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“On an great safari”
Review of The Bush House

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The Bush House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 February 2013

We had a fantastic stay at Madikwe. We were four persons who had The Bush House for our selfs for two days. We can say that we had safari all night long because the water hole was full of animals from morning until night! Doiry, who was our ranger was really knowledgeable on both animals and plants. The rooms and the food were lovely ! We recommending the warmest!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Elisabeth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sjoe, Owner at The Bush House, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2013

It was a pleasure having you in camp and we delighted you enjoyed your stay with us.Thanks so much for giving us your feedback.

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Reviews (197)
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147 - 153 of 197 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2013

The Bush House is situated in the Madikwe National Park along the border of South Africa and Botswana. We went with two young children (2 and 5 years old). They provided an excellent service and the fenced off lodge meant we weren't worried about the children's safety (as well as being in a malaria-free area). They also have a hide where you can view the animals visiting the waterhole in front of the lodge and this provided a very good area to introduce the kids to the animals (we had elephants every day and even a lion visiting the waterhole while we were having dinner one night).

The rooms provide every comfort needed, the pool is a great place to cool off in the afternoon heat and the food was excellent. We saw all the big 5 and drives were excellent.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kate1984Sydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sjoe, Owner at The Bush House, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2013

We really appreciate the feedback- thank you. It was such a pleasure having you all in camp with us.

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Reviewed 3 January 2013

We had a mixed experience at the Bush House. The building itself is beautiful, the rooms are comfortable, and the watering hole is amazing. Watching the animals at the watering hole, especially the night that a herd of Cape Buffalo came was very impressive. The food was pretty good, but I was impressed with how attentive the staff was to our dietary restrictions, including food allergies. The only problem with the place itself was the pool is really small and it would be nice if they had a small gym.

Our issue was with the guide on the game drives: Thomas. At first he seemed knowledgeable, spouting out the name of every creature the minute we saw it. However, when he called a bird by a different name on different days we started to wonder. On comparing our photos with what he said, we realized that he got quite a number of things wrong, especially birds. He had a lot of information which was interesting but was clearly memorized - he must have learned it in guide training. When people asked questions, he often just spouted the same speech or answered a different question. His knowledge very superficial. He drove fast and didn't seem good at spotting things. Some of the days we were there, there was another guest who was knowledgeable and good at spotting animals making the game drives enjoyable. After she left, we saw a lot less animals as Thomas just drove fast without looking around.
Another issue with Thomas was his inability read the group. On the days we saw very few animals, all of the people would have been very happy to see common animals such as the Impala, as they don't exist in other parts of the world. On our last day, there were only 2 families and I think everyone would have been happier to stop for Impala and Gnu than to drive around quickly as we did. Believer it or not, I have much more pictures of Rhinos than Impala from my trip. He also did not have physical perspective. When there was an animal in front of the jeep, he would be waving his arms while he spoke. If people asked him to move his arms down, he wouldn't apologize and he wouldn't really stop. I didn't travel all the way around the world to get photos of the guide's arm. This happened more than once. Similarly, there were times when he stopped the jeep such that he could see the animal from the front seat, but the back seats were blocked by a bush. When people asked him to inch forward or back, he would make a snotty comment or roar the engine and scare the animal away.

All in all, we thought Thomas was a terrible guide, detracting from our experience at Bush House. He has not been there long, so I think the reviews we read prior to booking were when there was a different guide.

I would recommend Bush House once they get a competent guide.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank boysmomNj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sjoe, Owner at The Bush House, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2013

Thank you for your feedback on you stay with us.
It is most unfortuneate that you were unhappy with Thomas. He has been the Senior Field Guide at Bush House for almost a year now and is a great hit with our guests as the Guest Book and emails attest to.
Thomas has been guiding for a total of nine years and is a quaified FGASA Level 2 Guide. This means that his level of knowledge and experience is vast.We will pass your feedback on to Thomas for his information.
As a guest who stayed four nights with us, it is a pity that you did not express your displeasure to us during your stay, as we surely would have made other arrangements to ensure your visit lived up to and exceeded your expectations. Being a small and intimate lodge we pride ourselves on being able to do this.

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Reviewed 8 December 2012

My mother and I stayed at the Bush House for 4 nights in mid-November and we had the best time! The property is small enough that you get personalized service and the staff go out of their way to get to know you and treat you like family. Our room was clean and spacious. The food was excellent! We had delicious homemade bread with every meal.

