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Garonga Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 June 2014

The Garonga Safari Camp is the place to be. We can definately recommend everything. Fabulous rooms within a great surrounding. Extraordinary safaritours with perfect guides. Delicious food. We will come back. A big THANK YOU to the wohle G-Team it was a perfect T
time.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tobi_Kathi
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 5 July 2014

Thanks indeed for your very positive feedback.
Am so chuffed you had a great time here.
best Wishes
Bernie

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157 - 163 of 375 reviews

Reviewed 26 June 2014

From the moment we arrived to the very second we left we felt like part of the big Garonga family. All the staff are so welcoming, helpful and always smiling enjoying their time with you and their role at the camp.
We were warmly welcomed by the team with a hot flannel and a glass of the most delicious freshly squeezed orange juice from fruit grown very close by - perfect after a very long journey from Cornwall, England!
As we arrived late afternoon the guides held on for us to grab something quick to eat so that we could join the evening game drive. Whether you see an animal or not just driving through the bush with the wind blowing through your hair and taking in all the glorious sights is truly magical in itself. Jose and Antony were our guides throughout the 5 days that we were lucky enough stay at Garonga and they were utterly fantastic, teaching us everything there is to know about the beautiful animals from the big 5 to tiny little insects and even the plant life.
Jose and Antony welcomed us to the A-Team which was a great honour! Together we tracked lions, rhinos (including a two week old baby), elephants, cheetah, leopards, crocodiles, hippos, zebra, impala, giraffes and so much more in the 5 days. Experiencing these animals in their natural environment is something so beautiful, and I would advise everyone to go to Garonga to ensure that their experience is as amazing as ours was.
Jose and Antony finished our drives off with the ultimate send off - a bush dance, a bracelet made from a tree and showed us how to clean our teeth with a tree!
The Accomodation at Garonga was pure luxury, very clean and everything has been thought of - we even had English plugs in the room when we arrived! Every time we left the lodge the cleaners would come in and make sure that everything was perfect for when we returned, another lovely little touch that made our stay at Garonga the ultimate balance of adventure and relaxation.
Our bed was so comfy and as we went in June which is the middle of winter we were provided with electric blankets to ensure we were as comfortable as possible.
As we were on our honeymoon we had lots of lovely little extras like complimentary massages (which were probably the best massages we have ever had, our only regret is that we didn't have another before we left!), a bush bath (overlooking the dry river bed and watching the sun set) and a chance to 'sleep out'. I have to admit I was terrified of the sleep out but after being reassured by the guides and being provided with a three course dinner and lots of wine I soon relaxed and enjoyed the unique experience which I would thoroughly recommend to everyone!
The food was DELICIOUS. Every evening the chef would present the menu which was such a lovely touch. You definitely don't go hungry at Garonga!
The only disappointment for us was having to go home!!
We hope to come back to Garonga one day and expect our family to be booking their holiday very soon....
Thank you all so much for the best honeymoon we could have ever wished for.
Love Caitie & Darren x

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DaCa27062012
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 5 July 2014

Thanks indeed Caitie and Darren,
A pleasure having you for your Honeymoon!
I trust you enjoyed the rest of your special holiday.
We look forward to welcoming you back on an Anniversary maybe?
best Wishes
Bernie

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Reviewed 12 June 2014 via mobile

We came to Garonga for the first 3 days of our honeymoon and what a start it was. It was our first safari experience and hopefully won't be our last. The staff were there to meet us when we arrived with a cool flannel and welcome drink. The tents are amazing and we felt very privileged they were so well equipped. We didn't have to ask for anything, it was offered before we had to ask. The meals times are thoughtfully prepared allowing you to dine with other guests and alone as couples varying from night to night. The food itself is plentiful and tasteful introduced personally by chef!! We had both a sleep out and bush bath both great experiences and definitely worth doing. We had complimentary massages and it was the most relaxing massage I've ever had. The game drives themselves were planned so you never saw another vehicle! It is professionally organised and the guides were excellent, professional & knowledgable going the extra mile to find the elusive game you might not have already seen. There is an extra touch of a sundowner, watching a beautiful sunset with a glass of wine & cheese, fantastic ! We hope that we can one day visit Garonga again and see elephants walk by whilst having breakfast (which we narrowly missed)! Thank you to Bernie and his Team who made us feel very welcome and special .

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Pambo_erica
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 15 June 2014

Thanks so much - am so glad you had a great honeymoon here! Even more interesting to see is that you tried all the activities in your 3 nights here - excellent, and so glad you enjoyed them.
Wishing you all the best!
Regards
Bernie

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Reviewed 11 June 2014

Recently had the chance to spend three nights with Bernie and the crew. The rooms were real authentic South African style and very comfortable. Meals were good and the staff very pleasant.
Elliott and Richard were our guide and tracker and both did an excellent job in showing us around the game reserve.
Would recommended this lodge to any future travellers.

Room Tip: Only six rooms all facing the dry river bed and all appear to have a great view.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank horse6633
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 15 June 2014

Thanks indeed for your positive feedback and taking time to write. A pleasure hosting you; getting many more Australians here to visit now and so your feedback is very important.
Best Wishes
Bernie

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Reviewed 4 June 2014 via mobile

The Garonga hospitality is second to none. As a small resort Bernie - the owner - and his team made sure to remember all the guest's names, making the experience as personal as they could. They went to every effort to ensure our stay was comfortable, with us undertaking as many or few additional activities as we wanted. We did safari twice a day - the bush is thick and reserve is expansive so we were able to see a great variety of game. As with every safari, it did require some patience at times but the guides and trackers made sure that each game drive was informative and fun. The perk of having additional activities, like a sleep out deck, made our time at Garonga even more special. Also, the food and drink was tasty and plentiful! Lastly, Garonga has it's own airstrip - flying in and / or out over the reserve is a visual and exciting treat!

Garonga is a great find, don't miss it!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Anna W
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 15 June 2014

Thanks so much for your very encouraging feedback. It was a pleasure having you to stay. Am so chuffed you mentioned the Fly In Option as not many Guests use this. There is the perception that it is very expensive; it is extremely good value and removes all the waiting around at airports and the road transfers etc. We also offer the direct flight from Johannesburg International to garonga twice a day! Wel worth considering. WE hope to see you back.
Best Regards
Bernie

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Reviewed 22 May 2014

Enjoyed 3 nights at Garonga with 2 safaris each day. The staff seemed to care about our experience and went out of their way to make sure we had a memorable trip.

The accommodations were impeccable. I was a little disappointed in the food, but maybe they weren't used to vegetarians?

A true 5-star experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank MSpence09
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 24 May 2014

Thanks indeed for your feedback. Am so glad you enjoyed your stay and sorry I could not have met you. I apologise regarding the vegetarian option; our chefs are very used to doing these and so have taken this up with the Head Chef on this to ensure all options are excellent.
Best Regards
Bernie

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Reviewed 1 May 2014

This is the only safari to do 'per se' because having done the Massai Mara and the Serengetti Garonga is head and shoulders above. From the game on the reserve, the trackers showing the visitors what they're using to track down the animals, the rooms, food and total relaxing ambience of Garonga is pure heaven. This was our 2nd trip there and another couples 3rd time this just goes to show what guests enjoy and the proprietor Bernardo Smith is the 'host of hosts' ably supported by his staff at dinners. The sundowners in the evening just as the sunset happens is just amazing. Thanks for making our holiday so amazing, we are planning our next visit even though we just got back from SA this morning.

Room Tip: The rooms are as good as one another.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank BillyH6190
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 6 May 2014

It was a pleasure hosting you and glad you enjoyed all the activities and the A Team!
We hope to see you back one day.
Best wishes
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: £218 - £807 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Garonga Safari Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 9
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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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