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“Shoddy self-catering accommodation but decent game drives”
Review of Mabula Game Lodge

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Mabula Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Shoddy self-catering accommodation but decent game drives”
Reviewed 11 March 2012

We were invited to stay at Mabula for three nights by a work client. The game park is only about 2 hours drive from Johannesburg and so it is convenient for a weekend away for Johannesburgers.

We stayed in the self-catering units, which had four bedrooms and two bathrooms with toilets. The accommodation itself was two star - old unit, with old decor, thin walls and old plumbing. There are two large sliding door entrances to the unit which, when open, create a nice open air feel to the living area. The unit is equipped with DSTV and the kitchen has all the necessary utensils.

Outside were two braai spots and animals came visiting us on the porch at night. We went down to the main area where the catering hotel is to go to the restaurant. The pool was packed with young kids. We also visited a small snake farm in that area.

The highlight of Mabula is the game drive. The park is comparatively small, which means that you are likely to have several sightings. We were able to see eland, gemsbok, kudu, warthog, giraffe and buffalo in a single drive. The culture at the park is very much one of preservation and nature conservation.There was a terrible mix up one morning for a lion drive, when the drive left early thinking that my wife and I had arrived, but it was another couple from the unit - it was just really poor organisation and a cavalier approach from the park management.

In summary I found the self-catering accommodation sub-standard and the game drives good. I cannot comment for the catering as we did not stay there.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MrMin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
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English first
Napa, California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2012

We did not stay in one of the Lodge rooms, but stayed in a self catering unit on the reserve (through our vacation club): 2 beds, 2 baths, full kitchen. We absolutely loved this place; The units are situated for privacy, the beds were extremely comfortable, the units and linens were very clean. All staff associated with Mabula were very friendly and helpful. Our guide was Rachel and she was AWESOME! Thank you to Tepazu and Marguerite also, who hosted us at the Kwafubesi tent camp (don't miss this experience, it's great)! Highly recommend the sunset dinner bush braaiand game drive, 5 star meal in the bush! The food and staff at the restaurant was excellent. We saw lions on our first game drive! Saw lots of elephants, giraffes and rhinos and beautiful birds. Don't leave your windows or doors open, the vervet are very smart and swift.

Room Tip: The self catering that are not close to the lodge are awesome. Definitely experience the Kwafubesi...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank NapaDiamond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 December 2011

We had a great week staying there, the checkout time was not communicated and this caused an inconvenience with our booked game drive. my bedroom roof leaked when it rained and there was a visible stain on the lined which the housekeepers should have reported. The security officer on duty when we checked out at the main entrance accepted an amount of R115.00 which was handed to him as payment for nature conservation. He accepted the amount without question and my friend had already paid. I think some of these procedures should be stated clearly on the information booklet and the security officers should be trained properly on these issues.

Room Tip: The self catering chalet we used in Sunset Hill was very good and quite.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mandla D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mokopane, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 26 November 2011

The hospitality was just out of this world... friendly and helpful staff all the way. As for the food... it was a pity my stomach could not take more. The evening and morning drives were awesome and our ranger, Carly, was so professional, friendly and informative. Dinner was so eventful with the traditional dance. I will surely come back for more fun and will recommend the place to my friends and relatives. Keep it up, guys! The game drive jackets/ponchos came in handy as it was cold out there, but hey! they should be regulary washed.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank GLEN M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tehran, Iran
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2011

don`t expect luxury romms it`s a safari trip not sp clean but helpful staff they care about u and ur needs ,good spa ,nice enviroment with dif animals around lodge like monkeys

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sandbad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brasilia, DF
Level Contributor
106 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2011

that did not show up my stay at the hotel was very good! Even waking up at 4 AM for a nice ride after the animals with your friends is a good thing! Dinner was excellent and provided a very nice opportunity to try different kinds of meat in all sorts of South African sauces and spices. The prices for drinks were actually good.
The breakfast after the early morning game was splendid! All sort of choices were available and everyone in my group liked it very much.
I definitely recommend Mabula!
Friendly and helpful staff completed my stay.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rmabeci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2011

Defenitely not a four star lodge. What we did not like; no mini bar in room, the bed is very small, linen old, no service in restaurant, had to get up and ask for our drinks order to be taken, staff in restaurant unfriendly, napkins were dirty - showed Manager who took it away but never brought back clean ones, Room walls paper thin you can actually hear what your neighbours are saying. What we did like; food was enjoyable, swimming pool area, game rangers are friendly, the highlight of our weekend was a trip to Zebula's Adventure with Elephants (not part of Mabula). Please be warned if you looking for four star accomadation and treatment then Mabula is not the lodge to provide it. Just dont like to pay 4 star prices for a 3 star lodge.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Bonita C
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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