The game drives were really fun. Our guide, Thomas, was extremely knowledgeable and seemed to love his job.

In spite of all of those other factors, I'd say that the number one reason to stay here is there watering hole and hide. We saw a ton of animals (elephants, giraffes, rhinos, warthogs, impala...) throughout each day and evening. It was amazing.

I'd highly recommend the Bush House to anyone looking to go on safari.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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Thank corby80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sjoe, Owner at The Bush House, responded to this reviewResponded 9 December 2012

Many thanks for your kind comments. I hope the boot is now off and you are footloose and fancy free! Keep well and safe.

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Reviewed 29 October 2012

Really enjoyed our stay at The Bush House. The staff were lovely and nothing was too much trouble. The food was beautiful and we really enjoyed the trips out to look for wildlife. The bedroom was large and bed was very comfy. We were not very lucky with the weather and it was a little cold and windy and they had also had had alot of rain so the only animal we saw at the waterhole was one elephant. We had an unfortunate experience with a frog (it was in our bedroom for the entire stay and would make noises at night) and also lost a nights sleep due to loose tiles on the roof of our bedroom. Although we did realise this was not their fault we were a little disappointed that they did not try to compensate us for not only a lost nights sleep but we also missed out on our last early morning trip out as we had not been to sleep the previous night.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank joolsfelixstowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sjoe, Owner at The Bush House, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2012

Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review. We have managed to overcome the very persistant frog, who although removed from your room daily, seemed to believe it was his right to take up residence there!
We apologise sincerely for the roof tile issue, which unfortunately happened on your last night with us which was a very windy night, resulting in a branch from a tree loosening a few tiles. This was rectified and fixed as soon as we got to know of the problem from you.in the morning.
Again, we apologise for the disturbed sleep, and hope that you will return to visit us in the future.

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Reviewed 15 October 2012

Genuinely had a lovely time in this lovely oasis & one I would love to return to

It’s a perfect lodge if looking for smaller lodge with a very personal attention and so many small touches and a team with a genuine interest that the guests have a great time. I loved the small thoughtful touches such as insect sprays being available everywhere so that they didn’t become a problem, chilled ice water in the evening in your room and the personal welcome whenever you return with a genuine interest that you have had a great day

The afternoon tea pastries are historical and hit the right spot, and my favourite point of the day outside of the animals

The hide and the water hole is an amazing spot to watch the animal world go by. We saw Wart hogs, herds of elephants, hyenas, rhino, wild dogs and so much more It’s amazing how close you can get to the animals and it’s like a mini safari all on its own.

The morning & evening drives were a delight and Dave is an excellent guide with real enthusiasm and a passion for his subject. Its nice to be part of a smaller lodge and not feel like a cattle farm production

It can be chilly when the African sun is not blazing but blankets are supplied & excellent wind breaker ponchos. And it’s a nice touch that you are always greeted on return with a sherry in the evening to warm the heart

Room Tip: ask for room overlooking the water hole although all are a delight
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Wendypb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sjoe, Owner at The Bush House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2012

Thank you so much for your feedback. We are already using your recipes! Hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed 11 October 2012

Stayed at the Bush House on our first visit to Madikwe. Wild dog by the water hole in front of the garden started our morning off well! Great game viewing in the park - 4 of Big 5 on first day. Stopped by a big male lion as he was roaring - wonderful essence of Africa.

Bush House offers great hospitality and comfortable rooms with a unique underground waterhole putting you on the same level as an elephants feet! And there were many many elephant and rhino plus lots of antelope, zebra, warthog etc even a pair of klipspringer at the waterhole during our 4 day stay. Floodlit at night too. What an amazing perspective to see game at the waterhole.

Gordon and Sue were great hosts. Enjoy!

Room Tip: We had the honeymoon room with a view of the waterhole.
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BodgerDogSproxton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sjoe, Owner at The Bush House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2012

We so appreciate your kind comments. The wild dogs were here again this morning for a quick visit!

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Additional Information about The Bush House

Address: Wonderboom Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve 2740, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: £439 - £531 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Bush House 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Safari isn’t just safari anymore…. And game lodges aren’t all alike. Every visit really does need to be special and every moment something to be remembered forever.The Bush House is not your typical Game lodge. The Lodge is set in the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve. It is an old farmhouse that after years of family laughter and happiness has been transformed into an inviting and relaxing residence that encourages guests to kick off their shoes and unwind. ... more   less 
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