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“Nice and peaceful, in the bush, Fantastic!”

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Sondela Nature Reserve Accommodation
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bela Bela
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 19, 2012

When we went to Sondela Nature Reserve we stayed in a chalet, which was very nice! Which had DSTV and a braai place, which was in the Bush, and we saw bucks walking around our chalet, which was spectacular!and there was so much entertainment at the reception and very close to our chalet was tennis courts etc. Which was very nice. So I recommend you stay in the fantastic place.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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1  Thank Hanro567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,105 - 1,111 of 1,113 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2012

We stayed at Sondela for a week, and it was a very great experience from the beginning till the end of our stay. The service was very good, from the welcome when we checked in to attending to small problems at the chalets. The facilities were clean and the rooms well kept and tidy. The dinner we had at Piccinini's was divine and well priced.
We would defenetly return to Sondela

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank TauIT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2011

We stayed at the Sondela Country House for our anniversary and after the initial confusion about our room our stay was fantastic! It is rated 5 stars and it is very good value for money. There is a exclusive pool area only for Country House guests and the service and food was really good! We went for a night game drive with a very experienced ranger and saw 11 different species of animals. It was a very relaxing stay, only drawback was that our bed was not extra length and that is something I really need.

Room Tip: If you want to experience something different choose a room with a outside bath & shower - it co...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank devilliers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2011

The nature reserve is a mere two hours drive from Johannesburg / Midrand which make it an excellent weekend retreat. We stayed in one of the Bush Lodges on the reserve but there are various forms of accommodation ranging from Camping to a 5 star Lodge. It is a haven for children and we could not drag our children away from the farmyard where they could milk the cows, feed the goats and sheep, bottle feed little lambs and ride on donkey carts and horses. They had activities for the children throughout the Saturday and the children could be watched whilst enjoying refreshments in the garden. The "wild" animals are so tame, a mongoose came begging for treats and even the Nyala allowed the kids to touch them in exchange for "treats". There is a wildlife sanctuary and ample space to ride mountain bikes and go hiking. It is a great place to replenish the soul.

Room Tip: We decided on a private bush lodge as we have young children
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank CharmaineCenturion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2011

Sondela is situated in a private nature reseve and tries to emulate the classic South African Bushveld experience. Do they succeed? I would have to say they do. We stayed in a 6 sleeper chalet, Maroela 12, which we found spacious, comfortable and clean.Cleaning was done daily and the cleaning staff was friendly and helpful. The chalets are situated in an amongst the trees and the veld and offers you ample privacy and a feeling of really being in nature. The nyalas and bushbabies were regular visitors as well as various bird species. There are a myriad of walking trials and biking routes on the estate which give you the unique oppurtunity to meet game at close quarters while enjoying nature. The staff tries to provide for various forms of entertainment for the whole family (quad biking, archery, feeding animals, a wildlife centre, cooking lessons) and the property also has various swimming pools (cold as well as one heated one at reception). Withing two hundred metres from our doorstep there's an entertainment centre which feauted a big pool and jacuzzi as well as a huge lawn and braai area.
The restaurant on the premises, Picinninis (forgive me if it's spelt incorrectly) is a disappointment. Service is slow and the menu overpriced - avoid it. The staff, which consists of many young students who study at the Sondela Tourism Academy on the property, is keen and helpful with the exception of on or two, and the estate aims to cater for the whole family.
There's enough to keep the youngsters busy as well as allow mum and dad to laze around and enjoy the peace and tranquility. Sondela offers an enjoyable, family experience, yet also caters for couples. We would definitely like to visit it again in the future.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank gingerjoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2010

We have just arrived back to the UK from a few weeks around various locations in South Africa, Sondela being one of them.
Arrival was faultless and reception well staffed. The accomodation was in one of the RCI chalets and superb. The chalet we were in was 3km away from the reception (I know that for a fact as I ran to and from reception early every morning for exercise), running here was superb, with meeting zebra, kudu, impala, nyala, and warthogs on a very regular basis.
'Activities' were relaxing and ample, from the wildlife centre visits, to game drives (maybe here the guide could have been more dynamic and engaging - but I may just have been spoiled from the many years visiting other locations and expect too much. There were also mountain bikes for hire (be warned though the saddles are solid and leave one with sore seat bones - we only managed 10km within the reserve before we were walking like John Wayne and took the bikes back!).
The accomodation standard was good - the maid service excellent, the braai area adjacent to the chalet was impecable and made for a lovely area to sit out in the evenings.
There are 'tame' nyela families that come around each day, just watch for the bucks' horns as they can get a little excitable with them.
One comment to feed back on though is that I needed internet access for work and was assured twice that one could purchase blocks of time that can be logged in and out of as needed - this is not true and the time simply runs continously rather than the clock ticking only as you use it.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank LizzyPasta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2008

We have visited Sondela from the UK 6 or 7 times now, each time wondering if can live up to the last trip, and each time leaving amazed by how it just keeps getting better and better. Being only 2 hours max from Jo'Burg we can land from the UK and be in SOndela by lunchtime, it feels like coming home, and your holiday well and truly starts.

There is a range of chalet types, and we definately prefer Makhato, the newest ones, but all are a very good standard, it's just the older ones are a bit smaller although their proximity to the swimming pool complex makes up for their size. All units are very generously sized compared to self catered units we have visited in the UK.

The game reserve is wonderful, huge and tranquil, but with lots of game which is easy to find in your car, or on foot as it's totally safe.

The central complex of swimming pools, restaurant, farmyard, horseriding etc is incredibly family friendly, well maintained and the bar and restaurant are great value. The entertainment team take great care of you, kids and adults alike and the range of activities is truly amazing. you can do as much or as little as you want to, and the staff take great care of you really well.

Although self catered, this is self catering with a twist, with the maids arriving twice a day to clean and keep things looking great, and the barbeque cleaned most mornings before you get up.

We love SOndela, and can't recommend it highly enough, we have found somewhere that ticks all the boxes when travelling with kids, but where mum and dad get a break too. Book Now!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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Thank Gill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sondela Nature Reserve Accommodation

Address: Farm Tweefontein 426 KR, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Bela Bela
Amenities:
Casino and Gambling Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Bela Bela
Price Range: $86 - $172 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sondela Nature Reserve Accommodation 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Sondela Nature Reserve Hotel Gauteng

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