We go out of our way to make sure guests have an exciting adventure and feel a personal connection to the wildlife and places we visit. It is nice to know when we have met these goals.
The Bona Ntaba Tree House Lodge is a lovely destination! We were two of four on a Gregory Sweeney photo safari. The tree houses are tastefully matched with their surroundings and nicely appointed inside. Plenty of hot shower water (great after a day in the bush) and some wonderful views. Situated on a private reserve, wildlife is abundant and easily viewed. Since we weren't using the self-catering option, we enjoyed the prepared meals. The atmosphere is intimate (like visiting friends) and evening meals in the boma are an experience unto themselves. The photo safari was a well-balanced blend of game drives (including Kruger National Park), visits to local rehabilitation/rescue centers, and a few fascinating one-offs. Gregory & Karen freely share their vast knowledge of Southern African wildlife for a very rich experience and Greg is a font of professional photo experience and advice.
We were part of 6 member group on Greg Sweeney's African photography tour staying in the Sweeney's Bona Ntaba Tree House Lodge. The adventure began immediately on the drive to lodge, wildlife everywhere. The lodge borders Kruger National Park and you are treated to a wide variety of wonderful animals. We were fortunate enough to see the "Big Five" at multiple locations. The food was a fabulous combination of dishes with a local flare by Miss Cynthia and the girls. Dinners were served outside under the stars in front of an open fire. My wife is a vegetarian and she loved the vegetarian entrées. Greg and Karen added to the trip with a couple of stops at animal rehabilitation centers where we were able to learn about the struggles and attacks the South African wildlife are enduring. The magnificent landscapes and sunrises/sunsets from our tree house vantage point were unbelievable! We would foremost recommend Bona Ntaba for an all around authentic South African adventure.
We enjoyed very much our time with you and Karen and the very nice couple. We loved Bona Ntaba and our tree house and all that you planned for us both locally, Kruger, and in Sabi Sands. We certainly would like to return
Just a note to thank you both for an awesome experience, one never to be forgotten! We had a fantastic time and could not’t have asked for better company - something you can’t always say when you have a small group of strangers. Thanks again for such a fantastic time, we had a ball! Thanks very much for the photos - great reminders of our wonderful safari with you. Both Dale and I have already created and ordered our respective photo books and can’t wait to see how they turn out! So many amazing photos to choose from it was hard limiting the books to only 96 or so pages (hehe). Looking forward to more trips!
Thanks for the pictures! We all had a great time in Africa and appreciated everyone working hard to make sure we had fun and got to see as many animals as possible. Looking forward to more trips!
We were very excited to plan our trip to Africa, packed months in advance and read a lot. But what we experienced with Greg and Karen Sweeney exceeded all expectations. Every day held new, different and carefully planned adventures. Wildlife encounters- and they were more than just sightings thanks to Greg’s extensive knowledge- were breathtaking. Our photos and photo organization are much improved thanks to the Sweeney team. We thoroughly enjoyed the kind attentions of all the staff at Bona Ntaba and very much appreciated meeting the Sweeney’s neighbors and friends. Our conclusion is that there is no better way to get a very personalized, thrilling and comprehensive introduction to this area of South Africa. Many many thanks!
So glad we did this trip - you guys are great and impart so much information about wildlife and conservation. The wildlife was out of this world. We plan to return with a group of friends.
Every day was a filled with wildlife beyond what we imagined - the wildlife encounters were humbling. You were the perfect hosts for this adventure. Thank you.
We tell everyone who asks about our trip that this trip was extraordinary, and was only such because of you both. It would not be the same without you being our shepherds. On my Last few days, I was So sad to leave this beautiful area. Most amazing vacation. I would never have imagined I’d love this trip so much. A big thank you to Gregory Sweeney for being the reason we went to South Africa. Highly recommend using their services if you want a safari tour with personal attention. I hope the wonderful memories I have of our trip to Capetown and safari linger into my old age.
Another fantastic trip - each time it is beyond my expectations.
Thank you for a great trip and all of your help. I really appreciated the one on one help getting up to speed on Lightroom. Hope to travel with you again.
