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“Couldn't ask for a better safari experience.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vuyani Safari Lodge

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Vuyani Safari Lodge
4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Moditlo Private Game Reserve, Hoedspruit, South Africa   |  
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$1,325pp-5nights-all in!
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Couldn't ask for a better safari experience.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We are on our way home from our first trip to South Africa and we cannot stop talking about our experience at Vuyani Safari Lodge. It was the highlight of our trip. From the food and hospitality, to the safari experience and the super close-up encounters with the animals, Vuyani went above and beyond our expectations. We will never forget our off-road adventures with Uyai and Jonathan, nor the evenings socializing with the other guests over great cocktails and food. Vuyani gives you an intimate and close-up experience with the animals. Our first day, we "ran into" a couple of cheetah, and the very next day, we were "surrounded" by a pride of lions. The off-roading makes each and every safari drive an adventure. Thanks so much to Craig, Uyai, Jonathan, and the rest of the Vuyani team. We hope to be back one day!

  • Stayed November 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernard K, Manager at Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Dear Shelley,

Wow, what an amazing review! Thank you so much! What a pleasure to read that you enjoyed the safaris with Uyai and Jonathan, and that you loved the food and the atmosphere at the lodge. The sightings in recent months have indeed been consistently brilliant, but then a cheetah encounter, that's really the best one can get. What luck, and what a privilege!

Of course we would love to host you here again in the future, so let me know. You are welcome here again any time!

Kind regards,

Bernard
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239 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (106)
Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

I felt like I was saying goodbye to my family. We had such an amazing time, met so many wonderful people from all over and were the beneficiaries of superb care by expert staff. We stayed in one of the newer lodges. They are stunning, large and comfortable with great views. You feel like you have your own private reserve. Our best times were on the game drives. Uyai and Jaydee were great. We saw amazing animals, laughed and learned so much from both of them. Good food, great coffee, totally attentive staff. We would definitely go back and recommend.

Room Tip: The newer lodge rooms are very comfortable with private hot tub.
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  • Stayed October 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
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Bernard K, Manager at Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Dear Joann,

Many thanks for your review! You are the first guest to review our brand-new river suites. I am so pleased to hear that you like the concept and feel of them. Indeed the idea was to provide an experience of literally having your own unit in the middle of the bush, so that you can observe the wildlife goings-on from your own private deck (one can also do that from the main lodge of course!). I am also happy to hear that you liked your safaris with Uyai and Jaydee on our reserve and that the sightings have left such a memorable mark.

Please let me know if you want to stay with us again in the future, it would be our pleasure!

Kind regards,

Bernard
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New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

We stayed for 4 nights at Vuyani in October of 2013. Found the property to be beautiful and the staff very warm and attentive. Each of our guides - JD, Mike, and J - had their own areas of expertise and collectively provided a great safari experience. The food was lovely and the different themes to the nights - from romantic dinners for two to buffets to an outdoor BBQ - provided nice changes of pace. We stayed in a room off the main lodge, which wasn't quite as private as the individual huts on the property, but there was plenty of space and the room was clean and nicely furnished. We took the day trip to Kruger tour (at additional cost) and would recommend others do the same; while Vuyani's game reserve provides plenty of opportunity for sightings, it's impossible to match the scale and beauty of Kruger.
Would highly recommend Vuyani to others, and we hope to be back some day!!

Room Tip: Would recommend booking one of the private chalets if they're available. Our room was part of th...
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  • Stayed October 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
    • 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.
Bernard K, Manager at Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Dear Jarrod,

Many thanks for your positive review! What a pleasure to hear that you enjoyed the safaris, the sightings, and the food. Indeed sightings on our reserve are plentiful (and there is no better way to get close to animals), and the Kruger Park is unbeatable for the variety of its natural landscapes: no surprise for an area larger than the whole of Wales!

We certainly hope that you will visit us again, we would love to welcome you here again any time!

Kind regards,

Bernard
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Dartford
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

I had been reading the trip advisor comments for Vuyani for a while before going and I wondered if it would live up to its reputation. It did.

