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“A great rafting day with Randal and the Rafiki Lodge crew!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rafiki Safari Lodge

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Rafiki Safari Lodge
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2.5 of 5 Lodge   |   16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
San Ramon, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A great rafting day with Randal and the Rafiki Lodge crew!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

The Rio Sevegre was doing its thing on this July day; lots of water and good rapids for Randal and the other guides to show their stuff. Four of us drove up from Uvita to Rafiki Lodge for a rafting day-trip and we really got our money's worth. This is our second rafting trip via Rafiki; we enjoyed our rafting companions as well as the spectacular waterfalls where we stopped for a swim and heavy duty "hydro-massage". The Lodge is sited in a beautiful high valley setting where we enjoyed a great Tico breakfast, exciting rapids and enthusiastic and fun guides, and a great lunch on the river. After the rafting, we had a great mango drink at the bar, and enjoyed the Lodge's rock hot-tub. Although we have not stayed overnight at the Safari-cabins of Rafiki, they are really nice and would be a great addition for our next trip to the area.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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241 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
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English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

My husband 50th birthday surprise trip with our two children couldn't of started off more perfect!!! I have to be honest I wasn't looking forward to bring outdoor tent camping, but after all it was my husbands trip! So, I booked it and to my surprise it was my most favorite part of our trip! The tents are set up on a platform with amazing views with beds and full bathroom. They serve you 3 meals a day because you have no restaurants near and I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful the food was. Angel the chef cooked us gourmet meals and when I asked if he could make a cake for my husband and he did! This was definitely not coming food!!! Jenel and Carlo Boschoff the owners are wonderful and their staff Raphael and Marvin make you feel at home! It was kinda sad leaving them. We decided to do two excursions one which was white water rafting and the Aqua Hike! Our tour Guide was Randall who was excellent
and made every and made ever minute memorable! I definitely recommend this place if you are all for being outdoors and hearing the wildlife while you sleep and just to be away for nothing but nature and pure relaxation!! I would definitely like to go there again!!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

My husband, two sons and I stayed at Rafiki for the last two nights of a 10-day Costa Rica trip and it was the perfect ending to a fabulous trip. Rafiki gives you a taste of an African safari camp in the rain forest. The rooms are safari tents and are lovely, built on native wood platforms and appointed with beautiful tiled bathrooms. We did not have trouble with mosquitos and were lulled to sleep by the sounds of the rain forest. (Some would say "noisy" but we loved it and slept soundly.) The main dining room is open air and overlooks a stunning vista. I so enjoyed sitting on the veranda watching the clouds and rain roll in and the mist and toucans gather in the tree tops after the rain. The food was fantastic! Breakfast included the best bacon I've ever eaten. Lunch during our rafting trip was a delicious chicken breast, still warm even though is was served riverside a distance from the lodge. And the dinner options were out of this world, fresh fish, traditional South African babotie, chicken parm and ribs (on the braai). We went white water rafting and can't say enough about how much fun we had - if you go, ask for a Costa Rican jacuzzi! My boys (11 and 14 years) will tell you the water slide was the best part of the trip. It's advertised as the fasted slide around and I think they are right! They literally wore holes in their bathing suits! The Boshoff family have created a lovely spot and are truly gracious hosts. I hope to visit their new safari tents on the beach some day - that would be double the icing on the cake!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

The trip to Costa Rica was to celebrate my birthday with my girlfriend.

I had no clue what to expect of Rafiki before arrival. I hadn't researched it much and just went by the travel agent's recommendation on my desire for a "treehouse" type setting. The moment we arrived at Rafiki, we were amazed. Actually, even before we arrived we were glad we added the two nights to our trip because of the scenic drive.

We arrived at Rafiki just before sundown (unfortunately long drive), but were welcomed by a chorus of Toucans that decorated the nearby tree canopy. Before we knew it we were greeted by the owners and had a welcome glass of fresh juice in our hands. We both just stood at the main lodge's balcony edge in amazement of the views, grounds, and atmosphere of Rafiki.

