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“Honeymoon Safari”

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Gondwana Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Honeymoon Safari”
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Stunning. 12,000 hectares of beauty and beasts. Excellent dome shaped private accommodation. tranquil, peaceful and perfect. open planned rooms with open showers and views from the bathroom. Good, simple food, perfect for where you were. The safari drives were simply magic, a great guide called James to show us the lions, rhino, giraffe, hippo, zebra, impala, elephants, all pretty up close and personal! Amazing experience. Made to feel welcome and not pressured into anything at all. Laid back luxury at its best. Added bonus of a honeymoon picnic in the "safe zone" which was another great experience in "the wild". Highly recommend a safari here. 2 or 3 nights is plenty long enough.

Room Tip: All great, we had the furthest room out, which made it feel a bit more special and private.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andy 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, 18 July 2014
Good Day
Thank you for taking the time to write us a Trip Advisor Review.
We are pleased that you had a wonderful stay and honeymoon and that you particularly enjoyed the private picnic.
We thank you for the compliments to our guide and will be sure to pass this on.
We hope to welcome you back soon.
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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Pau, France
1 review
Reviewed 9 June 2014

I am an South African living in france and i took my girlfriend on her first safari experience to GONDWANA Game Reserve for the June holidays. On arrival the reception was exceptional and very friendly. They took their time explaining us how everything works and what we can do. The game drives was amazing and the Rangers were very professional about their work. They went out of their way to find the animals and we saw all of the BIG 5 except the leopard but thats commen lol !! The scenary is absolutely beautiful and offcourse one off the most beautiful areas in South Africa. The food ( breakfast, lunch, dinner) was the best ever. We got engaged on a romantic picnic organised by the Lodge and it was mind blowing and something very special. Rooms was always cleaned while were on Safari. I recommend this LIFE time experience to everyone and cause of GONDWA i am proud to be South African thanks GONDWANA

Room Tip: We stayed in the KWENA Huts and they are amazing if going as an romantic couple. All in the room is...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Andre H
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, 18 July 2014
Good Day,
Thank you for taking the time to write us a Trip Advisor Review.
We are pleased that you had a wonderful stay and congratulations on your engagement.
Thank you for allowing Gondwana to be a part of such a special occasion.
We thank you for your compliments and hope you will come back to your home country and visit us again soon.
Kind Regards,
Gondwana Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kristiansand, Norway
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

If you travel to South Africa (or any African country) you owe it to yourself to spoil yourself silly by going to a game park. It might be expensive, but IMO worth every penny spent. My travel agent “Get Africa Travel” (thanks Elin) recommended this park as it is within driving distance from Cape Town and have possibilities for seeing the Big Five.

The hutted lodge was very nice, the views from the lodge were fantastic, although we did not see any animals close or in a distance, but the landscape was as beautiful as any I have seen to date. The Hutted lodge had two separate beds, so you can create that ditch between them so it doesn’t get to cozy at night, perfect for a couple of friends traveling together like we did, a couple of chairs, table, fridge and a bathroom with a shower, bath tub and toilet. If anything was lacking in the hut it was curtains to cover the shower/bathtub area. Traveling with a friend it would be nice to have some privacy when showering.

We were on a full board, meaning we had in our price game drives (two per day), three meals of very high quality. But wine, nor water was included in our meal. Water being a necessity I do feel that given the price we paid for full board, it should have been included, especially since the tap water according to the waitress were not safe to drink. However I do believe the water in the fridge was included.

Our game drives were exiting, but it is a fact that there are not too many animals here, we had to drive around for a long time before even spotting something as common as a Zebra. I asked the game ranger about this, and accepted his answer that this is a fairly new park, building up a new park involves a lot of politics and even more important to monitor the sustainability of the park, overcrowding is just as bad as having a park with no animals in it. Quality above quantity is key here. That said, when the Zebra decided to show itself it was a very welcome and exiting sighting. During our drives over four days we saw about everything that park had to offer; Hippos, Lions, Zebra, Spring book, Elephants, Rhinos, Giraffes, Baboons and many other species, however sighting and traces of the elusive Leopard were not be seen anywhere. There is no doubt that Gondwana really care about their animals, not because they are expensive to buy (but that too obviously), but given the attention to small details; like assessing every approach instead of just rushing in, a real concern showing when one of the hippos were thought to have injured himself in a fight, and not using the spotlight directly at the animals at night. For me this is very important as bright lights might damage their eyes and give the animals a huge disadvantage if predators were stalking nearby.

There is one thing I have to “complain” about, the hours between breakfast and the afternoon drive, there not much to do. Since there are Lions and other dangerous animals here we were not allowed for our own safety to hike around the park as we pleased. And since it’s “winter” here in Cape Town, using the pool is not an option. SPA and personal welfare, yes, if that would please you, but I travel to a game park to experience things, not to have a massage. Give us boys (and girls) who want something more an option midday, a hiking trip with a game ranger would have been fantastic.

