We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Truly Memorable” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arathusa Safari Lodge

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Arathusa Safari Lodge
Save Saved
You added Arathusa Safari Lodge to your Saves list
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Liverpool, UK
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Truly Memorable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

The Arathusa made our first safari a memorable experience. It was faultless and really added to the holiday of a lifetime.

Getting to the Arathusa is an experience in itself; a three hour drive with half of it over unmade roads. You see the transition between relatively affluent to simple, rural South Africa unfold as you journey. But my goodness it was worth it. The lodge itself is beautifully appointed, overlooking a waterhole alive with hippo, terrapins and catfish. This is the setting for meals and the sense that you have entered another world is overpowering.

The food is fabulous. The chef blends African flavours to produce exceptional meals. Perhaps the highlight was returning from a night drive to find a surprise dinner, served under the stars in a clearing in the bush. Magical.

There has been some discussion amongst reviewers about whether it's better to have a standard or luxury lodge and the pros and cons have been well rehearsed. We had the latter and are clear that it was the best for us. They are huge and very well furnished. It's true that you do have to be accompanied after dark (we saw a hyena once!) but the compensation is that you have utter privacy in the heart of the bush. Look out of the window and in "the garden" is a waterbuck....or nyalla...or impala. This was an incomparable experience.

In the end the quality of your experience rests on the safari - even if you were not sure at the start how keen you were on animals, or how brave you were. Seeing a lioness calmly strolling by, or an elephant pulling down a tree as if it were a twig will live in the memory for ever. So the ranger and the tracker are the most important people in your holiday. Their skill in tracking, understanding animal behaviour and driving where you would not believe a vehicle could go is truly amazing. All reviewers say that their team was the best but they are wrong. Ours was. These people are true stars; their knowledge of, and love for their environment is awe inspiring.

Arathusa was a highlight of a fantastic holiday. We recommend it without reservation.

  • Stayed March 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.
Write a Review

444 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    364
    57
    16
    6
    1
See reviews for
59
271
14
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (133)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

We had an incredible 3 night stay in Arathusa. I was blown away by the safari's and our ranger - Jason was amazing. He did all he could to get to the best view points and see the most animals whilst always being professional and safe to the wildlife. Food was pretty good and rooms were very comfy and clean. It was lovely sitting acting looking out across the lake and often seeing herds of elephants walking past.
Would have been perfect if the pool was a little bigger but was great to cool down in.

Room Tip: View of the watering hole/lake
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anaheim, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

A safari is not just seeing the Big 5...its the total experience. The food, the amenities, the service, the accommodations and more. We had the three luxury rooms at the edge of the property and could not have been more satisfied. Even though Debeer and Robin are out twice everyday for weeks, they do a great job of making you feel like this is the first time. We never felt like they were in a rush to get back. We really enjoyed all aspects of Arathusa from the spa to the food and more. Arathusa was recommended by a South African who said we would see the same animals as those paying much more at lodges in the Sabi Sands area...he was right and we could not have been more pleased with the total experience!

