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“It doesn't get better than this!”

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andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Gilbert, Az
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“It doesn't get better than this!”
Reviewed January 28, 2009

An oasis in the bush! Ngala offers the finest accomodations, service and food you could ever want. From exciting photographic safaris with expert guides and trackers to meals, service and rooms that are a 6 star on a 1-5 scale, Ngala is all you could ever hope for.

The greatest asset Ngala has is its people. They only greet you with smiles, and they attend to your every need. I almost felt embarassesd for all the attention we were getting. Did we really deserve to be treated this well, lol!

From Dennis and Connie who run the day to day affairs, to Nathaniel our private butler, and to Jono and Elvis our guide and tracker, we were treated as family. We will be going back. Places like this are one in a million!

  • Liked — First class everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing to improve
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank sgrimshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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440 reviews from our community

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Sydtravellerette
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2009

I found out about Ngala from the overwhelmingly positive reviews on this website.

It was amazing!!!

I travelled alone and spent 4 nights at the Lodge with the Single Supplement waived. I arrived and left midday which meant I got to go on 8 safari drives all up.

The Chatets are lovely (air conditioned with fan, mosquito net and fly screens) and the food, service and Lodge grounds are all perfect. See photos.

I went in middle of winter so the bush was very dry and brown but it made for much better game viewing. But the safari is all about the animals, if you want scenery... there's lots more of it elsewhere in South Africa!

When you arrive you are assigned a Ranger and Tracker and you stay in their vehicle throughout your stay. That also means you get to know your car group quite well. My first 3 drives had the same 2 couples with me and my last 5 drives had 2 new couples and another single traveller.

The vehicle seats 6 guests which is nice as every 2nd night the car group has dinner with the ranger. If you are enjoying the company of your cargroup, you can even catch up with your fellow guests for breakfast for other meals. I found that despite travelling alone, there was always someone to eat with. Even if there isn't, the dining room faces the water hole so there's plent of birds and animals to keep you entertained while you eat.

I found that each drive had a highlight. My favourite animals are the leopards, lions, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, hippos etc... Some drives we even got to see more then 1 of these popular sightings.

I booked on a special buy 3 nights, the the 4thfree. I flew return from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit Airport and received complimentary 30 minute road transfer to the Safari Lodge.
Note: Its cheaper to fly to Hoedspruit then flying charter plan direct to Ngala's air strip. Some guests missed a day of their safaris because the smaller chartered plane is more at the mercy of the weather (so be aware).

The forums are great if you have any questions and check out different video and photo hosting websites to see other travellor's photos and videos..it'll convince you to go! Search by 'Ngala'

Stayed September 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank Sydtravellerette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2008

We found Ngala Lodge on the 'Small Luxury Hotels' website - and managed to greatly exceed our expectations! When we arrived we were picked up at the private air strip by Kenny, who would be our guide for the 3 days we were there. We were shown right to our 'chalet', a cabin-type room with a porch, lots of space, and great bathroom (big tub and rain shower).

The lodge is a small place with 20 rooms and you are always served by the same butler at dinner and guide/tracker during the days. You feel a personal connection with the Ngala staff, Dennis the manager was always around checking up on how everything was going. Everyone greeted us by first name at every meal or when we saw them at the pool, etc.

The animals were fantastic, we saw the Big 5 plus many more. We found the guides were knowledgable and just as excited as we were about finding animals and taking pictures. The open-vehicles only hold 6 guests at a time, making the safari feel very personalized.

When we go back to Africa (or other safaris around the world) the first place we'll look for hotels is &Beyond (the company that owns Ngala, formerly called CC Africa).

  • Liked — Location, service, comfort
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
1 Thank CSF001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA, USA
Level Contributor
108 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2008

Fabulous experience. Great service (treated like royality by everyone). Food was outstanding and plenty of it, including all the alcohol required. All staff were wonderful, calling guests by first name and making them feel right at home (even had a butler, Jeuve, who catered to our every desire). Rooms were immaculate and well stocked with ammenities. Cleaned and straightened constantly. They even had daily laundry service. Game drives were great (two daily) with no more than 6 guests onboard. Ranger (Leonie) was fabulous, very knowledgeable and accommodating. Tracker (Herbert) did a great job in finding the animals. Lots of wonderful surprises (including sundowners) every night!!!!! All in all an incredible experience not to be missed. Well worth the price and effort to get there from the US. Can't wait to return or try another CC Africa lodge.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bucket-Listers2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cantrall, IL
Level Contributor
48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2008

What a wonderful experience all around... The staff was great... The game drives were simply superlative. We saw so many animals from such a close distance. Leonie (Ranger) & Farney (Tracker) did an absolutely incredible job!

I never imagined I would ever travel all the way to Africa from Illinois. Now I can't wait to return.... Just Amazing....

  • Liked — Very nice accomodations
  • Disliked — can't think of anything
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank V_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2008

We stay at the Ngala Game Reserve from July 22 - 26, 2008. From the moment of arrival to the check out we had a fabulous experience. The Check-in was smooth and seamless and in two minute we were in our private Chalets. Each nicely furnish with large bathrooms, huge tube and shower. Plenty of bathroom amenities and in-room sweet and sherry.
Our Ranger was Dave and Herbert was the tracker, both were fantastic and really catered to us and specially our two boys, 11 and 13 years old. Dave and Herbert went out of their way to find the animals each morning and night drive. We saw the Big Five and everything else one could hope for. The Meals, and the staff waited for you until you returned from the game drive, many morning we did not get back until 10:30 AM, were excellent. Lunch -an extensive cold buffet buffet, delectable soups and a hot dish; Dinner - alternates between buffet and a la carte nights; Our Ranger Dave not only knew everything about the animals and the bush but also about the night sky and the constellation. We were simply fascinated by the great surrounding and the excellent service we received from all staff members;especially Juvenance our waiter, Dave, Herbert, Megan, and Dennis the GM and ladies that cleaned our suites.

  • Liked — suite accommodation, great bed and large bathroom
  • Disliked — nothing- beautiful set up and nice amenities
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Resortguru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2008

We had a three weeks stay in South Africa, starting from Cape Town and driving north until the Kruger. We had many amazing experiences both in fantastic guest houses and other great hotels but Ngala was the most unrealistic hotel we've ever been (and God knows that we had the chance to stay in many great places).

We totally agree with other reviews especially the staff + rangers who are more than eager to let you have the best stay you can imagine. The Private Lodge was the first night of our 3 night stay at Ngala (as we also spent two nights at the Walking Safaris), which was warmly recommended by the CC Africa adviser in Cape Town (who managed to find a place for you with a very short notice).

So for sure it's incredibly expensive but what a day. We had the chance to view all the big 5 (including a leopard during the night) along with 5 cheetahs, lionesses and cubs, 3 lions...

One little "souvenir" the two young French people had...while sitting in the 4WD during the night game drive, everyone was dreaming of a warm bath in their cottage but could we have enough time for that? Guess what, the bath was waiting for us, with champagne, candles and an amazing atmosphere, all realized in a perfect timing with no stress at all. This is a detail but this kind of details makes this lodge one of our best travel experiences ever.

A quick comment on the Walking Safaris. What a contrast but in a very positive way as you are in a place with no power nor running water but don't worry, you will have warm shower, great beds, fantastic meals cooked with a 100% natural fireplace + the most incredible and nice staff who spends 6 weeks in a row in this place. So the guests become their family.

There are many great lodges in the Kruger but if you are looking for the perfect place, Ngala is your choice.

  • Liked — Game drive experiences + accomodation
  • Disliked — Nothing at all - or maybe the fact that we had to leave
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Paulo_France
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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