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“fantastic place, just 1 hr drive away from Joburg.”
Review of Mongena Game Lodge

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Mongena Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
105 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“fantastic place, just 1 hr drive away from Joburg.”
Reviewed 24 March 2014

Beautiful and spotless accomodation, good restaurant (Kingfisher), friendly staff. Game drives at very competitive rates (confirmed by south-african people who were visiting the lodge for the 3rd time). We took an afternoon and early morning game drive and were very lucky to spot rhino's, elephants, hippo & croc (afternoon) and 4 lions (early morning) just after they made a kill.
We also did the boat trip, which in itself is not a big deal (you tour around the lake a couple of times) but still worthwhile for birdspotting and beautifull sunset, while enjoying an ice-cold beer. All this at very short distance from Joburg/Pretoria.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Guy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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140 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
Birmingham
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Booked the honeymoon suite at this place for one night In March and it was a beautiful and glorious setting fortunately for us we were lucky enough to be the only soles around that afternoon and with the zebras and nyalas and other antelope in the lodge grounds made it 10 out of 10 for the location. The staff were more than accommodating and very helpful... We thought that the honey moon suite was stunning but could have done with a fridge and
the room was looking a bit tried and could do with a little TLC to make it back to its former glory, but please don't think it detracts from the overall experience we defo recommend this place and we would definitely be back without no hesitations.

The wild life rangers and the barn owls that live in the honeymoon thatched roof done if for us :-) loads to see and do....''A MUST FOR SURE"

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farnham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2014

This is a beautiful game lodge in a wonderful setting not far from Pretoria. We stayed here for two nights a couple of weeks ago and experienced excellent service, except for our departure day when it all seemed to fall to pieces unfortunately.

We stayed in the honeymoon suite, which, apart from a few cosmetic issues, is beautiful, and has the most enormous private deck overlooking the small lake. On our first night, there was only us and one other couple in the whole lodge. We booked an evening game drive and a morning game drive, and both were excellent, especially since we were the only people on the truck - it really felt like a special, personal service! Jesse and Dafnika were great company and found everything except the elusive leopard!

Dinner on our first night was excellent, as was breakfast the following morning. Superb service from the waiting staff, and delicious food. It all seemed to start going wrong when a conference arrived on our second day. The lodge staff appeared so focused on the conference, that they almost seemed to forget that they had paying guests in their lodge too.

Check-out time is 10h00. On the morning of our departure, we were just getting ready to head over to the breakfast room at 9h00 when one of the housekeepers appeared on our deck and started tidying the chairs. She then walked into the room (we were still inside, albeit the sliding doors were open) and started clearing away our wine glasses from the night before. They were clearly in a rush to get the room cleaned and prepped.

We went down to breakfast, and found that all but one of the square tables had been pushed together into two extra-long tables, presumably to accommodate all the conference guests who had spent the night. They had obviously all eaten earlier, as the two long tables were covered in dirty napkins, cups and saucers, used juice glasses, etc. There was only one table left for a couple, and it too was dirty. The waiter arrived, and we asked him where we were supposed to sit. He pointed to the two long tables, and replied that we could sit anywhere there. I told him that we were not part of the conference and that we would like our own individual table, so he pointed to the dirty single table and told us we could sit there. He then disappeared and a female waitress arrived, who made a vague attempt to clear the table.

She asked us if we would like tea or coffee, and then asked us if we wanted hot milk in our tea and coffee, as she was going to get the drinks from the automatic coffee machine in the bar, which only dispenses hot milk. We told her we wanted cold milk, so she disappeared to make us fresh tea/coffee. My husband's tea arrived a few minutes later - a cup of hot water (on a saucer) with a teabag floating about in it. The previous day, when we were the only guests, we had received a teapot and a jug of milk (lovely, and what I would expect). There was a table with a couple of jugs of fruit juice on it - but no orange juice. We asked the waitress for orange juice, so she disappeared off to the kitchen again, and came back with a jug of fruit cocktail juice. When we asked her again for orange juice, she told us there was none left as the conference people had drunk it all.

Whilst we were eating, there was some event planning going on at the other table, between a guest (who evidently had a big event happening there later that day) and a representative from Mongena. The guest who was hosting the event was clearly keen to get the breakfast area set up as the "welcome" area for when his guests arrived. He asked the Mongena representative really loudly when all the breakfast detritus and buffet would be cleared so that the room could be set up. The Mongena representative replied "As soon as they're finished", with a nod of his head towards us. There's nothing quite like feeling you're being rushed!

We finished eating, and went to reception to check out. The gum-chewing receptionist handed us our invoice, and we paid our balance. In the middle of all this, the phone rang and she picked up the phone and started dealing with an enquiry, whilst we sat there for ages waiting for her to finish so that she could print our receipt. The entire transaction took place with fewer than twenty words passing from the receptionists lips. Not a single enquiry about our stay, whether we had enjoyed it, whether we'd enjoyed the game drives, wishing us a pleasant day, etc. Nothing. By this time we got the distinct impression that the lodge staff just wanted rid of us so that they could prepare for their big (presumably money-generating) event which was happening.

