Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge

Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge

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Room & Suite (14)
Dining (5)

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About

5.0
#2 of 5 campsites in Vaalwater
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Value
Hippo Lakes brings you the ultimate luxury African Safari experience. Situated in the spectacular Waterberg region, Hippo Lakes is nestled along the edge of a lake bank at the end of a long rugged ravine. Hippo Lakes offers you a unique safari wildlife encounter with a breath-taking number of animals, birds, and plant life. There is no hunting at Hippo Lakes. Hippo Lakes lies within the malaria-free UNESCO World Nature Site.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Wifi
Pool
Bar / lounge
Airport transportation
Business Centre with Internet Access
Outdoor fireplace
Private pool
Restaurant
Room features
Air conditioning
Safe
Room types
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Luxury
Quaint

Location

Vaalwater South Africa
Getting there
Polokwane Airport
106.5 km
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1 Restaurant
within 10 kilometers
39Reviews0Q+A12Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
African Dreams™​ wrote a review Apr 2020
Cape Town Central, South Africa1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
As safari operators we travel to many lodges and camps to review the facilities and standards that we will in turn relay and recommend to all our international guests. Hippo Lakes astounded us. The experience from the beginning to end was just out of this world. We were collected from Lanseria Airport in style. The arrival at Hippo lakes three hours later was super warm, friendly, fast and efficient. The accommodation is truly magnificent. Luxury tents that are spacious and decorated with every comfort you may need. The WiFi is fast and stable for those who need it. We experienced a torrential thunderstorm the afternoon of arrival and these tents are so solid that it stood unbelievably fast throughout the blizzard and lightning. The staff is amazing throughout and it will be impossible to nominate any individual as every person contributes to the experience as a whole. The food does not always get preference when it comes to safari reviews. But at Hippo Lakes the food has to be rated as one of the best culinary experiences you will have at any safari lodge. As brilliant as the scenery, the safari experience, the people and the atmosphere - we have to rate the food at Hippo Lakes as one phenomenon that stands out top. There is nothing that is overlooked at Hippo Lakes and the detail in operations and customer service is fantastic. We have to award Hippo Lakes with nothing other than a five star rating and recommend you take the time to visit this special and unique Safari Gem.
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Date of stay: January 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.
R Wilder wrote a review Jan 2021
Alpharetta, Georgia1 contribution1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I was pleasantly surprised by excursion and experience Hippolakes has to offer. We stayed in a tent that was not a tent but rather a five star hotel inside. We had a deck, plunge pool and breathtaking views of the lake that we saw a crocodile in. The food was delicious. It's all locally sourced and fresh. The service was amazing. The staff always had an infectious smile on their face!

Two of my biggest highlights included an outdoor barbecue aka a bush braai and the four course dinners listening to hippos play in the water while the sun was setting.

During our safari rides we always had something new to see from Elephants, Rhino, Kudu, Nyala, Wart hogs, Hippos and Giraffe. The rangers make sure you see as much as possible, and Sean and Andre give you all the interesting facts about the animals, plant life and local birds. During our visit it happened to be after many baby animals were born, and it was so cute and special to see the babies with their moms.

