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Nkaya Lodge

NKaya Lodge Thornybush Nature Reserve, Hoedspruit, Maruleng 1380 South Africa
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#43 of 71 lodges in Hoedspruit
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HOTEL CLASS
4.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Luxury
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Bar / lounge
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NKaya Lodge Thornybush Nature Reserve, Hoedspruit, Maruleng 1380 South Africa
Nkaya Lodge
19Reviews0Q+A6Room tips

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Brian H wrote a review Mar 2020
2 contributions
My wife and I recently stayed at Nkaya Lodge for 3 days as part of our holiday in South Africa. Andre & Lene were the best hosts possible and made our stay the best experience ever. The game drives were brilliant and we experienced everything we could possibly imagine. I would fully recommend this lodge to anyone thinking of a safari experience. 🐘🦓🦌🦛🐃🐆
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Date of stay: February 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.
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kingston11 wrote a review Feb 2020
Haverhill, United Kingdom329 contributions122 helpful votes
Visited as first part of our South Africa experience. We are here for 3 days, arrived yesterday. The service is fantastic, so friendly and personal. There are only 4 lodges here, so it really does have a bespoke feel to everything. Deer wandering around and monkeys, just like cats at home would! The food is amazing, all freshly prepared. We have now completed 2 safari drives, and already seen the ‘big 5’! Wow, some people never see them all on these drives. Andre is our guide, with his able companion Andrees, couldn’t be more helpful and informative. Gin & Tonics with a Savanna sunset - what more could you ask for!!!??
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Date of stay: February 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.
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Deishan L wrote a review Aug 2019
Tiverton, United Kingdom13 contributions3 helpful votes
Andre and Lene are the best hosts you could ask for. Nothing is too much trouble. My daughter is vegan and I am dairy free. Every meal Lene had made us lovely delicious food. Andre showed us numerous Elephant, giraffe and White Rhino and even a Black Rhino and youngster. We saw a female leopard and two cubs a beautiful male leopard. Three prides of lion and one pride with 9 cubs. Hippo and Hyena Andre's company on the drives made our trip. The accommodation is comfortable, clean and of a high standard. Can't wait to return
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Date of stay: August 2019Trip type: Travelled with family
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baggless wrote a review Jul 2019
H.Heath, W.sussex1 contribution
We stayed at nkaya for 5 nights in early July & were treated like royalty by Chantelle and her team. Food was superb and plenty of it and nothing was too much trouble. Also had a great safari experience courtesy of Benji and Andries who found us the big 5 in 3 days and followed that with sightings of cheetah and wild dogs.. We would recommend it to anyone. Paul & Christine
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Date of stay: July 2019
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oak21 wrote a review Oct 2018
Chester, United Kingdom58 contributions63 helpful votes
If I could give 10 stars I would. A very small game lodge - 4 double traditional style bungalows in a small, very personal, very friendly setting in Thornybush Reserve. Each has a double bedroom (mosquito netted), lounge, bathroom, shower room, and outside seating area. There is a swimming pool with sunbeds and a hide overlooking an onsite water hole where you can sit and watch many different animals - elephants, zebra, impala, nyala,- pass through. Andre and Lena are excellent hosts, nothing is too much trouble. Food is delicious and so much of it - breakfast, high tea and dinner including BBQ (braai) in the boma. Honesty bar open all day. Andre our guide and our tracker Andrew are exceptional, we saw all big 5 and more including wild dogs, hyena, jackel, hippo, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest. Highlights were watching a female leopard and hyena vying for a kudu which had been chased into the water, and a pride of lions including 6 cubs crossing the Bush at dusk to their water hole. Fabulous just doesn't do justice to the whole N'kaya experience. My advice- get away from the crowds - come here. We will certainly be back.
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Date of stay: October 2018
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: They are all identical
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kerri r wrote a review Mar 2018
Wamberal, Australia16 contributions17 helpful votes
We spent 4 nights at Nkaya and weren't really sure what to expect. We were made very welcome from the moment we arrived. Nikki showed us around this boutique lodge and told us what would be happening during our stay.Our room was amazing. Two bathrooms, comfy bed, lounge room ,safe, tea/coffee.The kudu were grazing on the grounds just outside our room. There was only 1 other couple there at the same time. Lovely Kev & Angie from the UK. Meals were amazing.Breakfast buffet and and a choice of cooked meals. Lunch was a hot and cold buffet ,with dessert. Dinner was always 3 courses different meals and cooked to perfection,5 star. They also cater for food intolerances. Nothing is a problem for the staff at Nkaya. Beer, wine , spirits are not included, but the prices are so reasonable. Safaris are early morning and evening & are the most amazing experience. We saw the big 5 & more! Warthogs, wild dogs, black mamba(in a tree),hyena(heavily pregnant). Verner , our guide, was so knowledgeable and went to great lengths to follow a lion who was vying with another lion for territory. We saw a cheetah mum and cubs laying with full bellies. We saw a warthog that had been killed & dragged up into a tree by a leopard. An impala had tried to save himself from wild dogs by entering a water hole , we watched while the wild dogs waited for their prey. We watched 3 young lions try to dig a warthog out of his burrow. They were still there the next day waiting. All our safaris were so exciting with Verner telling us many stories about the animals and going to extreme measures to track them down. With help from his tracker Andrew. I would highly recommend Nkaya Lodge.
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Date of stay: March 2018
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Trip 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.
