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Rhys W

30th Birthday dream holiday.

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 12 Jun 2024
Myself and my partner have just come back from a 6 night stay at Tshukudu for my 30th birthday, and it was truly a trip we could only dream of.

Simon and the team were absolutely fantastic. They were all extremely friendly, attentive, courteous, you name it. Our glasses were never empty and we always had a drink in our hand.

The chefs Elvis and Johnny made the most incredible food every day, and took extra care to attend to both mine and my partners special dietary requirements, which they both did extremely well. This was much appreciated!

For my birthday, we had a private dinner in our room, which we came back to find all set up and ready with the fire lit after our evening game drive. Regardless of all the steps, the team still provided the most amazing 5 course dinner for us.

For our daily game drives, we had the pleasure of having Humbu as our field guide. Humbu is truly an asset to the Tshukudu team. His passion for what he does every day is infectious and makes the game drives that much more of an experience. Not a day went by where he wasn't making us all smile and laugh, he's truly a brilliant character.

Thank you all, for the most memorable 30th birthday I could of ever asked for. We will most certainly be returning in the near future.
Date of stay: June 2024
Room Tip: If travelling between June and September, take warm layers! The game drives get VERY cold.
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 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.
Andre van Rensburg, General Manager at Tshukudu Bush Lodge, responded to this review
Responded 4 weeks ago
Hi rhysw438,

Thank you very much for taking the time writing this incredible review.

We are so pleased that we created a wonderful experience for you and your partner at Tshukudu.

From all of us here at Tshukudu we thank you for choosing our property as your bush holiday destination.

We value your stay with us.

Thanks.


This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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All reviews bush lodge watering hole view from the balcony game drives course dinner water hole high tea and dinner hill overlooking two nights private dinner plunge pool incredible food roaring fire the general manager safari experience very special place small pool
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Reviewed 5 May 2024 via mobile

We have just left Tshukudu after a 3 night stay (5 night in total if you include our night flights to and from the UK) and were blown away by the experience. We went for my husband’s 40th birthday and I notified the lodge in advance of this. On arrival we were upgraded to a suite with our own plunge pool, which was amazing. We sat in the pool on the veranda and watched elephants every day (amongst other game). The food was incredible and the staff so friendly were attentive. I was never without a drink (they even bring your favourite tipple on drives and you stop for sundowners mid way through the evening drive or coffee/ hot drinks in the morning drive). You can expect A LOT of food and a 5 course dinner each night, with springbok and impala on the menu (chicken and fish were available as alternatives).

The game drives were amazing. Our guide, JR, is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the animals and park. We saw all of the big 5, apart from leopards. He was respectful of the animals and did not harass them like some other guides/ vehicles in the National Park. We had a walk by by a pride of 8 lions (they were in touching distance) and an even closer encounter with an elephant. Friends who have been on safari several times before cannot believe the video footage of encounters we had. The Tshukudu vehicles are smaller than others and we only went out with 1-2 other guests so we had a much more intimate experience. I think your guide can make or break your safari experience, and ours truly made it.

We were attracted to Tshukudu as Pilansberg is a malaria free area and is only a 2 hour drive from Johannesburg airport, so is suitable for a short safari (we have 2 young children so could not leave them with grandparents for too long). Although we only had 3 nights in Tshukudu, we managed to fit in 6 game drives (each approx 3-4 hours). It feels like we were away for much longer due to the amount we saw.

As other people have stated, the stairs are unsuitable for those who are less mobile. However, this was not a problem for us and the views are so worth it. The lodge is not near any others and sometimes when we were driving it felt like we had the park to ourselves. Other times, over the weekend, the park felt busier and you should note that because it is a national park members of the public can drive around within certain times. So if you don’t want to see other vehicles then perhaps you should opt for a private reserve, although this comes with a premium. Overall, the other vehicles didn’t impact on our experience and we had excellent encounters with the animals.

Book it, you won’t be disappointed.

Room tip: Johannesburg airport is chaotic and so leave plenty of time to get through passport control!
Date of stay: May 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Nicoleanabell
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.
Andre van Rensburg, General Manager at Tshukudu Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2024

Hi Nicoleanabell,

Thank you so much for the time and effort writing this magical review. We sincerely appreciated it.

