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“Wonderful experience”
Review of Hlosi Game Lodge

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Hlosi Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We had three days here, and were very impressed. All of the staff were very friendly and welcoming, and the rooms were excellent. It was five star service and all of the meals were delicious. Our guide, MJ, was excellent - informative, enthusiastic and with a good sense of humour. We saw all of the big five and had a fun morning riverboat cruise with breakfast served on board - great idea! Early morning sounds and late evening starlight were magical.
I would recommend this lodge to all - families will especially enjoy it. We will be back, for sure.

Room Tip: All lodges have great views and seclusion with wonderful views.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Scuffer28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Hlosi Game Lodge, responded to this review, 23 April 2013
Thanks for such a terrific review - we really value and appreciate it. The whole team is walking a little bit on air today! It's great to hear about it when our guests have great experiences with us: it's what we wake up for every day. Great that you got to enjoy the river cruise: we love them too. Hope the rest of your journey was top notch and that you had happy homecomings. Best wishes from the Bailey family and the Hlosi team
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English first
Doha, Qatar
1 review
Reviewed 7 April 2013

Amazing experience for adults and kids.Our ranger Dian was a book of knowledge about the flora and fauna of the area,always smiling always helpful and we did amazing drives.Everybody working at the lodge were so helpful ,the food was amazing,the location and the scenery is fantastic.As for the kids..they simply felt in love with Carla with the magic touch!We did 5 safaris in 3 days and we saw all the animals we drove with all kinds of weather and every time it was different and exciting!The smell was the best essence in the world .Wood,nature,and herbs of the savanaah.I wish i could put it in a bottle and carry it with me.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 125MARIA125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Hlosi Game Lodge, responded to this review, 23 April 2013
Oooh, what a lovely review. Smiles all round on this end! Thanks so much for choosing Hlosi, and for taking the trouble to write a review. They really make a difference to us and we appreciate it enormously. It's especially good to hear that your whole family had such a good time here: creating truly family-friendly safaris is close to our hearts, and we're thrilled that you had such a great family experience. Hope to see you again soon. Best wishes from the Bailey Family and the Hlosi team
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Manchester, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2013

Amazing experience which will remain with us forever. The lodges are wonderful with a hot tub looking out over the reserve! The rangers were really friendly,helpful and very knowledgable. We had a very close encounter with a huge elephant called Norman and saw two giraffes play fighting! The food was excellent and the staff were great. We had a meal sat outside one evening around a fire and the staff entertained us with singing and dancing. Truly an amazing experience!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Christine G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Hlosi Game Lodge, responded to this review, 23 April 2013
What a great review - thank you! We loved hosting your group, and will always remember your fun and laughter. Thanks for taking the trouble to post a review: they make a big difference to us, and really helps with letting other people know about our little piece of paradise here. Hope we get to see you again sometime soon. All the best from the Bailey Family and the Hlosi team.
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ayr, scotland
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2013

This was the final part of our 2 week holiday to South Africa and we stayed in Hlosi for 4 nights.
It was our first safari experience and what a wonderful one it was. Over the 4 days, we saw all the animals except the cheetah...and most at very close quarters thanks to the skills of our rangers Simon and Asher.
The Hlosi staff were truly excellent and could not have been more attentive. The quality of food was much higher than I had expected...and it was beautifully presented. The main Hlosi lodge was excellent with several large rooms to move around in. To begin with, the weather was very hot but it was never unpleasant in the lodge as doors were open to admit a cooling breeze.
The weather became cold towards the end of our stay and fires were lit in the lodge. So the lodge was excellent in all weathers. The rooms in our free standing cottages were large and were fairly well equipped. In our trip, we had previously stayed in some beautiful guesthouses en route and the Hlosi rooms seemed plainer and duller in comparison.However, we quickly reminded ourselves that this was a game reserve and appreciated what we had. (The 5 star rating could be a bit misleading though).
Our safari transport was clearly one of the "older models" without a canopy (and a driver door).
However, we came to love this added exposure to the outdoors!....until breaking down mid safari on our last day due to wheel nuts shearing off one wheel. We had highlighted this wheel nut problem earlier in the week and felt it should have been attended to at the time.
Neither was the ranger's radio working consistently and this could have given problems.

