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“Good location but disappointed”

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Gondwana Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Maidenhead, Berkshire
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Good location but disappointed”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

When we arrived we were met but had no introduction to the reserve and its facilities. We didn't know there was a bar area and a spa. Game drives are not properly managed. There seemed to be a lack of management and communication. We should have been booked into a hut but because of over booking we were put up in a villa which are privately owned. This was inconvenient as we had to drive ourselves for breakfast and dinner though we were promised a pick up transport nothing came. Lack of senior management and no one seems to be in charge.

We did not receive a welcome drink when we saw other guests the next day get one. Food was ok. Very friendly serving staff.

Overall we were disappointed compared to other facilities of private game reseerves

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Yorkierose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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788 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (159)
Date | Rating
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English first
Munich, Germany
1 review
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Game drives and rangers were great at Gondwana, Food concept for Bush Villas (cold and very poor food served in tupperware) has to be improved! Other families in the Bush Villas had the same terrible experience. After having complained to the management, we were able to have dinner at the restaurant - still the food quality was not what you could expect in a place like this and for the price we´ve payed. No TV Network in villas provided, just DVDs.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank TomB120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We had great stay at Gondwana. We stayed for 1night and had two game drives, one in evening and other in morning. We stayed in Kwyena Huts, which are awesomely decorated. Even while driving in and out of the Gondwana by our car, we could drive pass through few Zebras and antelopes.

Game Drives:
On the evening drive, we saw Elephants (a whole family of 6 with 2 babies), a White/Wide Rhino, Lions with cubs (just outside the accommodation in the parking area ) :)

The next day morning game drive, the ranger tracked Lions (by their fresh footprints) and Cheetahs (by their fresh hunt - an antelope), but we could not see those. We saw Giraffes, Zebras, Deers, Bucks, Springbok, Ellands, and other antelopes.

The Ranger (Brian) was very informative and I was VERY much surprised by his ability to see/track the animals from by far.

I would have been more happier if the food they served could have been better for me (a vegetarian person).

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank saboovineet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham
Level Contributor
68 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

After a few wrong turns we arrived at the most beautiful of locations. When is say beautiful I mean to the point where we all sat in silence with a welcome coffee just staring out at the wonderful view unfolded in front of us. There are 3 main buildings in the 'camp' - the reception, the bar and the restaurant. Surrounding them are dotted handful of dome shapes villas with thatched roofs and terraces looking down the valley with the mountains beyond. Check is was warm and genuine. We had booked a lodge and a driver takes you and your luggage personally down to your lodge and shows you around when you arrive. The lodge was unbelievable considering the location - you name it it had it - every conceivable comfort and luxury. If you after a full on out in the wild experience then this won't be for you but if you like you creature comforts then you can't go wrong. When we booked I thought it was rather expensive but I can honestly say it was money well worth it. Lazy afternoon led to lunch served out on the terrace, delicious and plentiful food. Then onto the afternoon game drive. I'll admit I was drifting into slight disappointment after 90 minutes and all we had seen were a few birds....but then that gave way to zebra, gazelle and wonderful pride of lions. After 3 hours bouncing around we arrived back at camp to much excitement as the elephants were literally in the camp having a nose about. Perfect end to the drive. Dinner was delicious and considering where you are varied to suit everyone in our party. So to bed. Room was large, extremely comfortable so with batteries charging both physically and gadget wise an awesome night sleep was had. Now I normally ok in the mornings but at 5am I'll admit I was a tad grumpy. But this soon wore off with a rocket fuel coffee and a few minutes bouncing around in the open top jeep. This time - rhino, giraffe. The rhino seemed within touching distance but all felt completely safe at all times - the guide describes everything you see and answers any questions we or the kids had. Lovely moment where we stopped, the driver made tea and coffee with biscuits and we looked over the valley to the giraffe and baboons on the hillside.

This is an absolutely beautiful, magical place. I would have been happy to drive round and not see a single animal but they complete an incredible experience. Expensive yes, worth it totally. Is it like living in the wild no, is it suitable for comfort, luxury seeking, needs power to recharge his iPad then goodness me yes.

