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“Fantastic safari experience with superb service at all times”
Review of The Bush House

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The Bush House
Certificate of Excellence
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic safari experience with superb service at all times”
Reviewed 12 August 2009

I have just returned from a trip to South Africa during which my fiancee and I and a group of friends stayed at The Bush House for 3 nights. We drove a hire car from Jo'burg which was an easy enough drive taking about 4 hours. I have been on 2 safaris before but this experience was something else. From the minute we arrived we were greeted like old friends and pointed in the direction of the water hole at the end of the fantastically kept garden where a number of elephants were taking in their afternoon drink at the water hole.

During the day a variety of animals would come along and visit the water hole while we relaxed in the beautiful settings to the sounds of the bush veld - lions, buck, warthogs and hyena all frequented for a drink in addition to the dozens of elephants that we saw on a daily basis.

The game drives themselves were wonderful experiences with our guide Stefan being extremely knowledgeable about not only the animals themselves but also where to find them. Spotting a cheetah at dusk sat on a rock on the hillside amongst the trees is no mean feat. Being winter the morning and evening game drives were a little chilly at times - but this was helped by the blankets that were carefully laid out for you and the hot water bottle in the mornings was perfect - not to mention the hot chocolate (mornings) and sherry (evenings) as the staff welcomed you back to the resort.

The rooms were very well presented with a huge comfy bed that I would have been reluctant to leave had it not been for the other fantastic opportunities available.

The food and staff were absolutely fantastic and could not do enough to help us out during our stay. It is hard to imagine how a South African safari experience could represent better value for money than this, being one of (if not the) cheapest places to stay in the Madikwe Game reserve.

If you are thinking about staying here don't think, do it - you won't regret it!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank FredClubb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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virginia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2009

bush house is just a wonderful place to stay in every respect. lovely building and grounds, exactly what you want an african game lodge to be. the rooms are spacious and well appointed, the food is excellent, the staff is the epitome of hospitality without stuffiness, the game drives and water hole offer fabulous game viewing. there really is nothing that can be improved on. it is an excellent value for the money. looking forward to returning some day.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jimhg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2009

My 13 year old daughter and I spent 4 days at The Bush House in April 2009. We had a great time and enjoyed the peace and tranquility after a very hectic week in Cape Town for a family wedding (we had flown from Australia). We ticked off all the boxes - saw the big five (very elusive those buffalo) / saw plenty of elephants at the waterhole at the Bush House. The rooms were superb and my daughter enjoyed the fact that the cookie jar got refilled at least three times a day. I enjoyed the big bath and the complimentary bath salts.
The game drives were fantastic and our guide, Stefan, certainly knew his stuff. We were lucky enough to see a majestic leopard 10 minutes into our first drive. The only minor niggle is that sometimes we missed out on game in the rush to get back to camp - we obvioulsy had gone far out searching for something or on the hunt and then there was a charge to get back - not sure why, as breakfast/brunch could have waited another 20-30 minutes.
I think we may have been unlucky with staff turnarounds as on day 1 we had certain staff that disappeared on day 2. Luck of the draw.
I was also not that comfortable with the tipping policy - envelopes were provided and there was obviously an expectation for tipping - but what for? The only thing out of what I would have expected for the price was the taking of the bags to the room (and this we even did ourselves on the way out). I tipped because I felt I had to....

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BaronduPon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lapland
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2009

This place is a great choice for a honeymoon couple. I would imagine it's nice for families and other travellers as well. We arrived here after a drive up from Johannesburg and fell in love with the place straight away. We were lucky enough to be the only ones there and were so well looked after; we really felt spoilt. Talk about the perfect honeymoon. We saw all the big 5 and more together with our lovely guide. The high tea was out of this world.

The Bush House only sleeps a maximum of 12, so it's probably just as nice being there when it's full. It was just so perfect to pretend that it was "our own" during the first four nights of our honeymoon.

Highly recommended!

  • Liked — All the animals we got to see!
  • Disliked — That we had to leave. We'll be back!
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kamyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, CA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2008

My mother and I were in Johannesburg in 2002 (I know, this was a while ago, but I just joined TripAdvisor and the first thing I thought of was to put a review for the most amazing travel experience I've ever had: The Madikwe Bush House). I booked the whole thing online (including arranging the reasonably-priced charter flight from Johannesburg with pickup).

Quite simply, this place was perfect. It was the off-season, winter in South Africa. We were welcomed like family, and after the first night by the boabab tree, it was as if we had these great friends who happened to have house in the bush. The safari viewing was incredible (and the guide, AJ, a true kindred spirit). We saw lions feeding, elephants mating, rhinos, giraffes, wild dogs, etc. I never wanted to leave. The food was superb, the bedding was sublime (I can still remember it!) and the lodge was impeccably clean. I honestly want to get married here. Forget that, I want to live here!

  • Liked — Every. Single. Thing. No-- that's not true: the owners and the staff.
  • Disliked — That I don't live there year-round!!
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank terraincognita66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2008

Excellent location with lots of animals around the watering hole, lovely rooms and food. Only a few rooms so very peaceful. The hosts were friendly and helpful. Our massage was very good.

  • Liked — Views and peace
  • Disliked — Bar shut too early
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank wren165
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxfordshire, UK
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2008

The Bush House is a four star lodge but how on earth it could be improved to five star is beyond me as every aspect of our two night stay at the end of June 2008 was absolutely superb. We were treated like royalty.
Lovely large rooms, intimate atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, wonderful food ... I could go on....
On the second night we were the only guests so had the game drives to ourselves and for our evening meal they lit the log fire in the lounge area and set up a dining table there for us.
One afternoon whilst relaxing in the grounds we had over 50 elephants at the water hole at the bottom of the garden, a matter of yards away from us.
Takes about 4 hours to drive from Jo'burg, and the drive was interesting in itself. At night from Madikwe you can see the lights of the Botswana capitol, Gaborone, twinkling over the hills.
Absolutely first class - thoroughly recommended!!

  • Liked — All aspects were excellent
  • Disliked — Couldn't fault anything
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank pearsew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Bush House

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