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“Overall a good experience”

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Elandela Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 March 2014

The lodge met our expectations in most aspects and we had minor dissappointments but overall we left pleased with the experience.

THE GOOD
The lodge is small. It can host approximately 30 guests and there were 20 when we visited. This allows for a more familiar feeling, getting to know other people and have a better personalized attention.
We got rooms at the main building. There are only 6 of them. We were so happy of our location as the other rooms are 300 meters away and you have to request transportation because you are exposed to the wild animals.
You get 2 safaris per day. Plenty to have the best chances to find the animals.
The pool is nice and makes for a nice rest in-between safaris
Service is excellent with few exceptions

THE BAD
It takes 6.5 hours driving from Johannesburg to the lodge. You'd better take a plane to the nearest town and save 2 days. We regretted not doing that
You are isolated here so you rely on their food completely which we did not find very appealing. The Impala lasagna is not for everybody and the salad was the same on the 6 meals we had. Bring some snacks.
Breakfast does not include any juice or even bottled water. Meals do not include beverages too. Everything is paid by separate. It is kind of an odd full board regime.
If you get the rooms 300 meters away, I bet it is not as comfortable
You will have breakfast after the morning safari at 9.30. Then lunch at 14.30 and dinner at 19.30. These two meals are rather close to each other while you feel starving at breakfast after 14 hs of your last bite. I bet this could be improved in some way.
2 safaris per day certainly increases your chances of seeing most of the animals and this game reserve is famous for their white lions but we didn't find them... we just saw two small and young brown lions. They don-t have elephants. They will take you to Kruger for that.

All in all, we were happy and pleased with our stay

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank frisbeeace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elandela, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2014

The Elandela Lodge management appreciates the time and effort taken by guests who rate our services on Tripadvisor. If given objectively it gives valuable advice to future guests. It is important to mention that Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport is adjacent to Elandela Private Game Reserve and receives two flights daily from O.R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg by S.A. Express(South African Airways). This flight takes just over an hour and the 20 minute trip to the Lodge is free! Just as the case with the impala lasagne there are many visitors who want to do a road trip and who definitely want to taste local venison. We do however upon check in request food preferences and therefore can prepare vegetable lasagne and those that do not want to see the country on their 6 hour trip to Elandela can opt for the more expensive flight. Most definitely many of our guests visit specifically to experience the feeling of being immersed in the South African bush. When they see their large and scenically situated rooms 300 meters away from the main complex and hear the silence broken only by the sounds of the African Bush and gaze over the balcony to see the different species drinking in the river below, the standard comment is: "This is what I came for!" The golf cart is for the use of any visitor to drive themselves between the buildings. Our answer to fill the morning hole in the stomach feeling is - we stop for coffee and rusks during the morning game drive. Most of our guests note it as a huge plus that we offer a free trip to Kruger Park to make sure that you see huge herds of famous Kruger elephants.The overall message is that although it is impossible, we do strive to satisfy the many different expectations and do feel we have a huge Elandela family which makes interchange of information one of the great Elandela plusses!

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Reviewed 3 March 2014

We have been at the lodge a few times. Every time it exceeds our expectations. The staff, Steven's excellent food and of course the animal sightings are the best I have ever had. The rooms are breathtaking, it is more than one needs to have an spectacular vacation. We have been privileged to see the White Lions, Leopards and Roccy and Clova, the 2 orphaned Rhinos. Even witnessed giraffe's fighting. On our way back to our rooms we have seen all kinds of animals like Impalas, giraffe, waterbuck, zebra and even Hippos in the river next to our rooms. It is truly a unique experience that I have not found at any other place. What a lovely paradise.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank EsterBlofield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elandela, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2014

Elandela Lodge Management appreciates your repeat visits as sign of a successful service rendered and we will most certainly inform Chef Steven and Guide Carina of your delight with their professional service! Your preference of the rooms 300 meters away from the main complex is noticeable and must stem from your pleasure in viewing nature quietly and from above the Klaserie River! Hope to welcome you here soon again..

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Reviewed 3 March 2014

We recently spent a fabulous weekend at Elandela Lodge. My husband and I arrived at Elandela around lunch time. After checking in and a great light lunch, we were whisked off for some game viewing. We came across three or four rhino who were enjoying themselves rolling about in the mud, white lions with a giraffe kill and spotted a leopard on the way back. It seems that, with an abundance of game in the Reserve, 3 or 4 leopards have made their home there. What magnificent animals they are.

The next day, we had an early morning drive, followed by a lovely breakfast; a half day drive in Kruger National Park where we saw more lions and a night drive after dinner. I loved the night drive. We saw an Aardvark (anteater), bush baby, sleeping birds, chameleon, spiders etc.

The service was excellent, Steven, the chef, cooked lovely meals and made delicious cakes. Our rooms were comfortable, had air conditioning and everything we needed.

