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“Fabulous Mabula!”

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Thandeka Lodge and Spa
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Fabulous Mabula!”
Reviewed August 30, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here as part of a school sports tour to South Africa as a party of 32 teenage girls and 6 staff. It's safe to say that a brilliant time was had by all. The accommodation is lovely, in comfortable, spotless lodges dotted around the campus of the property. The food is excellent, with lots of choice. The members of staff were without exception friendly and keen to be as helpful as possible. We had 2 game drives, at dusk and at dawn, which were both fascinating and exhilarating. This was a fabulous experienced and one which we hope very much to repeat in future.

Stayed August 2012
Helpful?
Thank ellygirl34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

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English first
Austin, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

We stayed in the Time Share Chalets at Mabula Game Lodge. We have been doing this every other year for some 12 years. In many ways this was the best stay yet. They have redone the units, so the bath and kitchen were very nicely updated. Game drives were some of the best yet. The staff was outstanding...Lizzy in reservations, Tessa, front office manager,Julia in the restaurant, and rangers Saullie, Luke, and Arno, all went out of their way to make this an outstanding trip.

Best siting yet on the elephants, cape buffalos, rhinos, and kudos. Be sure to sign up for the Majuma Experience, only done once a week on Wednesday morning. This guarantees that you will see the lions as they use a tracking devise and go off road to find them. On our particular siting, we had a whole pride on one side of the jeep, with a male lion on the other, less that 20 feet away. Book very early, as this goes quickly. Also loved the horseback riding safari with Moses. You are able to ride up to the buffalo and rhino without being a threat as they see you as a 4 legged animal and not a preditor.

Mabula is an incredible property offering a wonderful adventure. I highly recommend this property!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lolomafoundation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiesbaden, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Rooms: tented rooms, a bit dated, might have been nice had housekeeping ever bothered to open the window flaps; very nice pool area; restaurant and lounge new and for my taste not enough Africa-style
Game viewing: the area is very small, white lions and cheetah held separately from the other game, game is being fed. On the positive side this is pretty reliable game viewing.
Food: breakfast was good, but lunch and dinner was no fun. I don't mind standard fare, but it was just not well prepared.
Service: pretty bad. Nothing went really wrong, but it was all the tiny bits and pieces that make you feel uncomfortable. The lodge was fully booked and they did not have enough vehicles to do the game drives and thus had to do extra game drives at 2pm - shouldn't happen in a game lodge, I think. The late game drive - naturally - then started half an hour late, but nobody bothered to tell us. Service in the restaurant was very poor (no wine list with prices, wrong food descriptions, childrens' menu came very late...)
Overall: We had a wonderful guide (Reiner), overall enjoyed ourselves, but wouldn't go back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank petra067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2012

Beautiful location...felt like you were in the middle of nowhere when you were just 2 hours from Johannesburg. Service was incredible, the staff there made me feel like a queen! Got to snuggle with baby lions too which was awesome! Only non-positive was getting up in the morning - it was FREEZING! But it must be even more amazing in the summer. Would strongly recommend!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with IKnowUK

Helpful?
Thank Shnorrer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centurion, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2012

Thandeka Lodge and Spa was a WOW,wonderous experience from the moment we arrived,the accommodation,setting,friendliness of staff,food,the game drives,hands on interaction with the cheetah was so special!!!Ryno our Game Ranger went the extra mile,was so informative,the white lions are amazing,cheetah experience WOW,amazing sunsetsfinding the Rhino just before sunset and watching them under the starlite sky,surprise Birthday cake and dinner setting on the monday eve,always a smile from the staff members,was stunning,we will be back,just missed the Visitor's Book, and would have loved to spend time in the jacuzzi!!!(was out of order)next time!!!Thank you to Queen and the Staff,Joseph and Renee

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Renee G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2012

This was my first tent lodge experience but, I have a reasonably decent experience with international traveling. Mildly put, Thandeka was a revelation. The mind-blowing experience of petting a cheetah, seeing the lions, giraffes, water buffalo, and the rhinos defies description. Does one ever get used to that? I hope not. The guides; Joy, Reiner, Woulter, Dwayne and Andrew (apologies for any spelling mistakes); were incredibly knowledgeable not to mention hospitable and accommodating. The employees at the lodge, particularly, Queen, were lovely, professional and personable; and good singers too (!) as we were treated to some songs by the campfire one night. The food was so good and the attention to detail was complete: seriously; we had home-made rusks with our coffee in the morning before our game drives. The lodge and the tents were wonderful. How can you compare sleeping under the African sky to the sounds of the birds and insects (but knowing that horned/toothed interlopers can't get you)? Even the air seemed different at Thandeka. It's not just the scent of the bush foliage and fauna; it's clean and sweet in a way that is galaxies away from my daily-day. I can't recommend Thandeka highly enough. We will be back. Again and again.

Room Tip: We had a family tent that had a big queen bed in the main room and had a separate bedroom with two s...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank NowVoyager2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herts, UK
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2012

I was fortunate enough to go recently for a work off-site meeting and stay over. The staff were consistently knowledgable and friendly in a natural way, the facilities and food great with lots to see in terms of animals (cheetah encounter in particular). A couple of hours north of Johannesburg,

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank siherd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thandeka Lodge and Spa

Property: Thandeka Lodge and Spa
Address: Rooiberg Road Mabula, Bela-Bela | Thandeka Private Game Reserve, 0480, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Waterberg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 64 Specialty Lodging in Waterberg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Thandeka Lodge and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Accommodation takes the form of 20 opulent en-suite tents, each one decorated with unique touches, hidden in the splendour of the bush. The lodge caters for couples and families, with huge, airy double and family suites to choose from. Day visitors are also welcome, the day centre caters for those who cannot stay overnight, but wish to experience our unique wildlife interactions or visit Thandeka’s spa. ... more   less 
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