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“One of a kind experience.”

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Makakatana Bay Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 March 2010

Stayed here for three nights last September with a group in two suites. The lodge is located in a secluded area of the St. Lucia Wetland Park (also called Simangaliso), within an amazing setting of free standing suites scattered through a forest at the edge of Lake St. Lucia.

The rooms, food and facilities here are just great. Waking in the mornings, we could see reedbuck and impala grazing right out the window from our bed. A short walk out to the lakeshore and you could watch flocks of birds while examining the tracks of hippo and other wildlife that pass by the lodge. Breakfast on the deck and dinner with a fire in the boma were first class events and included visits by birds, monkeys and even bush babies.

The safari guides were experienced and professional, and the lodge's exclusive access to certain areas of the park meant we were the only ones for miles around to enjoy wildlife including giraffe, wildebeast, zebra, various antelope and, of course, the hippos. The friendly service by the staff was top notch and, along with the location, really set this place apart. On the last day, the owner even sat down and shared breakfast with us, and then walked me out to the edge of the property to give me a close up look at a python he had seen going by!

A real adventure in a totally unique place. Would definitely recommend this place to anyone from couples to families.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank gtward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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131 - 137 of 201 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2010

We decided to take a two night break before the onset of Christmas mania, Makakatana Bay Lodge was the ideal choice.
Winding through the bush one almost seems comes across the lodge by accident, it is so complimentary to its surrounds it hardly causes a ripple.
Our accommodation was one of the seven bungalows nestled amongst the trees, totally private and well appointed with a large outdoor shower.
Hearty breakfasts, light lunches served on the deck and and evening meals in the dining room or the beautiful boma decorated with flowers and a roaring fire, were all well prepared and presented.
The location of this lodge offers the rare option of game and bird viewing, cruising the lake or spending the day at the beach, meticulously organised by management.The other option is to meander along the boardwalk and emerge onto a large deck overlooking the lake. Here you can take a leaf out of the hippo's book and wallow in the pool or simply relax, sip something cool and breath in the the gift of nature.
Our warm welcome and the hospitality of management, the quite but happy and helpful demeanor of the dinning and housekeeping staff, the knowledge and patience of our game ranger all combined to make this a most enjoyable stay
The makakatana bay lodge has achieved the perfect balance between catering for your every need and not disrupting the enviroment.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank zululandDurban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2009

staff and service perfect, accomodation high level, food excellent

the only negative point is that the level of the Saint Lucia lake lowers month after month and we cannot have the full day boat safari of the lodge which is replaced by a 3 hours boat safari on the river from saint Lucia with another organisation .

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank jerrySanaryProvence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2009

We stayed here for 4 nights - we were on our own for 2 of the nights. The lodge is very nice, but its the staff that really made it special. You won't see lions or elephants here, but the safari drives are actually just as interesting because you get to learn more about the other wildlife. The rangers were really great. The food was delicious.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank jack64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2008

we stayed for two nights in october 2008 coming from Kruger and travelling through Swaziland south towards the Garden Route. What we really liked was the great hospitality of the place , they really make efforts of making you comfortable. Tours were very enyoable, and food is above average , but once again it is also the special attention that does the trick and makes the difference. Highly recommended for a romantic getaway!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank witenik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2008

This was my third visit to Makakatana Bay in four years and I have to say it was such a treat to arrive to see the water level at its highest point in years. This of course meant that the water activities were operational again and I have to say it was like coming to a new product. Nevermind the beautifully refurbished rooms or the great food. The lake trip to Cape Vidal was outstanding and rounded off the experience perfectly for me. I always felt that due to the low water level the very reason to visit had dissapeared but now its back and so cruising with Hippo's and Crocodiles was back on the menu. We even saw a Fin of a Zambezi Shark in the lake. Pretty impressive stuff! Another thing that really surprised me was the aparent abundance of game. Wildebeest, Zebra, White Rhino, Elephant and not to mention Waterbuck and Reedbuck and they still say it is not a Safari thats just a bonus as the game move freely aroud this huge reserve! All in all third times the charm...they will definately see me again!

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Afri-Travellor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2008

Not sure where the other 2 reviewers stayed but we just returned from a 2.5 week trip to SA and after having stayed at 4 different places, loved this place. We had the good fortune of being the only guests, however, felt that even if they had a full house, they would have provided the same wonderful and attentive service that we received.

We had the honeymoon villa which overlooks a beautiful reed marsh. Wart hogs slumbered right beyond our large, raised deck, reed buck antelopes grazed nearby and birds were plentiful. We were served dinner on our deck by Sue, the manager and Jetro, the chef, on our first night by candlelight(keep in mind it was not our honeymoon but very romantic!) Each course was brought when we rang them and the service made us feel like royalty!

The food was plentiful and marvelous - first rate by anyone's standards. The Zulu ladies that served us were efficient and friendly. Our ranger, David Tait, could not have been more knowledgeable and truly went beyond the call of duty. We felt like friends when we left! Yvette, another manager, is also blessed with the ability to make you feel like family as was Theresa, the front desk manager. All in all - we felt a very special relationship with them all by the time we left.

Nothing at all was missing from this visit. Having been in hospitality for many years, we can be a bit picky. This was one of those expeirences that, even if you tried, you could find no fault.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gillescf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Makakatana Bay Lodge

Address: Lot 3 Makakatana | Western Shores Lake St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park 3935, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Price Range: £361 - £524 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Makakatana Bay Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Makakatana Bay Lodge is the only privately owned lodge set on the banks of Lake St Lucia, KwaZulu Natal, SA within the Isimangaliso Wetland Park world heritage site. It is 3 hours drive North of Durban & easy driving.The Lodge has 6 rooms with only 12 guests, offering guests privacy & intimacy during their stay at Makakatana. The full day boat safari is the benchmark activity offered at the lodge where guests are take on a private boat to experience the Estuary seeking out hippo, crocodile & incredible birdlife. After the boat trip guests enjoy a picnic lunch & game drive enroute home.The other activity that is a must is the Beach safari & exploration of the Eastern shores reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Makakatana Bay Lodge South Africa/KwaZulu-Natal

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