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“Magical Safari”
Review of Clifftop Lodge

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Clifftop Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 28, 2008

We spent 4 nights at the Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway in September 2009.

On arrival at the Lodge we were met by the hostess and a butler (with towels to refresh ourselves and a welcome drink). The hostess showed us the main lodge and explained the daily routine to us while the butlers took our luggage to our suite.

MAIN LODGE:
The main lodge has an indoor & outdoor dining area, a few guest lounges (also indoor & outdoor) with really comfortable couches, a small rim-flow pool & hanging baskets to sit in everywhere. Although there is no library, there are great books & binoculars scattered around the lounges for those that feel like reading or checking out the game/birds that they saw on the game drive. The lodge only has 8 suites, which means 8 couples will always find a private area to chill in the Lodge (not that it is necessary to leave your suite at all).

SUITES:
The suites are located next to each other along the cliff edge. The cement path to the suites is decorated with imprints of animals and lanterns. Since the lodge is not fenced in guests are not allowed to walk between suite & main lodge alone when it is dark (a butler will walk with you).

The suites are spacious & amazing! The bed is huge and really comfortable, there is a little lounge area with birding books & binoculars, the bathroom consists of double basins, a separate toilet, a huge (two-seater) bath with stunning views, and a rain shower. The suite’s private deck area has an outdoor shower, two sun loungers, comfy couches & a table underneath a gazebo as well a splash pool.

DÉCOR:
The main lodge & suites have recently been redecorated and it looks really amazing now. It looks like a luxury beach house in the bushveld. The décor consists of mostly whites, greys & silver and they used natural material everywhere, e.g. the chandeliers are made of ping-pong sized balls made from wood, beads & fairy lights, the coffee tables resemble huge white beach pebbles, they used tree branches as dividers between areas and behind the beds, etc. All the guests that were there with us commented about the stunning décor.

DAILY ROUTINE:
Time passes really quickly at the lodge . At dinner your personal ranger will ask whether you going on the morning game drive. We were given a wake-up call by our ranger at 5:30 every morning and the morning game drive departed at 6:00. Game drives last about 3 to 3.5hrs. After the game drive, breakfast is served. Then there are only a few hours to relax, before the evening game drive departs at 16:00. Dinner is served afterwards and then it is off to bed. The times differ depending on time of year and the game drives are voluntary, so guests can relax at the Lodge if they want instead.

FOOD:
Food is included in the price and you will never go hungry at this lodge. Before the morning game drive there are homemade cookies and coffee (prepared by the Rangers). During the morning game drive, there is a coffee stop: the ranger will make the hot beverage of your choice (plunger coffee, hot chocolate, or selection of teas) and it is served with rusks, muffins & fresh fruit. After the morning drive, breakfast is served. Breakfast consists of a cold buffet (muesli, yogurt, fruit salad, cold meats, etc.) and the butler will inform you about the other options on the menu. Hot breakfast is made to order by the chef. In the afternoon, there a light lunch (buffet style) served in one of the outside lounges. Guests can just come and go and grab a snack to eat if they want (and have space in their stomachs) During the evening game drive there is a sundowner stop: you will get your drink of choice (they ask you want you want before the game drive and take it with in cooler boxes) and a selection of hot/cold snacks. After the evening game drive, we received something to drink (port, sherry, etc) and then it is off to enjoy a 4 course dinner. The chef recited the menu choices to us each night. There was always one soup, and then a choice between 2 starters, main meals & desserts. The starters & main meal usually had a choice between game meat (we got served ostrich, kudu & springbok during our stay) and either fish or chicken.

STAFF:
The butlers are very friendly, down-to-earth and always there when you need them. Chantelle, our Hostess, was always around the main lodge to just chat, answer our queries or try and accommodate any special requests. The rangers (Pierre & Zjak were great. They are extremely knowledgeable and will go out their way to try and show you the animals that you want to see.

If you only go to Clifftop as part of your safari holiday and this is the first time you’re going on safari I would recommend staying 5 nights. The game drives consumed so much of our time, and we didn’t want to skip them since that would mean that we might miss a great sighting (like the leopard and the cub we never saw because we missed our first game drive) that an extra day to just relax in our Suite would have been great.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank raindanc3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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259 - 265 of 277 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2008

We went to Cliftop for our annerversary and thought of it as a nice romantic getaway. The food was good and the service and staff friendly and good. The rooms has been revamped and whitewashed in silver and white tones and the tiles have been painted (NO!!) I don't think it's going to last long but at least it Looks great at night !!.

I have a lower back problem and would advise anyone going there with the same problem to reconsider. The ONLY thing to do there is 2 game drives a day. The open game-viewing landrovers has got no shocks or they are worn out. Anyone that has been to Welgevonden would know that this area is very rocky, and hilly, not a good idea.

They do not offer any other activities, no bushwalks or astronomy etc. We went for 3 days and personally I think this is way too long. A day and a half would have been enough.

As for the game drives, the game was great, the vegitation is not as diverse , ther are no Acacia or thorn trees, only about 6 types of trees . Birding is ok but not a hot spot . We have been to most of the Private reserves in SA and this reserve must be the one that I would not want to go back to.

For South Africans I think they are ripping us off with the wine prices, a bottle of Porcupine Ridge Sauv Blanc for instance would cost you about R35 at the most in a Liquor store, they charge R140, a 300 % mark up.

Personally, for the price of your stay and with the fact that there is really not much to do, I think there is much better places than this.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank cs1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago
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  • Stayed: January 2018, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Stromer1101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
inkbos737, Public Relations Manager at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

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Reviewed March 1, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: March 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank sandced
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
inkbos737, Public Relations Manager at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2017

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Reviewed December 30, 2016
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  • Stayed: December 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Brigitte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
inkbos737, Public Relations Manager at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2017

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Reviewed October 26, 2016
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  • Stayed: October 2016, traveled solo
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank roos_wubben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
inkbos737, Public Relations Manager at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2016

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Reviewed October 11, 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: October 2016, traveled as a couple
Thank Effe D
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inkbos737, Public Relations Manager at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2016

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Additional Information about Clifftop Lodge

Address: Welgevonden Game Reserve | East Gate Entrance, Welgevonden Game Reserve 0530, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Welgevonden Game Reserve
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Welgevonden Game Reserve
Price Range: $628 - $890 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Clifftop Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clifftop Exclusive Safari Lodge is an exquisite bushveld hideaway, a unique resort, where service is understood and luxury is elegantly understated. The setting is breath taking and provides a beautiful African backdrop for a world of easy going elegance.All 8 suites have a private deck with plunge pool,thatched sala and indoor and outdoor lounges. The en-suite bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers, separate bath and bath consumables. The suites are non-smoking and have air conditioning, direct dial telephones, hairdryers, hotel stationery, mini bars, room safes, electric blankets and tea/coffee making facilities. Private Wine Cellar dinners are available by prior arrangement.The Lodge is situated in the 36000ha malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg Mountains, offering the Big 5. Gate entry fees are applicable and are charged per person per night.Halaal, Kosher and any other special meal requirements are catered for by prior arrangement. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clifftop Hotel Vaalwater

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