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“The best experience - very special!”

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Buffalo Ridge Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Hope Island, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The best experience - very special!”
Reviewed 1 June 2012

Buffalo Ridge is truly a wonderful place. Set up on the ridge the views are magnificent. We were there with friends to celebrate my husband's special birthday - one he will never forget. Godfrey and his staff truly made our stay with them a very memorable one. We had Room 1 which was great, close to the Lodge and we had a very nice outlook. The rooms are very well equipped and we especially liked the messages left in flowers on our bed for this special occasion. We stayed for 3 nights and the chefs Lesago, Josephine and William provided us with delicious meals. On our last night at Buffalo Ridge they had set up a special table for us by the bonfire and Johannes served us very well. I cannot thank Lazarus, our guide enough - we had so much fun whilst learning so much. He never disappointed us and each Game drive was different to the other but just as exciting. He found us the BIG 5 and the bonus was a sighting of a pack of wild dogs. Lazarus as do all the staff have such passion and pride in what they do.
Don't expect TV, internet or telephones - it is really nice to be away from it all and really experience the bush in this wonderful setting. The staff are there if you need them.
We had sad hearts when we left Buffalo Ridge and I will especially miss our exhiliarting safari drives with Lazarus in the trusty Land Rover.
Thank you and we will return
Lynne J - Australia

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LRJ58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2012

My husband and I travelled to Madikwe with another couple and stayed at Buffalo Ridge Lodge for 3 nights. After reading some of the negative reviews on Trip Advisor I was really hesitant about staying there but our friends had been recommended this place so we tagged along. To say it was brilliant is an understatement. The rooms are divine - huge, clean, bright and amazing. The staff can't do enough for you and will cater to your every whim (and those you didn't know you had). The game drives we fell in love with and couldn't wait for our next adrenalin trip each day. Lazarus was fantastic with his knowledge and really worked at delighting us with lots of surprises. We were so fortunate to see the Big 5 and felt privileged to be able to get so close to all the animals. All four of us have fallen totally in love with Buffalo Ridge Lodge and would go back again in a heart beat. It is the first time I have left a holiday place and actually cried to be leaving. We have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Buffalo Ridge Lodge.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

At first we were rather cautious about the Lodge. having sons who were 5 and 7 meant that the open plan living, the lack of barriers to semi steep drops meant that our first afternoon was stuffed full of our rather British health and safety concerns, but funnily enough within a very short time we had acclimatized beautifully and the kids learnt to watch their step. It's an African bush lodge, unfenced from the rest of the reserve, it's not a resort and that is the best way to think of it. Not that the surroundings aren't beautiful, stylish and without pretension, but it's got a charm you have to embrace. The staff are friendly and helpful but not overbearing, occasionally you had to knock on the kitchen door in the mid afternoon to get some water, but surely that's better than overbearing staff? The place is run with a light touch, our children were welcomed and encouraged to play and feel at home. The pool is great and we had sole use most afternoons - we went mid week for 5 days. The food varied and delicious and they were happy to adapt to our whims. So, leaving the best till last - the game drives. Our mid week stay meant we had the jeep and the guide, Lazarus to ourselves for quite a few drives. And how we all enjoyed them. He would take one of our sons in the front with him and each drive gave us a varied and inventive range of experiences and animals. From my youngest waking up after snoozing under a blanket during a morning drive to come face to face with a lion, to my eldest filming dung beetles in action for a school project. Yes we saw all the wildlife we could hope for, but we also did it in such a way we didn't feel like we were on the tourist trail. Thanks to everyone there, you have given us our best family holiday ever.

Room Tip: The room placing has been described already. We were in room 4 and my husband got in the shower with...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Lorne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandton, South Africa
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2012

The lodge is very well located, with the view over a waterhole where elephants, kudus, bucks come to drink. Ranger was very knowledgeable and really made a difference in the game viewing experience.
The staff and service were very poor. The bill was a complete mess. Most of the food was very average, except for one dish that was really 5 star.
Rooms are large and clean, beds are gigantic!
One of the cleaning ladies forgot to close the window of one of the rooms, the baboons took over and made a mess of the room, stealing whatever was available.
On one of the evening drives, we had a flat tire; couldn't jack the car up, the jack was broken, we had to wait for the other vehicle of the lodge. Guy came gave us the jack and left, telling us there were buffalo's around. Spare tire was also flat, new jack wouldn't go down. We had to call for a third car from another lodge to come and help. Last game drive in the morning was very short as our ranger had to bring the spare wheel to the lodge that helped us.
We go on a safari at least twice a year and won't go back to Buffalo Ridge.

