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“Spectacular”

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Tuningi Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2014

This is just an unbelievable adventure. The game drives are so exhilarating and just amazing. The lodge is so beautiful and relaxing. The food is incredible and a lot of it. I love sitting on my deck and the zebras, elephants, impalas just come cruising by on their way to the watering hole. The staff is so pleasant and so welcoming. I highly recommend the Tuningi Safari Lodge for a truly spectacular adventure.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank Lori B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 - 121 of 214 reviews

Reviewed February 12, 2014

We visited Tuningi the first time in December 2012 with our 3 boys then aged 11,14 and 16. As we drove in after a 4hr drive from Joberg we were greeted by all the gorgeous staff and shown our rooms. We had a family suite, which is stunning - 2 huge bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, outdoor showers, a huge lounge and a terrace across the whole back of Tuningi. We actually had 2 elephants walking past our room as we unpacked.

The food at Tuningi is superb (no chance of losing an ounce whilst you are there). After lunch we headed off with our fabulous ranger Gavin - he was unbelieveably knowledgeable and was able to track many animals from footprints along the way. We stopped in the middle of the bush to have a sundowner and then headed back for another delicious culinary extravaganza. Day one ended with us all enthralled and exhausted.

The next two days filled us with excitement, and unbelievable array of sightings both on the drives and at the waterhole which adjoins the dining area by a walkway. We relaxed by the gorgeous pool which also overhangs close to the watering hole.

The setting, staff and experience were so unbelievable we booked again for Dec 2013 and took two families back with us. We had kids aged from 4-17 - all of whom would go back next year again.

Love to you all.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Loo G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

We had an amazing time at Tuningi - beautiful, relaxing, indulgent. We feel so lucky to have spent time in this beautiful place. We travelled with our children (aged 10 & 8) who had the time of their lives on the safari drives with Cornelius. Of all the wonderful experiences we had on our holiday to SA, our 8 year-old son says his 'best bit' was being charged by a bull elephant! Wilma and the team were super friendly and helpful, everyone had a smile and made us feel so welcome. We really appreciated the high level of personal service and the way the Tuningi team proactively entertained the children, leaving us more time for some relaxation. We loved everything about Tuningi and we'd love to go back.

Room Tip: The family suites are enormous - absolutely fantastic.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Saywhatithink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

Everybody wants the the Big Five, now it is the magnificent 7, the Big Five plus the Cheeta and Wild Dog! The incredible Tuningi Rangers showed us the Magnificent 7 in just TWO DAYS! They did this whilst still ensuring the Bird enthusiast on the game drive got to see and learn about a wide range of birds found in the park.

The fact that all the Tuningi rangers are also avid wild life photographers ensures that every game drive is unforgettable.

Their incredible knowledge and perseverance is matched by the Magnificent Service, food, surroundings and Staff of the lodge.

The Lodge offers Luxury without the pretence often associated with five star lodges. The service provided by the attentive staff is so personal and one is made to feel at home from the moment you arrive.

The food was incredible, as our travel companion was vegetarian and she was spoilt for choice, from the crumbed artichoke with sundried tomato to the Blue Cheese and Pear salad to mention just 2 dishes. Then the Duck pancakes, Best Beef Fillet I have had in months to Sesame crumbed chicken, every meal is a Foodie Dream and presented in such incredible style.

Heidi, Gavin, Cornelius, Lorraine, Petrus, Mariette and every single staff member are incredible at what they do!

Even we did not have children in our party, the kids were thoroughly entertained in such a way that for non family travelers the experience is still uninterrupted and offers romance to couples and cosy evenings and days to friends traveling together.

Was this a once off? Nope, this was our 8 or more, we have lost count visit and every single time it is the same.

Room Tip: Want complete Privacy? Book Little Tuningi! But every room is awesome!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Nico B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

