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“Beautiful property, amazing service”

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andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Going on safari was not on my bucket list, but thought it would be fun with a group of 14 friends.  Since it wasn't really that expensive, I assumed we'd be pretty close to camping-I was way off.  The room was more like a private guest house and the open air public spaces  elegant and comfortable. The food was frequent and fresh, and the staff so fun, thoughtful and attentive it's hard to explain: surprise champagne sunset happy hours,  free laundry service, candle lit al fresco dining, poolside service and impromptu astronomy tour. Connie and Moses anticipated everything.   Some of the room safes did not work and since there are no locks, leave valuables at home. 

As for the safari, we saw the big 5 in the first two days, a pack of wild dogs (endangered and rare to see) and so many other animals and birds.  I'm pretty sure I can track a leopard and positive I can track an elephant, but not that sure I could find my way back to camp.  I will leave that to Sully, Saunders, Nic and Barry who I showed us amazing things and got us home safely very night

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
Thank LisaP28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 - 244 of 462 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2014

Over the past forty five years i have travelled the world a stayed in a complete cross-section of places & hotels from grubby to luxury. But for an overall experience &beyound Nagala Game Lodge has to easily rank in the top 5.

The location and Game Drives were excellent and the Rangers together with the tracker were exceptional. We saw a Lion kill, Leopards, Rhinos, Elephants, herds of Buffalos in fact the Big 5 several times over.

Plus the staff were terrific.

In a nutshell do it the experience is worth it.

Room Tip: They are all good. - the Fitness Centre is the Great Outdoors
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lefkoseikos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

I read the "average" reviews and they seemed unfair. If you're reading this then just know Ngala is not the Four Seasons in the middle of the bush (not sure why someone who does a bit of homework would think that).

Chances are that if you are thinking about going on safari you want a safari experience, and a pedicure and spa treatment right before jumping on an open jeep to see a leopard dragging an impala up a tree and devouring it defeats the purpose.

Having said that, the rooms and lodge are very nice (again, for a safari lodge out on the middle of nowhere). But what you are paying big bucks for is the access to the animals- we saw all the big 5 multiple times, and we also saw cheetah, ostrich, giraffe, wild dogs, hyena, baboons, warthogs, kudu, and more. And this access is due to the fact that Ngala is a private reserve and the rangers and trackers can take the jeep off the roads and into the bush. Without that access (and the ranger's and tracker's abilities) we would not have seen much- I know people who have traveled all the way to SA for safari and didn't see a lion. The animal viewing is why we went on safari, and Ngala over-delivered.

The food is Ok, pool is Ok, the events they plan for dinner are great, the common areas are great, the staff is great. But it's all about the animals dummy.

My reco is that you spend 3 full days on safari- that means you will go on safari 6x (3 in the am and 3 in the pm). If we had not stayed the third day we would have missed some lion and rhino action, and if we would have stayed one ore day I think we would have started to feel we are the seeing the same old stuff all over again.

Only complaint was the painfully slow internet. Not that I would want to watch Netflix movies while on safari, but it would have been nice to upload pictures when we got back to the lodge.

Have fun

Room Tip: All rooms seemed similar except for the safari suite. It apparently has a private pool and is larger...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank miguel g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

My wife and I went on honeymoon here and had an absolutely fantastic time. Not only was the accommodation, service and food of the highest standard, but the expert game rangers and trackers made sure that the wildlife experience was second to none. In the space of seven game drives we saw all of the Big Five including the best leopard sighting I have ever seen (over many safaris during my life). It was wonderful. I recommend this extraordinary place to anyone looking to have one of the best experiences in their lives.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Michael O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

We spent 4 days and 3 nights here and had the most memorable time ever. The staff are super friendly and attentive and the guides and trackers will ensure you really see a lot of animals and understand them deeply. We had Elliot as our guide - he grew up in the bush and has been doing this for 20 years. He can tell you everything you need to know about every animal and find the Big 5 for you! We saw 3 of the Big 5 within an hour of our first game drive! They were all great with our kids aged 9 and 10 - and our tracker Norman was awesome too! I'd go back in a heart beat! Food was amazing, service staff were excellent - what a way to spend the New Year!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Leilani L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

I cannot give this lodge enough stars - the staff went out of their way to ensure you had an amazing time. Wildlife aside (which was also fantastic - the big 5 were seen on the first four game drives) - the rooms, food and staff are excellent. I would recommend this to anyone - families and/or couples. I travelled on my own and they did everything to ensure I had good company too. No electric lights at night which was awesome. The guides are experienced and I felt safe the whole time. The sunset stop on the drives for hot chocolate and/or wine were a nice touch. Definitely worth every penny. If you're going to do a safari, do it in style at Ngala.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank stormwater3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

I always wanted to see the Big 5. My wife and I were recommended by friends to go with AndBeyond and we loved the destination. Food, people, security, comfort and relaxation in a Safari experience. Yes, all the Big 5 were there and we only needed 3 nights to see them all.
Even if we couldn't see all of them, the experience was unique, the cuisine was amazing and all staff, from reception to rangers and trackers, helped us enjoy the best experience we could have ever imagined.

Room Tip: Rooms facing back have higher probability to score morning sites of baboons, bushboks and warthogs.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GazzaneoR
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

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: $257 - $1,767 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Also Known As:
Ngala Safari Hotel Ngala Private Game Reserve
AndBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge Ngala Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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