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“3 Nights of Bush Bliss”
Review of Monwana Game Lodge

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Monwana Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“3 Nights of Bush Bliss”
Reviewed 14 August 2013

This is by far the way to do Safari. Jacques and Emma and the entire staff were so welcoming and made us feel at home. Very accommodating with dietary needs, and making our trip very special!!! Monwana is small camp which allowed that personal touch for all their guest. Morris their tracker has been there for YEARS and is unbelievably good!!! Valentine is the best bartender :) Get ready to bushwhack through the shrubs and see the wild life at its finest and then enjoy drinks by the pool and a nap before you head out for evening drive. You'll have a blast here! Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank eh74003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2013

We spent some glorious days at Monwana Game Lodge. What a gorgeous place! Upon arrival we were met by the most hospitable staff, offering us a cold drink while checking in and we were brought tot the lodge by our private ranger Oscar, who immediately spotted a baby giraffe with its parents!

Since I run a boutique hotel in Sandton, Sandton Boutique Hotel, I am quite critiacal about other establishments. This one exceeded my expectations. Our suite was beautiful and large, well appointed with a bath and bathroom looking out over our private deck and the veld...the only creatures that could peek in were the baboons and the impala.

Our hostess and the manager of the place, Emma, could not be nicer or more professional. We were offered an afternoon tea before going on the first game drive. The drive was spectacular and beautiful. Not only did we see 4 out of the big five, the scenery and environment was enchanting. The Cheetah we saw was awsome and she just walked past our vehicle...
Dinner was a braai at the boma: great food, good stories by the fireplace and lovely wine: we chose the Haute Cabriere.
On our way back we chose to take the scenic route via the Blijde River Canyon, the Panoramic route. It was worth the detour!

I certainly hope to be able to spent more time at Monwana and thank our hosts for their hospitality and great service!

Room Tip: All rooms are beautiful
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank emmiesandton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NJ USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 August 2013

Just got back, and wanted to add to the chorus of 5-star cheers for Monwana. Private, personal, and peaceful setting. Emma and Jacques have got it absolutely right in all respects. Many thoughtful surprises only added to the great experience. Recommend you call them directly and speak to Emma.

Room Tip: 4 units in all, 3 face the watering hole, 1 the river. Of the three, the Zulu unit has two entirely...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SGandSGtrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2013

Just returned from a three night stay at monwana lodge.
this is really a very easy review..
staff = excellent
food = excellent
game drives = excellent.

To give you a little more detail..
Our host and hostess Emma and Jacques were wonderful and made sure to attend to all our needs...Jacques and Morris(our game tracker) took us out on a total of 6 drives and we saw all the big five and more..including an amazing lion encounter in which Jacques made sure we saw till the end...
blankets and hot water bottles and plenty of coffee were always available on the game drives..so even though it was cold we stayed nice and warm.

Emma was always there with a smile to greet us on our return from the drives and the food that she and her staff prepared was always delicious...
and the setting for dinner which was outside on the terrace with the roaring BBQ was amazing.
Breakfast and lunch were also served outdoors on the front porch and it is really such an exquisite experience.

The rooms are very nice and all overlook the watering hole...
keep in mind that this is a small lodge..about 8 rooms or so...and the rooms are all different..some are just rooms and some are suites so when you book a room find out
what you are getting...but even a regular room is really nice...

The housekeeping staff did their job in a way that I never even saw when they were there!!

Also...Wifi was available and worked great every day..no outages..and if you get a south african sim card for your phone use Vodacom as they have reception there with a good signal.

Overall..if you are taking a safari trip this is a wonderful place to stay and experience it all!!

Room Tip: communicate ahead of time to find out what type of room you are getting as each room is a little dif...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank denlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
59 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2013

My wife and I went to Monwana for our one year anniversary. We flew directly into Thornybush from J-burg on FedAir and were picked up by someone from Monwana. I found Monwana exclusively through tripadvisor and it worked out great as I cannot say enough great things about the Monwana lodge. We had an absolutely wonderful, unforgettable experience and Monwana far exceeded all of our expectations.

The lodge itself is small however very nice. We had a great room with a huge bathroom, shower with a view of the waterhole, large bedroom, and a great deck with a view over the waterhole. The experience of sitting on the deck watching giraffe, inyala, and warthogs at the waterhole was amazing. The staff at Monwana was amazing in particular our Hosts and Guides Mich & Charl and our tracker Morris. They made our stay at Monwana and our game drives in the reserve amazing. The food at the lodge was incredible and far surpassed what I would expect to be eating whenever you are in the middle of the bush. Breakfast had a wide variety fruit, cereals, meats, and cheeses as well as custom prepared hot options with fresh sausages and eggs. Lunches were lighter options that included great salads, tarts, sandwiches, and spreads. Dinner was always a 3 course gourmet meal that always had two entree options. Over the course of the trip we had beef, pork, fish, chicken, and kudu that were all great.

