Emhosheni River Lodge Review
My husband and I are from Sydney, Australia and we stayed at Emhosheni River Lodge at Parsons Nature Reserve in South Africa for a few days mid-January.
Well, where do I begin to tell you about our stay at the lodge?!?!? Words cannot express how much of an amazing time we had at the lodge with wonderful hosts Leandra and Dave. LONG ESSAY AHEAD: Hopefully this lengthy review will get you to book at Emhosheni River Lodge! :P
When I was researching for our trip to South Africa, we were looking for the perfect place to stay to relax, eat good food, go on safari to see the African animals and of course, a place that was a good price within our budget.
I searched for many days and many of the private lodges were quoting me thousands of dollars just to stay only for a few nights! Crazy! I happened to stumble upon Emhosheni River Lodge in my searches, and it was from the amazing reviews on Trip Advisor and the cool photos of the animals seen right in front of the lodge that convinced me this was the perfect place to stay. My husband had never travelled to South Africa before, and I thought seeing the African wildlife right from your doorstep was very special.
Getting to the lodge: The flights from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit were far too expensive, so we hired a car and drove the lengthy 6 hour journey to the lodge! That day we left at around 9am and arrived at about 2-3pm, including a short 10 minute stop. The directions that the hosts, Leandra and Dave have on their website lined up perfectly with our offline google maps directions.
Once you arrive to the Parsons gate, you need to sign in and pay the gate fee which I think from memory was 70 rand for the car and 40 rand per person in total which was 150 rand = $15 AUD. At the gate you will receive a map to the lodge, which is super easy to follow. Then you drive about an hour and you will reach the lodge! On our way to the lodge, before we even arrived we were already seeing African wildlife; we saw zebras, giraffe and impala and we were so excited.
Upon our arrival to the lodge, Leandra and Dave (the hosts) came out to meet us and we were introduced to the other amazing staff Paulina and Henneck! Leandra and Dave showed us around the lodge (VERY BEAUTIFUL!) and let us know how to avoid certain bugs and animals entering our room! Haha. Its just something simple such as keeping your bags above the floor and keeping them zipped up and also checking your bedding before bed for any bugs or new friends! Leandra and Dave made us feel so welcome, we love that he used to be a Captain with Emirates, and Leandra used to be a teacher (I am a teacher myself!) so my husband and I always enjoyed talking with them both on several occasions! We loved especially their travel stories from all over the world, and also the cool animal stories from the lodge!
Leandra and Dave are also the BEST COOKS EVER! Included in your stay is also a buffet breakfast (Dave makes the best eggs and bacon!) and a three course dinner (DELICIOUS!) every night. We loved every single meal at the lodge but if we had to pick our two favourites, we loved the ostrich and the chicken dish they made. The dessert with the chocolate yoghurt and fruit was my favourite!
Also, Dave took us out on many game drives during our stay. It costs 250 rand per person (which is super affordable!) and you are pretty much guaranteed to see something on your safari! We saw loads of giraffe, zebra, warthog, wildebeest, impala, Kudu, waterbuck and many beautiful species of birds. Unfortunately for us, we only saw 1 elephant during our very short stay but luckily enough we saw him in the front view of our accommodation. We were super happy! The Parsons Nature reserve area is considered a Big 5 reserve and they have over 23,000 elephants so be assured that you will definitely see them on your trip. We also saw a dead buffalo killed by a lion a few days earlier. Make sure you ask Dave to take you to the treehouse viewing deck, it’s super pretty and if you’re lucky, you can see some wildlife down below! During our safari drives, Leandra prepared a wonderful afternoon tea, including drinks and great food such as vegetables or muffins. One day it was so nice to stop the car, sit and wait for the giraffe to appear while we had our afternoon tea.
The accommodation: Our rondawel was AMAZING! (see my photos!). We were staying in traditional African lodging. Our rondawel had such a comfortable bed, an outdoor shower, an indoor shower with an amazing shower head, the biggest bath I have ever seen (super big and comfortable and relaxing!), and the rest of the amenities were amazing! The rondawel was clean each day and it was so nice to relax in! We also got a free bottle of water on arrival, which we greatly appreciated. We had an amazing view of the backyard (pool and game viewing area); we woke up each morning and opened the curtains hoping to see some wildlife around! Once we had a monkey looking at us through our window from outside!
The food: As mentioned above, it was amazing and we have never ever experienced such exceptional hospitality in our lives. If you do want to have lunch while at the lodge (available upon request), you can ask Leandra and she will put something together for you, and it is very affordable as well.
Activities: You can choose as you go when you would like to go on safari/game drives. The morning game drives during Summer start at 6am and go for about 2 hours, and the afternoon game drives start at 4pm and go for about 2 hours also. Any other activities are totally possible to arrange with the help of your hosts, that are outside the lodge. The information book in our accommodation was so great to look through for ideas/inspiration. Unfortunately our stay was quite short, so we opted this time to hang around the lodge and relax, and do some game drives.
As you can probably tell, our stay at Emhosheni River Lodge was everything we wanted and so much more! Leandra and Dave have created something really special and unique at the lodge and are living out a lifelong dream. I highly recommend Dave and Leandra as hosts and I highly recommend staying at Emhosheni River Lodge in South Africa. Next time we return, we plan to stay for longer and to do more activities within the area. Thank you so much Leandra and Dave for one of our most memorable stays during our trip; we will always remember your kindness, warm hearts and the exceptional hospitality and customer service we received at your lodge. This review is a true testament to how much we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC