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“Very Disappointing”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Buhala Lodge

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Buhala Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very Disappointing”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2012

You won't find a "directions" map on the Buhala web site, probably because it's only 2km from the busy N4 and a frequently used railway line. The associated noise pollution completely nullifies the bush veld ambiance we were hoping for. If you managed to sleep through this, you had better hope there are no guests in the room next door to you. We could follow our neighbors cell phone conversation word for word through the dry wall partition separating the bedrooms.
The worst part of our Buhala experience however was the antiquated king size bed we had for 1st night. After my wife and I switched mattresses with an unoccupied room, the irate owner gave us a dressing down more familiar in a high school classroom than the treatment one would expect as a guest in 4 star establishment!

On the positive side... The view over the Crocodile River is great, providing opportunity to view Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo and crocs. The staff are friendly and provide excellent service. The food is also excellent , with a wonderful old style farm kitchen touch. That's unfortunately where it ends!

Maybe as a foreign visitor, new to SA, the experience would be memorable. As South Africans however, having experienced many other of our wonderful four and five star lodges, Buhala can only be described as a great disappointment!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank RobandD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
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English first
Amman, Jordan
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

I have twice stayed at this wonderful lodge on the crocodile river. The outlook is fantastic and the staff and management really make it a great place to stay. They also have access to Leopard Creek golf course which is another great experience

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

We had 4 nights at the lodge and found it excellent. Very well located overlooking the Crocodile River. Food and service were excellent. Sugar Rhodes arranged golf for us at Leopard Creek which is a great course. Sugar also arranged a day in the Kruger National Park with her guide and vehicle which was very good.
Would be happy to recommend the lodge to others.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Geexx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

If you are a golfer and lover of wild life I could not recomend a finer destination than Buhala lodge. I have taken golfing groups from Australia on three occasions and at all times every member of the groups have raved about Buhala and of course Leopard Creek. The hospitality is superb the service sensational. Carol the tour guide has a knowledge of the bush and game second to none, what to you or I looks like empty bush she will be able to spot wildlife almost impossible to see. Our host Sugar was superb in organising golf and other activities. I can assure you Buhala will be one of the great African expieriences you will have.

Clive
Sydney Australia

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
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    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Clive B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2012

Buhala lodge offers outstanding service, hospitality,great breakfasts on the terrace overlooking the Crocodile River which borders the wonderful Kruger National Park.Carol ,who has amazing Knowledge of the animal kingdom, has an uncanny knack firstly locating the big 5 and then predicting their motives and game plan for their next feed.The entrance to Kruger is about a 20 minutes drive and the days are full of surprises and hundreds of animals at very close range. We saw lions,leopards,rhinos. hippos,giraffes,ostrich, buffalo ,crocs ,elephants in the space of a domestic swimming pool.
Our breakfasts and evenings drinks were also punctuated with sightings of. wildlife on both sides of the river in absolute safety. A 3 course dinner each night was excellent and varied.Wholesome food,consistent and plentiful.Tuki the barman is charming,amusing and a true professional. After 5 days,you forgot about the enchanting ambiance and great viewing and settled in to the intimacy of becoming a house guest.
To leave this great place owned , loved and directed by the remarkable and revered Sugar,and assisted by her loyal staff,was very difficult.To return is compulsory.

Room Tip: THE 2 Elephant rooms are the dearest and the best.Still very good value.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2012

We had one of the best holidays thanks to Buhala Lodge.
Originally we planned to stay just for 2 nights but we end up staying 5 nights! We just could not get enough of it. We loved having breakfast on the veranda overlooking the Croc River. We saw elephants swimming, hippps drinking and heard lions roar at night. The food was excellent, the staff are friendly, the rooms were huge and clean, beds so comfy. They even placed hotwater bottles in our beds at turn down services in the evening. Everything they do with such attention to details. The best of all the owner lady, Sugar looked after us as if we were her family and made us feel so at home. The Kruger park's gate is just 15 minute drive away. When we finally had to leave, we were surprised to see our car all washsed and clean! We highly recommend Buhala Lodge to anyone who want a safari holiday with first class service.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank John1107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
56 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2012

Buhala is a very nice lodge with a magnificent view. Just next to Kruger National Park, it overlooks Crocodile River.

The owner, Sugar, will really make you feel at home. It is of course not the standard of the very fancy and expensive lodges of the Kruger, but the rooms are nice and clean, the staff is friendly and efficient.

An overall good experience and good value for money. It is anyway the only option if you want to play Leopard Creek golf course, and you do want to play it, believe me…

Room Tip: Take the suites if you can
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Geneva_Fats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buhala Lodge

Property: Buhala Lodge
Address: 12KM Beyond Malelane Town on the N4 | Van Graan Se Dam, Crocodile River, Malelane 1320, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Malelane
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Malelane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Buhala Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Buhala Lodge is an enchanted five star lodge situated on the Southern banks of the Crocodile River with sweeping views over the Kruger National Park. Along with the unique opportunity to play golf at the exclusive LEOPARD CREEK GOLF COURSE, Buhala Lodge also offers fine cuisine, an exceptional wine list, and friendly, happy service. ... more   less 
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