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Royal Legend Safari Lodge & Spa
Reviewed August 24, 2010

Our group originally picked Jackelberry Lodge but was "upgraded" to Royal Legend due to Jackelberry being overbooked. We weren't happy at first b/c the previous Royal Legend reviews were less than flattering. We were pleasantly surprised and loved, loved, loved the Royal Legend! It is a small lodge, allowing for 20 guests, and the service is amazing. We went during the dry season and saw 4 of the big 5 except for the Leopard. The leopard was close b/c our porters pointed out leopard tracks in our lodge but he evaded us. We saw giraffes, zebras, warthogs, elephants, lions, rhino, hippo, impala, among others. During lunch at the lodge, girraffes, warthogs, kudus, and elephants were drinking from the pond. Our guide and tracker were knowledgeable and personable. The food was abundant and delicious. The rooms were large and comfortable. The only downside was no fitness equipment, ( i missed my treadmill), the spa didn't offer products to purchase, (though the massage was fabulous) and sparse gift shop. We ran out of batteries for our camera and though the gift shop didn't have them the manager drove to a store and purchased them for us...what service!!! We loved the Royal Legend. Hope you enjoy your trip!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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4  Thank kokanee97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 - 21 of 34 reviews

Reviewed April 5, 2010

This was our second visit to Timbavati on safari and our first stay (at Akeru, now Kumbaku) several years ago was truly exceptional and we therefore had high expectations. We were not disappointed! We were warmly welcomed on arrival at Royal Legend and shown to large and well appointed rooms with a real 'wow' factor. The bathrooms are huge and look out over the open bush as do the beautifully designed and decorated bedrooms. There's even an additional outdoor shower off the main bathroom if you want to shower 'al fresco'. All of the rooms have outward facing verandas giving you the chance of seeing wildlife from your own room. Whilst we were there an elephant wandered through the lodge and a hippo took up residence in a pool beside one of the chalets so you really are in the middle of the bush. The staff were very professional and friendly, made every effort to make us feel welcome and looked after our every need. The quality of the food was first rate and it was delightful to be able to eat overlooking the waterhole where wildlife regularly come to drink. On our final evening the staff prepared a braia for us and entertained us with local songs and dancing. Not something hired in for the tourists, just the staff wanting to entertain and please us. It was really nice. The ranger and tracker worked hard to give us a memorable game-viewing experience and in the 2 days we were there we managed to see 4 of the Big 5 (the leopard evaded us again!) as well as learning a lot about the bush and wildlife in general. There is very little about Royal Legend not to recommend.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank anderson1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2009

We stayed for 4 days, 3 days as the only guests and did we get a good service.

The individual lodge is very spacious with a big bedroom and sitting area and a huge bathroom, all (even the toilet) with windows facing the (dried) out river.

We had the Landcruiser to ourselves for 3 days and were taken on 2 fantastic safaris every day. We saw 4 of the 5 big, missing the leopard.

The major problem we had during our stay was Max and his staff making too much good food. We were stuffed! One of the breakfasts was prepared and served in the bush (full breakfast) with the staff performing local dances as a dessert. The last dinner was prepared and services at their tent camp.

We were given royal treatment and enjoyed every minute of it.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank K_K_travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2009

We took our first trip to South Africa for our anniversary and wanted to see all of the wonderful animals. Fortunately, we spent our first two nights at Jackalberry Lodge in Thornybush Preserve and saw the Big Five and more. When we transferred to Royal Legend, we were stunned by the difference. Although the room was larger, the phones didn't work and apparently had been out ( in some of the rooms) for weeks. Our safe was also missing. The literature given to us at check-in stated that we had to call the office to be escorted from our room at night, so without a phone, we felt trapped. Our room was a good distance from the main office, so we also didn't want to use the safe there. At Jackalberry, everything was perfectly maintained. Not here.
We went on our first game drive that evening and our jeep got a flat tire. Then, it kept stalling and we were all concerned that we wouldn't get back to the lodge.
Our ranger had no communication with other rangers (which they did at Jackalberry) and seemed to drive around aimlessly looking for game. On the four drives at this lodge,
we spent many hours looking at nothing but impala. On our thrid game drive, we were jammed into a jeep with new guests and had to listen to the same stories all over again.
In summary- if you want to see the Big Five, avoid this lodge and perhaps Timbavati.
The management of this lodge does not compare to some of the other safari lodges and if you are making a once-in-a-lifetime trip, do yourself a favor and make sure that there are favorable ranger reports so that you see all of the wonderful animals. Jackalberry Lodge at Thornybush is in a totally different class and If we go back to South Africa, we will go back to Jackberry Lodge.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank dhs13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2008

This hotel gave you the sense of being in the wilderness but with extreme luxury. the rooms were wonderful and the staff extremely helpful. the open area of the hotel allowed animals to roam freely ( which at night was disconcerting but the staff handles it perfectly). We traveled with two adults and two teenage children. It would have been better if they had two bedroom cabins but they made a point to ensure our family felt safe. it was very clean and the food great. the guides really went out of there way and it seemed that they were as excited to look for the game as much as we were. A wonderful stay.

we also stayed at the Kampa main lodge and would recommend this lodge ove the other one ( which was good but did not have the same feel or friendleness)

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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Thank jonToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2008

I can't say enough great things about the Royal legand and the staff I encountered during my stay. The huts were beautiful, clean and large. I visited with my aunt but it would make a romantic getaway for a couple. There were a few ants but ample ant spray and you are in the african bush, after all. The lodge staff was friendly attentive and guenuine. Winnie, Queen and Cindy head up the front and will accommadate your every need with a warm smile and friendly word. If you need a good laugh Herman is your man or a friendly ear Anike is as sweet as they come. The food prepared by Max and Loudrick was amazing. They serve a lot of traditonal cuisine which I loved. They also had a varied menu and were able to accomodate many palates, vegatarians included.

Our Guide David and tracker Kenneth were 5 star all the way!! They had superhuman vision and were able to spot the most distant movement in the bush.They were funny, friendly and made every drive exciting. We saw all the big 5 except the leopard. A few highlights were being surrounded by a heard of 600-1000 water buffalo, watching a pride of lions converge on an impalla and a meet up with a family of stampeeding White Rhino! They really went to great lengths to allow us to see as many animals as possible and were very knowledgeable about the bush vegitation and wildlife making it extremly educational as well.

The open lodge made animal viewing possible from the lodge or your own hut which meant having a camera in hand at all times a must!

The only suggestion I would make is to maybe add a treadmill or a few other pieces of cardio equimpent to the fitness facility. The lodge is not fenced in so there is not opportunity for exercise outside and although I enjoyed the R&R it would have been nice to burn off some of the fabulous meals.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank Nolene F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2008

I have stayed at many game lodges in East Africa but the accomidations here blew them all away. I loved the smaller feel of this lodge which would be perfect for a romantic or family getaway. They even have a small spa!! Please note even though your food is included in the package drinks are not and they don't tell you that. So you will pay for every glass of wine or special juice you order even though they are not expensive. See my pics it was truly a fabulous experience at teh Royal Legend.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank girlygirl81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Legend Safari Lodge & Spa

Address: Argyle Road Past HDS Airport, Kruger National Park 6191, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: $763 - $1,247 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Legend Safari Lodge & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
Royal Legend Safari Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Royal Legend Safari Lodge And Spa
Royal Legend Safari Lodge & Spa South Africa/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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