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“Heaven on earth!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge

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andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Level Contributor
85 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Heaven on earth!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2013

Game viewing was fantastic! The big five were all on hand! (This was stop two for game viewing and leaps and bounds ahead of stop one, which was lovely....but we saved the best for last!) The staff and guides are terrific! They have genuine fun and seem to actually enjoy their work! We were made to feel quite at home! The service is great! I tended to spend my afternoons reading or watching the watering hole, whilst the rest of the group was napping, so I sat on the covered veranda outside the shop...water, soda, tea, lemonade, etc. were offered frequently - and greatly appreciated! The food was excellent - the rooms, comfortable and elegant (although the bathroom did tend to be a tad dark - which is the ONLY thing I can say that was at all negative) - we didn't take a dip in the pool, but it looked lovely! I would not hesitate to stay here again, and have suggested it to several friends! It would great for a family with children, or a romantic couples break, or just a group of friends that enjoy a bit of relaxed, elegant luxury! My stay was in 2008 (not an option listed) I am truly hoping to visit again, soon!

Room Tip: We had lodge 7, which was comfortable and well located!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 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 DessertDiva208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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418 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    32
    7
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137
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Woodmere, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2013

Loved andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge. Food was great. Rooms were amazing. Guides were awesome! Momma Connie was sweet and fun! Can't say anything bad about it. There were some people with us on our trip that I would have liked to change...hehehe, but next time we'll just go as a couple or with our close friends....no extended family of family of family. Can't wait to go back! Really, everything was amazing. I look forward to staying at other andBeyond locations as well, but we'll definitely be back to Ngala.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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?
Thank Liz F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2013

Forget cruises or Disney want a family vacation that keeps the kids attention and off their phones, then Ngala Safari Lodge is the place. Ngala’s food great, staff and service superb and smiles were beautiful. Sitting at the outside lounge watching Elephants drink in the watering hole 50 feet away, amazing!! Guides were very knowledgeable and were able to entertain a group from ages 15 to 80. Highly recommend. A family vacation no one will forget and stories forever!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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?
Thank DILLONCLAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2013

Fantastic game viewing - accommodations very nice (4-star, not 5- or 6- star, so if you are into super luxury, stay here anyway since the game viewing is suberb), VERY EXCELLENT food & hospitality! My wife reports that the masseuse is over-the-top terrific! And the game! See photos! We were lucky to see a leopard kill live-and-in-person! The property is owned by WWF, and the animals and game viewing are phenomenal! Excellent trackers and rangers too!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ObjectiveTruth13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Granite Bay, Calif.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2013

My wife and I stayed a few nights at Ngala safari Lodge last May during our month long safari in South Africa. This is a real nice lodge to stay at and the staff is alot of fun to be with. We really enjoyed the camp host MaMa Connie and our butler moses. The room,service and food were excellent. We saw the big five on our games drives plus three cheetahs. A special thanks to our Ranger Derrick, Butler Moses and above all MaMa Connie your the best. Bob & Linda Nichols

  • Stayed May 2012, 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?
Thank granitebaynick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2013

What a fantastic experience. The animals were everywhere but it was the staff and guides that made the experience. We had Fin and Jimmy as our guide and tracker and they were great fun and knew all the birds (they fill in time between big game viewing) and made the experience one not to forget. Would highly recommend this place (and Fin and Jimmy) to all. The accommodation and food was first class also. I stayed at 4 other game lodges on this trip and Ngala was the best (fyi Cheetah Plains was the worst and Tinga Nerina was a close second).

Room Tip: All rooms are great
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • 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?
Thank bigbruceSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2013

Our trip to South Africa was truly the vacation of a lifetime (although I do hope to have the opportunity to repeat it). We spent the first three nights of our trip in Cape Town and then traveled to the Ngala Game Reserve. When planning our trip we did an extensive amount of research on game reserves & we’re happy when we finally booked with Ngala. The booking experience was quite pleasant. All of our emails were responded to in a timely & professional fashion & all of our pre-trip questions were answered.

