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All reviews wild coast the river games room hidden gem dining room beautiful surroundings table tennis staff were very friendly sardine run horse ride tea plantation lovely beach south africans early morning well taken care out of the way hiking options
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Reviewed 8 May 2018

The campsites are not within the grounds of the Mbotyi River Lodge, but it is an community camp with campsites and chalets. that is being rented out by the Lodge. By staying there, don't give you access to any facilities within the Lodge. We were squashed in between the chalets, because of overbooking. The ablution facilities are good, clean and neat. The area is quit and peaceful and with beautiful surroundings.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank georgeaY8778DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2018

We camped at the campsite next to Mbotyi River Lodge, and although the camp grounds were close to the sea and offered some protection from the wind while offering good views. The campsite turned into a mud bath and trying to get vehicles and trailers out was very challenging. I would only recommend using the campsite during out of season periods where you have a better chance of obtaining a light meal or drink/icecream from the lodge, otherwise be warned during high season you are treated like you are trespassing.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
Thank adventurersa2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juan S, General Manager at Mbotyi River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2018

As explained the campsite is a community based project - We assist the community in taking booking on their behalf and it goes into their bank account. This and the fact that hotel amenities are unavailable to campsite guests is clearly explained on all documentation that is emailed through. Our lodge guests in peak season pay prime rates and we therefore ensure that they recieve the best possible attention of the LODGE staff at all times. Unfortunately we are unable to predict the weather and when there is a downpour of more than 110mm in hours the grounds do become saturated.

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Reviewed 31 March 2018 via mobile

This may not be a luxurious resort however it is comfortable, clean and has amazing sea views

I loved staying here the service was amazing and the resort is a stones throw away from the beach.

Eastern Cape is an untouched piece of heaven and Mboyti is a comfortable place to experience it

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
Thank CandiceM1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2018

Mbotyi River Lodge is rustic and relaxed. It's not luxurious, but it's comfortable and welcoming.

The lodge sits on the bank of the lagoon, overlooking the ocean, and you reach it by driving through a tea plantation and then a lush forest. It offers remarkable views in almost every direction. It's a bit hard to get to if you're not used to South Africa's rural (and potholed) roads, but it's well worth it.

We stayed in one of the older rooms (the thatches) and they are rather dated, but still comfy. The lighting wasn't great and the bathroom was carpeted, which I've always thought is a bit silly, but the room was adequate and clean. It only had a bath, which is a pain if you want a quick shower after a sea swim, but this had been thought of and the bathroom had a little water scoop to make washing easier.

The main buildings include the dining room, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at set times (all meals are included in your stay. Packed lunches are available at an extra cost if you'll be away during lunch on a hike or similar). Then there's the bar and games room. The bar is well stocked and very reasonably priced and has board games available. The games room has billiards, darts, table tennis, TVs and so on. There is also a kids' games room next to the reception area, and a small shop that sells basic necessities and a few curios.

The lodge offers a number of activities. Canoes are available for paddling in the lagoon, free of charge, and you can walk to the beautiful beach through a pedestrian gate (although take note of tide times, as you need to cross the lagoon to reach the beach). There are a number of self-drive and hiking options, as well as guided tours. We did the early morning guided birding walk, the 16km Waterfall Bluff and Cathedral Rock hike, and a horse ride, all of which I can highly recommend. It's also worth driving to see the three waterfalls in the forest on your own, especially Magwa Falls.

Massages are also available at the lodge (and basic manicures and pedicures) and are reasonably priced. We each had a neck, head and shoulder massage and both enjoyed it.

Reception loans out beach umbrellas, volleyballs, beach paddle sets and a bunch of other equipment (you just leave a deposit and your room number) and the staff are very helpful with directions, suggestions and so on. The lodge also has a lovely swimming pool.

We were at Mbotyi over the year-end festive period. For many South Africans, Christmas and New Year's are the only chances they get to see the sea, so people flock to beaches, travelling huge distances to get there. Mbotyi is no exception, so if you are there over a public holiday, especially over the Christmas season, expect to spend the day in the lodge's property, as the surrounding roads and the beach will be completely clogged with visitors. Outside of those days, however, it's normally very quiet compared to other beaches in South Africa and you're like to see a handful of people and some of the Wild Coast's ubiquitous cows.

The meals at the lodge are down-to-earth and uncomplicated. Although they aren't particularly fancy, they're generally tasty and there's always enough food. If you are an especially fussy eater, bring snacks (you get to choose between two mains for lunch and dinner, so if you're super picky, you may get stuck). That said; we did see lodge staff kindly accommodating guests with fussy kids on a few occasions. You will struggle if you're trying to stick to a carb-free diet (and you will miss out on the most delicious homemade bread).

One of the best things about Mbotyi River Lodge is that the staff are great. Generally very friendly and efficient, they make sure the property and its guests are well taken care of, whether you're looking for a beach towel or you have a specific karaoke request.

There's live entertainment quite often, led by Lance, who performs in the dining room and later encourages the karaoke crowd in the bar. People at Mbotyi seem to be pretty laid back and you're likely to make a few friends. We even ended up leading an informal dance lesson at the bar one night after our Scrabble game.

The music may go on quite late if the crowd is in the mood, so there were one or two nights where it kept us up after we'd headed to bed. If you are a light sleeper and don't plan on socialising in the bar area at night, ask for a room further away from main buildings.

Overall, we loved Mbotyi Rover Lodge and hope to return in the not-too-distant future.

Room Tip: If you're a light sleeper, ask for a room further away from the common areas. The newer log cabins are nicer than the old thatches.
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank TamaraOh84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juan S, General Manager at Mbotyi River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2018

Thank you so much for the well laid out review. The feedback is greatly appeciated

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Reviewed 5 January 2018 via mobile

First off, this place is a journey to get too so if you are looking for a place to relax & unwind far away from everything, this is it! We stayed here solely to hike to waterfall Bluff. The rooms are very comfortable & clean. Nice view and a good working air conditioner. Easy short walk to the beach. Bathroom are small but clean, water pressure is good. Food was decent. It was either a hit or miss. Overall, very comfortable stay. They can also help organize a tour guide for waterfall bluff!

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with friends
1  Thank kimchixo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juan S, General Manager at Mbotyi River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2018

Your review is greatly appreciated thank you

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