hour. In our 2 days' stay we managed to see 4 of the Big 5.

Overall we had a great time and would definitely recommend Mabula to others.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
Thank vaibh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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548 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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English first
Brisbane
Level Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2009

Stayed here at the recommendation of our clients we were in South Africa to do work for and so glad we did. There's some bad reviews on TripAdvisor about this place, but they've really fixed whatever they were doing wrong. The lodge is wonderful, the rooms clean and well maintained, the restaurant and food and service all fabulous and the staff, well it was the true African hospitality they pride themselves on, right down to the traditional local dancers at dinner.

Game viewing is great and we saw the Big 5 - everything except a leopard, plus lots of the antelopes, zebra, and smaller animals and got really close to them. Unfortunately it was raining when we went, but we still saw lot of animals and had a great time.

There's a lot of lodges that cost a lot more but don't be fooled, save your money and have a really great experience in very modern and luxury accommodation while doing so. Would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank marita K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2009

Myself and friends stayed at the timeshare units at Mabula Lodge from 16 to 20th Feb 2009. The resort is busy with renovations until May this year and this is very disappointing. Theonly pool open is the main pool and it is right next to the restaurant and unless you like being gawked at by the dinners, it's not pleasant. There are NOT a lot of activities at the resort regardless of what the website says. If you are the sporty, active type then prepare to be bored out of your mind! The only games centre, is at the Modjaji Camp which is approx. 8km's away by car, on a dirt road. Most of the facilities are no longer used, case in point the Hippo viewing deck.

If however you are planning to just relax and have the odd game drive then this is the perfect place. I would however not recommend Mabula to young people, as it definitely caters more for the elderly!

We stayed in the timeshare units and they are kitted out very nicely. They have very modern finishes and new furniture (although they really should get rid of the rugs, they are all full of fleas.

A word of advice would be to take LOTS of bug spray, the area is a insect paradise. On the first day we were visited by, wasps, moths, grass hoppers, and RAIN SPIDERS!

We most did self catering but did have dinner one night at the restaurant. The food was very average and a little pricey (especially the wine) for the quality of the food. I've honestly had better food at a Spur steak house (family restaurant).

We also did 2 Game drives, one morning drive and one night drive both were nice, however the night drive was definitely much more interesting. Expect that the ranger drives the vehicle, control the spot light and talks on the radio at the same time! Thank goodness we only travelled at 30km/h.
A word of caution for people with fair skin, there are 2 morning drives, a 05h30 one and a 09h00 one. If you are doing the 09h00 one or a midday drive, please call the resort and insist on a vehicle with a roof! The default, is to use non-roofed vehicles and it gets hot out there!

Overall the resort is pleasant and should please easy going people, but for the more discerning travellers, I would certainly not recommend this resort. Unfortunately it is more bland than exciting and you would honestly be better off at a resort near the Kruger National, with better ammenities.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Dean79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
greenville, sc
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2009

I am not surprised at some of the reviews listed here. If you come to Mabula expecting world class amenities and treatment, then you would be disappointed. I came to Mabula with no expectations except to relax and to be open minded to my new experience. Visiting from the States, I did not want to place to much on the things that creates stress. My purpose for my trip was to be stress free. During the drive to the reserve, the driver received a phone call from the front desk requesting to speak to me. The desk clerk stated that since we did not have transportation that they were going to relocate us from our reserved lodge to a chateau on the site. They did not have to do that, but they were considerate of us and knew that we need transportation for the lodging area. We experienced some of the things that previous posters said that they experienced, but we did not sweat the small stuff because our trip was made memorable. The safari trips were great. Each day we saw something different. Our tour guides were great. They took care of us and knew what they were talking about. Seeing the animals made our trip great, which is why we came to Mabula. The staff took care of us even when there were tour buses coming in. We had the African dance group to perform. We became friends with the staff for we talked to them daiy. The weather was perfect, not too hot or too cold. The one thing that we wanted to bring back with us is the serenity that this trip provided us. On the drive back to Johannesburg, our driver took us to Pretoria and downtown Johannesburg before taking us to our hotel. He was very willing to show us around South Africa at no additional cost, however, we tipped him very well. It proved to us that if you are nice to people, talk to them as people and not as servants, then you would receive the same niceness back. Thanks Mabula staff for a lifetime experience. My advice to readers planning on taking a trip to Mabula is to take these reviews with a grain of salt....you have to live your own experiences.