A special mention of our guide, Nicola, who was not only very polite and helpful but was very knowledgeable as well. He seemed to love birds and small creatures as well as the large animals. Corina, another excellent guide, took us to pet and touch Rocky, a young rhinoceros who has been hand reared by the owners, Rocco and Yvonne, after being found orphaned. It is not every day that you can do this nor will be able to as rhinoceros are being poached to extinction.

All in all a wonderful place to chill and relax. The owners were friendly and the staff very welcoming. The day we left we took the 'Panoramic Route' route back to Nelspruit via Blyde River Canyon, Bourkes Luck Potholes, Pilgrims Rest, Berlin Falls etc. This whole area is a must see and if you are looking for a 'wildlife experience' you can not go wrong with Elandela Lodge.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Zabe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elandela, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2014

We welcome family visits to Elandela Lodge and it is always great to see them unwind and enjoy themselves here with us! We are fortunate to be able to work with such fantastic individuals such as Steven, Carina and Nicola - apart from being professional experts of their trade, they have made a name as caring, attentive and patient hosts! Elandela Private Game Reserve is participating in the daily war against rhino poaching and we find that the absolutely unique experience of touching Roccy and Clova is a sure fire way of creating interest and awareness for the endangered rhino's cause! Yes, Elandela is fast getting known as a destination to see leopards and as noted here, often during the day! Our optional night drives are intended to find leopard(s) but as noted here this is not guaranteed and therefore it is important to read that for many the night sounds, the nocturnal bush animals and insects and birds and of course, the stars are a not to be missed experience!

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Reviewed 3 March 2014

I work at Elandela Private Game Reserve as one of their field guides. It has always been my dream to work in the Kruger National park and surrounding areas, never had I thought I would be given such an amazing opportunity to work in a beautiful place like Elandela, the sightings are amazing here, I see animals like white lions, leopards, buffalo, aardvark, hyenas, porcupines and the bird life here is absolutely incredible.

The white lion sightings are spectacular, we get within meters of completely relaxed lions, seeing them interacting with each other like we are not even there. To be able to see such wonderful animals right up close is something I thought would be a thing only seen on television, but alas I see it here, in-front of me with my own eyes.

In the past 3 years of my studies and working I never come across such magnificent sightings of leopards as I have seen on Elandela. They are so comfortable with us being there that they hunt and carry on with life as if we were not there. The other night on a night safari, we saw four adult male leopards together by Leopard Dam, I have never heard of something like this but nature proved me wrong.

To be involved in Elandela Rhino Survivor Trust(ERST) and to see our two babies, Roccy and Clova, and being part of the rehabilitation of these two back into the wild. It makes me excited to see that the lodge is doing so much for the conservation of the rhinos as a population, can not wait to see when there is going to be a new addition to the group. It is a privilege to be able to see these beautiful animals up close and to even be able to touch and share this experience with everyone that visits us.

I cannot even begin to express how amazing the food here is. Steven is an incredible chef making some of the best food I have ever had, he has changed my taste buds for the better. I seriously think he should go onto Master Chef SA. Everyone that comes here knows about Steven and his food before they meet him.

The lodge is spectacular, from the rooms down to the boma to everything. The people have a swim in the pool by the lodge and watch the animals come and drink by the watering hole in the front animals like Giraffe, zebra, nyala, leopards, buffalo and even hippos come to visit the lodge. The rooms are beautiful, clean and very comfortable.

I am very happy to be working here. I want to say thank you to Mrs Yvonne and Dr Rocco for giving me the opportunity to work here! I can highly recommend this lodge to everyone.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank NicolaNicolosi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elandela, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2014

Thank you Nicola for making our day! All the Elandela Lodge staff have a very demanding daily schedule in order to meet the varied expectations of visitors from all parts of the globe. The Elandela Lodge management not only recognises the positive input and wholehearted support we receive from all our staff but also count ourselves lucky to have friends like Steven, Carina, Nicola, Richard, Precious and Sheppard who change obstacles into challenges because they understand what this business is all about and who still continue smiling no matter the demands!

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Reviewed 29 December 2013

In all my years of traveling, I have never been humiliated, insulted -- being told that I should not act like monkey cause I'm not in a zoo by the manager (Yvonne) for simply raising my concerns about the "luxury room". The lodge's luxury room was nothing like the website pictures in addition: the bed was small, there was a broken toilet & the air con was not working leaking water into the room. I was told to vacate the vicinity cause my concerns were rubbish and if I did not leave immediately I will be locked out of my room as we were upsetting her! The manager simply told me I will not get my refund & I'm expecting too much from a 4star, I was quite surprised.

Due to these threats and after checking in yesterday we were forced to drive back to Botswana on Day2 (as clearly customers aren't allowed to raise concerns at this lodge). This is supposed to be the new South Africa & clearly people are still in the apartheid times, being called names cause of my color I shall surely get to the bottom of this!