Sean and Andre bring coffee if it’s a morning safari, sundowners if it's a late afternoon ride, and lunch if its midday. You never have to worry about anything. In fact they have rain jackets, bug spray, water and all things you may want on a safari ride. The value for the price beats other safaris by a lot!
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Date of stay: December 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.
G A wrote a review Nov 2022
Ibiza Town, Spain1 contribution3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I don't think I've ever had food this good. That's number one. And a very important variable when you're talking safaris. They are expensive in general so you definitely want to be well-fed. 11 out of 10 on the food.
Secondly, Shaun and Andre are the nicest rangers EVER! They went above and beyond to make sure we all knew what was going on and where to go, even before the trip started. I can't speak more highly of them. It was also very nice to know that these guys know the area and they know the animals so I never felt unsafe. It said a lot when on our last night, they said we needed to turn around and go back instead of continuing up the mountain after it started raining because the path would become very slick. They never jeopardized safety in the name of having a good time. I would DEFINITELY recommend!
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Date of stay: November 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: Come hungry! They're going to feed you 3 EXCELLENT meals a day, so no snacking! Save your...
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.
BruceK18 wrote a review Nov 2023
Delray Beach, Florida24 contributions52 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Our recent stay at Hippo Lakes Luxury Safari Lodge exceeded all anticipated expectations. From a warm and welcoming arrival pick-up to departure drop off, under the direction of property manager Shinade, all services and adventures were professional and efficient. She and her team of housekeepers, waiters Washington, Tutus and Mary were always available to quickly accommodate all needs and requests and always done with a sincere and warm smile.
The luxury tent accommodations provided all necessary and needed amenities and displayed decor reflecting the local culture. Included was a safe, bathrobes, refrigerator, coffee, tea, snacks and fruit. As an example of attention to detail a vegan chocolate bar was included for my vegan wife.
At all meals chefs Rina and Gapolang took pride in creating delicious choices and gave special attention to those with dietary restrictions. Vegan creations were culinary delights and beautifully presented. Dietary needs were also accommodated for all snacks on game drives. Especially appreciated was the vegan meal at the Bush Braai ( BBQ) a wonderfully enjoyable South African tradition. Meal communal eating was conducive to interaction and conversation.
Daily game drives whether with the gregarious Shaun or more lowkey Anton were informative adventures making all animal encounters exciting events providing time for picture taking . The deep passion of both rangers instilled a real appreciation for natural habitats for all animals. All of the big five will not be seen here but outside options are available.
A farewell performance of song and dance by the staff was a heartwarming send off ending a unique 5 day safari experience with long lasting lifetime memories.
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Date of stay: October 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
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.
meera p wrote a review Oct 2023
Sheboygan, Wisconsin23 contributions
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was a once in a lifetime trip. Videos or pictures will never do this place justice. Hippo lakes is secluded by multiple lakes and a decent amount of vegetation. The tents are located right on the lake, which in itself is amazing, however you actually do get an up close look at the wildlife just from your own deck.

The staff is truly what made this trip unforgettable. They went above and beyond to make sure that your time there was comfortable. The food was made on site for each meal, customizable for your allergies or your preferences, you can tell a lot of love was put in it.

We had a family of four staying in the hippo three tent, it was more than comfortable for all four of us. All of the basic toiletries are there - shampoo, conditioner, hairdryer, towels, etc. I do recommend bringing some sort of motion, sickness medication if you are prone to becoming sick from a lot of driving.

Hippo Lakes is right now about 5000 acres. You get to go out and explore multiple times during your stay. You can see most of the staple animals that you want to see in Africa there. Our itinerary also included two visits to a larger game reservation where you could see the big five. From there, we got to see the rest of the animals that hippo lakes can’t accommodate at the moment.

One of the things that makes hippo lakes so great are the Rangers. MJ, Shaun and Anton took a lot of time to explain things with each Game Drive. On the bigger game reservations that you visit, those rangers were great to help you see the animals. However, those Rangers never went in depth when it came to the little things. The hippo Lakes Rangers, would take the time to stop and explain everything as small as how a dung beetle mates, to something as large as organizing a night drive to see hippos outside of the lakes and explain their nighttime habits. I learned a lot and they were all very patient and making sure all of your questions were answered.

