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“A trip of a lifetime”

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andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A trip of a lifetime”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Alan and Fanny were our guides and did an incredible job tracking down the big 5. We even saw a cheetah feeding on her kill and baby hyenas. Their enthusiasm was infectious. We were very happy with the game we saw.
The lodge itself was was picture perfect. What really pushed Ngala over the edge was the service. My husband got sick the day the staff arranged for a bush dinner outside of the property. Since he felt too ill to leave the lodge, the staff arranged for a romantic private dinner right outside our room door--complete with candles, wine and soup (made just for him). I can't wait to visit another one of their properties. The food was average/okay. Overall I thought it was perfectly priced and would definitely visit their other properties.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank HumptyDumptyJ0urney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
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English first
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
66 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Our intention had been to spend two nights at the tented camp but due to a misundrstanding we had one night at the lodge and one night at Tented. We were greeted by Herbert who had been our butler at Tented six years ago. We were given the safari suite which is quite luxurious in terms of amenities and space; two bathrooms and a private pool plus spacious living room and bedroom. It is, however, a little tired and in need of the refurbishment which I understand will be done next year. Food was good and pleasantly served and our accommodation was serviced very well and efficiently. The game was good although not as "up close and personal" as we would experience later at Leadwood and Phinda.Our ranger was Allyn who is young and enthusiastic getting as much enjoyment as we did as two lions casually strolled across the road from Kruger. The radio interaction between the stations (vehicles) was a little less than professional and there was a definite note of chauvinism directed at a female ranger out of Tented. Coincidentally, she was our ranger at Tented and turned out to be decidedly superior. I would certainly recommend this lodge for first timers and most definitely for those with children.

Room Tip: Take the safari suite it is very private and worth the few extra rand.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Trippinbrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
218 reviews
104 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

NGALA Safari Lodge:

Arrival Sept. 5 - Sept 9, 2012

This Lodge operated by & BEYOND is a top of the line operation.. previously they were known as CCAfrica. Our transfer from Sabi Sand took 2 1/2 hrs., due to rainy conditions. It never rained during our previous visits. Let me tell you, it's no fun to be on Safari when it rains. It's just awful. The rain stayed in the area fro 4 days, how lucky can you get.
We were welcomed by "Herbert" and our personal Valet was "Given" who escorted us to our Suite. We were in Chalet #2 , beautiful accommodations, the room is tastefully furnished with a sitting area and a huge bathroom as well as a terrace. You will love it too.

The Food is outstanding, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner as well as High Tea. You have a big selection of food items to choose from and everything tasted soooo good. Since the weather was inclement all the open fire places were lit which created a very homey atmosphere. Our Valet "Given" provided excellent service , every step of the way. There was always a surprise for dinner around the corner, one evening we had a private dinner on our balcony with lanterns, then dinner was served in the open-air dining room with local entertainment, ( chanting / singing, dances, the sound of drums ) then dinner was served in the Boma. It simply was a beautiful experience, what a treat. The lodge itself is well kept and very intimate.

Our Ranger was " DIKE " and our Tracker Zub-Zub a veteran of 52 years in the bush. WOW...... Since it either rained or we had drizzle, there was no canvas roof put on the Land Rover to protect us, we were given heavy duty "Ponchos" not completely waterproof but they helped We did NOT see any Cheetahs even though there is a corridor from Ngala to Kruger Nat'l Park. We were able to see Lions ( up to 15 ) and Leopards, Elephants ( big bulls ), a pack of Wild Dogs - amazing- a large herd of Buffalos ( 400 + ) White Rhinos and the regular second tier of animals. While it rained, there was "no off road driving". After sundowner, the night game drive will begin under the spotlight, here NGALE has a different policy than other lodges. There is no off road driving, going into the bush following Leopards or Lions. All you will get is, that the ranger will drive back the dirt road and shine the spotlight on Owls, Bushbabies, Genets etc. They will put a red filter on the spotlight in not to damage the eyesight of the animal, so they say... my question is, why do other lodges operate differently and make the night game drive much more exciting.

You will also meet "Mamma Africa" a very pleasant, cheerful lady and you always will get a Big Hug from her..... Chef Bedwell will come to your table and explain the menu; check the back of his jacket, it reads: "I am the magic ingredient". All in all, it was an awesome experience being at NGALA.

Room Tip: all the Chalets are beautiful
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Erfurt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denmark, Australia
Level Contributor
60 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We arrived at Ngala by road transfer from Hoedspruit airport which was a comfortable hour+ drive. On arrival we were greeted by the ever-smiling 'Mama Connie' who ran us through all of our check in paperwork whilst we enjoyed a drink and cold towel. We met our butler Richard who showed us to our suite. The grounds are an oasis with warthogs drinking at the waterhole in the centre of the open grassed area. The public areas are lovely as you can see on the website, plush furnishings and plenty of places to sit back and relax. Unfortunately we didn't spend too much time chilling out as we spent alot of time out driving or eating! No complaints there as it was amazing. As mentioned in other reviews the food is fabulous. We were offered alternative menus for our boys but they chose to eat the main selection with us. We tried ostrich, springbok and kudu during our stay. Every meal was fabulous - it was hard to stop. All of the staff were amazing - friendly, helpful and experts at what they do. We were lucky to have the awesome team of Allyn and Fanny as our ranger and tracker. Allyn was brilliant at engaging each of us throughout the duration of our stay (4 nights) and he and Fanny worked hard to ensure we had an amazing time on safari. Their knowledge was mind blowing and we learnt so much in such a short time. We had incredible sightings and kept long lists on our ipad each night of what we had seen. Nothing was too much trouble - from finding a measuring spoon for some medicine to arranging dinner for the kids in our room after a long day...Ngala blew us away. I was hesitant to spend the money to stay here but it was worth every cent. We all loved our 4 night stay and were sad to leave. Massages are available in your room and I had a lovely one from the lovely Harmony. Kids were also taken into the kitchen one day to do some baking.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Safari Suite - the children had 2 beds made up in the sitting room and their own ba...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank millieWa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2012

This is our first ever safari, we spent 2 days here before another 2 days in Dulini lodge. Ngala is bigger in size and more family oriented. We visited in Aug, not their peak season and most of time we only share the jeep with another couple. We were told by the staffs that actually Aug is the best timing to go to safari because of the weather and bushes are not too tall, easier to locate animals.

The game drives were great, our ranger Barney is very experienced guide, he tried hard to make sure we can see most of the animals that we wanted to see . Apart from the big 5, we also saw cheetah mom and cubs which we were told that they are quite rare in the region and Barnery also took us on an exciting drive following a leopard. Dinner venues and food are amazing with nice performance each night. Room is clean and nice. They also have sun bench and a pool but it's not heated, freezing when I jumped in even at noon time.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank -HK-Davey-
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2012

We spent 4 nights here in August 2012 and we didn't want to leave. The service is out of this world. The food is amazing. The game drives are awesome.
Accommodation - Is 4 star not 5 star, but they have everything you need and you spend so little time in your room, and when you do you're so happy and so tired, it makes little difference. They are closing in Summer 2013 for a full reno, so these rooms will be updated soon. The rooms should also have a mini-bar.
Food - Simply delicious. If it's not right, they'll make it right. The problem is that you eat so much you really pack on the pounds here! You can never ever get hungry or thirsty here, and if you do, they'll fix it!
Game drives - We saw all the Big 5 plus 7 cheetahs in 7 game drives. The reserve is private and so there are maximum 6 or 7 vehicles in 15,000 hectares. They all fan out and then keep in touch about the game that is spotted. The vehicles are Land Cruisers or Rovers, all open top and very modern. You are seated with blankets and even hot water bottles on those chilly mornings. Kyle and Sandros were amazing, highly reccommend asking for them. We were so lucky to get with a great group of people as this really can make or break your trip. 3+ hours in the morning from 6am with a coffee and amarula stop part way through, then back to the Lodge for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, before setting out for another 3+ hours at 3:30pm. Sundowners around 5:30 really break the ice and make for a lovely stop.
Service - Simply amazing. Dennis is doing a great job here, really keeping guests happy. There is one 'butler' per vehicle, who is in charge of serving you at meals and in between if you need anything. We had Moses, who was the most amazing butler one can hope for. He made our trip extra special. The only one I didn't really connect with was Mama Koney who is the self-proclaimed 'mother' figure of the lodge. I found her to be fake and a bit patronizing. Probably just me though.
Do not hesitate to visit this Lodge. I wish I had something else in Kruger to compare it to, but unfortunately I don't. Let me just say that I can't imagine a better experience. Maybe you'll find better accommodations, but I don't think you'll find a better 'package' with similar attention to detail in each and every area.
Note - This is the same as the Ngala Safari lodge, rated number 2. The tented camp is owned by the same company, is more exclusive and more expensive. We went for a tour, it is really lovely. The tents are OUT OF THIS WORLD, there are only 6 of them. The common areas are small and intimate in a pastel color scheme. This would be a perfect place for a honeymoon. For us, I was glad we chose the lodge, as we loved the open air, traditional safari lodge. Keeping in mind there are still only 20 cottages at Ngala Lodge, you are never overrun by others.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank tlg092012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
126 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Don't eat for weeks before you come here -- the food is excellent and the buffets are immense. When they do a braii you'll want to try all three yummy choices. Because it is a private reserve they can drive their vehicles over small trees to get into the places where the lions are resting and recovering from their battles. Never had done that before. The rooms are lovely. The massage was one of the best ever. The public areas are beautiful and the warthogs wander all over. The hornbills are so cheeky they come into the dining area to get the homemade granola. The only thing that might make somebody (not us) want to miss this place is that it has a kid's program and a lot of families.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank sallyws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge

Property: andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
Address: Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Ngala Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Ngala Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The romance and mystery of Africa come alive in 20 thatched cottages tucked under a dense canopy of tamboti trees at Ngala Safari Lodge. Exuding classical safari charm, the spacious veranda, with its wonderfully comfortable armchairs, looks out onto a popular waterhole. For pure indulgence, the Safari Suite offers an elegant sitting room, private swimming pool and exclusive use of a safari vehicle. Mouth-watering meals are served in the shade of an enormous weeping boerbean tree, while a large swimming pool lies on the edge of thick riverine woodland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ngala Safari Hotel Ngala Private Game Reserve
AndBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge Ngala Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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