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“Amazing experience in South Africa” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arathusa Safari Lodge

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Arathusa Safari Lodge
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4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
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Australia
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
“Amazing experience in South Africa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2012

Kruger National Park seems to be the "place to go" in South Africa, but give Arathusa Safari Lodge in Sabi Sands a try. You won't be disappointed. The accommodation was comfortable without a doubt. The day's activities are packed and by the time you finish having dinner, you'll want to have a good night's sleep!

Your day starts with a wake-up call at 5am, then the first safari at 9am which is incredible. It's open top but fear not, the lions don't jump into your safari van (which can set up to 8 guests, along with the ranger and tracker. Arman was our ranger and we felt safe in his hands. I think the tracker's name was Chris. There is a refreshment break and then the safari finishes at about 8.30am-9am.

Then it's breakfast, which is impressive.

Then there's the walk of the grounds at 11am for an hour.

Then there's lunch at 1pm.

Then the afternoon safari starts at 3pm for about 3 hours.

Then it's dinner at 7pm.

We saw the Big Five so we were not disappointed.

The wireless internet connection was reasonable.

Highly recommended!

  • Stayed July 2011, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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479 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
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scotland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

I thought Leopards were mean to be hard to see? :-)

Nice relaxed camp, Sabi Sands is really the place for good animal viewing

  • Stayed July 2011, 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.
Langley City, Canada
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

We spent 5 nights on this, our second, visit to Arathusa Lodge. As with our first trip, the game viewing was outstanding. Most people are primarily interested in the big 5 which we saw in one day. Because this is a private reserve, the vehicles are allowed to drive off of the roads which allows for more "up close" viewing of the animals. Our accommodation was right on the dam (lake) which provided good game viewing when we were sitting on our porch (we saw elephants, hippos, water bucks, impala, giraffe, fish eagles fishing, turtles, and a number of different types of water birds). Our room was much improved over our first visit as all units have been renovated. The food was also improved over our first visit and their new chef is excellent. Be aware that the road into the lodge after leaving the tarred road is horrible. The roads were badly damaged during the January floods and our VW Golf bottomed out several times on the drive.

Room Tip: We didn't stay in one of the luxury suites, so I can't comment on their appointments but giv...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

Having never been on safari before and after months of planning for our Honeymoon we arrived @ Arathusa to a lovely welcome from the ever smily Ashleigh as well as a very refreshing hot face towel which became a very welcome refresher twice a day after the game drives. Instantly we were made to feel so welcome and that nothing was too much effort. After a long journey from London lunch was served in our room where the chef presented us with a Warthog salad....... this was to begin the culinary adventure that is Arathusa..... lets just say you'll never go hungry !!! Our accommodation was described as standard but was far from it, huge bed, large spacious bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower and lovely area at the front to sit in the sun or just watch whats going on around the watering hole.

A typical day starts with your wake up call around 5:30am and your first game drive goes out at 6am, we were lucky enough to see 4 of the Big 5 on our first day down to our fantastic Ranger Armand & Tracker Chris..... their knowledge in incredible and every drive we went on we learnt so many things thanks to them. Each drive generally last around 3 hours so breakfast is served around 9am followed by an optional Bush walk with your ranger which was brilliant, we were shown different animal tracks, various birds and trees and then bumping into two animals you don't want to see on foot....... Buffalo & Elephant ......... interesting experience !!

Lunch is served at 2pm so we spent a few hours a day around the pool, most people don't use it as the accommodation has it's own chairs to sit out on but as sun worshippers the pool was fantastic and very surreal to be over looking a watering hole where there was always something going on. The next drive is at 3:30pm followed by dinner at 7:30pm which consists of four courses.

The staff @ Arathusa are fantastic and surprised us on our last night with rose petals on our bed, across the floor to our bathroom and a lovely bath run with a bottle of champagne. We were also treated to a fantastic treatment in the Spa together which was much needed.

