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“The most amazing experience”

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Gondwana Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The most amazing experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

This is without doubt the best place I have ever stayed in my life. From the beautiful drive into the reserve, the house we stayed in was fabulous. Thatched roof, four poster beds, huge bathrooms. The food was lovely, plenty of it. It was cold when we stayed but we enjoyed Easter Sunday dinner with our friends round the log fire. The animals were beautiful, the landscape and countryside awe inspiring and the staff could not have been more attentive or helpful. One day I'd love to go back again.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Roothill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Thank you for your feedback on your stay on Gondwana Game Reserve!
We certainly do hope to host you again on the Reserve soon, perhaps for Christmas this time!
Kind regards
Neil Davison
General Manager, Gondwana Lodges
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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777 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 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 (157)
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

We chose Gondwana after reviewing its website, which was very promising. Summary of our experience:

Great:
Accommodation - excellent and as shown on website
Service - very hospitable and nice people
Food - not 5 star but good enough.
Scenery: Beautiful
Ranger - Colin. Passionate, skillful, polite, knowledgeable, helpful.
Lions - definitely present

Average:
Ranger Mike- comes across as being aloof and arrogant, self centered and not too caring towards clients. We were freezing while he carried on driving madly in search of animals. Didn't take time to explain nor prepare any hot beverage. Told us not to interrupt while he is talking! We felt like HE was the boss and the client and we his followers who depended on him. He was also busy taking his own pictures.

Dislike:
Not enough animals. Disappointing. No lack of Zebras though...

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank LuAnn O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, September 1, 2013
Dear Lu-Ann,
Thank you for the valuable feedback on your stay. I am pleased that apart from your drive with our Field Guide Mike, you had a more than enjoyable stay. Mike has been with us for some time now and his energetic approach and commitment to being on Game Drive can sometimes be taken as arrogant or out of touch of his guests needs. This does come with experience and his raw passion cannot be questioned as he does thoroughly enjoy what he does. I am sorry that this came across poorly during your stay, but hence bringing in our Head Ranger Colin to give you a more refined experience as perhaps you preferred. It is important we receive feedback on experience so that we can better monitor our guests experiences and preferences.
We look forward to hosting you again on the Reserve soon.
Kind Regards
Neil Davison
General Manager, Gondwana Lodges
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London, UK
Level Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013

The three days that we spent at Gondwana were magical. The quality of the accommodation and food, the professionalism and friendliness of the staff, the beauty of the location and last but not least the marvellous animals all enhanced the fantastic experience. We stayed in a three bedroomed, self catering villa but booked full board which included two game drives and breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner. The food compared to the best we have eaten anywhere. Not many guests went on the early morning game drives but we had saw some fantastic sights in the morning often when we were the only guests there. The guides are incredibly knowledgable and made you feel very safe even when you are sitting twenty metres away from a pride of lions in an open land rover!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, September 1, 2013
Dear John, Gillian and Andrew.
Thank you for the fantastic feedback on your stay with us in August.
It is always tempting to lie in and skip the morning drives, but in this environment perseverance wins the day and lying in bed wont get you close to the sightings you enjoyed whilst with us.
Our team of Chefs have recently been through a wonderful transition and the new Chefs have taken to the challenge well so I am pleased you enjoyed the style of food we offer as an upmarket Game Lodge.
All the best for the year ahead, and we would be delighted to host the Haddon family again soon
Kind regards
Neil Davison
General Manager, Gondwana Lodges
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, our experience at Gondwana was superb.
All the staff we met along the way were warm, friendly and very helpful. Our accommodation was fantastic - we had a self catering house which was beautifully decorated and with stunning views.
Breakfast was a feast, as was the high tea we experienced before our game drive. Forget (his name not my memory!) took us on the game drive and he was very informative, funny and charming and we were lucky to have seen the big 5 - a memory I will have forever. Considering we went in August and were expecting colder weather the heatwave we experienced only made the holiday more perfect.
Gondwana is without a doubt a place we will return to - the kids are already trying to make a date!
If you are looking for a once in a lifetime, dream holiday then I would highly recommend Gondwana to anyone.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Catrini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, September 1, 2013
Thank you for the wonderful feedback on your stay with us in August.
The Villas are ideal for family travel and we are pleased you were able to relax and enjoy the experience as it was intended. Forget has been with us the longest and is an amazing guide and character and has an incredible knowledge on Fynbos, something which only comes with time. We look forward to hosting you again in the future.
All the best
Neil Davison
General Manager, Gondwana Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Egg, Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

