My family, as well as my wife's parents from the States, stayed at the Bundu Lodge during late December 2012. This was our first trip to South Africa since moving to Mozambique in early 2012. After a three day drive to get to Nelspruit we were tired and ready to get some rest. Our accommodations were booked in July and we had reserved two rooms for adults and one room for our children ages 18, 13, 11, and 9. Upon checking in we were told the adults had been put in their deluxe rooms and the children in a slightly more rustic room several hundred meters from the adults. We were a little anxious but agreed to this arrangement. We went to dinner at the hotel restaurant and were really impressed by the quality of the food. My only irritation at the time was the price of the bottled water and sodas (I later came to find out drinks in all of South Africa are overpriced at over $2 usd each). We left the restaurant, got the children settled in their room and told them to call us in our room as a test in case they needed us during the night. Upon arriving in our room we discovered there are no telephones in the room. This would not work because if the children needed us during the night they would have no way to get in touch with us since we did not have South African SIM cards yet for our phones. I immediately went to the hotel lobby and explained the situation to Trudi ( she is AMAZING) who said she had children and understood our concern. She immediately changed the children's room to two deluxe rooms where two children would sleep per room and at no additional charge. A huge burden was relieved. Once we finished moving the girls rooms (at 22:00 hours) one of the girls came to our door and stated their air conditioner was leaking on their bed. I went to investigate and it was malfunctioning but by this time we were so tired we simply turned it off until the morning. Upon waking the next morning I informed Trudi (who had worked the late shift and was now working the early shift) about the problem. She stated she would have someone look at it. We left for the day and upon our return to the Lodge the air conditioner was fixed and working perfectly. Problem #2 resolved wonderfully.
Please do not think that our entire time at the Bundu was marred by problems. I have already spoken of the only problems we had in regards to the Bundu Lodge. They had a pool, grills for a brai, MANY animals (zebras, horses, ostrich, emu, rabbits, turkeys, goats, sheep, peacock, etc., running loose on the property). My children loved to feed and play with the animals. I believe they would have very content with having stayed at the Bundu and not gone to any area attractions during our stay.
On Christmas Day we were 50km north of Nelspruit and our vehicle experienced mechanical difficulties. To make a long story short, we planned to leave Nelspruit and spend a week in Johannesburg before returning to Mozambique. Because we did not know how long our car would be in the garage, we opted to rent two cars to drive to Johannesburg and continue our vacation. The problem was there was no room in the two small rentals for all of our belongings. I spoke with Leon (who is also Wonderful) and he offered to store our extra luggage at the Bundu while we were in Johannesburg and allow us to pick it up on our way back through Nelspruit. He did not have to do this and I mark this up to Bundu helping resolve issue #3 of our vacation.
I will conclude by saying that our time at the Bundu lodge was wonderful. The staff (95% of them anyway......there was 1 who was less than friendly) consistently went above our expectations and we were very impressed. if you are looking for a top of the line, high dollar, 5 star accommodation this is not for you. If however, you are searching for a very nice and clean accommodation for a family at an affordable price I would say this is the place for you. Our family will definitely be visiting the Bundu on future trips to Nelspruit, South Africa.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated within the Bundu Rockies Wildlife Estate, home to more than 30 animals and over 300 bird species, Bundu Lodge offers guests and visitors a taste of the Lowveld life. With superb cuisine and service, Bundu boasts 112 rooms a large a la carte restaurant, as well as 6 fully-equipped conference venues and a quaint chapel - for the ultimate in romantic weddings. Bundu's proximity to Nelspruit and White River as well as the Kruger National Park, has contributed to making it the local lodge of choice. With all its animals at the Bundu Animal Farm, it really is a paradise for the children, making it ideal for the family getaway. Bundu's success story could be largely attributed to its friendly and helpful staff members. ... more less
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