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Senalala Luxury Safari Camp
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Reviewed 12 March 2017

Senalala Luxury Safari Camp provides the best African safari experience with a combination of luxury accommodations in the middle of The Klaserie Private Game Reserve, amazing sightings and very close observation of the Big 5 and other African wildlife, and guides that are highly trained and passionate about their profession and sharing all that they know with you.

From the moment we arrived at Senalala, we were made to feel welcome and at home as Corlia, James, and Darryn were waiting for us. We were shown to a beautiful and spacious room with en-suite bathroom with a large tub and separate shower. The room was equipped with a fan, air conditioning, luxury linens, two comfortable chairs and small table, and a table that may be used as a woman’s vanity (since it has a mirror) or a desk. We had access to complimentary wifi in our room. The wifi was relatively fast when there were only a few guests but when the camp was at full capacity, the bandwidth was not sufficient to handle the high level of usage. The best thing about our room was that it had a sliding glass door that afforded a view of the watering hole so we could spot game from bed and we would run to the viewing platform to get a better view. We saw elephants, giraffes, and lots of impala. The camp owns a couple of Toyota Land Cruisers specifically designed for safari game drives so that the 3 rows of passengers have a good view with the ‘stadium seating’ configuration. The seats are very comfortable too. The Land Cruisers are convertible (no top) so make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and a hair tie if you have long hair since we spent 6 hours a day traveling around the game preserve hunting for animals. There are 2 game drives per day: one at 6am and another at 4pm. We brought rain jackets but that wasn’t necessary since Senalala provided large rain ponchos on the one morning when we had a light drizzle. We are pescatarian leaning more towards vegetarian and Corlia was able to accommodate our dietary preference which we greatly appreciated. The food was not gourmet but it was good with much fresh, local produce and a nice variety. We had ample access to water, coffee, tea, sodas, juices, wine, beer, and some liquor…all self serve and very convenient and easy. There is a small pool which we enjoyed on several occasions.

Lastly and most importantly, the animals! Our professionally trained guide, Darryn, was amazing. He is a skilled tracker which was very helpful in locating some of those elusive animals such as hippos, lions, and leopards. We saw all the Big Five and many days we saw 4 of the Big Five. One afternoon game drive, we found a pack of Wild Dogs which is a very rare sighting and followed them for a while as they were out hunting. Darryn is extremely knowledgeable and shared all kinds of information with us. Not only was it extremely interesting, it was a very educational experience. One of my favorite parts and it was unexpected was how close we were able to get to the animals. Awesome photo opportunities when you’re only 10 feet away from a lion or elephant. Darryn allowed sufficient time to sit, watch, and observe the animals and for photos. Since Darryn knows the signs of agitation or aggression, I always felt safe. We visited in the beginning of March and saw many babies (zebra, giraffe, rhino, wildebeest, elephant). They were so cute and a big treat to me. (The babies are born around November to December.) It was such a pleasure living in the middle of a wild, beautiful land for a few days and having the chance to be in harmony with these amazing animals. My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with this trip and it was the best present and exceeded our expectations. We will cherish the memories forever! Thanks Senalala!

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MerryHeather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2017

This was our second visit to the Kruger, both to private game reserves. This one was truly unforgettable, not only because of the animals but because of the outstanding welcome we received from James and Corlia, the managers and from all their staff.

Senalala has access to a much greater area of Kruger than our previous reserve and it was clear from the outset that this would make a difference. The animals were spread much more thinly and we really enjoyed the thrill of the chase in tracking and finding the big 5 and other species. Our guide Darryn was amazingly knowledgeable for a young man, having been brought up in the bush, and he had a wicked sense of humour too. The banter started pretty quickly and it meant that our group of 7 'strangers' on our vehicle gelled really quickly. Every drive was a different experience and in three days we saw the 'Big 5' and so much more.

The lodge itself is very well appointed, and the individual accommodation is luxurious but not ostentatious, well spread out but all within easy striking distance of the central hub. What was most noticeable was the family atmosphere generated by James and Corlia but delivered by everyone.

The food was consistently varied, plentiful and very well prepared, with separate provision for those with special tastes. We ate too much but it was an absolute pleasure doing so!

We have always said that the Kruger is so big that we would never return to the same lodge but now we're not so sure. Senalala is just a special place in a wonderful national park.

