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“Unwind and Let the Sights and Sounds of Nature Take Over”
Review of African Game Lodge

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African Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 June 2014

We original met Mandy and Len at Tenikwa Awareness Centre where they set up an animal Rehabilitation Centre near Plettenberg Bay - really worth a visit to do the Walking with Cheetahs and understand the problems facing the animal world in the 21st century. We were so impressed with the work they had done there and listen to their plans for African Game Lodge we had to come and stay here.

Booking accommodation was easy, they have a number of special deals - we booked a couples 2 nighter that included all meals including a bush picnic during a guided drive and accommodation.

Directions - are clear and the drive was easy in our small hire car. The road is unmade and crosses over numerous dried streams (when we visited) - it is worth taking your time and stopping at these points as the bird life is fantastic. Views as you drive further away from civilisation are fantastic. We are a couple of city slickers and love the sense of adventure.

You eventually get to the main gate - you feel on top of the world, after which you get some great views of all the accommodation as you drive down the hill.

We were met by Mandy on arrival and checked in. A very surreal experience with a couple of ostriches and Eland wandering about.

Accommodation - we had the cottage furthest away from the main buildings - closest to the Cheetah enclosure. The cottage, with one bedroom, was well equipped, the bedroom with en-suite bathroom, open plan kitchen, dining and sitting room, with a large stoep with comfortable chairs, table and braai. Everything was spotless. It is worth stocking up with coffee/tea, drinks, particularly good wines available from Robertson!

Food - we had all our meals provided. We would walk up to the main house for meals. Food was excellent and best of all, no washing up for us! We then walked back to our cottage - torches are provided - in the dark. The gentle sound of the Eland moving around us as we walked back added to the sense of adventure.

Take lots of books and then let nature take over. We spent most of our time out on the stoep reading, talking and just sucking up the spectacular views and the sounds - no plans, trains or automobiles here! At night savour the huge star filled sky. Good for trying out night photography. I did get a wifi signal up at main house, but really, be brave and switch off devices and don't feel the need to stay in touch.

Go for a walks and explore or sit quietly and nature will come to you. Eland walking past your cottage, birds a plenty and being watch by the cheetahs from their enclosure! You can also walk down with staff to watch them being fed.

There were 2 cheetahs, both sadly injured due to traps and will never be able to be released, they are wild, and unlike Tenikwa you cannot go into the enclosure. But a real experience to get close to these amazing animals.

And be prepared for Maggie the Mongoose! She eventually visited us on our second day, we were sitting outside and suddenly there she was! Next thing she was running up and sitting on my shoulder - keep the door shut when she is around, she will be in the cottage in a flash!

Our only slight disappointment was the game drive, there were great views, but not a lot of information, particularly on the birds we were seeing. We did not get to see the cave drawing, and not a lot of wildlife - not too bothered about that as we realise that they are introducing animals and they do not appear on demand, but I feel more information on habitat, plants etc would have been interesting.

I would recommend a couple of nights here if part of a road trip, it offers excellent value for money and offers a different experience to staying in many of the towns in the area.

Remember to check their website before going - the operate a Pack for Purpose scheme allowing you to pack small items listed and support some of the local projects they feel passionate about.

Overall, we loved our stay and wish Mandy, Len and their staff well in their vision for this beautiful, unspoilt piece of South Africa and hope to return again. Many thanks to you all.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CareySJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandy F, Owner at African Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2014

Thank you for your thorough and positive review of African Game Lodge and for taking time to give feedback on your stay. I think you captured the essence of our reserve perfectly as a place to relax and not get hung up on having the "Big Five" experience and I am glad that you enjoyed the specialness of African Game Lodge. Your observation about our nature drive is valid, especially on our reserve where the emphasis after all is trying to preserve the balance of nature. It was also great of you to mention our Pack for a Purpose campaign to prospective guests which is gaining momentum and watch out on our Facebook for the pictures of delivering all the donations to the local community as we are intending to go on an outreach in the next two weeks. Regards Mandy

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Reviews (206)
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146 - 152 of 206 reviews

Reviewed 13 May 2014

We spend a wonderful weekend under the stars of the Little Karoo night sky, away from mobile phones and iPads at the African Game Lodge.
Mandy and Len, Leigh Ann and Siyabonga are very kind hosts and guides that share their love for the environment and the wildlife in this conservation area, whilst catering for their guests in a genuine and no-nonsense way. Off the grid and solar powered, this lodge is a clear example how sustainability and tourism can enforce each other. Don't expect spa's and hair dryers, but recharge your personal battery in the peaceful and stress-free nature.

We met all animals but our time was too short to see the bushman paintings, so we will definitely return to visit those and to experience a night (or 2) in the Caracal Bush camp.
When you go there, check out their current projects at the 'Pack for A Purpose' website, so that you can support their activities in the local community and their animal rehabilitation and awareness center.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Jolande v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

We loved our stay at African Game lodge. Emma and Sadie's (the 2 ostriches) visits were a highlight, as was the mongoose. Loved the nature drive with picnic lunch. The stars were amazing here. The cottage was very comfortable and we loved braaing on the stoep with only the sound of the crackling fire and the frogs as company... Thanks for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Brenda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

We loved our stay the hosts were friendly and hospitable. We would of liked more time to explore. Worth the drive and road was good condition. The views were spectacular and the game dtive most informative. You felt oike you were far away from the busy world we live in.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Michelle N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

For my birthday this year, I wanted to take a trip to cango caves. To break up the trip, I was looking for a place to stay about 1/2 way between Cape Town and the caves and after much research, I found the African Gsme Lodge. My husband and I decided to stay in the caracal bush camp for something a little different and we are so glad we did!

If you are looking for somewhere to just get away from the real world and get in touch with nature and you don't mind roughing it a bit, this is a great place to do it. If you are the kind of person who needs luxury, this isn't for you. Having said that, the tent we stayed in had a comfy bed with clean crisp linens and a hardwood floor. Outside the tent was a lovely balcony with a table and chairs overlooking the dam. Below there is a proper bathroom with a flushing toilet, a shower and sink. Taking a shower was a bit tricky as it was pretty much impossible to keep the water warm....it was either hot or cold for the most part but that just added to the experience, in my opinion! Also below is a little kitchen with a gas stove with two burners. Was a bit surprised that there wasn't a sink to wash dishes but there was a portable basin with water not too far away. There is a large fire pit with a grill basket for cooking meat and/or veg. Add some vino and voila...you have a great meal with very little effort.

The caracal bush camp is VERY secluded with no electricity. However you are provided with solar lanterns and we also brought our own. Being so far away from lights made star gazing spectacular. The night sky blanketed in stars was truly a magnificent sight to behold.

It is very quiet in the day time hours but once the sun goes down you are treated to a symphony of frogs, crickets, and birds and it gets pretty loud which made it a bit difficult to fall asleep but again, all part of the adventure!!

Our thanks to Leigh-ann who gave us a warm welcome and had a picnic basket ready for us complete with cuppy cakes and a birthday card...what a lovely surprise! Also many thanks to the kind gentleman who took us out to the camp...his name escapes me but I remember it means "thank you" in another language!

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank azhootie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

Overall very good experience.
Far enough away from the hustle but close enough to home.
Friendly hosts
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Gerhard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

A perfect, quiet place with big individuality, wonderful for those who look out for a peaceful, natural environment and no commercial kick. White African chalets are comfortable and spacious, meals are delicious and nature plus animals are beautiful.
We would do it again!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Isabel F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about African Game Lodge

Address: Driekuilshoogte Pad, Montagu 6720, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Montagu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 35 Speciality Lodging in Montagu
Price Range: £58 - £67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — African Game Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestling in a vast valley amidst the spectacular highland mountainous scenery of the Little Karoo, lies African Game Lodge, a private nature reserve where wild animal have a future. Whether you are looking for a relaxing nature break, need to recharge your batteries or you are looking for an active holiday where you can hike & bike in natural surrounds, African Game Lodge is ideally situated, being only 2 ½ hours from Cape Town and just 30 minutes from the magical town of Montagu. Well-appointed thatch cottages, built in traditional Karoo architecture, provide a comfortable retreat where you can relax and look out over the valley, open spaces and surrounding mountains. Each Cottage is equipped with a fireplace for those chilly winter evenings, and the thatched roofs ensures an inviting coolness during the heat of summer. Awake from a good night sleep, and venture out into the healthy mountain air to choose from a variety of activities such as day hikes, short walks, self-drives, Eco & Game Viewing Drives, bird watching, nature exploring, or just sit and absorb the absolute silence and sounds of nature. ... more   less 
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