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“The best holiday ever!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Londolozi Varty Camp

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Londolozi Varty Camp
Certificate of Excellence
london
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“The best holiday ever!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2014

My family and I have just had the best family holiday ever!! ...and we've been lucky enough to have been on a few.

Andrea and Euce (great name for a trekker - pronounced U-C) were amazing. They are a great team - with Andrea's wealth of knowledge about near enough everything in the safari and Euce's eagle eyes - even spotting a tiny chameleon!

My children (2 girls aged 12 and 14) did not want to leave. They really enjoyed finding animal foot prints with Emma and making plaster casts of them.

We were so lucky to see SO many animals in the safari - every time we felt it couldn't get any better, it did! Leopards, Cheetahs, Hyenas, Lions, Wild dogs, Zebraa, Giraffes, Hippos, Rhinos, Impalas (just a few!).... and they're just the ones that I remember the names of!

We are 100% definitely going to return and will continue to tell everyone about it and encourage them to go for many years to come.

...more memories... great names of some of the marvelous team "Excellent", "Witness"...
...Margaret was lovely who served us dinner with her lovely manner

Many thanks too must go to Jason and Justin for heading up such a great team.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Varty Camp, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Dear JP,

Thank you for writing such a spectacular review about Londolozi Varty Camp! It is wonderful to hear that your family had a good stay with us! I will be sure to send your words to the entire Varty camp team.

Much love,
Your Londolozi family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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165 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2014

The road to Londolozi is long. It's long, it's bumpy, it's peppered with elephant and rhino droppings, and the large streams that flow across it will test your nerve. I needed all of the ground clearance of my Honda CRV, and in a couple of spots I wished for something a bit more robust. I'm not complaining about the drive- it's a beautiful drive, and if you're driving in Kruger and the surrounding area, you'll come to expect some interesting "roads". I only mention the route through the park because of the mind-bending, jaw-dropping end of the road. To drive through such a wilderness followed by this dizzying transition... My arrival at Londolozi was, hands down, the most amazing "destination arrival" I've ever experienced.

Within a space of about 50 meters the wild and dense bushveld parted like a curtain and we were suddenly driving on a freshly raked gravel path. There were no cars in sight (Londolozi makes sure of that)- instead, we were greeted by a perfectly manicured yard, large, statuesque trees (along with actual statues), and most of the hotel staff, formally arrayed along the driveway like sailors on the deck of a ship. We felt like kings or heroes returning from a war, our CRV a limousine. There were smiles and handshakes all around, and I was moved. It would almost be worth it to drive there, be greeted by the staff, and immediately leave. Almost.

Our bags and our car were both quietly whisked away- we had nothing to carry, nothing to worry about, and we had the full attention of about 5 staff members including the manager. The manager himself took us on a personal tour of the grounds and our room. Others have talked about the beauty of the place, and I won't belabor the point. I'll just say that my already high expectations were exceeded at every turn.

We had arrived at 1pm promptly, and I advise you to do the same. That will allow you some time to unpack, decompress, and prepare for lunch and the afternoon game drive (which occurs every day at 3:30pm, like clockwork). As though our day had not been charmed enough, we encountered a leopard on our very first drive- a large male who had only rarely been glimpsed in the area before. A solitary leopard on patrol is truly a sight to behold. You'll see.

Do this if you can afford it. Just do it. If you can't afford it, save up. A person should see the things that you'll see here, if only just once. A person should be treated this well sometimes.

You'll see.

Cheers and Safe Travels,
Patty

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PattyDumpling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Varty Camp, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Dear PattyDumpling,

It is wonderful to hear that the treacherous drive was worth it and that you were well looked after and the drive became a distant memory during your stay!

We look forward to having you with us in the future, maybe an arrival by plane? I will be sure to share you kind words with all at Varty camp.