Joanne and I have returned to the nest, exhausted, but still buzzing about what we saw and experienced. We are deep into the photo culling phase and still are over 3,700 photos, not unreasonable. We are finding it nice to have variety, so we can be picky about photos of a particular type of animal. Thanks again for arranging an entertaining and very special safari. We will remember this trip for the rest of our time.
A few months later and the memories are still vivid! What a remarkable safari not only for the photography enthusiasts but animal lovers alike. It is amazing how much we saw over the 10 days and how close we got to the action. Seeing a baby elephant less than an hour old, being in the midst of buffalo being stampeded by stalking lions, and observing leopards and cheetahs in their environment was such an experience. Your safari is an opportunity of a lifetime not to be missed. We'd also like to acknowledge not only your expertise and support but that of the guides and trackers which made our trip so memorable. Everyone went of their way to make our stay so enjoyable. The accommodation, food and friendliness of the staff was without fault. The tree houses are a real feature.
The tree house lodge was the highlight of my recent trip to South Africa. The delicious food, outside shower and amazing staff are a surprising treat. The wildlife is great. Just Go!
A most remarkable holiday. Nor sure where to start- best safari ever. You’ have got a winner. As part of the African Safari wildlife holiday it was faultless. Great drives up close with hippos, the big5,walking with lions. Just could not bettered. The Tree Houses are unique and bring you close to nature. Views of the Sunset over Blyde mountains and the Zip wire made for an all round experience. If you get the chance book now!
I came home with great memories and some amazing photographs - right up to our last morning it was great. The lions hunting on our last game drive was a great ending.
I had a great time with you guys on my safari. I enjoyed the stories you shared with us. The wildlife was great. Hope to see you again.
If you want a trip to remember this is it!. The tree house lodge is beautiful, the food amazing, and the activities are all planned to make your experience so unique. It want beyond what I expected on my first trip to South Africa. I have pictures to keep for a lifetime and with knowledge about the wildlife and culture. A piece of my heart will never forget this fabulous adventure. They are so experienced in making your safari perfect - I give them 5 stars.
As an active global wildlife photographer, I have been on a safari with Gregory twice and each time he has made sure that everything goes like clockwork. My expectations were exceeded and we got the Big 5 and much more.
Thank you so much for hosting this crazy group at your beautiful sanctuary. You have created memories for me that I will cherish the rest of my life. You both are just the radest and most interesting people. This is going to be a hard trip to beat.
You're the best Amigo. Thank You for everything. Words can't describe how much fun we had...!! My mind has been blown since we got picked up. You are truly amazing people and mates. - Marshal It was the best trip ever. Topped off with this amazing last day. I will remember my time here forever. Thank you Gregory and Karen for making this dream a reality. -Jayne
It was an amazingly my trip!! I loved every minute!! I can not wait to come back. Thank you Greg and Karen!!
Wow thank you Greg and Karen for this amazing adventure. This was my best trip ever and you guys are the BEST.
Thank you so much for this amazing experience. I had the best time and learned so much about South Africa and all its wilds. I felt like I was with a celebrity at every place we got to visit. Greg you’re a great guide. Thank you so much.
What an adventure. Move over Kenya, South Africa is my new favorite. Thank you for all your planning and a lifetime of beautiful memories.
I grew up in South Africa and wanted to share this experience with my daughter - you exceeded my expectations. We had wonderful and fun travel companions, excellent and unique accommodations, and the wildlife was exceptional.
Thank you for making this dream of safari even better than I expected! The wildlife was way more than I expected and I liked that you and other rangers educated us about the animals, their role in the environment, and the overall challenges of conservation in this area. I can not wait to come back again.
(his 2nd safari with us) Even better the second time around. The highlight was being in the swimming pool with the giraffes coming right up to us close enough to touch. Wonderful food and each lodge was unique.
(his 2nd safari with us) The 2nd time was just as good! Your lodge gets better and better and the wildlife at all the reserves was amazing. Thank you for another great safari adventure.