Although we have nothing safari wise to compare this too it was incredible and the best way we could have ever wished to start our dream Honeymoon and those 4 nights will stay in our memories for years to come.

We'll definitely be coming back................

Room Tip: Standard rooms are fantastic so i'd save the money of upgrading and use it in the spa instead
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

My wife and I spent three wonderful days and nights at Arathusa Safari Lodge from 25 May thru 30 May 2012. From the time we were picked up at the Kruger airport by one of the Arathusa's Rangers in a car until we left (which I recommend highly) by private plane from Arathusa's own airstrip our expectations were far exceded. The lodge manager, Ashley, saw to it that our special requirements were handled without any adversity. The food at the Lodge was gourmet and the accomidations were all we could ask for (I would recommend staying at one of the standard cottages since the four larger ones are relatively remote to the main buildings). The Rangers (we had Phillip) and Trackers were all wonderful and extremely knowledgeable. We were able to see members of all the Big 5 numerous times during our three days at the lodge. The small size of he lodge brought us together with people from all over the world. Our first meal had us seated with a couple from Italy, one couple from England, and one couple from Austrailia. The word is out that if you are going on safari in South Africa, this is the place to be.

Room Tip: Stay in one of the standard suites near the main building. Animals are usually in the vacintiy sinc...
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012

The accommodation was amazing and of course the wildlife was stunning. However it was the friendly, professional and knowledgable staff who really made our stay at Arathusa something to remember forever. Our time spent with the ranger and tracker was always a pleasure and the staff went to a great effort to provide fine food and service. The next time we are in the area we will definitely stay at Arathusa

Room Tip: The luxury suits are worth it. Private pool and secluded location are great for a romantic experien...
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

My boyfriend and I took our first trip to South Africa in May, and Arathusa was the highlight of our trip.
We chose Arathusa because it seemed like the most reasonable, private reserve in Sabi Sands. Based on other reviews, it sounds like other resorts are perhaps even more luxurious, but I couldn’t imagine any other place beats Arathusa for the price. The staff was friendly, the trip was very relaxing, and the game drives were out of this world!

Tracker/Ranger – I was very sad to see that other guests didn’t have a great experience with their rangers; I can totally understand how that would make or break the trip. We had Jason (ranger) and Roy (tracker), and they were WONDERFUL. Jason was very nice and knowledgeable, and he really listened to the entire group (i.e. if we wanted to spend the entire drive tracking down lions). One time when he went off to find Rhinos in the bush, he came back with the biggest grin on his face – his excitement when he saw something cool was contagious. Request Jason if you can.

Safari – This was the best part of the trip! We saw leopards in a tree eating a carcass and a herd of elephants surrounded our car… not to mention rhinos, hippos, a crocodile, wart hogs, giraffes, zebras, etc.

Lodge – The lodge is situated right along a watering hole, which is amazing. We would be sitting at lunch watching 50 elephants drinking water or sitting on our porch watching the hippo peak out of the water. The bar and pool are nice enough too. Breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner is communal, so be prepared for that. We met a lot of great people on our trip, so we didn’t mind. We were a bit surprised that water and soda wasn’t free, but we were pleased that the alcohol was quite inexpensive.

Room- The bed was comfortable, the room was spacious, there was air conditioning, and there was good water pressure. That is about all I could ask for in the middle of nowhere ☺ Don’t be surprised if you see some bugs in your room and mosquitoes buzzing around (there are nets over the bed).

Food- Before going on our trip, I remember reading this as a complaint in other reviews. I thought the food was quite good. The food was high quality, and there was a lot of variety from day to day. The one downside was that there weren’t any options at dinner. The lodge did ask when we arrived if we had any dietary restrictions or any food that we didn’t like (but I didn’t know that I didn’t like Kudu…).

I would highly recommend Arathusa to anyone looking for a wonderful safari lodge in South Africa!

  • Stayed May 2012, 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
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Arathusa Safari Lodge

Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4 star — Arathusa Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Arathusa Safari Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Arathusa Safari
Arathusa Safari Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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