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All reviewsecca lodgeplunge poolsafari experiencethe reservegame driveswonderful experiencememorable holidayrain showerblack and white rhinodelicious foodfirst classevery mealrefreshing towelsdifferent speciesentire holidaysundowner drinksabsolute luxury
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Reviewed 25 April 2017

We finished a tour of the Western and Eastern Cape with a 3 night stay at Ecca Lodge. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the entire holiday. I entirely agree with recent reviews: everything was superb, from the spacious, stylish accommodation to the tasty food served by charming staff and the fantastic game drives. Both our guide and spotter were excellent, knowledgeable and great company. We saw so much in the way of wildlife, far more in fact than I had expected. We were especially fortunate in that half of our drives consisted of the two of us plus guide and spotter, although the 4 Swiss guests who accompanied us on the other drives were very good company. We especially liked the stops for breakfast or pre-dinner drinks, truly in the middle of nowhere. We were truly sorry to leave. Obviously such an experience does not come cheaply but I would most certainly say that it was worth the money.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank revitalise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2017

Hi revitalise

Thank you for a great review! We can hear in your words how wonderful your experience at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge was. It is lovely to hear that you were happy with everything we have to offer – from food to game drive, we place great importance on providing our guests an exceptional experience. It’s is always good to be lost in nature, revitalizes your soul.

We hope that you will visit Kwandwe Ecca Lodge again.

Kind regards
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2017

Cards on the table, this place is not cheap. However if you want to get that intimate safari experience we would not look any further. The facilities are luxurious, staff are superb and food is delicious. Its all inclusive but to be honest we spent so much time on game drives we hardly made a dent in the wine list. Rangers and trackers are very knowledgable and experienced and were always able to find us something interesting to see. Don't think about the cost, just do it, you won't regret it.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Ali and Ade W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2017

Good morning Ali and Ade W

Thank you for your lovely review. We aim to give all our guests a safari experience unlike any other and we are over the moon to hear that that is what you experienced. Our staff is carefully chosen to ensure that they are as passionate and excited about Kwandwe as we are so that you as a guest are spoilt with knowledgeable game drives and experienced staff.

We hope to see you again and wish you a fantastic Friday.

Kind regards
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2017

Our stay at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge was amazing – a life time experience. Sibo the tracker and Ivan the driver did a fabulous job, their knowledge about the animals is amazing so is their love and respect for these beautiful creatures. The Lodge is perfectly situated in the huge reserve, the staff gave us a warm welcome and was wonderful during our stay, the food was great. We were said to leave and we hope, we will be back soon!

Stayed: April 2017
1  Thank Eva G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KwandweManagement, Manager at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2017

Hi EvaZH

Thank you for your review. We are happy to hear you had such a wonderful experience at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge. Our tracker and driver are extremely talented at what they do, and we are happy to hear that their love for animals was noticed. We strive to make all our guests feel at home, from their welcoming to serving them great food.

We hope to see you in the near future.

Kind regards
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2017


My husband & I were lucky enough to stay at both lodges a few months ago. We booked 1 night at Ecca and 3 at GFRL (only because GFRL wasn't available for all 4 nights & we thought we'd prefer that as it was more adult oriented).

However when we arrived at Ecca there was only us and one other person staying, so we virtually had the whole place to ourselves. We therefore changed our stay to two nights at each.

Our transfer to GFLR was straightforward (and meant we got an extra mini-safari too!).

Now to compare the two:
1) Rooms:
Ecca lodge has larger rooms and they are beautiful. It feels very open outside with far reaching views and a nice plunge pool. The whole lodge has a little (virtually invisible) fence around it so you will not get any larger animals coming near to your room. We were in room 1 which is one of the furthest from the main lodge but still an easy walk.
GFLR has smaller rooms (as they are not set up for families) but these are still lovely. There is an outdoor area with a plunge pool. Depending on which room you are in at GFRL, you may get a view of the river. We were in room 2, a bit of a walk from the main lodge, and you couldn't see the river from here... but we did still get some visitors (little antelope) coming to drink from our pool. You can have a chaperone to walk you back to your room at night in case there are any nasties around!

2) Lodges
Both are fabulous. The staff are all wonderful and attentive. The views from both lodges is great - GFRL has a wonderful view of the river below and you may spot monkeys or even leopards from the lodge terrace.

3) Wildlife.
You will cover the same areas on safari no matter which lodge you stay at. We had Marc as our guide at Ecca, and Alfie at GFRL. Both were excellent, Alfie loves his birds so he's a good guide to ask for if you're a twitcher. Marc's spotter was amazing and found us some incredible animals. We met most of the guides and they all seemed great.
Our Ecca safari car had just 3 of us guests on it (plus spotter and guide), and with GFRL there were a max of 6 guests.


4) Food and drink.
We found the food excellent (and my husband is very fussy!), and you get a lot of it throughout the day!
Drinks are plentiful and they remembered our favourites and ensured our mini bar in the rooms were stocked with them.

5) Guests.
At Ecca, there was one other guest when we arrived. A nice peaceful atmosphere and we loved it. However, on our last day at Ecca, a man turned up with two boys (aged 6-9 ish) who were very badly behaved and he had no clue how to control them. They screamed, shouted, threw food and toys, etc, and apparently on their safari car they were disruptive and shouting at the animals. The hotel staff did not want to offend the father so let them carry on. I felt very sorry for the other single guest, who when we left Ecca Lodge, was told he would have to go in a safari car with these children. Very unfair.

At GFRL, although the lodge was full, it was all adults so much quieter and less stressful.

6) Overall.
A fantastic place, all the positive reviews are spot on. The only thing that could spoil this holiday are other disruptive guests and I feel Ecca Lodge could have been a little more sensitive to this.

If you are going as a couple, GFRL is a "safer" option if you want a relaxed, child-free break. But Ecca is a wonderful place and you can always check with the hotel in advance to make sure you won't be paired up with young children on your safari tours for peace of mind.
We will definitely go back if we can, and would happily stay at either lodge again

Stayed: December 2016
1  Thank polarbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2017

We arrived at Ecca Lodge following on from a few days in Cape Town not knowing fully what to expect from a few days on safari.

From the first moment we arrived at Ecca to the time we departed we had the perfect stay. The lodge, accommodation, food and all the staff were absolutely first class and we have not been anywhere else in the world which can compare on every level.

The game drives were unforgettable and over the course of our stay we saw rhinos, cheetahs, a leopard, elephants, buffalo, hippos, warthogs, giraffes, lions, bat-eared foxes, baboons, monkeys, countless varieties of antelope, beautiful birdlife and even the odd tortoise. Our ranger & tracker (Marc & Andy) were very welcoming, hugely informative and excellent company - we learnt so much from them.

When not on the game drives we were fed & watered like royalty and enjoyed relaxing either at the lodge or by the pool. The accommodation for a family of 4 was spacious, clean and beautifully designed and a thoroughly enjoyable environment in which to unwind.

All the staff are very professional indeed and nothing was too much trouble. Whilst there is no doubt that a huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes we were never aware of it and the team spirit and general happiness of everyone working at Ecca was palpable.

We stayed for 4 nights which was ideal for us and returned home having enjoyed a very special family holiday indeed. As the other reviews say, there really is nothing negative one can say about Ecca Lodge.

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TallAardvark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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