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“Excellent Experience at Londolozi Founder's Camp”

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Londolozi Founders Camp
Certificate of Excellence
washington, dc
Level 4 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent Experience at Londolozi Founder's Camp”
Reviewed 28 May 2013

We had a wonderful experience at Londolozi. My husband did not want to go on this trip and we are now planning to return to Africa with the rest of the family at his insistence, and will surely stop at Founder's. The camp is lovely- very comfortable but not over the top. One gets the sense that the staff is well treated and it shows in the warmth and care they show the guests.

We also had a terrific experience with Dean Smithyman and Elmon Mhlongo- a great ranger and guide team.

We visited briefly the other camps that make up the Londolozi property- and I don't think you could go wrong with any of them - although we really liked the size and feel of Founder's.

Highly recommend!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank story4110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Founders Camp, responded to this review, 31 May 2013
Hi Story4110,

Thank you for your kind review on Founders Camp at Londolozi. It was a wonderful pleasure to have you and we look forward to your return visit. I will be sure to get your kind words to the Founders camp team as well as Dean and Elmon.

Much love,
The Londolozi Family
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134 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
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English first
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2013

Londolozi is about animals and family. If you want an amazing and heart-felt experience where the staff call you by your first name and where the conservation of majestic animals is the primary ethos of the lodge, then Londolozi is the place for you. Londolozi is filled with the legends of Africa. From the Varty family who built and run the five camps at Londolozi (as well as being the inspiration for the particular safari model for Phinda and other reserves throughout Africa) to men like Elmon Mhlongo who have tracked animals in the Londolozi bush for over 43 years, the knowledge that the folks at Londolozi impart to their guests about animals, conservation, politics, economics, art, culture and frankly, anything else sub-Saharan African, is superb. Additionally, the activities at Londolozi support a 250 person village complete with a fully equipped digital learning center serving the Shangaan community who support Londolozi. On nearly every Trip Advisor review of Londolozi, the reviewers are filled with exuberance detailing the wonderful and impeccable accommodations, the plethora of game viewing activities (along with a dearth of other vehicles), and the efforts by the staff to make a guest’s experience memorable. Don’t get me wrong, ALL of that is spot on and more, and the staff go WAY beyond what they have to in order to accomplish their duties for the guests. But aside from the animals, the true heart of Londolozi is its people. Simply put, the staff at Londolozi are the kind of folks to whom you present an open invitation to stay at your home if they ever make it to your hometown. Thank you to our ranger Dean Smithyman, our tracker Elmon Mhlongo, Cry, Jackie, Talley, Lovey, Phil, and everyone else who make Founders Camp at Londolozi the ideal arena to view Africa’s treasures. We are truly indebted to all of you. Kat and Beau.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BeauNOLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Founders Camp, responded to this review, 13 May 2013
Hi Kat and Beau,

Thank you so much for your kind review. It is so wonderful to hear that you feel apart of the family, that is what we strive for each and every day. I will be sure to get your kind words to Dean, Talley, Elmon, Lovey, Phil, Cry and all the staff at Founders camp.

We look so forward to welcoming you back to Londolozi in the near future!

Much love,
The Londolozi Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caracas, Venezuela
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2013

Our 3 days at the Founders Camp were simply great.
The accommodations were excellent, newly remodeled, very spacious, comfortable, with a king size bed with a first class mattress, luxurious linen and great pillows. The bathroom was well appointed, with all kinds of amenities and separate interior and exterior showers. A small round pool equipped with a jacuzzi stream was located on the outside deck and regularly visited by monkeys. The private individual bungalows are located on high stilts which permit an excellent view of the banks of the Sand River and the African bush.
The meeting deck was a bit on the minimalist side, but clean looking and well taken care of.
All the food served was simply excellent, well prepared and creative. The service was absolutely superb and our meals were attended by a wonderfully gracious lady named Tokho, which left a deep and memorable impressions on all the members of our party (6).
The 2 daily game drives were attended by a charming, knowledgeable and fun guide named Jessica who teamed up with a great tracker named Jeffrey (highly recommended team); they certainly made our stay worthwhile and we did get to see all the big fives plus cheetahs, bucks, crocs, zebras, hippos, giraffes, monkeys, warthogs and kinds of birds.
The rest of the staff from the camp manager (Tammy) to the other members of the team were also just great and went out of their way to please us.
The camp has a swimming pool, a small work out room, a library and nice store which sells interesting artifacts and African crafts.
A memorable, repeatable stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Kh445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Founders Camp, responded to this review, 13 May 2013
Hi Kh445,

It is so wonderful to hear that you had such a memorable experience at Founders Camp. I will be sure to pass on your thanks to Tammy, Jess, Jeff, Thoko and the rest of the Founders camp team!

