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“Charming- Don't always trust your first impressions”

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Dungbeetle River Lodge
Ranked #2 of 9 Colchester B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 November 2013

We had a great three-days stay with Derek and Etta; they are super hosts, very knowledgeable and great ambassadors for the whole area, not just the Addo. We'd got there after quite a long drive and, with Derek and Etta out on park tours, one of the staff greeted us. While this was fine, we were just left feeling a little anxious about our choice. However, we had no reason to be concerned, breakfast is excellent and Etta tries to oblige with whatever you request. The lodge itself is nicely styled in African decor etc and our room (Africa Suite) had a lovely terrace overlooking the river. The overall setting is lovely, right on the river but, given that this is only B&B, the evening dining choices in the neighbourhood extend to the local pub. Now, the fillet is excellent and the host there charming, but it really felt like we'd stumbled into a 1970s Midwest USA roadhouse. Again don't let first impressions fool you. Minor point as most people probably only stay 2 or 3 days and might well eat on the game reserve one of those....

Room Tip: I think only Africa and Sea Eagle suites have the river-facing terrace. But there is lots of ground...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Graham O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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96 - 102 of 333 reviews

Reviewed 29 October 2013

1° We arrived from the airport (after 20 hours in the plane)and had a very stressed welcome (no welcome drink, other guests informed us they got one), had to check-in in 1 minute because the owner had to leave !? No possibility to ask any questions....
2° We booked a visit at Addo through the guesthouse but ended in a game safari that did not correspond to what we booked (more expensive and too long)
3° Room was not clean (poo in our toilets...), very cold (no heating), no wifi access (we asked for it but they gave us a wrong code and then left the house...)
4° We had no breakfast as it was only served from 8 to 9, but as we had a long travel from Europe (20 hours) we were quiet tired and it would have been nice to make us a small beakfast later but didn't get anything offered, even not a juice (we actually had to pay a small juice taken from our fridge, but there were no price indicated so we thought it was complementary...)
5° The check-out was even worse as the owners left the house for holidays and the staff had to ask us for the money but had no access to credit card as the owners locked the office... So we had to walk to a shop (didn't want us to go by car, to avoid us leaving without paying...), once at the shop (5 minutes walk) they told us their cash-machine only works with SA cards... so we went back to the guesthouse and had to go BY CAR to the gas station BUT...had to leave our lugage to make sure we come back ! Not exactly what we expected of our first night in South Africa

Conclusion : it was our worst night of our entire stay in South Africa and for the price we payed, we realized after having been to many guesthouses all along the garden route and even in expensive areas in Cape Town that we have got ripped off...

Room Tip: Go to another place !
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Mehdi_Mer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013

In August we (family of 5) stayed for 3 days at this lodge. A wonderful welcome and nice spacious African style rooms. After a great breakfast Etta took us to Addo NP. She is very knowledgable and was truly accommodating to our photography wishes. On the last night Etta and Derek asked us to join them and some of their friends for a Art and Garfunkel revival in Port Elisabeth. We had a great time and felt proud to be part of the local community. We can certainly recommend a stay in this nice lodge.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank marvett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2013

Dungbeetle River Lodge was one of the nicest lodges that we stay in during our three week visit to South Africa.

By mistake in the middle of the night we saw the sign Dungbeetle, and as there were not many guesthouses around we decided to take a chance, as we were not too thrilled by the name.

Had we not stayed at the lodge, then we would have made on of the largest mistakes on our South African journey, as most of the wild parks that we wanted to see were close by.

The owners Etta and Derek are not only professional guides, but are also professional cooks. Their omelets are simply out of this world. Also, as I enjoy my bacon crisp, the kitchen staff were the only ones that could make crispy bacon with a smile.

As it was spring the weather was somewhat cold and it was one of the few lodges that had good heating, namely the mattresses had heating + also a radiator in the room.

A large thank you to Derek for being the perfect guide in Addo elephant park and truly going out of his was to show us the different wild animals.
A large thank you to Etta, who helped us with everything that we needed and also told us which towns to visit on our way back to Cape Town d Finland.
A large thank you to the kitchen staff for their crispy bacon and their great sense of humor!

Truly a Lodge that we will not forget.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Johan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

We were visiting Addo elephant park in October and found Dung Beetle River lodge on trip advisor, wonderful reviews and thought it would be a good bet for the 2 nights we were visiting the park on our road trip around South Africa. We were not wrong, it lived up to all its wonderful reviews and more; the best part of our holiday; it felt like a home away from home. Derek and Eta wonderful hosts, bedrooms very clean and comfortable, breakfast superb, homemade jams, bread and excellent cooked breakfast, overlooking the beautiful Sunday's river.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank nicki k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013

We stayed there in September 2013 with our 11 month old baby daughter. Although we arrived at 10pm the owners had prepared a bed for the baby and were unbelievable friendly. The breakfast was amazing and our baby was allowed to play freely.
The owners are very caring and so friendly. It is a very clean and lovely place. We stayed there for three days and would have loved to stay longer. To Addo National Park it is just a 5 minute drive.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Sven D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2013

If you visit Addo National Park be sure to stop by in the Dungbeetle River Lodge. It's run by Derek and Etta, a very friendly and nice couple. The view from the Hotel across the Sundays River is fantastic and Etta serves deilcious homemade jam for breakfast. Derek took us on a trip to the National Park, he is very knowledgeable about where best to go to see various animals up close. We really enjoyed our stay at Dungbeetle.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ro M
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 #2 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Colchester
Price Range: £68 - £207 (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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