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“Monwana Lodge, Thornybush, South Africa”
Review of Monwana Game Lodge

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Monwana Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 March 2013

On a recent stay at Monwana Lodge in the Thonybush Reserve near Kruger Park, South Africa, I was absolutely thrilled with the ambiance and hospitality of this little lodge. The hospitality of Emma and Jan was exceptional. The meals were top of the range which says a lot for the chef's ability at this intimate lodge.
I have stayed at many, many lodges around South Africa and Monwana rates to me, as one of the best for caring, genuine interest in their clients and mouthwatering unusual food. Well done the staff at Monwana!

Room Tip: The lodge is really small and intimate, so all rooms are well located near their waterhole view poin...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Pat H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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164 - 170 of 243 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2013

We selected Monwana based on the recommendation of our travel agent and also because of the good Tripadvisor reviews. All the good things that the reviews say, are absolutely true.

The hospitality of the managing team and the quality of the food are impossible to beat. For us it was a wonder how Chef Mapuli could amaze us meal after meal with her creations.

The game drives, that are included in the overall hotel cost were incredible. We do not have any other experience in KNP for purpose of comparison, but based on our experience with game drives it is hard to imagine that anything could be better. The ranger and tracker were very dedicated and committed towards giving all visitors the best possible experience. We saw all of the big five, at least twice each and many many other animals over our 4 day stay.

When we were planning the holiday we gave a lot of thought to staying in Thornybush which is a smaller private park vs the main Kruger Park. Once again, we have no way to judge which is better because we only stayed in Thornybush, but i think we made a good choice because we saw and experienced much more than what we had expected or hoped for!

The facilities at Monwana are very good. It is not a 5 star property, but we actually liked that the lodge is small and compact- for us this was much more comfortable than living in a sprawling resort. We had the Shangaan Suite which was huge and right next to the watering hole- there was a little deck where we lazed in the afternoons, occasionally raising our glasses of ginger ale to the animals who came by for a drink.

There is only one thing that we missed at Monwana- the days are quite sedentary and there is no way to go for a walk in the jungle, so the presence of a little gym would have really helped us to digest the brilliant food and be ready for the next feast with better appetite and lower guilt.

Room Tip: Do not even think about sleeping in and missing any of the game drives.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank NG42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2013 via mobile

From the moment arrived we knew it was going to be a special trip. With warthogs grazing in the car park we made our way towards the camp in the Land Rover spotting buffalo along the way. We arrived to beating drums and refreshments, immediately spotting cheetah's at the watering hole!

Moments later we were shown to our room - a wonderful experience on its own, met by loads of space, a great big bed with beautiful and detailed linen, a rain shower and deep bath overlooking the river bed, a deck overlooking the watering hole and brilliant attention paid to the smallest details such as personalised welcome notes. Our room was utter luxury and and oasis from the heat thanks to the highly effective Aircon!

Things just continued to get better and better thanks to Emma, Jacques and their team (who were all amazing).

Our first night was spent enjoying a very romantic and delicious meal on our own private deck under a blanket of stars while surrounded by paraffin lanterns and the sounds of nocturnal Africa whilst overlooking the watering hole. For a moment there it felt as though we had Africa all to ourselves amidst the orchestra of the bush. Enjoying every mouthful of the finest 3 course meal and sip of excellent wine (one of a very good list) while sitting across the table from the woman I love meant that I was exactly where I wanted to be!

Our game drives were epic. That's the best word for them. In our short (far too short, so we'll be back!) time there we saw all of the big 5 while at one point finding ourselves under a lioness in a tree and at another surrounded by a herd of very communicative elephants - can you imagine that? We were fortunate enough to take a good pair of binoculars with us which made a big difference - don't forget them at home! We'd just before spent 2 nights in the Kruger National Park in our own Land Rover, but what Jacques and Morris offer you is an up close and intimate, very intense experience - one you'll never forget. What's more is that the guys are clearly at home in the bush - this is radiantly clear when it comes to their vast encyclopaedia like knowledge of their surroundings and all things living in them. When we wrote there it was hot, very hot, almost like driving into a hair dryer, so be prepared.

Where Jacques left off, Emma and her team picked you up and swirled you away. Our second evening was spent enjoying a boma dinner together - a typical African style meal around a big fire listening to stories being told. Because of the early starts and hot days no one stays up late (despite how much we would have loved to spend all night drinking wine in front of the fire!).

The end of our very, very special time came to end only too soon, well until the next time that is... Perhaps as part of our honeymoon?

To Jacques, Emma and your highly efficient and very friendly team we say thank you, thank you, thank you.

To everyone else out there we say look no further - everything you could possibly desire is here. Book now!

Maurice & Denise
Hazyview (SA) & London (UK)

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank Maurice_Wostenholm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2013

Our trip to Monwana was an amazing experience. The lodge is beautiful and the rooms have great view on all that comes to visit. We had nyalas just wondering through the camp, vervet monkeys drinking from the pool and lots of other wild animals drinking from the dam just outside the perimeter. We had great drives with Jacques, our guide, and his tracker. We saw lots of animals and they all looked so healthy! The service of Jacques and Emma during our stay was great, no critics whatsoever. Great food too!! Our stay was in one word amazing :)

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Karen Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2013

We had the most wonderful time at Monwana from the time we arrived till the time we left. Which was due to Jaques , Emma and their wonderful team. The accommodation and hospitality were first class, Emma made you feel so welcome, and was the perfect hostess, Jaques and Morris made our safari experience one we will never forget, due to their skills we managed to see the super seven in the three days that we stayed there. Mapule the chef served us the most wonderful meals everyday , every meal was a dining experience. Valentine saw to our every needs behind the bar and our sundowners drinks which he packed in the landrover every night for our evening safari. I only wished that we booked a longer stay as I did not want to go when it came to leave. Sorcha and Steve Saudi Arabia

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Devlin4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2013

We had 3 nights in the honeymoon suite 23-26 Jan,a huge room,and plenty of other space off it.We would not recommend less than 3 nights as the early starts and evening safaris do take it out of you so you do need some down time in between.Emma and Jaques,the hosts,are right in touch with what clients want,and the rest of the staff could not be more accommodating,they are ambassadors for the country.A real heaven on earth.The food was some of the best we had
over our whole S.Africa experience.A good selection of drinks at more than reasonal prices(Gin 10R!!)Don't forget binocculars,and fly in to Hoedspruit rather than a 5 hour bus drive if you travel from J'burg.

Room Tip: Pay the extra and have the honeymoon suite with private deck and views over the river bed and water...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ROSS3076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2013

Fantastic stay from the moment we arrived to the sound of drums and a warm welcome from Emma and the Monwana team. The game drives were fantastic and we saw all the big five plus much more. Food was exceptional with meals giving a good chance to mix with other guests. Enjoyed every minute of our stay and would strongly recommend this to anyone.

Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank David O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Monwana Game Lodge

Address: | Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range: £521 - £658 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Monwana Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Monwana Game Lodge, Thornybush Game Reserve, is a Four Star Superior lodge set in the heart of the African bushveld. Offering fantastic Big 5 game viewing, exquisite African cuisine and personalized service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monwana Game Lodge Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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