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“"Everything you could wish for"”

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Garonga Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 November 2016

Right from the time we were met at the airport we were looked after and nothing was too much trouble.We stayed four nights in a "tent" which was large, spacious and very comfortable with every creature comfort you could need. All of the staff were outstanding,friendly and nothing was too much trouble.
We were treated to great viewings on the game drives each morning and evening with sundowner eats and drinks at the end of the afternoon drive. All of the meals were outstanding and the open bar had a range to suit even the most fastidious palate.
Our tent,No5, was large and well located to view the water hole where a variety of animals could be seen refreshiing themselves. We were able to watch the elephants as they came through the camp feeding and knocking down the trees for food.
We spent one night in the sleepout about a 25 minute drive from the main camp - this is a must do for anyone visiting Garonga. We were not lucky enough to see any animals at the water hole but it was a very memorable experience.
Bernie and the crew are a very caring and professional and nothing is too much trouble.
One does not want for anything while at Garonga

Room Tip: Any of the "tents" have great views of the river bed and waterhole.
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  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2016

Thanks indeed David for your kind review.
Again trying the sleepout is a truly memorable experience.
You seemed to have had great sightings during your stay.
It was a pleasure hosting you.
Best Regards
Bernie

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63 - 67 of 379 reviews

Reviewed 28 October 2016

We spent three nights at Garonga and could easily have stayed longer! The camp is small (six rooms) and intimate.

The accommodation is quite simply superb - huge "tents", super comfy beds, wonderful bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers and double sinks. We were in room six, which is furthest away from the waterhole and main lodge but great to feel you are away from it all watching the monkeys, mongoose and anything that wanders along the dry riverbed from the spacious deck (one night we spotted hyena as we were walked back from dinner).

The food is absolutely delicious and the service immaculate. We really enjoyed meeting the other guests around the fire in the evening and swapping stories over dinner. We loved the sundowner G&Ts out in the bush at the end of the afternoon's game drive.

A big shout out to our Guide and Tracker, Josia and Richard - they really were the A-Team and pulled some amazing sightings out of the bag - leopard, lions, black and white rhino and even the elusive pack of wild dogs which have made their way onto the reserve.

The sleep out was an incredible experience - but it is very oversubscribed so request this when you book or you will probably be disappointed. Situated on a platform in a tree in front of a waterhole, there is a double bed with mosquito net, a proper loo at the far end of the platform and fresh water for washing. You are dropped in time for sunset and left with dinner and drinks while you watch the animals come to the waterhole with the help of a high beam torch - the night we stayed we watched a leopard while sipping our G&Ts - amazing!

I'd really recommend Garonga if you are looking for a high end stay in a relaxed and small camp.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 and 2 are nearest the waterhole, but room 6 is away from it all with a great view of the dry...
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  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CHLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2016

Thanks so much for your very positive feedback. We are so glad you enjoyed your stay with us. That you had such great game viewing, tried the sleepout, and enjoyed our new Food Choices .
Seeing the Wild Dog is a huge plus; they came into the Reserve on their own steam with the Female giving birth whilst here and now thery are very much settled in on the Reserve which is great for us all.
Best Regards
Bernie

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Reviewed 24 October 2016

This was our first safari trip to South Africa and we both think we made an excellent choice of not going to Kruger and visiting a private reserve.

Staff and service were more than excellent! The kitchen staff and waiters - what a great team, their service was five star! A special mention to Bongani who always looked after us really well and was very entertaining.

The game drives were excellent and we had a fab time with Jeff and Kaizer! They make and great team of tracker and guide. We were at Garonga for 5 nights and in every drive we got to see excellent African wild life, including the BIG FIVE!
Stopping for morning tea during the morning drive and sunset drinks during the afternoon drive - what an experience!!

The thing that my husband and I also enjoyed was that all the guest were sat down together for dinner and we got to meet some excellent bunch of people.
Riki is a great masseuse - we both had great one hour massages after one of the morning drives. Such a relaxing experience for such a reasonable price as well.

We were staying in Chalet No. 1 and would recommend this chalet as we were facing a watering hole, where on the last day we saw baboons and waterhogs. On the last day we also got to see elephants coming to the pool for a drink and to cool themselves - what a view!

The tents were more than what we expected them to be - they were not tents at all, more like very luxurious, spacious rooms. Great design, especially the bathroom layout with double sinks, light and airy room and loved the outside shower.

I would highly recommend Garonga without any hesitation to anyone who is thinking of doing the South African safari!

Thank you team for making our stay so memorable and enjoyable!

