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“A must see”
Review of The Outpost

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The Outpost
Certificate of Excellence
Frankfurt
1 review
“A must see”
Reviewed 27 March 2010

This lodge is a must see; a very special and modern design. Your room basically has just one wall to the back and a roof; the rest is open (curtains can be closed), which provides an amazing atmosphere. If you skip one game drive in the morning you can enjoy an unmatched sunrise right from your bed. If the wheather is windy, it can be quite noisy, which we didn't mind. Service quality is absolutely outstanding and all stuff are just lovable. With a limited number of rooms (15?), its very family like. Lodge is isolated, which gives it its special character and is hence very peaceful. Food quality is outstanding and served at a large table jointly with all guests and your ranger (unless you prefer your privacy). Spend 2-3 days that you will never forget.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank oreinberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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257 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 February 2010

I can only add my agreement to the later reviews of The Outpost: if there was an issue with management in the past, it is now gone.

When we arrived at midday on the first day, and the temperature in the car showed 40+, we were greeted with cold washcloths, an ice cold drink, and friendly smiles from both management and staff. This continued throughtout our stay, and nothing seemed to be an inconvenience, problem or issue.

We went there to experience the bush on foot, and pre-arranged all our walks with The Outpost (good idea if you are interested in walking). I must say that they have managed to get hold of a very experienced and good guide, Johna. In all we had four walks with Johna, all to different areas, all with different results in terms of game and birds seen, and all equally enjoyable. The morning walks start early, so be prepared to head off in the dark to start walking by first light. The afternoon walks start around 3, with the usual sundowners and snacks at the end. All walks were between two and three hours, wich gives you plenty of time to enjoy the pool over lunch.

The food is of the highest standard, and is of both a quality and quantity to keep you fuelled for your walks. Dinner is three courses served in a private setting, and there is always someone there to take away your emty plate or refill your glass, without you even noticing.

I also must mention the quietness of the place, and to me this is a huge plus. No disturbing muzac in the background, no cellphones beeping, no SMSs, no TV. Bliss!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank VikingNZaffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 December 2009

I'm a bit surprised to read the recent negative reviews. My husband and I spent four nights there in June 2009 and had an amazing experience. Everything - from the food to the service to the game rides - was five star. As mentioned by a previous reviewer, The Outpost doesn't have its own guide, but contracts them from Ecotraining nearby, and their guides are really well trained - our guide was exceptionally knowledgable, and had no trouble finding game (and was also very young - I say this in response to the review below that criticized a guide for his youth). On our last day, when we were the only people at the lodge, the guide took us out for an extra-long drive. The service overall was impeccable, and we even received a complementary upgrade to their best unit. And the food was simply amazing. The setting is simply stunning, and one of the best aspects of this part of Kruger is the few number of people you'll encounter on game drives - it's as if you have the park to yourself. I thought The Outpost was really good value for money compared to other private lodges near Kruger.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank jessican1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
Level 4 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2009

The Outpost is simply one of the most stunning places I’ve ever stayed.

The rooms are utterly unique – 3 walls have been removed and replaced with floor to ceiling electric blinds which when opened (and we hardly ever had them closed) allow 180 degree views of the incredibly beautiful Luvuvhu river valley and the wildlife below. Bring your binos and enjoy game viewing from the comfort of your daybed or bath!

The lodge has been very thoughtfully designed and sits very well in its environment nestled into the side of a steep hill – it reminded me quite a lot of Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia. Though super-stylish there is absolutely nothing pretentious about The Outpost and we found the atmosphere and staff really relaxed and friendly. Some of the other posts mention negative experiences because a change of ownership and management. We're glad to report that these issues appear to have been ironed out. We found the guide, staff and management very competent and professional without being pretentious.

We’ve been on safari quite a few times before, but never in the Northern Kruger and we absolutely loved the very different landscape and vegetation we experienced there. It’s a paradise for walkers and birders and though we aren’t the latter we couldn’t but help get enthused by our superb guide, Pierre - the birdlife is prolific, very unique to the area and his knowledge was seriously impressive! However, Northern Kruger is not packed with big 5 mammal - if this is your first and only safari, you may want to head further south or combine the Outpost with other safari options.

