Reviews of Bagatelle Game Ranch
Wildlife sightings and reviews
184 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Bagatelle Game Ranch and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Top class lodge in every respect"
A pity we were there for only one night." See all these reviews: 13n in Namibia
"Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch review"
only comment is that they tried to downgrade us to a standard room when we arrived and only put us into the dune chalet once we insisted that this is what we had paid for." See all these reviews: 14n in Namibia
Everything about it was superb right down to the goats drinking from the pool & the donkey nuzzling up to the guests around the pool side & the pet springbok!
Superb views & stunning sunsets from our very private Dune chalet. We had excellent trips from knowledgable guides, it was a shame that the 'bushmen' had to resort to telling us what their lives used to be like but not any more.
Wonderful outdoor dining area with great freshly cooked food, all the staff were great." See all these reviews: 27n in Namibia; 1n in Botswana
"Bagatelle - very disappointing"
Negatives - the off hand attitude of other staff; the disappointing breakfasts; finding the three cheetahs in an enclosure that seemed no bigger than a tennis court; the fact that on the morning scenic drive most of the creatures ran off as the vehicle approached (this suggests that someone had been shooting animals from vehicles); the "tame" springbok in the dining area with a length of hose pipe stuck on each horn; and the way that the water & electricity failures were dealt with by the management.
We understand that there can be problems with power and water supplies - this was not the issue. Our criticism concerns the way the management failed to keep guests informed. It would have been really helpful if the staff had told us about the electricity problem when we arrived. We reached our room then had to go back to reception to try to find out what was happening. (5 minutes walk downhill then 10 minutes back uphill). The electricity eventually was restored at 7.00 pm. The next day there were more power cuts. Once again no one came to inform us - so yet more walking to/from reception. Then the water supply failed - there was no water from mid-afternoon to 9.30 pm. Once again we had to trek to/from reception to ask staff what was happening. They seemed ill informed and indifferent. By the evening management were offering free wine as compensation but in the end we suggested that not charging us for the game drive would be more acceptable.
We did not enjoy our stay at Bagatelle. Building chalets on top of sand dunes when temperatures reach the high 30s is not sensible if there is no back up generator. The lodge's website says "The design and décor, materials and furnishings, gardens and natural settings, all combine to ensure our guests live their dream of an African Safari." Certainly not my dream.
Too gimmicky, too hot, too poorly managed and, given these factors, too expensive." See all these reviews: 19n in Namibia
"Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch review"
Spacious bedroom and nice deck outside where the various animals walk past.
Meals and cakes at tea time were very good and there was plenty of space to sit and relax. the shop also had a range of quality gifts / souvenirs available." See all these reviews: 21n in Namibia
"A pleasant and relaxed start"
We really enjoyed the bushman trip.
The night drive was a little disappointing. There was no guide. The driver had to drive and hold the flashlight. He did his best, but not ideal!" See all these reviews: 19n in Namibia
"Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch review"
Saw lots of meercats." See all these reviews: 23n in Namibia; 6n in Botswana
"Stunning location, mixed experience"
Whilst we gave this lodge an excellent rating because we very much enjoyed our stay and would return, there were some areas that perhaps could be improved and streamlined.
During check in we felt the staff to be rather detached and very commercially orientated. Whilst its obviously important to be informed of all activities on offer, in fact I had called the previous evening to enquire and had reserved a game drive for that afternoon, we did feel that they were over pushing the sale of their tours of which there were several options.
The lounge and communal areas were lovely, very comfortable and with a well stocked shop. Wi-fi did not connect in our chalet but was useable in the communal areas.
Our game drive that afternoon was just the two of us plus guide and a lady from reception joined us saying that she needed "familiarization". The drive was enjoyable and the guide perfectly pleasant and informative and we saw plenty and enjoyed the scenery. This activity included the cheetah feeding and sundowner.
Dinner was a buffet with the exception of the starter and dessert which was served at the table. Unfortunately it would appear that they vastly underestimated how busy they were. Three roast chickens are insufficient for a dining room full of people.
I had reiterated my dietary requirements upon check in (no red meat) and the waitress confirmed that they had that information noted, however when I went to the buffet to get some chicken I was informed that it was all finished and would not be replaced. We were not eating particularly late, in fact people arrived after us and running out of chicken was unexpected.
There were also two large salad bowls which were almost empty and when I asked for these to be replenished new dishes never appeared, at least during the time that we were at the restaurant. Eventually after I addressed this with the waitress they prepared me a chicken breast with a fresh bowl of salad. This was a shame and I hope just a "one off" as the dining room and setting were beautiful.
The outside bar area was also very nice and comfortable and we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink sitting enjoying the environment. We did not use the pool as we stayed only one night plus there appeared to be some sort of renovation under way around the sides but there was water in the pool.
Later in the evening an Eland was encouraged to come close to the dining area with food laid out for it. Perhaps it is a tame animal and frequent visitor, however I'm not sure how I personally feel about an animal being fed and encouraged to come close to the building for that reason, but that is just my opinion, others were very happy to photograph it. Whilst I know and understand why the cheetahs are in captivity this is another area that I was not especially comfortable with for my own reasons, however we did very much enjoy watching the meerkats.
Unquestionably this is a beautiful ranch amongst the stunning red dunes and perhaps we are being overly critical. We would happily stay there again despite our experience in the dining room.
This was also the only place where we were asked for a tip and that was by the gate man as we were leaving." See all these reviews: 22n in Namibia
"Great relaxing place to start trip"
Check-in welcoming and efficient. Stayed in strawbale room which was plenty big enough for 5. Inferior setting to dune chalets but perfectly pleasant. Accommodation very comfortable and of a good standard.
Nice pool area, restaurant and bar. Kids particularly liked donkeys, goats and springbok around the tables!
Breakfast buffet was good and had a wide choice, Sandwiches and salad available for lunch. Dinner was a buffet with several options - all very good and with enough choice to keep children largely happy, but no specific kids menu.
Mongoose, ostrich and meerkats around lodge very approachable.
Easy self-guided short walks into the dunes.
Did sundowner drive which was very interesting and typical of Kalahari. Some low density game - oryx, springbok, eland, wildebeeste etc - good scenery, great sunset. Guide was good and informative if unspectacular. Owing to numbers on other activities, this was combined for us with cheetah feeding free of charge. Two cheetahs captive in 12ha enclosure not able to be re-released as orphaned as cubs - certainly not 'wild' and fed from a bowl, Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but nevertheless, kids very excited at being in with them and being able to touch them.
Bushman walk with three bushmen and interpetor very interesting, even for kids. Walking group was a little large at about 15-20 but they still managed to keep everyone engaged." See all these reviews: 16n in Namibia
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