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Reviewed 11 April 2019

We’re just recovering from the jet lag of a long flight back from Africa, but I had to write this review while things were still fresh in my head. We met the owner of Mafigeni, Jill, at the hunting expo in Denver. We weren’t even interested in an African Safari but the friend we were with was, and he stopped by all the booths so, subsequently we did too. We started getting very interested and then fairly excited about the prospect of going to Africa. Mafigeni looked like they had a very nice package and after a bit of research and discussion, we decided to pull the trigger and buy their photo safari package.
All I can say is that I’m really glad we went with them! The lodge itself is amazing. Tucked off in a very safe area, we left thousands of dollars of camera equipment and cash unlocked in our room without ever thinking twice about it. The lodge is secluded and beautiful, very authentic safari experience! We got our own “bungalow” which was very comfortable and in great condition. The eating area is amazing and I’d go up in the morning to check email on wifi and sip coffee with beautiful views. The staff is incredible. Let me start with our photo guide Leo. You absolutely couldn’t ask for a better guide in Africa! Leo was so attentive to us, always looking out for us and making sure we had anything we wanted. Leo has a lot of great stories and we very much enjoyed talking to him and learning about Africa. Leo can also spot animals like nobody I’ve ever seen. We’d be driving down a road and Leo would say “Oh, there’s some wildebeest over there”, we’d look and look and after driving a quarter of a mile we’d start to be able to make them out! He has a super eye for things normal folks would miss. Leo would also get the car in the perfect position for me to take photos. Not sure how he could just “judge” where I needed to be to get the perfect shot in a small opening, but he did it!
The rest of staff is amazing too. They treated us like family and we were actually quite sad to leave them at the end of the safari. Theresa was wonderful and fun to talk to, her two beautiful daughters were there as well and both were so sweet and fun to spend time with. The hunting guides Gavin, Matt, and Alec are a blast too, we didn’t get to spend a ton of time with them, but each meal we had with them they would tell stories and make us laugh, what a great crew! The other staff such as Chef King and Happy who took care of our room were great. We ate out a lot as we were on the road for adventures so we didn’t get to eat a lot of King’s cooking, but what we did get was very tasty! The meals were from game meat harvested (I believe) on their farm and we got to experience some great local dishes! Don’t worry, none of the meat was “gamey” at all, everything we had was delicious!
The package was a lot of fun. We definitely kept busy seeing cool things like animal rescues and game preserves. We opted to pay a little extra for an extra day in Kruger, glad we did as we got to photograph lion’s mating! The other adventures were fun, even the zip lining canyon beat the zip lining we did in Costa Rica! You’ll be tired when you get back to camp as there’s a lot to do and to see.
I’d highly recommend a visit to Mafigeni, even if you only stop in for a night or two. Such a wonderful place with amazing people, you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s a little advice I’d give anyone booking with them:
1. Our package included airfare which was nice, but the flights were long and on Ethiopian Airlines which is not a great airline. See if you can either get a credit for airfare and book your own or find the path you want and request it. 30 hours of travel time on a crowded plane with little AC was not fun.
2. Talk to them about the activities and what’s available. They have a lot you can do and as I said, we decided to pay for an extra night in Kruger and forgo another adventure which was well worth it to us.

Date of stay: April 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank bbaldwin303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jillkleynhans, Owner at Mafigeni Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2019

Thank you for your review! It is most appreciated. I am so happy to hear that my staff kept up our high standard of hospitality and we most certainly enjoyed your time with us!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2019

An opportunity presented itself for “A Trip of a Lifetime”; we took it and never looked back. The family owned business “ Mafigeni Safari” (locally means “Built on a Rock") provided without exception a private and personalized experience of the scenery, culture, wildlife and history for an unforgettable vacation. All the family, staff and especially our Guide (certified professional photographer safari guide-ranger-warden) Andre Kruger aka “AK" looked after us like a “Mother Hen", attending to every detail, day or night ….. and yet it was as casual and comforting as a “Bed and Breakfast”.

Once we undertook the preventative medical regime ( yellow-fever, typhoid, meningitis and of course “malaria” ) the fact that we were really going on “Safari”, hit us.

We thought, we better look at the itinerary, again! You know how it goes; the exaggerated promises of the glossy sales brochure coupled with “please bear in mind that additional cost may be incurred…….Specializing in Safaris for the discerning traveler, avid photographer and hunters....”, all of this, yah sure! Well, your dreams, their “Embrace Africa Safaris”, will come true, if anything, Jill (owner-operator) undersells.

In short I have completed a Photo and Text compilation totaling 160 pages about Travel Memories of this Experience

Date of stay: May 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Zaba_Pierre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jillkleynhans, Owner at Mafigeni Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2019

Thank you so much for your review! I try not to undersell our safaris, but it's so good to hear that I do! So pleased to hear that we exceeded your expectations!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2019

I'm not sure where or how to begin. My wife, sister and I embarked on a journey into the unknown. We met Jill at the Huntin' Time Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she explained the advertised photo safari into South Africa. Airfare, drinks, food and excursions all included! Where's the catch? We discovered there is none.
I won't kid anybody 20 hours in an airplane is not my idea of fun but it is the only downside yet it is long forgotten once you get acquainted with the staff at Mafigeni and the experience absolute beauty of South Africa.
You awake to majestic sunrises each morning and stunning sunsets kiss you goodnight but it's what happens in between that will give new definition to "awesome".

Take a morning swim or enjoy the sounds as nature awakens around you. Chef King will start your day with a fabulous breakfast after a night's sleep in your very comfortable chalet. Then off you go into the wild, lush wonder of South Africa.

Our guide, Gavin, did an outstanding job guiding us. His love for nature and his country made every minute special to us. His knowledge of the animals, birds and the history of the area gave us an in depth experience as we stopped for more photos than I can count and more information than I can remember. Gavin's love for his country and his desire to share that love made our experience one we will never forget. Nor will we ever for get Gavin.

The staff is friendly and warm. You feel like part of the family.

The service is great and the food is fabulous.

Chef King makes everything delicious and your meals are served in an elegant style. Sharing your experiences of the day with other guests and staff makes the evening meal very enjoyable.

Go! If you want to have a "Trip of a Lifetime". Go to South Africa and if you go, go with Mafigeni Safaris.

Date of stay: March 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jillkleynhans, Owner at Mafigeni Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2019

Dear John and Family

Thank you for your wonderful review! I am so happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to see you back in Africa in the future!
Regards
Jill Kleynhans

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2018

From the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome it felt like home even though we had never been there before. The front of house staff were warm and friendly there was nothing that was too much effort for them to do. The rooms are amazing and maintained daily by a team of amazing woman. The grounds are a pleasure to stroll through or spend time in the pool with family and friends. Mafigeni is a dream venue for a family or friends who want to experience the true essence of South Africa..We will be back in 2020.

Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Dreamer59993695530
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2018

Greetings Tamsin,

I just wanted to send you and the greatest crew the BIGGEST THANK YOU EVER!!!!!!

All of you made us feel as if we were VIP's, Diplomats, Aristocrats or Royalty.

We took notice of every little detail that you and Laurali (I hope I spelled her name right) did for us.

It was just flawless and I just wanted you to know that nothing went unnoticed from us as guests at Mafigeni.

Jill & Jesse you have the best staff and dedicated employees that can't be matched

anywhere in South Africa.

From our wonderful meals, reservations for game drives and suggestions for other attractions & activities,

My team of 1st timers to South Africa & Mafigeni Safari Lodge were TOTALLY IMPRESSED.

I will be looking forward to our stay next year and hopefully with a much bigger team so that they can experience the BEST SAFARI LODGE in all of South Africa.

Once again thank you for all you do and can't wait to see your baby next year.

Blessings,

Rodney Lesmez

Room tip: A family of four will easily be accommodated in the two bedroom chalets. They also have one bedroom chalets.
Date of stay: August 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank lesmez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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