We recently stayed at N'Kaya for 2 nights and were somewhat underwhelmed by the experience overall.
The accommodations are very good, well maintained, spacious and comfortable. Not as private as some lodges we have visited as all the rooms face inwards towards the pool area. We liked the outdoor eating areas and the hide over the water hole.
Whilst we had good wildlife sightings during our stay, we were disappointed by the quality of our "tracker" Andrew who added nothing to our game drives whatsoever. We spotted more wildlife than he did and he did not get off the vehicle once to follow tracks - it would have been better if he had not been on the vehicle so we could have had a better view! Dean, our driver, was quite good but somewhat repetitive with his stories and repertoire. It was VERY disappointing to get back from our morning drives at 8.30 and 8.20am respectively (when we had just driven past other trucks just taking their coffee break) when breakfast wasn't even ready until gone 9. At other lodges we have been out till gone 9.30am and brunch is served as soon as you get back. Clearing up the breakfast table just 30 minutes after food has been served and guests were still enjoying coffee and toast is unacceptable. Similarly, the staff cleared up dinner plates very swiftly.
Beckson was the lodge "manager" but seemed out of his depth. Many requests were met with a blank look and had to be repeated several times. No-one mentioned Lianne but she appears on documentation, maybe things are better when she is there?
Wifi is paid for but doesn't work well and was always dropping out. Yes, we were on vacation but needed to keep in touch with home for personal reasons. If you charge for a service, make sure it works properly! We had no problems with (free) wifi at other lodges in Thornybush.
Food was good and tasty, poor selection and too little of it at afternoon tea as several items ran out.
At this price point, bottled water at least should be included.
Would we return or recommend - no, other lodges provide better service and game drives.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A wonderful gem in the bush, 4 star, located in the Thornybush Reserve, well known for superb game viewing. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- N'Kaya Lodge Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa