Feedback From Our Guests, Wild Ivory Big 5 Eco Lodge

My wife Caryl and I had the pleasure of spending two nights at the Wild Ivory Lodge recently.

We flew in to Welgevonden West airstrip on Saturday morning and were met by our friendly guides TJ and Vincent.

James treated us to a hearty welcome and lunch at the lodge. After a bottle of wine and a swim, we enjoyed a wonderful game drive with TJ and Vincent. Both are very knowledgeable about the Bush and catered to Caryl’s thirst for information about trees and grasses as well as telling us a lot about the animals and birds.

James was on hand with a beautiful braai that evening after which we spent some time drinking red wine and chatting about trips through Africa.

Sunday morning saw us on a game drive again – more concentration on education and birds rather than the “big five” which we have seen many times before. Breakfast was “to die for” then sleep, relax, sleep before we ventured out on a frogging expedition that evening. Despite all of us being amateurs we manage to spot three or four species!

We were due to take off early on the Monday morning back to Johannesburg but unfortunately the pilot “me” drove the aeroplane into a hole and damaged the propeller!!

Apart from that incident, we had a wonderful time and would like to thank James, TJ and Vincent for their personal attention and knowledge.

Kind regards,
Peter Cole

We had a terrific time. TJ is fantastically energetic and knowledgeable and his sister is a great cook. We, in short, will definitely come back. Maybe a couple of points.

  • Would be great to have just sheets on the beds as it is a bit too warm at night, but too cold without
  • Flashlights in rooms to take to common area
  • Shower in closest tent can only be hot or cold and cannot mix

Minor points for a great experience!

Eduard, Michelle, Jan-Pieter and Suzanne
December 2011

Weekend of pure joy, it was great from the pick up to the drop off. Claudia, Nelly and TJ were the best and we enjoyed every second of our short stay there. The only problem was that we needed to come back! This place will definitely see us again.

Wilna Meiring, South Africa

Lodge was very Eco Friendly and luxury “rustic”, open, airy and welcoming! Very relaxing atmosphere and definitely a getaway from Hustle and Bustle of City life. The area is great for game and beautiful scenery.

Christeen, JHB
November 2011

We had a fantastic weekend at wild ivory – what a special place! The lodge is unique and really out in the bush with fanstastic views and good facilities. The game viewing was some of the best we have experienced in a lifetime of visiting reserves. 4 of the big 5, cheetah twice including a cheetah kill and beautiful male leopard. Hope to return soon.

Ian Tomlinson, Johannesburg
December 2011

Hi Christeen

We have just got back to the UK after a good holiday in SA including an enjoyable two days at Wild Ivory Lodge. Please can you pass on our thanks especially to both TJ and Niel for looking after us so well and making us so welcome. It made all the difference. You might like to tell TJ also that we did some research about the lifespan of agamas and apparently then can live up to 25 years.

We would certainly be happy to recommend you to anyone else. We do work in the travel industry! Please do keep us on your mailing list.

All the best for the future.

Paul and Sue Newton

Where to start!

To Mark and all the staff at Wild Ivory (67, stand-by for Jeni)

We were not quite sure exactly what to expect when we booked a 2 night weekend break through Christeen at Wild Ivory Eco Lodge.

It was to be our first visit to the Welgevonden/Waterberg area and even though we are avid nature reserve/game park visitors there was some apprehension on our behalf.

Much to my fiance Tandee and my delight, upon arrival at West Gate, all apprehensions and concerns disappeared in an instant as we were greeted by our guide/ranger Jen, with her enthusiasm, knowledge and pure passion for the bush!

After a short intro and transfer in the open safari vehicle we arrived at the the lodge. With its rustic, tranquil, secluded yet modern & stylish feel to it, Wild Ivory Eco Lodge is the perfect place for a true “African bush experience” where all ones stresses and strains are expunged instantaneously and one cannot help but become one with the surroundings.The luxury tented accommodation is very private and fast becomes ones little piece of private heaven.

The Lodge itself has a warm, homely feel to it, with a breathtaking view over the valley and one would struggle to find a better setting to enjoy all meals.(thanks to Cylis, the in house chef!) There is also a wonderful pit fire place where one can warm up and enjoy a beverage after the evening game drive!

The diversity of the Welgevonden Game Reserve, its relatively new eco system and its ever growing wild life population makes this a very unique and special place to visit in South Africa’s Limpopo province, a true credit to the efforts of those involved in wild life conservation and to securing the continuance of these very special reserves for future generations to come.

So, in concluding, Tandee and I had a very special weekend with all at Wild Ivory Eco Lodge and would like to extend our gratitude to all the staff for helping to create the wonderful memories we now have!

We please g-d look forward to returning in the not too distant future and wish Wild Ivory Eco Lodge and the Welgevonden Game Reserve all the best in their en devours.

Kind regards Marc Weinberg


My husband and I just got back from 4 nights at Wild Ivory in the self catering unit. We just wanted to let you know what an excellent time we had and how brilliantly all the staff at the lodge looked after us. From the moment we arrived until we left both Jaco and Jenny were absolutely fantastic.

I am nearly 8 months pregnant and we were a bit worried that perhaps game drives would be too bumpy for me, but Jenny and Jaco were both so kind and concerned that I managed to go on all the rides without any problem at all!

Whatever we need was not a problem for them and the hospitality was unparalleled to any other I have ever experienced. They were brilliant hosts and outstanding on game drives!

We can not wait to go back again soon!

Warm Regards,
Monique Sher

Hey Nicole,

Here it goes LOL:

First and foremost I would like to thank Bushlore for awarding me this wonderful trip and prize, it was greatly appreciated.

Ok the Lodge was AMAZING, it truly brings out the rustic aura of the Wild yet with style and comfort.

The tented accommodation was wonderful (never thought I would shower outside, but it was somewhat comforting LOL). The bed is extremely comfortable to add to your restful night’s sleep in comfort.

Jaco and Jenny, oh my word, where do I begin. From the moment we were collected at the gate (Jaco picked us up) we immediately felt safe. They both have wide knowledge of the animals and strangely of the routes (I would get lost, there is no signs lol).

They are both extremely friendly and treat each one of us like we were long lost friends that have come together, it added to the whole experience and I do not think that any ranger/guide/host and hostess can ever be better than they are. Each drive with either Jaco or Jenny was amazing, informative and spectacular, really I am struggling to find words to properly explain how great it was to be there and be treated by Jaco and Jenny.

They have great passion for what they do and it really shows each day. They greet you with such a warm smile (maybe a joke or two from Jaco) that you just are instantly happy. Their personalities complement each other and the lodge and I really couldn’t have asked for any better (I doubt that there is).

I feel as though I had made friends with Jaco and Jenny (that is how fantastic they are).

Next point, the cook. My word, all dishes was delicious (my mouth is watering while thinking about it), I have zero complaints about the food, it too was amazing adding yet again to an already fantastic trip. All my favourite dishes was made and I loved it.

I had been dreaming about this trip since I received it, imagining how it would be etc… and what I experienced throughout was more than anyone can imagine.

I must ask you to please send my regards to the staff at Wild Ivory (especially Jaco and Jenny) and express what a fantastic job they are doing with the guests, running and conservation of the lodge.

I got to experience and see so many different animals all with the wonderful guidance of Jaco and Jenny. They really do add to the wonderful setting that Wild Ivory has.

I will definitely go there again and will soooooo refer this lodge any day to anyone anytime. It’s FANTASTIC.

PS: Mark and Clyde, thank you once again, it was a memorable experience that I will cherish.

My appreciation and experience could not be put in words, but I tried lol.

Kind Regards