Ithala Game Reserve
Ithala Game Reserve
4.5
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles113 reviews
Excellent
57
Very good
36
Average
12
Poor
8
Terrible
0

Willem A
Centurion, South Africa146 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
The access road from Vryheid to Louwsburg is so badly potholed that we had to come to a dead stop - in my 4x4 - on many occasions to negotiate the holes. It took us well over an hour to drive the 60 km. The road from Louwsburg to Pongola is a lot better.
Half the chalets have their thatched roofs caving in and are not used. The restaurant is operational and what they have is well prepared and served. The phrase " we don't have " was fairly common - even no brandy or coke.
The tar road form the gate to Hilltop is being upgraded and in a good condition. The tar road - although overgrown - to the Pongola picnic site is fair. The gravel roads are not recommended.
The staff - although more in numbers than visitors - are friendly and helpful.
I cannot seen Ithala surviving for much longer considering the low number of visitors - the restaurant must be running at an huge loss.
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Black Marlin
78 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
If you want to see rhinos on a self drive safari with nobody else around, this is the place for you. The elephant and buffalo and other antelope are not shy either. The scenery is superb and the view from the Klipspringer Viewpoint is worth the 2 hour hike. Even the view from the viewpoint behind the rest camp was superb. The chalets are basic, but they have everything a self catering unit requires and they are clean and serviced daily. The swimming pool is clean and a pleasant hideaway from the heat, the bird life is prolific and the bird hide is good and breakfast was nice. The few drawbacks are the clear lack of funding for more costly maintenance issues: there are some units that are no longer habitable due to the state of the thatch roofs and these are eyesores in the rest camp. The poor condition of the internal dirt roads makes them only accessible by 4x4 and the best loop for game watching is no longer being a loop but rather a long out and back. The positives outweigh the negatives by a massive margin and more people should visit this Reserve!
Written 8 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Excursion15406783810
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
Wow....is the great word to describe the service...it was really amazing, the staff was also amaizing....from the gate to the entire reserve
Written 9 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leon M
Nelspruit18 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
This is one of South Africa's most scenic, beautiful parks. It's visually stunning, with some great birds and animals to be seen. However, it's clear that the camp (Ntshondwe Camp) and park as a whole is facing budget challenges. The roads are only passable in a high clearance vehicle, which wasn't the case a few years ago, and some of the chalets and other facilities, such as the swimming pool, are in need of a major revamp.

The chalet I stayed in was great - a little musty inside due to being closed up (to prevent monkeys and baboons entering), but otherwise clean and comfortable, and the restaurant served very good food - despite the fact that we were about the only people there! All the picnic sites we visited were well maintained, and work is being done on the tar road between the gate and the camp. Overall, me and my 2 clients (who were with me on a safari) really enjoyed it, but sincerely hope that some money is put into upgrades soon.
Written 19 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Albert
Vryheid, South Africa9 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Business
The roads is oky but some roads is bad the grass on the sights next to the roads is growing over the road some trees scraping the vehicle on the sides
Written 3 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grant
Southend-on-Sea, UK11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Friends
This game reserve offers so much more than just animals. We saw elephants, giraffes, rhinos and countless buck,monkeys, zebras, birds ext. And we even lucky to see leopard. Eating breakfast we were also graced with elephant coming to drink from pond.
If you are 4x4 person this place is a must with different routes on offer. But even in small vehicle you can do most of the routes. I would recommend booking a game drive as this is excellent way to see the animals and also very educational, learning interesting facts about the animals. There are no lions but this should not put you off as (don't always see lions when visit game reserve with lions) but it does mean there a hiking routes with stunning views. Also they offer camping on site and lovely picnic areas when have a braai/BBQ.
The best thing about this place are the views which are just out of this world.
Staff are very friendly and the food was very good.
Accomodation was very spacious and clean.
Well worth a visit.
Written 9 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa Vissers Leathers
Durban, South Africa47 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
The most amazing experience to be had was here at Ithala, even though Covid has hit the tourism market- so reserve was extremely quiet..
the staff couldn’t have done more to ensure our stay here was pleasant and enjoyable.

Stayed in the Self catering 2 sleeper units for 3 nights and then 1 night in the Bush camp- Thalu
Each morning we had a excellent choice for breakfast options, as you have breakfast included in your rate for the self catering units..

Lunch and dinner can be had from the restaurant on site, with amazing views down into the valley below.

At the bush camp, you need to be self sufficient- however you still have access to oven/ stove top, plenty hot water supply, fridge and freezer.
Lights are gas run, but we never felt the unit was too dark.
There are 2 bedrooms, split by a lounge and kitchen area in between. So a family, or friends still have their own space.
The bush camp appears to be newly renovated - with new thatch over the separate shower area, a short walk away, on paved pathways, and a separate toilet area as well.
We were really impressed with the detail and care taken to ensure a pleasant stay.

Numerous different routes can be taken by yourself as a self drive, a 4x4 or 4x2, with a clear clearance will get you into even more parts of the park.. the size of park, is misleading due to all the mountains surrounding you- and actually has so much ground you can cover, and which is amazing to do so.

You won’t get a more beautiful, picturesque location.

Ithala is for those people truly wanting to get away from it all, no hassle and bustle with over zealous road hogs, like many parks have.

Animal life, is scattered around the park however there are numerous amazing sightings.
Rhino/ elephant/ plenty giraffe and zebra.. amazing bird life as well..

A truly relaxed magical place..
Written 12 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

quarrymeg
East London, South Africa18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Friends
Another of South Africa’s hidden gems! What a spectacular park with an array of accommodation choices👍Had most interesting & informative game walk with Russell - learnt so much. Excellent game sightings. Brief sighting of a leopard added to the mix. Return visit is a must!
Written 4 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Songro1
Johannesburg, South Africa34 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
Reading the various reviews I expected a lot more and was quite disappointed. As with all government-related places, maintenance is way behind in all the chalets, not to mention the really bad potholed roads from the closest towns to the main gate. Getting the distinct feeling that the game count has decreased a lot over the years and not a lot is left (if any) of the proud elephants, rhinos and leopards that once called it home according to the pictures on the walls. Neglect is evident everywhere. On a positive note, the friendliest game park personnel I have ever come across - thank you.
Written 25 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter P
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Brilliant accommodation in The Lodge. The views were spectacular from the veranda. The 4x4 drive to the Pongola River was good fun but the game was pretty sparse - not one rhino or elephant to be seen.
Written 26 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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ITHALA GAME RESERVE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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