Much love,
Your Londolozi family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Urdorf, Switzerland
Level Contributor
319 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2014

I don't know where to start ... from the moment we arrived we were overwhelmed by their hospitality and level of attention to detail. Upon arrival, Will, one of the camp managers, was waiting for us and took us for a drink and a welcome chat. We felt straight away welcome and appreciated and this is exactly what we needed after a long journey that started almost 24 hours earlier when we left for our honeymoon.

After a brief introduction we were taken to our lodge, which was amazing. Big, clean, modern, it contained all the facilities that one requires, it has its own plunge pool. It has privacy and a beautiful view over the river. We really couldn't ask for more, but we did receive more ... much more.

The game drives were fantastic. Eckson was our tracker and Sandros our ranger, due to their capable skills we managed to see plenty of lions and leopards, besides numerous other animals. At one occasion we actually went into another game-reserves area to track some lions (with their permission of course) and we found 3 of the coalition brothers. We had never been on safari before, but if this is the standard, we will be back.

Back at the main camp we got spoiled like crazy. We had a personal butler, Alex, who would jump through hoops to please you and he was great fun to talk to. His mood and attitude is infectious and had a huge positive effect on our stay.

On our second night, at dinner there was a performance by the 'local employees' which you have to see. Afterwards we were taken back to our room, where they had surprised us by putting tealights and rose petals around the bath, which was filled and they gave us a bottle of bubbly. So we couldn't resist and jump in off course for a relaxing bath.

The next day they told us not to go for lunch to the usual place as they took us to a secluded spot along the river where they left us with a buffet and protected from the environment in a treehouse by ourselves. This was just fantastic!

When it comes to photography, they were also top of the market. We had some problems with our settings and they directed us to the Photo-hub. Here Richard sat with us and gave us some great tips! During the game drives they will always attempt to put you in the best position to take the best photograph possible in the situation. On our final morning we even had some pictures printed to frame at home, which they do there as well.

A big thank you to Sandros, Alex, Jason, Eckson and last but not least Will, whom we spent some great times with, when we did have a spare moment and who always came to check up on us if everything was alright and who remembered my wife's favorite drink. We will definitely come back.

Room Tip: Speak to them about what is suitable for you, for us it fitted with our requirements, but we were lu...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ddoron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Varty Camp, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Dear Doron D,

It was wonderful to have you with us at Varty camp and to hear that you had a good stay. I will be sure to send your kind words onto Will, Sandros, Alex, Eckson and all at Varty Camp that made your stay so special.

Much love,
Your Londolozi family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth
Level Contributor
110 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2014

We finished our African experience with a four night stay at Varty Camp after a recommendation from friends. What an absolute great experience it was and definitely the biggest highlight of our trip. From the moment that we were met at the entrance by Will to the minute that Jason said goodbye as we got into our transfer vehicle will be time that we'll remember forever. Will and Jason gave specialist treatment to all guests as if they were the only ones there. We felt very looked after and a surprise visit to a tree house and left alone for lunch up there was very romantic indeed even if we have been married for a few years now.

We visited the staff campsite and learnt about the wonderful things that the Londolozi family are doing for the communities in the area as well as the preservation of the animals in the region. All the people we encountered were so lovely and friendly, none so more than our game Ranger Ntsako (sorry and spelling) and Tracker Robert. These two had known each other for a long time and worked really well together with both absolutely loving what they did, their humour was contagious.

Accommodation at Varty is just excellent and the plunge pool and private balconies overlooking the river were fantastic on those hot afternoons. Still couldn't manage to clean out the mini bar, but then they cheated a little by keeping on filling it up! Bathroom was excellent and the evening they set the bath up with rose petals, candles and bubbly in an ice bucket was definitely another romantic highlight.

Food and drinks suppled was also superb and in massive proportions, just don't come if you want to lose some weight! But the highlight must be the game drives, as we were really there to see the animals. There are a number of reviews indicating how good this is and we're in total agreement, two drives a day and every one a different experience. In our four nights we managed to squeeze in seven game drives including the first when we were the only two passengers. There was no question of missing any even with the 5am wake up call and one morning a bit cool with some drizzle and rain. We managed to see all the big 5 and all in the same day on one occasion.