We look forward to your next visit but until then keep an eye on our blog for daily updates.
Much Love,
The Londolozi family
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Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2013

After spend tree days at Londolozi, it is difficult to go back to a normal life. I just got back last night and what a memorable experience!
The staff is exceptional and treat you like family.
I could not imagine better guides than Tom and Jerry!
The facilities left not to be desired! The food was excellent.

Room Tip: Our group did not have any complain.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Sira B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Founders Camp, responded to this review, 26 April 2013
Hi Sira_13,

Thank you for your great review on Founders Camp. We are thrilled to know that your stay was so enjoyable.

We look forward to your next visit.

Much Love,
The Londolozi Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2013

Just got back from S. Africa and our safari there - "Camp" is a ridiculous way to describe Londolozi! It's complete luxury in the middle of the game preserve - Staff is terrific, game drivers and guides extremely well-versed and the animals so plentiful that you can't help seeing "the big five"! We were a group of eight who booked through Classic Africa and age ranged from 27 to 82 and the trip was perfect for every one of us - Recommend it to everyone!

Room Tip: No "bad" rooms
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank words4beth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Founders Camp, responded to this review, 19 March 2013
Hi Words4beth,

Thank you so much for your kind review on Londolozi. We are so glad yo hear that your trip was so enjoyable.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the not to far future!

Much Love,
The Londolozi Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2013

Londolozi boast that they are one of the original luxury camps that others have copied as a model and I think they are justified in that claim. It runs like clockwork with a high staff ratio who genuinely anticipate your every need. It's true luxury travel. The rooms contain everything a visitor could possibly need, especially important if you are doing light aircraft transfers with extremely curtailed luggage limits. The Founders camp is one of the older camps in Londolozi, but following floods about a year ago a lot of the public areas have been rebuilt and so it has a fresh feel. The rooms are villas, not tents, with all the mod cons and large patios with a pergola, outside shower and plunge pool. (Sadly it rained and was unseasonably cold the whole time I was there so I never got to use these amenities. If only they could fix the weather...). All rooms overlook a waterhole so there is animal spotting even from the comfort of your room. The animals in Sabi Sand are wonderful and I think that despite bad weather I had ticked off my entire list within my first few days. The guides are first class, know their park and wildlife intimately and are very respectful and safety conscious (compared to some camps I did later in the trip that were a bit more wild west). I would unreservedly recommend Londolozi and can't wait for an opportunity to get back there. Some places are a great once-in-a-lifetime experience, but Londolozi could become an addiction.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jellylorum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Founders Camp, responded to this review, 3 February 2013
Dear jellylorum,

We are so pleased that you found your time at Londolozi the way safaris should be. Thank you for visiting, it sounds as thought your experience was truly wonderful, except of course for the chilly weather. Unfortunately it is one of the few things which we have no control over.
Great to hear that you like the newly rebuild Founders Camp nonetheless.

I will pass on your comments to the entire Founders Camp team. Thank you again, we sincerely look forward to welcoming you back to stay with us,

Much Love,
The Londolozi Family
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Shanghai
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

We, a family of four, stayed at the Londolozi Founders Camp during December 2012, for 4 nights. The trip was arranged through one of the travel agents that is used by Londolozi. I caught on this camp after happening on their website when frantically looking for suitable safari camps in South Africa while searching (far too late) in the year. Lucky enough for me, there were a few nights still available, and I was incredibly lucky to be able to obtain them.

There are several camps at Londolozi, and we happenned to be put up at the Founders Camp. I do not have any exposure to the others, but I would say that they are just as good from my experience at Foundres.

We flew in from Johannesburg to the small private airstrip nearby, and we had our game vehicle with ranger and tracker waiting for us to take us to the lodge. This was our first meeting with Sandros (ranger) and Lucky (guide), who were friendly, and relatively quiet. We got to know them better in the coming days and nights and more on them later.

We were driven to the camp, setlled in to our lodges, and then had a bite of lunch at the main reception/lodge area where we would then have our future breakfast, lunches and dinners. It is an incredible spot from which to relax, watch the desolate African landscape, occassionally see the buffalo or mischeivous monkeys. Mendrew, who took care of us with absolutely impeccable, friendly service through the rest of our stay, and 'topped up' our coffees, drinks, and whatever else we desired, was great, and we missed him dearly during the rest of our vacations elsewhere, always comparing everyone else to him! The food was perfect, fresh, and very well prepared by great chefs, with something there for every taste.

The lodges were well decorated, with a spa/pool, verada area, gorgeous bathroom, and fireplace. The fridges/pantry were stocked well, and I enjoyed the warm sherry on the fire place mantel every night before I went to sleep! There were always Impala lurking around and it was nice to stand outside the front door quietly and watch them stare back at you.

The game drives - back to Sandros and Lucky - were great. Sandros, with 24 years, and Lucky, with 14 years experience - knew exactly where to go, and had a knack was finding wildlife with impeccable. We would be driving through paths relatively fast and Lucky would raise up his hand, point to the left, and say, "Cheetah" and Sandros would stop. We would look around, wondering what the heck Lucky was point to, and then, hidden beneath layers of grass, impossible to spot to the naked eye (Except for Lucky/Sandros) would be a Cheetah. They were both friend, hospitable, and took care of us very well with their stories from the past, and their good humor. Sandros is a 'name' with previous guests, as we met one in Johannesburg while flying out, and she remebered him from a trip from a decade ago, and talked highly about her experience at the lodge and Sandros. We saw 4 lions, a leopard, tons of wild Buffalo (more than 500) on our first two drives, and by the end of the 4 days, had seen more lions & lioness, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, rhinos - you name it. Every drive was different, exciting and an incredible experience.

We did the village walk, which frankly, was a tad dissapointing, in its lack of being a 'true, original; African vilalge. It would have been nice to go to a nearby village outside camp, that was authentic and would expose our far flung travellers to a true African experience and living. I recommend the walk, but suggest that Londolozi add to the experience with a visit to a nearby village as well.

What else can I say? Just go. Dont worry about it. The camp and the people have an amazing knack of making you feel welcomed and at home without being too intrusive or being too aloof. Somehow they seemed to have found the perfect balance. They left us alone when we needed to be left alone, and they showered us with care when we needed to feel cared for.

Outstanding. Outstanding. Outstanding.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Shanghaiasiafan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
londolozigamereserve, General Manager at Londolozi Founders Camp, responded to this review, 3 February 2013
Dear shangaiasiafan,

Thank you for visiting Londolozi and for your detailed account and review of your time with us. We are pleased to hear that so many elements of your stay were so outstanding and I will be sure to pass on your comments to the Founders Camp team as well as Sandros and Lucky.

I'm sorry that you found the village walk to be below expectation, and to answer your suggestion, yes we do offer a community trip to the villages outside the reserve. These trips, however are focused on the education intiatives we are developing with the rural people of Mpumalanga through the Good Work Foundation. When you next visit we will be sure to organise this for you.

Once again, thank you for such a kind review, we hope to have you return soon!

Much love,
The 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 Founders Camp

Property: Londolozi Founders Camp
Address: Londolozi Private Game Reserve, 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 #2 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enchanting, intimate and child friendly, Founder’s Camp is ideally situated to provide an insider’s view of the secrets of river life. Seven idyllic chalets, repose in the shade of ancient ebony and matumi trees along the banks of the Sand River.This is an African safari in the classic style, replete with black and cream ticking fabric and original mahogany beds. Deep leather couches, military chests, compass safari lamps and a riverside lounge sala, create a mood of easy luxury and laid back welcome for discerning families and travelers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Londolozi Founders Camp South Africa/Londolozi Private Game Reserve

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