We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The only guest and roayalty treatment”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Madikwe Game Reserve
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Buffalo Ridge Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 26, 2013

I booked my stay directly through their booking service in Johannesburg. I was traveling solo and the prices was based on 2 persons sharing a bungalow. They were nice to knock of the price so it was an affordable price for me traveling alone. Very happy with that.

I arrived trough the main gate coming from Botswana. I had directions for for lodge and made it there on the first try (but do make sure you get it right, it's a lot of roads in there an they look similar).

I was met at the parking lot, and he helped me with my luggage. At check in I was told I was the only guest. Another group had just left, and the next one would arrive after I left. Never had a whole hotel to myself. They showed me to my bungalow and I was stunned. Very nice.... smelled wonderful due to the grass roof. Bungalow itself was clean, spacious and had a very nice bed. Best thing was probably the shower, with sliding doors to the outside. If you open the wide open it's like showering outside. Sat down and enjoyed the silence and scenery, when a family of ab baboons walked by and sat in the trees next to my bungalow.

I had two very nice game drives. The ranger was knowledgeable and friendly. Got to see lions up close on both drives. Returning late from the night drive, they had made a bonfire for me and the ranger, where we where served a lovely 3 course dinner. The staff was very friendly and obviously gave me very much attention being the only guest. I felt like a king.

All in all I enjoyed my stay very much. I would highlight the rooms, excellent view of the bush, with the lodge sitting along the top of the ridge. During my stay I learned that the lodge was fully owned by a local community of a Buffalo tribe (hence the name). This means you are giving back something to this community by staying here. Gave me i good feeling and would like to pass that on to others.

I probably could go on about this place put I hope you find tis helpful and inspiring.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Cavring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (157)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

101 - 107 of 157 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2013

Helpful staff on arrival and check-in. Accommodation is spacious and comfortable and of course the views are fantastic. However there is no Mini Bar and I believe from many years of travelling and being fortunate enough to stay in some 5 star establishments around the world this is a minimum expectation? But the reasons become obvious at check out!
The game drives were fine, although we stuck to the Northern area for the 2 days and 5 Drives we were there, even though I could tell by the radio comms, there was a sighting of a pride of lions within reach of the timescale of that drive. Instead we looked aimlessly at scrub and luckily found an adult Bateleur to at least take photos of. We were there the same weekend as the previous reviewer and got to know them so it is interesting how there experience seemed to differ with ours. Having said that, it was their first Safari Experience.
We did meet the Manager briefly and he sorted out a minor concern, but that was the last time we would see him. The staff are left to their own devices and so when there are mini crises, it is tragic to watch how no-one seems to know what to do. The meals were minimally average, from breakfast to the lunches and dinners. The Fillet of Beef on the 2nd night was enthusiastically anticipated, but a 100 gram Mignon with 5 bits of roasted peppers and 25 Grams of Mash potato is really pathetic and poor. Minimalistic Nouvelle Cuisine in the bush, perhaps that theory should be re-evaluated and that thought came from ALL the South African guests there. In fact the one guest demanded more food, and he was probably correct in his attitude. That summed up the overall impression, everything on offer as minimal as possible, but the Staff are trained to be pleasant and polite but clueless as to proper 5 star hands on immediate service expectation.
Then to the drinks prices… let’s just say it is just simply a complete and utter rip off, but sadly European Tourists seem to be prepared to pay these absurdly inflated prices. R35- Estate wines on the menu for R220… I will certainly make a point of factoring this into the next safari trip I do.
And to conclude the weekend, we get charged these insane prices for Colddrinks and some Ports and they then add 14^% VAT on to it. I vehemently refused to pay this, but of course the Manager by now is back where he has been for the preceding few months i.e. nowhere to be found. I eventually pay the amount, and since have reported the establishment for blatant fraud to the Madikwe Management via the lodge we moved to for the next 2 nights, as well as the Tour company that we I booked through. Of course there is No feedback, so hence the no holds barred review here.

For International Tourists, please be aware that listed Menu prices and services rendered in South Africa must by law be Vat inclusive prices. If the Staff of Buffalo Ridge have done this with say 100 Guests, someone is making a tidy sum of illegal profit.

Room Tip: Check the drinks prices before you get fleeced at the end of your trip
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank gazzcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

My wife and I recently stayed at Buffalo Ridge to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. One often attributes a memorable trip to the bush with fantastic game viewing which we did get in the reserve. The lodge is situated on a ridge allowing breathtaking views accross the reseve.

For those people planning a bush trip I believe the ability to drive off road is limited to a few reserves in South Africa and should not be under estimated when planning your trip. Most of Madikwe's lodges allow this but worth checking when you book.

The lodge was however a very under whelming experience. I felt there was a distinct lack of a good manager who could interact with the guests. There are pro's and con's to visiting a small lodge and for me the latter was unfortunately the case. The food was okay but nothing special and with a set three course meal your only choice was to skip a course if you didnt like it as there was no alternative.

We did select the lodge on price, travelling on a book and travel within 7 day price break special which made it reasonable however having been to the reserve on 3 seperate occasions I can say there are better lodges to stay at. The unfortunate proverbial last straw was a mild electric shock one experienced when using the shower, this can be fixed by the lodge but reading some reviews prior to writing this of guests who have have also been shocked, this it is clearly not top of mind.

With a little effort there is no reason why this lodge could not provide an excellent destination

Room Tip: 8 rooms same design. They strech out from the lodge in a single straight line along the ridge. The l...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Nic C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

We have been in Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge on October 31-November 1st. The place was lovely, really connected to the nature, no fence, no garden, just the nature around the chalet: baboons passed 10 meters from us and we could observe small grazers just two meters from the window. The safari was great, with Lazarus who is recognized by pairs as one the best guides in Madikwe. The food was excellent, the staff was caring and the accommodation was excellent, not luxurious, excellent. We had another stay in a luxurious lodge, almost twice the price: Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge is different. This might be the reason for some mitigated feedback on this site: go to Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge if you want a very comfortable experience of the South African wild nature in a peaceful and cosy place, integrated in the Nature at an affordable price, otherwise, pay the double elsewhere for the feeling of being somebody special in a luxurious place, up to you ! We did both and appreciated both, indeed, but with the feeling that our experience in Buffalo Ridge was more authentic. Again: people were nice, careful, professionnal, the food was good: probably the bad feedback of AnnieTAustralia and fs495 were analysed and amendments made. Also: they gave us a lift to the other lodge, free though they were not obliged to. See you again, Lazarus, for the buffalos next time !

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Patrice N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank AnnieTAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank AnnieMack21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Madikwe Game Reserve hotels
1.3 mi away
Impodimo Game Lodge
Impodimo Game Lodge
#3 of 23 in Madikwe Game Reserve
375 reviews
4 mi away
Tau Game Lodge
Tau Game Lodge
#8 of 23 in Madikwe Game Reserve
488 reviews
15.7 mi away
Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge
Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge
#10 of 23 in Madikwe Game Reserve
300 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
9.6 mi away
Etali Safari Lodge
Etali Safari Lodge
#6 of 23 in Madikwe Game Reserve
521 reviews
2.2 mi away
Motswiri Private Safari Lodge
Motswiri Private Safari Lodge
#14 of 23 in Madikwe Game Reserve
177 reviews
1.3 mi away
Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge
Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodg...
#4 of 23 in Madikwe Game Reserve
229 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Buffalo Ridge Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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: $171 - $1,018 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Buffalo Ridge Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing