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“Unbeiveable 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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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Unbeiveable Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

Firstly a big THANK YOU to Safari-Online for booking this lodge. We stayed there for 3 nights and this was our first taste of a Safari and it didn't disappoint. The staff at the lodge where willing to help and do anything for you. They offer a morning and night drive and OMG what an experience. We saw the big 5 in a day. Our ranger Robin and tracker Chis where so knowledgeable. The lodge always offers a day walk through the the bush. We had Elephant RIGHT out side our room at night and Hipo's in the waterhole, it was a great entertainment watching them during the day.

Room Tip: No helpful tips all rooms are great
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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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436 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (130)
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English first
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

I had a most satisfactory stay at Arathusa recently. The room I was in (#9, just a standard room) was quite large, and the bed was very comfortable, with plenty of hot water. The grounds of the lodge were well maintained. Chef Malcolm is a great asset for Arathusa - I love his passion for food and his enthusiasm for coming up with good menus. Most of the food I had at Arathusa was excellent (the most memorable item was the leg of impala). The game drives were all good - our guide Armand, was quite aggressive in getting off road to find us good sightings, including one of two lions taking turns munching on a buffalo. The staff at the lodge is very thoughtful. They went all out in decorating the bed and bathroom for my aunt on the night of her birthday. There were also meals served out in the open around a bonfire at the end of evening game drives from time to time.
Overall, I had an excellent stay at Arathusa.

Room Tip: The standard rooms are very roomy and comfortable. We were in rooms 9 and 10 - both have a good vi...
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
Maun, Botswana
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

I stayed over the weekend at Arathusa which was arranged as through a travel agent as a little pre-tour before I was actually joining a group at a different camp in the area. Arathusa is quite pricy; however that’s the case with all lodes in Sabie Sands. I was excited and curious as I have been a bit around Southern and Eastern Africa, but never in such a place in South Africa.
I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the chalet, especially the bathroom, not sure where I have seen such are large bathroom before with separate bathtub and shower plus outdoor shower. The idea of having the wardrobe and luggage rack in the spacious bathroom is quite nice.
The room had a minibar fridge, and all other usual amenities including a safe in the wardrobe. However, the instructions on the info card were wrong, so I had to call reception to open the safe manually for me. It’s also a nice touch to get that little bookmark with photo with the check-out note.
I used the laundry service, and prices were reasonable and service was fast and reliable.
The place is well laid out, although I find it strange that the luxury accommodation is a bit far off whereas the regular chalets have terraces facing the waterhole where you can watch various sorts of wildlife passing by. I would prefer that view over the luxury place.
The pool is also overlooking the waterhole and the adjacent lounge area offers WIFI internet. However, the signal was very poor most of the time.
The food was good, usually 3-course for lunch and dinner with a choice two mains. Nice touch to have the chef come out and announce the menu before each meal.
The main reason to come, of course, is the wildlife, and Sabie Sands is a prime area (if not the best area, hence the price tag) especially when it comes to leopards! I have never seen so many leopards on a daily basis, and so close and oblivious of the vehicles. At some occasions, my 400mm tele lens was even too much. Since I was travelling alone, I was put on the game drives with three other couples. The vehicles are roofless, completely open with 3 rows and a max. capacity of 10 passengers including 1 next to the driver. So luckily, we had a bit of space to move around when we were at the different animal sightings. This is particularly important as everyone wants to take home some good photographs. We were also lucky with our ranger & tracker team, both very familiar with the area and knowledgeable about the wildlife. Personally, I think it’s also a nice thing that the ranger is with his group during meals, that’s not the case in many other places I have been before.
The lodge offers two game drives per day and also bushwalk, the latter is at no extra cost which is nice compared to all places I have been in East Africa where bushwalks are extra charged. It’s also great how the lodge tries to really make it a lasting experience for its guests by organizing bush breakfasts or dinners. What a fantastic experience to have your dinner under the stars with flaming torches and a bonfire! The only comment I have is that these activities are done on a “surprise” basis. That means, instead of returning to the lodge at the end of the game drive, you are brought to the set up dining area in the bush. I would have preferred to know this beforehand to have my torch and a few other useful items with me.
The only other big negative I noticed was that I saw one other vehicle from this lode a few days later which was packed to the last seat with guests including next to the driver. For me, this makes the difference between a mediocre and upscale lodge. In my views a good place (also based on the price tag like Arathusa’s) should not allow more than 7 guests in a vehicle.
Overall, I had a great time, also thanks to the other really nice people I met in the group and the staff (Ryan in particular) at Arathusa.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bodrum
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

I have just returned from my first trip to Kruger NP, staying in two lodges, one being the Arathusa for 2 nights.

Highly recommend this Lodge - it is clean, the staff are efficient and professional, the food is excellent and plenty of it!! Its location is stunning, overlooking a huge watering hole with resident hippos (and baby!). Many animals come down to the watering hole - its a great addition to the game drives. We were lucky enough to have a herd of elephants come down whilst we were there.

the rooms are excellent, with tea and coffee making facilities and a mini fridge/bar. The bathroom with bathtub and shower (both inside and out!) are beautifully designed and large. Each room has a private seating area outside. We were in No. 6 which was right in front of the watering hole, although could be a little noisy from the closeness of the main building.

The game drives were awesome, with very knowledgeable rangers and trackers. We were lucky enough to see all of the big 5 during our 2 day stay. The range-rovers follow the animals all over the rough terrain so be prepared for bumpy rides - but believe me its well worth it!

A highly recommended Lodge.

Room Tip: Please remember that the "deluxe" rooms do not have a view of the watering hole, whereas a...
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  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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.
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
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 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.

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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*
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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