Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge

Reviews of Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge

Excellent(98%) From 13 travellers
Excellent
12
Good
1
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
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Below are independent comments from 13 of our travellers who have visited Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs T - Ireland
Arrived on: 4-Nov-2016 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Fantastic place to visit

I don't know what to say about Kwandwe because it was really amazing, we loved it.

The whole place was great the trips out on safari were the best we have been on.[we have been on safari before] Our guide Doc and spotter Monde were brilliant and we saw lots of animals. The whole place is well organised and if you don't want to go out on safari you don't have to.

The food was lovely but too much of it. You could have anything to drink at any time and the free laundry was a bonus.

The rooms are unbelievable as is the view. We would highly reccommend it to anyone wanting a safari in the Eastern cape.

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Mr and Mrs S. from Oakham
Arrived on: 2-Nov-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge review

This was an amazing and wonderful highlight and finale to our trip to South Africa. We were welcomed with such warmth, invited into the community who cared for us with superb attention to detail, surprised often by lovely extra touches, such as a handwritten welcome note, an unexpected birthday gift, and a surprise in our room after our last evening game drive which I won't give away because it was so lovely and I wouldn't want you to miss out on that when you go!

We were paired with a great young honeymoon couple and together we explored with our ranger Doc and his Tracker Monde. We had good fun together,, and we could not have been in wiser, funnier, better or more experienced hands as we saw so much of the reserve and so many wonderful creatures. There were long and generous game drives, and the way the teams worked together to make sure that all the guests had a good experience was impressive. Highlights were a sleepy pride of lions, a leopard, a lovely journey of giraffe at sundown, and a final treat of three beautiful cheetahs on our last morning.

The rooms were just lovely, serviced at least twice a day, and with everything one could need. Each room is secluded and separate from the main lodge. Security and safety were attended to well at all times. The different teams, those on the front line and those in the background all worked hard to make our stay one never to forget.

I particularly enjoyed taking my sketchbook and paints, and found there was time while we all watched these amazing animals to make some drawings.

When we booked, we were concerned that the two nights were costing quite a lot of money, but we consider what we received to be tremendous value. We loved the ethos of the place, and especially the fact that a proportion of the money that comes in goes to a fantastic foundation and to the development projects it funds. This is a very special re-wilding project and very well run.

The whole thing was inspiring. We have to go back, and are hatching plans already.

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Mr & Mrs V - Surrey
Arrived on: 2-Nov-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

How can we go beyond excellent!

After a fortnight in SA we didn't think the accommodation could be better - and then we arrived in Kwandwe.

Excellent food, beautiful room and now with the added attraction of excellent guiding and wild animals during dawn and dusk safaris. This really felt like luxury in wild Africa - and free gin!

Neat little "surprises" (which I won't spoil) both in the rooms and on safari!

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Mr & Mrs J from Surrey
Arrived on: 8-Apr-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge review

This place is the most amazing place we have ever stayed.

From the staff to the accommodation to the food and overall experience, we couldn’t have asked for any more.

I would highly recommend Kwandwe to anyone and can’t wait to go back one day.

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Mr. & Mrs W-J from Nottingham
Arrived on: 30-Jan-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge review

We arrived after a long journey and having been lulled into a false sense of security re the heat at PE to find temperatures in the mid 40sC – a bit of a shock to the system! A cold drink at main reception was most welcome.

After a short drive through the bush we arrived at the lodge where we were given a good briefing and shown to our beautiful room – quite stunning; our one quibble was that, while the air con kept the bathroom area lovely and cool it didn’t seem to have a lot of effect in the bedroom. Housekeeping was immaculate and it seemed as if the room was cleaned every time we left it. The plunge pool was most welcome on the hot afternoons.

Service overall was excellent with nothing being too much trouble; however we did notice that cleaning of the main area could have been better – drinks can from the afternoon was still there at breakfast and the decking was not cleaned of bird droppings regularly.

The food that we ate was very good but, despite both the management and chef having confirmed they knew of Jane’s allergy, we still had to return food when it came with cheese.

We chose not to go out on our first afternoon but still managed to see game from our deck – kudu, baboons, impala, bushbuck and scrub hare. As Jane wasn’t feeling too good, having picked up a cold on the plane, she didn’t feel like eating that evening but we went up to the main lodge where the staff were happy to keep offering drinks and we met our fellow travellers and guide, Ivan. The lodge has a small shop (more at main reception) which we thought offered very good value.

Our guide, Ivan and tracker, Sibo, were excellent. Very good with both us experienced safari-goers and the Danes we shared the vehicle with, some of whom had never been to Africa before. On our last morning we had them to ourselves when they became positively chatty. Yes, Ivan, we did pop into your Dad’s place in Swellendam – ideal for a visiting rugby club says Martin! He just needs to persuade them to pay for the flights!
The Expert Africa page for Kwandwe states that it is broadly on the flat; we didn’t find this to be the case. There is a significant flight of steps between the parking area and the main building, steps along the boardwalk and steps approaching each room.

