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“A experience of a lifetime...”
Review of Monwana Game Lodge

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Monwana Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A experience of a lifetime...”
Reviewed 28 January 2014 via mobile

I have travelled many places and always use trip advisor to help set the bar prior to travel. My trip with my wife to Monwana was truly remarkable. From the staff, service, amenities, lodge, food, drinks, and let's not forget the wildlife in the beautiful South African landscape. There are many little things Monwana works to do to separate themselves as top notch. I really don't want to share those details as it makes the experience unique from others and separates them from the rest. I would highly recommend a stay at Monwana as it will be an experience of a lifetime and you will not be disappointed.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank WiscoWally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Allentown, Pennsylvania
1 review
Reviewed 21 January 2014

My husband and I recently spent 3 nights at Monwana. We had high expectations after reading all of the wonderful reviews, and we were still completely blown away. The staff and service was fantastic (Jacques, Emma, Morris, Valentine... and everyone else we encountered went above and beyond to make this trip so special in so many ways). The lodge is beautiful, cozy and intimate. The food and drinks were excellent. And, the game drives are an experience of a lifetime. This was by far our favorite travel experience to date and will be very hard to beat. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kellie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ramat Gan, Israel
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2014

We spent two nights in Monwana Game Lodge and this certainly was the highlight of our very enjoyable trip to South Africa. Monwana is an island of perfectionism in the heart of the bush:
Perfect, clean, cozy, and very comfortable rooms and public areas, perfect service, perfect delicious gourmet food, extremely nice, patient, accommodating and professional hosts (Emma and Jacque), and above all - fascinating and breathtaking game drives. Jacque and Morris the tracker - very knowledgeable, confident, and passionate guides - led us to see so closely all the animals we could ever dream to see, plus a few more…..
Our experience in Monwana was really out of this world and we highly recommend it.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Baruch P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guernsey, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 January 2014

This was a destination booked for me by a friend, who strongly recommended it and I can see why! The whole stay from start to finish was fantastic.

Emma and Jacques were fantastic and it was amazing the way they worked so well together and had everything covered all of the time! It was my first safari but my girlfriend has been on several and neither of us could think of anything but total compliments.

The reserve itself is brilliant with very comfortable rooms and very spacious bathrooms. The food is out of this world and the menus that were put together were great. Nothing is ever too much trouble for any of the staff at Monwana. The only problem was the food was so good you just couldn't stop yourself eating everything that was put in front of you!!

The game drives were ace. Although everyone wants to see the big 5, of which we saw 4, Jacques and Morris (the tracker) would point out and explain any of the wildlife that there was which was great to learn about, no matter how big or small, rare or common they were.

Huge compliments to all the staff at the lodge and thank you for making our stay so enjoyable. Hopefully see them all again soon!!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank James R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2013

My fiance and I stayed at the Monwana Game Lodge for 4 nights just two weeks ago, and we had an amazing time. First of all, Jacques and Emma, the hosts, are fantastic people who keep Monwana feeling warm, welcoming, and intimate. They made us feel looked after from the moment we arrived. Jacques was outstanding at spotting game on our twice daily game drives. Emma is one of those people that is super nice and sweet, but meanwhile she is running the whole operation flawlessly. We loved that Monwana only has a few rooms, so we felt special throughout our entire stay and really got to know the other guests.

A big highlight for us was the food. We are big foodies, and we didn't make it easy on Emma by being vegetarians. Yet every meal was truly amazing, and I felt like I was in a five-star restaurant every time. That is not easy when you are deep into the bush, so I give Monwana a lot of credit.

We definitely recommend Monwana. There's a reason they're #1, and I expect them to remain there for a very long time.

Eytan

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eytan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
70 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2013 via mobile

Emma (the hostess and manager), Jacques (the ranger) and Morris (the tracker) made my three day stay very special. The photos on the site are truly representative of my experience, and you just cannot beat the extremely welcoming and warm service. Among the very special bits, I would mention the chef. Rarely have I had the opportunity to have such fine cuisine in the "bush." I will surely be back. Thanks Jacques and Emma, for a much needed bush break! Nancy

Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Nancy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We are a couple in our late 30s (UK and Greek) that usually stay in upper-middle to luxury accommodation (or very basic camping). I have stayed in game lodges all over Southern and Eastern Africa but for my girlfriend it was her first bush holiday.

Monwana is the best lodge I have stayed in and for many reasons. We stayed for three nights and self-drove to Thornybush. The main reason for this was the efforts of Emma and Jaques, the couple managing the place who were simply amazing hosts.

Room itself:
Clean and spacious with comfortable bed and pillows, excellent view over the waterhole, decorations attractive.
Wet weather whilst we visited but the room had a nice deck.
Large bathroom with separate shower and bath and two sinks and again views over the waterhole.

Food/drink: good quality and good portion sizes. As good as any other lodge I have stayed in or better. Tasty wine list. Excellent boma on the third night.

Safaris: I had actually become pretty demoralised by rubbish guides that are only out to find the big five. Jacques however is not that sort. He was flexible and stopped at other interesting sights (frog spawn in a tree, migrant birds, hunting herons and crocs, a chameleon etc) as well as locating lions (12 in total over two prides, one with a kill), leopards, elephant, cheetah etc. We had just been in Kruger for 5 days and thought we had enough of the big game but he is so knowledgable that I learnt lots every trip about every plant and animal he pointed out. The tracker, Maurice, has the eyes of an eagle. Between them they have made me want to do safaris with a guide and tracker again. I cannot speak highly enough of this team.

Service: Again top notch. I wanted to go on a balloon ride in order to propose to my girlfriend and they were helpful in arranging transfers in the middle of the night. It was cancelled in the end due to the stormy weather and instead Emma arranged a romantic meal in our room and went completely out of her way to help. She and the team could not be helpful enough.

Few notes about Thornywood:
Parking for self-drive is not at Monwana but the main lodge - parking near the front gate would be better for 2-wheel drive cars but roads were passable though slippery in the wet. There is a landing strip and flights in and out are possible - email them directly for info I guess.
It is attractive bush area but fairly thick foliage and if you want large numbers of rhino or elephant or wide-open savannah then go into Kruger itself. They have all you could want at Monwana though so still go there for a few days at the end like we did! It will be worth it!
Get Jacques to take you on a foot safari - he knows a huge amount on most of the plants and animals and it is a completely different experience.

Summary:
I am not going to try another lodge and if Monwana are booked in the future I will change my holiday dates to go there again. I miss it already.

Room Tip: They all look pretty good but clearly having a waterhole view is ideal.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew C
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Monwana Game Lodge Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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