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“Lovely part of the world, food lets it down” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nedile Lodge

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Nedile Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Paarl, South Africa
Level Contributor
177 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Lovely part of the world, food lets it down”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2014

The lodge is situated on top of a mountain, with spectacular views from each room. The rooms are beautifully fitted out with an external shower. They are however not very private, view wise they are but as they are directly adjacent to the neighbouring room, everything is heard! The pool is really awkward to enter and is on top of the diningroom, so no privacy at all whilst suntanning. The lodge is small and only caters for ten people which makes it nicer than the bigger commercial lodges and the service from staff is excellent, paying full attention to their guests.
Breakfast is adequate, eaten rather late so the light lunch is fine, but dinner is really disappointing. I have to say though I am a fussy eater and to be given no choice at all made it very difficult for me, with not being able to eat the main course on two of the four nights. Starters were also a problem and desserts not anything memorable. They do enquire as to food allergies / intolerances, which should rather be worded as food preferences as it never occurred to me that there would be no choice. I am able to navigate around a menu successfully if there is a choice. I was happy though to try new dishes, but found the kudu steak dry and tough and the steamed fish bland and unappertising..
The game is scarce compared to the Marakele Park nearby, but we had spectacular sightings of leopard, which was such a privilege and unlike anything we have ever seen in 45 years of game viewing! The rhino, lion and elephant sightings were great as well as the birdlife.
The lodge unfortunately has only one vehicle, new and very comfortable but we were not prepared to share the vehicle with ten people, including a family who were in the bush for the first time, jabbering and laughing as we went! It totally spoilt the experience.

So unsure if we would do this again...

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bernice B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nedile, Owner at Nedile Lodge, responded to this review, 10 February 2014
Welgevonden Game Reserve has some restrictions in place on all game lodges to keep our environmental footprint on nature as small as possible. Each property or lodge is located on an allocated 500 hectare of land that is part of the greater Welgevonden Game Reserve of 38000 hectare to keep people densities low. Although Welgevonden Game Reserve is located in the Waterberg region water is actually quite scare and we just don't have the luxury of big swimming pools and lots of water. In line with the restriction on our environmental footprint, the pool and buildings are designed to be all close to one another. By reserve regulation we must contain all buildings in 150-meter radius. This is, by the way, how many of our international guests prefer the feeling of security in an unfenced and open game lodge where we have lion and elephant walking freely between the buildings. Most of our guests complements us on how cozy our lodge is in comparison to other game lodges that looks and feels more like modern city structures in the bush. I suppose this is personal preference. Keeping the people density down in the reserve, all game lodges are only allowed to keep one game viewer per 500 Hectare or 10-bed lodge. Some of our guests have made friend for life after sharing the game viewer, but it is understandable that some might prefer a private game drive. One alternative might be to go on a walking safari if you don’t want to share the game vehicle with other guests? Some guests bring a couple of friends and book the total lodge for their visit.

The fact that you found the food disappointing, however, is a big concern to me. We are used to excellent and raving reviews and ratings on our food. We go out of our way to accommodate all dietary requirements. I also invite you to have a look at the other 53 reviews from around the world that all rave about the food. Based on your feedback we are, however, looking into strategies to see how we can ensure we can give guests even more options at dinnertime. Our promise to our guests is to give you a 5* home away from home experience in a big five game reserve at affordable prices. If you have unusual special requests, we will love to hear from you and will go out of our way to accommodate you. As a small lodge with 10 guests maximum, we can be flexible to special requests.
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179 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2014

We booked this lodge because of the reviews from other guests and we were not disappointed in any way. The location, spectacular views and thatched lodges were lovely.
We loved the private outside shower and the deep welcoming bath overlooking the bush
We stayed last November for 4 days and the temperature was perfect not too hot
We wanted to celebrate our 30th Wedding anniversary in a special way and this venue was ticked all the boxes 100%
Michael,Anica, Barend, Minky and the rest of the small team are the perfect hosts and you not be disappointed.
All the things that the previous reviewers are completely true and more!
The safari experience was memorable, the only small minor point was that we missed out on seeing any cats, but i guess that's the way it goes sometimes. Barend our Ranger & the Assistant Mgr who we spent a lot of time with really makes you feel personally welcome and is very caring and a true professional!
Minky the chef what a nice lady produced the most delicious food throughout.
Michel and Anica his wife are the resident managers and really do work hard on the guest experience and really deserve a pat on the back.
In fact if you want a real treat and fancy the whole safari experience you have to book this amazing place.
Sorry about the late review just catching up now with very happy memories.
Well done team you deserve all the praise in the world!!!!!

Room Tip: All the rooms looked nice perhaps lodge 4 or 5 then you are really private at the end
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gerard106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
111 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014

Thanks once again to Anica, Michael and the rest of the Nedile team for making our recent visit so special (again). This was our 6th visit to Nedile and we cannot wait to return. We stayed for 3 nights and were as always sad to leave. If it were possible to give 6 stars of excellence we would :-)

The service, the food, the game drives and the entire experience was just fantastic. Anica and Michael are a formiddable team and ensure that your stay is memorable.

We will definitely be back as soon as we can.

  • Stayed December 2013, 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 Fiona_and_Mark_RSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
surrey, england
Level Contributor
125 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014 via mobile

having a sumptuous breakfast on the deck while watching a bull elephant savouring the bushes below us; sitting entranced as a white rhino and her calf grazed ever nearer to our vehicle until they were within 2 metres; our expert ranger bringing us to the exact spot for clear views of the two male lions who had been lolling in high grasses on the two previous drives with no more than a single pay lazily waved for us to see from time to time. will these be our enduring memories of what must be the best game lodge experience in many a year of annual visits to s.a.? or will they be challenged by the 40 minutes our morning game drive was held at the lodge as a breeding herd of some 25 elephants grazed on both sides of the access road right in front of us? all these experiences depend of course on luck: being in the right place at the right moment. but where nedile shines is the thought, care and experience of the team of anica (general manager for the u.s.-resident owners) and husband michael, a level 2 ranger well on his way to the top grading of level 3. the spacious rooms - complete with indoor and outdoor showers plus a picture window next to the bath - have been well maintained and don't show their 10-year age. the expertly run kitchen coped with special dietary requests, a surprise engagement and served up freshly-baked bread, rolls or croissants at every well cooked and presented meal. small matters that arose were responded to and resolved immediately. one that will not be easily resolved is the disappointingly small pool that although it adjoins the main deck and offers spectacular views is barely big enough for two strokes. by mid year there will be a useful upgrade: a small gym for exercising off some of the weight gained at mealtimes. and a useless one: a tv has to be installed to maintain the lodge's 5-star rating.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank famwag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

I recently stayed at Nedile lodge, and it was a truly excellent experience. The staff were wonderful, they treated you like you were guests in their own home. The early morning safari wakeups were made that bit easier with fresh coffee and rusks delivered to you door. It was a very warm and welcoming experience.

The rooms were fantastic, pure african safari luxury.

The morning and evening safaris were fantastic. Barend our ranger was very knowledgable, teaching us so much about the African wild plants and animals. He was very fun and entertaining also, and the 4hour trips whizzed by. Each safari we went on we saw something different and exciting.

The trip was excellent quality, and also very affordable as far as safaris are concerned. We had a 5/5 experience and I would recommend to everyone.

Room Tip: We had the front room next to the pool, which meant we had our own balcony onto the pool and easy ac...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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 AnnaB_5552014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2013

One would think that after my third visit to Nedile Lodge I would have tired of the place. You know that sort of 'been there, done that'! Not on your life! I was as excited to get here as I was each of the other times. This time I actually drove for 16 hours (Cape Town to Nedile) to get here. And believe me; it was worth each kilometre of my epic journey.

This occasion was to spend Christmas as far from the maddening crowd as possible. Let me just say, if you're thinking of a wonderful escape for Christmas or any other time you need to get away from the world, just get yourself to this place. From the minute you are collected at the gate by your ranger, (in my case it was Michael) it's as if you're crossing a threshold... onto some other planet. There's no discussion of where you've come from. And quite right too. On that first drive to the lodge you find yourself hanging onto each word that passes his lips, trying to see this world through his eyes. Each little grass, each animal dropping, and wow....there's a herd of elephant....and there's a pregnant zebra, some kudu, tiny little warthog piglets. How blessed must these guys be to have chosen this life. Gosh! It all makes my rat-race business life seem so futile.

Nothing has changed since my last visit (read my previous reviews : Simply Bliss, Best Game Lodge in South Africa Award and Still as Stunning as Ever). It is still the warmest welcome and unforgettable stay imaginable. The staff, the ambience, the nothing-is-a-problem attitude. The home-from-home, but like no home you have ever known. As I write this review, I am sitting out on the deck and two small dassies are darting around in playful mode just metres from me. Only a few hours ago, an elephant came to drink at the watering hole a few meters from the lodge. A beautiful creature completely at peace, going about its business, totally unaware of us. Two nights ago we discovered some leopard spoor near my room. I'll admit I was a bit scared at first but then I felt rather privileged. These animals are not easily spotted and to have one walk passed my room on his way to the watering hole was quite something. And Michael made me feel completely safe. You are always under their watchful eye. These guys will never let anything happen to you. Thanks Michael.

I love this place. I will love it forever. And you will too. It's small and cosy - never more than 10 people at a time. Nice. That's the whole point of an escape, isn't it? And when you're out on a drive, there is not allowed to be any more than 2 vehicles at a sighting. I really admire that about this reserve. This place belongs to the animals and we are merely visitors.

There are plans afoot here for some fabulous new additions to the lodge during the course of 2014. A gym, beauty spa and an additional lounge (with television this time). I'm not too keen on the television but I can understand that there are some folk who like to be kept abreast of what's going on in the world outside. For me, the pleasure is exactly not being in touch and my mobile phone is quite enough, and even then I look at it with a sort of disdain when it as much as lets me know I've got a message!

I leave tomorrow with a sad heart, but richer to have experienced the beautiful Nedile Lodge and its people once again. With fantastic memories of my Christmas dinner around the fire under the stars.

Thank you to Michael, Anica, Jonathan, Lizzy, Mapula, Gladys and Minky for looking after me, the excellent service and the unforgettable Xmas.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • 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?
4 Thank RGB-J1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2013

We wanted a safari experience but only had 3-4 days to make it happen. This ruled out some of the larger parks such as Kruger due to drive times. We selected Nedile Lodge because of its proximity to Johannesburg, as well as the very positive reviews on Trip Advisor. It appeared to offer exactly what we were looking for...and did it ever! The booking and reservations were extremely easy. Correspondence from the reservations representative was timely, providing invoices and health/dietary requests. Directions to the preserve, specifically the West Gate, were good, however word to the wise, the dirt road leading to the West Gate is much longer and rougher than expected. Just keep in mind that you will think you have gone much too far or possibly missed the West Gate...but just keep going. We did not expect the dirt road segment to be almost half an hour drive. Once you arrive, the parking and registration is quick and easy. The lodge Ranger (ours was Barend), arrived promptly at noon, and was an absolute delight to work with. The staff was out front of the lodge awaiting our arrival, welcomed us, and got us situated in the wonderful suites. This lodge is small, cozy, and quiet but offers top notch amenities. It is hard to describe how incredibly beautiful the lodge and preserve is. The service was incredibly friendly and thoughtful. The meals were INCREDIBLE! We had several food allergies in our group which were no problem at all. Meals were automatically prepared to meet everyone's needs. Barend was a wonderful guide, great humor, and in depth knowledge of not only the animals (big and small), but trees, bushes, birds, etc. Truly a lover of all nature has to offer. After three days at the lodge we elected to stay an additional night. We cannot say enough about our experience at Nedile Lodge. Thank you to the staff and especially Barend!! We are already looking at a time to return for a full week stay.

PS - Barend: I plan on taking you down in the Kudu droppings competition next year!

Room Tip: Room 1 is directly off the main lodge deck. You do not need a night time escort to go to your room...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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?
2 Thank Branton B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nedile Lodge

Property: Nedile Lodge
Address: Welgevonden Game Reserve, Welgevonden Game Reserve 0530, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Welgevonden Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Welgevonden Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Nedile Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nedile Lodge is situated in the Malaria free, Welgevonden Game Reserve 3 hours drive from Pretoria. Welgevonden Game Reserve is a declared Heritage Site of 36000 hectares (more than 80000 acres) bordering the Marekele National Park and part of the Waterberg Biosphere. This true bushveld environment is home to some of Africa’s most sought after game species, including one of the largest collections of white rhino on private land. Other species housed within this reserve include elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, eland and many other varieties of antelope. There may even be the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the aardvark, brown hyena or rarely seen honey badger ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nedile Lodge South Africa/Welgevonden Game Reserve

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