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Sam F
Chicago, Illinois

Beautiful nature reserve with gluten free (Celiac) & vegetarian accommodations

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 19 Oct 2022
We had the most incredible time at Elandela! The game drives, led by our guide John, were exciting, informative, and beautiful -- we saw so many different animals, from lions to antelope to honey badger, and John was sharp, charming, and engaging in the way he drew from expert knowledge and experience. The rest of the staff was incredibly welcoming and attentive, taking care of multiple dietary restrictions (vegetarian and Celiac disease) and delivering umbrellas to our rooms when it rained, among other things. Manager Francisco checked in with us at nearly every meal to make sure our experience was as enjoyable as possible. Vusi and Ziko took care of our food and drinks with great fun. The rooms and restaurant are beautiful inside and out, with views of monkeys, giraffe, and more every time you step outside. We couldn't recommend Elandela more, and can't wait to come back!
Date of stay: September 2022
Room Tip: Use the list of species they provide! Late morning naps are key. Ask for fun/creative drinks!
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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rocco gioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve & Luxury Lodges, responded to this review
Responded 7 Nov 2022
Thank you for such a colorful description of what visitors to Elandela Lodge will experience. Especially a big thank you from the team for the compliments - it proves that Elandela's reputation for warm friendly service is true and of course the fact that you want to return condones a perfect testimony of your memorable stay with us! Thank you for praising the food quality because we go out of our way to prepare meals to suite dietary requirements - this is a big plus for Elandela and thank you for highlighting it!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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Reviewed 17 October 2022 via mobile

What a magical place. We spent our honeymoon here for four night this September. It was part of a three week holiday, and this was by far the highlight. We had one of the honeymoon suites overlooking the lake. This in itself is amazing, hippos inhabit the lake and pop there heads out of the water regularly to say hello, and zebras and giraffes come and drink for the lake regularly. Just to sit outside your room in the morning drinking coffee and watch these animals was amazing. The room itself as pure luxury, huge four poster bed and a double spa bath.

The reserve itself is so awe inspiring. Seeing so many animals freely loving is beyond anything we have seen before. The guides Leonardo and John were our guides on the daily drives around the vast reserve. Their knowledge was boundless. Leonardo would often stop to talk about a tree, he would tell us the history, stories everything so when you moved on you were stunned with the beauty of a simple tree. They know just where to find the animals, we were lucky enough to see all of the Big five during our stay. Was so lucky ‘just’ seeing a leopard on the last day.

We were also taken to Kruger national park with John, so we had the opportunity to see elephants, which we saw in abundance along we’ve a hyena walking along the roadside right next to the bus.

We were told about the differences between private reserves and the national parks, so understood each and their importance.

We saw so many animals, lions, rhino, elephant, buffalo, leopard, zebra, giraffe, porcupine, honey badger, ganet, mongoose, crocodile, hippo, hyena, wort hogs, impala, wildebeest, monkeys and a cool stag beetle that walked past our room one morning.

The food we had in the restaurant, was of a very high standard. Each meal beautifully presented and delicious. We were lucky to have our breakfast outside next to the lake a couple of times that was very special.

We now feel hooked on safaris and feel that we have a different outlook on animals. Staying here at Elandera was an experience in its self. We already wanna come back. I can not recommend more highly this reserve. You will be treated like royalty by the wonderful staff.
I real five star experience 😊

Date of stay: September 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Donnie 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.
rocco gioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve & Luxury Lodges, responded to this reviewResponded 19 October 2022

The team appreciates the time you spent to write a complete and in depth review of what our guests experience here at Elandela! We believe this is a magical place and it is our wish that our visitors experience the beauty of our reserve and the complexity of our eco systems. It is fantastic to know that your honeymoon will be remembered as spending a few nights in a "magical place". We are grateful for your recommendation to all who rad this review to make sure they choose Elandela as their African photo safari destination!

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Reviewed 25 September 2022 via mobile

We went with a group of five friends. Our stay was just perfect, it really couldn't have been better.

Francisco received us wonderfully and was always attentive to the coordination of all the details of our stay, food and activities.

Zeco learned all of our names, and dietary tastes and limitations on the first day, and his attention was wonderful. He was always very friendly, and he catered to our every need and whim.

Leonardo was an excellent guide, answering all our questions and curiosities, and showing us how passionate he is about his work.

Life is not enough for me to recommend this place.

Room tip: Book in advance the boat tour. Do as many game drives as you can, you always see something different.
Date of stay: September 2022
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank kevinpI6337MJ
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.
rocco gioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve & Luxury Lodges, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2022

WOW! Thank you for these extreme and well meant words from your heart: "Life is not enough for me to recommend this place." We trust you will forever have happy memories of your time at Elandela because in the final analysis we travel and visit places to experience good times in order to make those good times - when you and your friends were truly happy - be part of you forever!

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Reviewed 26 August 2022 via mobile

There are not enough words to explain how incredible our experience was. The staff are attentive to detail, thoughtful, and fun! The food was delicious and creative and beautifully presented! The rooms were spacious. John our guide was extraordinary. His knowledge of the animals, birds, plant life and his true passion made this experience so memorable. My family can not recommend Elandela SafariLodge enough. Thank you to all the staff!

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank TamarraW
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.
rocco gioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve & Luxury Lodges, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2022

Our heart felt appreciation for your unbelievable recommendation to book one's photo safari at Elandela! It is especially important for any traveler to be able to get certainty that the food at their travel destination is delicious and the chefs thank you for this recommendation! Of course the passion of our guides make the game drives and it is our intention to make every guest feel special!

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Reviewed 26 August 2022

The service was fantastic from start to end. We were greeted with sherry and a full explanation was given about our stay. We were even taken out on a game drive that day despite arriving late that afternoon. Leonardo our ranger was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions. He had lots of amazing stories and different facts to tell us about the animals and birds that we saw. We were lucky enough to have seen an aardvark and lots of other animals were ticked off our list.
The food was always really yummy and impressively presented, and Fransisco looked after us amazingly. I couldn't recommend staying here enough!

Room tip: The lake view honeymoon suites were incredible and very romantic.
Date of stay: July 2022
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank RoxyRice
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.
rocco gioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve & Luxury Lodges, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2022

The entire team appreciates your glowing recommendation to all reading this Tripadvisor page encouraging them to book at Elandela Lodges! These are fantastic ratings and once again the quality of food is mentioned as a big plus if you make Elandela your photo safari destination. We are truly happy that you enjoyed your game drives and agree with you that seeing any of the many smaller and less iconic animals makes for a marvelous game drive!

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Reviewed 25 August 2022

I came on safari with my 10 year old son, partner, brother in law and his partner. The lodge is amazing! The grounds are stunning and immaculate. The staff are attentive, friendly and personable. The food is beyond words. Accommodations are great.
My son is having the time of his life.
If you are looking to book a safari camp you could not possibly find a better option.

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank MJThompson3T
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.
rocco gioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve & Luxury Lodges, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2022

Your last sentence: "If you are looking to book a safari camp you could not possibly find a better option." is a fantastic reference and recommendation for any family looking for the best photo safari destination in South Africa for groups and families! Your visit to Elandela was enjoyed by all the staff and especially the kitchen staff thank you for saying the "food is beyond words"!

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