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Fiona
South Island, New Zealand

Mixed experience

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 26 Mar 2024
Kwa Maritane has good and bad points, but game drive made up for it all.

Staff at check in could not have been LESS interested in guests, same for the restaurant staff, but housekeeping staff were lovely!

Room was clean and tidy, but clear signs of aging with mildew in the bathroom etc

Meals were good, although some covers/fans to keep the flies off the food would be a good investment.

My biggest issue was the promised activities that didn’t take place and lack of communication about it. Short version is there are posters around advertising activities but without days or times, none of them took place, constantly got ‘not enough for that’ and ‘that started at 10am and it’s 1005 so we already cancelled’ …

Addressed my issues with our agent, and the manager came up with a good fix for the bush braai, that we really appreciated, but I would still warn anyone looking at staying to be aware that things like the bush braai or snake encounter will probably not happen.

I would also strongly suggest taking your own pool towels. We were told to get them from the restaurant, asked there and were told to ask ‘the staff at the pool’, we asked 4!!! more staff, who all said they’d arrange them, we then gave up and used our room towels

The game drive was amazing, and KK our guide was simply incredible with the way he loves the animals

Overall, expensive, and average service, but I’d still recommend it for the game drive
Date of stay: February 2024
Room Tip: Take your own towels, ask prior to check in for any activities days and times and try pre book
Trip type: Travelled with family
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wandile Ngxesha, Guest Services / Front Office at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, responded to this review
Responded 27 Mar 2024
Dear Fionahickson

I appreciate your feedback on TripAdvisor. We have carefully noted all your points and are committed to addressing each of them.

We are pleased that there were aspects of your stay that you enjoyed. We will work to improve in the areas you mentioned.

Reception Check-in:
We aim to provide a warm welcome upon arrival, and we will address this with our front office management team to ensure a better experience for our guests. We will be conducting a staff meeting to discuss your feedback and formulate an action plan to enhance our front office services.

Rooms, Appearance, and Food:
We plan to refurbish our rooms and improve the fly covers and fans in our restaurant to enhance the overall experience for our guests. The refurbishment of the rooms will be carried out in phases to minimize disruption to our guests. Our restaurant manager is working on obtaining more effective fly covers and fans without compromising the presentation of the food.

Promised Activities:
While we strive to offer all promised activities, there are instances when circumstances like weather conditions or snake behavior make it challenging. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. We will work on better communication with our guests regarding the status of activities and explore alternative options when cancellations are necessary.

Staff Response Time:
We understand the importance of prompt and efficient service, and we are taking steps to ensure that all staff members are more responsive to guest requests. We have discussed this issue at a management meeting and are implementing measures to reinforce a guest-oriented service approach across all departments.

We apologize for the mixed experience you had, and we assure you that your feedback has been taken seriously and all the issues raised will be addressed. Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention.

Regards
Wandile Ngxesha
Guest Relations Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 14 March 2024

If you want to have a quick easy getaway to the bush that is a very short, easy drive from Johannesburg then Kwa Maritane in the Pilanesberg is a very good option.

We did not have time to go to the more regular places, we just needed a quick bush fix (2 nights) and Kwa Maritane ticked most of the boxes, there were good surprises but also some disappointments.

Let's start with the good. Rooms are nice and have everything you need. Restaurant, bar and reception and ground staff are really, really great and the food was much better than expected, I would highly recommend the food, buffet style but great variety and all of it very tasty (both breakfast and dinner...don't miss the pancake bar outside the restaurant).

The actual reserve is very, very pretty (even if you can see the lights of Sun City in the near distance reminding you that you are not really in deep, wild Africa). Malaria free so no expensive malaria tablets. Best part was the large herd of elephant that came to drink right Infront of the restaurant (on our arrival and also on our departure). The hide is a wonderful bonus. (they don't tell you but you can tune your tv on to a channel that shows the hide). The hotel is very good value.

The downside was we were expecting to do a lot of self driving and the roads were really, really terrible. It was not possible to drive our little rental car on them (like we had 10 years ago on our last visit). In fact if you tried you would be so busy watching the road you would have no chance of being able to look for game as well. We spent both this past April and the April the year before in Kruger and we expected the roads to be as good as Kruger, they are not!

