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“We want more Rafiki!” 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
New york
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“We want more Rafiki!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2006

My Boyfriend and I spent only one night at Rafiki but would have loved to stay longer. We already had paid for other nights at different hotels when we came upon Rafiki in the forums here on trip advisor. We decided that we just HAD to give it a try. From the moment we got there we felt like family. There was food and drink put in front of us within 10 minutes and an adorably friendly little terrier named Norman. The staff is lovely and welcoming and take wonderful care of the property. We arrived in the after noon and just decided to take that day to explore the grounds (which are gorgeous) and hope for some wildlife. We sat on the rocking chairs of our porch and were just in awe of the view. We saw 2 toucans flying right by each other! I am terrified of snakes, and luckily I didn't see any but I am certain they were there. We went swimming and I had a blast watching my boyfriend go down that slide. It is incredibly fast and even cuter is the fact that Norman the dog runs down in tandem. I really got the sense that we were in the middle of nowhere. There were only a few other rooms/tents being occupied which was amazing. The bathroom in the room is huge and very clean. You need flashlights to get back to your tent and it is just silent and peacful. That night we had a lovely dinner in the main open air lodge. There was a sense of calm that I had never experienced before and the food was AMAZING. Every meal we had there was great. The next morning we were both so excited to do the "Ultimate Safari adventure" that we were up before the sun even rose. We had a short hike, which was a nice way to get the blood pumping, and then mounted our horses for a ride to the put-in on the river. My horse was kind of lazy, but sweet nonetheless. Mechas, our guide was great. He made us feel safe and pointed out all the fauna along the way. We then had an awesome rafting trip down the Savegre river in the pouring rain. We did flip, which was not so fun and quite scary, but it happened in the first 10 minutes and then we were on our game for the rest of the trip. When we stopped for lunch, I expected to be eating on a rock down by the river, but to my surprise Constant had set up a lovely, candle lit lunch in a wooded area for us to stay dry. It was these touches that made rafiki so special and well worth the rocky drive. We both agreed that of all the places we stayed this was the most personal experience. The only thing that I would do differently is extend my stay.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2006

I have been living in Costa Rica for one year and visited many many spots and hotels. I have yet to find a place like Rafiki!

If you come to Costa Rica to brighten your life and feel hard to find emotions, go to Rafiki! It all starts at the road that leads your there... What an adventure! You will be immersed deep in the tropical rainforest accompanied by an amazing South African family who legitimately just want to make this world a better place.

The have all kinds of sustainable practices: They produce their own electricity, compost their waste, educate, hire and collaborate with the locals and at the heart of it all, make you realize that we live in a delicate and supremely interconnected environment. The staff is very knowledgeble (botanists, biologists, veterinarians...) and the attention is supremely customized.

DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT doing the white water rafting tour!

I want to take the opportunity to thank the Rafiki Safari family for their constant attention and for making me feel like I had a second home here in Costa Rica!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2006

This place was the best. They are completely "dug out" from the effects of Hurricane Rita. The pool and waterslide are wonderful. I can't imagine how lush the landscape must've been before the slide (they lost one building). But Loitje (Low-key) in all his creativeness has made lemonade out of lemons by creating a one-of-a-kind Frisbee golf course where the mudslide is!

Rafiki is about as close to roughing it as you'll ever find me. Nice tents, clean, with good beds. Wonderful bathrooms and if you let the water run for just a couple of minutes, plenty of hot water. It gets LOUD at night from frogs and whatever else is out there.

We had our two boys 9 and 11 with us and they didn't ever want to leave. Rafa took great care of us for meals. Giovanni is an excellent (YOUNG!) chef.

A word to the wise: we had not planned on any excursions while we were here because we'd already paid in advance for some excursions elsewhere on our trip. PLAN ON EXCURSIONS. You're pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, so there won't be really anything to do if you don't. Also, the excursions are well worth it because of the guides--they really know there stuff and you get to really experience Costa Rica. We did the horseback/river raft/waterfall combo and it was a blast. The boats are small, so it's a whole different rafting experience than the big boats. The kids went in a boat with their guide, Lisa, while my husband and I were in a second boat with our guide, Shasta. Shasta's just a big kid himself, anyway, so he made it even more amusing.

