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“Magical Place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elandela Private Game Reserve

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Elandela Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Cupar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
116 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Magical Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

This is a magical place with the most wonderful staff.
The lodge is atmospheric and comfortable overlooking its own watering hole and there is the warmest welcome from the staff on arrival. We felt relaxed and regenerated at the end of our time here and will dream of it for a long time to come. We would go back tomorrow if we could.
Wonderful variety of animals to see on the twice daily game drives and don't miss the night drive for a different view (the night sounds are wonderful). The passion for the animals and their surroundings shone through and great efforts were made to help us see "the big 5" and plenty more beside! We are home with hundreds of marvellous photos - make sure you take a camera with a decent zoom for really good photos.
We fully intend to return in the future.

Room Tip: The rooms are lovely opening onto a verandah looking over the lawn to the watering hole. Beds comfor...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank anon551746
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 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 (41)
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English first
Sawbridgeworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

Overall excellent. Service very good staff, sweet and eager to please great chef and Karina the relatively new guide was very good and will go from strength to strength as will this lovely resort. Karina did her best to ensure we saw as many animals and we achieved the big five.
They have a project on white lions who were amazing to see.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Peterlee_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wimborne Minster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

We came by Elandela fortuitously booking a late package to RSA, so had no real expectation.
From arrival Elandela more than impressed.
The setting was breathtaking the rooms well appointed and as described - luxurious.
The service was friendly and impeccable - the classic African smiles met every request.
i'm not sure how Andrew managed to create such gourmet dishes quite so far from 'civilisation' but they kept coming!
If this is 4 star I am not quite sure what the 5th one could be for...
Then there was the reason for going - the game!
5000 Hectares of bush and just one open sided vehicle roaming through it.
We were lucky and saw the White lions, a leopard and a Secretary Bird (twice); but the breathtaking beauty was just being in the bush, especially the walking safari!
I can't imagine how this could be bettered, and I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank OldDownHouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

Where do I start, from being picked up by Coleman our guide at the airport in an open jeep. To entering the lodge & driving straight into Zebras, Giraffes,Rhinos,Impalas saying hello to the hippos & crocs in the lake & many other wildlife. We were gob smacked. Greeted by all the staff & owner with drum playing & singing & welcome shooters. The personalized attention we had here was the best by miles to all the other places we stayed in South Africa & Africa on our travels. Our guides Coleman & Corina were fantastic nothing was to much & so knowledgeable on all the animals & wildlife they truly went out of their way to make sure we were safe but had a fantastic & memorable experience. All the staff at the lodge & owners were awesome & very very friendly & accommodating they could not of done more for us. The food was out of this world it was the very best in dinning we ever had on our whole holiday. The one on one attention was great. We were lucky to have the whole lodge to ourselves for 3 out of the 5days we stayed & were always spoiled rotten. They don't have elephants but we had a free half day tour to Kruger Park & was very lucky to see them there, but Kruger we found boring compared to Elandela Lodge. At the lodge you get really close to all the animals so our pictures are like national geographic ones. The baby rhinos are beautiful & the white lions are truly breath taking. Going to sleep & waking up listening to the lions was so-real.Words cant describe how incredible this place is you just have to go. As far as some comments on the drinks being to expensive we found it to be very affordable & we had a family of 5. Getting your laundry done I found a little expensive but with the water being so scares I didn't mind paying the prices it is understandable. On a whole our stay at Elandela was the highlight of our whole trip, our kids will never forget it & neither will we. It is rated as a 4 Star Lodge I think they truley deserve to be rated as 5 Star. Thanking to all the staff & owners of Elandale for making or holiday a memorable experience one we will cherish for ever & if we are lucky enough to come back to South Africa we will definitely stay at Elandela.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YvonneGioia, Manager at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, August 23, 2012
Our Passion here at Elandela is to share our amazing african sights and sounds with our Visitors and it is uplifting to all the Elandela Staff when they hear this goal of having our Guests enjoying themselves here with us is being achieved! Thanks, we enjoyed your visit as well!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

This place is beautiful!! I went there last january 2012 with my boyfriend and we had a great experience!
The hosts, Rocco and Yvonne were very very nice!
Also Coleman the safari man, very experienced and friendly!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andres C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

As a South African proud of the many game lodges I have visited, I am so ashamed at the cheap delivery experienced at Elandela Private Game Lodge. To start with the architecture and interior decoration are dark and frankly depressing.The public areas are dark and gloomy rather than sexily subdued.
The focus is on presentation, which, because of the cheap approach, misses its target. We were four either vegetarians or semi-vegetarians eating fish or chicken. Although the chef was honest enough to admit he did not know how to cook for us he made no effort to find out. He served the cheapest hake fish, dry, with dry vegetables. The bean soup was a bowl filled to the brim with beans and no soup ... UG! A tomato sauce was a tin of onion and tomatoes - could he not have made it from scratch? He kept saying. "Its very difficult and we are so far from everywhere." The Lodge is a 25 - 30 min drive from a major super market in the town of Hoedspruit. NO EFFORT WAS MADE. The rooms were not serviced properly. One couple were almost out of toilet paper, which was not replaced. A gentleman kept asking for shampoo, which never arrived. No face cloth was available. My bed was not made. The night chocolate left on the dresser was replaced on the bed. I arrived after a 6.5 hr journey and was not offered a piece of fruit or thirst quenching drink, only told that lunch would be served 1.5 hrs later. Because I was alone the proprietress tried to persuade me not to take the evening game drive for which I had paid. The lodge does not deserve the 4 star rating it currently enjoys. Game spotting is always a gamble - it was ok. The staff were well trained and performed like robots. Management staff were reasonable. Rating for this lodge 0. I am ashamed that visitors to SA leave unsuspecting that they have been flinched.

