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Ashesh K

Amazing visit, incredible location and staff

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 10 Aug 2023
I had an unforgettable experience at Mandela Game Reserve in South Africa. The staff's hospitality was truly exceptional, making me feel welcome and valued throughout my stay. Their knowledge about the wildlife and dedication to conservation added depth to my safari adventures. The services provided were top-notch, from comfortable accommodations to well-organized guided tours. Every detail was thoughtfully taken care of, enhancing the overall enjoyment of my trip. I highly recommend Mandela Game Reserve for anyone seeking a remarkable and well-serviced safari getaway. I would like to highlight that Francisco, the manager, was truly accommodating and great at the service. His charisma was unparalleled.
Date of stay: July 2023
Trip type: Travelled with family
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Rocco Gioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve & Luxury Lodges, responded to this review
Responded 13 Aug 2023
Wow what a fantastic review! Your recommendation and fantastic compliments are much appreciated by the whole team and we are so happy to read that your photo safari adventure at Elandela Private Game Reserve exceeded your expectations and that the service our friendliness of our staff and well organised tours have made cherished memories for ever. Our warmest greetings and thanks for having chosen Elandela Lodge as your South African photo safari destination!
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 7 July 2023

Actions speak louder than words. This was my 2nd stay at Elandela. The lodge and room was amazing, and AMAZINGLY QUIET. The food and dining room service were great.

But the guides make Elandela special. My guide's name was Lucky, and he was amazing. On a night we weren't seeing much, he did not give up in trying to find wild life. At one point he spotted a leopard in near dark conditions about 75-100 feet from the trail. He said he can tell when there's something dangerous nearby by the sound of the birds.

I would highly recommend this place to anyone serious about going to the Kruger and Hoedspruit area. If I ever have the chance to go again, the lodge I stay at will never be in doubt.

Date of stay: July 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank kkrock1
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 12 July 2023

Thank you so much for this absolutely clear recommendation to book at Elandela Lodge to have the best photographic safari anywhere! "
I would highly recommend this place to anyone serious about going to the Kruger and Hoedspruit area. If I ever have the chance to go again, the lodge I stay at will never be in doubt"
No more can be said and coming from an experienced traveler prospective visitors to South Africa must heed your advice!
We wish to welcome you back soon!

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Reviewed 19 June 2023 via mobile

My husband and I spent 5 nights here as part of a wider stay in South Africa, and for the first 4 nights we were the only guest staying! We had booked a river view lodge but we’re upgraded to lake view on arrival.

The room was stunning, tastefully decorated in African colonial style and had an incredibly comfortable bed, jacuzzi bath, separate shower and also an outdoor shower. We could sit outside and watch the hippos in the lake.

We were greeted warmly and had superb game drives with Leonardo- whose knowledge and expertise was second to none. We had included a half day trip to Kruger and we also chose to do additional trips to Blyde river canyon and the rehab centre at Moholoholo. Both of these were very reasonably priced.

Whilst staying at Elandela we saw lion, giraffe, zebra, jackal, hippo, crocodile, impala, buffalo, rhino, wildebeest, baboons and so much more!

Our stay included full board- breakfast was continental style with yoghurt, granola, fruit, cheeses etc and then eggs cooked to order. Lunch was varied - but there wasn’t usually a choice. Dinner included a meat option, fish option or pizza. Some of the food was very good, others it wasn’t as good as we had experienced elsewhere. Service was fine as we were the only guests. Beer and wine prices were very reasonable. We very much enjoyed our stay- Rudolph, leonardo and Lucky - and the guy who worked in the bar whose name I cannot remember were all great.

Date of stay: June 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank colinsgal
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 20 June 2023

All the Elandela staff members who worked so hard to make your stay a memorable and perfect thank you for your kind words and compliments! Compliments which stood out for management are "incredibly comfortable bed","game drives with Leonardo- whose knowledge and expertise was second to none." and "The room was stunning". Thank you for a great summary and positive review of your stay at Elandela!

