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Thonga Beach Lodge
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Reviews (393)
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All reviewsthonga beachlake sibayalocal communityocean experienceremote locationsea viewscuba divingexcellent foodindian oceanforest walkour honeymoonsouth africaturtle watchingnearby lakelocal staffcultural tourpiece of paradise
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276 - 281 of 393 reviews
Reviewed May 1, 2012

We were a group of 8 - 4 adults and 4 young children (age 3 - 8). All the staff were lovely - the children were as welcome as we were and even on one (rare) rainy morning, they brought out activities that the staff did with us. The beach is to die for - yes the snorkelling can be challenging but who doesnt love a challenge? The boat trip one morning was awesome - Clive and Donna were the best skippers and dive mates one could ask for. We found pods of dolphins who were more than happy to come and play as well as 3 types of adult turtles. One morning we even found one of the last turtle nests that had hatched that night with one still hatching!! Too cute. Andy and his management team are hard working, dedicated and only too happy accomodate your requests. The beds are HUGE, the food fab - I cant praise Thonga enough. Well done guys - keep up the good work. x

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank HerAq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2012

To start with the best part: the location is unique. Miles and miles of pristine beaches make this a perfect hideaway. Getting here is already fun. You really need an SUV for the last 30 miles or so. Take the scenic route along lake Sibaya and watch the hippos. A good SATNav will be helpful.

The beach is fantastic, however, we would not recommend it for families as strong rip tides make swimming unsafe for children.The local staff were likeable and obviously tried hard to make their guests feel at home. Laudably, they were mainly recruited from the nearby village Mabibi. The excursions on offer were nice. We particularly liked swimming with dolphins and the sundowner with hippos at the nearby lake Sibaya.

Unfortunately, to a certain extent, this place is a wasted opportunity. It does not live up to the expectations raised by rates of 800USD per night or by the pictures published on its website. It is definitely not a luxury resort. The cabins are comfortable enough, if a bit poorly maintained, and nobody would find fault with them if they cost 200$/night seeing as they are really far away from it all. The same goes for the food: fairly bland and not much variety which can of course be explained by the long distance to the next proper store, but then again we have stayed in remote resorts charging much less where we were spoilt for choice and the food was delicious.
Other things like serving white wine at room temperature or placing the pool in a dark hollow w/o any sea view are unforced errors and make you feel sorry that such a wonderful location has not been put to better use.

Unless the owners appoint a new management capable of running the lodge properly or drastically cut room rates this place is very poor value for money.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Mike P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2012

This is a wonderful place, its difficult to speak too highly of it and the experience. It is remote, its not a family place, the pool is small, the generator struggles to keep up, the snorkelling is challenging given the currents, the trucks old and bouncy, BUT the location is gorgeous, the beaches clean and empty, the service and friendliness unstinting and genuine, the food fantastic, the wildlife unique, the trips well planned, the accommodation comfortable and nicely designed and laid out, there is privacy when you want it, there is a really professional dive school, I could go on and on.

We saw turtles lay their eggs, hatchlings emerge and enter the sea, we swam with dolphins up close, we saw snakes and hippos and crocs, butterflies abound, we drank cocktails as the sun went down, we lay on the beach to watch the stars, we relaxed and chilled and slept, and walked and chilled some more and made new friends and felt so happy and lucky just to be there.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank grs3101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

We stayed in Thongo beach resort for 3 days, and we can easliy say that it was in the top 3 list of our favorite places in South Africa. The room is gorgeous with a magnificient sea view (you need to book this one, ask for it). The environmment is also "more than the eyes can meet": obviously the most beautiful, lifefull & untouched beach we have ever seen, lake Sibaya with all its Hippos and crocodiles, the beautiful accommodation perfectly integrated into the coast, simple and easy snorkling (perfect for a first try).

The service is also high standard with a special thanks to Maxwell who took care of us during all our stay, giving us priceless information on the local nature and Mabibi community. Food is good and better than in most place we went before.

To put it in a nutshell, go there, open your eyes and enjoy, you're in heaven!

Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank MaruNiMar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2012

We went there for our Honeymoon and we fell in love... of Thonga Beach Lodge

- Nicest staff possible that will do anything to make you feel in Paradise
- Most of the staff are experienced divers, so if you have your PADI or want to get it, or just snorkel around, this is THE place to go
- rooms are unbelievably beautiful and quiet. We got an aromatic bath and it was some experience
- massages & Spa is very relaxing, since it is in a private bungalow open in a garden
- food is exquisite. Cuisine gastronomique haut de gamme. Buffet for breakfast & lunch is perfect
- I'm not sure I would go there for a family vacation, but for a couple, it's heaven
- access to the lodge is tricky and requires a good car (SUV mandatory) a good GPS combined with a paper Map. But it was a lot of fun driving for 1 hour in the sand, through herds of cows chillin' on the road and giant dunes
- beach is endless and Indian Ocean water is definitely very warm !

- The Open Ocean Experience was INCREDIBLE. After some training (or memory refresh) you get to take a zodiac and go to a diving spot not far from the lodge. There, we saw giant turtles, rays, whales, all kinds of fish, corals...
paradise on earth and underwater

Also an eco-lodge, recycling everything and employing the nearby villagers to participate to the local economy.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank al3xh4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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