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All reviews great hosts olifants river three nights game walk animals coming morning drive star hotel breakfast and dinner the reserve viewing deck bush camp plunge pool spent nights bush walk home away from home johan balule
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Reviewed 9 April 2018

We were warmly welcomed by friendly staff and went on the most awesome night game drive with Johan, an experience we'll never forget. We stayed in a very spacious & neat house with magical views of the river. Ronnel made us feel at home + Easter eggs

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank rulphmtshweni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Ximongwe safari camp is nestled deep in the bush. This luxury glam camp is ideal for couples and friends for a lovely quick weekend away or a well deserved holiday. The owners Ronel and Johan Scott are such wonderful people. We were welcomed to the camp and had our bags carried to our tents. Our tents were built on stilts up in and around Marula trees. We unpacked and headed to the viewing deck close to a water hole. Sitting there chatting and enjoying each others company we were welcomed by some elephants that came to drink water. What am amazing experience. At this camp you really real at one with nature but with some luxury. The camp is solar run and there for making it a eco camp. Beautiful lanterns burning in the African night skies with a nice bon fire having a drink listening to the lions calling in the distance. There is just to much good to mention in this review. Do yourself a favour and book now. You will not be disappointed.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
Thank BenjaminE969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2018

Very beautiful place, private and luxury. Service and food excellent, as well as the game drives and game walk. I recommend this place absolutely, we were there for two nights but really wanted to stay longer!

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank wjelte170330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2018

Ximongwe Safari Camp - BATALEURS NEST

To be honest, I do not really know whrere to start ☺ Me and my husband stayed at the Ximongwe Safari Camp for two nights and we regretted not having stayed there longer. Anyone going there, please make sure you stay at least for three nights, you won´t be disappointed.
So the Safari Camp is in the middle of the bush at the Balule reservation. All you hear is the sound of animals and birds. We drove there by car (a Nissan X-trail as recommended) and were glad we had 4 wheel drive to get there. It contains of several spacious communal areas. From all of them you have a great view at the bush and its animals. One of these areas overlooks two whaterholes where animals often gather. If you are lucky, you can spot rhinos and elephants literally walking by the camp. One day a giraffe strolled by the parking lots.
You sleep in a little cabin that contains of a private bathroom and a sleeping tent. The bathroom is situated underneath the sleeping tent. Above the bathroom there is a roofed tent in which you sleep. You get to the tent by stairs. The tents are these safari tents you usually see on jeeps. They are very comfortable and have moscito nets that protect you from any insects that might also want to spend the night with you ☺ Due to the fact that there is no wall you can hear all the animals at night which we found truly amazing. If you open the zippers (not the ones with the moscito nets of course) you do not need airconditioning at all. There is „room service“ every day. The staff makes your bed and cleans the bathroom every morning. There is really nice showergel, shampoo, conditioner, bodylotion, repellent and a hairdryer in every bathroom. There is always hot water because of the gas hot water heater. You can store some clothes in a wardrobe while you leave your suitcase in a separated cabin.
The owners Ronell and Johan Scott created this place all by themselves and you can tell that is was built with loads of love and passion and certainly good taste when it comes to furniture, etc. Everything is made of dark brown wood in the typical african safari style. It looks just beautiful.
When going there you will be able to enjoy fullboard (breakfast plus dinner). For breakfast they serve toast, eggs, bacon or sausages, joghurt with granola and fruits. Dinner is served around 8 at night and you can choose from a light lunch-menue if you want. The table is already beautifully set and there is always a three course dinner which we enjoyed each night. We didn´t need lunch at all because breakfast and dinner was so good und rich.
There is a large jacuzzi tub which is of course not heated due to the hot temperatures there. It can be used as a little pool. We had a dip in there and enjoyed the cool water while sipping a beer and reading a book.
There is a honesty bar which means all the drinks (different beers, wines, ciders, sodas, etc.) are stored in a huge fridge and everyone just takes out what he wants and fills in a little list. At the end, the beverages you had are added to your invoice.
But besides from its beauty what really makes this place so special are the owners Ronell and Johan Scott. Honestly, after being there for a couple of hours we felt like we were all together on a family trip. They welcomed us with so much warmth and made us feel at home straight away. They are the heart of this place and they run it with so much love and passion. They are so easy going, open minded AND FUNNY, we just had many laughs and great conversations with them. If we hadn´t already booked flights from Joburg to Port Elizabeth we would have definetely extended our stay there.
So while Ronell is the one in charge of managing the place when it comes to all the paperwork and the cooking, etc. Johan is in charge of guiding the tours. They offer lots of different tours. After booking you receive an email with all the tours they offer. We did a full day safari at the Kruger NP, a bush walk and a game drive. We enjoyed every minute. The game drive was very special because we came reaaaaaally close to an elephant and it was amazing to see that majestic creature just metres away without fences....
Johan makes an effort to show you as many animals as possible. We ended up not seeing all of the big 5 but hey, this is africa, isn´t it? In the end, we saw a buffalo, lots of impalas, baboons, elephants, giraffs, zebras, hippos and even more. We missed out on the lion which was seen a day before we arrived. Johan has loads of knowledge when it comes to wild animals and he is more than happy to share it with his guests. We always felt safe and in good hands when being with him. If you go on the game drive close to the camp, take a seat on the tracker´s seat! I did that throughout the whole drive and it was amazing!!! Don´t be afraid!
So Ximongwe gets five stars!!! Do not go anywhere else!!

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank oreo81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2018

I was recently at Ximongwe Lodge and had a great time. It was my first stop after leaving Europe for my holiday and it was so good to be immersed in a wonderful location in the African bush and with all the animals from the Kruger Park with amazing views. We had such a warm reception. Johan and Ronelle were so obliging. We did game drives as well as a wonderful game walk and we saw amazing animals, flora and fauna and birds. We were very blessed to see some of the big five, we saw giraffe, elephant and a four lions, and many other wonderful animals, we saw a mongoose and warthogs and this list could go on, which was such a privilege. We had everything we needed and great place to relax. It was a lovely family place to stay and I can recommend Ximongwe Lodge. Johan is very passionate about bush craft and is very knowledgeable. Many thanks for having us to stay in your safari camp. We all had such a good time.

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely but the ones facing the river are lovely.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
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Thank Kerry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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