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“Fantastic lodge and game viewing”

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andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Hope Island, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
417 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Fantastic lodge and game viewing”
Reviewed 1 April 2013 via mobile

We have just returned from Ngala tented lodge. We had the most amazing experience. The tents are very spacious and have everything you need including a safe which I've read in another review someone didn't have, my only complaint would be the chairs on the decks, they are hard and uncomfortable. The food is good, the chef really went out of his way to accommodate us because there is a very limited selection of food, they have gone "fine dining" which we really don't like especially in the bush. We are used to having a lunch tray in the bush (most of the lodges do this, they put a selection of meat and salads on a tray) these trays are normally varied and delicious and now at tented camp you get two options but as our first lunch day both options were fish and we don't eat much fish so the chef made us a salad. Dinner was also still good but disappointing as again it was fine dining and not the usual food you get in the lodges although one night we had a bush dinner and that was fantastic so one night out of three our dinner was great. We also had a bush breakfast one morning which was incredible, best bush breakfast we have ever had just a shame the lunches and dinners are limited and not as good as other private lodges we have been to.
We requested a ranger and tracker (Alan and Farnie) from Ngala main camp and they came to tented camp to drive us for our stay, we really appreciated the lodges going out of their way to do this for us. The staff at Ngala lodges are fantastic, they are all so friendly and make you feel at home and nothing you ask them is too much trouble, truly the best staff we have encountered in the very many private game lodges we have been to.
The game viewing was unbelievable, we still cannot believe the sightings we had. We saw 21 lions bringing down 2 impala and then eating them and fighting over the meagre meal, was so exciting, we saw these and other lions on most of our drives, out of 6 drives we saw cats on 5 drives often more than one pride of lions and on 2 drives we saw cheetah and leopard on 3 drives. We saw 2 porcupines but this is rare, hyena taking a stolen duiker kill out of a shallow watering hole then they took it to their cubs who ate and fought over it. We saw 9 wild dogs kill an impala and they eat quickly but before they could finish 3 lions stole their kill and fought over it. We go to game lodges quite often and we realise this is not normal game viewing we were extremely fortunate to experience all of this in one weekend. I am already looking at dates to return to Ngala tented.

Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank traveller77722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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274 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
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English first
London
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2013 via mobile


What a fabulous place- the personalised service and little surprises they throw your way, the delicious food and the super design. Manager Francois, butler Richard and ranger Derrick went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. The wildlife viewing was good- although given the thick growth and tall grass at this time of year, it is harder to spot animals. The location on the banks of a river is very peaceful and attracts animals in the dry season. The free laundry is a nice addition, and they even mended my husband's shoes for free.
I would give this place 6 out of 5!

  • Stayed March 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank Roksanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greensboro, NC
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2013

Just returned from our 5 night safari in Kruger area. 2 nights were spent at Ngala Tent Camp. It is a lovely camp, very refined and sophisticated. Tents are fabulous. Folks complained about the A/C but ours chilled us out just fine. The service was generally good, but a bit spotty at times. For example, they rushed through the check in and didn't tell us the water from the facet wasn't drinkable. I read that in the information sheet I found in the room. Rather important to mention in my opinion. The food was very good, if a bit limited. The only option for lunch one day was ribs, and there were only two options for dinner, lamb or trout. I expected a few more choices. They do try very hard to please, however, with breakfast in the bush, and lovely sundowner cocktails. Unfortunately the animals were not the most prevalent while we were there. This happens, as there are no fences between Kruger and the private reserves. Our tracker and guide tried hard to find them, but you cannot find them if they are not there. That can be an issue anywhere, but it was striking for us because the other reserve we visited prior to Ngala had lots of animals. We saw the big 5 there almost every day. As I read the reviews of the two reserves again, most folks comment about the tents, the food and drinks, and the service at Ngala and the animals seem to be secondary. The reverse is true at the other camp. So I would do your homework when picking a camp and know what it is you are primarily interested in. The other guests at Ngala seemed pleased with their animal experience, but I don't know if that was because they didn't know it could be better or because they were not as crazy for the animals as we were.

