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“Excellent game reserve with outstanding accomodation”

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Gondwana Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 8, 2014

The round huts are the place to stay! Beautiful setting of the lodge, nicely decorated, good food, friendly well trained staff and exceptional wildlife experience. We had only 24 hours there but enjoyed every minute.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Maria16802
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 February 10, 2014

Dear Maria,
Thank you for the wonderful feedback on your brief stay with us in January. Congratulations once again to you both, we wish you all the happiness as you begin your lives together. The Kwena Rooms are unique in design and comfort, and offer a small insight into the African culture and style of this area.

We look forward to hosting you again soon and hopefully for more than 1 night, as there is much more of the area and Reserve to discover and enjoy!
Kind Regards
Neil Davison

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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552 - 558 of 864 reviews

Reviewed January 24, 2014 via mobile

We spent 3 nights at Gondwana in a family villa this January which was stunning. The views for each bedroom were amazing to wake up to each morning and apart from the zebras munching very loudly outside our balcony doors one night it was perfectly peaceful! The grounds and pool were a great place to spend time between game drives which are every morning and evening. The reserve itself seems to be quite young so whilst there were animals around there weren't herds and herds of them, we had to search around quite a lot but our driver Brian made sure each drive was a brilliant one and kept us entertained!

The only thing that lets this place down ever so slightly is the food. It's done as a mix of local and some more general but could do with a little bit more attention. One of our party was gluten free and despite warning in advance it seemed to come as a bit of a shock every evening so something had to be thrown together last minute. Also I'm not sure why the brai area isn't used, seemed like a bit of a wasted opportunity as the weather was great, in fact we were in SA for 2 weeks and didn't have one, very odd. Have to say breakfast was lovely though as was afternoon tea and we didn't starve!

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Sophie P
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 January 27, 2014

Dear Sophie, Gill, Trevor and Chloe
Thank you for the fantastic and balanced feedback on your stay with us at Gondwana Game Reserve. Firstly my apologies for the lack of consideration with your meal preferences during your stay. We take care to gain as much information on our guests travelling to us and dietaries and food allergies are key. This is disappointing as the team were well aware of the preferences. I have reiterated the importance of this to our Chefs so we do not have a repeat of this.
Brian will be delighted that you enjoyed the time on the Drives with him. He is a wonderful guide with a natural flair for sharing his knowledge and experiences with his guests. He is in an important part of our team, so thank you for these encouraging comments.
We are currently employing new Chefs and taking a turn on our food style and your comments will go along way in us taking this part of your stay to the next level. Locally sourced fresh produce and flavours are important to our food philosophy however we need to be mindful of different palates in this regard and ensure we offer sufficient variety for all to enjoy something unique and of course true to South Africa. We do 'braai' as often as we can and this is dependent not only on the weather but all our in house guests needs and preferences as well. Believe it or not, we have had criticism on offering a 'braai' as it does not fit the overall Lodge feeling. I can only encourage you to return to Gondwana soon and we will treat you all to a South African braai experience like none other. All the best
Neil Davison and the Gondwana Lodge Team

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Reviewed January 22, 2014

We had 3 days of safaris on Gondwana and stayed in the Bush villas. The accommodation was awesome and in the morning we saw zebras going past. Safaris were excellent as we saw plenty of animals for a smaller reseve. Food was also very good. The only negative point we can mention is that the organisation is a littlest bit erratic at times. One thing to improve to really make the stay unforgetable!

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
Thank FatNat04
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 January 27, 2014

Good afternoon!
Thank you for the wonderful feedback on your recent stay with us at Gondwana Game Reserve.
We are pleased you enjoyed the time with the girls on the Game drives, and were entertained my some of the many species we host on the Reserve. January is a great month to visit the area with the pin cushions at the end of their flowering stages, with warm temperatures and long days allowing you to enjoy the Swimming pool between Game Drives. I also am pleased that being our busiest season and our team being pushed to their limits that your stay was not impacted by sharing this experience with many other guests at the Lodge.
We look forward to welcoming you back on the Reserve again soon!