Room Tip: Luxary rooms are really nice but you need someone to walk you to them in the morning and night. Onc...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Accommodation - nice big villa with bedroom and huge bathroom located over pond with hippos. 12 villas in lodge so there was not to crowded.
Food - lunches and dinners were stunning - chef was coming over and pronounce what we are going to eat - then meal arrived. Dinner was always 4 course nicely balanced meal. For breakfasts there were English breakfast and continental and for lunch salads selection with meat.
Game viewing - Superb!!! We got ranger Brandon and tracker Roy. They were doing everything to make our experience full of amazing pictures and video footage - driving off roads and approaching animals as close as possible. Brandon has wide knowledge about animals, their behaviour and was able to answer every single question. Both Brandon and Roy had got great attitude what introduced hint of adventure into game drives. We recommend Arathusa to everyone who is looking for great African Safari experience.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Essex
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Although this was our 6th visit to Arathusa, it was the first time that we had visited in summer. It was amazing to see everything so green and lush and with the recent rains there was water everywhere.
The Lodge was as welcoming and friendly as ever. The new reception area is very smart and cool and we were given a very welcome cold drink on arrival.
The food was excellent. There was a great choice at breakfast with special requests catered for. Lunch was a selection of salads and meats. A high tea before the afternoon game drive provided scrummy cakes. Dinner was 4 courses and beautifully presented. And on top of that there were snacks on the game drives, with early morning coffee and on the bar!
One night we were surprised with a braii type dinner out in the bush. All the tables, chairs, cooking equipment and bar had been transported. It was so beautiful and there was even a nearby herd of elephants. One of the rangers gave us a talk on the stars. It was a magical experience.
We were also treated to breakfast on the airstrip in the company of impalas and wildebeeste.
The game viewing was the main reason for staying and it was excellent, although the Rangers and Trackers had a much harder task than in winter with many areas inaccessible for off roading after the recent rains. Some special things that we were lucky enough to see were 2 leopards hissing and spitting at each other as they both marked the same territory; two tiny leopard cubs shooting up a tree to escape a hyena. A group of wild dogs, a herd of buffalo, a rhino having a mud bath; and lions of every size from tiny cubs to a very large male.. AND elephants everywhere, even drinking from one of the plunge pools at the lodge.
We stayed in Room 3 which was very comfortable. We were very glad of the air conditioning at night. Everything was in good working order, but the cleaning was a bit disappointing. However there were special touches. We were there for Valentine's Day and were surprised on return from the evening drive to find petals, champagne and chocolates on our bed and a bubble bath drawn.
I was taken to see the luxury lodges by one of the managers. They are truly amazing - very private and right IN the bush. But they are a bit of a walk from the main facilities and are without a view of the waterhole and it's resident hippos.
All in all it was another wonderful stay. We stayed for 7 nights and would happily have stayed for 7 more.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 3 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.
Chepstow
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Great Lodge, fantastic food, friendly staff and unbelievable game drives. Brandon and Roy whose knowledge on anything living or growing was outstanding and made the whole experience very special. Wish our stay had been longer.

  • Stayed February 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.
NC
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

I can only compare this safari experience with our previous one at Aqila days before, which really isn't a fair comparison as they are different and really not the same thing at all. I will write one on that resort as well. Anyway, we were fortunate to miss the storm that washed out the roads days before. We arrived here Jan. 26. We finally arrived and had a half hour before heading out to the first safari at 4:30pm. It would have been nice to have been able to get more prepared (we only had our sunglasses with us and it is dark upon return). But that is just a minor thing. We were blown away by what we experienced. We felt as if we had seen a lifetime of trips just on this first safari! Everything about it was great- Ryan, you are just great....as I told you- keep up your passion. It is infectious. You too Debeer. And of course all the wildlife never disappoints. I could stay here a year and observe all the constant changes of the bush. Perhaps this may be too much for some, but for someone that is very passionate about nature such as I it would be just perfect. The 4 nights we had were too short.
The food was also wonderful- they made dishes especially for a vegetarian like myself. The food was plentiful. We stayed in cabin 2 which is near the waterhole- great for hippo viewing. The room was very roomy and comfortable- the AC worked great! The outside shower was pleasant as was the pool- a must to enjoy!
There is too much to include about all of the experiences and wildlife. We would return here in a heartbeat. All the staff were friendly and pleasant- esp. Nelson! This was an anniversary for us and on the last night , they put candles, champagne and a milk bath ready for us to enjoy in our room. I was deeply touched. Thank you to all of the staff at Arathusa! Keep your passion!

Room Tip: room 2 is more private and has a great waterhole view
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Arathusa Safari Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Arathusa Safari Lodge 4*
Also Known As:
Arathusa Safari Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Arathusa Safari
Arathusa Safari Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Arathusa Safari Lodge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.