We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Lowest prices for your stay
US$218
View deal
Free cancellation until 21/12/10
Reserve now, pay at stay
Hotels.com
Travelocity
Orbitz.com
Booking.com
eDreams
View all 13 deals
Prices above are provided by partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.
Nearby Hotels
Reviews (141)
Filter reviews
141 results
Traveller rating
73
48
12
7
1
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
Traveller rating
73
48
12
7
1
Show reviews that mention
All reviews game drives mouth watering direct access friendly and welcoming staff a lovely stay tucked away worth a visit game reserve lodge bush park accommodation prince guide elephants safari fuel
Selected filters
Filter
Updating list...
64 - 69 of 141 reviews
Reviewed 15 August 2016

This resort is tired, no electric as runs of generators a few hours a day. only power from 0530 - 7 and 1730-2100. The staff are helpful but I would not stay here again.
The units have 10x40watt (400watt) of light globes which could be changed to 10x4watt (40watt) led and enable the generator to run 10 times for longer each time and satisfy the guests needs and bring this resort to the next level. we stayed on a public holiday weekend which was also for my birthday and they had only 3 bookings - we spoke to another guest who has the same feelings and said would not be back
The food was plain, and basic, not what you expect from that price tag. The cost was R2790 for 1 night for 2 people, I would estimate the cost to be R1200 for the night. The game drive was very disappointing, however you cant control animals in the wild, but I was very deflated and could not wait to leave. Taps not working, lights not working, very basic food and not worth a R2790 per night price tag

Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Stuart K
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cfrencken, Marketing & Reservations at Royal Thonga Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

Hi Stuart,

Thank you for the review, I am so sorry to hear that you had a poor experience. I appreciate the feedback as we take reviews seriously and much of what you complained about has been addressed. I hope you will come back again to see what has changed and hopefully have a fantastic second stay with us! I have sent you a private message which will address in detail what has been done since your stay, the lodge has been renovated and upgraded in the last few months.

Kind regards

Carrie

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2016

A wonderfully restful stay at this most comfortable lodge. A good base to explore the surrounding area. Thank you to the wonderful staff for going the extra mile especially Fezile, Maria, Moira, Gabi, Vezi & Greg. The elephants were a little elusive, but plenty of beautiful birds.

Date of stay: July 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank melindas701
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cfrencken, Marketing and Reservations at Royal Thonga Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

Hi,

Thank you for your review, I hope you come back and visit our new upgraded lodge in search of elephants!

Kind regards

Carrie

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2016

Set in the bush behind Tembe elephant park, this lodge will only appeal to those seeking peace and quiet. 14 detached and set in their own privacy chalets provide the accommodation. Done tastefully the strong points are a very good bed and walk in shower as well as outdoor shower. The swimming pool area is very nice with sun loungers and the restaurant area very inviting. The food is truly excellent. All the linen provided is clean and feels really nice. The toiletries are excellent too. For me the star feature though is the walks set within the lodge. The birds are singing all day long in the tress. You find yourself trying to spot them in the trees to see their amazing colours (and in not a bird watcher!) it's just divine.

Hot water is provided by gas and is available all day. The indoor shower jet are adequate in view of the remote facilities and difficulties of getting water. The outdoor one really is struggling

In answer to previous reviews, yes there is a walkway. Thankfully. It is very tastefully and expensively done and provide safe walking within the lodge. Yes there is limited electricity ( morning 5.30am until 9am, evening 5.30pm to 9pm). I really did not mind the lack of electricity though. It's part of the charm. What I did mind is the lodge not warning guests. We should receive an email prompting us to bring torches (we did thanks to reading the reviews) . We also took candles for ambiance. At the very least torches should be provided.

Food is mainly served plated, this is not a buffet service. It means there is less waste and it's much better quality. There is also constant hot beverages available at no cost (including a rather tasty hot chocolate). Others such as cans and bottles are very reasonably priced in view of the captive audience. All this deserves high praise.

The word spa is used loosely here as only massages are on offer. It has to be said that the setting though is once again divine set as it is in the far end of the lodge with the singing of the birds and the trees as the canvass and the quality of the massage very good. Well done Maria

The staff are friendly and respond very quickly and efficiently to requests. More on them below.

