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All reviews the river game drives honeymoon suite high tea attention to detail herd of elephants morning drive safari lodge an amazing experience hot water bottles course dinner plunge pool cheetah kill gin and tonic sense of humour knowledgeable ranger game reserve
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Reviewed June 3, 2014

We visited Amakhosi Lodge in Pongola from 26/05/2014 to 27/05/2014. The accommodation, ambience, setting and food what out of this world.

Unfortunately I could only stay one night due to business commitments but I will definitely make a point of visiting again as it is absolutely amazing.

Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled on business
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Thank Rene H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amakhosisafari, Director of Sales at Amakhosi Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 9, 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time from your busy travels to post a review, your stay was certainly not long enough and we hope that you return soon that you an experience more of what the lodge has to offer. Thank you again for the review it is very much appreciated for all of the team. Hope to see you soon, from the Amakhosi Team

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Reviewed June 2, 2014

Having been in the hospitality industry for the last 15 years, we get to see a lot of awesome venues. I only put out reviews of places we stay on holiday and we enjoy or places through our work that are exceptional. out of the more than 200 venues we have stayed at, this place has set a new bench mark. venue has the same basic infrastructure, its how they use this infrastructure. Amakhosi Lodge has got it all spot on. The friendliness of the staff, the attention to detail, the focus on the little things is what will make anyone's stay here memorable.

From the moment we arrived we were welcomed by a number of staff and our bags are taken to our rooms and our car parked while we refreshed with a hot towel. Then while sipping on homemade lemon juice, we were informed of the program for our stay. We were not only escorted to our room, but also shown how everything works and where everything is.

At 3pm we were introduced to our ranger (Nick,who was with us for the duration of your stay) and went to the plains where a late light lunch was waiting for us. After this we explored the 6 000 hectare property. We saw giraffe, elephant, impala, nyala, blue duiker, kudu, white back vulture, white rhino, wildebeest, buffalo and the best sighting was one of their newest lionesses. As it is a private reserve, you and the other guests are the only people driving the reserve. AS the sun set we stopped by the river for sundowners, some snacks and all this whilst viewing a mother hippo and her calf playing in the river. After dark, we did some star gazing and Nick shared his knowledge of the stars with us. On the way back to the lodge we spotted a spotted genet, bush babies and an owl. On arrival back at our room from the game drive, a bubble bath had been run for us with candles all the way round the bath. Attention to detail and sweat the small stuff. If all other hotels could get this right, people would over look other faults and come back again and again.

Pre-dinner drinks were enjoyed with the other guests and rangers where everyone got to tell their tales of their game drives. dinner was really good and gain, the attention to detail and the effort made on the small things made it that much better. That night, I was woken twice by the roars of a male lion. This is really Africa.

Our morning drive was awesome, again with attention to detail, from the blankets to the hot water bottles, to the coffee break by the river and not forgetting the most divine homemade biscuits ( worth the trip just for the biscuits). Breakfast was great and catered for all tastes and needs, yet simple. When we left, it was like leaving family and there was a host of faces around to say goodbye. (I've left family behind easier than that) Not only was our car washed (only to be covered in dust within the a minute of departure), but we also got a snack pack with fruit, chocolates and waters for the road. Sweat the small stuff people, its what makes the difference.

Overall, an exceptional experience, made possible by exceptional people who really care and really want you to have and unforgettable experience.

Room tip: they are all good. All the rooms overlook the river. You can't go wrong.
Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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Thank Africantourer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amakhosisafari, Director of Sales at Amakhosi Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 9, 2014

We just dont know how to reply to such an amazing detailed review, but to say a huge, giant thank you from all of us. As you may have noticed for each team member this is more than just a "job" this is a passion and the highlight and reward is making each guests stay a memorable one and by the time that guest leaves they are like family to us too! Thank you for all your accolades for the team and this review has been forwarded to our owners for action. We certainly hope that this means that you will return soon and stay longer! Thanks once again and warmest regards from the zulu bush . The Amakhosi Team

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Reviewed May 29, 2014

We had an amazing weekend at Amakhosi Lodge!! Couldn't believe one can rest so much from the hustle and bustle of the city!! The staff took such amazing care of us and made us feel at home. The rooms were absolutely beautiful and the food exquisite!! Since the seven years that I've been there last the quality of service is still incredible!! My fiancé and I had a beautiful 3 night stay in the honeymoon suite and the best rest!! The game drives were exquisite and the staff always delivered!!

I would just like to give a big thanks to Kevin and Mandla who were our ranger and tracker, always delivered, and Sam and spa staff who gave us amazing treatments as well as Lloyd, Gugu, Nick, Londiwe and Happy to name a few of the staff that made our stay amazing and memorable!!

Thank you very much and we will always recommend Amakhosi Safari Lodge!!

Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank SarinaVosloo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amakhosisafari, Director of Sales at Amakhosi Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2014

Wonderful review, THANK you from all of the Team, we are so pleased that you relaxed and enjoyed your stay, after all that is what it is all about, enjoying and connecting with each other and nature. Thank for mentioning our amazing team, they are really wonderful and we appreciate each and every one of them. We have passed on your review to our owners for their action. Thank you also for returning and hope that we dont have to wait another seven years to welcome you back, it was a pleasure to host you both. Best regards from the Amakhosi Team

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Reviewed May 26, 2014

Big may be beautiful but it can lack charm.

We have stayed at two of the large, expensive, and world famous 5* South African private game reserves bordering Kruger National Park and been transfixed by the amount of Big 5 viewing opportunities and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. So it was an act of faith when we booked 3 nights at Amakhosi - We are so pleased that we did.

Although we have seen and experienced what we thought was everything at the famous private reserves, nothing prepared us for the two hours of tranquil heaven we spent in the midst of Amakhosi's breeding herd of elephants watching the larger elephants graze whilst the inquisitive younger tribe members played around us.

I think that I felt like St Francis of Assizi calming the wild beasts but of course it was the other way round! This obviously contented family of elephants shut out the nagging worries of our urban life of by sharing two hours of sheer bliss in close proximity to us. A few of these gentle giants came to within 2 metres of our Land Cruiser and inspected us as fellow creatures with peaceful yet extraordinary knowing eyes.

A young bull named "Touchy Feely" by our ranger Kevin Williams, seemed to want to know more about the Land Cruiser's bonnet by getting ever closer but Kevin kept him guessing by slowly reversing a few metres a couple of times until he lost interest.

During our 3 days at Amakhosi Kevin managed to show us everything but leopard and wild dogs but that was more than made up with his mastery of identifying and showing us the reserve's flora and fauna.

What more could one ask for? As retired French Brasserie owners we also appreciated the fine dinners and scrumptious breakfasts all beautifully cooked and served with relaxed but attentive service. Thank you Chef.

Sorry, I am rabbiting on, but Amakhosi really is a Game Reserve not to be missed.

Room tip: I understand that the lodges will be up-graded/re-furbished one by one this year so if you are a perfectionist ask for one of these.
Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank LAZYJACQUES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amakhosisafari, Director of Sales at Amakhosi Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 30, 2014

What a wonderful surprise on a Friday, about to wind down and find this wonderful review, we are so happy that you had a wonderful time and even better had a great experience with our amazing elephant herd, we are so used to them and think they are special, but when guest confirm this it makes our day. Our team is amazing and we value each and every one, thank you for mentioning them and a copy of the review has been sent to our owners. We hope you do not wait too long and come back and visit us once our river suites have been refurbished. The team wish you all the best and come back soon!

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Reviewed May 19, 2014

WOW. This place was simply amazing and a true gem.

Right from the moment I arrived the level of service was absolutely stunning. They greeted me with a warm towel to freshen up, took my luggage and gave me a detailed tour of the property.

The suites are little villas that are absolutely stunning. Big deck with a hammock, separate living room, Big bathroom with soaker tub, an additional toilet, separate shower, outdoor shower and king size bedroom. The villa was AMAZING.

The safari tours are like clock work. They wake you up at 5:30 and have coffee / tea and light snack for 6am. You head out for a few hours around the park and stop for coffee/tea and snack. The morning safari is about 3 hours and they think of EVERYTHING. Hot water bottles and blankets.

When you return to the lodge, you are greeted with a warm towels to freshen up and then breakfast is served shortly thereafter.

The meals are all home made and FANTASTIC. Every meal is handmade with amazingly tasty options. I'm a picky eater, but everything was delicious.

You have a few hours to do as you wish and at 3PM they have afternoon tea before you head out for the afternoon safari. This time you go out for about 3 hours and stop for a beverage around sunset.

About the safari - WOW! You have a guide and a tracker pair who are very knowledgeable. Our guides - Dylan and King were amazing. They are very friendly and so knowledgeable about all things in the area. We could ask questions all day and they gladly answered.

On our safari we saw - Elephants, Lions, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Water Buffalo, Rhinos, all sorts of Antelope (Impala, Nyala, Kudu and more), Warthogs, Hippos.

The staff went out of their way to make it feel like home. It's a small lodge, so it feels cozy. One night, when I came back from the evening safari, they had a warm bath ready for me. Its these little things that make such a big deal.

Just book this, you won't regret it.

Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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Thank Travab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmakhosiLodge, Director of Sales at Amakhosi Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 20, 2014

Wow, thank you for the wonderful review and thank you so much for posting, we are so pleased that your experience with us was a memorable one and that the team ensured that you were well looked after. Our team is wonderful and thank you for mentioning them, it is lovely comments like this that do make it all worthwhile, we have forwarded your compliments to top management for action. You had some good sightings with our tracking team..and Chef Lauren has the knack of always getting the food right for all tastes. We hope that you come back to Africa soon and stay longer this time. Regards from all of us at the lodge!

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