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Traveller (144)
Dining (38)
Room & Suite (31)
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  • Excellent92%
  • Very good6%
  • Average1%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
A wonderful gem in the bush, 4 star, located in the Thornybush Reserve, well known for superb game viewing.
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Property amenities
Public Wifi
Paid Wifi
Breakfast included
Room features
Non-Smoking Rooms
Air Conditioning
Family Rooms
Good to know
Full view
Getting there
Hoedspruit Airport8 km
Ngala Airfield31 km
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Traveller rating
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  • English
Kent, United Kingdom
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
We were staying at N’kaya Game Lodge as part of our safari package organised by On Track Safaris. The lodge is within an electric fenced area so we were free to wander. The lodge consists of a main lodge area with a sitting area and indoor dining area separated by a large open plan fireplace which would be lovely when the weather gets colder. There was a dining area on the veranda and the bar is outside although covered, and operates on an honesty policy. A little way from the buildings is a hide overlooking a water hole, from where we got some great photos.

The rooms were small thatched bungalows with a large, comfortable double bed surrounded by a mosquito net at night. There was a bathroom off this room and a wardrobe with a light triggered when the door was opened. Leading off the bedroom as a sitting area with a shower room off that. All rooms were beautifully furnished. The main bedroom had two small desk sized shelves and bedside cabinets. The sitting area had a sofa, wardrobe and a coffee table with plenty of reading material. Toiletries and a hairdryer were provided. Each evening, a turndown service was provided.

The food was excellent. For breakfast, there was a cold option consisting cheese selection, cold meat selection, granola, yoghurt, and fruit. This was followed by a hot option, cooked to order. There was no lunch but instead what was called high tea at 3pm. This comprised a light hot dish and a desert before the evening drive. Dinner was a 3-course affair and on one evening the chef changed the starter due to one guest not liking what was on offer – that’s service for you.

The driver, Benjy, was amazing. His knowledge was extensive and he was delighted to share it with us. He was prepared to go “off track” if he felt that he could safely track the animal we were following and did so on many occasions allowing us to get fantastic photos, in particular lions and leopards. The skill of the trackers, Andrew and Andries, was brilliant. How they could spot tracks/animals when we were driving at speed – and in the dark – defies logic! Their skills made each drive a true experience. We had spotted rhino on our drive in and by the end of our first drive, we spotted lions, leopard and water buffalo. We rounded off the Big Five by seeing a herd of elephants arrive at a watering hole as we were leaving. This is definitely a lodge where the Big Five can be spotted – plus much more!

If you only visit one game lodge, this has to be the one. It offers everything, and more, that you could hope for on a safari.
Thank Sue512
Response from NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge
Responded 1 week ago
Dear Sue. Thank you for taking the time to write this lovely detailed review. We are thrilled to hear that you have enjoyed your stay here at N'kaya, and that you were able to see all those beautiful animals. It will always be a pleasure hosting guests here at the lodge. Thank you for the recommendation. Kind regards.
Chatham, United Kingdom
Reviewed 4 weeks ago
We stayed here as part of our package with On Track Safaris (highly recommend). This is wonderful place to stay with superb safari experiences. Just on the drive from Waterside lodge to N'Kaya our tracker, Andrew, spotted a group of Rhino's so he pulled over so we could watch and photograph.

All the staff at N'kaya are fantastic, friendly and helpful. Chantel is a great host, Benjy is the best guide ever and Andrew and Andreis as Trackers were just brilliant at spotting anything and everything and working out new tracks from old ones. How Andreis spotted the green chamelon in a green leafy bush, in the dark whilst travelling at 20+kph I still do not know! Benjy and Andreis delivered the most amazing encounters with lions and leopards, and were not afraid to go further off-road to deliver. Benjy was informative, helpful and fun with his knowledge.

The lodge itself is very comfortable. A large main lodge with lounge area, and indoor and undercover outdoor dining areas. The bar area is separate to the main lounge and again outdoor undercover - a great place to review the experiences. Each of 4 rooms is a large self-contained bungalow, with a large very comfortable bed, wardrobe, nightstands and desk. Water is provided in the room. Bed turndown and inset net service too! Room had a lounge area with sofa, wardrobe and coffee table, and two bathrooms one with bath, the other with shower. Whole room was very comfortable and clean.

Food was excellent and portions large. Breakfast was served on return from morning drive and included fruit, yoghurt, cheese, meat, bread and crackers. Hot breakfast cooked fresh to order with different choices each day. High tea was served c 1500 before the evening drive and consisted of hot snacks and desserts. Dinner served on return and was 3 course table service. All the food was superb. One starter was changed because one guest didn't like the main ingredient which we thought really was delivering good customer service. Lodge and grounds were peaceful. Swimming pool with sunbeds for the daytime downtime. We loved the hide overlooking the waterhole were we could sit with a drink and camera during the day and at night waiting for the animals to arrive - including giraffe, warthog, vervet monkeys, and elephant.