(her 2nd safari with us) I can't thank you enough for another amazing time in Africa. It was great to see and reconnect with old friends and make a few new ones along the way. Frances, Chris and myself are still laughing over some of the adventures we had and I'm sure it was all quiet once we left. Now I can sit down and start going through all my photos from the trip..Hopefully I'll have a few good ones.
Everything was top notch from the drives, zip lining, the food and the accommodations.
Hopefully one day we will be able to all gather again on another adventure.
(her 2nd safari with us) I returned on your safari just 16 months later and everything is even better. The work you have done to the lodge makes it even more amazing. I really enjoyed the bush babies at my tree house and even on my camera tripod and the giraffes making their daily call on us. The meals were mouthwatering and all the game drives, activities, and lodges were excellent. I really enjoyed the company of the other guests – you get the nicest people on your trips.
Thanks to you and Karen for hosting such a fantastic trip for us. We look forward to seeing you again. Exceeded my expectations: Giraffes outside my door! The wild animals were just wandering around - giraffes, zebras, ostrich. A marvelous opportunity to really feel you were one with nature. The Tree House Lodge is a lovely place to stay - very comfortable and a great staff, as were the other lodges. It is close to all the game viewing areas in addition to its own reserve. We would go again.
Amazing, fantastic, far far beyond expectations, really no word can describe the experience! Here's to the people, animals, trees, all of the sights, sounds, & creature comforts. Africa: a treasured adventure I will remember all my life.
I feel so fortunate to have shared this time with the best travel companions. Thanks for the laughs, the stories, your patience & generosity of friendship.
Heartfelt thanks to Greg & Karen for organizing an unforgettable, life changing journey.
We have arrived home safe, sound, and brimming with fresh memories of an exquisite experience. I could not have imagined better companions to share it with!
Greg, Karen: you exceeded on all counts, what were high expectations going into this. I will look forward to re-living precious moments as i go through and start sharing around our photos and videos. We all left wanting more…it went by way too fast. And what I saw and heard really reinforced my decision to defer retiring for a chance to work on this wildlife trafficking travesty.
I am suffering twinges of withdrawal from all of it... the high of being in the presence of such creatures and getting a personal glimpse of their magnificence and travail.
This kind of trip is one of those "bucket list" things in life that you hope meets your expectations. So you wish it to be "special". Greg and Karen go WAY above and beyond what I could ever have dreamed of, to create the experience (experiences) of a lifetime, really. Very personal and so much thought and effort on their part to create an experience beyond the expectations one could even imagine. The food, the excursions, the knowledge, the people part re guides and drivers, the amazing animals...all done with their personal touches at Bona Ntaba that make one feel very special. Couldn't have asked for a more amazing trip!!
Thanks Greg, Karen, Gloria, Lori, Nancy, Heidi and Lorraine for making this trip so memorable. Still seeing Impalas here :) (she is referring to the car)
Lauris and I spend much time reminiscing about our wonderful experience on your safari. I have about 3700 photos just on my 1Dx to sort and review. There are probably two or three thousand on the other two cameras to also go thru and edit. We will always be grateful to you for the wonderful experience you provided on our Safari.
About staying at the Tree House Lodge: Living in a tree house in a private reserve is a wonderful experience. The staff were warm, friendly, and competent. Nvula, their cook, was amazing. Dinners under the stars in the Boma were exceptional. The lodge is off the beaten path, quiet, and run by Greg and Karen who have years of experience helping travelers explore the wonders of wildlife in South Africa. The ramp to top of the tree house makes for easy accessibility and the tree houses are placed far enough apart that they are private. The bedroom has cross ventilation from the screened windows and the views from the deck are beautiful. There was an outdoor shower and indoor bathtub and the water was always warm. One could not ask for better staff or a more unique experience.
