Ndaka Safari Lodge
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Ndaka Safari Lodge

Traveller (1596)
The sacred Lion!
Room & Suite (117)
Ndaka Safari Lodge
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About

5.0
#1 of 14 lodges in Ladysmith
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Value
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Tucked away in the centre of the picturesque Nambiti Private Game Reserve, a 21,000 acre, Big 5, malaria-free game reserve, lies Ndaka Safari Lodge. Located in central KwaZulu-Natal near Ladysmith, just 40 minutes from the Drakensberg and close to the Battlefields, in the heart of the wild, the lodge is the perfect halfway stop between Johannesburg (3,5 hours) and Durban (3 hours). Ndaka Safari Lodge has been converted into a family style getaway. Ndaka is a relaxed, "home away from home", family friendly lodge where children of all ages are welcome making it the ideal getaway for families and friends. The large lapa is home to the dining room, bar & comfy lounge area as well as a lovely deck with a stunning rim-flow swimming pool. Being family-friendly there is a large fully fenced-in indigenous garden, an outdoor playground as well as an indoor playroom for children to enjoy. The Lodge has seven spacious en-suite luxury tented suites for couples & young families as well as three double luxury tented suites with 2 en-suite bedrooms & a shared lounge in the middle for families with teens or 4 children. Close to the main lodge are three standard lodge rooms for the budget conscious and those wanting to be close to the lapa and pool .
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Pool
Free breakfast
Game room
Entertainment staff
Books, DVDs, music for children
Children's playground
Secured parking
Public wifi
Pool / beach towels
Swimming pool toys
Infinity pool
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Shallow end in pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Complimentary tea
Complimentary welcome drink
Kid-friendly buffet
Kids' meals
Outdoor dining area
Special diet menus
Poolside bar
Patio
Board games / puzzles
Children's television networks
Indoor play area for children
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Kids' outdoor play equipment
Highchairs available
Concierge
Gift shop
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun deck
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
Sun umbrellas
First aid kit
Umbrella
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Room features
Desk
Housekeeping
Interconnected rooms available
Private balcony
Coffee / tea maker
Cable / satellite TV
Electric blanket
Walk-in shower
Safe
Seating area
Sofa
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Laptop safe
Private bathrooms
Electric kettle
Flatscreen TV
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Charming
Great View
Languages Spoken
Afrikaans

Location

Memorial Gate Elandslaagte, Ladysmith 3370 South Africa
Getting there
Pietermaritzburg Airport
139.1 km
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1,080Review7Q+A100Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
Anat S wrote a review Nov 2020
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
we had an amazing 2-night vacation in Ndaka lodge. the staff were very professional and helpful, they make sure we have vegan food and kids food and anything we needed. the rooms were super special, big, clean and an amazing view of the reserve,
our guide Ngecbo knew his way at the Safari and kept surprising us with the amazing sight of the animals, 2 lions sleeping and the lioness with her cubs trying to hunt, seeing the group of white rhino, a super sighting of the cheetah also trying to hunt and hippos, buffalos and even baby giraffe that was only 2 days old.

Thanks for the wonderful experience, can't wait for our next time with you.
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Date of stay: November 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: tented suit are amazing
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.
Response from Tracey Marshall, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 16 Nov 2020
The title of your review "Family vacation, great food, helpful staff, amazing place" makes us very happy - thank you! It was a pleasure to meet & host you all last week. The whole Ndaka team is really grateful for your very kind feedback. We are so glad that you enjoyed your game drives with Ngcebo & that he treated you to many incredible animal sightings. We look forward to welcoming you back for another great stay in the bush. Our kindest regards from us all, Team Ndaka
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Megan F wrote a review Dec 2020
Hong Kong, China34 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My boyfriend and I chose to decide at Ndaka safari lodge to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. It was the best decision EVER. From the moment we arrived at the gate, we were greeted with the warmest smiles and hospitality. The staff’s energy is infectious and their manners & willingness to above and beyond to accommodate each and every need, is commendable. We were served welcome drinks upon arrival, given a grand tour of the beautiful amenities such as the rim flow pool with an irreplaceable view! Despite not having children, the family friendly ethos of Ndaka was memorizing. The way the staff engaged with the children was so pleasing to observe. The children were so engrossed by the African Safari experience and the the field guides did such a wonderful job of keeping the kids entertained and laughing. Special mention must be made to the incredible Sakhile (-aka Sax) who was the front of house manager during our stay. He made sure every aspect of the lodge was running smoothly and effortlessly, constantly refilling your glass of champagne and always going the extra mile to make sure our Ndaka stay, was one for the books.

