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“Perfect”
Review of The Outpost

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The Outpost
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Perfect for the weary traveller. I was in need of a break from crammed city life and The Outpost delivered in every aspect, last week. From warm 33degrees and sunshine, to thunderstorms and rain;Leopard, hyena,Pel's Fishing owl, Nyala's, elephants; game drives, dinner next to the fireplace (thank you Beatrice) and the epic views from the bedroom made this the perfect break away. Daniela, our guide, did not only have a thorough knowledge of the nature (spotting the Pel's Fsihing owl between all the insects and overgrowth in the night was special) but also proved her worth in the kitchen when she baked a cake and surprised one of the guests who turned 50 when we were there. The guided walk with her was brilliant as she showed every aspect of nature and how it all links. Aaron, Beatrice and Charmaine thank you for the accommodation. That was just what I needed. Definitely recommended!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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Thank CCHeunis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheOutpost, Director of Sales at The Outpost, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2013

Dear CCHeunis


Thank you for your fantastic feedback. Needless to say, we are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay at The Outpost. I see the weather played its part too. You couldn't have asked for better conditions. I still have not seen a Pel's Fishing Owl. You were very lucky indeed.

We're also glad to hear you got some well deserved rest. The Outpost is certainly a place where you can get away from it all.

Aaron, Beatrice, Charmaine, Daniela and for that matter the rest of the team are truly and asset to the lodge. We are very fortunate to have everyone on board.

Thank you once again for the feedback and we hope that you will visit us soon again.


Kind regards


Richard de la Rey

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186 - 192 of 265 reviews

Reviewed October 21, 2013

When we first booked this holiday over 13 months ago, my husband and I so looked forward to our stay here. He wanted to sleep without walls. I wanted the bath with a view. Sadly, we were both disappointed. After checking in and the unveiling of our "space" the motor broke on one of our "walls" and was shut for our stay, One night only. We had been told they weren't busy, so were disappointed by not being offered another space. Having said that we were very limited in our time to enjoy the space as after lunch we went on an excellent afternoon /evening game drive with Ali. Following this we went directly to our meal and then to the space. It was close to 10pm, but I was determined to have my bath. Unfortunately there was only 2cm hot water, which went unappreciated. This was our last night in Kruger, the leopard and Pel's fishing owl on the game drive were undoubtably the best part of our stay. Thanks Ali.

Room Tip: If you are in anyway incapacitated ask for room 4 as it was closest to the facilities. If you are mo...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank pam186361
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheOutpost, Director of Sales at The Outpost, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2013

Dear Pam186361

We were obviously very unhappy to read your feedback regarding your stay at The Outpost. We pride ourselves on all aspects of our product delivery and negative feedback is certainly taken very seriously.

I have discussed your feedback with the general managers Aaron and Beatrice and would like to comment as follows:


All the screens in your suite were in working order when the room orientation was conducted however these screen motors do break down from time to time unfortunately. Normally they can be fixed by our maintenance team however they could not fix this particular motor and as a result they had to leave the screen down. The fact that you were not offered an alternative suite was an oversight by management and for this we sincerely apologies. No excuses.

We did check the hot water situation in your suite and all was in working order. As such I cannot comment further on this.

As far as not being able to spend sufficient time in your suite is concerned, we conduct our activities on par with the majority of lodges. Many guests skip a game drive in order to take in the wonderful location of the rooms. This certainly would've been an option for you had you wanted to spend more time in your suite.


On the positive side, Alweet is an incredible asset to The Outpost and we are thrilled to hear about the wonderful sightings you experienced.



Kind regards



Richard de la Rey

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Reviewed October 17, 2013

The Outpost completely trumped my expectations of what a 5-star bush lodge should be. We arrived to friendly faces and a warm welcome. We were then taken to our room, which was beyond amazing. With the canvas walls that completely lift with the touch of a button exposing you to a view like no other and allowing you to feel like you are literally sitting in the bush.