We also did a hike with Loitje which we didn't realize was costing us $30/each until we got the bill, but it was worth it as well. Also, since we had been travelling before we got there we had some of our own alcohol with us (beer and wine) which they let us keep in the fridge, so we saved a couple of bucks on that. We also gave good tips all around when we left.

It's a magical place (even though the road to get there is ---- --especially after the mudslides, but they're working on it). Three days is about the perfect amount of time there.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Takoma Park, Maryland
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2005

This is indeed a special place, hidden away in the hills and surrounded by an enormous range of birds and other wildlife. The lodge is a very relaxing thatched-roof enclosure where they serve up fine food and drinks. The 'tents' are quite nice. Each had a large deck/platform, comfortable beds, and fairly spacious bathroom. The honeymoon suite is no different except for being situation a little further apart from the other tents and for having a very nice hot tub. It's really quite nice but I'm not convinced it's worth the extra $100 a night for a hot tub.

The meals are excellent and they will cater to vegetarians. One night, they even cooked tofu in a red curry sauce. Quite good. However, on more than one occasion, I wanted just a little more food but they didn't have any more to offer. They will offer you some chips or light snacks during the day if you ask for it. On once occasion, they even made us a huge mound of nachos before dinner. Coupled with dessert, you're usually full.

The staff is very kind, very laid-back, and very welcoming.

It's important to note though... they recently experienced some very bad storms out here that dramatically altered the landscape. Enormous volumes of mud and dirt were deposited on the grounds. So much, in fact, that their swimming pool and slide are currently under 6' of dirt. Their boat house is almost entirely underground.
Do not expect these facilities to be available for the better part of a year, unless they're able to dig them out sooner (which is possible.)

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2005

Rafiki Safari Lodge was an absolute paradise. The views, the accommodations, the white water rafting, the food and the guides were all excellent. We were a group of 19 so we had the entire lodge to ourselves. They even arranged to have a masseuse for our group. I highly recommend a 60 to 90 minute massage on the porch of a tent where you can hear the birds and the waterfall in the distance - absolute heaven. Loki and Nel took us on two white water rafting trips that were superb - the first was class IV and Class III and the second was Class II and III (but after an intense rain - it was almost as fun as day 1). No phones, no TV - an absolute getaway. Don't expect luxury - the tents aren't air conditioned (but there are fans) and the shower was never hot, but who cares?! We were in paradise!! Take a flashlight - you'll need it when you're walking from the bar to your tent at night. Also - make sure you hike to the waterfall - we saw toucans on the way. Also - don't miss the starry sky at night from the rocking chairs at the lodge!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2005

Don't miss this wonderful experience. Luxury tents, gourmet food, and river rafting. The staff is so gracious. Our river guide Bob was a trip. He kept us in the raft- most of the time and we had a blast as we avoided rocks and crocodiles. Just kidding about the crocs- they are there, but we thankfully did not see them

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wernersville, PA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2004

The ultimate experience to really living, feeling, loving, and touching Costa Rica. For the traveler who has just had one too many of the same old hotels and same old excursions, this is the place for you!
Coupled with some of the finest first class hosts, and well trained staff
who tailor each individual trip for your comfort level, Rafiki Safari Lodge is unsurpassed.
This is a luxury tent camp on 750 acres of jungle along the Savegre river. Each tent set atop hardwood decks have attached full modern bathrooms. All meals are included and were some of the finest cuisine that I have ever had! The lodge boasts a fabulous 100 foot waterslide and beautiful pool.
Let the Bosoff family and staff teach you the pure vida of Costa Rica with their passion for life, nature, conservation, and unending energy and love.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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
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 474 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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