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“Rafiki Safari Lodge - highlight of our trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rafiki Safari Lodge

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Rafiki Safari Lodge
2.5 of 5 Lodge   |   16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Healdsburg, CA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Rafiki Safari Lodge - highlight of our trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

We traveled for a week in Costa Rica with a small group and stayed at three different locations. Rafiki Safari was our favorite hands down - we were there for 3 nights in late January 2013. First of all, it's gorgeous. The food is wonderful
and the setting is enchanting. Our tent accommodations were lovely, private and reminded us of a recent trip to Africa. Sitting on the veranda with a second cup of coffee after breakfast and watching birds come to a feeding station loaded with fruit was exciting. The large, colorful Toucans were the most exciting to see and watch! Watching them hold and eat banana with their huge bills was amazing. We rafted the river and swam under the waterfall ~ what a good time we had! We highly recommend Rafiki Safari Lodge!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
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221 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 (33)
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English first
Billings, Montana
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Very gracious host and hostess and very unique lodgings. Great place to unwind or to be active in hiking and rafting. Tons of birds including the Toucans. We experienced good food and good service - we recommend it!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Rafiki Safari Lodge was the perfect fit for our family. It is in a remote setting (we were certainly greatful for the little Rafiki signs on the road in to show us that we were still on the right road) but once you get there you are in a perfect spot to unwind, get a way from it all and relax.

We stayed there with our two boys (aged 11 and 13) in July of 2013.
We liked our tent with it's bathroom. I'm not great with bugs and was expecting to have to deal with spiders etc but we really didn't have a problem. The tent has a ceiling fan (don't think camping!) which was really nice and helped to keep things cool, and we were fortunate to have a view of the lake with its resident Cayman. We spent hours on our verandah, and on the verandah of the open sided restaurant watching the birds, iguanas, etc

The owners/staff are very friendly and helpful so we felt comfortable from the moment we arrived. We had a great time with the planned activities and enjoyed coming back from them in the early afternoon to relax with a book, swim in the pool and hot tub,or play on the insane water slide. The hotel also arranged for a lady to come from the local village to give me a chocolate massage. I lay on a table on the verandah of one of the unoccupied tents (surrounded by trees, listening to crickets, frogs, birds etc) while she gave me a chocolate body scrub, applied a chocolate mask and wrapped me in seran wrap for 20 minutes (during which time she massaged my scalp) and then finished with a chocolate oil massage. It was two and a half hours of absolute chocolatey bliss after which I was so relaxed I could barely make it back to my own tent!
While we were there we also went white water rafting (our boys rode horses to the put in point) while my husband and i chose to ride in the Rafiki vehicle. We stopped on the way to take photos of a sloth and some tucans. Our guide, Chookie, was awesome! The river is only a 2-3 and my husband who has rafted before was sceptical of what he called "a float trip!". Chookie made it quite the adventure and we all had a blast. We stopped part way down for a great lunch (with star fruit juice, which is delicious)at a look out point on Rafiki land, and then again a little later for a very short hike to swim under a waterfall.
We had Chookie again the next day for the Aqua Hike. This was another really well planned activity. The hike has some hills, but our guide was great at stopping to point out a cinnamon tree, or ylang ylang flower, or a type of ant etc all along the way so I never got to the point where I was too out of breath. Our youngest son is, we've decided, part fish and likes to swim at every opportunity. Chookie was amazing, and spent time helping him climb safely to points on waterfalls that he could jump off.
As you can tell, we loved our time at Rafiki and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get away from the crowds and really enjoy Costa Rica's natural beauty.

Room Tip: We loved having one of the two tents that overlooks the lake. They are also really close to the res...
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  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Ramon, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

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.
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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 #26 of 449 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 
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Also Known As:
Rafiki Safari Hotel Province Of Puntarenas
Rafiki Safari Lodge Costa Rica/Province Of Puntarenas

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