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Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

Our rating


Price guide


- Beautiful location
- Hippos in the dam
- Super activities
- Good value bush safari

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Buffelsdrift is full of surprises. On the face of it, the entrance just 5 minutes drive outside of Oudtshoorn feels more like a visitor attraction than a private reserve, but hidden within is a beautiful landscape. Lavishly appointed safari tents are located on the shore of the lake and we were woken during our stay by the sound of hippos literally metres outside. We were also pleasantly surprised by the quality of guiding with a refreshing focus on all the wildlife not just the big animals - the 6 year old loved learning about (and nibbling) the wild plants. Currently there are no lions on the reserve, but plans are afoot to acquire neighbouring land and introduce predators.

Buffelsdrift is very proud of its elephant experiences which allow you to get up front and very personal with their tame elephants. Children and adults who are confident with animals will love it. For me it lacks the sense of wilderness you get in the best reserves, but given its location, good value and the tents on the lake, it is arguably the best choice for a family looking to drop a short and relatively inexpensive safari experience into a Garden Route holiday.

Activities include horse riding, elephant feeding, Meerkat experience and bush drives. There are 22 species on the reserve including Hippo, Elephant, Giraffe, Eland, Zebra, Buffalo, Rhino, Wildebeest and Springbok. Bush drives take place on open safari vehicles. A genuine emphasis is put on providing an all round bush experience and the guides are well versed in the bug-life, plants as well as the big beasts. We particularly enjoyed learning about the edible and medicinal plants found in the bush. Without the predators on the reserve, it is difficult to compare Buffelsdrift to a traditional wild safari experience, but as long as you go in with that understanding, Buffelsdrift is a fantastic place.

Accommodation comprises 25 classic safari tents set on the shore of an attractive water hole with resident hippos. The Luxury Waterfront tents are all on the front row immediately on the banks of the dam. The Luxury tents are set higher with good views but not immediately on the banks of the watering hole. These latter are usually used for families and can accommodate up to two adults and two children.

Suggested Itineraries for Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews


  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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