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“Unbelievable Resort, Unforgetable Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dulini Lodge

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Dulini Lodge
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PO Box 2894 | White River, Kruger National Park 1240, South Africa (Formerly &Beyond Dulini)   |  
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Honeymoon special
Austin, TX
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Unbelievable Resort, Unforgetable Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

We traveled to South Africa and stayed at the Dulini Lodge for two memorable nights. This was by far the highlight of our trip. We felt welcomed and pampered from the moment we stepped onto the property. The cottages were wonderful with their private plunge pools and comfy beds. The staff was friendly and accomidating. Our guide was very knowledgable and friendly which greatly contributed to an excellent experience. The only thing we would change would be to stay at least three nights (as opposed to two). We hope to make it back to Dulini again someday as it was definately the trip of a lifetime.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2010

We were incredibly lucky to spend four nights at Dulini in mid-August 2010. The property is nestled right into a rive bed – with six huge villas for the maximum 12 guests.
The amazing cottages consist of a sitting area (with fully stocked bar), bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom with freestanding tub and glass walled shower. The huge decks overlook the riverbed and include table, lounges, plunge pool and outdoor shower. They are extremely secluded, so you can enjoy long peaceful afternoons of swimming, napping and playing scrabble. While we usually opt for accommodations with a modern feel – we very much enjoyed the classical and African furnishings at Dulini. They added to the bush atmosphere –without seeming stuffy. We did have a very serious electrical problem with our room on the first day – however the issue was resolved and handled swiftly and thoroughly by the management.

The main lodge itself included two main sitting areas where we enjoyed chatting with other guests and had our early morning breakfasts by the fire. The staff sets up meals in these beautiful main rooms, in the open field in the middle of the lodge area, or down at the river deck – a lovely patio built right into the trees [from which our fellow traveler Ryan spotted a leopard one afternoon!] There are warthog, nyala, and monkeys right in the main camp – which add to the dining entertainment.

The service was spectacular all around. Our butler Freddy must be the hardest work man in Sabi Sand, remembering and mixing our favorite drinks before we asked and stocking our bar and game drives according to our preferences. We especially appreciated him setting us up a private romantic meal in our room one evening after game drive – a lovely surprise to return to. (We also enjoyed his musical stylings during the boma dinner!) The Dulini boma is festive and intimate – with the 12 guests at the lodge sharing stories of the drive in a small circle around the fire. The grilled boma food is a great taste of traditional African dishes, yet just as delicious as the more elegant plated meals served regularly. Dulini served a late lunch each day – a buffet style spread just prior to the night drive. This was certainly more than enough food for us (and it was nice to have the afternoon as downtime and not to spend the whole day eating.) It was a change, however, from the first lodge on our trip that did have a three course lunch around 1:00.

It is very clear that the whole staff believes strongly in &Beyond’s community mission and we were grateful to hear of the educational and medical projects the organization has begun in the nearby village. Talking to the staff at Dulini, we absolutely could tell that the community aspect of this lodge was not lip-service for travelers but a very real and effective program, and we were glad to be supporting it.

The game viewing was superb. We saw the big 5 on multiple drives and a good deal more game than at our first lodge of the trip further to the north. A highlight was the coalition of three male lions and two different sets of leopard cubs – as well as their mother on the hunt. It was a privilege to have Patrick as our ranger, whose lifelong knowledge and love of the bush is readily apparent. Dulini shares property with a number of lodges in the area – which increases your chances of spotting more game. The rangers at the different lodges all seem to have a cordial relationship - and they will never put more than two trucks on a sighting. That being said – we liked best those times where we tracked our own game with Patrick and Tyrone and savored those minutes we had the viewing all to ourselves before calling it in. We would recommend the beautiful, elegant and romantic Dulini without reservations.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

Top-notch hospitality... a perfect get-away for honeymooners... all staff were very friendly... and our butler, Eric, was as sweet as ever. :) We would recommend this excellent safari lodge in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed May 2009, 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.
Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2010

We went to Africa for the first time in May and it was truly amazing. Our first stay was for 4 nights at Dulini Lodge and we couldn't have been more pleased with everything. We arrived late in the evening and the staff had made sure that dinner was available for us. We were shown to our lodge and were amazed by how fabulous it all was. Fully stocked bar was a real treat as well.

Our ranger was Keri-Ann and our tracker was Martin. Keri was brilliant! We saw 2 lots of leopards with cubs, lions with cubs and a multitude of other animals and got some brilliant photos. She was so knowledgeable and confident that I didn't mind dropping my husband off in the bush with her to walk back to the lodge as I was sure she would bring him back safely. He loved the walks back where Keri explained tracks, etc to him. I would definitely love to do more safaris with her (and also Martin).

Our butler was Octavia and we had a really good laugh with him. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff, we felt like kings for the whole time we were there. The food also was great and dinner was set up in different settings, either by the pool, in the garden or in the boma area.