  • Liked — The rooms were all together in the chateau
  • Disliked — No transportation service to sites outside of the reserve
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Rmbabyface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai, India
1 review
Reviewed February 1, 2009

We stayed at Mabula Lodge on the 21st and 22nd Jan. I am not being judgemental, but reading very bad reviews had made me skeptical about the place. We agreed to go to Mabula, only because it was a private game reserve and had an Indian chef. But, the staff at mabula made it a wonderful experience for us. As soon as we reached Mabula, to our disappointment, the room we got had a twin bed. They apologised and upgraded us to a suite. Also they arranged flowers in the room, bathroom...very beautiful. The food was very good and especially because we are vegetarians (do not even eat eggs). The staff was very hospitable, rooms were neat. The game drives were amazign with Peter (our guide). He took special care and ensured that the group could see lions (5 together) by taeking us for a drive at 5:00 am (early morning). Overall we had a fantastic experience at Mabula game lodge

  • Liked — The game drives
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank shah2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2008

We had a great time at Mabula Game Lodge. This was an exchange through RCI for a 2 bedroom lodge. As a third couple was staying with us, we had requested a 3 bedroom. When we checked in late at night, we were thrilled to be given two 2 bedroom lodges next to each other. We enjoyed the game drives each day, and all the rangers were excellent! We were spoiled by having someone come in to clean and do our dishes twice a day. This was our first trip to Africa, and we would recommend Mabula to others.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank jpm19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
johannesburg
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2008

Horrible!!!!!!!!!...Horrible experience!!!!!.... If Mabula was my first game lodge in Africa, I would of never experienced another. Their website is a lie!!... When I arrived with my family, I was told my suite was changed to self-catering rooms at a discount. No electricity in one bedroom, and the rooms were dreary, and run-down. When we arrived for the all-you-can-eat dinner buffet , we were informed we would be eating off the menu because a group of french tourists had rented out most the place for the week-end. The food off the limited menu was tasteless, and it arrived to our tables 45 minutes later. I was furious to think I had paid for a supposedly grand buffet....breakfast the next morning was the same. After I had made several complaints, they arranged a scaled- down buffet for the next two meals. The buffet was limited and mediocre. They also informed was that there would be no African traditional dancers as stated in their website. Because I made such a fuss, they put together some dancers. I had to fight to get anything for my family. I was told by the desk manager, she would see about adjusting my bill and give me a call. She never did. Not surprizing. I have told everyone of my friends in Johannesburg, and friends visiting from overseas, DO NOT to waste their hard earned money on RIP-OFF MABULA!!!!

  • Liked — proximity to johannesburg
  • Disliked — website did not reflect reality
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank stuggerm55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mabula Game Lodge

Property: Mabula Game Lodge
Address: Rhenosterhoek Spruit Road, Mabula Private Game Reserve 0480, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Waterberg > Mabula Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Mabula Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mabula Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set against a backdrop of lush green mountainous vegetation, Mabula Game Lodge is set in one of South Africa's finest private game reserves. Only two hours north of Johannesburg, this 12000ha reserve is home to an abundance of animal and birdlife, including the "Big 5." All 47 rooms are air-conditioned, contain LCD flat-screen television, en-suite bathroom, telephone, hair dryer, safe and tea/coffee making facilities. Dining venues, outdoor cocktail and whiskey bar, swimming pools, tennis court, children's programme, safaris in open 4x4 vehicles, horseback safaris, archery, paintball, star gazing, eco adventure safaris, guided bush walks, crocodile feeding demonstrations, snake demonstrations and the Ground Hornbill Project and reptile centre. Mabula can assist with all conference requirements, including venues, informal breakaway rooms, private dining facilities and team building activities. Children 0-5 stay complimentary when sharing with parent; 6-11 years pay 50% of the adult sharing rate. 12 years and older pay full adult rate and occupy their own rooms. The lodge is situated in a malaria-free area. Gate entry fees are applicable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mabula Game Hotel Mabula Private Game Reserve
Mabula Game Lodge Mabula Private Game Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa

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