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Jovan B
Cape Town, South Africa

Spectacular

Review of Monwana Lodge
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 06 Sept 2023via mobile
Stunningly renovated with the most beautiful rooms! The attention to detail is commendable! Everything is absolutely wonderful!

Being avid safari travellers I can certainly say this is one of the best lodges we have ever stayed at.

The rooms are spacious with a large private heated plunge pool overlooking a active waterhole.

The staff is truly amazing and we felt right at home!

Our guide, Daniel, and our tracker was extremely informative and very friendly! I do not think there can be better!

The food and dining experiences created was surreal!

We can not wait to be back very soon!!
Date of stay: August 2023
Room Tip: Stay longer than two nights
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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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.
Jarryd Chapman, General Manager at Monwana Lodge, responded to this review
Responded 04 Dec 2023
Dear Jovanb792,

We are overjoyed you had such a special time with us at Monwana - will be sure to let Daniel & team know the feedback.

Trusting we get to welcome you "home" once again.

Your Monwana Family
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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View more hotels in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
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Reviewed 7 July 2023 via mobile

We can’t believe it’s already more than 6 months since we stayed at the magnificent Monwana lodge. It was the first stop on our 3 week honeymoon (we stayed for 4 nights in mid December) and it’s fair to say we peaked very early - it was hands down the most incredible start to our trip we could have ever hoped for!

From the moment we arrived (very late due to a flight delay - but they still made us a superb dinner!) everyone at Monwana made us feel completely at home. The food and drink were superb, the accommodation and main lodge impeccably designed and furnished, and everyone we encountered throughout our stay quickly felt like family (so much so, we shed a few tears when we had to leave!).

We have to give a special mention to our guide Daniel and tracker Fanoti. We were lucky enough to have them to ourselves for all our game drives and had the most incredible experiences - we saw all of the Big 5 on the first day! (We’re told that is very unusual and so we felt very lucky - some of the animal encounters we had throughout our game drives were just unforgettable!). Daniel also kindly took us out on 2 walking safaris, and made sure to meet us for a drink in the bar before dinner each night; extra special touches we didn’t expect to receive.

Everyone made such an effort to make our honeymoon special and memorable. The icing on the cake was on our final evening when returning from our game drive we were taken to a private area, up in the trees, where they’d arranged a candlelit dinner just for us. Our waiter Hudson was superb throughout our stay but this was an extra special way to finish it off. The owners were staying at the same time as us and made us feel like part of the family - thank you so much.

We travel a lot and have stayed in some fantastic hotels around the world, but Monwana is hands down the most special place we’ve ever stayed. Please don’t change a thing! The staff really do make all the difference and we would absolutely love to return one day if we are lucky enough.

Allan & Lucy xx

Date of stay: December 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Escape46215895338
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.
Jarryd Chapman, General Manager at Monwana Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2023

Dear Allan & Lucy,

Thank you for your heartfelt words and sharing your experience. Our staff are our treasure, we really strive to make this feel like home and are delighted you felt that aspect of family. We look forward to having you back with us in the near future and to see those familiar faces again.

Your Monwana Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2023

We had a great time with friends and visited Monwana for 3 nights.

Monwana was rebuilt around 6 months ago, and the lodge and rooms are stunning with high quality finishes. The central lodge is spacious, with plenty of inside and outside places to relax. The bar is very central and the wine cellar below. The view is over a water hole where were regularly saw game come to drink. The heated (in winter) communal pool is off to the one side. We loved our room which is spacious and well appointed. Wonderful to have a luggage room so that the bedroom remains uncluttered. Two desks for those that need to work while away. Plenty of plug points to keep everyone happy. Outside is a (in winter) heated pool and we had a slight view of the water hole. A double shower inside and another outside, plus a bath, and two basins made for a comfortable stay.

