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Dungbeetle River Lodge
Ranked #1 of 9 Colchester B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 March 2013

Etta and Derek were wonderful hosts and their lodge is lovely. They clearly have a real passion for what they do and you can see that in the attention to detail of the room and their energy for showing you around Addo and th surrounding area. We stayed in the Lion Suite for 2 nights which was immaculate. Etta explained they close the lodge for a period of time each year and throw away anything that is not perfect. You can tell.
Extra took us n a half day guided tour of Addo which was marvellous. Her eye for spotting animals is phenomenal - even with binoculars I couldn't spot what she did. We managed to see 4 of the big 5 within an hour of arriving.
Overall I'd highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Andy v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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114 - 120 of 335 reviews

Reviewed 25 March 2013

Etta and Derek, thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality. Our stay with you at the beginning of March was full of such great memories. You really are such wonderful hosts.

We arrived after our long flight from London, Etta was there to welcome us and show us to our room (Elephant Suite), one of two rooms with balconies overlooking the Sunday River. The room was large with windows on two sides and a huge bathroom area. Tea and coffee making facilties were in the room and a fridge and honesty bar.

Etta offered us a welcome drink and invited us to share a picnic with other guests (just asking us to make a contribution towards the cost of the picnic and the cost of the boat trip) on the Sunday River Ferry Boat.

At 4.30 we, together with other guests went down to the jetty. We all helped to get the picnic that Etta had 'thrown together' and off we set. Our hosts had ensured that all the guests were introduced and the atmostphere was such fun, with everyone chatting to each other. For bird watchers out there, this trip is a must. So many great birds along the banks of the river, both Etta, Les who runs the ferry, and another guest were very informative of the wild life, we were treated to great views of a couple of Golieth Herons, Night Herons and a huge roost of Sacred Ibis and Little Egrets.

We set of downstream to the enormous sand dunes, which we walked up, and were treated to great views. Then it back on the boat for the picnic as we cruised back upstream with the sun setting. A great start to our three weeks in SA.

The next day, after the most fantastic breakfast on the decking overlooking the river, we did a full day trip into Addo Park with Etta. Before we left, she gave us a very informative talk on the history of the park and general area. We then spent the whole day in the park, I would strongly recommend this trip. Etta is a mind of information about the plants and wildlife in the park and if we had done the trip ourselves, we would have missed so much, also in a normal hire car, you are seated too low to view game. Unfortunately for us, it was very hot on the day (38 degrees) and many of the animals were playing hard to find. Frankly I did not blame them. But Etta perservered and we were rewarded with some excellent viewing opportunities of elephants, black backed jackals, warhogs, Zebra and assorted antelope! We eventually we left the park just as it was closing. Although I think Etta was disappointed that we did not see more animals, just the sheer beauty of the park was more than enough for us.

Sadly we departed the next day, but I have no hesitation is recommending Dungbeetle River Lodge.

Having now returned home and having stayed in a number of places during our trip, I can safely say that Dungbeetle River Lodge is a very special place, with wonderful hosts.

We booked direct with the owners, they have a good website, with live-time availability. We have in the past used large internet booking sites, and apart from establishments having to pay up to 15% to these companies, they are not always reliable (even faxing my credit card details to one place, that did not take credit card payments).

Room Tip: They only have two rooms with balconies that face the river. Fish Eagle and Elephant Suite.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank CareySJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
natureguideAddo, Owner at Dungbeetle River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2013

Greetings to all our wonderful guests that have put these reviews up. Derek and Etta work hard to ensure your holiday is full of good memories, our home is always your home! Just need to correct this wonderful review in one place. The two superior suites over the river with private balconies are in fact the FISH EAGLE SUITE and the AFRIKA SUITE. Not the Elephant suite as mentioned. The Afrika Suite has four hand carved elephant heads that "guard" the big double bed, and could then easily be assumed to be the elephant suite. The Elephant suite is one of our standard suites.

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Reviewed 21 March 2013

I stayed at the Dungbeetle River Lodge while on a trip to South Africa with two friends. Etta and Derrick were wonderful hosts. Our room (Big Five) was comfortable and clean, with a very large bath. The breakfasts were amazing- fresh squeezed juices, fruit, breads and jams, yogurt, eggs, and kudu sausage. Etta arranged excursions for us and had our days well organized and planned. Highlights of our trip included a visit to Schotia Reserve for a safari and evening dinner and a tour of Addo Elephant Park. Derrick was our guide to Addo, where he was incredibly knowledgeable and skilled in finding fantastic wildlife. If we make it back to South Africa we would definitely stay at the Dungbeetle River Lodge again!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank LHaef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2013