We are so glad you had a remarkable experience with us and truly believe we will see you all again soon.

Bush greetings from the Tshukudu Team!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2024

Myself and partner have just returned home from what I can only describe as the most amazing holiday I have ever, and I think I will ever go on! Tshukudu bush lodge is somewhere I could only have dreamt of!

The staff are amazing! Everyone always has a smile, they know you by name and are always ready and happy to help you with whatever you need! We would often go to the main deck area and staff would know what we’d have to drink before we had a chance to even tell them!

The rooms are incredibly and all have amazing views of the plains! We were lucky enough to have an upgrade while we were there! I have to say the chalets are beautiful (this is what we had originally booked) but the suites are quite honestly something else! There’s something truly magical about standing in a heated plunge pool while watching elephants play at the water hole!

The food was delicious! I had emailed ahead as my partner tends to get hangry when he doesn’t eat regularly and we were worried how he’d cope with the gap between breakfast and high tea! Now for most people you reach high tea after having breakfast at 9am(ish) and think I’m not sure I’m even hungry yet as you can have to much to eat at breakfast! But high tea was always so delicious I’d always have to eat! Safe to say I have put on some pounds 🙈 but in order to cater for my other halves eating requirements staff would ensure he had snacks to eat through the day between main meals which was amazing! Dinner was brilliant and the food was always cooked beautifully! Again this is a 5 course meal but we never made it to the cheese boards! My other half also doesn’t tend to drink milk so the lodge went out and bought him some oat milk which is what he usually drinks! They were so accommodating! Nothing was too much trouble!

The game drives! I honestly can’t explain how magical they are! From the awesome scenery to the animals and the sometimes interchangeable weather they are just spectacular! They are made even better by the game drivers! We stayed for a week and JR was our guide and I cannot even begin to explain how amazing he is! He knows the park inside out and back to front! He can tell you all sorts of information about not only all the animals (quite a few of which he knows by name!) but also the plants, grass, trees and weathers! He really is such an incredible guide and we had such a laugh with him too! We saw all the animals we wanted to see and more but please remember they are wild! The guides can’t click their fingers and make them appear - this is why staying for a longer period of time is so worth it!

The one thing we would both massively recommend is if you’re thinking of going for just a couple of nights add a couple more nights on! We were never bored and on every drive we something different! While we were there various people came and went as they stayed for shorter amounts of time than we did but we felt so much more relaxed and happy to go with the flow as we had more time!

To conclude - if you want to go on safari go to Tshukudu! You will not be disappointed! I’m not generally an emotional person but when it came to leaving I had to stop myself from getting upset, it honestly is such an amazing place with such amazing staff and we feel like we have made some brilliant friends!

Tshukudu - thank you!

Room tip: Tipping is something that is done regularly in South Africa - there are envelopes in your room to leave a tip for the driver and the staff.
Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Hannah 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.
Andre van Rensburg, General Manager at Tshukudu Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2024

WOW!

Unbelievable review, thank you hannahwG5751SC for this remarkable review.

Thank you for choosing us as your bush holiday and we are so pleased that you have enjoyed your stay with us.

Tshukudu Team!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2024 via mobile

Excellent service, ammenities and staff. We had 4 nights here and enjoyed the whole experience. We didn’t get to see all the animals however the morning and evening drives were always filled with exploration and excitement. Loved every minute and our guide Humbu was so knowledgeable. Food great rooms fantastic. Only downside about 165 stone steps to the main dining and bar and lounge area. Though once there the view is just amazing.

Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank rwa25
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.
Andre van Rensburg, General Manager at Tshukudu Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2024

Hi rwa25,

Thank you kindly for the wonderful review and the time writing it.

We have found a solution to the steps and we are all very excited.

May we see you again in future and highly appreciate your visit with us.


Kind regards,

Tshukudu Team.

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Reviewed 25 February 2024

We have just returned from a week long stay at Tshukudu and are missing everything about it so much.