But, and there is a but it could do much better for no more or little expenditure and truly justify its certificate of excellence. For some reasons we had to extract every little bit of information out of the staff. It felt like getting blood out of a stone.

What should happen is upon check in, guests should receive a full list of the spa treatments, tours and prices, rules for meals (we purely found out by luck that there is a warm breakfast after all!!!), breakfast should have a choice of sauces on display, the dog should not be allowed anywhere near the food or the restaurant or guests (sorry it's a lodge not a pet rescue facility), the pool area should be fitted with a litter bin, should be checked every morning and evenings, sun beds tidied up, towels removed, etc... and towels changed (we had to ask for that to be done!!!), should be cleaned for litter (there was a broken lilo on display for our whole 3 days... Really????). Our walkway was pitch black at night and very dangerous from a H&S. Sorry this will cost but needs doing before a guest get seriously hurt. I think this highlights that they just are too short staffed. Everyone is multi tasking which is fine as this is a small lodge but eventually there are only 24 hours in a day and believe me, they work hard all day and yet they keep smiling. We have staff sporting clothing with the name of different lodges, notices in the bathroom referring to a different lodge. Upon checking they rebranded 12 months ago and yet they signs are still visible everywhere. Really?

But where was the person in charge? I think there is a lack of management and true leadership hence the lack of urgency, faults not being picked up and so on.

On a longer term there is a project to provide green solar electricity. Great as the noise of the generator spoils the quietness of the resort and the swimming pool pumps desperately needs it. (The water was rather murky)

Because of the smallness and remoteness of this lodge it's very intimate and it makes the evenings at the boma a very friendly and enjoyable affair where you find yourself exchanging stories with other guests, eating your excellent meal, sitting around the fire and exchanging stories, etc . Yes there is no electricity, no TV and very limited cell phone coverage but these are not the point.

So currently this is very much overrated. Implement these recommendations and then it will be that little gem the ratings hint at.

All in all I do recommend this lodge and I will come back. Please also consider this is a 3 stars lodge when judging and look at the price. You must ensure you select the evening meal (alternatives are just too stressful despite as stated earlier the food is truly excellent). Come to relax, de-stress, get close to nature in a very safe and cost efficient way and 2 to 3 nights (depending on how far you've traveled to reach the lodge) should enable you to do just that.

Room tip: Chalet 10 may be the most private with 1 and 2 the least
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank JayAimDee
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cfrencken, Marketing and Reservations at Royal Thonga Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

Hi,

I have been going back on old reviews to get an refresh of guests past experiences. I would like to thank you for writing us a review and I think it was fair and balanced (with the good and bad). I can proudly and confidently say we have addressed MANY of the issues you encountered previously. We are currently undergoing some major upgrades which included system upgrades and training for the staff. We will be proud and ready for the holiday season this year, I hope one day you will return and be able to give another review and hopefully add another star. Thank you again for you candid and informative review!

Kind regards

Carrie

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2016

We had an amazing time. Staff were simply so very helpful and kind and thoughtful. Game trips were informative and well organised. We had great sightings at the waterhole, which included Leopard!
I developed an apses on my tooth just before getting to the park. I phoned in to ask if anyone had any painkillers for me. They immediately asked around and found a wonderful lady from Germany, one of the clients, who was a Doctor and managed to arranged painkillers and antibiotics for me. I would have been in a bad way without all this as I was going to Mozambique afterwards and needed to get this sorted. Thanks to Dr Eve and all the staff. Helen

Date of stay: July 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank E446UXhelenb
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cfrencken, Marketing& Reservations at Royal Thonga Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

Hi Helen,

Thank you for the kind review. We remember you clearly, we remember how you were suffering with your tooth, I hope you went on t have a lovely holiday in Mozambique!

Kind regards

Carrie

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2016

We found the staff helpful and the owner very informed. It was very quiet and peaceful and really enjoyed being surrounded by the natural bush. The supper was very good and we enjoyed a good nights rest on crisp white linen.

Date of stay: June 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank mitzi699
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cfrencken, Marketing & Reservations at Royal Thonga Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

Hi,

I was going back on old reviews and see that I didn't send you a response! Thank you for your kind review, a lot has changed since you stayed with us, our facilities have been upgraded markedly, I hope to have you back again sometime in the future!

Kind regards

Carrie

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews