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“Safari & Wedding”

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Garonga Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 April 2014

What can we say, we had such an amazing holiday and wedding, Staying at Garonga Safari Park. Bernie, the owner and host was a delight from start to finish with himself and all his team making those extra touches along the way. Making our holiday as memorable and as special as possible. We couldn't recommend this place enough.
We choose to marry at Garonga, due to the amazing reviews we had read, but we cannot put into words how magical our wedding day was. Every part of our day was made so personal from Bernie, his awesome G-team, George our marriage officer and Louise our photographer all locals to the area and totally professional.
We booked the site exclusively for our family, Bernie and his team filled our bellies with amazing food and our glasses were never empty, they made us feel totally at home. I still keep dreaming about the amazing dishes Rose the chef cooked.
The Guides Elliot, Patrick, Jaffat to name a few were fab, so knowledgeable and constantly answering our questions, they made every effort to make sure we saw as much as possible always going that extra mile. The animals we saw brought Africa to life for all of us.
The pool, the dining area, the tent all so luxurious and if you get the chance to sleep in the tree house make sure to do so, the sounds we heard were unreal and watching the sunrise from the tree house was just incredible.
We could not recommend this place enough, we had the holiday of a lifetime and the wedding of dreams, we could not be happier with our venture to Garonga and hope to return one day.
Thank you Bernie and the Awesome G-Team. Much Love Gemma & Pete x :0)

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank sparkiegem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2014

It was a great honour and pleasure hosting you and Family for such a great occasion. I am so glad things went smoothly for you and you had a great wedding day.I will pass on to all the team your very kind feedback.
We certainly hope to see you back one day on an anniversary.
Best Regards
Bernie

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168 - 174 of 380 reviews

Reviewed 10 April 2014

My husband and I grew up in the Limpopo Region and have been on many safaris previously. So when we decided to go on safari for our honeymoon we researched it thoroughly to make sure that we found a place that was really something special and out of the ordinary. We used Tripadvisor as a vital research tool to find a lodge that was good value for money (as a lot of the lodges are usually out of South African’s price range) but still offered all the luxuries. Garonga immediately stood out from the rest from all the positive feedback.

We were not disappointed when we got there – Garonga is really a very special place! We stayed for 5 nights and felt that this was a good period of time as it was not so short that you feel obligated to go on every game drive so that you can sleep in one morning to be woken up by lion roaring or use the evening time to watch a sunset from the bush bath.

The great part about the semi-permanent structures at Garonga Safari Camp means that you have the luxury of a permanent structure, but the ‘doors’ and windows are canvas which allows all the sounds and smells of the wild into your room. The rooms are extremely comfortable and there are many additional touches and finer attention to detail to make your experience even more enjoyable.

In terms of food, there is definitely no chance of you ever going hungry at Garonga! Before the drive in the morning you are given tea and biscuits, then again on the drive. When you return back to the drive you are given a full continental buffet which consists of cereals, fruit, cold meats and cheese. There is also freshly squeezed orange juice and a different smoothie each day. This is then followed by a hot breakfast of your choice. Lunch is a ‘light’ lunch but with a great variety. There were usually 3 salads on offer, homemade bread and a cheese board. At every meal we ended up eating way too much! Dinners were always special and the team made an effort to set the tables differently each evening. I particularly enjoyed the chance to sample different varieties of meat such as springbok and eland.

At Garonga the game drives are not the only activity available to you. The game drives are obviously the main attraction and the guides are not only extremely knowledgeable but also dedicated to finding animals for you to see. We had some really great sightings, particularly of elephant, lion and cheetah. We also went on a bush walk, had a bush bath and picnic (unfortunately the sleep out deck was under maintenance). I recommend that any one does as many of these other activities as possible as it just enhances the bush experience and is something that you don’t find at other lodges. Lastly, there is Faye with her amazing neuromuscular massages and reflexology treatments. Her ‘sala’ is one of a kind and I highly recommend you give it a try – you might even be lucky enough to have an elephant pop in while you’re there!

We will definitely be coming back again!

Room Tip: There are only 6 tents and all have a superb view of the riverbed.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Monique K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2014

It was a great pleasure hosting you on your Honeymoon. Am so glad you tried most of the activities as it really does enhance the experience. A pity about the sleepout indeed.
Wishing you all the best
Bernie

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Reviewed 8 April 2014

Although I have not been to this specific "camp" I read with incredulity a review about 'breathing cold air" in the tent, and getting a heater. It IS a tent! That is what a Safari camp is for goodness sake!
We have been to Makalali twice - the twice says it all. One does not order up animals. If you see leopards - even two, or lions, even two - awesome.
In my opinion everyone who has property in this area tries his absolute best to ensure the safety and comfort of clients.
Take layers, take a toque and mitts; strip down to a singlet by mid morning. The respect for nature, environment, the animals is what one should learn while travelling in this area; leave your expectations of city luxury at home and you will have a fabulous adventure.