Set within the park itself the lodge is nestled away down a private road giving you the most secluded and exclusive view of a gorgeous plain and watering hole. No cars from other lodges can come by so you have a little corner of the park just to yourself. Elephants, Impala and Zebra were regular guests at the watering hole you can see from your balcony as you open your curtains in the morning. Breakfast, High Tea and Dinner is all served up in the main area of the lodge, a stunning viewing deck you could spend hours on soaking up the African sunshine with a stunning firepit close by which was often used for pre dinner drinks! Food itself is absolutely out of this world, lovingly prepared, served and enjoyed! The chefs are all incredibly talented and take such pride in their work, you definitely will not return from a trip to Tshukudu hungry. Special mentions to Chefs Johnny and Elvis who made some unbelievable dishes during our stay. My partner and I enjoyed 3 private dinners during our stay, set up by the staff for us to enjoy in various locations around the lodge including by candlelight next to the pool.

The rooms themselves are so comfortable. They are spread across the hill meaning that despite the lodge being exclusive of only 10 rooms you still have privacy. The pool area is extremely well maintained and perfect for enjoying between drives, the staff are always there to bring drinks to you as you relax.

The main reason for people’s stay is naturally the wildlife and this was unlike anything I ever imagined. You are offered two game drives a day and they become so addictive, you’re always so excited to head back out. Our driver Jafari was absolutely sensational, it was a pleasure to spend time with him. A truly wonderful man with so much knowledge and passion for Pilansberg who was happy to answer any question. He is also incredible at spotting animals, we managed to complete the Big 5 with so many extra magic moments thrown in (Hippos, Hyena, Baboons, Warthogs, Giraffes, Cheetas etc).

This trip was unlike anything I have ever experienced, the most luxurious, friendly, intimate place I have ever stayed. I don’t think anything will ever compare to Tshukudu and I feel honoured to have met the gorgeous people that work there and to have enjoyed the company of other wonderful guests throughout our stay.

Thank you Tshukudu for the incredible memories, we will cherish our time with you forever.

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Lana B
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.
Andre van Rensburg, General Manager at Tshukudu Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2024

Hi lanabl2282El,

This is such a magnificent review, thank you so much for the time you've put in to write this review as it helps us greatly.

We are all so proud of ourselves after receiving this review and give us more confidence to set the bar higher.

Thank you for staying with us and would love to have you both back soon.

Safe travels,

Tshukudu Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2024

Where do I start!!
The location, simply stunning, inside the reserve so the feeling of exclusivity is fantastic. The position is beautiful with amazing views. The cottages are oozing with comfort and sophistication, very relaxing indeed. The staff.....well that's probably the Unique selling Point if there is one to draw out. Simon, our guide for the game drives was so knowledgeable and helpful, we enjoyed every second of the early morning and afternoon drives. Big Simon at the lodge along with Tshidi and Thabiso, kept us well fed and watered and nothing was too much trouble. They all had a soft spot for our son who suffered from anxiety issues and felt so welcome because they really all went the extra mile. The food is close to Michelin standard, well cooked, great variety and well explained by the chefs. Andre the manager went above and beyond in helping us with the right accommodation for our son once we arrived; simply amazing and truly made our weeks stay there even more special.
I could go on all day if im honest, but if you want a truly amazing, private, luxury immersive experience away from crowds, where nothing is too much trouble, the food superb, the wine flows without the need to ever ask for a glass to be recharged. The views are breathtaking and the accommodation divine. This is the real deal, exactly how you would imagine your dreams in Africa to come alive. I loved it loved it loved it!!!! will definitely be going back

Room tip: Just be aware of the steps you have to navigate to get from the drop off to reception.
Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Q6873ZQdavidl
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.
Andre van Rensburg, General Manager at Tshukudu Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2024

Hi Q6873ZQdavidl, Wow! What a tremendous review and rating. The entire team appreciates this greatly and motivates us doing better.

We had such a wonderful time with you and the family and is still talking about your visit with us. Now I don't have anyone to take to our "meeting spot"

Thank you for selecting Tshukudu as your bush holiday and we are so glad you had a wonderful stay with us.

Take care.

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