Everything was just so wonderful, we were sad to leave but will hopefully return one day.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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.
Luanda, Angola
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2010

After missing our first night at Dulini due to bad weather at the Kruger airport (diverted to Johannesburg) we finally arrived at the lodge. We were welcomed by the staff with the usual cool towel and drink and the relaxing began! We were traveling with our 24 yr old daughter, so she was escorted to her suite first. The look on her face at the size and beauty of the suite was priceless. We were then escorted to #6 right next door. The rooms are bigger than you really need for safari, but such a nice touch to spread out and enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

We had a great light lunch/afternoon tea at 3 before heading off on our first game drive. We were assigned to Kari Ann as our ranger and it being our first female ranger I didn't know what to expect. What a wonderful ranger/guide she is!! Full of knowledge, passion and insight to fill more than the 3 nights we had. I would try and get her if you go.

Lesha, the manager, couldn't have been more hospitable and Maurice, our butler, was attentive but not ever intrusive. He saw to it that our daughter had iced coffee every morning before the game drive and set up a dinner for the 3 of us on our deck one evening. I can't say enough good things about Dulini staff.

Lastly, the game drives were great. We didn't see lots of elephant, wildebeast or hyena but seeing mother leopard with her 4 month old cubs romping and playing together and 2 different sets of lions with cubs doing the same was truly spectacular!

Thanks Kari Ann & Martin for such a great first safari experience for our daughter and adding to why I could go on safari over and over again! Your love of the bush is contagious!

  • Stayed May 2010, 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.
Sussex, England
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2010

We stayed at Dulini Lodge, Sabi Sands for 5 nights in April 2010 as the hilight of a four part 60th Birthday trip. We had not been on a safari before so did not know quite what to expect. We chose Dulini partly because of the wonderful reviews.

Our bungalow was lovely, but if I was to be fussy it was probably not quite as luxurious as we had expected. The furnishings were rather worn with stains on drapes and chair covers and the chairs/sofa rather hard and uncomfortable. It was very cramped moving along one side of the bed, but the space was lovely with huge luxury bathroom, separate dressing table/desk area, bedroom and lounge plus the deck and plunge pool.

The game drives (guaranteed no more than 6 people in vehicle) were excellent and we saw all the animals and birds we hoped to see and more. Our ranger Patrick and tracker Tyron were knowlegable, friendly and informative and very patient if we were a bit slow trying to get a good photo. We thoroughly enjoyed the drinks stops too, especially the ones beside water where we saw more birds or hippos. The nature walks were a little less interesting than I had expected.

The food was excellent and the personal service of the same 'butler' for all meals was nice. There was always a choice of dishes and the home cooked food absolutely delicious. As first timers to the safari regime we did find the meal times a little strange. Tea/coffee/biscuits early before the first drive and breakfast around 9.30 on arrival back from the drive was lovely. However it did seem a long gap to afternoon tea just prior to the evening drive and then we were not truly hungry for the lovely dinner after the drive. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they would provide a snack or tea/coffee in the room at any time. I would have liked tea/coffee making facilities in the room for maximum convenience. We did like the all inclusive food and drinks arrangement and the wines were extremely good. A lot of trouble was taken to vary the dining experience with different location of our table each evening in a private setting, however we would have preferred a more traditional 'dining room' ambience so that we could have socialized with other guests at meal times.

The duty manager and all the staff were extremely pleasant and friendly and made a point of chatting with all the guests. We had not taken a computer with us and our visit coincided with the British airports being closed because of the Icelandic Volcano. My husband was told he was most welcome to use one of the computers in the office as we tried to find out what was happening. Another nice touch was that they let us stay in our room until our 2pm departure (they were full but luckily had guests arriving late that day) and they offered us some lunch before we left for our long journey home.

Our stay at the Dulini was both enjoyable and memorable.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Seattle WA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2010

For travelers like us who do not over-indulge very often, the understated elegance and luxury of Dulini was like heaven on earth. The main lodge with its beautiful lounge, verandah with plush upholstered chairs, dining pavilion, grounds, and deck/pool overlooking the river were immaculate and beautiful. Our bungalow with sitting room, bedroom, huge bathroom with glass enclosed shower, outdoor shower in a rocky grotto-like setting, deck and plunge pool overlooking the river bed was utterly decadent and spotlessly maintained. The Dulini staff know how to pamper their guests and we were never left wanting for anything. Our butlers, Octavia and Thome, were charming and always appeared like magic when we stepped out of our bungalow. The food at Dulini is absolutely delicious and one of the highlights of our stay was a private dinner served to us on our covered deck with kerosene lamps and tea candles aglow all around us. The game drives with our guide Patrick and tracker Tirone were fantastic. We now know how fast a safari vehicle can go when chased by an annoyed male rhino! We would absolutely recommend Dulini to anyone looking for seclusion, luxury, peace and quiet in the African bush.

Thank you Dulini Lodge!
Keith and Robert
Seattle, Washington USA

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Dulini Lodge

Address: PO Box 2894 | White River, Kruger National Park 1240, South Africa (Formerly &Beyond Dulini)
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Under a leafy canopy of ebony trees, six luxurious stone cottages grace the banks of the Mabrak River. As one of only 12 guests, you feel instantly at home in this quiet retreat, where classic interiors enfold guests in quiet style and elegance. Generous private plunge pools and shady decks look out onto the dry riverbed. Large, welcoming sofas and African sculptures fill the gracious guest areas. Dine under the ancient jackalberry tree where skilled chefs serve delicious meals or steal away for an intimate dinner in the well-stocked wine cellar. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
&Beyond Dulini Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
And Beyond Dulini Lodge
Dulini Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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