Room Tip: There is no privacy, atmosphere or bush feel about these rooms.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Jocelin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YvonneGioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, September 20, 2015
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

Myself and my partner have travelled fairly extensively and we were both unbelievably impressed with the reserve, staff and the entire experience at Elandela Game Reserve. Throughout the trip we were totally spoiled and were thoroughly looked after at all times. This place is absolutely amazing and I would recommend it to any couples looking for a safari holiday that has a personalised touch.

Food
Never have we eaten so well for so many consecutive meals. The food was absolutely amazing for all meals and you could see that the chef- Kovas (apologies for spelling?!) took utmost pride in the presentation and combination of foods and flavours for every meal. Both breakfast and dinner consisted of various courses that were really well thought out and delicious! The staff even laid out breakfast one morning under the marquee by the pool and on another evening laid on a barbeque, which was spectacular. Out of all of the meals and courses that were served we enjoyed every single one of them and could not find fault with both the quality and quantity of food offered during our stay! We both really missed the food upon our return!

Accommodation
The rooms were spacious, tastefully decorated, comfortable and cleaned regularly throughout the day. They had every amenity you could require such as aircon, hairdryer, powerful shower, etc.

It was a wonderful experience being able to hear the lion’s roar in the morning and evening and wake up to see giraffes walking not far from our room to get to one of the watering holes that our room overlooked.

Experience
On every game drive we saw many animals and the experienced informative guides (Jacques, Coleman and Chantelle) ensured we had a varied experience on every drive. If you mentioned that you wanted to see a particular animal they would do their best to track that animal. What was particularly interesting to see was the difference between the way the animals behaved on the reserve compared to at Kruger National Park; at the Reserve the animals behaved inquisitively towards the vehicle and ran a little distance away if you got too close, compared to at Kruger National Park where the animals barely react to the cars that stop near them due to the frequency of visitors at Kruger. It was good to see the animals behaving naturally at Elandela and at no point did this hinder us from being able to photograph the animals in a more natural environment.

On our stay we were even invited to feed the baby rhinos, who were sadly orphaned due to poachers. You can see that the owner Yvonne and the guide Jacques are really passionate about protecting these endangered animals and are doing an amazing job at caring for these rhinos and raising awareness of the extent of the poaching problem. Feeding the rhinos was a particularly special experience for us.

We always say that its not usually the big things that makes your stay special but the added thoughtful touches that can really make your experience complete. Elandela do this by providing warm towels and a drink upon returning from a game drive, by providing various drinks during the game drive- including a champagne to enjoy whilst watching the sunset over a watering hole, and we even arrived back from dinner one night to a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolates in our room. All of these added touches made our experience amazing.

Overall the experience at Elendala is one of a luxiourious resort but with a homely and personal touch- a balance that I can imagine is extremely hard to achieve but Elandela does with perfection.

Thank you so much to all of the staff who made our stay at Elandela truly one of the most special experiences of our lives. We would love to come back one day, maybe even for our honeymoon!

Claire and Matt, UK.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Claire H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elandela Private Game Reserve

Property: Elandela Private Game Reserve
Address: | Elandela Private Game Lodge, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #71 of 160 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Elandela Private Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elandela Lodge is an owner managed, 4-star graded, Private Game Lodge adjacent to Kruger National Park.This is big 5 country and we offer you opportunities to view African wild life and bird life from as close as you care to go during your Game Drives and Walking Safaris on our huge reserve! Very Private Elandela Game Reserve has no incursions from other game drive vehicles and this makes for undisturbed game viewing! The Elandela free roaming White Lion prides - in the area from whence all White Lions originate - as well as our project to care for young Rhino orphans, allow our visitors an unique opportunity to experience an environment where animals are all important. Elandela is fast becoming famous for incredibly relaxed Leopard sightings! Elandela Lodge is sculptured on the game rich banks of the Klaserie River and offers spectacular sunset views of the nearby Blyde River Canyon! Our 20 different rooms cater for all different tastes, demands and pockets. The purpose designed River View Family Rooms and huge lawns confirm our child friendly reputation! For the discerning visitor Elandela Lodge offers immaculate and luxurious Presidential Suites with five star quality and comfort. The Deluxe suites are priced in between but all rooms receive the same warm, friendly, Elandela service! The mouthwatering fine dining cuisine and traditional Boma barbecues are prepared from the freshest local in-season produce! Included in your stay of two days or longer is one free afternoon visit to adjacent world famous Kruger National Park. Elandela Lodge is the right choice for those visitors who have game viewing and a love for nature as deciding importance - and then of course there is our drive to offer a better service in superior surroundings at a most competitive price! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elandela Private Game Reserve Hotel Kruger National Park

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