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“Exceeded expectations by far.”

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Gondwana Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2013

If you go to Africa, you MUST stay here.
You can't beat the natural beauty, the breathtaking views of the landscape and animals, or the high standard of service.
Our safari driver Colin, had incredible determination to ensure we saw all of the animals, and on every drive you could see that this was his passion.
The other staff can't seem to help enough either. Everything is taken care of and nothing seemed too much to ask for.
Me and my partner would highly recommend Gondwana game reserve to everyone. There is no way you will be disappointed.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank Cheryl G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

I've previously been on safari in Kenya but I have to say that this was much better. Driving into the reserve feels a bit like entering Jurrassic Park, but maybe thats just the buildings. Kwena lodge is at the head of a stunning valley and each room is a domed thatched hut. Inside they're very spacious with wood burning stoves and great bathrooms where the bath looks out down the valley.

Admittedly there are, as some reviewers have pointed out, fewer animals in this reserve than at some other safari destinations but its nice to see somewhere that is trying to balance making a profit with good ecological management. That said there was plenty to see and our excellent knowledgable guide managed to find lions, hippo and rhino amongst others on our two game drives. When there weren't any animals in the immediate vicinity she was full of interesting facts about the plants and birds in the reserve.

The restaurant is one of the better ones that I've visited in South Africa and the food is very welcome once you've built up an appetite on a 3 hour game drive.

We stayed for 1 night full board which included 2 game drives. I would have loved to stay longer but I would have thought, unless you are a real safari nut, 2 nights with 3 game drives would be plenty of safari and give a bit of time to actually enjoy the resort.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rorcster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We spent 2 days at Gondwana but definitely wish we had booked longer. The scenery is breathtaking and we were fortunate to see all the animals on our game drives, as well as the elephants in front of the lodge when we got back! Our ranger Nick was great and took us very close to all the animals and shared his knowledge with us. The accommodation is absolute luxury and we really appreciated all the daily personal touches.
Above all, the quality which distinguishes this resort from the others is the exceptional customer service, with a special mention and thank you to Vincent. The staff are so warm and welcoming and we really felt entirely relaxed and cared for during our stay. I recommend this place to anyone and can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank A_Max_M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

I think the main grouse for Gondwana has to be the overall lack of animals in this vast stretch of land over 11000 hectares. However, the accommodation and food were excellent, and services from staff, especially Vincent, Colin, and Alvin were fantastic. Young ranger Mike also should be praised for his unrelenting "chase" of animals, even though his "people" skills really need improving. Overall as a first timer, this place has been a great experience, so well done Gondwana!

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Rupert S
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 reviewResponded September 2, 2013

Good day. Thank you for your balanced feedback on your stay with us recently.
Its wonderful to see so many of our team members making a difference, we have invested in a fantastic team and they are to be commended for the sterling job they do and how they look after our guests so well. This time of year, Winter, is not an easy game viewing period as the Reserve is green and flush with Fynbos flowering so the game tend to move less for water or food. None the less, this is part of the natural experience we provide with our game roaming freely on the 11000ha Reserve. Once again thank you for wonderful feedback.
Kind Regards
Neil Davison
General Manager, Gondwana Lodges

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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.
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
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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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.
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Additional Information about 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 #2 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Mossel Bay
Price Range: $585 - $995 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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