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“Excellent Safari Experience” 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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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Excellent Safari Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

This was a wonderful experience from the time we arrived at the lodge. We arrived during lunch which was set out overlooking the watering hole. In the first hour at the lodge we saw water buffalo, elephants, monkeys, hippo's and we had not even made it to our room yet. We stayed in the luxury rooms which were beautiful but secluded. The room was a bit of a walk from the main lodge so it was not always convenient to go back to the room if you only have a short time before the next activity. It was also kind of scary walking back and forth because you sometimes encounter animals along the way! We also saw/heard some of the animals from the terrace/room. That being said I loved the luxury room and I would definitely stay there again. It was very large with a comfortable bed, jacuzzi, outdoor/indoor shower, windows everywhere, private terrace/pool, great for relaxing! We only had 2 days at the lodge (4 game drives) but saw all of the big 5. In fact we saw 4/5 of the big 5 in our first game drive and 5/5 by our 2nd game drive. I also loved seeing all the other animals and wildlife. Our ranger/tracker were very knowledgeable and made the drives interesting/fun even during the times the animals were "hiding". They also allowed ample time and made sure everyone in the truck had a great view. The food was also delicious and it seemed like we were always eating. This lodge also offers a large variety of food and locations it was served...one morning we had a buffet breakfast at the air strip. Make sure you choose your safari lodge carefully as the extra amenities/services and staff can truly elevate your experience. All of the extras Arathusa provide made this a truly unforgettable and amazing vacation.

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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513 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 (154)
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Houston, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We visited Arathusa in October, 2011 on our first safari adventure. Wow! We had a fabulous time, saw magnificent wildlife and had excellent food. The service was superb, the room was nicely done and we cant wait to return....we ahd so much fun that we ARE returning in October, 2013. We've got friends who will visit Arathusa in July, 2013.

What vast viewing of birds and wildlife we saw. Breathtaking...makes what you might see on tv pale by comparison....

  • Stayed October 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gig Harbor, WA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bern, Switzerland
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
98 helpful votes 98 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 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.
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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
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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