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louise c

The most amazing experience.

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 weeks ago
The reserve is stunning and the staff just simply went above and beyond for our family. Our son has Autism, with a passion for animals and reptiles. So, when we arrived we were greeted by Kiera who was so lovely and wanted to make sure she and the staff understood all about him. The lodge is amazing and the food is outstanding. Our tracker and guide were so brilliant and knew everything about all the animals, flowers and birdlife. They worked tirelessly to show us all the gorgeous wildlife and gave us amazing up close encounters with black Rhino, Lioness and cubs, elephants and much more. If you get Wes and Tubs as your guides you are so lucky! Wes always giving my son and us loads of information and thrilling experiences tracking the animals. Special mention to our lovely Butler who was so helpful and Andrew, who was brilliant and so kind chatting to our son about reptiles. Daryl Dell for arranging an amazing trip for our son to a snake and reptile sanctuary. Thank you so much Five stars. It felt like home from home.
Date of stay: May 2024
Room Tip: Don't need to bring many clothes as the lovely ladies will do your laundry for you. Had an...
Trip type: Travelled with family
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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    Reviews (278)
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    All reviews vlei lodge game drives the reserve private pool elusive cheetah black rhino our honeymoon african safari an adventure sand forest first stop unforgettable experience a special place main building herd of elephants amazing food spent four nights
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    1 - 6 of 278 reviews
    Reviewed 16 December 2023

    Another consistently fabulous experience. This is the 3rd time we have been here and it never fails to deliver excellent service, great food and first staff. You will never be disappointed with Vlei. A shout out to Michael our butler, fabulous service without hassling all the time. Luke our game ranger, a great guy without any pretentions just honest down to earth bush craft at its best. Josiah the tracker with eyes as good as the hawks he finds in the sky and the animals on the ground. It was definitely baby sighting trip with cheetah and lion cubs. Buffalo babies and impala looking so cute you want to take them home

    Date of stay: December 2023
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank Suzanne L
    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.
    Reviewed 30 November 2023 via mobile

    Beautiful lodge, the room was the best of any safari lodge I’ve visited, with private pool and terrace overlooking the bush.

    The staff were great, nothing was too much trouble and we had dinner and lunch on our terrace a couple of times away from the main dining area.

    It’s a really intimate setting with only a small number of rooms so felt really personal.

    The safari drives were good, it’s quite thick bush around the lodge in the sand forest so you have to go south or north to get to more open plains but the drives were good.

    If it is your first time at Phinda, and you have 4 or 5 nights, I would recommend staying at Mountain or Rock lodge and then Vlei lodge so you get the best out of the experience seeing all areas of Phinda.

    Overall, a great stay!

    Room tip: If 1st time at Phinda, and you have 4/5 nights, I would recommend staying at Mountain/Rock lodge and then Vlei lodge to get best experience
    Date of stay: July 2023
    Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    Thank Emily2604
    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.
    Reviewed 17 May 2023 via mobile

    It’s a beautiful lodge that speaks of understated luxury, impeccable service and amazing food. Shannon is the lodge manager who manages everything like clockwork. The chef ‘happiness’ is what she serves through her meals; pure happiness. I stayed there for 2 nights and had an amazing time. My first game drive with my ranger Chris and tracker Dan was delightful. We say lions, cape buffaloes, elephants and a leopard within a few minutes! The rhino eluded us (but I say about 12 at the other lodge) . Back at camp I met some amazing people from the usa who were very kind to me and invited me over to have dinner with them. John, Madeline, Chris and Shannon (there were 2 chris’ and 2 Shannons !) were wonderful guests and made me feel like I was family. Later Ewan, Jessica and Marilyn welcomed me during our game drives and I had a fabulous time with them all. I can’t praise the whole experience enough! The forests are not like the savannah grasslands and some drives were underwhelming but the experience was memorable nevertheless. Thank you Phinda Vlei! The cheetahs that I saw on day 2 were the piece de resistance 🥰🥰🥰

    Date of stay: May 2023
    Trip type: Travelled solo
    Thank AATISH-HATSOFF
    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.
    Reviewed 3 May 2023

    This was our first stop of 3 lodges in what I can describe as a trip of a lifetime that was everything my husband and I dreamed of. The staff, lodge, food and wildlife viewing was superb. Our guide, Ross, was so enthusiastic it was contagious. The highlight was on our last night drive. Ross and 4 other guides were determined to find 2 elusive cheetah. One of the other guides found them and Ross drove us to the location. Within a few minutes of arrival, we watched them take down an Impala. Right after, we went to a watering hole for a sundowner and lying on the road was a male lion. We watched in awe as the lion drank from the water and then started his evening roar. The most incredible sound we have ever heard. Thank you to , Shannon, our host and a special thank you to Happiness for the delicious food.

    Room tip: Travel lite, they have daily complimentary laundry. April as a beautiful time to go
    Date of stay: April 2023
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank Deborah K
    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.
    Reviewed 29 March 2023

    We had such a lovely time at Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge and we highly recommend this lodge to anyone looking to experience a luxury South African safari, especially any honeymooners. The lodge itself is beautiful, clean, and well maintained. When not on our game drives, we enjoyed lounging at the pool in our room and watching wildlife stroll by.

    While the environment speaks for itself, the staff at this lodge is what truly made our experience unforgettable. They also went above and beyond to make the trip special for our honeymoon by adding little touches throughout our stay like a candlelit bath and a welcome card. Our guide, James, and our tracker, Thouks, worked so hard to ensure we saw all of the animals on our must see list. They kept us entertained with facts about the wildlife at the reserve and stories of their time working at Phinda Vlei. Our butler, Michael, made sure that we always had everything we needed/wanted. We loved getting to spend time with him at lunch each day to get to know him better. Chef Sabelo is truly talented at what he does. My husband and I both have different dietary restrictions, and he went out of his way for each meal to make sure we had plenty of options to eat, and everything was delicious. The rest of the staff was so warm and made us feel at home.

    You don't want to miss this lodge! We can't wait to be back again soon!

    Date of stay: March 2023
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank jaimeal72
    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.
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