Room Tip: All rooms are essentially the same.
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Morgzuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2017

This was our second time here and although we were positive it couldn't have gotten any better - it did! We arrived earlier than a normal check-in so that we could use the pool and settle in before lunch - an idea suggested to us by Corlia, the amazing manager at Senalala. We saw a pride of 11 lions as the very first animal we saw on safari and it just kept getting better! We saw all of the big five on our safaris, saw tons of baby animals including rhino, elephant, zebra, giraffe, and wildebeest, and learned so much! We did an amazing bush walk with our guide, Darren, and got to see some fantastic things that you can't see from inside the game drive vehicle. Anytime we had a question, Darren could answer it for us. He even went out of his way to ask around for a wild dog sighting (my personal request). We didn't see any on the drives but he told us to keep an eye out for them on the way out (the last place the pack was seen) and there they were! The entire staff go out of their way to make it an amazing experience. Besides the drive, the camp is beautiful with a view of a watering hole that animals will often visit. You can relax by the pool, chat with the rangers and managers, or take a well-deserved nap between game drives. The food is also excellent with a special shoutout to the fantastic desserts! We really couldn't have asked for a better trip and we've even booked our next stay for next week! Thank you to Corlia, Darren, and James!

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Sonja H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2017 via mobile

We were lucky enough to stay at this beautiful lodge for 3 nights and cannot recommend it more highly. Corlia and James were wonderful hosts and all of the staff and guides were very friendly and helpful. James was an excellent guide and we were lucky enough to see so many animals. Rhino, giraffes, lions, elephants, buffalo and leopard, all in one day. Wow! The rooms were very well decorated and bathroom too. We even had an outside shower as well as inside! Extremely clean and comfortable accommodation. Just wish I could return again next year. Thank you all for a wonderful holiday xx

Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
Thank Sandra W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2017 via mobile

There is a lot to say because we really enjoyed our time at Senalala! I can summarize by saying that having never been on a safari before, I consider myself a very fortunate person for having our travel agent recommend Senalala so highly when we were looking for the perfect safari lodge! Read on for more details...

I knew from the beginning that because we're dealing with wild animals, that it would be silly to get my hopes too high about seeing all that I wanted to see (which was a lot!). The travel agent agent assured us that Senalala was a warm and inviting place with friendly staff and well respected guides, and that was all I needed to hear. Other reviews for the lodge echoed the sentiment, so it was hard to not set my expectations really high.

What a joy right from the beginning! Corlia greeted us from the moment we arrived with a sincere warmth that you'd likely only expect from a dear friend. Everyone made us feel welcome right away. The lodge itself is lovely, the rooms are very nice, and all with a fantastic view of the nearby watering hole for game viewing. The food at every meal was tasty, and the guides joined us for good conversation at every turn. We enjoyed the pool and felt a little safer at night knowing that there was an electric fence perimeter.

The twice daily game drives were the highlight... our guide Darryn was incredibly knowledgable and man could he multi-task! He could simultaneously thread a narrow turn while tracking the nearest animals while keeping up to date on the latest sightings on the radio while answering all of our questions to perfection at once... impressive! It also became clear very quickly that all of Senalala's guides had an incredible level of access to the surrounding lands. There were more than a few times where we came across trucks from other lodges who had missed out on a great sighting because they couldn't access an area, or they didn't have the same level of knowledge that Senalala's guides did of the roads.

We were very fortunate with multiple and unique sightings of the following in our three days there... elephants, lions, zebras, buffalo, giraffes, wildebeest, leopard, rhinos, hippos, hyena, bush babies, dwarf mongooses, terrapin, warthogs, steenbok, waterbok, gray duikker, impala, kudus, genets, baboons, vervets, and a wide variety of beautiful birds, raptors, insects and plant-life. And the afternoon before we arrived, they had a sighting of wild dogs hunting a herd of wildebeest, then taking down an impala. While admittedly some of this was luck (again, the animals are wild and go where they please), I have no doubt that we also benefitted greatly from the guides' vast knowledge of the area and the animals.

I would highly recommend this lovely lodge for anyone seeking a once in a lifetime safari adventure! Feel free to send me any specific questions you have.

Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank sypremeks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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