High spots? The location is beautiful, looking out over the Drakensberg mountains. The team are brilliant and by the time you leave, they feel like family. It seems that nothing is too much trouble. The food is wonderful, encorporating traditional SA recipes: the bobotie was the nicest I've had anywhere and the Malfa pudding was to die for! The game drives were expertly led, and the most amazing evening was tracking the lions, and getting within ten feet (or so) of the most stunning male lion - in an open jeep. Another high spot, having sun downers (a fantastic SA tradition) watching two hippos playing, with the sun setting behind the lake. Magical! We also loved the different eating arrangements, sometimes altogether around the large table, romantic dinners for two under the stars and, of course the braae in the boma. On a cooler morning, when we returned from the game drive we ate breakfast in front of a roaring fire. We felt the trip to Kruger is worthwhile and the drivers are skilled at knowing where to look for the animals there, and we seemed to have a higher number of sighting hits than others we meet later on during our holiday. All in all, the team do everything they can to make it an unforgettable experience in very way. Thanks, guys!

  • Stayed October 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernard K, Manager at Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, October 27, 2013
Dear Jane,

Many thanks for your superb review, I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay here, and that the team succeeded in making your safari experience as rewarding as only possible!

I am also thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the lovely food that the chefs served up, and that you felt like staying with a family, because that's what it is: you are now part of the extended Vuyani family, and we would love to welcome you here again any time in the future!

Kind regards from South Africa,

Bernard
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Brookings, Oregon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

We were so blessed to find Vuayni Lodge. Our lives will be filled with memories forever. The Lodge was beautiful and prestine. Clean to the utmost, everything you could ever want in our rooms. The staff was amazing Rex was so sweet to bring coffee to our room every morning before safari, Justine was perfect in arranging every day trip of our dreams. Don't miss the Elephant interaction it was out of this world amazing. Mike and Ouoi (Welcome his name means) were the most talented trackers! We seen everything CLOSE UP! Don't worry about that zoom lense worry about having a lense that will handle such close ups! Lions just feet away!!! I wanted to bring Chef Jonnis home he is so talented the food was perfect don't miss his most amazing Botootie! The Boma which is the outside BBQ was elegant and delish!
Don't pass this one up! Book early with being such a small intimate lodge rooms go fast. We almost missed our window of oppertunity booking 8 months in advance! You will love the small intimate atmosphere to get to know others. Good Job Bernard you should be proud!
Thanks to everyone we long to return already!

Room Tip: The honeymoon suites had a wonderful intimacy about them, but you have to be walked back and forth a...
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  • Stayed September 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernard K, Manager at Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Many thanks for your detailed and positive review. What a pleasure to hear that you had a brilliant time and that you saw so many animals (and so close-up!) It is true that in recent times the quality of sightings has improved even further, and having great trackers like Mike, Jonathan and Uyay makes all the difference.
I am very proud of what the team is doing and achieving every day indeed!
Please come and visit us again in the future, it would be our utmost pleasure to welcome you here again!

Kind regards,

Bernard
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Southsea, England, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

How do we add to the excellent comments made by others? Vuyani is all we expected and so much more. So how can we help go ready to enjoy the experience of a lifetime?

Accommodation: You have choices! there are 3 rooms within the lodge itself; 2 separate honeymoon suites within 50 yards walk from the lodge and, as of mid October 2013, 2 brand new honeymoon sites. We were in one of the original honeymoon suites which is a self contained thatched building consisting of a small entrance porch, a spacious bedroom with king-sized bed. This opens out to a private veranda with chairs and table and your own hot tub. Continuing inside there is a bathroom with good sized bath. This opens out to an outside shower.

The newer honeymoon suites are very similar to this but have an additional indoor shower. (a good addition as it is sometimes a bit cold for an outside shower!!)

My preference would be to be in one of these honeymoon suites, but there is a down side. As you are not in some sanitised hotel with fences keeping nature at bay, you will be visited by lots of animals. For the most part this is delightful - kudu and nyala grazing feet from your window - but in the dark it means that you have to be escorted to and from the main lodge which feels a little constraining. That said, having gone to sleep listening to the roar of the nearby lions, we were happy to comply!!

The Game Drives: Game drives are provided twice a day. Again, nothing sanitised here. You go out with an experienced ranger (who acts as the driver) and tracker. Most other lodges use a single Ranger. The advantage is that with two pairs of experienced eyes they pick up on the tracks of the animals and are able to follow them far better.

