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“This is the way to experience the Bush”

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Bakubung Bush Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Alberton, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“This is the way to experience the Bush”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

This was my first visit to Bakubung, and spent the the weekend at the lodge after a friend made the recommendation, we have also had the pleasure of staying at of the other Legacy facilities, however we felt that this lodge had a very nice 'vibe'.
We unfortunately had a problem with our room and mid way through the stay had to move to another room, this did taint our stay slightly, however in defence of the lodge it was out of their control, and cannot really be held accountable, that said the Lodge GM Joel Papenfus has since been in contact with me and the matter has been resolved. On the subject of rooms, they are comfortable, I liked the decor, and the aircon is awesome in the middle of summer, LCD TV's, and crisp clean white bed linen, when booking ask for the ground floor rooms, they have a small patio with table and chairs and direct access to the pool area.
The food was really amazing, and was more than impressed, they have an A-la-Carte menu, however we opted for the breakfast and Dinner buffet, as well as the Bush Braai. Cocktails on the deck is a must.
Service levels are up there with the top dogs, however I felt that they should just smile more, like the staff at Kwa-Maritane do.
Finally it must be said that the game drive was spectacular, our guide was informed, he knew exactly where the game were 'hiding' and concentrated on what we all wanted to see, as a result we got a lot more 'quality' viewing as opposed to 'quantity'.
we will certainly return, and can honestly say that Bakubung is probably one of the nicest I have visited, this coming from a person who has always enjoyed the coast more than the bush.....................I believe I have been converted :)

Room Tip: Choose ground floor at the pool if you can.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Clive690
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

It started very well as I have reserved 3 nights with easytobook.com for the cost of 2 nights. It included 1 game drive plus a wonderful breakfast buffet with wonderful cheese, soup, desert, crepe and another huge buffet for supper. Friday night evening buffet theme is game meats braai (ie BBQ wild deer, ostrich, or waterbuck depending on availability). Superlative.

The rangers Peace, Jeoffrey, Ian and another one were really fun and determined to find us the big 5. I have encountered all but the leopard. They have shut down the demonstration of snake when I was there. An "amphitheatre" set behind the ranger's office were used to watch the snake, with tree trunks serving as seat posted around the pit. I purchased another game early prior to checking out, it worthed all the effort of waking up early believe me.

Transfer to and from the Lodge to Joburg was easy for me. The manager of the Lodge I stayed at in Joburg dropped me of there for a nominal fee, what a gentleman. On the way back to ORT Joburg airport, I booked the Bakubung Lodge transfer service to Sun City for 60 Rand I recall. The shuttle may accomodate you with a service outside from the regular 3 departures to Sun City, those guys are unbelievablely nice. Perfectly perfect.

From Sun City, Jelani transport (robyn@jelani.co.za, www.jelani.co.za) asked for 440 Rand/pax = 50$ to Joburg Tambo Airport for a 2.5 hours drive, excellent shuttle door to door service. There are many shuttle services. Do not take private transfers, it may cost you 2000 Rands = 227$ for nothing more. Negociate. Monane transfers were also good. Could not reach Thabo transfer service at 082 36 5580 99, what is wrong ?

I did not like Sun City at all. A pale copy of Las Vegas I believe, with not much shopping. If you don't stay at the Lost Palace, you cannot sneak in to enjoy their cascade and stuff. I skipped the Crocodile farm, spent 1 h at the Cultural Village just for picture, then back to Bakubung. I was much better off there and missed it already !

I felt very secure as a solo female traveler anywhere although I did not stop in Joburg. Wish I had tried the Hop on, Hop Off which started business the same week I was there. Will return next year with my 86 yo mother.

Room Tip: I book the lowest fare and got room 325 for 1 pax. From the bathtub, the view into the bedroom went...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Freetobemyself
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