The game drives were equally amazing. Over the course of 4 days we saw black and white rhinos, cheetah, leopards, lions, elephants, hyenas, zebras, water buffalo, etc. There were 2 games drives a day (3 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the evening) both of which we say a wide variety of animals. The great thing about Thornybush is that all of the guides work together so you are likely to see many animals however there is a 2 vehicle at a time limit at each animal sitting so it is not crowded. Our guide Charl was very knowledgeable about the animals and our tracker Morris was amazing at finding the animals. We was worried that after 4-5 game drives I would be bored however we left after 3 nights (6 game drives) and felt like we could have spent more time at the lodge.

Overall our trip and stay at Monwana was an absolutely incredible experience and I would recommend Monwana to anyone wanting to go to a safari game lodge in South Africa!

Room Tip: There are only 4 rooms (two 2-bedroom & two 1-bedroom). The Zulu suite had a spectacular view ov...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 July 2013

When my husband turned 60, he wanted to mark the occasion by treating the family plus partners to a week in the bush. We needed a lodge that could sleep 8 of us but small enough that would allow us to have the lodge for our exclusive use. Luckily our internet search turned up Monwana Lodge, part of the Thornybush collection. The luxurious lodge is managed by a charming young couple, Jacques and Emma, who went out of their way to ensure that our stay was magical. Jacques was our game guide as well as our host and together with Morris, his tracker, he tracked down fantastic game for us. We were lucky enough to see Leopard almost daily. Our lion sighting with adults and three month old cubs on a giraffe kill was incredible. We saw civet on a number of the night drives- very special.
The rooms were really comfortable - cool during the midday warmth and cosy at night. Electric blankets helped ward off the chill at night.
Everyone looked forward to mealtimes! Emma oversees the menu and is a charming hostess. The breakfast table always had a basket of a freshly baked treat and the cooked breakfast always offered a daily twist on the extras eg fried bananas(family favourite), corn fritters(delicious) and onion rings( positively wicked!). As breakfast usually only finished at about 11, there is no need for lunch but we all looked forward to High Tea at 3! The light meals served at high tea always seemed to hit the spot- a perfect balance between savoury and sweet. Dinner was a 3 course feast- sometimes served in the dining room and sometimes outside round a roaring fire - but always delicious.
We had a fabulous restful week of good food, lovely surroundings and awesome game. Thank you Monwana Lodge and thank you Graham for treating us for your birthday. We cant wait to go again

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely. Our room was the Zulu room which had a great view of the waterhole. Game w...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lesley R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 July 2013

I’m writing this review two weeks after a truly special family holiday in the bush, and I still find myself staring blankly out of the window wondering if the baby elephant born during our stay at Monwana is flourishing and what sorts of animals will visit the on-site waterhole at the camp.

Monwana Game Lodge with its warm and friendly staff makes you feel instantly at home in this spectacular setting, the camp sits nestled on a dry river bank with a natural waterhole on its perimeter. The depth of knowledge and a passion for the bush makes resident ranger, Jacque, a fountain of all information bush-related and makes for fascinating game drives and bush walks which help you get in touch with the smaller fauna and flora of the bush. The accommodation is exemplary as is the food and hospitality. Both Jacque and Emma really do provide a first class service in running the camp. I find myself daydreaming of decadent omelettes at breakfast and the mouth watering bounties of high tea.

The rules and general communication amongst the rangers and trackers relating to respecting animals in their natural habitat make the animals truly at ease around the vehicles and allow for quality game viewing experiences. One has to also mention the class of the trackers which was outstanding and a pleasure to behold them at work.

All these outstanding qualities make Monwana Game Lodge a five star establishment but what can’t be put down into words is the feeling of being so at home in bush surrounded by the most beautiful creatures of the South African Veldt, from the relaxing afternoons watching game trundling to and from the waterhole, to enjoying a hearty and decadent meal in the boma around a roaring bush fire. A magnificent experience and I can’t wait to go back.

Room Tip: All the rooms have something uniquely special about them. Most rooms look onto the waterhole, which...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew R
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

Property: 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 #5 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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