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Reviewed 28 December 2015

I stayed at N'kaya Lodge over Christmas. Nkaya is a little lodge comprising of four rooms. It is very homely and the couple who run the lodge, Lenai and Andre are a huge part of the reason why this lodge scores highly in my review. The suites at Nkaya are divided into two sections, the bedroom and the sitting area. The suites also have both a bathtub and an independent shower. They are a good size and comfortable. The food was really good and had a home cooked feel to it. It was hearty and tasty. A lot of trouble is gone into with the preparation and presentation of the food. And it was really touching that the hosts went into great pains to make Christmas eve dinner so memorable with Champagne and a beautifully decorated Boma. Dean was our guide and Andries was our tracker. Dean is quite a character and will entertain you with stories of his guiding exploits. Andries is a first class tracker and will often get off the jeep and go for a wonder in order to find you game. He did this and tracked down a pride of lion. The game viewing in the reserve is exceptional and you might see the big five in a single drive. The lodge is located on top of a hill and as such there isn't much of a view from any of the rooms but a very comfortable and well run lodge.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Amrit R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2016

Thank you very much for the nice review, we are glad to hear that you have you had a great time with us.

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Reviewed 30 November 2015

Have just found time to write this review as we traveled to N'kaya lodge back in July. What a great peaceful place to go see the big 5. The lodges are very roomy and comfortable as are the grounds with the small pool for a quick dip and the water hole which we spent much of our free time by. Andre and Lena are great hosts and love what they are doing and it shows. Nothing is too much trouble and when my wife showed a reaction to the malaria tablets she was taking Lena phoned the pharmacist and got things sorted. The game drives were fantastic and with Andre and Andrew in control we soon found the big 5 2 days running. I love the fact that the animals are not put under pressure by the rangers and are never surrounded which leaves them very chilled out when you find them. Food was excellent and the self service honesty bar was another lovely idea. A big thank you for the birthday celebration from you and the staff . After 4 days safari we had a transfer to a much bigger lodge in the Kruga and we realized that N'kaya was so much better.Would definitely return when my grand kids are bigger as I know they would love it. Many thanks from me and Jan.

Room Tip: all rooms are the same and have wi fi and safes
  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank akpLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 December 2015

Thank you for a great review. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and it is always nice getting people back for another visit.

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Reviewed 30 November 2015

We stayed here for two nights, 9th and 10th November and I thought this lodge was exceptional. To get there you have to drive yourself to the main lodge, which is quite exciting, especially when you spot your first giraffe - bizarre how easy it is to miss them! We were then collected by our tracker Andres who took us by jeep to Nkaya.

On arrival we were met by Andre with fresh cool face cloths to clean the dust off our faces, in fact he was waiting with these after each drive which was a really nice touch, and a drink. We were later introduced to his partner Lene who runs the camp with him.
We were given an orientation of the camp whilst our bags were taken to our room. It's great that there's an electric fence all around which keeps out the predator animals, and means you can wander around unescorted at night.
ROOM:
I can hardly begin to describe how happy we were with our lodge. A beautiful and very very comfy bed, a bathroom, a shower room, and a lounge. Mosquito protection was also provided. It was beautiful. Also had a little veranda outside.
POOL:
We jumped in here shortly after arriving and had a lovely couple of hours cooling down and watching this warthogs before tea.
HIDE:
For this reason alone I hope to come back to Nkaya. Between breakfast and high tea I spent hours in here readying a book and watching the waterhole. It's pretty big and fairly comfy. I saw at the waterhole elephants, rhinos, buffalo, various antelope, baboons, warthogs, and numerous birds. If early morning drives are too exhausting for you, don't worry, you wont be disappointed if you spend a few hours here.
FOOD:
I admit I am extremely fussy and have a very sensitive pallet, so I wasn't expecting to put on any weight. That was before I had the mandarin cheesecake. Wow. That was just awesome. So a cooked breakfast after the morning game drive, a buffet high tea before the evening game drive (that's you when you get the cook's divine tarts), and then dinner. You only get one option for dinner, and although I prefer things a little simpler, it was very good. I think they're trying to hard and they really don't need to.
GAME DRIVE:
This was the only let down, not because we didn't see the big five, we did, but because our tracker did very little and our guide came over as a little petulant, and was more interested in taking his own photos then ensuring that we were getting good shots. It was nice when we drew up to other Jeeps so we could listen to the other guides, our guide had very little to say about anything. I gave up trying to engage him in conversation. We spent a lot of time getting to animals - directed there by other guides - and then five minutes later we were off! I appreciate they don't want to crowd the animals, but this was very unsatisfactory. You can see why I loved the hide so much!