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MichJPeimer wrote a review Aug 2017
Sydney, Australia4 contributions2 helpful votes
8 person, well appointed 4 star Lodge with 5 star service! Great friendly atmosphere, plentiful food, amazing 'nothing is too much staff' and wonderful game drives with an exceptionally experienced guide and tracker. Exciting off road tracking. Saw the Big 5 and more. A must for anyone who loves the bush.
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Date of stay: August 2017Trip type: Travelled with friends
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Smorosan wrote a review Aug 2017
New York City, New York2 contributions5 helpful votes
GENERAL: My husband and I booked a three night stay (affording us 6 drives total) at N'Kaya Lodge through Mahlatini Travel as part of our honeymoon in July 2017. This was our first safari of two and our first safari ever, and we had a spectacular time! PEOPLE: André (our guide), Lené (our host/chef) and Andrés (our tracker) were incredibly gracious! Out of sheer luck, we had the place to ourselves for each and every drive, so André was able to be extremely flexible about what time we went out on our game drives, the length of those drives, what animals we were looking for, etc. He is an experienced and knowledgeable guide, and we felt very comfortable both on the game drives and the bush walk with him and we learned a ton about the animals. André is also a very good photographer and gave us numerous tips about how to use our camera to get the best shots (always shoot animals on sports mode and switch to video at night)! Lené is a talented chef, and she would usually join André and us for a drink before or after our game drives. As André and Lené have decades of experience between them, it was a pleasure to hear about their lives and the different camps they've been in over the years. Last but not least, our tracker Andrés was absolutely phenomenal. By the end of our fourth drive, my husband nicknamed him Gandalf for his sixth sense knowledge of what the animals might be doing! ANIMALS: We saw all of the Big 5 by the end of our third drive, including two different groups of elephants that had wandered in from other properties of Kruger, and daytime and nighttime viewings of both lions and leopards. We also saw, in no particular order, hippo during daytime and nighttime, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, wild dogs (with pups!), baboons, monkeys, warthogs, kudu, impala, nyala, hyena, duiker, mongoose and - not to be forgotten - the delightful family of lesser bushbabies that live in the roof of the dining room! André was able to identify every animal, bird and bug that we came across. Also, we enjoyed the watering hole behind the lodge, where a number of our animal sightings occurred (including cape buffalo, zebra, baboon, warthog, hyena, monkey, impala, nyala and duiker). ACCOMODATIONS / HOSPITALITY: The lodges are well-appointed and extremely comfortable without being over-the-top with bells and whistles (i.e., if you want a marble bathtub on an elevated platform, a heated private plunge pool and electric blankets, consider a different lodge). The intimate nature of the accommodations made me feel at home and their *somewhat* simpler style made me comfortable that my eco-footprint was lighter. André knocked on our door to wake us up every day (this was winter, so at 5:45 a.m., about 1 hour and change before sunrise). Between breakfast (10:00 a.m.) and the second game drive (3:30 p.m.), we napped or lounged by the watering hole and the camp became very quiet and still. Given early start times, the break was necessary! I echo the sentiment of another reviewer that even though the next lodge on our itinerary was more luxurious and expensive and the individuals equally gracious and enthusiastic, N'Kaya is the one that we would be most eager to return to!
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Date of stay: July 2017
Value
Rooms
Service
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: All of the lodges seemed about equal.
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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.
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Raya S wrote a review Nov 2016
Rochester, Minnesota18 contributions1 helpful vote
It's small but that's what made it the best experience ever .. I have done safari at other places but N'Kaya lodge was the best experience I have had.. not only did we see the big five plus many more several times.. how many of us can say we watched a roaring lion from a few feet, elephant uprooting whole trees .. leopards wAlking right next to u in the jeep.. and only feel excited and always safe.. Not only did I see so much, I also learned so much about the animals, their behavior and nature .. shout out to Verne, Nikki & Andre for giving me a once in a lifetime experience
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Date of stay: November 2016
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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PhilipTorque wrote a review Aug 2016
Banbury, United Kingdom107 contributions49 helpful votes
My family (with two teenagers) recently enjoyed a wonderful three night stay at N'Kaya. We were made to feel very welcome by husband and wife team - Nicky and Werner and game tracker Andres. The lodge consists of 4 two room, two bathroom units. Each unit can either be configured as a double with a living area or a double in one room and a large sofa bed in the other. You could, at a pinch, sleep 4 people in a unit but I guess that either two or three is more typical. We enjoyed six wonderful game drives seeing all of the animals that we expected and more besides. Thornybush reserve is mostly close bush, as the name suggests, so animals can be nearby but hard to find. Also, when you do find them they can quickly disappear back into the undergrowth and be hard to follow. In some respects, the fact that we actually had to look for the animals made the experience more enjoyable. We particularly liked the system that Thornybush operates that only two vehicles will be viewing an animal at any one time. Once the first vehicle that finds the animal has seen enough, it will depart making space for the next in order. In this way the animals don't get too crowded. N'Kaya is a simple lodge with not a great deal to do between drives. There is a small pool which we did not fancy in August. You do have to be prepared to chill-out between the morning and afternoon drives but this is not a hardship given the 6am start each morning. We loved N'Kaya and even although the next lodge on our itinerary was more luxurious and expensive, N'Kaya is the one that we would be most keen to return to.
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Date of stay: August 2016
Location
Cleanliness
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Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: They are all similar and all lovely.
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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.
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LOCATION
South AfricaLimpopo ProvinceMarulengHoedspruit
NUMBER OF ROOMS
4
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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NKAYA LODGE - Reviews (Hoedspruit, South Africa) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Nkaya Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Nkaya Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Thornybush Game Reserve (6.9 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Nkaya Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and airport transportation.
What food & drink options are available at Nkaya Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Does Nkaya Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Nkaya Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.