We recently stayed for three nights in the Royal Suite Tent in the Komati Tented Lodge.
After receiving the confirmation of the reservation it is stated clearly that you have to be at the premises in time as you will be picked up at 13:00 hrs. So no one even dares to arrive late. The relaxed drive from OR Tambo International in Johannesburg took us exactly 3 hours, and we were well in time. After entering the secured gate you are directed to a parking area with a small 'bus stop' structure, a few seats and a bathroom. Since nobody is welcoming you here, and you simply have to wait to be collected, a nice gesture would be a small fridge with some cold drinks. Maybe something to be organized? Well on time staff with game viewing Range Rovers as well as a pick up truck came to collect the waiting guests and their luggage, and from there on the fun begins.
The drive to the tented camp is already a great start of what you are about to expect in this reserve, as numerous animals can already be spotted in the approx. 30 minutes drive to the camp. Here you are greeted by a group of singing staff members, wet towels and a welcome drink. Staff by the way is one of the big assets here. From the managers couple to kitchen staff, always time for a chat, greet and smile. Next you are 'escorted' to your tent while your luggage is being delivered. The beautiful and large tents are placed on wooded decks. Our accommodation consisted of two tents. One being the bedroom with an inside shower and outside bath. The other one with a lounge and flat screen TV (no satellite)with DVD player (which we didn't use), toilet and outside shower. Furthermore, there is a lower deck with a splash pool and two sunbeds: beautiful! Further on the premises you will find two big tents for catering purposes, a shop and an excellent spa. My wife loved her treatment and I went back a second time for a nice back and neck massage.
At around three o clock you are expected in one of the two catering tents for an afternoon tea. Coffee, tea but also cold and alcoholic drinks are served together with several choices of snacks and sweet stuff, which changes daily. Really nice. Then it's off for the afternoon game drive. Our game ranger Heinrich is a fantastic guy. Friendly, knowledgeable and with a vision you don't find often with human beings: he spotted lions from a distance so far that we couldn't find them using binoculars. During the five drives we made we saw plenty of buck species, Giraffes, Zebra's, Rhino's, Elephants and Lions, to name but a few. They have four out of the Big Five. No Buffalo's are currently present, but plans are in the making to reintroduce them. We also didn't see Leopard and Cheetah, but had some other beautiful encounters such as the Martial Eagle, Fish Eagle, Jackals (one with cubs) and a large brown Hyena. During the last game drive we had a fantastic close encounter with the lions, on top of a rock. In between the drives, Heinrich took us to some very nice spots for a sundowner in the wild: all in all stunning times.
Then it was back to the camp for a drink followed by dinner. Most of the time four course meals but conceptually changing daily. The first night we had a set menu, the second night a small buffet with amongst others a delicious chicken and prawn curry. Our third night we had an outside dinner with big camp fires and a great atmosphere. Food to my opinion was a bit hit and miss. Excellent main courses, amongst others also a perfectly cooked beef fillet, were followed by desserts that didn't deserve that title. One night the announced home made ice cream was drowned and killed in condensed milk, while another night the chocolate mousse appeared to be an instant product with a huge overdose of sugar. Oops, really bad! However, we didn't mind skipping the desserts after all the nice food you are offered during the day. Early mornings at 06:00 hrs delicious warm muffins are served with coffee and tea before setting off for the morning drive. After returning to the camp there is the 09:00 hrs breakfast, which offers a daily changing choice of nice dishes.
N'komazi Game Reserve is great. It's not really big in hectares in comparison to other Game Reserves we have visited in the past, but it offers Nature in full force. The Komati Tented Camp is stunningly located alongside the Komati River and very well appointed. I believe the reintroduction of Buffalo will be an asset to make the game drives even more spectacular, but there is plenty to see. As said, staff here is a true asset. We will gladly return to this place to hopefully enjoy the same hospitality and perhaps even more animals to spot.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Known as "the place of water," Nkomazi Game Reserve is a destination of outstanding scenic beauty. It is an ecological Aladdin’s Cave of natural science, from its towering ancient mountains to its broad river valleys and impressive grasslands. Victorian military "Africa Campaign" styled tents blend into the landscape. Furniture creates a traditional "Out of Africa" feel with all the added comforts and luxuries of 5-star accommodation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Komati Tented Lodge - Nkomazi Game Reserve Hotel Badplaas