If given the chance, would I go back to Gondwana; Yeah I might, as this park will grow as time goes by. Perhaps with a little more to do midday, a few more, and wider range of animals and this park will be just up there with parks I have visited in the Kwa-Zulu Natal area. If in Cape Town (or any other nearby city) pondering about a game park I can highly recommend Gondwana.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Petter T
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, 18 July 2014
Good Day,
Thank you for taking the time to write us a Trip Advisor Review.
We are pleased that you had a wonderful stay and enjoyed the accommodation and game drives.
We apologise for your complaint regarding activities between breakfast and lunch. We do offer Fynbos walks and hiking as well as mountain biking and fishing at an additional cost. These activities are however weather permitting. We have noted your complaint about the bottled water.
Thank you again and we hope to welcome you back to Gondwana soon.
Kind Regards,
Gondwana Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

I was accompanied by my wife and 3-year old daughter and we stayed at the Gondwana Game Reserve only for one night on 13th May 2014 (wish we had more time). The directions to the reserve provided in the reservation details were simple and easy to follow. The place is about 30-40 mins off N2 on-route to Mossel Bay. Once inside Gate No. 1, it can take upto 30 mins to reach the reception. Thats the time it took us since there was no rush and we enjoyed every bit of the beautiful surroundings. Even though we had not mentioned our time of arrival, the staff seemed to be so well prepared to receive us. It was as if they were waiting for us. We immediately proceeded for lunch and were treated to delicious local cuisine. The chef comes and takes your preferences personally. He also checked on our dinner preferences. We had two game drives during the stay and the ranger took fabulous care each time. The safari expereince was fabulous. We stayed at the Bush Villa which was HUGE. A large living and dining area complimented by 2 beautiful bedrooms. Given that we were travelling with a 3-year old, the resort management offered to provide us an in-villa dining expereince. This meal expereince was outstanding. Even though it was raining the next morning, we went on the safari and our ranger helped us with water resistant blankets. We spotted more animals during our morning safari than the evening one on the previous day. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a luxury safari expereince in South Africa. The staff are brilliant and go the distance in looking after you.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank PrashantKhullar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Levernois
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

With 5 children aged 1 to 13, we have spent to days that have been previous moments and opportunity to collect many memories to bring back home.
Personnalised stay, private dining room for special family events, the 13 of us have been completely charmed.
Maybe a little food in the kitchen of the lodges would help, before going on safaris early in the morning.
Very convenaient to be able to go in a game reserve without the obligation to take malaria pills.

Room Tip: Lodges are big enough to host a whole family!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MelanieGallant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 May 2014

The Gondwana Game Reserve is truly exceptional - from the location to the facilities to the staff to the food - every detail of our stay was perfect. The reserve is set in a beautiful, remote location that offers amazing game drives and panoramic views not seen at other area reserves. Our game driver was also exceptional - he literally tracked the animals and got us within feet of lions and cheetahs (and many more)! The meals were delicious and specially prepared by the reserve's chef, who came to the table to describe the offerings in person. The lodging hut was also wonderful, luxurious yet with a rustic feel, and included a fireplace, rain shower, and bathrobes. During out stay our every need was attended to by friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful staff. It was an overall amazing place, and I highly recommend visiting Gondwana to anyone considering an authentic safari experience in South Africa.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Katie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2014

There is much to like about Gondwana. The setting is amazing, the accommodation went beyond expectation - we were staying a family villa, not far from the lodge, our ranger - PG - was lovely but there were one or two things which could have been improved. Like a recent reviewer, I was unaware there were beauty treatments available until I noticed a list on the reception desk. Things like that should be explained upon arrival (I realise a spa is not necessarily what people go on safari for, but guests should be made aware of what is on offer).

The food was a little hit and miss - some meals had menus, some were buffet, some, we got what we were given! Strange. Children under 12 can't eat in the restaurant at night so your meal is delivered to your villa. Not a problem, but they did forget to ask what we wanted in advance on the second day until prompted, and on both nights, fairly substantial parts of our meal were forgotten. The front man was charming but I didn't feel 'looked after' as I have in other lodges.

The other disappointment was the wildlife. We were lucky to see lions, cheetahs a rhino, plus a few buck and giraffe and zebra, but it really did take a lot of looking. I understand it is a big place, but I feel there should be a little more chance of actual game viewing. The other disappointment was that the website clearly states there is a Junior Ranger Programme which I thought would be perfect for my 11 and 9 year olds. It doesn't really exist. When pressed, PG prevaricated, and then said he could take them fishing if we wanted. Not really what was implied on the website.

That said, the location was lovely, the staff were polite, the villa fantastic and it was a very big part of our holiday, so I am glad we went.

Room Tip: If you stay in a family villa, request one near the lodge. Some of them are some distance away. Be...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Susie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 #2 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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