Our field guide, Amon, was one exceptional man. Not only was he incredibly knowledgeable about every dimension of the bush (birds, bugs, trees, flowers and mammals), but all he wanted was his guests to have the truly authentic African experience. Amon delivered on his promise to hunt down the Big 5 during our stay, as well as finding other interesting sightings such as jackals & hippos.

Every employee at Ndaka Lodge was respectful and kind. From the cleaning staff, to the ladies in the laundry, to the chefs in the kitchen, there was no member of staff who wasn’t giving their all. The owners of the lodge have done a magnificent job of ensuring that their staff are treated respectfully and dignity. The owners have no heirs and graces, as displayed by their humility when I watched as the two owners cleared plates and served guests whilst the rangers ate their well-deserved breakfast.

Memorable experiences:

We got to experience an authentic bush breakfast in the veld under a tent with giraffe and zebra browsing in the distance.

We returned from dinner to find a romantic turndown in the bedroom with flowers and champagne to celebrate our special occasion.

And lastly, the sundowners in the evening with a glass of wine, some biltong and nuts & a beautiful view was always a great way to bring the afternoon game drive to a close.

I will only ever be returning to Ndaka Safari Lodge for any future Safari excursions owing to the memorable stay we have just had. I would 1000% recommend to couples, solo travelers as well as family! I can’t wait to return to visit my Ndaka family.
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Date of stay: December 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Tracey Marshall, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 13 Dec 2020
You just gave us such big goosebumps - thank you!! We are humbled by your very kind review. Thank you for commending everyone so warmly & acknowledging our unbelievable team's efforts. We are delighted that you could feel what makes Ndaka magic. We are also touched that you felt SO at home with us that you look forward to returning to YOUR Ndaka family. Until next time, our warmest regards & very best wishes to you both for a blessed festive season, Team Ndaka
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sjsmith589 wrote a review Apr 2020
10 contributions6 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at Ndaka for 3 days with our 1 year old and had a fantastic time! Every detail was just amazing. The food was great and the staff had a high chair set up at every meal with a little folded napkin and plastic silverware for my daughter, it was very cute. For the game drives we were paired with other families which was nice as we didnt feel like we were bothering people without kids if she got a bit loud sometimes. They even have car seats for the game drives.

I wish we could have used the pool as it was too cold most of the days there. I guess we'll have to go back :)

The accommodations are outstanding, spacious and comfortable. keep in mind the "tents" have lots of mesh openings during the day so things can get a little dusty. I would recommend a pair of slippers to keep your socks clean.