The setup isn't for everyone. It's a mix of glamor and a good portion rustic. You are in the middle of nowhere. Other than your day's excursion, you really aren't leaving the facilities. That was fine for us, as we enjoyed just getting away and relaxing a bit. You still have access to clean plumbing and working electricity (hydro-electric), but have to put just enough bug spray on to remind you that you are in the middle of the jungle. Your belongings will stay a bit damp if they get wet and the humidity is a little higher, but its worth it to hear where those nature cds could likely record.

We stayed two nights and went whitewater rafting. Two nights was the perfect length. Anymore and we might have been a little stir crazy (we weren't really in the roughing it mindset). The Whitewater Rafting was outstanding and the guides were enjoyable.

The food was fantastic. A bit of Costa Rica with a South African twist.

I would definitely recommend (and already have) a stop at Rafiki. Knowing a little of what to expect could help some, but I more than appreciated the surprise factor and unknown expectations.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

We did not stay with Rafiki, but I was intrigued with this resort and chose to do a one-day excursion with them from our hotel in MA, so the majority of my review is focused on the river excursion. However, I did thoroughly tour the property during our visit and guests should expect a beautiful but more rustic experience if staying here. This is for folks that really want to be unplugged. I am always on the go and would need to be on tours daily and then socialize at the bar/restaurant area until bedtime as the location is isolated and self contained. The only negative thing I have to say is something needs to be done about the access path to the pool slide. Saying it's, "a little slick" doesn't cover it. I had to remove my shoes and slowly scale the path like Spiderman (constant moisture causes it to be slick and slimy). This is an accident waiting to happen. Otherwise, I found the property well cared for and beautiful all around.
Regarding our day--this was the absolute BEST excursion we did over the course of 9 days in CR. (I emailed them directly to book our day of white water rafting)
They sent transportation to pick us up from our hotel, and when we arrived we had a lovely full breakfast at their retreat before starting our adventure on the river. I enjoyed exploring the grounds of the resort and taking a tour of the facilities while we waited for our guides. They had beautiful horses grazing on property as we entered the grounds and I almost wished we had booked a full day that included horseback riding.
This was my 11 yr old son’s first time on real white water (we live close to man- made white water training center). I couldn’t have been happier with the guides and the pre-tour safety exercises. Being June it had rained quite a bit, so the water was high and the guide said it was Class II/III rapids which was perfect.
The scenery was breathtaking and we stopped and swam at a large, beautiful waterfall. Also, the hot lunch we were served (included) was delicious.
During this excursion we were accompanied by a photographer that kayaked ahead of the group to get photos that are available for sale at the end of the journey. They were reasonably priced and we liked having the photos to reminisce about our adventure.
If going to Manuel Antonio area, I absolutely would not miss this tour or do it with anyone else. Worth every penny. The whole experience with Rafiki was surreal—you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: Choose a tent closer to the main restaurant/bar area.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Godalming, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

We didn't stay at the lodge but were picked up from our rental property and driven to Rafiki with a great driver and the guide/trip photographer/joker - Mono. What a fantastic day, just the right number of people, 3 rafts, 3 guides and Mono. We loved the lodge and would have happily hung there for a few days. We headed off to the river, some of the other party went by horse back, we did the conventional bus but had a guided tour and saw a sloath and many species of birds. The white water rafting was fast, fun and very wet! This is a must for anyone with teenagers, something to be enjoyed by all the family. Lunch was at a lovely spot under cover as the heavens opened and what seemed like a monsoon hit us, it rained hard for the rest of the trip but this didn't dampen anyone's spirits it just made it more fun. The waterfall stop and swim was beautiful!
Thanks guys especially the lovely Alan our guide and resident paramedic based at Rafiki!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key West, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