Ntsako and Robert were excellent at there work and the first day saw us "earn" the pink poach as Ntsako got us bogged in the mud about 30m from two male Lions. They weren't allowed to get out of the Landrover due to the proximity of the Lions and we had to be rescued with a tow from another driver. There was much joy however when the following day another driver "earned" the pink prize!

Highly recommended and although not cheap, it is very good value for what you get.

Good luck Will with your question!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Aussie_Tourer_62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Varty Camp, responded to this review, 6 April 2014
Dear Aussie_Tourer_62,

It is fantastic to hear that you made such a wonderful connection with Jason, Will, Nstako (spelling was correct ;)) and Robert during your time at Varty Camp. Your special words of thanks will be given to them and appreciated greatly.

We would love to have you with us again in the near future for a few more romantic surprises.

Much Love,
Your Londolozi family
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San Francisco, Calif
Level Contributor
136 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2014

There isnt much to add to all of the previous superlative reviews: Londolozi offers a really wonderful safari experience and I feel very privileged to have spent four nights there.

This was my third safari experience in southern Africa in the last 6 years. Varty's management staff were among the youngest I had ever encountered at a camp, but all three managers (Jeremy, Jason and Simone) were outstanding, attentive, friendly, professional and fully competent in all respects. Our original ranger became indisposed after the first day so the head ranger, Kate, took over and was superb. Together with our tracker Bennet, she ensured that we got the most out of our twice daily rides, listening carefully to our inquiries and often anticipating our questions. And that special pre-arranged sundowner in the bush is not an experience one should miss!

It's almost a cliche but Londolozi's leopards were abundant everywhere (even found in the trees sometimes) and we also had several sightings of the parks lions, even seeing the cheetahs in neighboring Singita once. I saw large numbers of animals I would normally expect to see on safari in southern Africa, but it was the first time I had seen all Big Five on one trip, and then some.

Accommodations were also great: I had the standard cabin which was nicely appointed, with great air-conditioning which I could keep on all night even though I am a very light sleeper. But the piece de resistance for me was the private plunge pool (4.5 feet high) on my deck, which I used every day and which was gently heated by the natural sunlight during my visit. A very refreshing change from the usual "outdoor showers" at the other camps I have visited.

The food is also superlative -- copious amounts for breakfast, a generally healthier spread for lunch, and really creative offerings at dinner. My one concern was that dinner was normally held by candlelight, which lent a great ambiance to the meal but sometimes meant I couldnt really see what I was eating. Hmmm, was that chicken I just had?

Wi-fi in the rooms was not functional at all while I was there. Instead, you could easily access it near the center of the camp just outside the TV and computer rooms, and frankly I didnt mind going there to check my email. I might otherwise have spent more time "connected" on this trip, which sort of runs counter to why I went there in the first place.

I flew via a single engine plane from Mpumulunga/Nelspruit on Odie air. The pilot was 23 years old, but did a great job getting me there. Still, some might find the tiny plane experience a little unsettling, especially if you dont like flirting with your mortality. Federal Air returned me to Johannesburg in a larger comfortable (8 seater?) plane. Despite the warnings about baggage limitations and the type of suitcase one should not bring, it didnt seem like this was consistently enforced and many people came with bags that were clearly in violation of the proferred guidelines. That's just something to think about.

Finally, I had tried to make my booking directly on the Londolozi website but somehow got diverted to a booking agency in Cape Town, Icon Expeditions. My experience with their agent led me to conclude that she was not competent, provided very inadequate information that required me to constantly ask for more information, and ultimately caused me to have to phone her in Cape Town to seek clarification before departure. If you somehow get referred to Icon, I suggest you simply ignore them and try to make your reservation again on the Londolozi website. In all of my many years of international travel, I have never ever encountered such an unhelpful travel agent. Ever.