This was a great experience and why I went on safari in South Africa. Thoroughly recommend this lodge and Thornybush reserve.
Thank Steve6244
Response from NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge
Responded 1 week ago
Good day Steve. We thank you for this great review. It is always nice and heart-warming to see reviews like this, and we thank you for visiting us and that we could offer you such an amazing experience. It seems like you had a lot of fun and that everlasting memories have been made. Thank you for the recommendation. Kind regards.
Laura C
Dunedin, Florida, United States
Reviewed 1 Oct 2018
Our group of 7 friends had dreamed of an African safari, and we are so glad we stayed at N'Kaya Lodge. Andre, Benjy, Shantel, Andres and the team are incredibly knowledgeable. The facility is beautiful. There were animals just hanging around during the day outside our room. The game drives with Benjy were out of this world. He's a fantastic guide, and Andres is a great tracker. The meals at the lodge were very high-end and beautifully presented. The rooms were also lovely. We enjoyed the privacy of having the entire place to ourselves. We felt pampered and also so fortunate to see all of the animals we had dreamed of seeing. Benjy really stood out as a fantastic guide. He clearly loves what he does and enjoys showing it to others, educating you as you travel through the bush. I highly recommend N'Kaya Lodge for your safari!
Thank Laura C
Response from NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge
Responded 4 Oct 2018
Good day Laura. We thank you for this very nice review. It was a pleasure hosting you here at N'kaya, and what a lovely group of friends you are indeed. It is always nice to hear that people feel they have learned something new whilst spending time in this amazing place and I am sure there will be many stories told about this African safari. Kind regards. André.
Rachael E
Woking, United Kingdom
Reviewed 30 Sep 2018
My husband and I spent 4 days at NKaya Lodge as part of our honeymoon, and I do not even know where to begin. There are not enough words or praise we can give!

From start to finish the whole experience went above and beyond our wildest dreams. Andre and Andreas, the dream team and Dumbledore of the Animal Kingdom, made every game drive incredible they went out of their way to make sure we saw The Big 5, and made sure we had the most memorable encounters with the animals. Between these guys there is nothing they don't know about tracking the animals, and the knowledge about the animals in general is unbelievable. They put up with my constant Giraffe excitement which did not diminish after the 40th one... and my husband's new found love for Impala (McDonalds!)

Every morning and night Chantal was waiting for us with cold or hot towels, and a welcome drink on an evening, it was a pleasure to get to know her and Benjy, who took us on our first game drive introducing us to 6 baby Lion Cubs :)

Lynae our chef for the week provided us with incredible food, and went out of her way to accommodate my pescatarian diet, the breakfast omelettes are highly recommended! High Tea was a lovely treat each afternoon before our evening game drives. A high point was definitely the braai under the stars <3

Every single member of the team went above and beyond to celebrate our Honeymoon, the first night there was a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine, the 2nd evening Amarula Cream and a personalised card, the 3rd evening a surprise dinner in the hide watching the animals come for their evening drinks then chocolates waiting in our room :)

We have not stopped talking about the trip to family and friends and cannot stop recommending NKaya Lodge to anyone and everyone, you made our dreams come true and we can't thank you enough. I never thought I would get to see Rhino's wild and free but that moment we found them after searching for 3 hours will be my favourite moment forever <3
Thank Rachael E
Response from NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge
Responded 4 Oct 2018
Good day Rachel. Thank you for taking the time to write a lovely review about the lodge and staff. We truly enjoyed having you guys here and had a lot of fun with you , we are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that this was a memorable honeymoon destination for you. Best wishes to you from all of us here at N'kaya. The Giraffe's are all doing great:) Kind regards. André.
Theresa A
Reviewed 27 Sep 2018
Amazing, Exceeded expectations

Spent 3 nights at N’kaya Lodge which has just been incredible. We have been floating on air since as we have been made to feel so special. The staff are fantastic, friendly and can’t do enough for you. Chantelle always waiting with a lovely smile and hot towel to greet us after our game drives, also a lovely drink in the evening! The food is delicious and plenty of it! The game drives are out of this world and the knowledge of Benji, Andre and Andries our tracker (who we called Dr. Dolittle!) is incredible. We had seen sightings of the Big 5 a few times due to the determination and perseverance of Andre & Andries.
We arrived as strangers to others and have gone home with friends from this magical experience. We would definitely recommend this without hesitation. We loved every minute of our stay❤️. We just can't stop talking about it to our family and friends.

Good luck to Andre and Lene for the future. Xx
Thank Theresa A
Response from NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge
Responded 28 Sep 2018
Dear Mark and Theresa. Lovely to hear from you, and thank you for this lovely review, and good wishes. We had a great time with you guys and would love to see you back here at some stage for some more fun filled game viewing Kind regards. A&L.
Questions & Answers
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19 October 2018|
Response from NKaya_Manager | Property representative |
Hi Lauren, We do not have a dress code, as long as you are wearing something (-; , that's fine. If there is anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to sharing our little piece of paradise... More
Room Tips
"All rooms are equally amazing."
2 weeks ago
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"Bring safari wear- khaki colored clothes and a hat. You want to try to blend in, not stand out in the brush."
26 Sep 2018
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"Not applicable for this accommodation"
30 Aug 2018
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"All the room buildings surround the pool so all the same."
10 Aug 2018
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US$673 - US$800 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
South AfricaKruger National ParkThornybush Private Game Reserve
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