We were very excited to arrive at rafkiki, after a 4 hr drive driving up and thru mud and rivers we were not greeted as we thought we should have, we all carried our luggage up the stairs and met one of the owners who was nice but not so gracious? We were told we were the only guests there for 2 nites? I didn't like that too much? ( I like to socialize) after given 2 only 2 choices for dinner we were taken to our tents but not before we had to be told that u must use flash lights at all times when it's dark why because there are snakes! I knew that going there but when we saw that the mountain is dark with no lighted walk ways that made it a little nervous not just for snakes but walking up and down in the dark and on muddy paths! ( which I happened to have fallen down cause of the mudd!! My legs ended up under the platform which the tents are built on! And snakes come to mind? The tents r cute bathrooms great but the beds were damp cause your in the rainforest! Things I didn't think of!! The food was not good we only had 1 dinner and 1 breakfast but they were not good!!! I also didn't think how annoying it would be to have to unzip and zip back up the tents everytime we left or came in! That sucks think about it? Also the activities look great but what to do when u return say 3 in the afternoon? Your stuck because u r sooo far away ! No way to get taxi and go into town! The mountain is dark and dangerous and no way one could rent a car and drive it!!! The slide that is there is black from mold , even my kids thought it was kinda dirty looking!! I think that if your in costa rica u might want to stay with costa ricans verses south Africans! I thought it would be a combination of both with food choices but the choices are so limited I was hoping for more Typical costa rican food but that was not the case!:( I realize we only had one dinner but since we were the ONLY family there we would think that our welcoming dinner would have been better! We also got up at 5:30 am and could not get a cup of coffee for 2 hrs! No fresh fruit or anything till it was there wake up time ! We came from Florida where it is 2 hrs ahead in costa rica, I'm sure they have travelers from all over the world on different time zones so it would be nice if they had a do it yourself coffee maker and cooler with some fresh fruit or something to hold u over till the workers arrived!? Thank god I had brought some granola bars ! It would also be nice if they suggest u bring some your own food for cases like this! So after our crappy dinner and our crappy breakfast we had a cab pick us up and left! We felt bad about it but not bad enough to stay! Hope this info gives everyone a little more of what to expect when staying at rafkiki! My sons and husband did get to go whitewater rafting on the river they also use and said it was amazing!! So for those who want to really get away from reality this could be your place , for our family we needed a bit more!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RafikiJJ, Manager at Rafiki Safari Lodge, responded to this review, July 14, 2013
We try very hard at Rafiki to let our guests know what to expect prior to arriving at our lodge. We are an ecologically sound, remote, luxury tent camp surrounded by primary and secondy rain forest and are proud to say that 95% of our employees are local Costa Ricans. The day your family arrived it had rained nearly 10", which creates a challenge for both guests and staff. With less than fifteen hours at our lodge and only three during day light hours, it is unfortunate that you were unable to experience Rafiki at it's best.

Many travelers visiting Costa Rica are looking for a quiet, tranquil escape surrounded by nature. Others are looking for nightlife, restaurants, shopping and being with a lot of other guests. Most prefer a mix of the two. Our unique lodge will never be able to offer the latter nor can we compare to large, name-brand hotels located throughout CR. When not on tours our guests enjoy reading a book, visiting with family and other guests or just relaxing on their patio enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. While I wish we could say that Rafiki is a destination for everyone, this is not the case. It is obvious that we were not the right fit for your family.

Thank you for the review. We appreciate all comments and will do our best to improve the issues you mentioned which are pertinent to our lodge.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Rafiki Safari Lodge

Address: 16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 473 Specialty Lodging in Province of Puntarenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Rafiki Safari Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rafiki is a sustainable adventure lodge located in the Savegre Valley of Costa Rica. The lodge sits on 840 acres of tropical forest. Rafiki specializes in custom white water rafting, horseback riding and hiking trips. Guests sleep in imported luxury Safari Tents which feature hydro electric fans and lights. Each tent sits on a raised hardwood platform, has a deluxe bathroom with glass showers heated with fire. The units also have a private porch with rocking chairs looking over the Savegre Valley. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rafiki Safari Hotel Province Of Puntarenas
Rafiki Safari Lodge Costa Rica/Province Of Puntarenas

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