I have to give this visit a low score. First, the title is inaccurate. The accommodations were not in Kruger Park. Second, the transport to and from Johannesburg and lodge was definitely not luxurious. Makalali game reserve deserves four-plus stars. It is a small boutique lodge, with three camps each hosting maximum perhaps 12 guests with accommodating and courteous staff, great food, and knowledgeable safari guides. The game contributed their part too, and I saw many animals. I would call the accommodations not luxurious but something more along the lines of refined but rustic. A toilet in a room with no heat when the outside temperature is five degrees is not my definition of luxury. Still, on the whole, an excellent stay. My biggest complaint was the lengthy, uncomfortable and tiring five-plus hour ride from Johannesburg to the lodge and the return. In sum, four-plus stars for Makilali lodge and its services but one to one plus stars for the tour organizers because of the misleading title and the lengthy and uncomfortable trips.
Unfortunately Kruger was washed out and we didn't get the whole experience we had hoped for. We were placed at Drifters Lodge in lieu of Hoyo Hoyo Lodge. Drifters was okay but not what we had paid for as we had paid for luxury accommodation and we were disappointed. The staff were all fine and we had an okay time but really feel we missed out with the numbers of animals we saw. We had been to Pumba private reserve and saw so many animals but thought Kruger would be even better. We saw a few at Drifters but not in the numbers we had expected as per discussions with friends who had been to Kruger previously. We realise there wasn't a lot that could be done because of the floods but when you are on holiday that really isn't any consolation as we may never get back that way again.
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