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All reviews our honeymoon bush bath game drives watering hole the reserve other guests safari camp dry river bed tree house outdoor shower south africa whole experience an amazing experience attention to detail water hole from start to finish food was amazing
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Reviewed September 28, 2011

Anyone reading these reviews and thinking they are too good to be true as we were before we visited Garonga then we can say they definitely aren't! Whilst well travelled this was our first Safari (and South African) experience and it really was truly amazing. The level of service across the whole camp was exceptional and we were definitely made to feel special by all employees. Our trip was planned many months in advance and there were numerous questions to Vanessa/Bernie which they responded to promptly and without making us feel a nuisance despite the fact that this sometimes resulted in a change of plan to our special trip. All the game drives were great and the guides gave information and tried really hard to make sure that you saw something different each time where possible. It's hard to describe the feeling when you get so close to these beautiful animals and then track them as we did numerous times. The whole set-up at the camp is so personal but pitched at just the right level so that things happen that you really appreciate but they are arranged in a quiet, unassuming way almost so that you don't notice until they happen. We loved the way that Bernie gets all the staff involved and this really makes you appreciate just what a team effort goes on at Garonga to make it all work so smoothly. The food was absolutely wonderful and we enjoyed the variety of dining options either in a group or as a couple. The sleep out is a must and it's worth getting up early to see the sun rise out in the bush on your own. We also really enjoyed the bush bath and lunch time picnic up in the tree. We stayed five nights which we felt was just right and we also took in some treatments with Janine which again are a must. We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this camp to anyone looking for a safari experience and we definitely plan to return one day.

Date of stay: September 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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16  Thank Nomatez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2011

Having just returned from a visit to Garonga I can see now how they won the Tripadvisor Award for 2010. I could not fault it once. The facilities, staff, and game viewing was top-class. I was fortunate to be there to witness two weddings, and both were special events. If anyone wants to get married in South Africa or have a safari honeymoon, or both, this is the place to visit.

Room tip: The monkeys have preferred tents for stealing food. Just check with the staff to see where their latest target is!
Date of stay: September 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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6  Thank siobhaneIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

If you are looking to be spoilt and would like a truly African safari experience, visit Makalali. What a wonderful place with excellent game drives, food, staff, game vehicles, amazing rooms and furnishings and just the best feeling of relaxation and enjoyment. The game drives were fantastic and we saw all of the big 5 except leopard. I will go back again and again, the perfect place for our honeymoon. Thank you Makalali.

Room tip: Choose the room in lodge 3 next to the reception building for great sitings (leopard which we missed)
Date of stay: September 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Terry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BernieHoedspruit, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded September 22, 2011

Thanks very much for your review. Can you confirm if you stayed at Garonga or Makalali, as you state Makalali.
best Regards
Bernie

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Reviewed July 15, 2011

We chose Garonga as the final stop on our honeymooning tour of South Africa and we saved the best 'til last. We stayed for 5 nights at the beginning of June. The weather was sunny every day with temperatures reaching around 24degC during the day and dropping to around 5degC at night. This was perfect for us and the season meant that we didn't see a single mosquito during our stay. The Camp is run and owned by Bernie, a former Officer in British Army. Bernie is clearly passionate about the safari camp and the reserve. He was simply a fantastic host - he is hands on and would always be around during the day and at drinks in the evening to chat and to make sure everything was going well with our stay. Neither of us had been on safari before and so we don't have anything to compare Garonga with - however I can say that our short stay was absolutely incredible. The Our guide and tracker (Josiah and Patrick) were great fun and gave us so many close up wildlife encounters. We were awoken each morning at 0615 to be ready to go out on a morning drive at 0645. This might sound early but it was winter and we had eaten and had gone to bed by 2200 each night and we were never tired - you also get a 4 hour window for rest/swim/sunbathe over lunchtime before your evening drive. Our lodgings were luxurious and our bed very comfortable - all rooms have a balcony over looking the dry river bed with hammock and an outdoor shower. Dinner was a great experience and varied each night - most times we would dine at private tables but on one night we all ate together and had a bbq. The food was outstanding and we loved how Bernie would bring the chef from the kitchen to announce menu options for the evening and to take our choices. If you feel adventurous you can stay out in the bush on a platform over night. The platform is 20 mins drive from the camp and you are left with dinner and a radio and advice not to leave the platform after dark. Didn't get much sleep as the lions were making quite a lot of noise!

To sum up, our stay at Garonga was incredible. We saw all the animals except for the Buffalo which they don't have on the reserve and the lodgings and service were simplt outstanding!

Date of stay: June 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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7  Thank culzean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BernieHoedspruit, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2011

Thanks very much indeed for your very kind review. We al hope to see you back on an anniversary?
Keep well and all the best
Bernie

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Reviewed June 9, 2011

We didnt know what to expect when we arrived after a very LONG trip to South Africa from the U.S., but upon arrival we were greeted with a cocktail, fed a hearty snack and given our quarters so we could freshen up. The tent was lovely and very comfortable. We really appreciated the free laundry service and amenities (including bug spray and hair/body products). We felt very at home immediately! Our ranger and tracker (Moosa and Rooel) were amazing and so knowledgeable about the area, animals and various cultures that we were overwhelmed by them! It's a rarity in this world to find people so good at what they do. The twice a day game drives blew our minds. We saw so much wildlife and learned more than we expected to learn about the animals and their environment. We loved the food (who'd have thought it?) and were thrilled that they could accommodate my vegetarian diet with special entrees. We were given a wonderful free massage by Tahnee, their resident massage therapist in an open air spa room and we felt pampered from beginning to end. The entire staff bent over backwards to make us feel comfortable and welcome and made our honeymoon both romantic AND exciting. We even got the chance to take a micro flight and survey the lands from air. Very unique experience and one I'd absolute do again! Overall this was the best vacation of my life and I cannot wait to go back!

Room tip: All the accomodations were fabulous.
Date of stay: May 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Jen-Zaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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