Such a shame, as it left a rather bitter taste in our mouths after what had been a really lovely couple of days at a beautiful place.

Room Tip: The honeymoon suite is huge, with an enormous private deck. It has a small kitchenette, but none of...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank annieander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Everything about the Mongena Game Lodge is amazing. The accommodation is fabulous and well suited to the environment, the food at the hotel is great (especially at the Kingfisher Restaurant), the staff are extremely helpful and the facilities are also great.

Now for the really good part. The game drives are absolutely superb! I did an evening and an morning game drive and saw everything you could possibly want to see with the exception of a leopard. The highlight seeing three Lions feasting on an Eland for breakfast! The guide and the tracker were full of information and very generous with their time and their willingness to let the group that I was with get all of the photos we wanted.

Another great surprise was the price Admittedly the Rand is not the strongest currency at the moment but the prices were still extremely good and represented some of the best value for money I have ever experienced.

Room Tip: Try to get a stand alone bungalow rather than one that is back to back with another bungalow as part...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wanderers98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 March 2014

The safari was awesome. We actually witnessed a lion hunt attacking wildebeest. Its well worth a visit and only an hour from Joburg. The rooms are very big in a beautiful lodge setting. I recommend the evening tour. Our guide was Pieter, he was very friendly and knowledgeable. We saw antelope, Lions, warthogs, Buffalo, Blue Wilder beast and white Rhyno. Amazing experience.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank andrew p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

Had an awesome 3 night stay here at the beginning of our SA holiday.
Could not really fault the service and super friendly staff.
The on-site restaurant here is really awesome, such good value and fantastic tasting food, plus we spotted 2 resident crocodiles in the on-site lake!

The game walk was great. Did not do the game drive.

Lovely pool area that we relaxed around.

Do stay here, it is super close to Johannesburg - ideal for families with children. You can view lion, cheetah, elephants, rhino and giraffe here as well so no need to go far to see wild animals in their natural habitat
We stayed in the honeymoon suite which is a lovely massive room but to give this 10/10, I would say the addition of a mini fridge plus some attention to minor repairs in that room, would ensure a 10/10 rating.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wayne2cat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Centurion, South Africa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014 via mobile

My wife and I took advantage of a Valentine's Special by Mongena. This included accommodation for Friday night, a game drive (we could book any of the time slots that suited us), dinner at the Kingfisher Restaurant and breakfast on Saturday morning. Being adventurous, I booked it as a surprise for my wife, while knowing little about the venue. I am pleased to say that we had a wonderful time! I was worried after making the initial inquiries and booking, as electronic communication proved to be very slow. I raised this with the owner's wife, who explained their connectivity predicament and the fix they had just deployed. Apart from this, everything went smooth. The lodge is an an area where the "Big 5" game can be viewed, and the Friday late afternoon/early evening game drive was superb with 2 of the Big 5 sighted. The drive included a fine selection of drinks and snacks. We did lunch at Kingfisher just after our arrival, and while the restaurant service was a little slow, the food was great. The evening dinner yielded a better result, with an amazing, high end three course meal and excellent service. Our accommodation was in a unit suitable for four people, and the main room included a king size bed. The place was neat, well equipped and finding a Zebra on my portch was great! Not only can I recommend Mongena, but the greater Dinokeng area was great, and only 45 minutes out of Pretoria. Well done, I cannot wait to go back, taking my kids to enjoy the area, game and swimming pool!

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank irengineer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mongena Game Lodge

Property: Mongena Game Lodge
Address: JR87 Boekenhoutkloof, Rust de Winter Road D48 | Dinokeng Game Reserve, Hammanskraal 0400, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Hammanskraal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Hammanskraal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Mongena Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This 63 bed, 4 star rated, non-self catering Lodge is situated in the north-western section of the 18,500 ha free roaming big 5 Dinokeng Game Reserve and is accessible by tarred main road, 40 minutes from Tshwane/Pretoria and 1.5 hr from Johannesburg/O.R.Tambo Airport in the province of Gauteng, South Africa. The lodge boasts 25 tastefully furnished air-conditioned thatched chalets/rooms including a honeymoon suite, with private bathrooms comprising of bath and/or shower, room safes, coffee/tea stations, DSTV TV programmes and internet access. A state-of-the art conference centre, boardrooms, sparkling swimming pool, Tshukudu outdoor bar, a romantic chapel for weddings and Kingfisher a la carte Restaurant situated next to the small lake in main lodge overlooking the plains of the Game Reserve completes the offerings at the main camp. Kingfisher is well-known for its superb cuisine and is open to inhouse and day visitors 7 days a week. Mongena specializes in quality guided game drives, bushwalks and sunset cruises for inhouse guests as well as day visitors longing for an African safari experience. ... more   less 
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