So we were restricted as we had planned to do mostly self drive and had to take the game drives offered by the lodge. It's the luck of the draw who you get on your vehicle. We were put on a vehicle with a screaming baby, mother had no idea what to do, we asked to change and fortunately were allowed another vehicle. What a relief as I saw them passing nappies around a bit later on. The vehicles are very large with a lot of people, we are not used to this after spending time in so many private lodges in the past. The next disappointment was the ranger. You get the distinct impression he has learnt a page on each animal. He stops, regurgitates his parrot fashion learnt facts on each animal. I suppose this would suit a lot of people who have never been to the bush. When you spend more money you get better rangers. Rangers that know how to stop so that the light is just perfect for your photographs, rangers that stop for birds. You get the impression everyone there is just interested in the big game and not the little nuances of the bush. Sadly we got the same ranger on our second drive and it was literally word for word the same regurgitated facts as the fist drive, jokes were even the same. If you can only do one safari in Africa for not a lot of money you could do a lot better (you will have to travel a bit further). Also there were a few facts our ranger got wrong but we decided it was not worth arguing with him. We requested another ranger on our third drive, she was a bit better, but you still get the impression they have learnt their lines.

Also, for some reason every single vehicle from every lodge rendezvous at the same place for their evening drink. I found it rather strange since the reserve is quite large I would have thought there would be nice places for each vehicle to stop where there is some quiet and solitude and you are not with everyone else in the park. Again being used to a private safari they would never group you with other people. I suppose it could be because its easier for the rangers and there were toilets there.

Despite the above, if it fits your budget and you don't have time to go further away then do go, just take a vehicle that has a high clearance and you will be fine on the roads. It will be worth paying extra for this as most of the roads are not tarred. (even the tarred road was heavily pot holed, but they seemed to be trying to fix those whilst we were there. I would definitely go back but with a better car and I would go in winter when the grass is not so high.

Room tip: Take a car with high clearance to manage the roads which are poor.
Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank karensusanperry
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wandile Ngxesha, Guest Services / Front Office at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2024

Dear Karensusanperry,

I am writing to convey my deep appreciation for taking the time to provide us with your valuable feedback and insights on TripAdvisor. Your feedback is crucial to us as we continuously strive to improve our guests' experiences.

We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed certain aspects of your stay, such as the comfort of our well-appointed rooms, the delicious meals, and the exceptional care and warmth shown by our staff. Ensuring our guests' satisfaction is our utmost priority, and we are delighted to have left a positive impression in these areas.

Concerning the park roads' condition, I am happy to report that Legacy Management is actively working with the North West Parks Board to address the repair and maintenance of the park roads and we are confident that a mutually beneficial solution will be achieved to enhance the overall experience for all park visitors.

Additionally, your feedback on the game drive experience, especially the performance of our guides, has been duly acknowledged. Our Head Guide is carefully reviewing your feedback and is dedicated to making any necessary improvements. It is our priority to ensure that each game drive is a memorable and enriching experience, and we are committed to addressing any concerns to provide a top-notch experience for our guests.

Once again, I extend my sincere thanks for sharing your feedback. We truly value your input and look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back in the future, offering an even more exceptional experience.

Best regards,
Wandile Ngxesha
Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2024

This luxury lodge/resort in Pilanesburg reserve is truly wonderful. The staff were exceptionally kind and always had a smile and warm hello. My room was spectacular with a fully kitted out kitchen, dining area and living room as well as a very comfortable bedroom upstairs. The walk out patio on the ground floor lead to a wide expanse of grass where elephants were seen very regularly if they weren’t already drinking at the dining room watering hole. The pool is small but completely adequate. The grounds are beautiful. The food in the dining room suited me very well with lots of vegetarian options. The breakfast buffet was immense and inexpensive. Perfect for solo travellers, groups, families and couples. I’m trying to figure out when and how I can return.

Room tip: Do as many game drives as possible. Bring warm clothes for the early morning drives, it can be very cool even in the summer.
Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank S8668GHmichellem
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wandile Ngxesha, Guest Services / Front Office at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2024

Dear S8668GHmichellem,

We would like to express our gratitude for the positive feedback you shared on TripAdvisor. Your kind words are truly appreciated by our entire team.

