- Tranquil, secluded mountain camp
- Spectacular panoramic views
- Big 5 game viewing, wonderful birdlife
- San rock art, cultural village visits
Bongani Mountain Lodge is a traditional bush camp in a superb location with panoramic views near Mpumalanga on the border of Kruger National Park, northeast South Africa. Set on a hillside in the 8,000 hectare Mthetomusha Game Reserve, the property enjoys sweeping views of the Malelane Mountain range and the surrounding bush. The camp offers 38 spacious thatch and timber chalets, a restaurant, boma, and swimming pool. The surrounding landscape is home to abundant bird and wildlife including the Big 5, along with giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hyena, and the elusive cheetah. Tranquil and secluded, Bongani is a great mid-range option for travellers seeking an ‘away from it all’ safari atmosphere.
The main lodge and chalets overlook a waterhole regularly frequented by wildlife so game viewing is possible from the comfort of your own accommodation. Communal areas include a restaurant serving traditional African cuisine and buffet style dinners, and an alfresco boma with an open fire, for atmospheric dining under the stars. The lodge’s viewing deck boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is a popular location for snacks, light meals and sundowners. There is a lovely swimming pool with loungers and yet more breath-taking views.
Activities include morning and evening game drives, and guided bush walks with enthusiastic, informed guides. Enjoy a cultural visit to a nearby village, or follow the ancient pathways of San Bushmen, and explore the region’s prolific San rock art sites, estimated to be 1,500 years old. The area also offers plenty for birding enthusiasts, with over 300 bird species identified.
Accommodation comprises 38 spacious, thatch and timber chalets boasting either double or twin beds and ensuite bathrooms. All units have air conditioning, fans, mosquito nets, a minibar, and tea and coffee facilities. Outside each chalet is a private deck, great for relaxing and enjoying the wildlife.
Children over two years of age are extremely welcome at the lodge. A two bedroom unit is available, with one double and one twin bedded room and separate lounge area. Several of the chalets include a sofa bed, and can accommodate up to two extra guests. A babysitting service can be arranged. Note there is a minimum age restriction of seven years for participation in game drives, however the lodge provides ‘Bumbles’ child-friendly safari drives for four to six year olds. Note that access to the lodge pool and viewing deck is restricted to guests over 16 years of age. The property is unfenced and wildlife may roam through; although it is unlikely that animals would approach chalets or people, parents are reminded to supervise children at all times.
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
Catherine 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!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
Hi, just back home now as stayed in London last night. It was fab! We loved it! Amazing all round- Thankyou. Best holiday ever!!!
Accommodation great at both places, guides lovely, staff great. We saw more animals than ever expected: giraffes, lion, elephants, water hog, wilder beast, impala, white rhino, crocodiles, hippos in lake Sybia, monkeys in trees at Tonga.
Beach beautiful, but a bit windy, waves v rough but didn’t deter my boys. We snorkeled which was fab but too rough on day we booked to do ocean experience.
My boys swam in all pools!!!
Weather better than we expected!
Must go and do some laundry, but hope that helps?
Nicola B reviewing South Africa Luxury Safari & Beach Holiday on 24 July 2019