The staff does their best to give a good experience but this manager doesn't care about customer service & being polite for the sake of business.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
13  Thank Kits0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elandela, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2014

Elandela Lodge offers an interlude with nature and we go out of our way to treat each and every one of our guests with respect and warmth in order to make every stay a pleasant one. This was clearly an unpleasant experience for all concerned which - out of respect - Elandela offered to solve by giving a refund of nights not used. This full refund of nights not used was credited to and signed for. In retrospect, the relatively insignificant points of discontent led to a situation which is most regrettable even though opinions as to what occurred do differ.

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Reviewed 16 December 2013

My husband and I with a friend had decided to go to Kruger National park for 910 days. The only animal i really hadn't seen in the wild before was a white lion/lioness. I had read a lot about them and knew that they are in from South Africa and as of now are only in the wild in South Africa. I had not wish to see them in a lion park. So as we were only going to Kruger national park this time we checked to see if we could see them here.

The only place to see them is Elandela game reserve which has a breeding program for white lions. The lodge is very luxurious and the guides were fantastic. The food at the lodge was very good as they also catered for our vegetarian friend. Well worth the money to see these magnificent lions..

Room Tip: we were given the LIONS DEN good rooms
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank kuki-2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elandela, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2013

All of us at Elandela Private Game Reserve count ourselves as fortunate to be able to experience our magnificent White Lion pride on a daily basis - they remain spectacular! We are just as fortunate to have inspired staff such as our head chef, Steven, who by the way is also vegetarian and the delicious meals he prepares is based on healthy, nutritious principles.

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Reviewed 24 November 2013

Elandela was a wonderful place to start our 3-week-long South Africa vacation. Karina picked us up at the Hoedspruit airport. From the moment we arrived, we were in awe with the landscape, the property, the animals and the friendly staff. We were met with warm welcome of singing, drumming and a shot of delicious Amarula Fruit Cream. Our room was spacious, comfortable and in local architectural style with very high ceiling. We spent two and half days doing morning and evening game drives on the reserve. The reserve was packed with amazing animals and we saw our first Leopard within an hour of our first drive. Rocco, the owner, was our guide that day and he taught us a lot about the urgent issue of rhino protection. Four out of the six rhinos on the reserve were shot by poachers one night. The good news is that they survived! JV was our guide the rest of the time, including a full day in Kruger national park. He was an amazing ranger and really tried hard to deliver what we wanted to see. We saw all the big fives and many many more. JV was extremely knowledgeable and very funny. He made our drives educational and entertaining as the same time. And there were the white lions. They were so lovely and we were able to get very close to them to get amazing photos. Now let’s talk about the food. Chef Steven was super friendly and cooked us these really elaborate meals. Our breakfast alone had four courses. Our favorite meal was probably the South African Braai. There were so many yummy dishes and even impala sausages which was very good. After three nights, we were not ready to say goodbye to this wonderful reserve. We only wish we could’ve stayed longer or come back soon!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chiq4Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
YvonneGioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 27 November 2013

Elandela Lodge is a small, intimate game lodge and we strive to have all our guests experience their stay with us in similar friendly fashion! It is with great pride that we take note of your commendations and will convey your kind words to the Elandela Lodge staff. We hope to welcome you back soon!

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Additional Information about Elandela Private Game Reserve

Address: Casketts KU 65 Portion 35, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #63 of 176 Speciality Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: £351 - £593 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Elandela Private Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elandela Lodge is an owner managed Private Game Lodge adjacent to Kruger National Park.This is big 5 country and we offer you opportunities to view African wild life and bird life from up close! Very Private Elandela Game Reserve has no incursions from other game drive vehicles and this makes for undisturbed game viewing! The Elandela free roaming White Lion prides - in the area from whence all White Lions originate - as well as our project to care for young Rhino orphans, allow our visitors an unique opportunity to experience an environment where animals are all important. Elandela is fast becoming famous for incredibly relaxed Leopard sightings! Elandela Lake View and Elandela River View Lodges are sculptured on the game rich banks of the Klaserie River and offers spectacular sunset views of the nearby Blyde River Canyon! Our 20 different rooms cater for all different tastes, demands and pockets. The purpose designed River View Family Rooms, with more beds per room and huge lawns, confirm our child friendly reputation! For the discerning adult visitor Elandela Lake View Lodge offers immaculate and luxurious Honeymoon Suites with five star quality and comfort. The Deluxe Suites are priced in between the Honeymoon and Standard Suites but all rooms receive the same warm, friendly, Elandela service! The mouthwatering fine dining cuisine and traditional Boma barbecues are prepared from the freshest local in-season produce! Included in your stay of two days or longer is one free afternoon visit to adjacent world famous Kruger National Park. Elandela Lodge is the right choice for those visitors who have game viewing and a love for nature as deciding factor to determine their South African photo safari destination! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elandela Private Game Reserve Hotel Kruger National Park

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