Howver, over all we had a fantastic experience and I would recommend Amakhala as a location to visit.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank lesl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Hlosi Game Lodge, responded to this review, 5 March 2013
Thanks for staying with us, and what a great review - thank you! We're so glad your first safari was such a good experience, and that you got to experience Hlosi and the Amakhala both in the heat and in a chill. (I'm still not sure which is my favourite: they're both magic.) I'm sorry to hear about the vehicle problem you had: the safari vehicles take a real beating in the rugged terrain, especially into and out of the river valley, so we're constantly nursing them, especially during the busy season when we can't rotate them out as regularly as we'd like. We brought two new vehicles last year and our annual major overhaul and maintenance programme which is well underway now that we are a bit quieter and can rotate vehicles out. Thanks for your good-natured response,and our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. Best wishes to you all, and hope to welcome you back sometime to our little piece of heaven. -- The Bailey family and the Hlosi Team
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Port Elizabeth, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 January 2013

Renewing your wedding vows on your anniversary would be significant to just about any couple wanting to do it all again. We were blown away by the attention to detail that was shown throughout our experience.

No matter how hard you try to plan everything in detail and based on previous years weather pattern. You would think that in January the chance of rain is slim to nothing at all. Until the dawn of your day arrived and the clouds roll in alongside the slither of sun rays trying desperately to shine.

Hlosi staff and management were brilliant. The lodge became the chapel followed by a game drive to the site we were going to originally but then landed up releasing pigeons at that site instead which then just set the tone for the rest of the day. The game drive was magical producing incredible visuals of our most treasured rhino. On returning to the lodge the most beautiful dining area was prepared that was suitable for any celebration.

Our 4 courses came out quietly and quickly with little distraction and noise. I can’t begin to try and do justice on paper compared to the joy and satisfaction our 30 guests experienced and have since then not stopped talking about this occasion.

Mother Nature gave us the threatening thunder clouds and Hlosi staff produced the sun, moon and stars.

Thank you thank you thank you - Arlene & Younis Aldawaimeh

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Arlene A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Hlosi Game Lodge, responded to this review, 9 October 2013
Arlene & Younis, it was a privilege to be a part of your renewal of vows. Thank you for entrusting us with your special day and for bringing all your love into the lodge. We look forward to sharing in the next ten years with you both. Best wishes from all of us at Lion Roars
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Reading, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2013

We stayed at Hlosi for three nights shortly after Christmas, with our two children aged 7 and 4.

Hlosi is located in the Amakhala private game reserve, so a few comments about that first. It is exactly what it says, a large game reserve, not a large national park like Kruger, Masai Mara, Tsavo etc. As a first safari experience, particularly for children, it's great - you are guaranteed to see most of the things you want to and it's non-malarial. If, however, you've been on safari elsewhere there may be an underlying feeling that you're in a very large safari park. This is particularly the case for the lions - they only have two (one male + one sterilised female) and these are in a separate fenced area to the main park. This isn't meant to be critical, just a statement of the facts - our children really enjoyed the game drives and our ranger from the Hlosi lodge was good.

Unfortunately, it's difficult not to be critical of a number of aspects of the Hlosi Lodge itself. We stayed in a family room (room 5), which was spacious, and well appointed. The main lodge building itself is very nice too. However, quite a number of aspects did not come up to the supposedly "5 star" standard that they portray on their website.

1)The water pressure in the room was very low. Therefore the beautifully photographed outside jacuzzi bath and outdoor shower didn't work. It was obvious that the manager knew this when showing us round and that it is a long-term state of affairs (I now note reviews from Sept and July 2012 which mention this point too).

2) On one day we had no water at all in the room, to the extent that the toilet wouldn't flush. It was fixed in the afternoon, but we'd proactively had to ask to use another room's shower etc - it wasn't offered.

3) The swimming pool was disgusting. It was covered in debris, had scum on top, and "slimy" sides. Apparently the pump failed in November due to a flood - they're waiting for an insurance payout and are "throwing some chlorine in every few days". Some half hearted "we'll try to do something tomorrow" comments were made, but of course that didn't happen.

4) The website proudly highlights their kids activity programme ( "cooking pizza", "walking safari" etc). All conspicuous by it's absence. The default was a DVD. It picked up a bit when we said we expected more, but it was miles away from the advertised programme.

5) The food was very, very, average. Nowhere near 5 star.

We raised some of the above points with the "manager" - who said he'd "heard it all before numerous times", and just about mumbled a "sorry". He actually walked away from us mid-discussion and from his point of view the matter was clearly closed. When he realised the next day that we would quote him on having "heard it all before" he had the cheek to lie and say that "he would never use those words".

All of the above feedback has been given directly to the lodge management, so this review should come as no surprise to them.

This lodge isn't cheap and we found it to be poor value for money. We cannot recommend it and suggest you look elsewhere........

Room Tip: Try a different lodge!
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
16 Thank Oriel100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Hlosi Game Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
Thanks for taking the time to give us balanced feedback. We appreciate your compliments on the room, the lodge and your ranger. And although it's tough reading, we appreciate you letting us know about the things we didn't get right, so that we can sort them out as quickly as possible. I'm so sorry about the water issue in your room: we are in a constant battle of wits with the elephant herd on the reserve, who love nothing more than to dig up the main pipes from the reservoir and have a big glorious mud bath in their self-made water hole. In this case they did a really great job and were having a ball, and it took quite a few hours to repair. You're right, you should have been offered alternative arrangements immediately. In fact, I think our biggest failure all round was on the poor response to the issues you experienced. This is not what we're about, and we sincerely apologise for this, and for the fact that we didn't create the experience we wanted to for you. We had a meeting on site today to discuss the issues you raised and are dealing with them as a matter of urgency. Best wishes, the Bailey family and the Hlosi team.
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Duisburg
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2012

We enjoyed 3 days/2 nights at Hlosi Lodge, a beautiful place inside and outdoor. The food is excellent, the service very good. You feel very wellcome and at home. The main building and the houses for couples and families are spacious and nicely furnished. No fence restrains the animals from walking along the terrace. Hlosi Lodge may have a wonderful surprise for you! We had it!
We came from Botswana where we enjoyed an extensive safari. We were happy to see in Amakhala those animals we missed there: Rhinos, Eland antilopes, Oryx antilopes and first of all cheetahs (hlosi). Ranger Simon found them for us and many, many others more.

Room Tip: As couple choose the separate house at the standpost.
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank mona_now
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
100roaringlions, Owner at Hlosi Game Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2013
What a lovely Christmas present for us to get your great review - thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to give us such lovely feedback. We really appreciate it. Yes, the unfenced camp makes for some incredible experiences, especially during the heat of December when many animals come to drink at the camp waterholes. We're particularly happy that you had good cheetah sightings: the cheetahs have a special place in our hearts! Best wishes to you for the new year and for many good future journeys, from the Bailey family and the Hlosi team.
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Additional Information about Hlosi Game Lodge

Property: Hlosi 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Amakhala Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hlosi Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hlosi Game Lodge Offers 4-Star Family-Friendly Safari Trips In The 7 500 ha Malaria-Free Amakhala Game Reserve, Eastern Cape South Africa. Hlosi Game Lodge is a small 6-room game lodge in Addo, near the city of Port Elizabeth offering rich wild life game-viewing and luxurious game lodge accommodation for the whole family. Our six suites lie along a gentle curve of hill above a river plain, and offer wide-open views from your private deck. The main lodge includes elegant lounge and dining areas, and a hard-to-leave bar overlooking the swimming pool and waterhole. With only six suites, Hlosi offers a unique, intimate safari trip with personal game viewing experiences. We're privileged to be able to share our love for conservation, food and life with you. Our four double suites and two 2-roomed family suites may also be booked exclusively as an intimate venue for small team-building events, conferences and weddings. ... more   less 
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