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Garonga Safari Camp
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All reviewsgame drivesour honeymoonbush bathwatering holeother gueststhe reservesafari campdry river bedoutdoor showertree housesouth africaattention to detailan amazing experiencewhole experiencehis teamfood was amazingfrom start to finish
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Reviewed 6 June 2011

My husband and I stayed here for 5 nights as part of our honeymoon. During our stay we met another couple who were on their second visit as well as a couple of ladies who had been 3 times before - and by the end of the trip we could see why! We booked through a company called Imagine Africa who I really can't praise enough. They suggested Garonga as being really good value for a safari lodge of that standard as well as being ideal for a honeymoon as it's small with a very personal service. All were true. The accommodation was fantastic; lovely "tented" room, very comfortable with a hammock on the balcony / terrace. The game drives were very well done and the guides were extremely knowledgable. Out of 8 drives there was only 1 where we didn't see anything though the bull elephant made one of its daily visits to the watering hole which you can see from the lodge which made up for it! The guides tried to make sure you saw everything at least once during your stay. The other services were excellent too. We'd definitely recommend the Sleep Out! Fantastic food, very varied and despite reading another comment on here about the "communal dinner" at the end of the stay, we really enjoyed that part of it. All the other meals we ate on our own as a couple so one night as a group around a big round table was fun. Overall a great experience with a very personal touch. Would highly recommend.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Travalholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2011

This was our second visit to Garonga, previous visit 9 years ago and we were not disappointed.
The lodge, staff, food, Game Drives and whole environment were simply brilliant.
The Safari team are highly knowledgable, friendly and engaging. Nothing was too much to ask, and the twice daily drives were fun as well as exhilarating.
If you like wine, Bernie (owner) has put together a great list of SA wines, with great choices and very fair pricing.
Highly recommended, we will be going back again.

Room Tip: Don't worry - they are all good
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank martinxwilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2011

We stayed here for 5 days as part of our honeymoon. We were totally and utterly spoilt, all the staff were amazing and remembered all of the guests names, as well as what we liked to drink!

The game drives were excellent and the guides went out of their way to find animals we wanted to see (eg when we hadnt yet seen elephant they took us on a longer drive to find them.....they found a large herd of elephants- this was amazing!)

The food was top quality and very varied choices.

The activites avaliable eg bush bath, sleep out, massages all just added to the experience.

We had the best time and are planning on a returning at some point in the future.

The only negitive was the night the owner decided to join us for food and made all the guests sit around a large table with him, he was late so we were all hungry and then the conversation was not flowing and the atmosphere uncomfortable, it would have been nicer to sit alone as a couple for our meal as it was our last night and the other couples we had met and become friendly with left the previous night- maybe i should have requested this am sure they would have done it for us.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Liverpool0879
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BernieHoedspruit, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2011

Dear Sir/madam,
I apologise for keeping you waiting for Dinner (I had to attend to Guests as well at Little Garonga), and hopefully this did not retract your overall stay at Garonga.
I do try and offer different dining experinces of which this was one; we don't do this all the time, and quite often offer private dining.
Thank-You for staying at garonga.
best Regards
Bernie

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2011

I never normally bother with these reviews but in this instance I had to make an exception. We were married at Garonga in Feb and had the most amazing time! Garonga is just beautiful and the staff are so lovely. Bernie and Nicole made us feel completely at home from the off set and our guides Jeff and Rebel were fantastic and made each (of the many) game drives exciting. We said what we wanted to see... they found it. Incredible! The food was delicious and varied and the bar was always well stocked! Our wedding was just perfect and made so special by the whole team, everyone was very kind. Getting married in the tree top was amazing and we even had the luck of the elephants who came down to the dry river bed just before we left for the ceremony! Geraldine at the spa is a star! We had the most amazing massages and facials. I really cannot fault Garonga, as soon as we left we missed it and as soon as we got back im already plannng how we can save to revisit!! Thank you Garonga for giving us the wedding and holiday of a lifetime!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Guest2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2011

I always try to be objective in these things so that if the owners read them, there are some constructive comments to assist in improvements. In this case, I am sorry Bernie, but I cant think of a single negative thing to say!!!!
We went there to get married in the first 5 days of a three centre tour of South Africa.
From the moment we arrived and were warmly greeted from the bus by the Owner (Bernie), and the General Manager (Nicole), we knew that his was something special.
"We try to make it feel like a home from home" said Bernie, indicating towards the cocktail/drinks/bar area where you just help yourself to what you want!!
The tents (if you can call them that!!) are made in the style of mud huts to give the feeling of being back to nature - but without the mud!! They all boast an outside shower (sounds weird, but really is good in the hot, humid conditions), viewing decks, hammocks.... the list just goes on.
The food is ALL locally prepared, and mostly home grown, by the chef's who obviously take pride in producing such wonderful fare.
I could go on and on for ages extolling every virtue of this wonderful accommodation, but it is probably easier for you to visit their website, multiply the accolades by 5 and your just about there....
What you really come for though, is the game drives, of which there are two a day - one at 6AM (sounds bad but don't be off put as the gentle awakening starts with homemade biscuits and fresh coffee before you leave). The other drive leaves at about 4. Each lasts about 3 hours, but be assured, if you are on the trail of something exciting, you almost have to insist to the guide/tracker that you go for breakfast/tea, as such is their commitment, they are quite adept at pushing the boundaries to get you what you want!!
I must say that our guide, Josiah, was a gem of a man - funny, knowledgeable, and very, very informative with an innate ability to spot things that no person has the right to be able to see!!! We were all very impressed by him, as it was he that enabled us to see so much more than we expected - Thanks Josiah (I know he reads these - LOL)
The wedding we actually went for was a magical experience for us both. We went on our own and were expecting to struggle with arrangements, etc - NOT SO!!! Bernie and Nicole took charge and sorted everything, from the preacher (a great character called George!!) to the cake, the transport, in fact everything. My beautiful bride was greatly assisted by the incredibly friendly Spa and Housekeeping Manager - Geraldine - who just breezed in, did whatever was needed, and then slid into the background with a smile - fantastic lady.
This is already too long, and quite honestly, i could write double this amount, such are the number of little "extras" and surprises that you receive, and all as part of the Garonga Experience.
We owe such a debt to ALL at the camp.
Certainly we will be returning - its just a matter of how fast we can save up, not a matter of "if"!!!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank The_Slapster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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