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“Terrible”
Review of Cape Vidal Camp

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Cape Vidal Camp
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
55 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Terrible”
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Stayed in the log cabins. The roads in between the cabins is in a total state of disrepair. The cabin is clean (as it can be) but totally neglected. The upholstery is torn and faded, floor tiles are broken, stove was rusty, fridge was leaking, bathroom smelly and mouldy. No aircon and you cannot open doors and windows because of aggresive monkeys. The day time temperatures were above 34 degrees C From the reviews here we were not expecting the Ritz, but it is worse than you think. The Reception lady told us that no 18 that we were in "was one of the better units". She said that renovations would start after January 2014.

It is such a shame. Cape Vidal and Isimangaliso is such an amazing place but with the state of the cabins I won't be back.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Linmic16
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 (18)
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English first
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2013

It was so good to see that the ablutions have been upgraded. Paving has been done and the general appearance of the camp is one of been cared for. Unfortunately the vervet monkeys still remain the biggest problem.

Braai facilities are seriously lacking and a braai site at each stand would be appreciated. If you do not take your own braai you could be cooking in the sand!!!! A few portable braais are around but these are hopelessly inadequate for the popularity of Vidal. The rates charged are higher than most camp sites, so providing a braai facility should be par for the course.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank llevieux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Qatar
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2013

The log cabins at Cape Vidal are not the Ritz, lets get that one straight off the bat. In fact, for what you're paying, you'd likely be a little cheesed if it weren't slap bang in the middle of a sub-tropical paradise.

Here's the low-points:

The cabins are in various states of repair, you have to hold thumbs for a better one of the bunch. Our balcony perimeter was held together with cable ties, the floors were scuffed, the wicker sofas worn and the bathrooms tiles a patchwork of cream coloured fix ups. The grouting was a bit grungy at the edges, the deep freeze was fridge temperature, the fridge froze all the vegetables in the bottom drawers and the pots, pans, peelers and knives were all a little ropey. The tap water was grim: swampy and brown, we were told it was emergency supply from a borehole, but long term campers assured us it had been that way for months at least and the smell hangs about a bit. Monkeys are a menace that needs to be taken seriously, especially if young children are in your group.

That aside, Cape Vidal was without doubt the high point of our month in the homeland. The people are wonderful, the beaches endless, the wildlife spectacular and the sensation of the place just seeps in and takes you along with it. We had a family of duiker, a pair of genets, bush pig, mongeese and a huge array of birdlife with us every day and night. The snorkelling around reefs of the protected bay is world class, and the fishing is some of South Africa's best. We had a trio of Rhino wander within arm's reach of our car, and three pods of whale wave to us from beyond the backline as we watched the sun set.

The cabins are not all bad, provided your expectations arrive preset. The beds were the most comfortable of the trip. The daily cleaning staff are wonderful and if you're big on braaiing there's no real need to spend time over the stove.

The only thing I'll change on our next trip is the duration - eight nights wasn't nearly long enough.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank BlakeQatar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wayland, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
63 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2013

My wife and I have been dreaming of a trip to Africa since we first met, over 20 years ago. Our son turned 16 this year, and we figured "Now is the time!" The Thula Thula Reserve was our 'home base' and we made a side trip to St. Lucia and Cape Vidal with Flip Flop Tours. (See: http://flip-flop.co.za/index.html ) This was definitely worth the drive!

Before we left, we read some negative review about the cabins on the Web. When we arrived, I thought, "What were they talking about?!!" Our cabin was very nice, clean and well furnished, nestled in the trees with a short walk to the beach. 'Lux' accomodations? "Camp Westin"? Of course not, but a very nice cabin in a great location! (Much nicer than the cabins / tents at Yosemite in the USA, for example.) A few photos are attached.

Dave Tait with Flip Flop cooked a great 'brai' (barbeque) for us after we arrived, and surprised us with our favorite South African wine. We kicked back and relaxed; everything was taken care of.

For people from the US or Europe, Cape Vidal is like a typical 'national park' on the ocean -- with wildlife. Warthogs and monkeys hunt for scraps around the cabins, and the drive to Cape Vidal takes you through a large game reserve.

The highlight is the beach, a beautiful spot on the Indian Ocean. You can relax on the sand, swim, snorkel around the rocks in the enclosed cove and fish. The rocky cove protects the beach from the waves and open ocean, and provides a sheltered place for families and kids to enjoy the ocean.

The rocks create a perfect environment for tropical fish. Dave with Flip Flop is an FGASA certified guide, and provided all of the equipment for snorkeling. He knew timing of the tides and took my son, his friend and I out -- a great experience.

We did not capture any photos of the beach, because we were having too much fun. For more info on Cape Vidal and photos of the beach area, see: www.nature-reserve.co.za/cape-vidal_location.html

We all loved it -- a definite 'Must See' if you visit KwaZulu Natal.

Mark Hays

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

I visited Cape Vidal in the SA July school holidays. Myself and a friend and our respective children (aged 2 and 9) stayed in one of the cabins. It was BEAUTIFUL. Set deep in the forest it was like something out of Robinson Crusoe. I was under no delusion that I was going to a luxury game lodge so the rusticness of the lodge totally appealed to the unplugged atmosphere we were going for. We were not plagued by monkeys. Whether it was because they are under control, whether they were hanging out with the tented folk or whether it was winter and they'd had their fill from summer, who knows. We had two inquisitive babies that frolicked on our porch much to the amusement of our two babes. No, we didn't feed them, we didn't let them in and we didn't fraternise with them like pets. We had little buck bounding past our cabin in the morning, warthog grunting their way around under the porch at night, we saw whale breaching at sea and frolicked in the clear warm water of the bay. The beach, the camp and the reserve are spectacularly beautiful and well worth a visit. I especially like the contrast to the lowveld, which is my familiar game territory, with the lush green grass and tall forest trees. The staff were very friendly and helpful, albeit that the phone is rarely answered. We unfortunately only made the booking 24 hours in advance so couldn't go through the normal booking channels and had to book directly with the camp. When we got there they were most accommodating and gave us exactly what we wanted. My only dissatisfaction (and I say dissatisfaction and not complaint as I am aware that I am in rustic nature and it is part of the territory) was the colony of bats in our roof. Being of the rodent-sensitive type, the sound of hundreds of them in the roof did make my hair stand on edge albeit we never actually saw any bats in close proximity to the cabin.

Beautiful, beautiful part of the world. And I appreciate that it is simple, honest and rustic. Sometimes you just want to unplug and feel the grit and beauty of nature.

Room Tip: Rooms in the forest are quieter and more secluded if you really want that Robinson Crusoe feel. We c...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CDWCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2013

An awesome location with beautiful beaches and game drives. We stayed at the cabins which are very rundown. They need a lot of TLC. The cabins smell very musky and I understand that's because the windows cannot be left open because of the nuisance monkeys. But I am sure some steps can be taken to avoid that. Put some kind of meshing or guards on the opening windows so the monkeys cannot come in. And yes those monkeys can open doors so cabins have to be locked all the time. I would love to go back there but will wait for the cabins to be revamped before my next trip.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Flausa234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pretoria
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2013

We just returned from a lovely week, but cut short, from Cape Vidal. The reason for the early return, was due to monkeys causing so much destruction to our tent, that we could not leave it unattended. There are notices to warn you about the monkeys, but we never expected so much trouble. And there are hundreds of them. They broke into our tent 3 times, and we had no food outside , everything was sealed in plastic boxes, difficult to open. They tore open the mesh windows of the tent and even in the rooftop. I really think The KZN Parks can do more to limit the nuisance. All the people in the beautifull camp are constantly chasing them away. The monkeys cause so much littering with their bait, and even with the "Zero Tolerance to littering" signs all over the place, little is done to clean up the mess these monkeys leave under the trees and bush.
We are nature lovers and love camping, The camp is beautiful and well kept.
Williams family

Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank omniaPretoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cape Vidal Camp

Property: Cape Vidal Camp
Address: St Lucia, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > St Lucia
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 32 Speciality Lodging in St Lucia
Also Known As:
Cape Vidal Camp Hotel Saint Lucia

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