This was our first trip to Africa, Greg and Karen made us feel so welcome and helped with any needs we had during the trip. The lodge was a true African experience allowing us views of mountains and wildlife you would not experience in other venues. During our stay in Africa we stayed in three locations and I would say the food and setting at Bona Ntaba made us feel the most at home. Thanks to Karan and Greg we had a trip of a lifetime and experienced Africa in a truly unique way. The opportunities this trip gave us to view and photograph game in their natural setting was amazing. Your tree house lodge was one of the best parts of our trip. Each phase of the trip was unique and left us with memories we will have for ever. Karen, thanks so much for your help with Lightroom and Photoshop.
Thank you! If I haven’t told you before - this has been an amazing unforgettable trip that I will never forget! Life changing... Your little lodge is beautiful, the whole trip was amazing. The food, the best I’ll ever have in a lifetime. No kidding.
We absolutely loved our tour! The tree houses have fantastic sunset views and give great vantage point for watching passing wildlife. Our tree house was well serviced and more than what we expected. The outside shower was a novelty for us - and highly enjoyable on a sunny day. Watching bush babies around our veranda was a treat. Eating outdoors in the boma at night was brilliant. Great local food that was well-presented. Would definitely go back
I had an incredible time and share it with anyone I get the chance to. I can say it was one of the best experiences of my lifetime and I would love to go back. It was awesome. Thanks to Greg and Karen who are great hosts.
It was a great group and fantastic safari. It was very good getting to know both of you. I decided that you, Greg and Karen, are the real difference makers in the experience, something I missed at the other lodges. While great places, I missed the felling that we were simply visiting you in your private home. Now I appreciate the sentiment of similar comments on your site. Now for all of the work processing the photos.
Will start sorting photos next week, only about 7000+ photos to sort thru and process, Thanks Greg and Karen for a awesome time, will be back for sure! * true to his word, Lindsay is already signed up for a safari in 2016!
Again thank you for an incredible holiday the experiences & education was something that can never be beaten ..... Until the next Safari with you!!!
I wanted to thank you, Karen and the rest of your staff for a wonderful, incredible safari. The whole trip I kept thinking it can't get better than this, and yet every time it did! Love your surprises!
The elevated lodging gave us a birds eye view of the distant Blyde River Canyon mountains, amazing red sunsets, and the brightest stars we have ever seen. The outdoor shower was a treat. The only sounds at night are the distant wildlife. The staff was delightful and the authentic African food was truly delicious. Hosts Greg and Karen, biologists and professional photographers, are a wealth of information on where to go, things to do, and everything about the wildlife and how get the best picture. Our overall experience on safari couldn't have been better. Thanks for making our trip so special. Glenn and Sandi
Thank you both again for such an amazing trip! You had planned a great itinerary. Each day was great. We are missing the tree houses lodge! This trip has been more than we could have imagined. From the first day it has exceeded my expectations. Hope to be back one day!
Our group of 7 went on safari. Gregory and Karen were the perfect hosts. Each day after returning from our game drive we enjoyed sitting on the deck reliving the day. We had happy hour while giraffe and zebra joined us for their evening drink at the watering hole. After amazing meals served under the stars we would watch the night sky sparkle. Back in the tree houses we could hear animals calling in the distance and we fell asleep with the warm South African breeze blowing through the windows.
We had such a great time and I am still going through the 1400 pictures I took. This is the trip of a lifetime. We are still sharing our adventures.
The experiences I had here three years ago were so good, I had to come back once again. All the animal encounters and my images were better this 2nd time! If you have never experienced taking a shower outdoors hanging 50 ft in the air at sunset in your tree house, then you are truly missing out. There's archery, zip line, fresh delicious meals, and of course, all the African wildlife you can handle. All the adventures of being a castaway without actually being one.
A fantastic safari. Every meal exceeded the last, our tree house was comfortable and secure, and we were warmly received. You can sit on the patio, dipping your feet into the swimming pool and watch animals approach the watering hole. I highly recommend it. Read the full review of the safari and Tree House lodge on
We had the best time!
I just wanted to say thank you for an amazing vacation. I had really high expectations about coming to South Africa but the last 10 days just blew them away. From the game drives to the zip lines to just sitting around talking it was just incredible. I can't wait to sit down and really start going through my photos. I really hope that someday I will be able to do it again because I would in a heart beat. I can't wait to show everyone the animals and the fun that I had.