For us, Tuningi was perfect. The lodge has the most relaxed atmosphere you'll find anywhere. In part, due to the fact there's only ever a maximum of 16 guests. The lodge is tastefully decorated, including the rooms, all in keeping with the beautiful part of the world it's situated in.
The staff are always smiling and helpful, and when we arrived we had the warmest welcome from Wilma. Throughout our stay both Wilma, and her husband Christo (our ranger), looked after us. The game drives with Christo were incredible, each drive discovering something new. Just watching the Madikwe sunrise was worth getting up at 0430 for.
The food at the lodge was both delicious and generous. You certainly don't go hungry!
And it's the little touches that make a difference, such as the outside shower and private deck where you can be in the privacy of your room and potentially get a glimpse of some of the animals as they move to and fro from Tuningi's watering hole.
The hours between drives we'd relax by the pool, sit by the watering hole watching zebras, elephants, and Impala taking a drink, or sometimes take a catnap ready for the afternoon/evening drive. There's also the option to have a massage or manicure/pedicure.
If you're looking for a holiday that offers a mix of activity and relaxation, this is the place to go. The hardest thing about our stay at Tuningi was leaving.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LeilaT1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We returned a week ago from a fabulous 4 night family trip to Tuningi. Wish we could have stayed longer! We were warmly welcomed by Wilma, who immediately made us feel right at home. The accommodations were excellent, nicely appointed, with magnificent views. The lodge has its own permanent watering hole, where we watched a family group of elephants play and splash mud. Zebra, baboons, impala, kudu all made their way past. Several large bull elephants also made their way down, all this was in the first hour of us being there. The watering hole was overall very active during our stay, many many elephants came to visit, we were fortunately enough to watch sparring and other animal interaction! And I can't tell you how nice it was to be able to relax down there under a beautiful fig tree in between game drives watching the animals and birds come by. You are "that" close to them. Many varieties of birds can be seen, we saw several we had never seen before. A resident pair of lilac breasted rollers made for great entertainment in additional to hornbills, weavers, hoopoes and bee-eaters (list not inclusive!)

The food was delicious and they even accommodated our 11 year old son with hamburgers and hotdogs (pizza also available). The service offered was impeccable from the entire staff. Gavin and Heidi also made us feel very welcome. No request was too small to make us feel comfortable.

With Christo as our ranger, we had multiple sightings of 6 of the Super 7 (lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, wild dogs). We did see a fresh leopard kill though he proved elusive during our stay, but that just proves they are around. Christo was also very enthusiastic to take us off the beaten path to see geological formations in the reserve as well as the smaller life in the bush. Thank you again, Christo, we had a fabulous time!

Did I mention the infinity pool? Yes, nice and relaxing and you can also watch the wildlife on their way to the watering hole from there.

I really can't say enough good things, except to say there's another trip already booked there for February! Can't wait to return! Thanks to everyone at Tuningi for making our (too short) stay memorable.

Room Tip: We stayed in the family unit by the main lodge. It is a short walk to the main lodge. It consists...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank DLady69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

We have just returned from a 5 night stay at Tuningi and from the moment the plane touched down and we were met by Gavin we knew we were in for something special. We arrived at the lodge after a 10min drive from the airstrip by Gavin and were welcomed by Heidi who made as feel as thought we had just arrived at our best friends house and had known her for years. We then were shown to our "home" we stayed in unit number 8 and when the door opend we were blown away with the beauty, big large comfortable bed, beautifully decorated large bathroom with soaking tub and an amazing very private outddor rain shower that overlooked the path that all game take to the watering hole(yes you will see many well taking a shower) this is a real treat. The main lodge is also beautiful with a pool and this is where most meals take place. The unique aspect of Tuningi is the Boma and waterhole right out infront of the main lodge as all game come day and night to take mud baths and have a drink an experience you will always remember.

The food is five stars with many options to choose from with something for everyones taste. We had Gavin as our ranger for all game drives and he is very passionate about what he does and went out of his way to make sure we saw all game, I cannot say enough about this guy as his truly made each Safari ride so enjoyable. The staff here are first rate and will make you feel wounderful nothing is to much and they always have a smile on thier face. If you are looking for a first class lodge that provides intimacy and excellent game viewing along with first rate accommadations and food then this is your place. You are not just an invoice here but rather a familiy memeber as that is how you feel. Thank you to Hedi, Gavin and the entire team at Tuningi for making our trip so special we miss you all so much already and have started to plan our return trip next year and can't wait to return......thanks again!!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank todd B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tuningi Safari Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: $867 - $2,541 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Tuningi Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tuningi Safari Lodge, situated in the world renowned Big 5, malaria-free, Madikwe Game Reserve, proudly showcases this protected areas African success story in magnificent style! Tuningi offers guests superior accommodation enhanced by an impressive Big 5 safari experience and personalised service in a friendly and relaxed environment. The Lodge welcomes children and in doing so, avails them of the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature, wildlife and our delicate eco-system first-hand. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tuningi Safari Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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