it was such a let down - but where to begin? We travel a lot as a family, usually to 5 star resorts and a lot of trips have been Safari-Style in South Africa which was where I was raised - so I feel qualified on all counts to benchmark, and Bakubung Bush Lodge has let the side down, hiding behind the beauty of the surrounds of the Pilanesberg, to gain it's star rating. If you ask anyone in our family what there is to do there we shall answer in unison, only a game drive twice a day and go for a swim. There may be more on offer, I noticed a tennis court, but on checking in to the Lodge, we were given no warm South African or even customer friendly welcome and no introduction or information as to what there was on offer. Our room was fine and we decided to go straight to the pool. No deck chairs were available and when we asked if there were any more, then waited for a response, and then for someone to have to "clean off" two and point us to them - we were a party of 4. The pool service was slow and muddled, and we started to feel like were staying at a wasp-infested, tired, early 80's timeshare resort, but nonetheless looked forward to our 4:30 pm - be there no later than 4:15 - game drive. We and everyone else were seated by 4:12 and the driver showed up at 4:40 - no excuses, no apology. Our driver/ranger seemed so unexcited to be there, he was not engaging nor seemed particularly interested in the game drive. The whole drive - whilst utterly beautiful and breathtaking, was slightly mundane and got monotonous, we felt like we would've done better on our own steam. The passengers had to keep yelling for the driver to stop for game that he seemed to not notice. We have done different game drives through the Pilansberg in the past and even when it was difficult to see game, they were a lot of fun! The drive ended in what was touted as a BOMA Braai Dinner for which we still had high hopes - this is a country of food especially meat, and you guessed it, it was another sad let down, buffet style salad and dry over cooked meat, with some potjiekos (slow cooked stew) options, and a few puddings. Oh there was a fire, slightly apart from the rows and rows of bench style tables! Our driver had told us that if we wanted to leave a little earlier after dinner, we should just let him know and he would drive us back to the Lodge, which we did. He told us to wait for him to finish his supper, and then led us to the truck, started the engine and disappeared - leaving us waiting for him for a total of 45 minutes! We arrived back to find, our lunch room service tray still outside our room, the tea tray still inside our room, and, although there had been some sort of turn down service, our wet dirty towels were still on the bathroom floor, with no fresh replacement. WHen I called for fresh towel, the housekeeping staff member quizzed me about why I needed 4 towels and was I sure there were 4 people staying, and then sent a surly, sullen staff member to our door with 3 facecloths. When we explained what we'd wanted she rolled her eyes saying but this is what I was given.......We only arrived at this place this morning and have decided on an early exit in the morning in order that our family holiday isn't further marred. It has been a truly unpleasant day...I take it back, this place deserves only one star. How hard it is to smile and offer a warm welcome in such beautiful surroundings?

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Chantal42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakubung L, General Manager at Bakubung Bush Lodge, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Please accept my sincere apologies for the poor service and game drives that you experienced at Bakubung Lodge. I would like to assure you that this is certainly not our normal standard. I have had a meeting with all my HOD’s with an instruction that they follow up and report back to me on all aspects of your complaint. There is certainly no excuse for an unfriendly welcome, lack of directions and information at Reception. It is also totally unacceptable for the service at the pool to be ‘muddled’. Unfortunately the litany of errors seemed to continue on the game drive and at the Boma. This is totally inexcusable.

Once again, please accept our apologies.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2013

My wife and I stayed 4 days in January and were very happy with all things Bakubung.
The guided safaris were informative and entertaining, food top notch with wide selection and rooms above expectation. Great place to get away.

Room Tip: ask for a room tha does not have a tree obstructing the watering hole
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LondonHigg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
johannesburg
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013

This is my first visit to Bakubung and will not be my last. Wow what a beautiful lodge, the rooms are perfect overlooking a watering hole with plenty of game and birds. They are large and tastefully decorated with all the facilities you need, there is a turn down service at night where tea coffee etc. is replenished. The buffet breakfast and buffet evening meal was great with a good variety. The staff are excellent, especially Andre van der Brink who went the extra mile and assisted me when i was bitten by a spider and took me to the clinic at Sun City,
The location of this lodge, on the border of the Pilanesberg National Park makes for a peaceful stay but with the excitement of the game drives to see the Big 5.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JohannesburgPommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Best place ever. Just returned from second trip here. Love the place. Warm wonderful staff who love the animals, great safari's with animals at your door. The staff all love the animals and are happy. Best to get self catering which are hard to reserve- but this place is terrific

Room Tip: If possible stay as close to the wattering hole as you can. Sit at night and listen to the sounds. W...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rhoesq1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Bakubung is paradise in the bush and all within an easy drive from Johannesburg. This is a beautiful, picturesque National Park, with a variety of self drive routes through the Park to give you your own Game experience at your own pace, specializing in your own Game choice to sit and view. Game Drives were excellent with very competent Rangers with exceptional, deep knowledge of the Game and the Bush in general - especially Jarred, who is first class. The well appointed bedroom for Disabled Guests made my stay with a disabled sister much easier to manage and the use of the Lodge wheelchair was also so very useful . This was my 3rd visit in a year and will return again. Well done to all.

Room Tip: Should you have any form of disabllity ask to be placed in Room 301. Perfectly fitted out for a comf...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jennifer F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bakubung Bush Lodge

Property: Bakubung Bush Lodge
Address: Bakubung Gate, Pilanesberg National Park 0316, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Pilanesberg National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Pilanesberg National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Bakubung Bush Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A mere two-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg and ten minutes from Sun City, lies a place of breathtaking beauty and serenity. A place called Bakubung Bush Lodge. Concealed in the rich expanses of the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park, Bakubung, or "People of the Hippo", offers guests everything they need to get in touch with the bush. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bakubung Bush Hotel Pilanesberg National Park

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