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“Abbsolute wonderdul experience”
Review of Bukela Game Lodge

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Bukela Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Abbsolute wonderdul experience”
Reviewed 22 December 2012

Bukela is very close to me and my family's harts. We are frequent visitors to this unique lodge. Bukela is under new management and this always causes a confusion with the staff and what is requered. We had a beautuful time at Bukela as usual and sat on our decks watching the Elephant playing in front of our decks. Thank you to both the Wellas and Nommie and all the staff for this wonderful experience.

Elsa

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank elsatruter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Bukela Game Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Elsa, thanks for always returning with such a big heart. It's always lovely to see you, and we're so chuffed that the elephants put on a great display for you guys. Here's to your next visit, and to all the good times to come at this amazing place. Warm wishes from the Baileys and the Bukela family :)
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229 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
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English first
uk
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2012

Stayed her for 3 nights, felt let down after reading the reviews.We thought the place looked worn, the swimming pool was green and murky and generally the place needed smartening up.Had a nice room Nos 4 but again no view, no deck furniture, creaky bed.After spending a huge amount of money to stay here felt dissapointed .

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank skyfive1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Bukela Game Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Thanks for your review - we're sad to hear we didn't hit the mark for you. You're right, the Bukela rooms are set into the bush, so they are more suited to reading and bird-watching (and every now and then monkey-watching). The viewing hide over the water hole has good views from big deep comfy couches, and we love to serve an icy G&T there at sundowners when the animals are at the water hole. While we hate not getting it right for you, we appreciate hearing about the issues you experienced - your deck furniture being MIA, for instance - and we'll do some digging and find out what happened and get it sorted. Thanks and best wishes from the Bailey family and the Bukela team.
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Hanoi, Vietnam
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2012

Stunning series of cabins located right in side the Game reserve.

Rooms are lovely with all mod cons in traditional settings. Particularity liked the out door shower and in room log fire (not for kids!) It was our honeymoon and they put on a very romantic meal in the room - lovely touch.

Food was top draw, best steak we had in a very long time could cut it with a spoon. Wine list is very good and well priced.

Game drives were excellent, our guide was insightful and had an encyclopedic knowledge of the parks wildlife in all forms from bees, trees and elephants.

Room Tip: No 1 room is closest to the watering hole were animals come to drink at dusk and dawn.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jonesy_Gem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Bukela Game Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Congratulations on tying the knot, and thank you for choosing Bukela as part of your honeymoon - we feel very honoured to have been part of this great moment in your life. We're very chuffed to get such a lovely review - thanks for taking the time to post it. All the best to you both for this amazing first chapter of your journey together. Warm wishes, the Bailey family and the Bukela team
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights and found the staff to be very enthusiastic and proud of what they do. We have been on safari before but have never been offered so much food. Cereals, yoghurt, juices, tea or coffee before game drive, tea, coffee or hot chocolate with muffins during drive, fruit, cooked breakfast, toast, juices, tea or coffee for brunch, high tea, wine, beer or soft drinks with snacks on afternoon drive, 4 course dinner with wine in the evening. On our last evening we had a private dinner. The fire was lit and a hot bath run with rose petals and candles, also far too much food for just 2 people, but it was very romantic. Our ranger, Simon, made sure that we saw 4 of the big 5, also cheetahs, giraffes and many different kind of antelope. Although this is not like Kruger or Masai Mara for game viewing we had the most amazing elephant encounters, they came so close to us you could have touched them. The staff here are really lovely and friendly and so is little Tusker the dog. Thank you all at Bukela.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank janhooper50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Bukela Game Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Your review made us smile: maybe we should think about adding a Bukela Recovery diet programme attachment to our goodbye emails? (I always need a day or two of bread and water to recover from my times at Bukela.) Thanks for taking the time to give us some feedback: we're always trying to get better at what we do, and reviews like yours are inspiring and motivating for the team. You're right, there are so many different and wonderful game experiences in Africa, and at the Amakhala we try to make it intimate and accessible. We're very pleased you enjoyed it so much, and hope to welcome you back sometime. Til then, best wishes from the Bailey family and the Bukela team
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Lisse, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Recently we (July) visited Amakhala Game Reserve with our family and we experienced something very special. We already did Safari in the past in Kenia but at Amakhala Game Reserve we had a great time. The lociation is very nice. Just like "Out of Africa"! On our terrace we had a great view and in total we had 4 Game Drives and also we did a boat tour through the Reserve. All great experiences and besides this the owner and the personel were great hosts. We had nice Dinners, nice High Tea. The bar before dinner was always nice to be. If you like Out of Africa please enjoy life at Amakhala Game Reserve.

Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Gerard188597
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Bukela Game Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
What a great review - thanks for taking the trouble to give us your feedback! It's really inspiring for us to know when we get it right, so thank you for giving us all a good moment with your review. Glad you enjoyed the boat trip: the new boat for the river is proving very popular, and we love being able to offer this to our guests. Hope to see you back at that bar soon! Til then, best wishes from the Bailey family and the Bukela team
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Goleta, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 July 2012

We stayed 3 nights at Bukela with our two teenagers. We had two beautiful African style bungalows (there are only a total of four on the property). We were spoiled by the staff with excellent meals (including high tea and five course dinners), private game drives where our driver Andre worked tirelessly to spot nearly every animal possible (including two gorgeous cheetahs up close and personal waking up in the dawn). Staff would greet us upon our return immediately with hot towels and hot chocolate (it was chilly out, being winter). We definitely could've stayed longer!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Bukela Game Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Thanks for your inspiring review and great feedback. You made our day! We're so glad you experienced all the wonder of a winter safari: it's our favourite time of year to be at the Amakhala and it's great to know you enjoyed it too. Thanks for choosing us, and for reminding us all over again what a privilege it is to be doing what we're doing. Warm wishes from the Bailey family and the Bukela team
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Houston, TX
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2012

We stayed here June 23 and 24. The game drives were phenomenal and Andre is a fantastic guide. First game drive just us two, then three, then four and finally six on our last drive. Still not over crowded at all. After our TA booked the lodge, we received a call stating that they wanted us to move to a sister lodge that also accepts kids because they had the opportunity to rent out the entire lodge for several months. Put my foot down and said we would cancel all of our Lion Roars reservations if that happened, so they worked us in. Well in reality they were not booked at all, 1 of 4 rooms on our first night, 3/4 our second night.

So after a wonderful game drive where we saw 17 elephants in the open, we were treated to a special dinner in our room in front of the fireplace. Well it was absolutely the worst meal i have had in perhaps ever. Scrawny, bony and grisly lamb chops were inedible. A heaping mound of mashed potatoes. My wife had the baby chicken, a thigh and a drumstick that would make a Cornish game hen look like Godzilla when compared in size. And i wasn't good at all either. During that time, the fire in the fireplace burned out(rather smoldered out)as it was really never a fire. I called the lodge manager to complain immediately. The room service guy did fix something for us and it was just ok.

Breakfast next morning after game drive typical English breakfast. Only choice was how do you want your eggs. No french toast, no eggs Benedict etc. Again morning drive very good.

For High Tea, I had to ask for plates and utensils and was looked like "how dare you ask me for something". This rather large black lady was the most unfriendly we met on our three weeks journey and she seemed to have copped a real attitude. Maybe she has a post apartheid issue. I heard later that some of the locals around this area have an attitude.

For the room, difficult to keep fire going, heater did not work and ran out of hot water after one shower. The room (#4) is showing signs of aging. There were cracks in the walls and flooring and chips from corners missing. There were numerous places for candles that were never replaced while we were there.

So without the game drives, would give this accommodation a 1 or 2, without the accommodation, I would give the game drives a 4. Chances of seeing lions are remote as they are banned to a much smaller area of the reserve. We searched all morning without a sighting.

This place has great potential, but I would rate it a three star versus the five that it achieves. Out of 11 places we stayed, the food and service was worse here than anywhere, and it was the most expenesive.

Room Tip: The honeymoon suite is a challenge for shorter people as the bed is quite elevated. Also if you get...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bohai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Bukela Game Lodge, responded to this review, 13 July 2012
We're very sad to hear about your experiences at Bukela. However, we would much rather hear about it than not, when things go wrong, so thank you for giving us your feedback. I'll be investigating this over the next couple of days and will get back to you either as a follow up post here, or directly to your Tripadvisor email. In the meantime, our sincere apologies: this is not what we're about at all. Best regards from the Baileys and the Bukela team.
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Additional Information about Bukela Game Lodge

Property: Bukela Game Lodge
Address: R342 Landman Road | off N2, between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, Amakhala Game Reserve 6070, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Amakhala Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Amakhala Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Bukela Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bukela Game Lodge Is A 5-Star Luxury Lodge In The 7 500 ha malaria-free Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape South Africa. Accommodation at this tranquil game lodge is provided in four suites and two luxury safari tents, each individually styled in African simplicity while never compromising on luxury. This secluded safari destination is tucked away into indigenous trees and bushes at the top of a hidden valley and has the perfect setting for the intimate and romantic guest experiences for which we are renowned. Connected by a wooden walkway, our thatched suites offer a remarkable private wildlife-viewing experience. Savour a crisp glass of wine in your sun-soaked spa bath, opening onto trees alive with birdsong. Indulge in sumptuous high teas, private candlelit dinners or exciting fireside boma dinners under African stars. And as you fall asleep, hear the silence broken by the unmistakeable sounds of elephant and buffalo making their stately progress through the unfenced camp. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bukela Game Hotel Amakhala Game Reserve

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