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“Big 5 at the Cradle of Humankind”

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Askari Game Lodge & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Less than an hour from Johannesburg you can find Askari gamelodge in the centre of the Cradle.
From the moment you walk in at reception the staff greed's you with excellent personalities and great service. The service and food in the restaurant is excellent.
There is a museum at the lodge that takes you back far into history and where it all began.
The game drive was excellent and we spot 3 out of the big 5.
The elephant experience is expensive but worth every sent, it is an eye opener

Room Tip: In the winter months you need to take a room with a fireplace
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank alwyn1_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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401 - 407 of 438 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2014

This is a nice weekend breakaway place. 45 minutes outside of JHB. Rooms are comfortable, not luxurious, but have all the amenities required. Restaurant and Pub area is very cosy and have very attentive staff. Food is good, rustic and buffet style but well prepared and well presented. Game drive was very good and our guide was very knowledgeable and clearly passionate about animals and conservation. Spa is also very professional and well priced.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the main restaurant and pub area to guarantee a good nights sleep
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Derek C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

I have been at many game lodges in Cape Town and this one Askari 1 Doornspruit | Magaliesberg, Hekpoort is one of the best. The staff very friendly and try to assist you. Samual is excellent at the desk know his lodge and explains things to you clearly. Game drive with Sibo the best i have ever done. Dinner was ok but breakfast service was excellent and top class. The rooms was spotless and great decor. The Spa gives excellent service and lovely staff and grounds is well kept. The staff greet you first and ask are you ok or need anything.The service at this lodge is really out of this world. I saw the Managers walking the grounds and at breakfast working with the the staff , good leadership!!
Well done guys

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Granville2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Askari has a Beautiful Event Venue. The view takes a person to "the doorstep of eternity", so to speak. We had a welcoming reception, a little gift and welcoming drink. The staff is very accommodating and friendly, the food however disappointing. Huge, huge variety and so, the lack of excellence. It is amazing that places can go to so much effort to present a spread of choice and then it stops there. Mediocre wine list and on the pricy side. The fact that that it was a beautiful sunny day, the Elephants was in sight and a Kudu family frolicked by, almost made up for it. They had quite a large amount of guests for this Lunch seating and service was good. Did not stay over so cannot comment on the SPA or accommodation. Have seen beautiful photographs of Wedding Ceremonies, but the food presentation does not complement the Venue.

Room Tip: If you do venture out to Askari, it is a nice drive from JHB. Book in advance for Sunday lunch and...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Elshita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2014 via mobile

The reception was excellent, the grounds kept well and the friendly porter on his post. The room was beautifully decorated and welcoming. The restaurant however was a big disappointment in service as well as food standard. On the other hand the spa experience was out of this world Judy and her team are brilliant. The same can be said of Jolandi and the elephants. This is a must when you visit Askari. All and all there were more positives than negatives.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
Thank Karen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

This game lodge was one of the most amazing places we have been to. The service is out of this world. The chalets are immaculate and the food absolutely to die for. The game viewing was incredible and the whole experience can only be highly recommended to all who wish to experience true bush hospitality! The elephant experience is an incredible adventure that will make you love these gentle giants even more!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank 681cindy77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2014

My wife and I spent a couple of days at Askari and were pleasantly surprised by the venue. We felt like we were close to Kruger Park but yet we were literally 40 minutes for JHB. We stayed there during the week so it was quieter than the typical weekend. They are quite big into conferences so would suggest that anyone considering this venue to first find out if a conference will be on at the same time as I can guarantee that the service and experience will be lesser with lots more people.

Askari has a Dutch Afrikaner theme throughout which might be off putting to some but was not a big deal to us. Following the theme, vintage carts and wagons and farming implements were strewn across the venue. It has a museum inside the venue and was worthwhile to check out the vintage items and read the historical pieces.

The accommodation is in the form of different size chalets all over the grounds, with varying degrees of luxury, and all with a good view of the watering holes/dams which are in front of the restaurant area and the chalets. Each chalet has its own balcony and good size bed and lots of cupboard space.

The positives that I can state are as follows:

1. While we saw some complaints about the variety of the food on other reviews, we actually found the food to be plentiful and the quality to be very good. I have been to many places and the good quality of the food surprised me. Granted, the set menu is small but I feel that is something for everyone. I can however appreciate that it could be a problem for someone staying a full week so I suggest that they switch the menu every three days.

