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“Timeshare destination”

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve
Ranked #3 of 14 things to do in Bela Bela
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Polokwane, South Africa
Level Contributor
162 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Timeshare destination”
Reviewed March 10, 2013

Mostly timeshare accommodation. Residents have access to a private game reserve where elephant and rhino can be seen, among the usual.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank MichelleGoosen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Mabalingwe Kalahari Bushcamp - good and bad”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

While the idea of the bush-camp seemed like a perfect solution to a multi-party family retreat, the execution left a lot to be desired. Yes, it's in a lovely, secluded spot. Yes, we were not worried about the amount of noise and activity generated by two young children. Yes, the individual tent-huts were close enough together to feel like a group, yet far enough apart to allow for privacy and retreat. But, of the overall experience left us feeling rather disappointed with the sporadic service and run-down camp.

The facility itself was exceptionally clean and tidy, wood was supplied for our first night (though we were charged an extortionist amount for a top-up) and linen and towels provided. The splash pool (wallow-pit sized) was a rather suspiciously milky colour, so none of us tried it out, yet seemed like a good way to cool off if it had been extremely hot.

The camp is set in a valley, and I couldn't help but wish that it had been built higher up, with a view of the park. Most such facilities I've stayed at in the past are built with the idea of sitting and looking out over a water-hole or some other such delightful viewing point. My mother-in-law needed to spend most of the time in the camp and it would have been much more pleasant for her to have had something interesting to look at.

We spent three nights in the camp, and each morning we had to notify the main reception of a new breakdown: first the water was not running; then the electricity was out; finally the hot water was not running. Not big issues, but enough to annoy nonetheless.

The tent-huts themselves were clean and relatively comfortable, though most of the window-flaps had been broken many moons ago and were now wired shut and left the interiors gloomy and stuffy.

On the morning of our departure, we were confronted with a somewhat hostile and unfriendly cleaning up crew, who definitely gave us the impression that the holiday was over, and please could we vacate immediately. Such a pity. On settling our bill and so forth, we were charged R90 for the replacement of 3 broken glasses, which seems rather a ludicrous amount of money for what would normally cost less than R20. Rather an unfortunate way to end a lovely family holiday.

However, the park itself is lovely. We had some great game-viewing, despite the lush, dense bush. We did a couple Sunset drives, which are definitely worth the trouble, and I did a horse-riding tour, which offered a unique way of experiencing the landscape. On all occasions the guides were friendly, helpful and informative.

We had one lunch at the a la carte restaurant: nothing special, but very satisfactory. A great burger. Again, friendly service and finally a bit of a view to watch antelope come down to the water for a drink.

All in all, a lovely little game park, very handy for access from Pretoria and Johannesburg, but let down by some issues. Certainly not as good as it very easily could be.

Visited February 2013
3 Thank VickersRobyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heraklion, Greece
Level Contributor
70 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“The bushveld and wildlife at their best”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We came back from a wonderful and relaxing weekend at this amazing Nature Reserve. Myself and my partner really enjoyed a lekker weekend. Excellent service, well organized, friendly and professional staff. We saw zebras, girafles and impalas... The horse riding was the highlight..

Visited February 2013
1 Thank marsot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
85 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“One of the Bushveld's Best”
Reviewed November 30, 2012

We visited during September 2012. The resort consists of seperate camps. We stayed in Mount Amanzi camp. There are lots of Wild Life to see. Unfortunately the Elephants are kept in a Camp which is only available for the Timeshare owners. The private lodges consist of two rooms downstairs and a Loft with two single beds. The rooms below are fitted with double beds and ensuite bathroom with shower (no bath) Fully equiped kitchen and lounge with ceiling fan and TV. There are no airconditioning.
All the lodges are clened every morning by lodge personnel. There are two cold swimming pools and one heated outdoor pool. There is also a recreation room with bar which serves light refreshments. There is a large Restourant (A la Carte) which is open for lunch and supper.

We had only one "not so good"experience. We booked a supper for two to have Impala Stew and when we arrived we were told that we cannot order A La carte for the management had decided to change to a buffet for that night! When we complained about the service they gave us a complimentary Impala Stew the following night. This was really considerate All over this resort is a place to relax and unwind

Visited September 2012
Thank BokkieM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kempton Park, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Mucho Bela Bela!!”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

I have just come back from a wonderful weekend at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve. I took two friends and my 5 year old grandson with me. Wow, what an amazing place. I've been there before and every time I go there with people who have never been, I see new things and animals. This time round we saw the jackal that had been eluding me in the past and 4 rhinos. We even had a porcupine visit us at the bungalow and my grandson thought he was in heaven. I would recommend Mabalingwe to anyone wishing a laid back holiday. The staff are friendly right down to the cleaning staff and the shop is well stocked. Lots of activities for old and young and the food at the restaurant is highly recommended. Do yourself a favour and go see for yourself, it is worth the trip and whatever you pay for it.

Amanda Perks ( weekend 12-15 October 2012)

Visited October 2012
1 Thank MandaP123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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