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Abelana River Lodge

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R71, 35 Km From Gravelotte, Phalaborwa 0895 South Africa
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#4 of 10 hotels in Phalaborwa
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R71, 35 Km From Gravelotte, Phalaborwa 0895 South Africa
Getting there
Phalaborwa Airport24 kmSee all flights
Hoedspruit Airport50 kmSee all flights
8Reviews0Q+A1Room tip
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MichelleMyburgh wrote a review Jul 2021
1 contribution3 helpful votes
+1
Last month, we invited 40 of our closest family and friends for a weekend of celebrations at Abelana which is located near Phalabora, South Africa (about a 5 hour drive from Johannesburg). As you enter the main venue area you are welcomed with breathtaking views of the Selati River dotted with the most beautiful fig trees and an overflow pool. The lodge has 20 rooms all with exquisite views of the river; their own mini bar and outdoor showers - perfect luxury accommodation for a special occasion or a couple's retreat. Although this was the first wedding which Abelana has hosted the planning leading up to the day was seamless. The Assistant Lodge Manager helped us source a local florist, DJ and more. The venue is decorated with modern furniture, has a lovely big bar and beautiful big wooden deck - no need to outsource other furniture for a special occasion. Upon arrival at the lodge we treated our guests to a welcome game drive including a surprise sundowner stop in a beautiful dry riverbed. We were even lucky enough to spot a male lion on our way back to the lodge. Once we returned to the venue we enjoyed a boma evening under the fig trees along the river at the main lodge area. We hosted our wedding ceremony under large leadwood trees in the open bushveld with the sounds of African Fish Eagles in the distance. The team at Abelana went out of their way to make our guests feel like absolute royalty. From arranging the most incredible surprise sundowner stop in a dry riverbed, conducting memorable game drives, to ensuring the kids attending the wedding were always entertained and attended to - nothing was too much to ask. The chef at Abelana is extremely talented and our guests are still raving about how delicious the food was. If you are looking for a modern, intimate wedding venue in the African bush look no further than the new Abelana River Lodge!
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Date of stay: June 2021
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3 Helpful votes
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Steve L wrote a review Jun 2021
Salt Lake City, Utah3 contributions9 helpful votes
This was our first trip to the African continent. It was a bucket list trip for my wife's 92 year old father. We chose South Africa so we could be close enough to quality healthcare if it was needed and we are so glad we did. From the moment you pull into the circular drive, greeted by the beautiful and attentive staff to the moment you drive away with their gracious smiles and waves, your every need is taken care of. The elegant and appropriately decorated lodge, with it's local, natural materials of wood, stone along with the soft and inviting lighting, creates a feeling of being grounded, present and welcome. The outdoor space is equally inviting and creates a relaxing space shaded by a giant Sycamore Fig tree yet you feel safely engulfed in the African bush. The food is diverse without being odd and presentation is equal to the marvelous flavors. We were fed well and never went hungry. Each spacious, well appointed bungalow continues the tasteful decor from the lodge making us feel cozy and comfortable. With a large sitting area next to a fireplace and a large ensuite with an optional outdoor shower facing the river you could spend a lot of time in your room if you weren't in the beautiful African bush. Each morning started with an early game drive. When it was cold, we had a fleece covered hot water bottle and a blanket to stay warm as we spotted Impala, Zebra, Kudu, Elephants, Giraffes and all kinds of birds and bugs. With a morning stop for a warm drink and a gorgeous view, we enjoyed being taught by an exceptional guide that not only helped us understand the animals but also the plants, tracks and history of the area before we returned for breakfast and relaxing during the day. The late afternoon brought another game drive with more information, more incredible discoveries and more hot drinks with a beautiful view as the sun set. Spotlights came out after dark so we could see what the nocturnal animals were up to - Owls, Bush Babies, Lions and Leopards - before heading back for dinner in front of a beautiful fire or out on the back deck for a BBQ. We couldn't have been more pleased with our total experience at the lodge where we feel like we made new friends with the management, our guide and staff.
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Date of stay: June 2021
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Room Tip: All rooms are separate bungalows that face the river.
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1 Helpful vote
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Oun007 wrote a review May 2021
Lydenburg, South Africa7 contributions
+1
Thank you Abelana for a fantastic weekend! We were spoilt and had such an amazing family weekend! The decor at the lodge is absolutely amazing! Attention to detail you cannot imagine! Heated towels when getting back from gamedrive. Fantastic food! The setting next to Selati river is breathtaking! We had such great game drives with our guide being very knowledgeable of not only the big animals but also plants, trees and insects! The deck and ppl next to the river is just the most relaxing! The rooms are beautifully decorated, with an outside shower overlooking the river! What a treat! Natalie,Dean and team thank you so much!
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Date of stay: May 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
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Kurt D wrote a review Feb 2021
Johannesburg, South Africa14 contributions6 helpful votes
We were greeted by the friendliest staff and a remarkable view! Only 5 hours from Pretoria lies this brand new game reserve. Definately one of the best boma settings we’ve experienced, with a beautiful pool right on the river. We had a great stay, thank you Natalie, Vic, JL, Meisie, Ben, Magdilene and everyone for your friendly service! We’ll be back soon!
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Date of stay: February 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
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Ross wrote a review Jan 2021
2 contributions
My partner and I went to Abelana over New Year’s Eve for a 3 night stay and were completely blown away by the lodge and all staff. Our guide (Vic) was extremely knowledgeable and made the stay that much more special. Few things can beat sitting out by the pool and enjoying the view of the Selati river. Food was amazing too! Looking forward to returning tho this special place!
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Date of stay: January 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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PRICE RANGE
US$294 - US$444 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
South AfricaLimpopo ProvincePhalaborwa
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