It seems that @JakeGC has responded to all your private emails about this and public comments/queries here on Safatalk and has, or is, addressing your concerns. For the time being I think that this is enough on the subject for now.
No doubt we will hear from future guests if there are any further problems with this.
A bit late to the party with this report but we stayed at Grootberg Lodge for 2 nights in February 2017. The standard of accommodation was very good, the evening meals were of a reasonable standard but not particularly memorable, breakfast offered an excellent choice. We paid 6330NR ( £385 at the time) through Booking.com and there is no cancellation allowed but in fairness although it said that no meals were included it was actually for D,B&B. Still not inexpensive though. Drinks were reasonably priced too.
We signed up for the Rhino trekking having booked well in advance as numbers are being limited to avoid unnecessary disturbance. On our trip there were just 4 of us but that was down to lack of demand. The cost was in the region of £250 and although we got to see a Rhino which was an incredibly uplifting experience as it was the first we'd ever seen in the wild, there was something missing about the whole tour. We hardly trekked more than a few metres, saw very little wildlife as most has died or left due to prolonged drought lasting 8 years and so felt a bit disappointed really as we were back in the lodge around lunch time.
The two nights were expensive by our standards.
The views from the lodge are fabulous, there is an infinity style swimming pool and within 100m of the lodge a drinking pool which did have limited game, Greater Kudu and Baboon, visiting whilst we were there. A couple of Zebra were seen near the lodge as well. In all probability the birds might be more interesting as we saw a few species here that were not seen anywhere else.
We found the drive up the track far less intimidating than had been reported on the likes of Trip Advisor although you do need 4x4 to get there, as much to do with ground clearance over rough track as anything.
Would I recommend a visit? Yes.
Would I return ? No
Been there done that,
Totally agree with you @Tulips Happy to share privately in most cases but not publicly . There are so many variables in bookings; repeat customers, shared private flights, seasonal reductions, last minute discounts and as you suggest rates from preferred suppliers. Plus a whole host of other things.
As I just responded to @JakeGC's email:
"Safari Talk is set up for people to share real information. It was my real situation. If it happened to someone else, I'd be upset that I didn't do everything in my power to help them avoid it.
"No one is perfect, but I do believe that taking videos and shushing anyone talking is a habit of the driver. It happened on three different occasions, over three different days (only once directed at me.) The first was earlier in the day, when we were with the hyenas with the gazelle. The third was after I told the camp manager, Patrick. Patrick came with us to the air strip and was with us when the driver shushed Katy while he was filming (a surprise!)
"I am really glad that he is taking a break from taking video. I believe cell phone use can be beneficial but not to the point where it impacts guests. Social media is just that, social, and I've added several guides on Facebook. I do enjoy seeing what they see in the bush and so understand that it's a fine line.
"@Gilgamesh is next to go to Lion Camp. Hopefully he will be able to report a better experience!"
What I hadn't shared with Jake previously was the behavior about positioning the vehicle. I am really glad that he has taken both issues seriously and shared them with all of the guides and drivers. I hope and believe that things will improve. Note that this was one driver out of the five that we had, in Nairobi and in four camps.