Experiencing the landscape, flora and fauna on foot is an absolute must – we’ve done walking safaris elsewhere, but they just didn’t compare with the beauty of the area surrounding The Outpost. Whilst they didn’t have a permanent walking guide on site when we visited (end Oct), they expect to do so very soon and in the meantime walks can be arranged if sufficient notice is given.

This place is a real find.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank satpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taormina, Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 August 2009

This is the perfect hideaway for a couple or single that feels to get away from the city life. No mobile connection (even though you can use their land line in the reception if you get desperate). The nicest view from a room/bathtub I've ever had. Loved laying in the bathtub and watching the buffalos/impala/baboons etc drinking water by the river.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were usually served at one table with everyone seated together including the safari guide and a staff member from the Makuleke community. A great opportunity to hear their stories and share experiences.

Game drives were made every morning at 6 a clock until 10-11 and then again in the afternoon.

The Outpost has a modern architecture, but the materials are rustic so it fits very well with its surrounding. We stayed there for 8 days and the days just flew away. I hope that I will have the opportunity to go back again one day...

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Biondelina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2009

Avoid this place it's a complete rip off. Not half as good as it thinks it is.

Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
10 Thank PedroMarshall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2009

I stayed here as part of a family group of five during the Lions rugby tour. The location and accommodation is superb, but there were some huge problems with the organisation of the place. We heard rumours of a recent change of ownership, so these problems may resolve themselves, but I'll give you the good and the bad . . .
The good: Brilliantly located near the northernmost gate into Kruger on a hillside looking into the Luvuvhu river valley, with stunning views and spectacular rooms. You can open up the blinds of three sides to make the most of it (chilly given that it was winter, although not unmanagable). The communal bar and lounge areas are superb. The staff were friendly and efficient and the evening food was magnificent, although perhaps could have been warmer. We had an inexperienced field guide, who was nevertheless knowledgeable, infectiously enthusiastic and pleasant.
The bad 1: The spectacular setting and accommodation were unfortunately completely undermined by the organisation and management. Outpost has some serious administrative problems. Upon arrival we were asked to sign indemnity forms, which clearly stated that the Outpost were to be indemnified against everything, including gross negligence. Given that our field guide was a 19 year old, four days out of training, that seemed a risk.
The bad 2: The Outpost only had one guide - the 19 year old - although we understand they are trying to recruit. He did a good job in the circumstances, but it was hardly a surprise that he struggled to find game. It also meant that they couldn't keep to their website pledge of no more than six guests per vehicle. They are (or were) also not able to do walking safaris because they didn't have sufficient staff or qualifications and noone who is qualified to carry a gun (FGASA requirements). Given that we have done walking safaris elsewhere before and it was one of the main attractions, this more or less ruined our stay outright. The manager was a rank amateur who was polite but resolved nothing (except asking his managers to change the website pledges!).
The bad 3: A whole plethora of small irritations: going out for sundowners without any glasses; lunches on game drives that were soggy and inedible.
I won't go any further because I suspect and hope that with some tweaks on the administrative front and the recruitment of an experienced senior guide this place could be excellent. I would just warn you to query the indemnity issue and quintuple-check anything that is important to you (like walking-safaris) before you book.
The only other thing to say is that the north of Kruger is not the most densely packed with game - you can easily drive an hour without seeing anything but birds. We got lucky with a big herd of elephant and a lion (just asleep beside the road) but not a great deal else. The south of Kruger and Zambia were both much better.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank PeriodicContributor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Outpost

Property: The Outpost
Address: Makuleke Region, Kruger National Park 2146, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 174 Speciality Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Outpost 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Outpost lies in the Makuleke Contractual Park, a vast and remote wilderness area bordered to the north by the Limpopo River and Zimbabwe and to the east by Crooks Corner and Mozambique.The Big 5 Makuleke Contractual Park measures some 26 500 hectares and is well known for its abundant wildlife including less common species not evident in the southern and central regions of the park. Apart from large herds of elephant and buffalo, guests will be able to see Nyala, an antelope which is not easily found in the more southern regions of the park, and over 350 recorded bird species. The diverse terrain of the region includes Mopane Woodlands, Fever Tree forests, Acacia thickets as well as some of the largest and oldest Baobab specimens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Outpost Hotel Kruger National Park

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