I needed accomodation kinda close to Port Elizabeth airport and found Dungbeetle Lodge.
The rooms looked nice and the balcony view onto the river made me book an overnight stay.
When I got to the lodge I got a warm greeting by Etta, who showed me around and provided me with some ideas what to do, even though I arrived late and only stayed overnight.
The room (Fisheagle) is very nice with a lovely bath in the room, so you can look out onto the river while bathing
Breakfast was delish (cooked breakfast with kudu sausage, lots of different jams on your table!, homebaked bread, ahhh the smell in the morning as you step onto your balcony)
very nice accomodation with lots of detail and warm,friendly hosts (Etta and Derek)

there is a pub within walking distance where good steaks and refreshing beer are being served

pity I only stayed one night, when back in the area I will make sure to book again and stay longer

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Michaela S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2013

My wife and I along with another couple that we travel with stayed at the Dungbeetle Lodge from February 12th to the 15th, 2013. We were met by one of the staff, Liesl, when we arrived early on the 12th. She made us very welcome and gave us the run of the place with access to beverages and our rooms and we spent a relaxing afternoon on the back deck in the sun. Derrick and Etta, the owners, were out with other guests on safaris in Addo Elephant Park and we met them that evening. The attention to detail that Liesl provided on arrival carried over to the level of service that Etta and Derrick provided during our 3 day stay. I would highly recommend the 3 night package and all that it provides. The safari with Etta in Addo was amazing with the highlight being the multiple herds of elephants (maybe 60 in total) that we saw at one of the watering holes. Etta really knew her way around the park and when and where the animals would be. On our way out of the park we were able to see a rare Black Rhino that Etta thought would make an appearance in a particular spot....amazing, we barely made it out of the park before it closed. The next day we spent riding elephants at Xkantu in the morning and then spent the afternoon and evening on another safari in a private game reserve called Schotia. The highlight of our trip in Schotia was getting up close (20 feet) in a Land Rover to a pride of lions and then after dinner following the patriarch of the pride as he patrolled his territory. The elephant ride and the safari at Schotia were all arranged by the Dungbeetle and they really knew what they were doing, they made our trip to South Africa special. On the day we left it was my wife's birthday and Etta arranged for the staff to sing Happy Birthday to her before leaving. The attention to detail that was provided to us was what really made our trip. Highly recommend that you plan a 3 night stay with Etta and Derrick at the Dungbeetle.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Elephant room which was not overlooking the river. It was a great room but the one...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank 49echo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2013

Travelling from the UK to Port Elizabeth via Paris and Jo'berg is tiring but the welcome we received from Etta and Derek plus the facilities available immediately told us we had made a great choice. The room was spacious, bed glorious, and the food at breakfast delightful. The Sunday dinner was both a surprise and delight.

Recommendations for trips and eating locations were spot on and i would recommend a canoe down the river as a great way to chill out.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank kiteman53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2013

We always make a trip to the Addo area when we have visitors from overseas.

This time, together with our friend Dave, we booked at Dungbeetle Lodge, having on previous
occasions tried to book and found it fully booked but on this occasion luck was with us.

The Dungbeetle lodge is by far the best we have stayed at in that area, the owners Etta & Derek are first class hosts, the view from both our room and Dave's was over the Sundays river with the same view sitting on the deck having breakfast every morning, once could ask for nothing more.

Our first day was spent in Addo with Etta as our guide, her knowledge of not only the animals but also the local flora was wonderful, lovely lunch at the park restaurant and back tothe lodge in the aftrnoon.

Second day we had a leisurely sail down the river with Les and having stopped at the river mouth climbed the dunes, a great effort by pensioners (2) but the view from the top was out of this world. That afternoon we went on our pre-booked game drive at Scotia, Edward being our guide, we saw all the wild animals in their natural habitat, including the lions, giraffe and baby
Wonderful dinner in the boma and then a short night drive before heading back to the lodge.

This is a great pacakage offered by Dungbeetle, everything booked and arranged by Etta & Derek all we had to do was be there at the arranged times.

Thank you Etta & Derek for a wonderful three day stay, your lodge, both of you and your staff
are absolutely wonderful - the home made bread and vetcook at breakfast just added to everything else. We sure hope our paths will cross again in the future

Room Tip: The Africa room and Fish Eagle rooms are facing the river and have balconies - we had both these roo...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank jonjude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dungbeetle River Lodge

Address: 76 Aqua Vista Crescent | Cannonville, Colchester 6175, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Colchester
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Colchester
Price Range: £69 - £213 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dungbeetle River Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Four Star Safari Style accommodations at Dungbeetle River Lodge near the entry point to the world famous Addo National Elephant Park and some of the finest game reserves in the Eastern Cape. ... more   less 
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