We stayed for three nights and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. After a long day driving in the rain to get there, the welcome was warm and friendly. The food was great and our tent was amazing - spacious, well equipped and warm with heating, wood burner and electric blanket and then when the weather improved, aircon and lovely deck to sunbathe and watch the heron at the waterhole. No animals, apart from some cheeky monkeys were close to the lodge during our stay but Elephants, Giraffe and even Lions had been there recently. It is a wildlife reserve with the animals free to roam so you just never know what, when and where the animals will be. The game drives are excellent, although as others have said you do need to wrap up warm for the early morning starts and if you stay out after the sun goes down in the evening so lots of layers is my advice as the open vehicles which give excellent viewing can also be quite drafty, especially if you are travelling quickly to get somewhere for a sighting. We had one ranger for 2 days and another for our last day - both were brilliant, knowledgeable and friendly in there own unique styles. The timetable of a 5.30am cuppa before the 6am game drive (3 hours+) returning for a full leisurely breakfast then gives you plenty of time for lazing and relaxing - there is a pool, viewing area and lounge area at the main lodge but we tended to stay at our luxurious tent until 3.30 when light lunch/high tea is available before the 4pm game drive (3 hours +) indeed one evening our guide was desperate to locate where the lions had hidden after just missing them in the morning that we didn't get back til after 8pm. It was very cold but the surreal experience of driving at night and the wonderful starlit African sky was worth it and the roaring fire, drinks and wonderful dinner immediately we got back was even more welcoming. A wonderful and very special way to end our 3 week road trip from Cape Town along the garden route - close to Port Elizabeth for returning the rental car and flight home. We were lucky to see almost every animal, including 2 of the elusive lions but the close up encounters with the Cheetahs and Rhinos were the best for me. Highly recommended this well organised lodge and well managed game reserve where there is plenty of wildlife in this superb mix of open grass plains, river, escarpment, quarry, waterholes and lots of bush.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bukela Game Lodge Is A 5-Star Luxury Lodge In The 7 500 ha malaria-free Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape South Africa. Accommodation at this tranquil game lodge is provided in four suites and five luxury safari tents, each individually styled in African simplicity while never compromising on luxury. This secluded safari destination is tucked away into indigenous trees and bushes at the top of a hidden valley and has the perfect setting for the intimate and romantic guest experiences for which we are renowned. Connected by a wooden walkway, our thatched suites offer a remarkable private wildlife-viewing experience. Savour a crisp glass of wine in your sun-soaked spa bath, opening onto trees alive with birdsong. Indulge in sumptuous high teas, private candlelit dinners or exciting fireside boma dinners under African stars. And as you fall asleep, hear the silence broken by the unmistakable sounds of elephant and buffalo making their stately progress through the unfenced camp. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bukela Game Hotel Amakhala Game Reserve