Kind regards,
Neil Davison and the Gondwana Lodge Team

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Reviewed January 14, 2014

On the plus side, the bush villa was beautiful and the view epic. The park is gorgeous with spectacular nature, mountains and valleys. If seeing animals is your main reason for going to South Africa, don't go to Gondwana. If you like food and nature with a hint of a wild animal, then it is a good stay. The restaurant personnel were lovely as was our game driver Brian.

On the minus side...
- The first game drive was 45 minutes delayed because we had to wait for another couple to arrive, and we were not compensated for the time lost.
- The second, our guide chose to educate us about zebras when everyone else hurtled to the lions who were eating somewhere. Our driver then had to rush and we just caught the male lion walking back to the bushes not to be seen again.
- That night after dinner, the door of the van that drove us home fell off. After standing in the game reserve in the dark trying to help our driver to fix it, one of us had to hold it to the side of the van while driving back. We did not even get a "thank you, and sorry for the trouble".
- The third game drive, the steering wheel broke as we were driving (luckily slow) and we crashed in the bushes. It was raining heavily and we were stuck for 30-40 minutes before a new car came to fetch us. Then they drove us back to the reception instead of continuing the game drive in the new car. And, again, we were not compensated for the time lost game driving.
- To add insult to injury, one of us dried a skirt and top on the wooden towel hanger in the bathroom, only to find brown color over the whole things. When mentioning it to reception, all she got was a "well, it's meant for dry towels".

So, the service and customer care from the front desk and management is lacking and is very disappointing.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank annaeliasson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014 via mobile

Attention to detail and inviting was my first impression.

A great part of experience was our brilliant guide that went out of his way to share his knowledge and show as much as possible of the reserve to us.

The rooms are stunning! The personalized notes on your bed each night, the unique design and views made for a pleasurable stay.

I would recommend packing hiking shoes and asking your guide to show you around between drives

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Carina E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2013

We just returned from South Africa where we spent 3 nights at the magnificent Gondwana game reserve. I have been on safari in South Africa many years ago but this was definitely the best all round experience. The staff are all very welcoming on arrival and the accommodation lodges are a fun and novel experience (as well as clean and warm at night with the electric blankets!). The reserve itself is vast and we weren't disappointed with the animals that we saw - after 2 days we had seen the big 5. Our ranger throughout our stay was new but impressed us with his knowledge of all animals, birds and flora, whilst also making the drives fun. Both the breakfasts and evening meals were of excellent quality with the evening menu changing each night. During our stay we had the pleasure to meet the owners Mark & Wendy and had a chance to chat with them about the reserve - you can see that the passion and energy that they are putting into Gondwana is certainly paying off for them. Thanks for a great time to all involved and we look forward to returning one day!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jamie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2013

Being just off the Garden Route this game reserve is very conveniently located to travel along the Southern coast. We stayed there for 3 nights in late November. It was an interesting experience. They got all the big things right. 1. The suites are beautiful and well appointed. 2. Our game drives were a blast. Our guide, Mike, was both knowledgeable and passionate. I think we saw most of the animals on the property except the leopard - which Mike admitted never having seen himself. We got up close and had plenty of viewing time. Don't expect to see large numbers of any one type of animal. The reserve is young and the 'herds' are very small. Mike also shared a lot of information about the flora and bird life on the reserve. The reserve is rich with fynbos which attracts many beautiful birds. 3. The property is gorgeous because of all the fynbos and rolling landscape, which you also enjoy during the game drives. Unfortunately, there was also a downside to our stay: numerous little things that they didn't get right. For example: 1. Prior to our stay I had made spa appointments. They scheduled them at a different time than my confirmation so I was not able to receive the services I had booked. 2. The restaurant was a challenge. At almost every meal waits were unreasonably long between courses (45+ minutes at lunch?!), wrong things were brought to the table and at one dinner they even forgot to serve our entree. Unfortunately these constant little things really detracted from the total experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mary N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 35 Specialty Lodging in Mossel Bay
Price Range: $547 - $3,644 (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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