I hope I'm wrong, but I feel that when they found out what other lodges we had stayed at and were going to, the staff were a little defensive. Which is a shame because I'd give this lodge got 9.9 out of 10.

  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Samantha B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 December 2015

Thank you very much for the review. I have had a word with the guys about dropping the ball on your stay, and I trust they have picked up the standard to where we want it to be. Thank you for reviewing, it would be nice to have you back here any time.

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Reviewed 2 November 2015

The big sixth in this case, being the lodge. It was perfect. Really comfortable accommodation and so peaceful, with a rhythm to the drives and downtime that meant you couldn't do anything but relax and drift into African time. Andre and Lene are very welcoming and have the knack of making you feel as though it is your home for the days you are there. I was travelling alone for this part of our South African trip and the intimate size of the lodge and its relaxed approach really suited me. I never had a moment when I felt uncomfortable or 'a bit out of things'. Everyone sits round one table in for breakfast, high tea and dinner (the food was outstanding) which makes very convivial. I may just have been lucky with my fellow travelers, but I don't think so. The drives were great, Dean (our guide) and Andrew (our tracker) made sure we saw everything. Their knowledge and respect for the bush and its wildlife shone through. Their ability to find animals big and small and position you for the best view was remarkable. There were clearly other good guides from other lodges, but those two seemed to have a rapport and a combined knowledge that gave them an edge. The lodge waterhole was also close enough to give you a great view of whatever pitched up, the highlight being the rhino. Don't forget to bring binoculars as that really does help to make the best of the opportunities there are to see both birds and animals. I would have no hesitation in staying there again.

  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Travellingfar2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 December 2015

Thank you for reviewing and glad to hear that you enjoyed it here with us.

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Reviewed 2 November 2015

We have just returned from 4 nights at Nkaya Lodge and can not fault it in any way. The accommodation is very spacious and comfortable; the food was plentiful, varied and always delicious. The staff went out of their way to make us feel at home and the extra touches, such as the surprise private meal in the hide and the candlelit dinner in the boma, made it a very special experience. Andre and Lene were generous, friendly hosts whose passion for what they do is evident. This is not the place to go if you want lots of new company, spa treatments, super-fast wifi; if you are looking for a private, peaceful, informative, often thrilling, experience, then this ticks all the boxes.
The game drives were such great fun. Dean and Andreis proved good company and their knowledge and passion for wildlife and indeed the whole of the natural world made the drives so interesting. We saw so much - cheetah, leopards, lions, white and black rhino, large hornbills, eagles, too much to name - but had as much fun looking at the small stuff too - strange seeds, moths, insects, tiny owls.... We were impressed by the fact that no more than 2 vehicles ever converge on any one spot; the animals could escape if they wished to and our appreciation of them was not drowned by lots of human chatter. The lodge hide was a lovely place to rest and read in the early afternoons, spotting various animals drinking, wallowing, scratching. We feel the whole experience was very special and we were very sorry to leave.

Room Tip: All 4 lodge chalets are the same - very comfortable and spacious.
  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank 1jw60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NKaya_Manager, Manager at N'kaya Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 December 2015

Thank you for reviewing. We are glad to hear that we could make you stay special and that you have enjoyed it here with us.

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