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“Fun Game Drives but dissappointing service and Rude Staff” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mabula Game Lodge

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Mabula Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Jaipur
Level Contributor
210 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
“Fun Game Drives but dissappointing service and Rude Staff”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2011

I just got home from a 2 nights stay at Mabula. Had gone there with a group of 24 women. We checked in late after a long journey from Hermanus. I was pleasantly surprised that they kept the lunch till 3:30 p.m. just so the group didn't miss lunch.

I got Indian food in Africa after almost 8 nights and was more than happy with that. After a rushed lunch we sprinted for the 3:30 Game Drive. I got on M17- and SAM was our Ranger. Sam proved very lucky for us and in the 3 drives that we took, we sighted lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, zebra and a variety of birds and antelopes.

We had room 219 at the far end of the lodge. The room was spacious and rustic in a way. But I liked it a lot. However here are the issues that I had with mabula:

1. The safe and the phone in the room were not working and in spite of repeated requests at the front desk nothing was done. No action taken.

2. At all times of interaction the front desk staff were only pleasant with whites or colored people. Us- Asians are kind of treated pretty rudely. I really wanted to tell them that your owner is an Indian so guys have some respect. You come from Nelson Mandela's country, you should not treat people on basis of thr skin color.

3. one of the group members wanted to know if there is a phn in the premises where pre-paid cards can be used. She was curtly told "I dont know" by the front office staff. BTW, right next to the wildlife activity centre there is one. Can someone working with mabula miss that kind of detail??

4. During our lunches and dinners at the restaurant- many times i was told "dont sit on this table, go sit somewhr else". Why??? What if I just wanted to sit on that particular table??? Did i pay for this kind of rude remark???

5. The linens in the room were not well cleaned. they had stain marks and sheets not white but almost pale beige.

6. On the last night, I asked for my bills. Since i was on a full board package only had to settle 2 bottles of water and one margarita. Apparently, another guest from 129 had signed a sprigboke shot under my room number. The minute I checked the bill and brought up the issue- the front office person started with "you should settle at the bar in the first place, why leave it for later". I had to go to the extent of telling her that a 15 Rand springboke is not a big deal in terms of money that i will cheat Mabuala for that. At the end it got sorted fine, but again the way i was treated for mentioning a wrong bill...was really disappointing.

The only good thing about mabula was the wonderful and warm attitude of rangers like yanni and sam. Else i felt very badly treated and I ahve travelled a lot across the globe and nowhere did i feel i am badly treated only coz i have brown skin. Sad that a country where apartheid is abolished has this attitude till date. INDIANS do Not Go to MABULA coz there is no respect for you.

Room Tip: Try to avoid the block that has 218-221. its way to far from the rest of the property
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank anuroopabanerjee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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496 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

I love love love Mabula..... Everyone is helpful and polite, the game is awesome, the Game Rangers are superb and go the extra mile for everyone. The Game drives are awesome and I can only say WONDERFUL things about Mabula... STUNNING PLACE.... wonderful place! MY OTHER HOME!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chez53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2011

I would not recommend anyone staying here. The service at the wildlife centre is poor. The restaurant could not accommodate my family and friends as they were fully booked which caused us to sleep with an empty stomach as the nearest alternative is approx. 30km away. Maintenance was done on our unit while we where there with no notification. This is definitely not what you expect from a 5 star establishment. Totally unacceptable, money wasted.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank sune R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
61 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2011

After making wonderful memories at Mabula 20 years ago. I even took my class as a teacher it was so great, I took my family this weekend. What a huge disappointment! Unfriendly staff with a no-can-do attitude. Uncomfortable beds, linen and pillows at least 20 years old & don't fit properly, air con not working properly, food atrocious, toilet broken, shower blocked, and Beauty at the child's entertainment was so nasty to my son he cried. I want a refund or at least can I pay 2 star rates for 2 star service and rooms, as i spent a fortune of money for all this discomfort. A huge thank you to Sam our game driver who bent over backwards to find the big 5 for us.

Room Tip: Wait until room renovations are done and staff is properly trained
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank InspiredParenting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DaveBunyard, Director of Sales at Mabula Game Lodge, responded to this review, 17 August 2011
It is our priority that all guests at Mabula Game Lodge experience fullfillment of their expectations. We are fully committed to ongoing improvements and for this reason we value all guests feedback highly. As head of Sales and Marketing for the lodge I can confirm that management has adressed any shortfalls noted in this guests feedback and actions have been taken to fully rectify any shortfalls in the product or service.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2011

stayed at the sable lodge, it was a lifetime experience,travelling in an open jeep to and fro to the main hotel for breakfast, lunch dinner was an enjoyable experience. had a close encounter with the herd of elephants in the morning as well as in the evening, the rhino and its baby was cute. the lion was very huge., zebras and giraffe's cute, other animals like the wilderbeast, springbok,and other varieties of antelopes were fascinating. overall a wonderful experience, thanks to cassie our guide.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank yashodhara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2011

Mabula is a beautiful game lodge in an awesome setting. The biggest mark against its name is the very poor service. The Wildlife Centre closed early on the day that we were there, making it impossible to actually book wildlife experinces. A BIG FAIL if you are a game lodge. A wonderful resort, but if you actually want to see game go elsewhere!

Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Kar3n_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2011

The rooms are very clean and decorated in a nice, African style. Through the big windows you can watch the game in the distance, because the rooms are situated at a hill overlooking a huge area. You can either book guided tours in the morning or in the afternoon, where a ranger takes you out in the car and shows you all the game you want to see. We were so lucky to see everything we wantet (lions, elephants, rhinos,.... ok, no leopards...). Or you can just sit on the terrace and watch the game coming by. Sometimes the animals come closer than you want them to (we had an elephant destroying the litter boxes in front of our house and eating the fruits of the Marula Tree!)...

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mangofruechtchen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mabula Game Lodge

Property: Mabula Game Lodge
Address: Rhenosterhoek Spruit Road, Mabula Private Game Reserve 0480, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Waterberg > Mabula Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Mabula Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Mabula Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set against a backdrop of lush green mountainous vegetation, Mabula Game Lodge is set in one of South Africa's finest private game reserves. Only two hours north of Johannesburg, this 12000ha reserve is home to an abundance of animal and birdlife, including the "Big 5." All 47 rooms are air-conditioned, contain LCD flat-screen television, en-suite bathroom, telephone, hair dryer, safe and tea/coffee making facilities. Dining venues, outdoor cocktail and whiskey bar, swimming pools, tennis court, children's programme, safaris in open 4x4 vehicles, horseback safaris, archery, paintball, star gazing, eco adventure safaris, guided bush walks, crocodile feeding demonstrations, snake demonstrations and the Ground Hornbill Project and reptile centre. Mabula can assist with all conference requirements, including venues, informal breakaway rooms, private dining facilities and team building activities. Children 0-5 stay complimentary when sharing with parent; 6-11 years pay 50% of the adult sharing rate. 12 years and older pay full adult rate and occupy their own rooms. The lodge is situated in a malaria-free area. Gate entry fees are applicable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mabula Game Hotel Mabula Private Game Reserve

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