The game vehicles are designed for a maximum of 6 guests with a large box between each row of seats. Wonderful to see they were empty except for a set of binoculars for your use and a pen and paper. Most lodges fill these with ponchos which Monwana keeps under the from row of seats. A double usb point for each row of seats was welcomed.

We had Almero as our guide and Nic as our tracker. Both were exceptional and freely imparted their knowledge which us. Being quite keen birders, they helped us to compile an impressive list for our stay. We enjoyed some great sightings and really enjoyed their company. Thanks too for keeping our water bottles full.

Our butler was Hudson, who was always keen to help us with a friendly smile and ready laugh. We wanted to bring him home with us.

The guest team were wonderful and saw to any needs not met by our guide and butler. Jess was there to welcome us and show us to our rooms. Nicole took over for the weekend and Sarené was always on hand.

A special part of our stay was when Colin took us for a back of house tour. We were particularly interested in how the lodge dealt with power, water, refuse and staff. We were not disappointed. An exceptionally professional set up and you should not miss this tour. Definitely the best back of house set up we have seen.

Our food was fresh and very tasty and the variety was great. We had dinner on the deck between two fires on our first night, opposite the bar with a roaring fire the second night, and in the cellar on our third night. We had a wonderful bush breakfast surprise on our last morning.

There is a lovely spa and the treatments were super.

One of the best lodges we have visited and we would highly recommend Monwana.

Date of stay: June 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Les 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.
Jarryd Chapman, General Manager at Monwana Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2023

Dear LesP816,

We are so glad you enjoyed your three nights with us at Monwana - we will be sure to share your feedback with the team. Agreed, the Back of house is truly something remarkable, we love being able to take our guests on a tour. We are eagerly awaiting your return to your bush "home".

Your Monwana Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2023

My husband and I spent 3 nights at Monwana Lodge. Our game drives with Colin (our guide) and Ishmail (our tracker) were such a treat, they were an incredible duo and super proffesional. We learnt so much from them about the fauna and flora of the Thornybush Game Reserve. Back at the lodge Bobbie, our butler, was just as welcoming and professional. We have been fortunate to spend a few holidays at lodges on various game reserves and the staff at Monwana are by far the most friendly that we have ever encountered and they genuinely made us feel like we were "coming home". We were treated to a surprise breakfast in the bush that was a wonderful highlight of our long weekend. Every moment of our stay felt effortless and so relaxing, this was a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Thank you to the entire Monwana team! We hope to visit your beautiful lodge (home) again in the future.

Date of stay: April 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Jen A
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.
Jarryd Chapman, General Manager at Monwana Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2023

Dear JenniferA150,

Thank your heartfelt words - Colin, Ishmael & Robbie will be delighted to know they added such special touches to your experience with us. We look forward to welcoming you home soonest!

Your Monwana Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2023

I have been on safari to the Kruger on 3 occasions-two times to the Thornybush lodges on the Thornybush Estate-14,00 hectars of wonderful bush.We have sampled three lodges before-all excellent-but this was by far the best that I have ever stayed in.Why?

Several reasons, firstly the staff-this is a small lodge which adds to the joy of staying -and their tag line is Coming Home-and the welcome made us feel that-like coming home.They were professional and friendly.They work together like an oiled mashine-their training is first class.

Jess who welcomed us showed us to our wonderful room-a separate hut a walk from the main building with its own terrace, pool and a view over the water hole. Large bathroom with indoor and out door showers and of course air conditoning.

Natalie the chef produced wonderful meals-and is happy to accommodate any speckific requests.She produces mouth watering meals-breakfast lunch and dinner-even breakfast in the bush!

The main reception, restaurant and bar are situated in a wonderful designed triangle-hard to explain-but it contains great views, quality furnishings and a cellar bar to choose your wines-with a glass floor looking into that cellar.

The lodge was rebuilt last year and the design, imagination and pure quality are a credit to Thornybush.

The game-Our ranger and tracker-Daniel and Fenouti were exceptionally good-they tracked hard and we saw some magnificent sights-there were so many high spots and memories-but a heard of 7 rhinos, a brace of lions up a tree (!) and several leopards.Also being shown some spectacular bird life was amazing-have never had this highlighted before on any safari.They both are so knowledgeable and made each drive so special.

I loved our stay and want to go back as soon as we can organise.

This is a special placed and I sit here -rain and blowing a gale- here in England-Guess where I am dreaming of.......?!

Room tip: Take a camera-binoculars are provided
Date of stay: March 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank stephen 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.
Drienie Viljoen, General Manager at Monwana Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2023

Hi 990stephenb,

Reading your review makes the whole Monwana team so incredibly proud. We strive to connect and add to memories that carry you through a rainy day or call you back home. We hope that we get to welcome you back soon!

Your Monwana Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2023

Guests can expect exceptional African luxury and hospitality at Monwana Game Lodge because the owners designed it to feel like your home away from home.

From the moment I arrived at Monwana, I knew that I was about to experience the exceptional. The lodge is designed as an oasis of light and space where guests can take refuge from the heat of the day and the dryness of the environment. The interior decor doesn’t blend with the outdoors to bring the outdoors in, instead it frames the vista as every room opens to a panoramic view of the outdoors.

Another example of the luxurious hospitality at Monwana, upon arrival, we were escorted to enjoy refreshments overlooking the lodge’s waterhole. Monwana is more concerned about making your comfort a priority than confirming your personal documents. The heat demanded something more refreshing than a sugary cocktail or hard liquor, so I welcomed the Bitterlekker aperitif that I was offered. The non-alcoholic, slightly bitter, herbal/citrus beverage was the perfect tonic.

The accommodation at Monwana is unsurpassed. My needs are very simple when travelling because all I need is a clean bed and a clean bathroom- anything else is a luxury, but I am a water sign so I do love a great bathroom, so I was thrilled to discover that in addition to a very generously sized bathtub, my suite boasted twin showers overlooking the waterhole and an outdoor shower. Additionally, my private patio had a plunge pool – which I believe is also called, more appropriately, a cocktail pool!

It is the wildlife that sets Monwana apart from other game lodges. Game drives are an opportunity to see wild animals interacting in their natural habitat. You can neither predict nor anticipate what you may see. I always say that when you have the opportunity to go on a game drive, you take the opportunity because no two game drives are ever the same.

Fortunately, our guide, Almero Klingenberg, and his tracker, Nic Sithole, were expertly trained and experienced to make the most of our sightings. They were equally generous when identifying the different wildlife and sharing their encyclopedic knowledge. Nic even spotted a chameleon camouflaged in a tree from a moving Land Cruiser!

Monwana prides itself on offering its guests fresh, healthy, non-contrived food that speaks for itself. Produce has been sourced from sustainable and ethical suppliers and prepared by Executive Chef, Natalie Stevens. Chef Natalie presents a selection of daily menu options based according to what produce is freshest on the day. You can work up quite an appetite on safari, and you need to eat!

An amuse bouche preceded our meal. Chef Natalie prepared a cucumber gazpacho, served in a shooter glass, topped with smoked salmon served on a sliver of melba toast. It worked beautifully to refresh our palates and set the tone for the following courses.

I ordered the Venison Fillet for my mains which were served with shimeji mushrooms and a red wine jus. I couldn’t imagine going on a safari and not enjoying local venison because it is so much more flavourful than farm-raised beef, not to mention healthier. Chef Natalie’s red wine jus was the perfect addition to the plate because it enhanced the meat rather than overpowering it. (Vegetarian options were available.)

Monwana is highly recommended on all accounts.

Date of stay: January 2023
Trip type: Travelled solo
1  Thank JoziStyle
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.
Drienie Viljoen, General Manager at Monwana Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2023

Hi JoziStyle,

Thank you for such an incredible review. We are delighted to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your time with us.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Your Monwana Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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