2. I was initially skeptical about the quality of the game but we saw a lot of game on the drive. It was the closest that I have been to Rhino and Cape Buffalo and saw jackal for the first time in my life. The game warder Warren was very knowledgable which added to the good experience.

3. The venue is well maintained and clean so top marks from me on this aspect.


Some negatives or areas of improvement are as follows:

1. As a four star venue, there are a number of facilities that they must provide for the modern visitor, especially from JHB. They need to provide quality Wi-Fi that is accessible from all the rooms, charging for it is no problem. The Wi-Fi they currently provide is too patchy and weak, and only available in the restaurant area which was quite irritating.

2. I do think that it is disingenuous to claim that they have big five when they just have four of the big five and the lions are kept in a fenced enclosure. Some visitors might consider it false advertising.

3. They could provide better seating at the chalets. The chairs and bench were too uncomfortable.

4. To provide a more enriching experience, they could (1) provide a telescope at the restaurant patio area do that guests can look at the slopes for game and (2) a book or chart about the different animals in the reserve so that one could learn about the animals (3) have loan binoculars for guests.

5. The pool is not heated so will be unusable in winter. A four star venue would have a hearted pool for the autumn/winter months.

6. I did not see air conditioners and our room only had a high ceiling fan which was a bit noisy. A typical four star venue would have air conditioning as a standard feature.

7. The TV was old fashioned and quite small so hard to see the detail on the screen. I think that they should be have bigger flat screen TVs.

8. They should supply safes for the modern traveller who is traveling with a laptop, iPad, camera and others items. The safe in the room is old fashioned and very small and not very practical which forced me to carry my valuables all over the place.

9. I did not know who was a manger at the restaurant area as I did not see much management presence during the day.

Even though the negatives outweigh the positives, my wife and I had a good stay and got all the rest and peaceful time that we craved. We are considering visiting them again in winter where we can really enjoy the fireplace in the chalet and the animals that will be forced to come to the small dams.

Room Tip: The chalets on the right side of the restaurant (facing the watering holes) are close to the restaur...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Neil V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Askari Game Lodge & Spa

Address: 1 Doornspruit Road | Magaliesberg, Hekpoort 1791, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Hekpoort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Hekpoort
Price Range: £152 - £214 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Askari Game Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Askari Game Lodge & Spa is situated on the Plumari Africa Game Reserve in the Magaliesberg, just over an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria and offers guests a memorable Big 5 wildlife experience within a malaria free environment. Plumari Africa Game Reserve is set within a pristine wilderness area of over 5000 hectares with natural African bushveld and an abundance of flora, fauna, birdlife and wildlife. Two game drives, each approximately 2 - 2,5 hours in duration, are scheduled daily. Elephant Experiences entails interaction with our elephants, which include a 'touch and feed' experience. The main lodge, which is in fact the old Bodenstein family farmhouse, overlooks the Elephant Dam and invites guests to take a step back in time while admiring South African decor pieces dating back to the 1800's. Slipper baths, a coal stove, wash stands, luggage chests, antique Oregon cupboards and tables are subtly placed within the luxury four-star surrounding, to emphasize the captivating history of the Magaliesberg area. Askari Lodge has one of the largest private collections of ox wagons, carts and other animal drawn vehicles from the period 1800 to 1900. A variety of stone and iron-age arte facts, items from the Boer War and San Bushmen rock carvings tell the history of the area, which is also known for the nearby Battle of Nooitgedacht. Examples are available in the museum and guided bush walks take guests through areas where many stone carvings can be found. In contrast with the rich Boere and Afrikaner history depicted by the main farmhouse decor, the Day Visitors Center is abundant with African symbology, rich earthy colours and unique African decor focal points. The two contrasting decor themes pay homage to the history while highlighting the significant influence of the indigenous African tribes of the area. Askari Game Lodge caters for romantic getaways, conferences, teambuilding initiatives, training courses and weddings in both the main lodge and Day Visitors Centre. Nature lovers and birding enthusiasts will find the experience most rewarding, while stressed city dwellers will leave feeling rejuvenated and well-rested. Askari Lodge - the legend lingers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Askari Game Lodge & Spa South Africa/Hekpoort

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