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Gondwana Game Reserve
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Reviews (971)
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All reviewskwena lodgegame reserveeco campcape townbush villafree roamingevening drivesafari experienceflora and faunahot towelsmale liongreat safarithe main lodgehis knowledgebeautiful accommodationfantastic experiencebeautiful animals
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570 - 575 of 971 reviews
Reviewed 11 May 2014

The setting is stunning and the Kwena Lodge accommodation is really good. The game rangers were very knowledgeable and the restaurant staff were obliging and friendly. The organisation is doing good work in reintroducing species that were hunted out of the region many years ago, and to do that is very expensive. Bravo for that. It's a pleasure to be able to get the safari experience in the Western Cape rather than travelling to the opposite end of the country.

Where the lodge needs to raise its standards is in the kitchen and in the management. There was no obvious General Manager in control, and other guests were complaining of things not being up to scratch. The food wasn't quite up to the mark and the menus could have been broader. South Africa does tend to concentrate heavily on the red meat, and the other dishes on offer rarely seemed attractive. We have stayed in game lodges in the Waterberg and Mpumalanga where the style tends to be different: meals are at set times and all guests tend to eat round the same table with the game rangers. At Gondwana you are on your own and it is up to guests to organise their own mealtime social gatherings.

Room Tip: Kwena Lodge to have accommodation near the centre of things. Bush Villas for accommodation which is more like your own home a short drive from the restaurant and bar.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Peter C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Yorkierose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank TomB120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Vineet S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 !
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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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 reviewResponded 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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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