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“What a gem.”

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Mhondoro Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“What a gem.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2012

My friend and I were desperately looking for a last minute safari experience near Johannesburg for bank holiday weekend. After deciding the Kruger was too far for only two nights, our agent found us this absolute gem on the Thursday morning, leaving Friday. We were due to be collected from the main gate at between 1 - 1.30pm, however ran in to bank holiday traffic and roadworks on the way, and had to call to say we would be 45mins late - this was no problem at all, our first indication that John and Dominique were highly accomodating and welcoming.

John greeted us with a smile and a beer (or gin and tonic!) as we waited for the other guest who was 5mins behind us. You leave your car at the security manned main car park and John takes you on the 45min journey to the lodge through the park, this is where your drives begin! We were lucky enough to see a Leopard kill having being dragged in to a tree on our way to the lodge, as well as some general game, so it is a good start.

We were met at the lodge by Dominique with a hot towel each, and the rest of the staff singing a welcome song and offering drinks. You can tell instantly that the service is going to be impeccable and we were never disappointed throughout.

In summary, the four game drives we went on were enthralling. John is a young enthusiastic and funny ranger, with a good eye for tracks and a steady wine pouring hand! We went as two good friends, but the lodge would be perfect for a group of 2 or 3 families who know each other as it only holds up to 10 people and you could have a real laugh. We were lucky as the family and couple that were also at the lodge were very friendly and social and we had most meals as a group. We did ask, but what if that isn't the case, and Dominique said they are also psychologists in trying to read peoples moods, and if you were e.g. a honeymoon couple then they would definitely sit you at a seperate table or even a romantic candlelit meal on your own balcony!

The lodge is a very modern refit from last year, with free wifi, complimentary bar, AMAZING large sunbathing sofa around a small pool, with 6 sunbeds also on a nice viewing deck of the waterhole. As we arrived, there were 6 Zebra, 4 Warthogs and a monkey around the watering hole which is a stones throw from the reception, quite an amazing sight for our check in.
A quick afternoon tea (including home made lasagne and dessert!) before getting right into the action on our first afternoon/early evening safari.

Snippet details; Rooms have a great outdoor shower, you also get a direct radio in your lodge to contact John in emergency through the night. We didn't spend a cent in the few days, it's all inclusive. John is as enthusiastic as any visitor, staying out an extra hour to get an evening view of a Lion who was chilling 5metres away from our truck... the pictures are outstanding. For every drive you are given a hotwater bottle in your seat - an absolute godsend!! Also, leaving times in the morning are negotiable if the group prefer to sleep until 6.30am to leave at 7am instead of a strict 5.30am start policy! The chef, Francis is very talented and we had a steak on evening one, and Lamb in mint sauce on night two. Also he makes fresh bread every morning to have with your cooked breakfast!

Negatives; a few spiders in the bathroom but you are given two cans of insect spray and the bed isn't a prob as has misquito net. It's hard to think of anything else!

Perfect for couples, as friends you will have a good laugh and the alcohol flows freely, and as a family then the kids are very well catered for. John and Dominique are the perfect hosts (have an amazing trip to the US guys!) and the small number of guests mean you get a custom built safari experience for your exact desires. Strongly reccomend.

Room Tip: We were in Lodge 1, there is a small chance this could be the room needed to be vacated in forest fi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank london1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
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English first
Sotogrande, Spain
Level Contributor
70 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2012

This is the second time we stayed here. There has been a change of management but it was as super as the first time. The trackers are really good, we saw the big five in 4 days.

Service was great.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank SerahO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2012

Mhondoro is a fabulous lodge in Welgevonden reserve. The roadworks on the way there were a bit unpleasant, but when they are finished, this lodge will fly. Amazing staff and beautiful accommodations. I will definitely be back.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Bwgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tarrytown, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2011

I had a great couple of days at the lodge. i was on my own and John and Dominique (the mangers) could not have been more gracious and welcoming--i felt at home immediately. the lodge was recently rennovated and is lovely--very stylish design but still incredibly warm and comfortable. And the food and wine couldn't be beat. I've been on quite a few safaris and John is definitely in the top tier of rangers --very knowledgable but with a funny, engaging manner. I would highly recommend a stay there!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank joan b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2011

This was our first visit to Welgevonden. As others have mentioned the scenery is amazing, much more varied than the lowveld reserves. The feeling of the reserve is also more intimate with less of a commercial feel about it. Although there are fewer animals than some of the larger reserves, there still are more than enough animals to see, especially the cheetah were quite amazing. The lodge itself was excellent with great food and general hospitality. They make you feel at home, it really is a great place to go to to unwind and get an authentic bush experience. It is worth visiting for the scenery alone.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tnmb11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2011

Welgevonden is obviously a very well managed and maintained reserve & it shows in the condition of the reserve lands and animals within. Mhondoro lodge within Welgevonden was the perfect weekend getaway. A small lodge that only takes 10 guests at a time, under 3 hours drive from JHB, small compliment of friendly staff, super food and very knowledgeable ranger and AWESOME games sightings (lion, elephant, rhino, giraffe, zebra etc etc - most with babies) made for a bush escape that we'll definitely return to do again. Highly recommended as a getaway with close friends / family.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank GuinyG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2011

We stayed at Mhondoro Lodge for 2 nights to celebrate my wife's birthday in November. The lodge is set in a fantastic location overlooking a waterhole frequented regularly by most of the wildlife in the reserve. On one occasion we were treated to a procession of giraffe, warthog, elephant, zebra and wildebeest in quick succession. The highlight of our trip were the game drives led by our guide Sylvester. He had an uncanny knack of spotting animals which other vehicles missed, and we always seemed to be first on the scene. We were lucky enough to see a pride of lions twice, the first one afternoon as they lounged by a waterhole, the second at dusk as they were looking for prey. We also saw a cheetah resting having just made a kill. The Welgelonen park itself is very beautiful, and the landscape changes dramatically from savannah to bush with every drive.

The lodge itself was well laid out and the villas were comfortable, clean, and secluded. I loved the outdoor shower. The food was excellent throughout, and we couldn't have asked for a better stay.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tpbradley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mhondoro Game Lodge

Property: Mhondoro Game Lodge
Address: | R517 towards Thabazimbi, Welgevonden Game Reserve 0530, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Welgevonden Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Welgevonden Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mhondoro Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mhondoro Game Lodge is a luxury 5-star accommodation in Welgevonden Game Reserve, a malaria-free and Big 5 game reserve in Limpopo, South Africa. Its main lodge and private villa have recently been rebuilt and the interior of its suites have been refurbished, offering a tasteful mix of African chic and contemporary design. The luxurious, child-friendly lodge has quickly become famous for its new underground waterhole hide, connected to the main lodge by a tunnel, offering an easy, safe and above all unique opportunity to be amongst the animals drinking at the waterhole in front of the lodge. Mhondoro is the only 5-star safari lodge that has this feature. Mhondoro is family friendly yet private and quiet to accommodate small groups to relax and explore the abundantly present wildlife during game drives. For those who prefer to indulge in ultimate relaxation or work up some sweat, the spa and gym are at your disposal, including a team of qualified and experienced beauty therapists. The pool, sauna, bar and lounge are available for all guests during the whole day. Mhondoro is located a 2 hour and 45 minutes' drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport, making it the perfect safari destination for those who arrive in South Africa in Johannesburg. Even quicker is travelling by a small plane - it not only takes you there in less than an hour, but it also offers an amazing experience flying over the Welgevonden Game Reserve as you approach the runway. ... more   less 
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