Room Tip: don't take chalet 1 it doesn't have any view
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Seb7111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2012

Me and my husband stayed for four nights at Buffalo Ridge as part of our honeymoon.
It was our first time on safari so we were unsure what to expect. From the minute we drove into the reserve we were greeted by zebras, impala and koodos! Following this we received a very warm welcome from staff with a welcome drink. Our guides were Goddfrey and Israel, both knew so much about the bush, and even on quieter drives (with fewer animal sightings) they could make the drive incredibly interesting by teaching us about the bush. We were extremely lucky to see 4 of the big 5, we also saw a pack of wild dogs chase an impala into a couple of lions at dusk - what a truly amazing experience which we will never forget.
The food was delicious 5* and staff couldnt have been more friendly and helpful. We stayed for New Year and the staff (who are all local people from a nearby village) sang and danced for us, then we sat and drank champagne with the other guests, and watched an amazing thunderstorm across the reserve!
We cannot thank the staff enough for making our honeymoon so amazing! :-)

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SA123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2011

We (family with 2 small children) are staying in Gaborone for 6 weeks while my wife works a stint at a hospital here, and we spent one night at Buffalo Ridge (arrived Saturday and departed Sunday).

We were greeted with chilled fruit drinks (even for the kiddos) in champagne flutes on arrival and spent time enjoying the stylish and comfortable main lodge area (we arrived well before check-in time, but they had our room ready within 20 minutes anyway).

The room was a nice combination of modern (polished concrete floor, rain shower) and traditional (thatched roof, stone fireplace) with a simply gorgeous panel of full-length glass overlooking the entire valley below.

Overall, service was great. I found the staff to be very attentive, and the meals were delicious (even the special pasta lunch they prepared for our kids -- I want the recipe for that sauce!). I should have asked, but I assumed (incorrectly, as it turned out) that non-alcoholic drinks would be free. Got a little surprise on the check-out bill with that.

The game drives were also great. Israel was our driver/guide for both drives (an evening drive the first night and an early morning drive the next day). He was knowledgeable, and took us to some once-in-a-lifetime sights.

Really the only downside was that children under 6 were not allowed on the game drives, but the lodge arranged to have a babysitter watch our two boys (1 and 3 years old) for 100 rand per hour while we were off on our game drives.

We loved Madikwe and are planning to come back in the next few weeks. As much as we also loved Buffalo Ridge, we might end up staying at another lodge (they are all reviewed so highly!) where they will let us bring kids on the game drives. We saw kids a lot younger than 6 on landcruisers from other lodges.

Room Tip: 8 villas, which are strung in a line. The lower your number the closer to the main lodge you are. T...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank ridiculogic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaborone, South-East, Botswana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2011

We stayed there for only one night. main lodge settings are wonderful. rooms are great too.. but the staff is totally lost in space.. their were some people at the reception at the time we arrived there, after that I dindt see any one there at the reception..
we were given no 6,7 lodges to stay which is bit far from the main lodge ( specialy when you are carrying a baby) we were stupid enough not to bring the pram for the baby. so I had to carry her up and down from the room to the main lodge many many times in the hot sun.. specially after the lunch it was very difficult because of the heat. so if you are going with little ones try to get a closeby one.
we started with the lunch. there was a vegetable krish ( sort of a pie ) and a big vegi salad.. and im not a vegetarien at all..and it wasnt enough ( of coz Im a man and I have to eat )
there was no choice.. we had to eat it.. when I asked for some more ( it was not a buffet) they brought another portion of the same need less to say it was boaring.. I was asking if there is any thing els that i can order but nothing.
we were told to come at 4pm for game drive.. when we came to the main lodge we were lost. because there was no one to give us information.. I had to go to there kitchen to find some one to get the information. at last at 4.30 the game drive starts. game drive was nice, we saw pack of wild dogs and a big pride of Lions as the hilights.
for the dinner a piece of lamb rib rack and mashed potatos been served. I was not impressed at all. I was expecting a varity of foods..( I dont know about you, but I love my food) but again no choice for us.
in the morning game drive, we were lucky enough to see the LEPORD.
Break fast was nice and hevy ( at least )
we were told that lunch is going to be a buffet ( at last here comes the moment Im waiting for) I have booked a additional game drive in the evening so I had to pay for the Drive and for the lunch..( R 120 PP for the lunch and R500 for the game drive for all of us )
at lunch we found some snacks were there.. I wasnt sure if its lunch or evening tea..
then I was told its the lunch.
some crossents with ham, smosas filled with spinatch, fish cakes, biscuits, rusks...
wow,, so much for a buffet lunch !!
this time I didnt hide my feeling and told them I didnt expect these snacks for lunch.. so they were willing to offer me some salads... thats all they could offer.. so I had two fish cakes for my lunch, which cost me R60 each :D
I love the bush and wild life.. seen the big game is the no 1 for me, but when you think that you are in a star class lodge you are expecting some nice food as well..
on top of that when I checked my bill at back home I found they have charged( R 120) for the lunch and (R150) as the park fees for my 1 1/2 years old baby which has to be free..
I have to reccomend Lazarus (the ranger ) for any one who wants to know the African Bush !!!
the 5 star certificate that they are displaying at the main lodge has been expaired on the october 2010 or some where( if Im not mistaken)
I will go back there If I managed to get a resonable rate again.
at the time of our saty there were only few guests were there, me be the things are changing when there are more people in the lodge.. but this was my experience about the place.
thanks for reading..

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Janaka E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Buffalo Ridge Lodge

Property: Buffalo Ridge Lodge
Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Buffalo Ridge Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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