We are thrilled to hear that you had a fantastic stay with us and enjoyed the exceptional hospitality provided by our team. Our fully furnished units offer a spectacular view of animal sightings from the comfort of your patio, and we are glad that you were able to experience this.

We are also pleased to know that our restaurant offerings met your dietary requirements and that you found our establishment suitable for various types of travelers.

Thank you once again for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. We eagerly await your return and hope to provide you with another memorable experience.

Best regards,
Wandiel Ngxesha
Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2024

Just returned from Kwa Maritane, had a very pleasant and sunny stay! Lots of dedicated staff and a good buffet and menu in the restaurant. Good drivers, especially H" Herman stood out. If there is something you would like better, be sure to contact the manager, and you will be taken into account even more. The water hole at the restaurant was fantastic, elephants with young ones regularly came to drink, really Beautiful! I also did a bush walk which is highly recommended, but make sure you have good footwear and a walking stick because the terrain can be quite difficult.
They could do with some pruning of the large trees because most rooms had a limited view of the wild animals that pass by your terrace. Recommended!

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Rony V
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wandile Ngxesha, Guest Services / Front Office at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 February 2024

Dear Ronyv139,

We greatly appreciate your valuable feedback and sincerely thank you for taking the time to share your experience of your stay with us on Tripadvisor. We are happy to learn that you thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the diverse offerings and activities we provided during your stay with us here at Kwa Maritane. It gives us pleasure to note that Herman, our highly skilled and experienced guide, played a pivotal role in ensuring that your drives were memorable and left an indelible mark on your heart and mind, creating lasting and cherished memories.

Your suggestion regarding tree pruning is on record, and we assure you that the higher management of Kwa Maritane will thoroughly investigate and explore this matter.

Thank you again for your invaluable feedback, and we eagerly await the privilege of welcoming you back to Kwa Maritnae Bush Lodge.

Warm regards,
Wandile Ngxesha
Guest Relations Manager


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2024 via mobile

Jarryd was a legend. He was our game driver who was very personable, knowledgeable and has worked at Kwa Maritane for 9 years and certainly knows his way around the park. We found animals that others didn’t, seemed to have a great sense for where to look.
The lodge itself presents large well presented rooms with all you could want. A lge number of rooms had their balconies overlooking the game park and saw some animals strolling around. Meals were of good standard with plenty to choose from in the buffet format or a la carte.

Room tip: Request a game reserve view
Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Stephen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wandile Ngxesha, Guest Services / Front Office at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2024

Dear Stephen P,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us on TripAdvisor. I am thrilled that you enjoyed your stay with us and had a great game drive with Jarryd, our knowledgeable game guide. It's wonderful to know that you were able to spot some beautiful wildlife sightings during your excursion.

I am also happy to see that you found the room spacious and comfortable, enjoyed the breathtaking views from the rooms, and had a great experience with our meal offerings.

Thank you again for sharing your feedback with us, and we eagerly look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Best regards,
Wandile Ngxesha
Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2024 via mobile

The setting is lovely. Rooms clean and spacious. Food good quality and abundance. Loved the animals coming to the waterhole and the viewing hide.
Many of the staff were unfriendly. Going through the motions. They often looked tired and bored. Tables needed to be cleared faster. Perhaps it was because it was a weekend. The pool was being cleaned in the middle of a very hot day … everywhere I’ve ever been it’s done regularly before guests want to use it.

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Dorothy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wandile Ngxesha, Guest Services / Front Office at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2024

Dear Dorothy W,

I wanted to personally thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. Your comments are incredibly valuable to us, and I appreciate you bringing your observations to our attention. I can assure you that we take your feedback seriously and as management, we are committed to addressing the issues you have raised to ensure change and improvement.

I have carefully reviewed your comments and those of the Pool, and I can assure you that we will be taking steps to address each of the issues you have raised. We will be working with our team to ensure that we are providing the best possible service to our guests, and that any issues are addressed promptly and effectively.

On a positive note, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed some aspects of your stay, such as the Hide where you could catch beautiful animal sightings. We are always striving to provide unique and memorable experiences to our guests and it is wonderful to hear that we succeeded in this regard.

Once again, thank you for your feedback. We truly value your input and I hope that we have the opportunity to welcome you back soon so that we can demonstrate the changes we have made.

Best regards,

Wandile Ngxesha
Guest Relations Manager

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