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“If you go on safari Garonga is the only place to go...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Garonga Safari Camp

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Garonga Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“If you go on safari Garonga is the only place to go...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2010

Myself and my wife went to Garonga for the first part of our honeymoon and I can't explain just how brilliant it was, you really have to go there to experience it yourself. From the amazing welcome with home made lemonade and champagne in your room to the incredible food and amazing staff it's a little piece of heaven from start to finish. Our guides were Jesiah and Brian and they were superb. Zele, the manager, is fantastic, knows who you are straight away and makes you feel at home instantly (she even knows what you drink during the day by the pool!).

With only 6 "tents" (I could happily live in a tent permenantly if it was like that!) and a maximum of 12 people it feels so exclusive and guarantees you 3 seats per couple in the jeep, which is great - especially when you see others crowded into jeeps. Everything is also done for you, a great examples is with the colder nights in August getting into bed to a that is pre-warmed with the electric blanket is heaven. The bush bath is a superb experience and watching elephants drink from the water hole whilst you eat a gorgeous breakfast is also amazing. We saw all the animals we wanted to see and had some simply incredible experiences at Garonga that neither of us will ever forget.

The area itself is beautiful and we could both happily lie in our hammock and watch the world go by between game drives - you can also look at the scenery from your own outdoor shower!

To be honest as I've said above I can't really describe how superb Garonga is - the small gestures, the grand gestures, the relaxing atmospheres...I could go on - and if you're thinking about it just go ahead and book, you won't regret it.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank clipper1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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334 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2010

My girlfriend and I stayed at Garonga Safari Camp for 3 nights in late October 2010. I have to say that this was definitely one of the best stays we have ever experienced in all our travels worldwide. The service was outstanding and attention to detail was at an exceptional standard.

The owner (Bernie) made us feel very welcome and relaxed, and our safari guides (Obe and Jessiah) made the whole Garonga experience a very memorable event.

Although a bit more expensive than some others at face value, it is no doubt worth the money.

We can't wait to return and would definitely recommend to anyone!

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Daniel_83_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
berlin
Level Contributor
104 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2010

This camp is probably one of the best safari camps I have ever been. We travel quite often and we know many camps in Southafrica, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya.
Garonga is one of those lovely places where you want to come back.
The accomodation is in a nice location on a dry river bed. They keep some water pools there in which animals come to drink. The Camp has beautiful tents and the rooms are very nice and elegant. Garonga is member of the Classic Safaris Camp and it delivers to your expectations. The food is excellent, the service very fiendly and the management professional and accomodating. The owner Bernie is an excellent host.
The clients are mainly couples, especially honeymooners. There are many romantic activities for couples an the lodge provides a lot of privacy. I was on my own and I have enjoyed the privacy I had, not having always to share meals with unknown people or doing small talk. I have enjoyed my stay and I will for sure come back one day.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2010

We had our wedding at Garonga in October 2010, and can't speak highly enough about the place.

The attention to detail by the staff, especially manager Zele, is fantastic. Everything is thought of. The all-inclusive bar means you can help yourself to a big range of soft and alcoholic drinks whenever you need to, including their lovely homemade lemonade and iced tea. Food is good, and eating arrangements vary daily - from an outdoor "brai" BBQ, to private tables dotted around the main area of the camp, to a big communal table inside the main building.

The things that set this camp apart from others are its size (only six tents, so you're only ever in a jeep with a few people on safari drives, not loads of people jostling to take photos, plus it's in a private reserve so there aren't hundreds of other people looking at every animal you see) and the variety of experiences on offer (bush bath, bush breakfast, sleeping out in the bush, picnic in a tree, massage overlooking the watering hole). There is no time to be bored but it's also very relaxing.

During our stay we saw lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, hippos, crocodiles, jackals, as well as lots of giraffes, zebras, impala, kudu, warthogs, wildebeest etc. The guides, particularly Josiah and his tracker, Rebel, are great at finding animals, even if you want to see something particular.

I can't recommend Garonga enough. It is a really relaxing place to be, where you can choose to do as little or as much as you want.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lotsahols2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2010

When Dawn and I booked Garonga for our wedding venue and Safari of a lifetime we knew it would be good - but we never realised how good!

From the moment you arrive at Garonga you feel at home, relaxed and special and when you have to leave it is terrible.

The fact that there's only 12 guest creates and incredible family atmosphere between you all and the guests became part of our wedding experience. Garonga works like clockwork to provide everything that guests need in comfort whilst ensuring that you see fantastic game. Thanks to Bernie, Zele and all the staff - you are fantatastic. Mosa and 'Lion' provided fantastic games drives and it has never been that easy to get up at 5.30am.

Lastly thanks to all the guests who shared our wedding experience and to Ross and Alex thanks for the champagne on our wedding night.

To those of you reading this and thinking should I stay at Garonga, you already know the answer.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank leeanddawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2010

We stayed at Garonga for 8 nights in September. After deciding to get married at Garonga on the basis of their website we weren't sure what to expect. The Owner Bernie is a very courteous man who truly cares about the welfare of his guests and goes to great lengths to ensure that your stay is just perfect. We really appreciated his hands on approach , he checks with each guest throughout the day if they require anything. Bernie has a wonderful group of staff at Garonga, who also work very hard to ensure that the guests are thrilled. There was nothing lacking, everything was perfect for the 8 days we were there. It is the little things that we also loved, such hand written messages in the sand, hand written notes in the room, warm smiles by the staff at meal times. The food was also quite magnificent like something straight out of a Gourmet traveller spread, everyday! We requested vegan and it wasn't a problem at all, the chefs are immensely talented and we ate and ate. The accomodation at Garonga and at Little garonga are both very very comfortable, we loved being able to sit on the bed, while looking out the the waterhole with elephants washing themselves, and the monkeys outside our room were very entertaining. The open bar is very tempting, and the game drives were fantastic, we had seen everything by day 2, and the rest of the days were oh another lion, another cheetah etc, our driver Mose and tracker Obe were very good at finding the animals for us and just were'nt happy until we'd seen what we came for. Our wedding at Garonga was perfect. The treehouse location was beautiful, Garonga arranged a great photographer Alana for us, and the outdoor bath after was a must, champagne while watching the sun set, our celebrant Pierre was fantastic, a very fun philosophical man with many wise words. Every day was unique picnics, guided walks, drives swimming. What a magical place. It is very very romantic, there were a lot of couples there newly married, no kids at all. If you do not book your stay at Garonga you are really truly missing out. We are so thrilled that we got married at Garonga. Highly recommended. Five stars in every single way!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JustMarried4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wiltshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2010

We have just returned from a wonderful honeymoon at Garonga Safari Camp. The staff, in particular Zele (manager), are attentive and thoughtful, and nothing is too much trouble. The luxury tents do not fail to live up to their name, yet despite the luxury you still feel like a pioneer due to the wild beauty of the surrounding area. The drivers and trackers all go out of their way to enable you to see the best of the wildlife. Its the simple touches that make this place so special - cocktails at sunset, tree top sleep outs, plenty of amarula and wonderful food. I hope to return year after year.. it really is that good.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LucyfromSalisbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Garonga Safari Camp

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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