Room Tip: I think a few of the tents have a few of the river bed, but most just face the central area. Not a l...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cindy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2013

manager & guide trying more to impress staff from HQ than clients
tents are nice if by the river otherwise noisy & no view. food ok but without delicacy
Don’t go in summer, rain season, risk of flood, most of animals are gone except spiders

Room Tip: Ask for a view on the river
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank gaellec73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2013

Everything about this hotel/ experience was absolutely amazing! From the staff, to the lodge, to the rooms, the food and of course the game drives! We loved every minute of it and it was truly the greatest excursion my husband and I have ever been on. Would love to go back again someday!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Courtney M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
52 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2013

This is our second trip with &Beyond and they have yet to disappoint. This was no exception.

Tented camp was rebuilt in September 2012 after a major flood and the 9 tents are beautifully appointed and more like small apartments. We were in tent #3. If you like more privacy and want to be close to the sandy river bed, request the newest tents #7 - 9.

The previous review about the A/C not getting to the bedroom area is correct. Unfortunately, the design team didn't account for the wall behind the bed which blocks the A/C unit from cooling the bedroom area. A fix is needed so the room can cool properly. Although another review stated there was no safe, we had a safe (in tent #3).

The electrical switches are numerous and the ceiling fan over the master bad seemed to only have HIGH and SUPER HIGH speeds so although it was warm/hot at night, it was impossible to keep the ceiling fan on because it sounded like an engine and moved too fast.

The room is luxurious with a soaker tub and outdoor shower and quite spacious. Since it is technically a tent, mosquitoes can be an issue as we discovered night one when we got multiple bites. Use the bite repellent they have in the room and this will not be a problem.

The Baboons tend to fight at night (noisy) which did not disturb me but my boyfriend woke up @ 1:30AM with 2 baboons taking a poop on the roof of our tent. Pretty funny in the grand scheme of things but he didn't think so at the time. (Remember that you are in the bush with wild animals).

The pool is amazing and the lodge serene and beautiful. Francois is the manager and has great staff.

Out of all the &Beyond camps we frequented in South Africa, the food was BEST here. Kudos to the Chef for great food and making special accommodations when requested!

The game drives were excellent and we even saw a pack of Africa Wild Dogs. What a treat! Note: there are few Leopards in Ngala so go to Sabi Sands if you want to see Leopards.

Although I was hesitant to stay in a tent again (first time was @ Serengeti Under Canvas, Tanzania), I am so happy they convinced me. This is a lovely and intimate property.

I have no doubt &Beyond will sort out the small issues since re-opening. Ngala is pure heaven. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Request tent # 7 - 9 if you want more intimacy and to be near the (dry) river bed with more animal a...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CathrynG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2012

This was our first stop on Safari and we loved every minute of it. The "tents" were luxury - no need to be concerned they had every amenity that you could ask for. It was cold at night and they even warmed our mattress during turn down service to make sure that we were comfortable.
We loved being able to hear the animals, and we had monkeys on our roof playing every morning.

The staff was the highlight - our guides were GREAT and we saw the big 5 and some special extras like baby hyena cubs!!! The quality of the food was 5 star - and game drives were also incredible. We stayed for 2 nights here, which meant 4 game drives which was plenty of time in this location - and then continued on to Exeter River Lodge which was also amazing but for completely different reasons.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TRCandJJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp

Property: andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp
Address: Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Ngala Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Ngala Private Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boasting sophistication and comfort, as well as the romance of canvas, the six luxurious safari tents of andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp overlook the banks of the seasonal Timbavati River. Chic and contemporary, the camp combines the simple sophistication of polished wooden decks, textured fabrics and clean lines with a true safari experience that embodies the heart and soul of the bush. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngala Tented Safari Camp Hotel Ngala Private Game Reserve
AndBeyond Ngala Tented Camp Ngala Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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