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All reviews photo safari kruger park game drives big animals unforgettable vacation a great experience leo hunting tamsin guide scenery africa company region interaction cheetah
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Reviewed 30 September 2019

Met Jill at a sport show in Madison, Wi. Made a reservation in a couple days, price was right so we booked a non hunting vacation for nine days. I ended up hunting for one day and got a Nyala. The whole trip was fantastic, our guide Gavin, his family and all workers at the camp were wonderful. We had the best trip ever.

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank 18818TwinBayLn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2019

First class service, tremendous and personable guide, excellent accommodations.

We booked the photo safari in September which is the beginning of spring in this region. We where met at the airport by our guide for the trip Matt and from there to the lodge. Everything was well organized and the property is gorgeous. We experienced so many firsts with the game drives seeing big 5 animals in Africa, zip line, touring the mountains, tiger fishing, walking with cheetah, interaction with hippos, boat cruise, rhino encounter and biggest Kruger park tour over 2 days. This lodge is very well managed and offers a personal experience beyond what we expected. Thank you to Matt, Roxy , Tamsin and all the staff for a great visit and we hope soon to return.

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Ronald G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2019

When trying to decide how to see South Africa or anywhere on the African continent, It is great when you have a local guide to take you around and capture the sites without having to worry about self driving navigation and the best way to arrange your holiday. Mafigeni staff do it all for you. Everything from your travel arrangements, transport form airport to the lodge and all transportation during the week to a weeks worth of activities to catch the best sites in the area. For a set price Tamsin and Jill will include everything, transportation, entry fees meals (wine and beer) are all covered. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your tours. You will get to see Predator park, Jessica the Hippo, a walk with Cheetah's, an elephant reserve and and game drives to see animals around including the big five animals!.
I would also recommend you avail of the opportunity to stay overnight in Kruger National Park on your last night - we did a full day tour as well as a game drive on the morning of departure. It is an unreal experience to see nature in action, from rhino's elephants, hyenas, leopards even if you are sharp enough to catch them!

For a set price everything can be arranged and worth every penny! The lodge do offer hunter packages separately but we did the photo safari. The head guide Gavin is an excellent photographer and even helps take better pictures of your group while touring!
They can accommodate younger kids - we traveled with ours at 10 and up, no problem. Best time to see this is May-Sept.

Room tip: Rooms are thatched room huts wit hall amenities. Temperatures are great 50-80's Wifi in communal sitting area but not each hut.
Date of stay: June 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Niallmcl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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