Room Tip: I had room 4 which was closest to the camp center. It also had a great view of the river. I heard th...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AbeLincoln115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, Manager at Londolozi Varty Camp, responded to this review, 18 March 2014
Dear AbeLincoln115,

What a wonderful review! Thank you for taking the time to send such thorough feedback and we will make sure that all points are seen to before your next visit ;).
I will be sure to send on your kind words to Jason, Jeremy, Simone, Kate and all the staff at Varty camp.

Much love,
Your Londolozi family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2014

We're a couple from Sydney Australia who honeymooned for three nights at Londolozi in February 2014.

This place is truly magical! We couldn't get enough and were sad to leave. We absolutely want to return.

The game drives were simply stunning and made all the more special by Ranger Richie - what a great guy in every sense. In another life, we think we would be good friends with him. A real gentlemen, so knowledgeable, hilarious and wonderfully passionate about his work. We still think he should write a book (please let him know!). He has incredible stories to share.

The food was a real highlight - always. We wish we could have brought back recipes with us. Breakfasts were incredible - particularly the muesli and berries!

The service is excellent. Jason has just started at Londolozi and we thought he was a perfect fit - very down to earth (and an Aussie!). We did actually feel Varty Camp was missing a bit of female presence. However, on the day we were departing Simmone had just returned from holidays and we were immediately impressed.

There were some special touches as far as our accommodation for our honeymoon and we were incredibly grateful. The furnishings and Ralph Lauren interior decorations are phenomenal.

If you are planning a holiday put Londolozi on the top of your list! Complete luxury in a natural environment. No better place to see the Big 5 - and particularly lost of cats, and our favourite - the leopard!

Thanks again for an awesome experience!

Nikki and Tim James

Room Tip: Try to get one with a view of the river!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, Manager at Londolozi Varty Camp, responded to this review, 18 March 2014
Hi Nicki and Tim,

It is so wonderful to hear that you had such an amazing stay with us at Varty Camp. I will be sure to share you sentiments about Richies story telling as I am sure he will be extremely honoured to hear! I will also make sure that your kind words are forwarded onto Jason, Simone and all the staff at Varty camp.

We hope to see you again soon!

Much Love,
Your Londolozi family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2014 via mobile

Having been to Londolozi a few times before, this was a special trip as we were celebrating my aunts birthday. We arrived on December 30, and on New Years Eve, despite the preparations for the party that evening, Duncan (the ops manager) and his team managed to arranged a special sundowner in the middle of the bush - brilliant. By the way, the New Yeras Eve party was the best I had in many years (I hate New Years Eve Parties), simply BRILLIANT, especially with Duncan as the MOC. We drove with Jessica (great to see more female guides) who is, by the way, Duncan's partner, highly recommended, ask for her when booking. Londolozi is great when money is no object, but Vary camp offers relatively small rooms by comparison to other lodges, especially when visiting with a child. I would recommend Founders Camp, which was rebuilt after being flooded a short while ago. Anyway, highly recommended, and after a few visits it's like visiting friends.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Martin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Varty Camp, responded to this review, 17 February 2014
Dear Martin P,

It was so special to have you with us again and for such a special celebration! It is like having close friends visiting when you have been before!

We look forward to many more fun times with you and the family!
Much love,
Your Londolozi family
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 Londolozi Varty Camp

Property: Londolozi Varty Camp
Address: Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Varty Camp is the home of an African safari holiday. All rooms have private swimming pools framed by timber decks that overlook the riverine bush. The living spaces are raised off the ground and shaded under a cathedral of trees. The camp has a pleasingly down-to-earth quality and the emphasis on family heritage means that children always have a place at Varty Camp.Varty Camp is also home to the original Sparta Hunting Camp, our boutique, the Cardio Vascular Room, Massage Treatment Room and our Library. Guests from all Camps are invited to make use of these facilities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Londolozi Varty Camp Hotel Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Londolozi Varty Camp South Africa/Londolozi Private Game Reserve

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