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“Wild & Free must be one of South Africa's best kept secrets”
Review of Wild & Free

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Wild & Free
Canton, Michigan
Level Contributor
141 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Wild & Free must be one of South Africa's best kept secrets”
Reviewed 6 November 2011

Wild & Free must be one of South Africa's best kept secrets. Nestled in a mountainous area of the Naka Sanga Nature Reserve , not far from Bella Bella (previously Warmbaths), it is a comfortable 2-2.5 hours drive from Johannesburg. I went there on my own, so this is written from that perspective.  My chalet was called Giraffe, one of only four luxurious chalets -and I mean luxurious, each with a beautiful view of the plateau that stretches into the distance. What was pretty magic for me was the outdoor shower one side of the chalet and the jacuzzi on the patio, the other side.  Both completely private.  The jacuzzi was particularly enjoyable to sit in after a game drive and gaze out over surrounding bushveldt.  And, I really enjoyed the game drives. Lion may not roam freely in the park but there is a large number of other wildlife to see, viz: Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Wildebeest, Zebra, a variety of buck and bird life.  I've mentioned those animals I got to see, but I believe there are those who have been lucky enough to spot Leopard and Cheetah as well...maybe next time.  The thing that I will remember most about Wild & Free, aside from the wonderful experience of being in the bush, is the people who run the lodge and the food.   Brunch (11:00am) and dinner were served each day and every meal was memorable.  Any plans to diet, leave at home.  This is not the place for that...you will want to enjoy each meal.  There was also a lovely balance between privacy and personal attention.  The staff were friendly and engaging but still gave me the quiet time that I wanted in such a tranquil place.  One thing, while I was there there was no Wi-Fi, so no Internet I and I got the impression that was not going to change any time soon. My Blackberry worked with no problems at all. I almost wished it didn't.  

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
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2 Thank CraigvE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2008

If you are looking for a little gem in the bush, close to Johannesburg (approx 2.5 hours drive) - look no further than the Wild and Free Game Lodge. We stayed in the honeymoon suite (2nd visit) which is simply stunning! Besides an enormous suite, it offers an outside tent/day bed, an outside bath tub (wonderful for stargazing), outside shower - and a delectably rich bedroom suite decorated in dark silks, lamps adorned with feathers and striking chandeliers! Jabu, the chef, is unbelievably talented (His name is Jabulani, which means happiness - and he certainly is that!). If you are a foodie like we are, you'll enjoy lamb shanks, eggs benedict on spinach rosti, pavlova's, fresh scones, springbok carpaccio with salad and superb vinagrette sauce....
He seems to flavour the food like I've never tasted before. While the game viewing might not be in the league of Sabi/Kruger area for example - you do get to see some game (but then that's the bush - sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are not so lucky to have great sightings). This place is superb if you have overseas guests/or if you are from overseas and you're wanting a bush experience not to far from Johannesburg/Pretoria. I think I'm fussy - and I highly, highly recommend this place! The service was outstanding, the rooms were spotless - we felt like a King and Queen for 2 days! The lodge also offers great value for South Africans too!

  • Liked — Everything from service to food/wine to how the room was presented
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank TravellerSouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wild & Free

Property: Wild & Free
Address: Mokaikai, Mabula Private Game Reserve 0054, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Waterberg > Mabula Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Mabula Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set against a backdrop of lush green mountainous vegetation, Wild & Free Game Lodge blends in with the natural surroundings with spectacular views over the valley. No luxury or detail has been overlooked, creating a tranquil haven and a truly unique experience. ... more   less 

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