Be prepared, temperatures can vary tremendously. We experienced early morning drives that required multiple layers, hats, scarves and gloves when they set off at 5:30am - but you were stripped down to tee-shirts by the time you got back to the lodge 3 hours later. While daytime temperatures were getting into the high 30's C, at night it was down to 5 or 6 degrees.

This is no zoo so there is never any guarantee that you will see the particular animal you want to see but the tracker and ranger are so good at finding interesting things and teaching you about the bush we enjoyed every one of them. Oh, and we did get to see the 'big five' as well as more impala and wildebeest than you could shake a stick at.

Getting Some Exercise: This is a problem. You cannot exactly go for a jog (or even a walk) given the abundance of predators around you. There is a small swimming pool but not big enough for meaningful exercise. Combine this with fabulous food and wine and you should be prepared to put on a couple of pounds... but its worth it for the fabulous photos and the great company.

Finally... go now! Africa is changing fast. The increased human population and the scourge of poaching is threatening this beauty and diversity. Over 700 rhinos have been slaughtered by poachers this year alone. Simple maths say that at this rate you will not see a rhino in the wild in 5 years time. And it's not just rhinos. With the number of tigers in Asia dropping, the eastern medicine trade is turning its attention to lions; and then there are the plants and birds that are being poached. If you put this trip off for 10 years you simple will not be able to take it.

Leave your makeup and fancy clothes at home and be prepared for the time of your life.

Thank you Vuyani... a great great honeymoon.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Bernard K, Manager at Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear Neil,

Many thanks for your excellent review, and the many details of your stay you have added to your description, that's rreally great. I am so pleased you had a great time, and that we made your honeymoon a special one. It was a real pleasure hosting you here, and we would love to welcome you here again in the future!

Africa is changing indeed, but in many ways also in good ways. Poaching is on the increase again, unfortunately, but thankfully more is now being done against it too. Rhino poaching in particular is a big problem, and so it comes as great news that our own rhino population is actually growing right now and has been for years, and we have now also introduced black rhino to our large reserve. It shows that eco-tourism is the way forward for wildlife preservation, and that's another reason to be happy for every single visitor we have in this utmostly spectacular spot on earth: by sharing it, and showing it to the world, we raise awareness, and raise the necesary funds to protect it against those who seek only short-term gains and destroy it all on their path.
Many thanks again for visiting our lodge and reserve, rest assured that with our stewardship you will find it blossoming if you come back in 5 years, or hopefully even sooner! Yebo!

Kind regards,

Bernard
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Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our five day stay at Vuyani Lodge. The fantastic staff really makes this lodge stand out. We went on twice daily game drives and the tracker and ranger were fantastic. The staff went out of their way to accommodate us. The rooms were nice and comfortable. The food for the most part was great and the staff put forth significant effort to prepare the meals. It's a smaller lodge when compared to some of the neighboring ones. The intimate, cozy lodge and smaller size made for a special experience. We strongly recommend a treadmill or some other way to exercise.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernard K, Manager at Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Dear Ted,

Many thanks for your positive review! We are delighted that you enjoyd your stay at the Vuyani Safari Lodge, and that you were pleased with both the food and the safaris.

Many thanks for your recommendation. We do have a treadmill, it is just that noone ever asks for it. We provide one upon request. Next time! We would love to welcome you here again in the future!

Kind regards,

Bernard
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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 Vuyani Safari Lodge

Address: Moditlo Private Game Reserve, Hoedspruit, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Hoedspruit
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 88 Specialty Lodging in Hoedspruit
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Vuyani Safari Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Vuyani Safari Lodge is located on the Moditlo Private Game Reserve within the Blue Canyon Conservancy which is more than 36,000 acres in size. Located next to the Kruger National Park, at the foot of the Drakensberg mountain range, Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of South Africa's premier luxury safari lodges, in the country's most famous area for African wildlife. The Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of only 3 lodges on this reserve, and with only 7 suites, it offers one of the most exclusive African safari experiences in South Africa. The reserve offers a unique opportunity to observe all of Africa's large game such as the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, hippo and crocodile as well as some of the very rarest species, amongst others the wild dog, the brown hyena, the ground hornbill, cheetahs and several other highly endangered animals. Almost 400 various species of birds have been counted. Some of the rarest European migratory birds visit the reserve in the European winter months. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vuyani Safari Hotel Hoedspruit

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