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“Spectacular” 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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Gig Harbor, WA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Spectacular”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

The greatest adventure that my wife and I have ever been on!! By the end of the first two game drives we had seen 4 of the big 5 plus giraffes, zebras etc. etc. On our third drive we finished the big 5!! Highlights included watching a pride of lions devour a 600 pound kudu a mere 20 feet (or less) from our safari vehicle, watching a dominant male leopard chase another leopard up a tree and watching a 3-5 day old baby elephant being protected by the others. The game drives were waaaaaaay more than our wildest. Our guide Brandon and our spotter/tracker "Super Roy" were perfect - unbelievable depth of knowledge about everything. The rest of the staff was great as well and the food was delicious. Perfect lodge location right on the watering hole - resident hippos always entertaining. We recommend Ararthuse Lodge 100% and if we go back to Africa we will certainly return. Just do it - just go!!!!!!

  • Stayed May 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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468 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
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North Carolina
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013 via mobile

Arathusa truly lived up to expectations. From the accommodations with views of the daily visiting elephant and resident hippos to the twice daily safaris-- fabulous experience. We saw the big five, their babies and then some. Meals were great-- you will not go hungry. As a non-meat eater, I had plenty of great options, too.

I agree with another post--- the "sundown" drink charges are a bit nickel and dime. But, the entire experience was great. While we didn't have Brandon as our guide I think all visitors benefited from his enthusiasm and his tracking partners great eyes.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Bern, Switzerland
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

This place has it all!! It took us quite awhile to narrow down our choices for a place to stay while on safari, but finally we got it down to two. Our first choice was fully booked so we had to choose Arathusa, which turned out to be our good fortune.
The lodge is small and personable with only 13 total rooms (9 standard and 4 luxury) on the property. We stayed in a standard room but cannot imagine anything more comfortable and luxurious so I really have no idea what a luxury room would, or could, offer that would be better. The room was wonderful and the outdoor shower was something unique.
The safari was more than could have been expected, with the big five being seen regularly. The Rangers and Trackers were highly knowledgeable, very experienced and personable as well. We had Ryan and De Beer, but the comments about the others were equally flattering.
Just when you thought it could not get any better, there was the food. Since there is not much to do when not out in the bush, eating becomes an important aspect of the day. It also becomes a social experience since everyone eats together family style. Greeting the new guests and saying goodbye to the old ones is quite fun. Anyway, on to the food. Gourmet is the only word that van describe it. Every dish, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, was absolutely delicious and a work of art. I normally don't eat three full meals a day, but here I ate every bite; I simply could not refuse nor stop.
We went to South Africa for a "once in a lifetime" trip only to find out it is not a once in a lifetime event since one most definitely has to return. And when we do, we shall stay at Arathusa!!

  • Stayed June 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

What a privilege to be in such a beautiful world of wildlife and bush. Our Ranger, Armand, possesses an in-depth knowledge of the animals and land and clearly has an affinity for both. His calm demeanor and sense of humor put me at ease right away (it can be a bit intimidating the first time you cross an elephant‘s path). Awe-struck does not adequately describe the feeling when encountering such beautiful animals. Every game drive was stunning… literally. Chris, our Tracker, greeted the group with a warm smile and, like Armand, was happy to answer all kinds of questions serious and silly (“When will we see a Panda?!). Arathusa is an intimate lodge and the people who work here are kind and welcoming. I recommend our team and Arathusa without hesitation.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
Amherstburg, Canada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

The most unbelievable place I have ever been to. The lodge itself was more than I expected. Our accomodations were first class and we truly stayed among the animals. The chef was always preparing the most incredible meals. Twice we were out on safari with our fantastic guide DeBeer and a detour turned into surprise meals where the chef and staff were waiting by waterholes with an entire buffet. Our guide worked feverishly to find every animal (and more) that we could have hoped to see. This truly was a trip of a lifetime.

Room Tip: WEe were a short way from the main lodge so we had to be walked to and from with a guide in the morn...
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  • 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.
Palm Springs, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

For a relatively inexpensive safari in Africa, Arathusu is the perfect choice. The rooms are spacious, nicely decorated and most have a direct view of the large lake/watering hole, depending on the time of year you visit. The water attracted so many animals to the property, you could practically see the Big Five without ever leaving your deck. Of course, if you must leave, make sure you ask for Armand and Chris to be your ranger and tracker. Armand’s general knowledge of the Sabi Sands area is astounding and his sincere love for the animals is quite apparent by the way he sits there, watching, as fascinated by them as we were.

All tastefully prepared meals are served in an open air, covered building and there is enough of a variety to please everyone. If you have any dietary restrictions, make sure to inform the chef and he will go out of his way to accommodate you. On the last day, before our afternoon flight, he prepared us an early lunch of lamb-burgers and fries which was quite a treat for our American palates.

My only complaint of the lodge would be the degree of cleanliness in the rooms. Granted, the rooms appeared clean but if you looked closely, you realized that some things were overlooked. I feel the staff could take a little more time in detailing the rooms, especially after a guest checks out.

Overall, an amazing place and an amazing value for the experience you get.

  • Stayed May 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
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

This was our first Safari experience and we loved it. The Lodge is set in gorgeous grounds and it was a wonderful place to come to relax and unwind after our hectic tour of Cape Town. Our accommodation was very comfortable and spacious and the hippos in the lake made it that bit more special, the staff always courteous and helpful and the whole ambience of Arethusa delightful. We enjoyed the cuisine which was always beautifully presented and not always at the Lodge itself! That was a great surprise. Of course, the Game Drives were a lot of fun and what a privilege to see so many fabulous animals, birds and othe wild life in their natural habitat; spectacular as it was descibed to us. We must express our thanks again to our Ranger, Brandon, for his passion and wealth of knowledge which made it all so interesting and, of course, Roy, the indomitable Tracker. We shall never forget travelling under the stars on our Evening Drives - memorable. I thoroughly recommend it. Thank you Arethusa. I hope we can return some day.
Ingrid & Jon F

  • Stayed April 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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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
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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