Overall, this was a magical stay. I would highly recommend booking your Safari trip via hippo Lakes.
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Date of stay: October 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
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.
Angie G wrote a review Apr 2024
7 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I don’t have enough great things to say about the resort, the process getting there, or the staff. All beyond amazing! The pickup and ride to the resort was seamless. The whole trip was way beyond my expectations. Truly 5 star service, accommodations and activities. Beautiful accommodations (I can hardly even call it a tent it’s so luxurious). The staff goes out of their way to make every detail of every single aspect perfect. Can we talk about the food? WOW! Top shelf every single meal. We will definitely be going back!!!
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Date of stay: March 2024
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Jean wrote a review May 2023
Jacksonville, Florida2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We heartily recommend the Hippo Lakes Photo Safari. Hippo Lakes Lodge is at 3500 ft. in elevation. We experienced perfect weather and very pleasant temperatures in May. We saw lions, cheetahs, rhinos, a serval, giraffes, etc., all up close to our open safari vehicle. And yes, hippos were just below our tent in the lake. We went to 3 different game preserves with very different topography. The whole resort had only 15 people, so we made some really good new friends. The tents are luxurious; glamping at its best, 5 star hotel quality. We had a one-bedroom tent with a living room and a huge bathroom. The food was excellent! The chef worked around my food sensitivities. Service was excellent. Sean and Shinade, Herralt, and the all the other game rangers made the the experience wonderful. After 5 days at Hippo Lakes, we opted for the 3-day trip extension to Cape Town for a totally different, but equally wonderful experience. Ben DuToit was our excellent tour guide there. The city tour was very interesting and the trip up Table Top Mountain was memorable, but my favorite trip was the day we explored the wine country and enjoyed a day of wine and cheese tastings. Each vineyard was very different in style. My favorite vineyard was Graf. On the entire trip, the food was delicious and the pricing was so very reasonable. We would go again in a heartbeat. Randy and Jean Henderson
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Date of stay: May 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled solo
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.
Vacation290582 wrote a review Sept 2022
Idaho36 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We just had an incredible time and as several of the other reviews commented, exceeding all expectations. It was a true experience connecting with ‘the bush’ and everything that comes with it. Great, experienced and passionate rangers who go out of their way to connect you with what you see on the game drives. Great accommodations, own private pool, situated above on the edge of Hippo Lakes looking down with a direct view on the hippos moving around, vegging out and yawning with mouths wide open. It was a whole new level of ‘glamping’ in huge luxury tents with separate living quarters, bedroom and bathroom. The food, my goodness, incredible. Fantastic service. People are all so genuinely happy that you are there and go out of their way to make you feel special. This was a true experience!
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Deborah wrote a review Apr 2023
Rockville, Maryland27 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Hippo Lakes was far better than we could have ever imagined. I have dietary restrictions and the chef ensured that each meal I had on property and even on day trips was delicious as well as gluten free and dairy free. You will NOT go hungry here! The rangers were extraordinarily knowledgeable and friendly. The staff went above and beyond to ensure that your every need was met and did so with such warmth that they felt like family. The accommodations were far more than adequate, they were luxurious. There were truly almost no bugs so leave your malaria pills at home! If you have the opportunity to visit Hippo Lakes, jump on it!
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Date of stay: March 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Amyra R wrote a review 09 Jun
Chicago, Illinois41 contributions
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My experience here was wonderful! Truly an adventure. First of all, Anton and Mary Jane (our hosts and rangers) were very hospitable and knowledgeable of the animals and plants in the area. The safari excursions were so much fun and I learned something new from them every day like the “poop-ology” of animals. 😂 All the staff made us feel very welcomed and comfortable from the start, which was not an easy task with guests who came from all different backgrounds and ages. So I felt very at ease right away. And the food that the chef and kitchen staff produced was so delicious and plentiful that I almost forgot we were in the middle of nowhere! Secondly, I highly appreciated all the hard work that Anton did when we had a temporary power outage. He went over and above to make sure we were all right, stayed up for much of the night, and still took care of us the next day. They were also very open to our criticisms and suggestions and welcomed feedback on our last day. The elephant sanctuary, Entabeni (Big 5 safari, saw cheetahs and lions up close 😅), and helicopter ride are must do’s. I definitely want to come back once their future expansions are done!
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Date of stay: May 2024
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: As a woman and first-time traveler to South Africa, the staff made me feel very safe and cared for.
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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Amyra R wrote a tip 09 Jun
Chicago, Illinois41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"As a woman and first-time traveler to South Africa, the staff made me feel very safe and cared for."
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Susan G wrote a tip Apr 2024
35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Travel light! If you are visiting during Africa’s Fall/Winter, make sure you bring a warm jacket! Prepare to gain a few lbs. Food is amazing"
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ellen l wrote a tip Apr 2024
Skaneateles, New York29 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The beds are very comfortable but you will also here hippos roaming at night!"
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JeffWagg wrote a tip Mar 2024
Chicago, Illinois76 contributions30 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"Be prepared for LONG rides in a tight van. It took us 7 hours to get there from JBurg. "
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Jen C wrote a tip Jan 2024
Jacksonville, Florida192 contributions67 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"They offer laundry service on Wednesdays"
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LOCATION
South AfricaLimpopo ProvinceWaterbergVaalwater
NUMBER OF ROOMS
14
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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HIPPO LAKES LUXURY AFRICAN SAFARI LODGE - Campground Reviews (Vaalwater, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Is Hippo Lakes Luxury African Safari Lodge accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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