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Reviewed 16 May 2023 via mobile

Our first visit to South Africa and we were beyond impressed. From the minute we were welcomed at the airport to the time we left we felt completely taken care of. The hotel manager (Francisco) was the kindest most genuine person and took such great pride in ensuring everyone was having a great time. The staff at the lake resort prepared delicious meals every day. I still dream about some of the desserts :) The housekeeping staff went above and beyond to ensure all was good in the rooms. We stayed in the honeymoon suites on the lake resort for 4 nights and having the two resident hippos in the lake steps from your door was exciting. The daily game drives were spectacular and both of our guides had a ton of information for us and ensured everyone was able to see the most animals. They were really personable and enjoyable to learn from. I saw more than I ever expected. No leopard for us but possibly next time. We also did a Kruger game drive and it was nice to have that experience as well. Truly an unforgettable experience and I’ve highly recommended this resort to any one I talk too. We booked online direct with the hotel and it was the best deal compared to other sites.

Room tip: We went in April and it seemed not too busy. Weather was great for us.
Date of stay: April 2023
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Travellingirl1234
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 May 2023

It is impossible for us to improve on your review as recommendation to book at Elandela Lake View Lodge! You have complimented all aspects of our facilities and services and your kind words for the team is truly appreciated by us all. We are looking for ward to welcome you back in the future - the next visit must be for a fantastic leopard sighting! Thank you for this fantastic summary about your amazing Elandela experience!

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Reviewed 29 March 2023 via mobile

Our stay at Elandela Lake View was an unforgettable experience. It all started with a warm welcome from the hotel manager Francisco. We were taken on some magnificent game drives with very knowledgeable and attentive guides, Rudolph and Leonardo. We saw 4 out of Big 4 except Leopard. White lions was a highlight. The little attention to detail with coffee breaks on morning drives and a delicious ‘brai’ lunch at Kruger left us with life long memories. The butlers Given and Andries were always looking out for our comforts with meals and drinks. We will definitely be recommending this wonderful lodge to our friends and family, with plans to return.
If you're in doubt, just book this amazing place you won't regret

Room tip: If you're driving take the road through Polokwane to avoid bad road
Date of stay: March 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Ashini 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 4 April 2023

Thank you for the perfect score and positive recommendation for a dream photo safari in South Africa a marvelous Elandela Lodge! We are looking forward to welcome you back soon!

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Reviewed 8 March 2023 via mobile

My wife and I were treated like royalty from the moment we were picked up from Hoedspruit Airport until we departed. The game reserve is only 11km from the airport and since there are so few planes we did not hear or see any of them at the resort
The luxurious room was very comfortable with all amenities including Wifi and overlooked a lake in which there were two hippos.
The restaurant and lounge were well furnished in African colonial style. The food was excellent and beautifully prepared. Wine prices were very reasonable. All the staff were extremely polite and attentive.
The game drives in the reserve were excellent and we saw many different animals in the wild, including white lion, Rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, warthog. The guides were extremely knowledgeable.
Our 4 night stay included a day trip to Kruger Park itself where we saw lion, a very large herd of elephant who crossed the road in front of us, Kudu, water buffalo, leopard tortoise and multiple colourful birds.
We also visited the spectacular Blyde River Canyon whete we went on a boat trip and saw hippo and crocodile.
We were looked after throughout by Francisco, a manager who was assigned to us and paid attention to our every need.
All in all it was a superb experience. We have been on safari before in the Masai Mara, Aberdare mountains and Rhamaphor in India which were very good but this was different again. The whole operation was extremely well managed and the staff were delightful.

Room tip: We went in a low occupancy period but wete assured that all visitors would be treated as well. If you want to see the big 5 you do need to go into Kruger itself.
Date of stay: March 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Christopher 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.
Rocco Gioia, Owner at Elandela Private Game Reserve & Luxury Lodges, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2023

An absolutely fantastic and very complete review - thank you very much! You are a discerning and well traveled visitor and your five out of five rating carries a lot of weight and your extremely favorable and detailed description must be taken into serious account by all readers of this page looking for the perfect photo safari destination in South Africa! We hope to welcome you back soon!

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