Despite our minor quibbles we’ve already booked to go back next year! Find that aardvark Ivan, please!!!

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Mr. & Mrs. B. from East Anglia
Arrived on: 16-Jan-2016 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Super safari and stunning setting at GFRL

We loved Great Fish River Lodge even more than Ecca. Raised on decking and terrace it was possible to see the wildlife on the slopes across the river.

The staff were excellent - great welcome from Chris on arrival - and breakfast waiters charming and helpful. Management clearly on the ball!

Our suite was superb.


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Mr & Mrs R from Somerset
Arrived on: 12-Dec-2015 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge review

I can tell you that our trip was superb in every way.

As a non animal lover even I enjoyed this safari. In fact after 1 month in SA I would say it has been the highlight of our trip

5* Attention to detail would summarise our comments making us feel very special.

Food wonderful, plenty of it and dietary needs catered for in very creative ways. Nothing was too much trouble.

For improvement we would only suggest that the boardwalk extended to all the lodges as the shingle type surface beyond the boardwalk bridge is dusty and only suitable for flat shoes. Not to mention difficult for suitcases.

In summary: Fantastic trip, unforgettable, special. We saw 4 of big five in first 2 days. Leopard was more elusive.

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Mr & Mrs F from Glastonbury
Arrived on: 6-Nov-2014 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge

This was our first safari experience and we were very, very impressed with this Lodge. We liked the fact that it was a small lodge with an intimate atmosphere on a huge game reserve.

All staff without exception were excellent, particularly our ranger "Doc", tracker Siya and the two managers Ryan and Rosanne. Service could not have been better. Ryan was very helpful and caring when we had a minor health problem. You were made to feel not only very welcome but truly special.

The accommodation was in private, very well equipped and comfortable individual lodges with brilliant outlooks.

Food excellent quality and never ending!

Wonderful, varied game drives which never disappointed. Our ranger "Doc" was a mine of interesting knowledge.

Cannot recommend this game lodge enough.

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Mr & Mrs T from Manchester
Arrived on: 1-Nov-2014 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Perfect start to the trip

Excellent all-round. Great location, access to the garden route.

First class service and guiding was expert, fantastic, couldn't have been better. Opportunities to fish, go on the lake along with game drives meant it was never dull. There was just 4 of us in the truck so very comfortable, also we never felt like there were many other vehicles so the experience felt very personal.

Food and drink is exceptional and bountiful. Everything was taken care of so it was a great start to a trip after a long flight. Plenty of lions, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes etc without it feeling like a small reserve - we had to find them.

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Mr & Mrs R from North East
Arrived on: 3-Mar-2014 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

A private reserve with a full range of game

We chose to stay at Kwandwe after having read on South African websites of Kwandwe's conservation and rehabilitation success over the past 15 years. How it's last owners bought the land and together with a team including game rangers, the local people and other wildlife experts are returning it to the wildlife wilderness it once was. People living and working the area were not displaced; a Charitable Trust was set up from which the community benefits; the reserve provides employment including posts as rangers and trackers.

Although Kwandwe does not offer the vast herds of game found in other parts of this continent, it is well represented by most major species and birding is good. Rare and endangered species are also to be found including the beautiful black wildebeest. Kwandwe boasts one of the few herds of TB free Cape Buffalo. Good sightings of Caracal and puff Adder compensated for not seeing aardvark and aardwolf during our stay.

We found the quality of guiding and tracking good. Both Ranger Doc and Tracker Si had lived all their lives in the immediate area and this was their 'backyard'. Doc not only possessed a great depth of knowledge and patience but was most engaging with a wicked sense of humour. We were fortunate to have the vehicle to ourselves on two occasions when my husband and Doc shared their love of birding.

Great Fish River Lodge comprises nine stone chalets. We shared our five days between No 4 and 8- 4 having very limited views whilst 8 provided a panoramic view of the surrounding bush and river gorge. The rooms were well appointed and tastefully furnished. The only downside for us was the feeling of being cocooned whilst in our room and therefore missing the sounds of the bush which tented camps offer.

We welcomed the two opportunities for communal dining which we prefer when staying in game lodges. Both offered the chance to share the game drive experiences of the day with fellow guests. All other meals were taken at our own table either in the pleasant dining room or outside veranda.

Having read of Kwandwe's Executive Chef Guy Nahman and being impressed by his dishes in the book '32 Inspirational Chefs', we were disappointed that such gastronomy was not reflected in the dining room during our stay. The meals were varied and appetising, especially lunches, however we have eaten equally as well at guest farms in SA.
The entire Kwandwe staff provided excellent customer service and spoke of being part of a happy team.

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