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“Beware! Mabula does not have First Aid Staff available for guests”
Review of Mabula Game Lodge

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Mabula Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 5, 2010

International Travelers need to be aware that Mabula no longer provides first aid for guests. My husband slipped on the tile floor and dazed himself; he went into breathing difficulties and we called the front desk asking for an ambulance to be sent at once! We called back 15 minutes later and asked where the ambulance was and the front desk said they needed insurance information first. After 3 more calls frantically asking where an ambulance was... Long story short, an hour and a half later, a provincial ambulance showed up with a gurney, no blanket and an oxygen tank. Nothing else. On the way to medical care! a joke! he suffered a stroke and went into a coma and died. Resort never sent condolences, never recognized their negligence until I spoke with the new GM. Ambulance Service says Mabula stopped paying for First Aid training for their staff in Nov 2009. So, go to Mabula and enjoy. We own two weeks there and we had been going there since it first opened many years ago New owner now, new changes...

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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8  Thank widowedglobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 6, 2010

Mabula was overall an excellent choice for our honeymoon !
Not too far from Johannesburg (approx 2 1/2 hours drive), but definitely far enough to get away !

From the time we arrived the reception staff was friendly and knew it was our honeymoon so congratulated us, which makes it quite special already.
As it wasn't booked out, we were upgraded to a suite at no extra charge. The Suite is quite spacious - bathroom with bath and shower, little lounge area, open plan to the bedroom and a patio which overlooks right onto the bush.

The game is quite awesome - in the lodge we saw quite a few animals but the highlights were on the game drives when we saw Elephant, Lion, Giraffe, Rhinoceros and a few other game.
The game ranger was just as friendly as the lodge staff and lets the guests decide on each drive what game to look for and do then find it !

The food was absolutely great - we had buffet breakfast, lunch & dinner (when the lodge wasnt full we had a set menu), the last evening we have a traditional braai with various meats, mealie pap and gravy. So you get the best of both worlds when it comes to the food.

On our 1st night, we went for a game drive and upon our return in the room, the bathwater had been run for us, with tealight candles around the bath. Chocolates, sweets and little bottles of Amarula set out in the bathroom. So with it being our honeymoon, it was quite special to get these little extra's.

The staff is very helpfull in trying to assist with whatever needs you might have, they are very efficient and to be honest i feel that they will go out of their way for you.
From reception when you need something simple like a plug to the restaurant staff that check on you during dinner to see if you are enjoying the meal and the trip itself. Even the cleaning staff, who make sure that the room is sparkling.
But even with this superb attitude from the staff, you still feel "secluded" from the rest of the world - very private, romantic and relaxing.

Thank you to Mabula and all its staff for a real romantic, exciting and yet relaxing honeymoon ! It was so much more than what we expected and we are looking forward to visiting again soon !

Love
Mark & Charlene Muller

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank cmuller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2010

We (party of 4 adults) spent five days/4 nights at Mabula Game Reserve, staying in one of the Bush Lodge Timeshare 2 bedroom homes.

Overall, a very positive experience.

One are of difficulty is booking wildlife activities, such as game drives. They only confirm your bookings (made via fax or email) on the Thursday before your stay. They tried to contact us (by phone to our US home), couldn't reach us (we were in Cape Town), so didn't confirm! We managed to book some of the activities we wanted on arrival. They also restrict the number of activities per day (to avoid monopolization) which is fine if you've driven 100 miles, but not when you've flown 12,000. We didn't want periods of enforced downtime.

The accommodation was good, pool was heated, we self catered (shopping in Bela Bela - a 40 minute drive away) which we prefer. We were able to buy game, and BBQ'd it for dinner.

Our focus was on game. We saw no elephants (they have one small herd), lots of rhino, no lions (one pride, segregated in a special section of the reserve with limited access), few giraffes, some zebra, and lots of other game.

The reserve is large and varied. we loved rhino tracking (on foot with a rifle toting guide), horse riding close to buffalo and rhino and quad biking through the bush.

We didn't eat in the restaurant, used the expensive wifi in the lobby, drank in the bar a couple of times.

We'd been in the Addo Elephant Park a few days before, and had a similar experience - saw lots of elephants, buffalo but no lions or other big cats.

If you go to one of the private camps in Kruger, and pay a lot more than Mabula, they'll guarantee you see the big 5, by tracking all the local game with tags & GPS. Mabula doesn't do that, and in some ways this is better.

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
Thank DJHolroyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2010

We stayed for 3 nights and really enjoyed it. We were unlucky with the weather as it rained a lot and then we noticed that there is not much to do between the drives but we didn't mind as we were relaxing and chatting to other guests and the rangers.
The staff is very friendly and the rangers are great. This was my first time visiting a place like this and I enjoyed every minute of it. You do have to be open minded and not expect to see loads of animals all the time but the scenery is so beautiful that it doesn't matter and it is of course not a Zoo!!!
We found it very exciting because the rangers really made an effort even in the pouring rain to let us see things and it paid off because we saw Elephants, Lions, Rhino etc. etc.
The food was great. The buffet is the best with a huge choice and very good quality. The lodges where nice but the back door was locked and no furniture on the little terraces of each lodge which would have been very nice. Yes, as some other people have written a revamp would not hurt but it is not bad as it is.
What is handy about this location is that it is Malaria free and only 2 - 3 hours drive from Johannesburg airport.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank StephAmsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2010

What a fabulous experience! Fantastic & friendly staff throughout our stay. Our ranger was Solly who obviously adored his job, the animals & his surroundings.His enthusiasm was infectious & he made every endeavour to track down the animals we hadn't seen before we left. Only the leopard escaped our camera lens! The food was of a huge variety & always on a buffet basis. It was fresh & beautifully presented. You can do as much or as little as you want- morning game drives go out about 5am & the afternoon around 4pm. it messes the body clock up a bit but going there is to see the animals, & see them all we certainly did!Brilliant!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank TurtleMum50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2010

Had the best time watching the animals at this game park. Was the most courteous staff that made you feel welcome. A very nice bar and restaurant. An awesome tribal dance performance.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Suyash K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2010

Stayed in a time share - Leopard's Lodge - rustic but lovely. Took advantage of the many safaris on offer. We saw lots of game on drives and near and around our lodge. The staff in the nearby hotel were friendly and helpful. Unfortunately some of the hotel guests were not that understanding about the principle of a game reserve and kept moaning about not seeing certain animals when they went out on drives!! If you want to be guaranteed seeing any animal go to a zoo - not to a reserve. The reserve is well managed and the rangers were good. The peace and tranquility of the lodge in the bush is fantastic. The views from our balcony over the bush were breathtaking.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank cariBrighton
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

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: $213 - $426 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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