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“Just get it booked!”

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Elandela Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Kingston upon Hull, England
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Just get it booked!”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

We have just returned from 4 nights at the Elandela Lodge, being the final destination of our too brief tour of South Africa. We were picked up from Hoedspruit airport by Carina and JV and taken to the Lodge (open Jeep - hang on to your hat!) and greeted by singing and a tot of Amarula (nice!). Minimal paperwork later we were shown to our room in time to do some unpacking and get a shower before lunch at 2.30 and our first (of 8) game drives. We could fault nothing: everything was fantastic. The Lodge only accommodates 20 or so guests and so you instantly feel like part of an extended family (a Royal family, that is) and as the majority of people who go there are there to enjoy the wildlife and surroundings, everyone was prompt for the game drives and meals (it feels a tad regimented at first, but done for a reason and you will soon adapt): the initial game drive starts at 6am until 9am followed by breakfast, which is followed by lunch at 2.30pm and a game drive from 3.30 until 7pm, followed by dinner from, say 7.15pm. Steven the chef was there to ensure you enjoyed his food (of which there was more than enough) and was so kind as were the waitresses (Precious and Lydia deserve a mention). Carina and JV were also around from the early hours until late and in addition to picking us up at the airport they took us on the game drive and also served drinks - there is clearly no end to their numerous talents. Carina took us for most of our drives, but JV found us a leopard (which we named 'Carina' in her absence - sorry Carina!!) - both are extremely knowledgeable and accommodating (and generally just lovely). We saw many animals (including 'the Big 5') and birds, all amazing and too many to list (although I do have a book with them all listed at home to go with the 2,500 photos!!) and this visit was definitely the highlight of our trip, and I would go as far to say the best holiday ever...would I go again? Yes, tomorrow if I could (now where did I put my cases?).

Room Tip: We were given to 'honour' of the 'honeymoon suite' which came complete with private...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BilletDoux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

We stayed 3 nights at Elandela early September, and it was definitely luxury as described. The room was immaculate, the food by Chef Steven was fantastic, the staff always had a smile and service was excellent. Our game drive guides Carina and JV were brilliant and we packed in as many game drives as we could, seeing wonderful animals large and small. There was a family feel to the place and the attention to detail throughout made our stay better than we could have even expected. We met some really nice people who were also staying there and had great fun. September was a good time to go for me as it wasn't too hot and there was no pesky bugs around. Didnt get any bites! This was a brilli8ant first experience of Africa and we will definately be going again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MandySW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviewed September 11, 2013

My daughter and I shared this holiday at Elandela. We wanted to see lots of animals and have lots of different experiences. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The staff are wonderful and work so hard at enabling you to have a relaxing holiday. There were two game drives a day on offer in addition to other outings and additional night drives. We went to Blyde River Canyon and enjoyed a wonderful boat ride in this amazing place. We did two night drives which were amazing and saw a couple of leopards and countless other animals. The elephant back safari was excellent too, although a bit scary when the elephant you're riding decides to off-road, but the staff got us back on track. We had two day visits to Kruger National Park and on both occasions we saw so many beautiful animals. Yes, we saw the Big 5, but more important for us were all the little 5's who seem to get neglected. There are so many animals, big and small for you to see - if you have a good guide. The guides at Elandela are excellent. We mainly had JV and his knowledge of all the local flora and fauna and astronomy was amazing. He made every outing informative and interesting and he seemed to know instinctively where the animals would be. We had an amazing experience with a cheetah in Kruger which we saw walking through the long grass, but who just happened to end up sitting on a termite mound close to where JV positioned us! The game drives on Elandela are excellent too, we saw two full grown male lions close up munching their way through Impala - gory but exciting too. We did not really have time to relax much because we wanted to do everything we could, but the meals provided by Steven and his staff were amazing. Everyday he surprised us with new menus, lots of courses, but all extremely well balanced nutritionally. I can highly recommend Elandela and the staff - it is a wonderful place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Sue B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West sussex
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2013

From the moment we arrived my 10yr old daughter and myself were made to feel so welcome, we were greeted by carina the lodge manager, the staff were singing and playing the African drum as we walked up the path. Elandela is beautiful, the grounds and lodge are immaclate the staff are amazing and can't do enough to make sure you are well looked after. Steven the chef checked to make sure we were going to enjoy the food he was going to prepare for us, the food here is lovely and you certainly would not go hungry!!! The boma was a lovely surprise on our last evening eating outside with the sound of the hippos nearby. The game drives were the highlight of our stay and our ranger was a lovely man called jv he gave us plenty of time to admire the animals we had spotted, seeing the white lions so close was quite emotional, his knowledge of the animals,birds and the surrounding area was incredible, this man never seemed to sleep he worked such long days and always with a huge smile and great since of humour, jv is a huge asset to elandela, both jv and carina are very passionate about what they are doing to help protect the white rhino. We had an amazing time at elandela thanks to the lovely hardworking people that they employ.

Room Tip: Choose a room at the main lodge as I think it would have been a little inconvenient to have had to k...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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2 Thank Debbie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Handforth
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2013

We had the most lovely end to our holiday with 4 nights at Elandela Lodge. Wonderful setting, wonderful staff, and an up close experience with some of the most amazing wildlife on the private game reserve.

Lets get one thing out of the way - Elandela is not Kruger. No, it does not have elephants, and you go to Kruger to see the animals on a blockbuster scale. But the private game lodge experience is a must - you get so up close and personal to the animals, with really knowledgeable and experienced game rangers - Carina and JV, you were excellent. Besides, you get a half day Kruger trip included in your stay, so you get the blockbuster and intimate art house experience all included.

The accommodation is very comfortable and an amazing setting beside a waterhole. Often giraffes and zebras are drinking when you get up and you could set your watch by the hippos coming out of the water to eat on the lawn every night.

The staff are incredible. The kitchen is run by a genius called Steven, who makes you lovely and well balanced six course dinners ever night which are ready shortly after you get back from your evening game drive. They cannot do enough for you. My wife is an incredibly picky eater, but Steven and his team made such an effort to accommodate her tastes, it was above and beyond the call of duty.

I cannot recommend Elandela highly enough. On my last morning it was my birthday and they were so lovely and generous to me. It was a wrench to leave.

One final thought for travellers to South Africa. I noticed lots of tourists being slightly imperious with staff and waiters along my way. This is South Africa, remember? This whole "them and us" thing is slightly passe. Please pack your manners when you visit this wonderful place. The staff will indulge your imperiousness, the other tourists will think you are a knob.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SharkeyHandforth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philippines
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Our trip to Krugger was fruitful & exciting. We were able to see 4 of the big five, all except the elusive leopard. We were like 15 mtrs away from 4 white lions. The Elandela staffs were all wonderful, they were very attentive & willing to assist. Chef Steven was wonderful, always there making sure we are enjoying the good food he prepared.Jv drove & guided us on our safari drive to the national park.Corina drove us around the game lodge. They gave us information about the animals & birds we saw, Answering all questions from our group.
Elandela as a place is nice, its staffs & people are great & wonderful. Some of the setbacks?
that they charge you everything aside from what is included. We were charged ZAR 150 per pax when we opted not to take the 2nd free safari & preferred to walk around the lodge w/ our guide. JV. No complimentary bottled water inside the rooms bec they let you drink from the tap & have to pay for water during meals. No WIFI in the rooms & only available at the Bar but at ZAR 100/ hr. Our unbeleivable experience w/ the Yvonne,the owner is when she told JV that we have to move back to our rooms bec they have to lock the bar w/c is the only covered lounge area in Elandela, bec. she is going out. Didnt she know that travellers also have to do their work through computers & cel phones? After checking out, they let you fill out a form to declare how much tip you want to give to each staff as we,ll as declare the tips already given directly. Actually i felt bad for their people bec i was told in advance that whatever you leave to the office for the staffs never reaches them. We were glad we handed each & everyone their tips directly bec they deserve to have it.
On my next trip back, it will be some other lodge where they have more activities for the guest & more functional areas to move around.

Room Tip: ask for room in the main building so that you need not wait for someone to get you from your lodge b...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank bakwiks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo-7
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

We saw white lions on two separate occasions. It was a rewarding experience to see the Lions in an environment which is very similar to their natural habitat. Karina and Rocco took us on those two safari's and they were just excellent. They provided us with valuable information about the flora and fauna in the area. Also, I highly appreciate the efforts by the hotel owners (Rocco and Yvonne) to aid and protect white rhinos. The young rhinos Roccy and Clova seems to be well looked after and happy considering their traumatic past. Unfortunately our night drive with J.V which we expected to very exciting wasn't happening. We saw only few animals but it is understandable because the nocturnal species are often the hardest to glimpse.
The Hotel was great from the comfortable rooms to the cute African grey in the lobby. Everything about the room was pure perfection except the bathroom. In the five rooms we had some rooms had problems with slow water draining from the shower-room and the sinks. If those were fixed the hotel room would be extra-ordinary. Also, since we stayed in the standard rooms I except the suites to be in much better conditions.
The food was also really authentic and tasty. Steven made us feel like home while he presented us with game meets and other tasty dishes. We specially enjoyed the Booma and roasting marshmallows.
Overall, Wonderful experience. Highly recommend it. Wish to come here again in the future

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SharoncPerera
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: Casketts KU 65 Portion 35, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #57 of 174 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 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 up close! 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 Lake View and Elandela River View Lodges are 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, with more beds per room and huge lawns, confirm our child friendly reputation! For the discerning adult visitor Elandela Lake View Lodge offers immaculate and luxurious Honeymoon Suites with five star quality and comfort. The Deluxe Suites are priced in between the Honeymoon and Standard Suites 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 factor to determine their South African photo safari destination! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elandela Private Game Reserve Hotel Kruger National Park

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