  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank AshwikaP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2016

Thanks indeed for your very kind words and so glad you enjoyed your five nights at Garonga. The Staff make it, and we are blessed with such a great Crew. For Dinners we sometimes provide private Tables so it all depends on the mood of all Guests.
The tents have changed much for the better since the major revamp in Autumn, and so even more comfortable than before.
Thanks again.
best Regards
Bernie

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Reviewed 16 October 2016

The camp itself has 6 tents - although they're the most luxurious tents I've ever stayed in as they have walls, inside and outside showers and a large decking area. They must be serviced at least 3 times a day - whilst you're on the morning game-drive, afternoon drive and whilst at dinner.

The service is very homely, yet still luxurious. Special mentions to Rina who welcomed us and performs most of the front of house tasks. Also, CJ and Phineas who were our driver and tracker for the whole visit. It's great that you have the same driver/tracker throughout, and this meant that we had around 3 drives that were effectively private to us as we were the only two on the landrover. Tell the guys what animals you want to see, and they will do their best to find them for you. We were lucky enough to have a herd of around 40 elephants to ourselves on one of the morning drives. We also saw: Black and White Rhino, Hippos, single and prides of lions, Buffalo, Giraffes, Zebra, Impala, Crocodile, Hyena, Warthog, and a very fleeting glimpse of a leopard.

We stayed for four nights, which I think is probably about right - on each night we had different eating experiences - a barbecue, a group dinner and then private dining at different locations around the camp. On the final night we went for the sleep-out but we were defeated by a thunder/lightning storm and had to radio in to be picked up.

Really can't find any faults with Garonga, and it was a perfect start to our honeymoon.

Room Tip: We had room 2 which is close to the watering hole. Room 1 is the only closer room.
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  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stever145
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2016

It was great to have you stay at garonga on your Honeymoon. Thanks indeed for your very positive feedback. All this info really does assist other Guests in what to expect.
The Game Viewing has been incredible over the last few months, with even Game (Cheetah, Leopard. and Ellies, all being seen in the Camp itself; hence the need for escorts to the rooms.
A pity you couldn't complete the sleepout.
The Dining Locations have really upped the Game now that we have such a Fun Boma Bar; "Manhattan Bar in the Bush" as an American Guest recently described it.
Thanks again.
Best Wishes
Bernie

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Reviewed 13 October 2016 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at Garonga to celebrate my 40th birthday and our wedding anniversary. Garonga exceeded expectations on every level. The food was amazing, and plentiful! Really lovely well thought out menus with good variety. The game drives were outstanding, we were so incredibly lucky to see black rhino, white rhino, leopard (eating it's dinner in a tree just outside the camp), cheetah, elephant, kudu, hyena, Impala. Very lucky indeed. Our guide and tracker CJ & Phinneas were a great team, they worked so well together and have an incredible ability to find the animals. I like the way Garonga pairs you with one guide and tracker for your entire stay, they also only allow up to 6 people per vehicle which means that every person has a "Window" seat. We were also paired with lovely people for our safari drives (hello Jenny & Paddy):):)

The rooms are extremely comfortable, the outdoor shower is amazing (each room also has an indoor shower). The rooms are tastefully decorated and have a deck which overlooks the dry riverbed with a few watering holes dotted around. There are few things on this earth which can replenish the soul like sitting on your deck watching the animals drinking from the water holes on a hazy afternoon.

Now for the sleep out, do it. Just do it. It is a truly unique magical experience to be left alone in the African bush with only each other for company. Although we were nervous at first, the fact that our safari mates had done it the night before gave us some comfort. You are dropped off with a pack up dinner, drinks etc, along with a loud horn to scare the animals off "just in case" and a radio where you can radio back to base if you want to be picked up. The access to the sleep out is a proper stair case with a gate which keeps the animals out. My main intention of doing the sleep out was to watch the sunrise, well I completely missed it due to 9 hours solid blissful sleep it was so peaceful. I haven't slept like that for years! And the toilet really is a "loo with a view"!

Thank you Garonga, we will be back. Heidi (Leeds, UK)

Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank zimheidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BERNARDO S, Owner at Garonga Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2016

Thanks indeed Heidi for your very kind words. We are all so glad you had a great time here, from the Game Viewing , to the Food, to the Relaxation, and to the sleepout. Excellent for trying that!
Best Regards
Bernie

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Additional Information about Garonga Safari Camp

Address: Selati Portion 12, KT 143, Phalaborwa, 1390, Makalali Private Game Reserve 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Makalali Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Makalali Private Game Reserve
Price Range: R7 369 - R14 810 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Garonga Safari Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 9
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Also Known As:
Garonga Safari Camp Hotel Makalali Private Game Reserve

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