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank ELES ESCAPE B a... B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2014

Thanks indeed for your support! Very much appreciate what you have said.
Please do come and visit Garonga one day.
best Regards
Bernie

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Reviewed 27 February 2014

we enjoyed our stay at garonga,the staff were all brilliant and food and drink in the main of a very high standard[we loved breakfast after the drive]and lunch was delicious.our safari boys patrick and josia[ the A team ]were fantastic and tracked a great selection of amazing animals]loved the bush bath and sleep out in the tree house,go!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sandyruth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2014

So chuffed you enjoyed the experience. The sleepout is always a great adventure.
Keep well and all the best
Bernie

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Reviewed 20 February 2014

I cannot stress how wonderful this camp is, I knew from the reviews how great this place was but my expectations were still exceeded!

Rooms
We stayed in the one of the "tents", this has to be the best tent ever! The rooms are beautiful, big beds, lovely bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower, pretty decor and lovely views of the watering hole (although covered over by plants in the summer!). A little welcome note was left and an evening one to light the citronella candle. These little touches were so cute, attention to detail was fab.

Game Drives
2 game drives a day where the driver and spotter go all out to help you see as many animals as possible. Josiah and Patrick were unbelievably good, they work so well as a team and make your experience special. They were so knowledgeable about everything from the animals to the plants and didn’t hesitate to answer any questions. We had a ball driving with them, an experience that will never be forgotten.

Food
I am the fussiest eater, but there was not one thing that Bernie and his team wouldn’t do to for me to accommodate my annoying fussiness! The food on a whole (including the food everyone else ate duck, warthog, lamb) was of such high standard and very plentiful, always served lovingly, the chef was top class. There is also a very expansive bar that we all enjoyed!

On a whole this place was the best hotel I have ever been too. I thank Bernie, Josiah, Patrick and all the team for making our stay and the end of our holiday really one to remember. We all hope to visit again someday in the hopefully not to o distant future.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank shoecrazybaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2014

Thanks so much for your very kind report. It was a real pleasure hosting you all here. It was a shame about the sleepout, but hopefully that will bring you back here one day?
Best Wishes
Bernie

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

We had our wedding at Garonga in Jan 2014, and couldn't have wished for a more perfect setting.

We took over the whole camp, for 15 of us. My hubbie and I stayed in Hambledon Suite, the most perfect room with it's own pool overlooking the bush. However all rooms were beautiful and private, including the tents. We did have slight issue with one if the tent roofs leaking due to the volume of rain the days prior to the wedding (luckily the sun shone in the end) but it was quickly fixed.

Having been on safari many times the game viewing at this time of year wasn't the best I have seen as it is so lush and over-grown in the rainy season. However what I loved is how private it is, and that you really feel you are searching for the animals with your tracker (who often leaves the truck in search of the cats) rather than having 30 trucks all our radioing each other. When we did find something it felt even more special and that we had found it. However if its game viewing you are after avoid this time of year, in Sept you would see lots I imagine.

The rooms are immaculate, you only have to move something and the room is cleaned again!

And when they say All Inclusive it really is, we got heavily stuck into the bar on many occasion and Bernie the owner rather than worrying what we were drinking just encouraged us with other cocktail ideas.

I thoroughly recommend a massage - Fay has healing hands!

All the staff are very friendly, CJ was the main man for our trip!! It was a shame the A team went on leave after one drive with us and they seemed fabulous and would have fitted our loud gang well (probably why we saw less cats we were all too loud!!)

On our wedding day all the staff went way above the call of duty to ensure our day was perfect and full on special touches. Nicole the reservation's lady even helped me source gifts for all my guests, and arranged my beautiful flowers.

If you are thinking of getting married on safari look no further - you won't be disappointed! And if you are from the UK use Sally and Alice travel company for that personal touch.

See you all for our 5 year anniversary! All 15 of us!

xxx

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank VickyB197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2014

Many congratulations again for your wedding. It was a real pleasure and also great fun for us all here having your family and friends here for such a memorable occasion.
Thanks so much for your very positive feedback. We look forward to welcoming you all back some time.
Best Regards
Bernie

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Reviewed 4 February 2014

We stayed at the Garonga Safari camp for 5 nights in September 2013. Many things have already been said in the previous reviews but I would still like to share our experience.

Our expectations were really high after reading these reviews. And they have been exceeded. What makes this place so special are the people who work there besides all the other fantastic things such as the accommodation, facilities etc. The owner and the staff are working with passion and dedication to make the experience of their guests memorable in the most positive way. There are so many things which are taken care of before you even mention it to anyone. But it is not that someone is always around you asking what they could do for you (which I would find a little bothering). It is a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere at the same time. Casual luxury.

We particularly enjoyed the safaris with Josiah and Patrick. Thank you guys for the fun we had and the great sightings! The “A-team” rules :-).

After staying at Garonga for a few nights it was hard to leave which speaks for itself. We have great memories and think about our time there quite often. Not only because we got married there ;-). It was the perfect place for us.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Fly_Germany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2014

Thanks so much for your very positive feedback. It is a very careful balance between providing a service and being too much "In your face"; I'm so glad the balance was struck.
We wish you all the best
Bernie

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Additional Information about Garonga Safari Camp

Address: Selati Portion 12, KT 143, Phalaborwa, 1390, Makalali Private Game Reserve 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Makalali Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Makalali Private Game Reserve
Price Range: £546 - £877 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Garonga Safari Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Garonga Safari Camp Hotel Makalali Private Game Reserve
Garonga Safari Camp South Africa/Makalali Private Game Reserve

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