The food from beginning to end was completely delicious and staff accommodate any dietry requirements that one might have by providing a selection of options, especially for dinner.

The game drives were fantastic with rangers who really do know their 'stuff'. We were lucky enough to see a leopard which performed for us for almost an hour, along with elephant, buffalo, a huge variety of rare birds that you would not see elsewhere.

Thank you to the lodge, their staff and of course the head office employees who made our honeymoon as amazing as it was. We will definitely be back!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kendyll F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheOutpost, Director of Sales at The Outpost, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2013

Dear Kendyll F

My sincere apologies for the belated response.

Thank you for the fantastic feedback. It was also great to chat to you on your return and hear more detail about your stay at The Outpost. Your leopard sighting sounds incredible and you were very lucky to be able to spend so much time with her. It is a wonderful experience.

Hopefully it's not too long before we welcome both of you back at The Outpost. We look forward to that.


Kind regards


Richard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Following an invitation to Baroque in the Bush at Shingwedzi, my wife and I decided that it would be nice to celebrate of wedding anniversary in the Park, it was a couple of days before Baroque. We decided to try The Outpost instead of going to one of the other camps in the Park. I am sorry to say we were extremely disappointed. At R2000 per person per day we expected a much better standard. I will look at the positives and negatives of our three day stay.

On the positive side:
1. A spectacular setting with the rooms representing a modern cave. Well appointed and with the 5 blinds that open to the outside world and the spectacular view over the Luvuvhu River. Unfortunately however there was one serious flaw which inhibited our enjoyment of the room, I will deal with this later.
2. Welcoming and friendly staff who provide excellent service. One or two need to clarify a guest's requests if they do not understand the guest, but no faulting the desire to give good service. There is a new Management Team who had only been there less than two weeks. They have the potential to rectify the shortcomings provided the owners support them with resources and investment. We wish them luck.
3. A wonderful surprise when we got back from the evening game drive on our anniversary to find a bubble bath in the bath, a bottle of complimentary MCC and flowers and paraffin lamps. Thank you Beatrice.
3. Memorable game drives, even for veteran and yearly visitors to the Park that we are. Aaron was a brilliant guide and other than our first drive with another tour group we really learned a lot and saw areas of the Park we had not previously had access to. Management do need to be a little careful adding two people to a tour group of 8 others, it does not work.
And now the negatives:
1. On their web site they mention that the rooms are cooled by a natural air-conditioning system. However it was not working, and it appeared from talking to other guests this was not an isolated problem. They provide you with a fan which merely pushes the hot air around and makes a noise which you do not need in the bush where hearing the sounds is part of the experience. Relaxing to read and sleep was very difficult especially when the temperature was 42 degrees C in the the day and over 30 degrees at night. This problem reduced our enjoyment of the room and the views. We spent too much time trying to remain cool.
2. On their web site they talk about the glass fronted wine cellar with a good selection of wines. When you first arrive it looks promising until you actually go into the cellar to choose some wine. Over 80% of the bottles in the cellar are ............Empty!!!! That was a first time experience!!!! The bottles with wine in were not great and the selection was poor. (I collect wine and have over 1000 bottles.) In addition the cellar does not cool the white wine adequately, so you have to choose your wine so they can put it in the fridge. If you forget to order a second bottle then it will not be sufficiently chilled. This needs a lot of work to make it into a top class cellar.
3. The web site refers to excellent meals and restaurant quality food. If a restaurant served this quality of food it would go out of business in a month. Lets take this meal by meal:
3.1 Breakfast was the best of the meals. Usual selection of eggs, bacon, sausage etc. nicely cooked. Poached eggs were very well done, the omelette was a bit pancake like.The Rusks served prior to the morning game drive, the muffins and the other limited pastries were not very good and I suspect came out of pre-mixed packets.
3.2 The light lunch consisted of a main course and a desert. No choice offered. Day one we had chicken wraps, very ordinary and ice cream. Day two we had an onion tart and ice cream. The tart pastry was stodgy. What about offering a decent salad, we drove through Avocado country to reach the Lodge, not a single avo included in the meals. Day three we skipped lunch as at least the snacks on the evening drive were better.
3.3 Dinner. You have no choice of starter, only two main courses to choose from and no choice of pudding. I had notified the Lodge that my wife does not like lamb, this meant on two of the nights she had no choice of main course either. Day one very stodgy corn fritters to start with, not very good at all. These should be light and crispy. Mains were Lamb Chops for me and Salmon for my wife. My chops were tough. My wife sent the Salmon (fish in the Kruger Park?) back almost untouched, the first time in the 34 years that I have known her. She only enjoyed the baby marrow slices that were sauteed in butter. The vegetables were cold and the mash potato appeared to come from a packet. Day two, a tomato tart in Phyllo pastry to start. Not bad. Main course fillet steak for my wife, nicely cooked to her requirements. My main was Pork Chops, tough again. Vegetables same as day one. Day three starter was gazpacho soup, small portion and not very cold. For mains my wife had chicken which was dry. I had the lamb shank which was quite good. Vegetables again cold and mash not good. Deserts were collectively unmemorable.Overall the food was below standard and poor value considering the price of a stay. No game on the menu at the end of the hunting season?
4. If the lodge has its way, you get back from the evening game drive and are expected to eat the evening meal straight away after wiping your hands and face with a damp clothe. What about half an hour to freshen up and change out dirty, sweaty clothes? People need to be able to choose whether to sit at a communal table or at their own table. Ditto for Lunch and Breakfast.
The Lodge could be a lot better, investment is needed in repairing the air-conditioning and properly stock the wine cellar. Invest in the chefs so they can cook the food to a higher standard, more choice and better menus that are suited to the surroundings. This could be a great venue if the shortcomings are addressed. I have given this review a lot of thought and have no lightly waraded a Poor Rating!!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Nigel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheOutpost, Director of Sales at The Outpost, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2013

Dear Nigel R

We were terribly distressed to hear that you did not have a great time at The Outpost. You have raised some very valid points that we need to carefully consider. We would like to thank you for this.

With regards to the game vehicle, unfortunately we would have liked to have accommodated you with a smaller group. Unfortunately we had another small group that had booked a private vehicle as well as a walking group, who obviously needed their own vehicle. We have seriously considered your feedback, and have subsequently ordered another vehicle in order to accommodate situations like yours.

Food is always a tricky aspect. We get so many rave reviews about our food and then once in a while people do complain about it. What I am aware of is that we do need to improve on our vegetarian option. This is currently being introduced. All the rusks and muffins are made on site and not out of a packet. We are now investigating new recipes for a wider variety to suit everyone’s pallets. With regards to game meat, unfortunately we do not condone hunting and as a result do not offer game meat. On the whole we find guests are anti game meat and object to it being served.

The wine cellar, was unfortunately running very dry when you arrived as we were in the process of restructuring our wine list. I am glad to inform you that the wine cellar is now fully stocked and we have quite a large selection of great wines, from both local and international shores. Including our own award winning wine, Rare Earth Sauvignon Blanc.

Let’s address the game drive return prior to dinner being served. I have chatted to our lodge managers and they informed us that you were offered to return to your rooms to freshen up. If this was not communicated properly, my sincerest apologies. We also offer refresher towels, with peppermint or vanilla oil. These are cool for summer and hot for winter. A lot of our guests don’t want to go back to their rooms after the game drive and prefer to have a drink at the bar before dinner, but the option is always open for guests to return to their rooms to freshen up for dinner.

All the air-conditioning systems have been replaced, because they are brought in internationally it is sometimes difficult to get them at such a short notice. And Murphy's law we had 3 or 4 break at the same time. We have now made allowances for this and ordered several extra motors for them which arrived at the lodge today. Just so that you are aware, the system is a specialized system to keep the areas above and around the beds cool. It is very difficult to air-condition the entire room due to the vast openness of them.

