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Mtentu Lodge
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Reviews (81)
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All reviewsthe riverwild coastnature reservean adventurefishbring your ownbeautiful placea special placewholesome foodfew daysoff the beaten trackfriendly hostsgreat funmy opinionabsolute blisslaid backbest kept secret
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Reviewed February 21, 2013

The road is long but its so worth it and the drive is just a small part of the adventure. There are many great spots to stop along the way and take in the scenery. Ive been to many places in the world and none come close to the untouched beauty of Mtentu. Its a great place where you can explore the surrounding areas or just chill out at the lodge and enjoy the peace and quiet. Russel and Bridgette are brilliant hosts and make one feel very welcome and at home.Cannot wait to go back! :)

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank ritahiggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

The drive through to the lodge is an adventure in itself, but a great amount of fun and often a good laugh on the trip. When you arrive at the lodge, you realise that you are away from civilisation, no cellphones, no real electricity but you look around and see the picturesque landscapes, the fresh sea air all around. You can enjoy a shower looking out over the sea and watching the whales splash in the distance (if that's not a good enough reason to visit what else is?).
I cannot put into words the feeling of joy and freedom I feel when I am there. Truly one of the most beautiful places. Every time I visit I feel like I am coming home. They have created an environment where you can just relax and truly enjoy your surroundings. This is just the lodge on its own, but when you decide to take a little walk or paddle etc you get to experience the wonders of nature, the beautiful waters of the lagoon, stunning waterfalls. It is absolutely the best of everything. One of my most favourite memories and indescribably beautiful experiences was paddling up the Mtentu river and watch the waters change of turquoise to sapphire as my canoe is surrounded my giant King fish, so close I could touch them.
This place, the people, the community, the landscapes will spark something in you, you will never put out.
These people provide you with comfort in the wild, and I can promise you, you will not leave without laughing till your sides hurt and this uncontrollable sense of happiness every time you think about its pure beauty!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Beanie88mac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

If my words can't express how amazing this place, perhaps my actions explain it. I went for a weekend ... stayed for five months!

Now I'll try with my words... I absolutely fell in love with the place, the people, the view, the activities, the beaches, the rivers, the waterfalls, the hikes, the village, the language, the peaceful evenings or the parties, the food, the staff, the cabins, the comfy beds, the outdoor-ocean-view showers, the birds, the rolling hills, the cultural experiences, the adventures, the stunning drive in and out, the chill-out room, the sunsets and sunrises... ALL of it.

Russel and Bridget, with all of their amazing staff, have created an eco-friendly, community-based lodge that is an absolute treat to visit. Even before you arrive, the vistas start to take you away into what feels like a different time period. As long as you are staring out the window at the epic scenery, and not in a huge rush, the drive is the perfect way to transport yourself from the bustling hecticness of everyday life, into the slower-moving, peaceful, tranquility that you will find once you reach Mtentu River Lodge. No emails, no cell phones (your phone will work a short walk up the hill if you need it for emergencies), no traffic, no rush, no worries. Life is good at Mtentu River Lodge.

The cabins are all perched high above the river-mouth, and connected by charming wooden boardwalks. They are clean and the beds are comfy. The bathrooms are located near the main lodge, and are very clean and pleasant. The best part is that each cabin has a beautiful porch where you can sit and enjoy a morning cup of coffee, an afternoon read or sundowners before dinner. There are also many places to relax and hang out in the main lodge, in the chill-out room or around the fire. If you want to relax and never leave your room or the lodge, you will be absolutely at peace and in heaven here. If you want to take advantage of everything else that the location of the lodge has to offer, there is more to do than you'll have time for. (I don't think I did everything I wanted to, and I have spent five months there over the past year).

Resting above one of the only protected estuaries on the Wild Coast, and looking out across Mkumbati Nature reserve, Mtentu River Lodge is indeed located in a truly special place. This area is home to more than 2200 species, of which 196 are endemic. To put this in context, the entirety of the United Kingdom is home to 1400 species!

I can also safely say, I am not the only person who loves it there. Every guest who came through over the course of five months absolutely loved the place, and many people returned time after time. Many had young kids, and they also had a blast. Kids of all ages can have an amazing time at the lodge. I had a few guests from Canada visit the first time, and they never wanted to leave. When I returned the second time, I took a few volunteers to do work in the community. One was there for two months, one for six weeks, and one for two weeks. All of them shared the same sentiment when it was time to go - they did not want to! The South African friends that I invited to visit me there fell in love as well and are itching to return. It is a magical place.

I have been traveling and living around the world my entire life. I have visited well over 40 countries. And I don't hesitate in recommending Mtentu River Lodge as an absolute MUST-VISIT!! It is by far one of the most amazing places I have ever been. Russ and Bridget have done a phenomenal job.

Feel free to check out my blog posts at http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/maia/4/1331681669/tpod.html (This is one of the first ones, but there are many more about life at the lodge)

A list of things you MUST do when you go:
- paddle up the river (at LEAST to the first waterfall)
- paddle/hike to Swallowtail falls
- hike to the Five Waterfall viewpoint
- go to a Sangoma dance
- have sundowners on one of the "sunset rocks"
- have a bonfire on the beach if the tides are right
- enjoy a braai and great company around the fire in the evening
- look at the stars
- walk along the beach to Strandloper cave and waterfall!! (Check out the shipwreck on the way!)
- chat with the wonderful local staff (there is so much more to them than their gorgeous smiles)
- sit on your porch and look at the view
- SHOWER IN THE OUTDOOR SOLAR SHOWERS (don't worry, they're still private)
- gallop a horse along the beach
- eat Thandi's chicken stew

Room Tip: They are all amazing, but my favourites are probably 5 or 6. You can't go wrong though.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank MaiaCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Been twice now and absolutely loved it both times. Away from civilisation but still very comfortable and food is awesome!

Dont leave without hiking to the 2 incredible local waterfalls...and of course jumping off the big rock...

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank SteveLovesLamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Mtentu River Lodge is rustically perfect. In the heart of Pondoland it’s set on a scene dotted by colourful Xhosa huts, cows on the rolling hills, an untamed ocean and beaches without footprints on the sand. The river is actually a protected estuary.

Russel and Bridgette are the go-getters behind this gem and are backpackers at heart, just like their lodge. Their objective when opening the place was to include and uplift the community through it as well as ensuring it has as little impact on the environment as possible. Solar showers and solar lighting are just a few of the eco friendly elements at the lodge. A veggie garden and compost heap also help keep the place "green".

The lodge is unpretentious, friendly and life is simple there which makes it incredible. We filled our days with beach and river activities such as canoeing to see the waterfalls, walks and swims, scenic drives and exploration of the vast great-outdoors the area has to offer. The lodge’s bar and bonfire areas hum with atmosphere created by the friendly faces there.

The lodge can accommodate 24 guests in 6 wooden cabins- all with incredible views. Socialised doggies are welcomed guests too which is a huge bonus to those of us with canine travel buddies. It’s a very special piece of untouched paradise, completely off the beaten track with green tendencies that adds to its allure and friendliness.

Room Tip: All cabins have sea and river views. absolutely divine!
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KellyKidson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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