Ngala did not disappoint. The staff impressed us before we even arrived. We were able to get on an earlier flight from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit. After frantically searching for & figuring out how to use the airport payphones we were able to call the reserve & ask them to pick us up several hours ahead of our planned arrival. When we arrived a Hoedspruit, the reserve transfer was waiting for us – with a cooler full of water!

When we arrived at Ngala (around noon), we were greeted by name & introduced to our butler, Given. He was wonderful! All the staff we encountered were friendly & eager to help in any way possible. We were shown to our “hut” which was quite spacious & nice, although it kind of had a funny smell (but that is really my only complaint about the whole place). We had a tour of the reserve during which time our bags were delivered to our room.

In the afternoon we made our way to the dining area for afternoon tea (cakes/cookies/coffee/juice) & to meet our guide, JP. JP & Sam, our tracker, were absolutely amazing & they knew EVERYTHING about Ngala, Kruger & all the animals, birds & insets we saw. I was continually impressed with their knowledge. All the guides we met were quite friendly but I feel like JP really made the trip for us.

As most of the reviews mention, food is in abundance at Ngala. You will surely not go hungry when you visit. The variety & taste is excellent. We ate & drank very well our entire trip. Be sure to go on the nature walks or for a swim when you are there to get some exercise. The nature walks are a great way to see & learn more about the plants & insects. Although, some of the information can be repetitive on the walks day after day, it’s very interesting to hear the different stories, etc. from the different trackers giving the walk. I highly recommend going as often as possible.

I have to admit I was a bit over cautious when packing for this trip. I used bug proofing spray on our clothes & waterproofed our shoes. I don’t think it was necessary. Although we did wear long pants & shoes during the visit, I felt completely comfortable wearing a tank top during the day when weather permitted. We took Malarone during our stay as a precaution but there has not been a reporting case of malaria in the area for several years. I didn’t even see any mosquitoes when we were there. We brought binoculars with us which were nice to have but not necessary. JP shared his binoculars with everyone else in our vehicle.

As other reviews say, game drives are from like 6am-9:30/10am and from 4pm-7:30/8pm. It’s lots of time in the vehicle. I found it quite comfortable but if tend to get sore sitting for that long a time you might want to considering bringing an extra cushion to sit on. There are only 6 guests per vehicle which I believe was completely acceptable. We had no issues viewing the animals & were lucky to have friendly & personable people to chat with. They provide a wool blanket for each guest in the vehicle as early mornings & evenings did get a little cold.

This was our first (hopefully not last) safari and we were very impressed with all the game we saw. We saw all the Big 5 (buffalo, elephant, rino, lion, and leopard) as well as numerous other animals. We also saw a pack of wild dogs which are very rare with 11 pups so that was a real treat.

I believe a huge selling point for Ngala is that the reserve is not fenced in; animals can come & go as they please. Many of the other reserves are fenced in, so there are few surprises.

Overall, I would highly recommend Ngala. The whole experience was beyond amazing. We truly had an amazing trip & would go back in a heartbeat. Maybe next time we’ll stay at Tented Camp, which is a bit more private & exclusive. We visited & it was really lovely.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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?
2 Thank Annie_08_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge

Property: andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
Address: Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Ngala Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Ngala Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The romance and mystery of Africa come alive in 20 thatched cottages tucked under a dense canopy of tamboti trees at Ngala Safari Lodge. Exuding classical safari charm, the spacious veranda, with its wonderfully comfortable armchairs, looks out onto a popular waterhole. For pure indulgence, the Safari Suite offers an elegant sitting room, private swimming pool and exclusive use of a safari vehicle. Mouth-watering meals are served in the shade of an enormous weeping boerbean tree, while a large swimming pool lies on the edge of thick riverine woodland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ngala Safari Hotel Ngala Private Game Reserve
AndBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge Ngala Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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