Once again we sincerely thank you for your constructive criticism and would love to invite you back to our lodge, to sample our new wine list, improved food and allow you to relax under the specialized aircon system.

We are so pleased that there were many aspects that you did really enjoy.

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Reviewed September 27, 2013

Two friends and I have just spent 3 nights here. It was amazing! Comfort, friendly, warm and accommodating hospitality, together with excellent cuisine were the order of each day. I shall definitley return.

Room Tip: Units on the upper level have a spectacular view of the Luvuvhu River.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Christine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

This lodge is situated in the most northern part of the Kruger Park - high up on a ridge overlooking a river and canyon - with awesome expansive views from the rooms (the walls on 3 sides are actually electronically controllable blinds that one can open or close as one wishes). The 12 rooms are very modern and private - reached by a long raised wooden pathway through the bush. We were in the furthest room - no. 12 - probably the best views here but be prepared to walk!
Our guide - Alee - was the best guide we have ever experienced on our game drives to date.
He really opened our eyes with regard to how to look and listen for the lesser known birds – it was SO exciting for us to see so many birds we had NEVER seen before.
Enthusiastic and with a vast knowledge – it never seemed like a duty, but rather a joy for him - we were out for 6 hours in the mornings and nearly 4 in the evenings - awesome.
The lodge's food is good and all the staff were friendly and courteous.
This was an unforgettable experience - very different to any other stay we have had in the Kruger Park to date.

Room Tip: There are 12 rooms. Rooms 7-12 have a magnificent view. Best view is no. 12, but it is the furthes...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank kevangwright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheOutpost, Director of Sales at The Outpost, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2013

Dear Kevangwright

Many thanks for the fantastic feedback. We are always humbled by guests' reaction to the rooms at The Outpost. As you say, it is indeed different to anywhere else in Kruger and a must see for any enthusiast.

Alee is certainly enthusiastic and the guests love him. His enthusiasm never wanes and it shows in how he conducts his game drives.

We sincerely hope that we can welcome you back to The Outpost in the not too distant future.


Kind regards


Richard de la Rey

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Reviewed September 9, 2013

An excellent couple of days: Very attentive staff, excellent food, lovely setting, and an extremely good bird guide (one of the very best I've encountered), Alweet Hlungwani. At night we heard all the sounds of the bush - hyenas at a carcass, leopard, fiery-necked nightjars,elephant. Pafuri is special: there's beautiful country around that you can explore during game and bird drives - the fever tree forest, Lvhuvhu River, a number of pans near the Limpopo River, and a plethora of baobabs. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kelwyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheOutpost, Director of Sales at The Outpost, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2013

Dear Kelwyn


Many thanks for the great feedback. The birding at The Outpost is impressive to say the least and many guests, like yourself, are very appreciative of the birding at The Outpost. I hope you managed to tick off some lifers.

Alweet continues to impress guests with his knowledge and enthusiasm. In the short time he has been with us he has proved to be a real asset.

Thank you for visiting The Outpost and we hope to see you again soon.


Kindest regards


Richard de la Rey

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Outpost

Address: Makuleke Region, Kruger National Park 2146, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 175 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: $920 - $1,368 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Outpost 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Outpost lies in the Makuleke Contractual Park, a vast and remote wilderness area bordered to the north by the Limpopo River and Zimbabwe and to the east by Crooks Corner and Mozambique.The Big 5 Makuleke Contractual Park measures some 26 500 hectares and is well known for its abundant wildlife including less common species not evident in the southern and central regions of the park. Apart from large herds of elephant and buffalo, guests will be able to see Nyala, an antelope which is not easily found in the more southern regions of the park, and over 350 recorded bird species. The diverse terrain of the region includes Mopane Woodlands, Fever Tree forests, Acacia thickets as well as some of the largest and oldest Baobab specimens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Outpost Hotel Kruger National Park

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