I hope to one day do this trip again. When people ask me how my trip was my first response is I want to do it again! It couldn't have been any better from the people to the entire experience.
My daughters are still waxing lyrical about you both and the trip to everyone. What a fantastic experience for them; in the land in which I grew up. For Pauline and myself too it's been an opportunity to put things back into perspective. This safari left us with memories to treasure and almost feeling like we needed a rest at the end of our stay. We really enjoyed our stay at the tree house lodge: Bona Ntaba; the only downside was that it ended all too soon. Thank you Greg for this perfect safari experience
Colin's images can be seen on his website
Great attention to detail. The tree house lodge was a wonderful quiet home away from home in the bush. The variety of animals and the closeness of the animals was beyond my expectations. The Simons Town shark extension was a great contrast to the safari portion. The place we stayed with the pub room was fun. The penguins and sharks were great. This was an awesome trip.
I spent an amazing week in South Africa at Karen and Gregory Sweeney's beautiful Bona Ntaba Tree Lodge, where each day you awake to a beautiful landscape and each night you fall asleep to the sounds of wildlife. This is an amazing way to experience South Africa and the wildlife inhabiting it.
Bill and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for making my dream/bucket list trip come true. It was everything I imagined it would be and more. Your hospitality and sense of adventure just helped to create a wonderful time. The tree houses are great, the lodge is wonderful and your land is beautiful. We are beginning to look at the many pictures Bill took and starting to create our memory book and album. Thank you again for everything you did to make our stay so fabulous.
Tom and I can't thank you an Karen enough for the once in a lifetime memories you made for us. We will never forget our Safari trip! Thanks again for all the photos you let us have. Robin gave us a nice framed photo of the six of us with the cheetah which you took.
I'd like to thank both of you for making my trip a memoral one and have fallen in love with Africa and the animals. Roxanne, Chuck and Heather and myself have remained in touch, there is nothing like sharing memories with someone who was there. I will definitely be back in the future.
Greg and Karen made us feel right at home. It was like being invited into someone's home.: a very relaxed atmosphere. It's a great setting to see Africa. The food was excellent. Greg was a great guide on the excursions. Our bush walk with a cheetah turned out to be the highlight of our trip. The tree houses were wonderful and unique. At night you could hear animals roaming around outside. Loved the outdoor shower. The sounds at night of the animals were amazing. I wish we could have stayed longer. We never had to travel very far for our game viewing so no lost time traveling great distances.
I just wanted to thank you again for making our trip so special and wonderful. I will cherish my memories.
Thank you so much for this wonderful experience. We enjoyed staying at your lodge. We appreciate the well though out itinerary and variety of activities. We really enjoyed ourselves. It really was a unique and wonderful experience. Thank you so much for having something so special. Thank you for everything.
The Photographic Safari was great! I had experiences that I will probably never be able to duplicate. Greg and Karen, our hosts, bent over backwards to accommodate us. The tree house had all the modern conveniences in a tranquil rustic setting with a beautiful view of the landscape at treetop levels. The food at the lodge was excellent and each night we had at least one South African dish The staff were pleasant, friendly and accommodating and were a pleasure deal with. Going to sleep each night with the sounds of the wildlife in the background was special and good for the soul. Gregory Sweeney was a very knowledgeable person who shared experiences and techniques openly.
Thank you for a wonderful experience. You two are great hosts and Chelcy and I had a great time. Still going through the pics but really go some great shots. Thanks again.
We really enjoyed staying at the Bona Ntaba Lodge - and absolutely loved the tree house experience. These quaint dwellings made the perfect "home base" for our African adventure - and we had a wonderful adventure! Gregory and Karen went out of their way to make sure that we were always having a great time and they treated us more like friends that were visiting than strangers. The staff there was so friendly and they did such a great job making us feel right at home. The meals were such fun, and we loved eating under the stars at night.....beautiful! We will cherish our experience there .....and we all left with some truly great memories.
