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“Great place, excellent price/value” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Monwana Game Lodge

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Monwana Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco Bay Area
Level Contributor
75 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Great place, excellent price/value”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2013

None of these places are cheap, but some offer better value. This is one.

Nice place, with so few cabins.

Guests were more diverse and personable than at some other locations.

The hosts were relatively new the location but already getting well integrated.

Meals: No problems, not bad, nothing special for vegetarians though they did their best to accommodate us -- otherwise I'd call it a five star location.

We would recommend the place to friends.

The preserve provided ample and fortuitous sightings. The terrain is not exciting, but we would not have noticed that if this was the only place we had visited since we saw so much great wildlife. The game on view is excellent including things like BOTH black and white rhinos, etc.

This was one of the only places we stayed at during out trip where some of our fellow guests were South African, which was cool.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nathan_h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Bedfordview, Gauteng, South Africa
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

The only way to describe Monwana is as the gem of Thornybush! We had a fantastic stay and really enjoyed every aspect of this lodge. Jacques & Emma, and their stand-ins, Chewie & Monica went out of their way to ensure we felt right at home.

Every meal tasted like it was made in Mom's kitchen, the portions were perfect and really tasty.

The accommodation was so comfortable and private, and our unit had a great view over the waterhole.

The animal sightings were excellent, we got to enjoy the Big 5 as well as the many smaller interesting things the bush had to offer us. A huge thank you to Morris our tracker for finding all the things we would never have spotted on our own! We were never bored for one minute, the bush walks were so enjoyable & educational but the highlight was learning how to track lions in the dry riverbed that runs in front of the lodge.

A big thank you to the whole Monwana team for making our stay unforgettable, we hope to visit again soon!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Marina N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2013

Monwana exceeded my high expectations in every way! The facilities are wonderful and the setting is of course beautiful. What I did not expect was the absolutely amazing food, impeccable service and unbelievably gracious hosts. Emma’s welcoming manner instantly makes you feel comfortable, and the small touches like a drink and warm cloth after a chilly game drive take hospitality to another level. I can’t say enough good things about the menu she has developed. Jacques is everything you could ask for in a ranger, knowledgeable, interesting and patient. His enthusiasm for nature is infectious and you will walk away knowing more about the local wildlife that you ever dreamed. There seem to be no limits to his customer service, as Jacques is also a great photography instructor and quite the bartender! Every aspect of our stay at Monwana was simply amazing and I can’t imagine a better experience!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Phil T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2013

Monwana is over-the-top fantastic! Emma is a gracious and accommodating host, Jacques the perfect guide - we saw the Big 5 straight away and got up close and personal several times! Loved sitting on our patio watching the Cape Buffalo and many other animals drink from the watering hole. The food is amazing - the dinners were stunning but the high tea presentations were also to-die-for! I am asking for recipes. Our room was really wonderful, we faced the watering hole and enjoyed watching the Nyala from just a few feet away. I specifically appreciated how the guides work together to locate animals so each group can get a peak, but also time it so there are not mobs at one place. Thank you Thornybush, thank you Monwana!

Room Tip: Facing the watering hole is a bonus!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Catherine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

To be honest I might well run out of superlatives by the end of this review, our experience here really was that good.

We stayed at Monwana for 4 nights and thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the experience. Firstly Jacques and Emma (the Lodge Managers and also Ranger / Hostess respectively) were excellent at making us feel like we were part of the family whilst we were there. Nothing was too much trouble and there were loads of thoughtful little touches. We really enjoyed the fact that, as it is a small lodge (up to 10 guests), we were able to spend time getting to know our fellow guests during mealtimes, as well as during game drives but with the option to seek privacy in our room if we wanted it. The room was stunning - spacious and overlooking the water hole so that we could lie in bed and watch the animals drink.

The game viewing was incredible. Over 4 days we had 2 mornings where we saw the 'big 5' in a single game drive. On top of that we saw a myriad of other animals, it wasn't like the small stuff was passed up. One aspect that was great was that Thornybush only allow 2 vehicles per animal sighting which meant that the sightings never felt crowded, however the flip side of this is that it meant that sometimes the vehicle had to move on to make room for others. A special mention goes to the Tracker, Morris, who plunged in to the bush on a number of occasions in search of animals. Seeing 4 leopards come to the water hole by the Lodge to drink whilst we were eating dinner was definitely one of the highlights of the stay.

So in summary, we would recommend Monwana with absolutely no hesitation. We were genuinely sad to leave, as despite only have been there for a few days.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Ian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2013 via mobile

Couldn't recommend a stay at Monwana enough! Attention to every detail made our stay a wonderful experience. Game drives excellent and saw so many beautiful, magnificent animals. The food was excellent and so carefully presented. It was a lovely place to finish our very memorable holiday in South Africa.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Margaret S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

Monwana Game Lodge was amazing. I cannot praise it highly enough, in terms of the safari drives, staff, food, beautiful and spotless accommodation... Mich and Charel were great hosts and guides, friendly and knowledgeable and just interesting people as well as respectful of the animals. The food was really delicious - wholesome and clearly freshly prepared with high quality ingredients - thank you Mapule. The morning muffins are amazing, as are the afternoon salads and the desserts and bbq. We saw all the big five within two days! On our first night, we came back to a candlelit fragrant hot bath for two with champagne on the rocks followed by an intimate dinner for us on our veranda - so lovely of them to organise it and very welcome after we got a bit cold on the drive. Ten out of ten as a honeymoon destination. Mich, if you are reading, we're so sorry for letting the monkeys get in our room and leaving a milk destruction /turd mess on our last day! Loved it and would love to go back!

Room Tip: We had the room overlooking the waterhole with the big veranda - highly recommend.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PGW503869
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Monwana Game Lodge

Property: Monwana Game Lodge
Address: Thornybush Game Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Monwana Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Monwana Game Lodge, Thornybush Game Reserve, is a Four Star Superior lodge set in the heart of the African bushveld. Offering fantastic Big 5 game viewing, exquisite African cuisine and personalized service. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Monwana Game Lodge South Africa/Thornybush Private Game Reserve

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