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“What a shock - literally!!”

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Buffalo Ridge Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Buffalo Ridge was our last safari in a month long trip to Namibia and Sth Africa, including stays at 4 other lodges. To be fair we arrived from neighbouring Madikwe Hills - a 6* lodge in the same game reserve - simply magnificent. Buffalo Ridge had a lot to live up to - and it failed miserably on many counts. Lack of management - nobody on site - and non-existent safety standards. I received an electric shock in the shower only to find out 12 hours (that's how long the manager took to get round to talking to us) that it is on ongoing problem in two of its 8 rooms. Upon our insistence we were moved late at night. The lodge is in a lovely location and is really very nice, the staff do their best but have no direction. The one plus was Lazarus our guide - we have been on many safaris - on this holiday and previously to Botswana and Kenya/Tanzania - and Lazarus was by far our best guide. If only management could get their act together (and change electricians) it would be a great place to stay but at this stage all I can say is stay away!!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank AnnieTAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 - 112 of 158 reviews

Reviewed September 11, 2012

I traveled to Buffalo Ridge from Gabarone, Botswana, and spent 3 nights there in May. What an amazing experience. The food was delicious, the accomodations impeccably clean, romantic, and beautiful, and the staff were all a delight. One of the highlights: I saw impala grazing outside while bathing in the most insanely gorgeous shower I have ever used in my entire life. We also had breakfast each morning with a herd of elephants that joined us in the watering hole just below the lovey deck where we had our meals. Our guide, Franco, was awesome--knowledgable, patient, and super respectful of all the amazing animals. We saw the big five! I'm not sure why Madikwe isn't as well-known as some of the other safari locations, but we were totally delighted that it still seems a little bit secret.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank bluesun508
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

We stayed at Buffalo Ridge for 4 nights in August 2012 and were very pleasantly surprised. We only found out (after we had paid in full!) that the lodge was completely run by the local tribe so we were quite aprehensive. We needn't have worried at all. The staff were exceptional. Extremely well trained and attentive without being over bearing. The rooms were well appointed and beds very comfortable though the beds had angled edges which were stylish but impractical as they jutted out too far from the mattress.
The food was good and abundant - too much if one needed to complain about anything!
Lazarus was our giude and he was entertaining and informative. He was brilliant with my kids. We didnt see the wild dog as a bush fire had ripped through Madikwe a few days before so they had moved their den. we did however see lion, buffalo, rhino, brown hyena and elephant and my husband saw leopard o his way in at 9am in the morning! All in all I would definately recommend this lodge for value for money. They do need to work on a little maintenance - the blinds look a bit shabby in the main boma; and the wind blinds dont zip up so it was exceptionally chilly as the cold snap hit the reserve. Rooms were clean though and all else appeared well maintained. Perhaps they need to train a handyman for their general maintenance - if he was trained half as well as the rest of the staff, he would be exceptional. My kids are ow asking when can we go back!!! Loved it.

Room Tip: All rooms had a fabulous view over the reserve and all were extremely quiet and well appointed. We h...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank AnnieMack21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

This was my first experience on a safari and I worried about having five days there. I needn't have worried for a second. We chose this lodge because aside from it having the big five and it looking stunning, it was also ethical. It was built by the villagers and the profits go back into the local community. We flew in which was the most amazing experience as we had to fly over the landing strip twice to clear giraffe and zebra. The lodges are stunning and far more luxurious than I ever thought they would be, the staff couldn't do enough for you and the whole place was really chilled out. The game drives themselves were brilliant and we saw everything, wild dogs, rhino, buffalo, lions (even a lion catch it's supper!) cheetah, elephants giraffe, zeebra the list is endless, we weren't lucky enough to see a leopard but then few people are! It was lovely when you got back of an evening to see the flickering lights of Gaborone and the biggest surprise to me - the food. My word, the food was simply amazing particularly when you think you were in the middle of a game reserve. I cannot rate this lodge highly enough, I would go back here again and again and again and if you get chance to fly in rather than drive - do it!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CazMold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Buffalo Ridge is truly a wonderful place. Set up on the ridge the views are magnificent. We were there with friends to celebrate my husband's special birthday - one he will never forget. Godfrey and his staff truly made our stay with them a very memorable one. We had Room 1 which was great, close to the Lodge and we had a very nice outlook. The rooms are very well equipped and we especially liked the messages left in flowers on our bed for this special occasion. We stayed for 3 nights and the chefs Lesago, Josephine and William provided us with delicious meals. On our last night at Buffalo Ridge they had set up a special table for us by the bonfire and Johannes served us very well. I cannot thank Lazarus, our guide enough - we had so much fun whilst learning so much. He never disappointed us and each Game drive was different to the other but just as exciting. He found us the BIG 5 and the bonus was a sighting of a pack of wild dogs. Lazarus as do all the staff have such passion and pride in what they do.
Don't expect TV, internet or telephones - it is really nice to be away from it all and really experience the bush in this wonderful setting. The staff are there if you need them.
We had sad hearts when we left Buffalo Ridge and I will especially miss our exhiliarting safari drives with Lazarus in the trusty Land Rover.
Thank you and we will return
Lynne J - Australia

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LRJ58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2012

My husband and I travelled to Madikwe with another couple and stayed at Buffalo Ridge Lodge for 3 nights. After reading some of the negative reviews on Trip Advisor I was really hesitant about staying there but our friends had been recommended this place so we tagged along. To say it was brilliant is an understatement. The rooms are divine - huge, clean, bright and amazing. The staff can't do enough for you and will cater to your every whim (and those you didn't know you had). The game drives we fell in love with and couldn't wait for our next adrenalin trip each day. Lazarus was fantastic with his knowledge and really worked at delighting us with lots of surprises. We were so fortunate to see the Big 5 and felt privileged to be able to get so close to all the animals. All four of us have fallen totally in love with Buffalo Ridge Lodge and would go back again in a heart beat. It is the first time I have left a holiday place and actually cried to be leaving. We have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Buffalo Ridge Lodge.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Debbie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2012

At first we were rather cautious about the Lodge. having sons who were 5 and 7 meant that the open plan living, the lack of barriers to semi steep drops meant that our first afternoon was stuffed full of our rather British health and safety concerns, but funnily enough within a very short time we had acclimatized beautifully and the kids learnt to watch their step. It's an African bush lodge, unfenced from the rest of the reserve, it's not a resort and that is the best way to think of it. Not that the surroundings aren't beautiful, stylish and without pretension, but it's got a charm you have to embrace. The staff are friendly and helpful but not overbearing, occasionally you had to knock on the kitchen door in the mid afternoon to get some water, but surely that's better than overbearing staff? The place is run with a light touch, our children were welcomed and encouraged to play and feel at home. The pool is great and we had sole use most afternoons - we went mid week for 5 days. The food varied and delicious and they were happy to adapt to our whims. So, leaving the best till last - the game drives. Our mid week stay meant we had the jeep and the guide, Lazarus to ourselves for quite a few drives. And how we all enjoyed them. He would take one of our sons in the front with him and each drive gave us a varied and inventive range of experiences and animals. From my youngest waking up after snoozing under a blanket during a morning drive to come face to face with a lion, to my eldest filming dung beetles in action for a school project. Yes we saw all the wildlife we could hope for, but we also did it in such a way we didn't feel like we were on the tourist trail. Thanks to everyone there, you have given us our best family holiday ever.

Room Tip: The room placing has been described already. We were in room 4 and my husband got in the shower with...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Lorne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buffalo Ridge Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: $170 - $1,036 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Buffalo Ridge Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8

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