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“Best ever”

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andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Best ever”
Reviewed May 4, 2009

My husband and I stayed at Ngala for 3 days with our 2 young children (aged 2 and 4). The staff, lodge and game drives were fantastic. While most hotels and BnBs in SA seemed to be very anti-children, Ngala was the opposite and was very accomodating with our kids, even taking them on the game drives (we paid for private drives but this was not even an option at most other game lodges we looked into). Our ranger, Megan, and our tracker, Norman were wonderful. Very friendly and very knowledgeable. Our room was beautiful and the food was delicious. We plan to go back. We absolutely loved Ngala and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank achahn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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435 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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English first
Beaverton
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2009

Ngala; what an experience! All of the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly from arrival to departure. The lodge staff made our stay completely enjoyable and carefree. A particular highlight was the beautiful dinner prepared each evening and set in various locations around the camp. The camp itself was just an incredible setting.
Our Ranger and Tracker were the best! Ray and Jimmy were a great team; smart, capable, incredibly informative and just plain nice guys. It was my first safari and they made it an unbelievable experience (yes, we saw the Big Five and more) and we trusted them completely.
I would say Ngala struck a perfect balance. Yes, it was luxurious and the staff were incredibly attentive. However, everything was still casual enough that it seemed in keeping with where we were and the nature of our trip.
Personally, I could not have asked for anything more.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Robert6046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
141 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2009

My family (including children aged 10 and 13) had a fantastic 4 nights at Ngala in April 2009. From the moment we arrived to the sad moment we left we were looked after exceptionally well by all the staff at Ngala. The service was personal and friendly throughout our stay. The accommodation was stylish and the food was great quality at all meals.
By far the highlight was the game drives and during our stay we had 8 drives each of 3-4 hours. Our ranger and tracker (Elliot and Steve) were exeptional and their skills in finding animals was spooky! We saw the Big 5 and much more, including Cheetah on two occassions. Getting up at 5 a.m. is a bit of a shock to start with but it is worth it. A nice touch is stop to have coffee on the morning drives and a sundowner on the evening drives - a G&T overlooking a lake with hippo and elephant and a great African sunset is something to remember for a long time.
Many thanks to Dennis, Connie and Norman for looking after us so well.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andy Wilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2009

We stayed in a twin lodge and we arrived in at night, we were escorted by the security guy to our room as the hotel it has no fences therefore animals can walk freely so you have to be escorted.
The following morning we went on our FIRST game drive at 5am....Barney our ranger told us everything we had to know....we were so excited and in fact first thing we saw was 3 lions who then joined their partners with cubs!! It was the best i have ever seen w my eyes. Then we saw practically all the wild animals except for the rhinos.
Hotel is soooo great from great food, AMAZING service and a fantastic breakfast. Rooms are good size, big bathrooms and a gorgeous stone shower.
I STRONGLY recommend to stay at Ngal lodges as it's a unique experience.

Stayed March 2009
Helpful?
1 Thank whiteNgala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilbert, Az
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • 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.
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
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CSF001
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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