“A true African experience, with a touch of comfort and luxury.” Buffelsdrift Game Lodge
We chose Buffelsdrift Game Lodge for a South African bushveld experience, glamping in the resort’s luxury tents that overlook a wildlife watering hole in Oudtshoorn the Eastern Cape. In all honesty after coming from the amazing safari experience at the Shamwari Game Reserve my expectations for Buffelsdrift, in terms of animal encounters was low, but they turned out to be the highlight of our stay.
South Africa was experiencing a regional drought when we visited so understandably the waterhole was not looking its best as some of the water had been distributed to local farmers, there were also water usage restrictions in place. The low water level didn’t stop the local wildlife frolicking in the water, light sleepers would definitely find the tent experience a challenge as the birds and animals are awake at dawn and party all night long.
We stayed in one of the 34 free-standing luxury waterfront tents that overlooked the waterhole (popular day and night with noisy hippos) and the Klein Karoo’s Swartberg Mountains beyond. The tent had a large comfortable king size bed, plenty of storage and a private wooden terrace overlooking the water. The ensuite bathroom had a free-standing bath and outdoor shower. After some trouble with our first tent we moved to a better located option but it was not without service issues which were never resolved, the electric blanket was not working which was an issue as it was freezing at night. Wifi did not work in the tent.
The meerkat safari at sunrise and the sunset game drive, where we saw baby giraffes among other animals, are a must do. Guests can also enjoy an elephant experience including feeding, brushing and walking with the rescued animals.
Onsite facilities include an outdoor pool that overlooks the waterhole and a spa housed in the spa tents also overlooking the water, we enjoyed a couples African massage – click HERE for the spa menu.
The reception staff that we encountered were particularly rude, dismissive and generally unhelpful however the rangers and spa staff were great. Disappointedly the level of service and quality of food at the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge Restaurant was poor. The choice of ‘a la carte authentic Karoo cuisine’ was distinctly below average and the service was slow, the whole dining experience throughout our stay was chaotic and felt very much like school dinners, not the standard you would expect from a ‘luxury’ resort. The restaurant should definitely offer an adult only dining area or have two services with an earlier one for young families. The waterside terrace was nice for pre-dinner drinks, spotting wildlife and watching the sunset, the wine selection was good but not as good as other hotels on the trip.
We explored some of the local area visiting the Cango Caves located in a limestone ridge near the Swartberg Mountains, visitors can explore the underground caves with their dripstone caverns and formations. We also visited a nearby ostrich farm which I would not recommend, it was not enjoyable and a waste of time and money.
The Nitty Gritty
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, Cango Caves Road, Oudtshoorn, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Telephone: +27(0) 44 272 0000
Large, comfortable bed
Meerkat & sunset safaris
The Not so Good…..
Service & food
No wifi in tents
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved.