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“Nice, but not quite worth all the stars.”

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Bakubung Bush Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 8, 2013

It's Africa, so perhaps one shouldn't expect European 5 star. But then again, why shouldn't we as they are perfectly capable to deliver.
This hotel delivers on many fronts. The rooms are nice and clean, the staff is friendly, the pool is clean, and you have wildlife on your doorstep - literally. My main concern about this hotel is the lack of coordination among the staff. The restaurant serves perfectly good food, but the staff runs around not knowing quite what to do, they forget orders (and being told off by the others), wrong orders to the right table and vice versa. If you're in a holiday mood these are trivilalities and not a major issue - unless you have small, tired children threatening to make a scene every other second due to lack of the ordered water, milk coke or what ever else. Then it can become just a tiny bit stressful.
Further lack of coordnation was experienced on the day of check-out. We asked if we could have the room an extra couple of hours (due to pool commitments before a long drive). We were told we could keep the room an extra hour as house keeping needed to clean the room before the next guests arrived. This was fine with us. During the extra hour the phone rings from the front desk kindly reminding us that we were late for check-out...
Pool time dragged out, so I went down to the front desk to ask for a changing room or similar, and was informed that we could just keep our (now emptied) room as long as needed.
That small incident aside, the game drives are very nice in the evening and morning. And it's quite special eating your breakfast next to zebras, giraffes, and elephants that can come right up to the electrified fence separating you.
Will we go back? Sure, no worries.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank EBMalmoe
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 reviewResponded March 13, 2013

Thank you for the feedback on your recent stay at Bakubung Lodge and for the positive comments.

I apologise that there was a lack of co-ordination between the staff and will certainly follow up with the relevant managers, in order that they address this shortcoming.

We look foward to welcoming you back to Bakubung Lodge in the not too distant future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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555 - 561 of 805 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2013

This was one of my best travel trips in forever not only because I was on a honeymoon vibe and excited to spend time with my new hubby, but the overall experience was amazing.
One of my favourite things was when we went on a night game drive and first thing we saw were the elephants playing in the water and having “bath time” and seeing how scared the big old hippo is of the elephant. We saw a great deal of animals the blouwilde bees, zebras, giraffes, white and black rhino and lots more. Just when we thought this evening could not be any better we ended off at the Boma with the most welcoming and warming “braai” ever!!!!there was food for Africa, we sat next to a lovely Canadian couple who also loved to eat and try as much of the food possible…luckily we could explain the African tradition meals.
The next morning we went on the elephant back safari which was so beautiful and a breath taking experience, we had the most amazing service and the best tour guide…they go through tremendous effort to make the experience worthwhile, they even make a cute video of your elephant safari as well as you feeding the beautiful elephants.

All in all this was the best holiday ever, good company, even better food, and excellent service.
We will definitely return with the rest of the family.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nicola K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

We were fortunate to stay in one of the chalets that look directly into the game reserve where animals frequently visit. Not only had elephant, warthog and zebra greeted us as we arrived but we then awoke to a massive herd of Wildebeest, four warthog families and an abundance of birdlife to make breakfast on the patio an absolute delight. The chalets are well equipped, well taken care of and very comfortable. I would strongly recommend a visit if you have never been to Bakubung. We ate in the restaurant and enjoyed a Saturday evening buffet. Although a little expensive the selection of food catered for every taste. Just a pity the chef didn't smile more which is about the only negative that can be added. All in all a great experience.

Room Tip: Chalet 212 has a great view of the wildlife when they come to visit
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Balerno0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Perfect location with the Pilanesberg right outside our window. You could actually take a shower and watch the zebras grazing outside.

The food was excellent, both breakfast and dinner (included in our booking).

Very well kept lodge and very clean. The pool was well placed with a wonderful view.

It was sad to leave after 3 nights and we defenitly will return some day.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank Annlouise2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

The lodge is perfectly situated for adventures into the Pilanesburg National Park. The chalets were well appointed & serviced regularly. Wonderful views of the reserve just the other side of the electric fence served up elephants and various buck species during our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Marc M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Clive690
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Freetobemyself
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

Address: Kubu Street | 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 #2 of 3 Hotels in Pilanesberg National Park
Price Range: $321 - $634 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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