This was a wonderful way to end our trip to South Africa and we hope to be back some day!
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Date of stay: October 2019Trip type: Travelled with family
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.
Response from Tracey M, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 10 Apr 2020
Thank you for your super review - it's much appreciated! We are thrilled that your family had such a great family safari experience with us. We're sure that other travelers will find your comments most helpful. Wishing you all the best & fingers crossed that we get to welcome you back some day. Our warmest regards from us all, Team Ndaka
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Mushka Dalfin wrote a review Feb 2020
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
From the moment we arrived we were treated like family. We came for a vacation with our 5 yr old and baby. The team was accommodating to our specific needs, the drives were a sight to remember with the big 5 and various other unique animals. Our driver Nico was so knowledgeable with facts and details on all the animals and more. We saw lions with a kill(highlight!) cheetahs up close,elephants rubbing against the truck, buffalo heard and more! The accommodation was 5 star, with housekeeping daily (i think even twice sometimes),food and drink readily available, animal sighting from our bedroom, playroom for my 2 kiddos as well as babysitting during the day and night. The staff were so friendly to our kids and the kids had a great time running around the land,using the playground and the pool. We would love to come back again!! Thank you for the experience of a lifetime.
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
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.
Response from Tracey M, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 2 Feb 2020
Thank you for this lovely review. It was our absolute pleasure to host your family for your recent safari experience. We are delighted that we could accommodate your special needs so that you felt really at home with us. We would love to welcome you back & make more memories with you if you visit South Africa again. Our warmest regards, Team Ndaka
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Corrie wrote a review Sept 2020
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was the perfect location for my 60th birthday celebration. We were a group of 15 ( 10 adults and 5 children under 7yrs old) and our 2 days at Ndaka felt like the absolute spoil. Our room was beautiful and we could lie in our bed and observe animals walking past. The food was delicious and fresh and catered for every palate. And our guides were amazing - the way they remembered our names and tried so hard to find the animals we were keen to see. In fact all the staff at Ndaka are awesome - they all seem to love what they are doing.
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Date of stay: September 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: the tented rooms have amazing views, are huge but still feel luxurious
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.
Response from Tracey Marshall, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 30 Sept 2020
Thank you for choosing to celebrate your very special milestone at family-friendly Ndaka. We are so chuffed that we seem to have ticked so many boxes for you. We are also delighted that you enjoyed our camp as well as your game drives so much & of course that our chefs did a great job of tickling your tastebuds! We all really appreciate your shoutout! And yes, we love what we do. Our warmest regards, Team Ndaka
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Erik wrote a review Jan 2020
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We visited Ndaka for 3 nights with our kids (ages 3, 6 & 9) and had an amazing experience. Our guide, David was a fantastic and his soft-spoken nature really resonated with our kids. He was gracious, patient, easy to talk with, extremely knowledgeable AND guided us on some incredible animal experiences such as being up close with lions (including a cub!), cheetahs, elephants, giraffes and much more. The location is gorgeous, and we loved watching the animals stroll by in the grasslands while our kids played in the pool. The entire staff was great and very friendly, service was impeccable & food was great. Everyone went the extra mile in every respect to make it a great experience for us and our kids. Only wish we had stayed longer, highly recommend Ndaka!
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Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from Tracey M, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 19 Jan 2020
