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“Absolutely awful!!!”

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Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 September 2011

The food was digusting, the service worse, at breakfast the bacon was off!! We saw no evidence of how this establishment managed to get 4 stars. The beds were uncomfortabel and resembled hospital beds on wheels, poor quality linen, feathers poked through the pillow cases, the bath took ages to run. No ambience, it was awful, we left early - worst accomodation I have ever come across. The "spa" is a shack exposed to the elements and looks as though the Crusoe family recently evacuated it. It was locked closed.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Risk123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 - 161 of 187 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 2011

Stayed two nights in the rock camp in luxurious rooms with spectacular views! The food was excellent, some of the best we had in South Africa. All staff were helpful and enthusiastic. Having been on a large safari trip in public reserves in Tanzania we found the safaris at Kwa Mdwala a very different experience. Game less plentiful but more intimate with excellent and knowledgeable guides. We did see white rhino, elephants, and two lions! We didnt take the option to travel into the Kruger but they do offer it at an extra cost. Definitely recommenend the walking sarafis with truly knowledgeable local guides. The spa was a unique and very enjoyable experience.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank suew01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2011

We spent 4 days on safari in Kwa Madwala and enjoyed every minute! With this type of vacation what you get is what you make of it and the experience was phenominal! The wildlife experince was first class, the hotel was great, the food was great and the stafff were outstanding! Could not fault the location for a ifrst time safari experience for a family of 3 children - 9, 11 and 15! Perfect!!
Although we had hard days of animal experience - not the big 5 every time - the experience was genuine! and that's sometimes more important than animal spotting! The experience and the resort is one I would not hesitate to recommend! Perfect if you can spend Saw 4 of the big 5..apart from leopard, experienced driver was a massive help with the kids, and they really reponded to his local knowledge on anaimal, plants and wildwife! A wonderful experience was discussing the sky at sunset and the stars on the African sky!On slight negative on our 5 days was the Boma not for kids .....nor me......too many beasties on my plate!! (IIn Scotland we tend not to see too many beasties!)
Overview - Brilliant - and importantly to make it a first class expericne for all, your kids need to appreciate the wildlife is truly wild! Screaming out of the question.....we had some younger kids (under 6) from SA for whom it was all too much!

Kwa Madwala - I will return!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank IlsaDog1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2011

We stayed at Kwa-Madwala game reserve for 3 days. The food was pretty mediocre. Burnt meat and chicken on the two BBQ nights. The middle evening, we ate in the dining room (way more pleasant to dine in the dining room) and we had lamb shank which was very good. It was the best meal we had eaten during our stay. We left very early each day for Krugar Park; so we requested a box breakfast. These breakfasts were awful-greasy grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast! We had a rather weird lunch when we arrived at the lodge of pastrami slices and balls of mozzeralla cheese on a plate. The rooms did not "feel" clean and were dated with a large hole in the carpet in the sitting area-a total turnoff for me. We got up very early every morning and it was tough to take an outside shower because it was dark and very cool at 4:30 a.m. in April. The best part of our stay was the 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. game reserve ride since we could get a lot closer to the animals than when we were at Kruger.

Room Tip: Request a room with a good view.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank parkcitychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2010

We were absolutely stunned by this place when we went for our honeymoon. We stayed 4 nights and absolutely loved the view from the room and the terrace. The staff was so friendly and helpful in arranging all the activities and the rangers so knowledgable! We could not believe the food considering that this place in the middle of nowhere and everything has to be transported here a long way.
Don't miss out on the bush walk and have a massage as well!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank BBMagic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2010

We were booked on a 3 hour Big 5 night drive. Coming from a 3rd party camp, we were quite excited as our host boasted about Kwa Madwala etc. Getting there, we were amazed with the views of the camp. At 4pm, we were asked to go to the vehicle for the drive.

This is where I started to semi NOT enjoy the experience.

We were kept for about 15 minutes while the driver got another vehicle that actually does have diesel in the same. Going on the drive, it was great. When it started to get dark, the driver was doing an average of about 40km/h and only scanning the trees...

Now as an avid explorer of Africa, I've been on my quota of night drives. Not once has the driver done these speeds. My wife and I was holding on more than what we could enjoy the drive. How can any person fully scan the environment for animals at these speeds. Then also, on more than one occasion, the driver/guide was driving, on his phone with SMS's as-well-as holding the night light. Once again, hoe do you actually give your customers their money worth....

The guides knowledge of the animals and plants were good, but personally I think he lacks the "feeling" for the bush. The only animals that we saw was Rhino, Blue Wildebeest and a number of Impala. I've seen more animals driving to the gate in Marloth Park that what I saw there.

Also, we got to the camp at about 6:50pm. Thus the 3 hour night drive that cost me R900.00 for the 2 of us, was actually only 2:35 long with record breaking bush speeds set up.

I have advised our host about this, and will not recommend your establishment to friends and family. My feeling is that the staff should be trained in what the value of a customer is. Whether they directly or indirectly are customer facing.

I only write this as I send a mail to the lodge complaining about the service that I received. Up to today (about a month later) I have had NO feedback from them. Is this the type of service they deliver?

I for one will NEVER advise anybody to even consider going to Kwa Madwala.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jay_Vee_37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2010

Had 3 nights here just before Xmas.
First night had an impressive and massive storm which knocked out the electricity and led to a sticky night without any a/c.
Did the microlight flight which is a must, the ellie safari which was pretty good, a bush walk which was informative and 2 bush drives which were pretty up-front and personal - especially with the elephant!
Downside was the state of the pool.
Not 5 star but a lot of charm and authenticity make this as good as Kruger itself.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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Thank japesLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve

Address: Strydomblok Road | Hectorspruit, Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve 1330, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve
Price Range: £116 - £116 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Manyatta Rock Camp’s accommodation is very unique and combines extremely creative architecture with its simplistic elevated rock environment. Looking like giant rocks our unique dome shaped bedrooms are scattered across the rocky outcrop with fabulous views out across the bush from the private wooden deck of each unit. Manyatta has been skillfully designed to blend in with the surrounding natural environment and to ensure that all rooms offer a private wooden deck for bright mornings and lazy afternoons overlooking the African bush. An outside shower and chairs on the deck make the decks very popular with guests. Manyatta Rock camp accommodation is sold including dinner, bed and breakfast. Subtle lighting around the camp and footpaths connect all rooms to the swimming pool, boma, dining deck, bar, day Spa and viewing lounge deck. All 27 rooms are comfortable yet tastefully furnished and infused with elegant African touches. Simplicity in the bush! The bedrooms are air-conditioned with two twin beds which can be made up as a queen size bed. Included is a mini fridge (which can be stocked as a bar upon request). The en-suite bathroom has dual his and hers basins and bath.Six of the accommodation units also feature a separate living room complete with sofa bed. These units are well suited to families with children. Maximum room occupancy in these units is 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children 12 years and under.The beautifully appointed Honeymoon Suite features a large four poster bed, private deck and shower and is ideally located for maximum privacy.Comfortable and elegant without being fussy, Manyatta is praised for its relaxed charm, unique bedroom design and stunning hilltop location.Guests should not walk around unattended at night for their own safety. A ranger is always on standby to assist guests to their rooms with his torch at night. Should a ranger for some reason not be available please ask at reception to be assisted. ... more   less 

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