Visited in October 2012 with our 2 boys aged 8 and 11. The accommodation (3 bedroom lodge) was fabulous, especially the open fires and the hot water bottles in the beds on arrival. Stayed 3 nights and enjoyed great game viewing each day. The weather was pretty awful - cold and wet - but saw lion, elephant, giraffe, zebra, lots of birdlife and most memorably the hippos playing in the water in the rain. Food was good and plentiful - too much most of the time. The guide Henk was knowledgeable and very patient with our kids, who still talk about him now almost a year later! A great first safari experience for our kids. It did take longer than we thought to drive from Cape Town and it is a long boring drive, but otherwise the location was fine. We stopped for lunch at Mossel Bay on the way home - definitely worth a detour and a nice contrast to the wilderness feel of Gondwana.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Heather M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
Dear Heather, James, Cameron and Alex. Thank you for the wonderful feedback on your stay with us in October. It was a pity that during your 3 night stay the weather was so miserable it was very strange for October which is usually a good month as Spring is in full swing. I am pleased the 2 little ones could spend some time on the Reserve in the rain finding game, the Family experience for us is crucial and an important part of what we offer. We hope to see you again on the Reserve soon. Regards, Neil and the Gondwana Team.
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Cape Town
Level Contributor
44 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

I visited Gondwana with my wife on a business educational, being a guide and Tour Operator.
We were wonderfuly welcomed, treated to a 'tour' by the General manager Neil and then were fortunate enough to also experience a Safari lunch, which could stand up to any restaurant with great cuisine anywhere.
The whole ambience lent to relaxing in the wild and I believe a lot has been put into making everyone's stay a magical experience.
I certainly look forward to a future few days where one can appreciate quiet nature and a safari so close to Cape Town.
Well done.

Room Tip: All rooms are equally comfortable.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Clive F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, August 20, 2013
Dear Clive and Pat. Thank you for the feedback on your stay with us the end of July. I am pleased your stay was both educational and enjoyable. It was our pleasure hosting you on the Reserve and we look forward to seeing you again soon for some R&R in the Fynbos!
Best Regards, Neil and the Gondwana Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2013

We were a group of 5: 3 high school students and 2 teachers from the U.S. We were looking for a short, two-night safari experience within a reasonable distance from Cape Town. And we found it in Gondwana. The accommodations were so lovely. The huts are nicely appointed in a "luxury African hut motif," if you can imagine that. The staff was very friendly. The food was excellent. We had a lot of fun and adventure on our twice-daily game drives. Our driver's name was "Delicious" and he knew so much about the animals, the flora and the fauna. We saw every animal but the lions, however we were A-OK with that. The lions are free-range, so they do not release them as you get close to them. You have to find them. We did not have the "I have to see a lion or I am not going to like this place" attitude. We really enjoyed all of the varied animals, and relished in our time at Gondwana. It was a do-able drive from Cape Town. We hired a very nice driver, and the trip was relaxing for us. We will return next year when we bring our students back in July. Thank you to all of the friendly staff. And oh yes... I had one of the nicest pedicures ever. What a view!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joggin-along-to-nowhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GondwanaGameReserve, General Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, August 20, 2013
Dear Helen and Michelle. Thank you for the feedback on your stay with us in July. We will most certainly welcome you back next year and look forward to spoiling you again. Its always a pleasure seeing our guests enjoy the Lodge and Reserve for what it was intended and the 5 of you certainly seemed to make the most of the good weather, the Reserve and of course the Lodge facilities. We will have to ensure we get those lions on board for your next stay. All the best for the remainder of the year. Regards, Neil and the Gondwana Team.
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Additional Information about Gondwana Game Reserve

Property: Gondwana Game Reserve
Address: Garden Route | 4 hr drive from Cape Town, Mossel Bay 6500, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Mossel Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Mossel Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gondwana Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gondwana Game Reserve provides the perfect safari break less than 4 hours drive from Cape Town and 45 minutes from George airport along South Africa’s popular Garden Route. The 11,000 hectare private game reserve offers a distinctive malaria-free safari experience in a spectacular mountain and Fynbos landscape adding vivid colour and interest to a Big Five wilderness experience. This exclusive reserve offers guests attentive service, superb cuisine, inspiring interiors, expert game rangers and a fun Junior Ranger Program for the kids. Kwena Lodge boasts 14 Khoi-San inspired Kwena Rooms. Each open plan suite is nestled into its spectacular surrounds with 180-degree views of the spectacular surrounds overlooking 2 waterholes where elephant frequent. The rooms offer sky lights for star gazing, clay pot fireplaces and deep baths to keep you warm upon return from an evening game drive. The spacious lodge facilities include a large infinity pool, chic open-plan lounge and bar, with food and beverage services offered in an elegant dining room set around 2 open fireplaces or in the outdoor boma. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gondwana Game Reserve Hotel Mossel Bay

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