Thanks so much for this lovely review & recommendation. We are delighted that you had such a special & memorable time with David - he really is an incredible guide & person. Thank you for your very kind compliments which are much appreciated by us all. Your feedback will certainly motivate us all, across all the departments, to keep doing what we do! We hope to make more memories with your family some day. Kindest regards from us all, Team Ndaka
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Therusha wrote a review Apr 2021
1 contribution1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had the mot amazing time , from arrival up until our departure. The service was amazing and the attention to detail and food was A+ . My family and I were greeted and hosted the entire 3 nights with world class service. Our game drives were the Highlight with Hayden and Ncebo who were extremely knowledgeable and ensured we were given a chance to see 4 of the BIG 5 (shy Leopard always HID) Shout out to the Chefs every mene prepared was impeccable and the staff were so pleasant and always waiting on us ensuring we were happy and always fed. This was our 1st time to Nambiti and i am soo happy we chose Ndaka as our Lodge the tented Suites were just amazing , so clean and neat all the time and the expericnce of sleeping in the middle of the reserve was priceless , waking up to the Nyala's at our Door, my kids loved every moment.
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Date of stay: March 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from Tracey Marshall, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 7 Apr 2021
Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us for your recent visit to Nambiti. We are delighted that we seem to have ticked so many boxes for you & that you "felt" the Ndaka magic. It was indeed Ngcebo, Hayden & Team Ndaka's pleasure to host you all. We hope to make lots more memories with you. Our warmest regards & grateful thanks, Team Ndaka
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DaniellevdW wrote a review Dec 2020
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Ndaka is by far one of the best holiday destinations we have ever visited! On arrival it was very clear that the staff members are very well trained and well organized. At all times we knew what was happening and by when we had to be where. Our room had a spectacular view, with massive doors opening from our bedroom, we had wild life passing as close as 5m from us. The decorations in our unit was done with a keen eye for detail and very clean and neat. Every meal was prepared to perfection and served with friendliness and warm smiles. Our game drives were the best we have ever experienced, with our Ranger (Barry) having exceptional wild life knowledge. This guy would most certainly give Dave Pepler and David Attenborough a run for their money. Every day was ended with sundowners on high peaks overlooking parts of the reserve, hearing animal calls in the distance. One incredible experience included the two lion brothers roaring less than 15m away from our van. Dinner was served next to a crackling fire and finally the deserts will leave you only wanting more. One thing that really distinguish's Ndaka from any other lodge we have ever visited, is the fact that each employee of the lodge remembers and addresses you by your name. A very big thank you to Nolen and Lisa that made our time even more special with a dinner served in our unit on our last night! An absolute world class lodge, managed exceptionally well! Congratulations Nolen and Lisa!
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Date of stay: December 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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.
Response from Tracey Marshall, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 15 Dec 2020
We are absolutely delighted that you enjoyed yourselves so much & that you now have many unforgettable memories - wow! We really appreciate your kind compliments & acknowledging Nolan, Lisa, Barrie, our chefs & our whole team so warmly - we are truly blessed in that we love what we do! Wishing you a super festive season & a wonderful 2021. Take care & stay safe, Team Ndaka
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michelle wrote a review Mar 2020
West Sussex, United Kingdom83 contributions19 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I recently stayed at Ndaka and had the most enjoyable couple of days. From the first warm welcome at the lodge, every touch point with the amazing team was just wonderful. They treat everybody like you’re a long lost friend. You tell them your name once, and they never forget it. We have stayed at a different lodge in nimbiti before but this is now our favourite!