The whole safari was great! The tree house, seeing such a variety of animals, ziplining, elephant riding, shopping, Jessica, the cats, It was all great!
You , your people, and your lodge were the GREATEST on our recent trip to SA! I've definitely got to get back to that part of the world... and hopefully soon. Thank you from both of us.
The trip was Awesome!
What a wonderful time! Thank you both, I really enjoyed your
hospitality, the food was out of this world, TOP NOTCH all the way!
Had a great time and got some great shots
Thank you both for doing a terrific job Also a thank you to Hugo, Stewart, and Richard & all who made this trip a successful, fun and memorable adventure.
Thank you both for an excellent time. Gwyn and I (and the rest of that motley crew) had a wonderful time thanks to you both. We really enjoyed ourselves.
Thank you so much for this wonderful experience. We enjoyed staying at your lodge. We appreciate the well though out intinerary and variety of activities. We really enjoyed ourselves. Thank you for everything.
I had a magnificent time, and the company and entertainment was great. Everybody I know wants to do this trip, so I've given out the website. They loved my pictures. The experience was more than I had hoped for. I have included a few of my favorites-( hard to do out of over 1800). I learned enough to practice and improve!
I wanted to say Thank You!! very much from both of us. The time went very fast but both Barb and I really enjoyed everything. We also wanted to have you pass along a thank you to Gillian for the wonderful cooking and want to put in our reservation for her cookbook should it ever happen. Thank you specifically Greg for the terrific job at getting us photographic opportunities! The game drives and other side adventures left us with many great shots and memories. Thank you specifically Karen for taking the time to show me Lightroom. I purchased a book when I got home and am really trying to get the most out of it. I got a very good start from you! We had an awesome time with you two. Thanks again for everything!
The trip was wonderful, and I enjoyed it very much. Since I've been home, I made a physical album right away, selecting a variety of pictures to go in it. Thanks again for creating such a wonderful trip for me - and it was indeed a special birthday celebration out there in the bush.
It was far better then I expected! My favorite parts are too many to list – but the walking with Cheetahs was pretty top as well as meeting the Hippo – wow and then the amazing elephant ride… the food, the tree house – your company and jokes.. it was all really fantastic!!See Tanya's paintings at tanyalock.com
Thank you for creating such a wonderful experience
Thanks for everything. Adam, Brooke, and I had a fantastic time! The memories will last a lifetime, and now we will slowly start going through our photos for processing. Thanks Again!
Thank you so much Greg and Karen for the most awesome experience I have ever had. I have long wanted to go to Africa and I am very glad that I chose you guys to show me how wonderful it is. This trip was non-stop from start to finish and every day was a different adventure. Seeing so many wild animals up close and actually getting to cuddle a caracal and a baby lion was amazing and something I will never forget. What a fantastic holiday it was, thank you!
It was an amazing time! Everything was great! The food, accommodations, game drives and other activities were tops. Thanks for a life time of memories!! You can quote me! I'm already working on a trip to bring my son so he can experience what I had the good fortune to experience with you guys!!
What a great trip. This was truly a once in a lifetime event, but maybe not just once, I hope. The two of you and your staff are unrivaled with the great meals, hospitality, tree houses and many activities. Can't thank you enough and Karen, thanks for the Lightroom and Photoshop tips. It's make my work flow much better and easier. I feel I got some great shots, especially the Cheetahs and Leopards. Lots to sort through. I feel I still have one foot still in Africa and miss the quiet adventure with no phones, TV, INTERNET, just the sounds of Africa.
What a wonderful time I had with everyone… It was a trip of a lifetime for me and I can't thank you both enough for your hospitality and kindness during this wonderful holiday, I want you to know that this was worth every penny, each and every adventure will stay in my mind and I will cherish for a very very long time.
Africa Wild Safaris is owned by photographer Gregory Sweeney and his wife Karen. Together they own a small lodge on a nature conservancy which becomes the home base for their photography safaris. While on safari Gregory is a teacher ans well as a host and guide. Guests are return with memories of once in a lifetime wildlife encounters.