Superb.

Room Tip: Take the kids !
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank spacegunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GondwanaGameReserve, Marketing Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Good Day,
Thank you for taking the time to write us a Trip Advisor review.
We appreciate your comments and kind words.
We are glad you enjoyed the game drives and got to experience our beautiful elephants in the camp. Lovely to hear that you enjoyed your morning drive while admiring the giraffe.
We look forward to hosting you again in the future.
Kind Regards,
Gondwana Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upminster, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 5 May 2014

We spent two nights at Gondwana whilst travelling the garden route with friends. The quality of the lodges staff and food was excellent. We did see the big five and had great lion encounters, together with good sightings of hippo which we're basking in a lake. This is a relatively new game reserve where the rangers worked hard to find the animals, but overall great value for money and a great experience.

Room Tip: Some of the lodges are a long way from the resturant
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GondwanaGameReserve, Marketing Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Good Day,
Thank you for taking the time to write us a Trip Advisor review.
We appreciate your comments and kind words.
We are glad you enjoyed the game drives and food and we will forward your praise on to our rangers.
Look forward to hosting you again in the future.
Kind Regards,
Gondwana Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vidauban
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 May 2014

Fantastic location with great service to see the big five of Africa within a very short time span. Rangers very knowledgable and trying their best to find the wildlife. We saw Giraffes , Lions,Baboons,Buffalo, Rhino, Elefants,Leopards, Kudu,Zebras,Hippos very very close up. Friendly atmosphere throughout. Sad to leave.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Plutoallegra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GondwanaGameReserve, Marketing Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Good Day,
Thank you for taking the time to write us a Trip Advisor review.
We appreciate your comments and kind words.
We are glad you enjoyed the game drives and service.
Look forward to hosting you again in the future.
Kind Regards,
Gondwana Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

To start off with, this is a private, boutique game reserve advertising close encounters with the wildlife. To give it its dues, the animals are very well cared for and the villas have been decked out to a very high standard (barring the wasp infestation). The staff were generally polite.

The big issue is the food - it was disgusting. Cold, mismatched and poorly executed, with a tendency to recycle it (today's three bean casserole, is tomorrow's three bean soup). Our biggest let down was the 'food prepared in your villa by a chef'; the reality was cold food served in Tupperware, dropped off by one of the rangers, for us to microwave and serve ourselves.

We felt really let down, given the hype and the cost. Avoid, until they sort the food out.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank mh8748
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GondwanaGameReserve, Marketing Manager at Gondwana Game Reserve, responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Good Day,
Thank you for taking the time to write us a Trip Advisor review.
We appreciate your comments and kind words.
We apologies that you did not enjoy the food. We will take this into account and try our utmost to improve on this.
Look forward to hosting you again in the future.
Kind Regards,
Gondwana Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gondwana Game Reserve

Property: Gondwana Game Reserve
Address: Garden Route | 4 hr drive from Cape Town, Mossel Bay 6500, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Mossel Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 32 Speciality Lodging in Mossel Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Gondwana Game Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gondwana Game Reserve provides the perfect safari break less than 4 hours drive from Cape Town and 45 minutes from George airport along South Africa’s popular Garden Route. The 11,000 hectare private game reserve offers a distinctive malaria-free safari experience in a spectacular mountain and Fynbos landscape adding vivid colour and interest to a Big Five wilderness experience. This exclusive reserve offers guests attentive service, superb cuisine, inspiring interiors, expert game rangers and a fun Junior Ranger Program for the kids. Kwena Lodge boasts 14 Khoi-San inspired Kwena Rooms. Each open plan suite is nestled into its spectacular surrounds with 180-degree views of the spectacular surrounds overlooking 2 waterholes where elephant frequent. The rooms offer sky lights for star gazing, clay pot fireplaces and deep baths to keep you warm upon return from an evening game drive. The spacious lodge facilities include a large infinity pool, chic open-plan lounge and bar, with food and beverage services offered in an elegant dining room set around 2 open fireplaces or in the outdoor boma. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gondwana Game Reserve Hotel Mossel Bay

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