The tents are wonderful, super comfortable (although pillows too hard for me so I slept on my rolled up jacket). I really enjoyed the living room area, big beds and fabulous bathroom. You really have everything you need. Every detail thought through. The weather wasn’t great when we visited and the first night was cold, but the tent was cozy. The only thing it might benefit from are electric blankets but they may already add them in the winter months. The patch of bad weather we hit was unseasonably cold. The last day the sun came out and we got to experience the tent in all her glory, opening up all the doors and sides to let the air and sun flow through and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bush. I even braved the outdoor shower which was glorious!

The food was exceptional with my dietary restrictions catered for brilliantly. I’m coeliac and the gluten free options were so tasty. Everything prepared fresh from scratch, no request was ever a problem. Make sure you bring some elastic waist pants with you cos you’ll need the stretchy pants by the time you’ll leave!

The sightings were great. And it seems most of the animals are in this part of the reserve. We didn’t have to go far to see big 5 but we also got to experience the different terrains of the reserve. You could hear lions roar during the night! On the last day my husband and I were the only ones to show up for the early morning drive so we joked with Leane that she was giving us a VIP tour. She was fantastic, really knowledgable, and good fun. I enjoyed every drive and each experience it brought.

I can’t wait to go again and stay longer!

PS this lodge is set up for young families and there will be little ones around so you should bear that in mind when booking.
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Tracey M, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 4 Mar 2020
Many thanks for this super recommendation & detailed review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your recent stay with us so much & that you felt so at home with us. All our departments really appreciate your feedback - thank you. And we're especially glad that Leane & the chefs took extra special care of you. We will look to add a 3rd option of pillows to hopefully improve your comfort next time. There are always lovely warm blankets in the cupboard & we do have electric blankets that we usually put on the beds from April for use in the cooler months but we will most certainly look to use them sooner if the weather turns chilly. But let's hope that the weather is kinder to you next time! We look forward to welcoming you back when you next need a bush fix. Warmest regards & our grateful thanks, Team Ndaka
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Adventuring Fam wrote a review Nov 2020
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We usually don’t stay at the same place twice regardless of how fabulous it is, so we get a chance to see other places. But we have been to Ndaka twice and each time as we pull away, the kids immediately ask when we are coming back. The facilities are top notch, staff and Rangers seem to really really love their jobs and the guests, and go above and beyond to ensure a great stay. Covid protocols have been taken very seriously as we were extremely comfortable throughout our stay with the measures (and we are very particular), and would return in a heart beat. Nambiti is a great park to see the Big 5 (and we have been to Kruger so don’t say that lightly). Highly likely we will break with our norms and visit Ndaka for a third time. Thanks for all you and your amazing staff do to make guests like us leave with memories of a lifetime! And a special thank you to Siya once again. He is a class act!!
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Date of stay: October 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
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.
Response from Tracey Marshall, Owner at Ndaka Safari Lodge
Responded 5 Nov 2020
It was such a pleasure to have you all to stay again & meet Grandma. We just aren't sure who was more excited about the reunion - Siya or Neil?! We're thrilled that you broke tradition & chose to visit us again. We're also really happy that you felt so at home & so "safe" with us. We hope to make more memories with your family again some day. Fondest regards from us all, Team Ndaka
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Answer from Tracey M
Ladysmith, South Africa5 contributions2 helpful votes
Hello there! We are really close to the Drakensberg so it can be very cold. Honestly the weather patterns have been so bizarre these past few months so it's really hard to predict with certainty. But usually, early June is lovely during the day. And our pool will be heated too!
Answer from petercot
Cambridge, United Kingdom147 contributions36 helpful votes
Pool safe for small kids, but only under supervision of an adult.
zululady asked a question Dec 2020
Durban, South Africa57 contributions29 helpful votes
When inside the family luxury 4 sleeper are the 2 rooms separate or open plan ?
Answer from niruDurbs
Durban, South Africa338 contributions125 helpful votes
Yes. Two end suite bedrooms. Separated by a common lounge. Can also lock one section from the other with different entrances as well, Really awesome.
theosullys asked a question Oct 2019
Worcestershire7 contributions5 helpful votes
Is it safe to sleep in a tent? I’m slightly worried about wild animals getting inside.
Answer from Antony C
Hilton, South Africa45 contributions10 helpful votes
Hi It is completely safe. The luxury tents are enclosed inside an electric fence. We have stayed there several times and we have never had a problem.
Answer from DurbanKimJ
Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique151 contributions22 helpful votes
It will be warm enough to swim but bring a warm jacket and jeans for the evening.
Relax13979176173 wrote a tip 10 May
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"For a full experience, one night stay is too short."
Read full review
Margaret L wrote a tip 8 May
Cape Town Central, South Africa13 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Bring your swimming costume, pool is great"
Read full review
Chris F wrote a tip Apr 2024
Vancouver, Canada32 contributions9 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ndaka is a family-friendly lodge with lots of kids having fun."
Read full review
Sean Evans wrote a tip Apr 2024
Johannesburg, South Africa3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The late afternoon and early morning game drives can get chilly so pack a beanie and jacket!"
Read full review
Nicholas R wrote a tip Apr 2024
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Morning game drives can be cold, so don’t forget to take an extra layer or two. "
Read full review
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LOCATION
South AfricaKwaZulu-NatalLadysmith
NUMBER OF ROOMS
16
Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect total costs of the stay, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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NDAKA SAFARI LODGE - Reviews (Ladysmith, South Africa) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Ndaka Safari Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Ndaka Safari Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Nambiti Big 5 Private Game Reserve (3.0 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Ndaka Safari Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Ndaka Safari Lodge?
Top room amenities include a flat screen TV, a desk, and a seating area.
What food & drink options are available at Ndaka Safari Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Ndaka Safari Lodge?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Ndaka Safari Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Ndaka Safari Lodge have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the mountain view available here.
Is Ndaka Safari Lodge accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access and reduced mobility rooms. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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