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“Great place for Children”

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Bakubung Bush Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great place for Children”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

We spent 5 days at Bakubung Bush Lodge with our two young children.

The check in staff were a bit hit and miss and even though we had already requested a room overlooking the perimeter, we found that the lady had put us in a room overlooking the pool. Thankfully we scouted our room out as we were early and we immediatley asked for a change. The matter was sorted out by a senior person on the desk as we were getting no joy from the initial check in lady who seem to indicate because we were staying for a long period of time that the good viewing rooms were for people who were staying for a short time.

Service in the restuarants were again hit and miss. Our youngest was sick the one morning and some staff seemed more intent in trying to clear out the service than assist. That said other staff members were really great asking about our youngest and keeping our eldest (5years old) company whilst my wife and I swapped care duties for our youngest child.

We went on the bushbraai (bbq) which was lovely and the food selection on this and the daily food selection was really good and not boring at all as some folk have mentioned. The food was one of the great areas that made the place.

With young children there was lots to do: be it the play area/ jungle gym, pool, jumping castle, pingpong and even the game drives were unlike what has been reported very open to taking young children along. The rangers were very inciteful and helpful and friendly which was great given the diversity of people, ages and langages of the various people on the drive. If you want the personal appraoch maybe arrange a personal drive though we did our self drives which were also great.

The room was comforable enough but maybe lacked some cupboard space if we were being highly critical for a small family. As already mentioned the sliding doors are not the most security concious feature and may need refitting with extra security measures as they could easily be pulled apart if someone wanted to enter the room. We also returned one night from a drive to find our front door open which was disconcerting, but was quickly and efficiently dealt with.

Our youngest eventually had to go to hospital but even then staff were rather helpful in getting medication to us etc.

The one thing the resort does need to sort out is whether its a timeshare resort or a hotel as I am not convinced that quality service can be maintained with the two run side by side.

Overall I think we would like to the resort again this time hopefully without any health issues.

Room Tip: Room overlooking the watering hole.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Pieman2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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752 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (184)
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English first
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2014

We spent 5 days at Bakubung Bush Lodge. The location and setting is excellent. You can just sit there and stare at the beauty of nature while some animals wonder around right in front of you. The restaurant is was excellent, great food and you can choose light of expensive meals. Relaxing at the pool on a hot day was lovely. Reception was friendly and the staff helpful. This was our second visit and we will go again.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 64Jean64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Klerksdorp
Level Contributor
62 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2014

Perfect lodge to stay to enjoy Pilansberg National Park and the Big 5.
5 Minutes away you have Sun City if the urge for gambling comes up.
Otherwise you can just sit on your veranda and look at elephants, hippo and loads of other animals that visit the waterhole.
Check in is fast and friendly.
Clean and friendly staff.
Well equipped chalets.
Wonderful pool with a view with great cocktails. The bar at the restaurant just needs an aircon.

Great place to stay. Very well located within range of everything you will need but still offers privacy and the peace and quiet only the African bush and animals can give you.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jaco F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2014

We stayed in Bakubung overnight at the end of January. We drove from Jo'burg ( a couple of hours fairly easy driving) and had a day self drive, checked into the lodge for the overnight including dusk and dawn game drives and a Bushbraai and self drive on the Sunday.

It's hard to beat Pilanesberg if you want to view the game, its my third visit and each one has been an amazing wildlife experience - close encounters with elephants, plus good sightings of Lions, Hippos, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest etc are almost guaranteed.

My previous visits I have stayed in other lodges in the park but this overnight in Bakubung was the least satisfactory experience by some way. The lodges were good enough but for me it was too much like a mid range chain hotel and too divorced from the bush. The bush braai was good enough, certainly there was plenty to eat!

What really let it down for me was the very poor quality game drive that we had paid extra for - our guide added little value and demonstrated no affinity with the bush - she was more like a tour guide than a true ranger. The drive itself was in a huge truck, much larger than the jeeps I had had previously on game drives from the other lodges here, so we were disconnected from the African experience.

We had a far better time with our self drive where we could just stop and watch and absorb when something took our fancy

So the whole Bakubung experience had more of a feel of a packaged tourist event that rushed you around so you could tick off that you had seen, without giving you time or information to appreciate and understand what you were watching - we might as well have been doing a city tour bus of Paris for all the connection we had with the magic of the African bush.

I would highly recommend Pilanesburg but if you stay in Pilanesburg think about what you want to get out of it and choose the lodge accordingly. You would visit the reserve for the opportunity to get close to the wildlife, so in my opinion a premium lodge like Bakubung should try harder to give you a more African experience

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank PurpleHaye5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2014

The Bakubung Bush Lodge is a fantastic place to stay if you're keen to head out on safari in Pilanesberg National Park.

I was on conference in Johannesburg and used Go Safari's to help me organize a safari for the weekend. Everything was organized exceptionally well, I was lucky enough to be picked up from my hotel in Jo'burg then head out on 3 safari's over the weekend.

Safari's were great, be mindful that depending on what you've booked you will either be loaded onto the bigger safari trucks or if you're lucky the smaller safari vehicles. Either seem to be great and I saw 3 of the big 5 (even saw some lions hunting!) whilst on safari.

Guides are excellent and staff at the hotel are friendly and helpful.

Rooms are gorgeous! Bathrooms are excellent. Everything is clean and very authentic, creating a perfect safari experience.

Food and service are good. They have a good service menu and the buffet was great as well. I did book a massage at the spa, this was good (although don't expect an uber professional therapist such as in London or New York).

I would most certainly return to Bakubung!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank iClaireAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014

We spent two days at Bakubung on 9-10 January. From start to finish we had an unforgettable experience. We were only the 2nd couple to ever become engaged at Bakubung - the first couple being a week before us - from Australia!! The game drives were outstanding. Jan is superb and knows the animals so well it was mind boggling. You won't go wrong with him as your guide. Faith (the Guest Relations Manager) went above and beyond when it came to organising the engagement part of our trip right down to where he proposed, the flowers and the champagne and platter of sublime food. The meals every time we ate were above and beyond. The lamb on the spit on the Friday night melted in your mouth. All in all we would go back in a heart beat. The only animals we didn't see were lions but having two herds of elephants pass in front of you brought a tear to my eye. So quiet yet so majestic and so many babies of differing ages. All in all JUST SUPERB!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ali K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2014

Other than an initial argument about our son sharing our room, we had a wonderful stay and were lucky to see a huge range of game on our game drives with Sipho and Lizzie, who entertained us with lots of information and jokes. The pool looked inviting but it rained too much for us to make use of it. The rain did not prevent us from seeing any game, though- quite the reverse, as in summer it can be difficult to spot animals. Our room was very comfortable and opened onto a patio from which we saw wildebeest and warthogs, as well as a cheeky monkey who came to inspect us! The food was served buffet-style with a wide choice to eat. Sun City is close by and transport is arranged if you want a break from nature,but we were there specifically to enjoy an African bush experience and see game.

Room Tip: For hotel rooms, ask for a room on the ground floor to enjoy the patio and easy access to the ground...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lesley S
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 #2 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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