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“Trip of a lifetime!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rhulani Safari Lodge

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Rhulani Safari Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Bravo 21 Wonderboom node, Madikwe Game Reserve 2840, South Africa   |  
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Sugar Land, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Trip of a lifetime!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

My husband and I chose Rhulani as the place to help celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary and could not be happier with our decision.

We spent five days at Rhulani and enjoyed every second of it. From the moment we arrived with staff greeting us, the friendly wait staff at your every beck and call, to our very passionate guide, we got a lot more than what we expected.

This was our first safari and will not be our last. Jacques spoiled us within the first two days by showing us 4 of the Big Five and 6 of the Magnificent 7. If our Garmin had not misrouted us, we would have seen the Leopard on what would have been our first evening ride.

We enjoyed the camp fire dinner, the wait staff singing for us, and especially the staff going out of their way to make a romantic dinner, serving us on our back patio.

We were the only couple at the lodge for two nights and we were made to feel like royalty. It truly was the best trip we have ever had. I do not know how this trip will ever be topped. We will definitely be recommending Rhulani to everyone we can and will be returning as soon as possible.

Room Tip: Chalet 5 has the best view of the watering hole. Chalet 7 would probably be next best bet.
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  • Stayed September 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.
RolfSteiner, Owner at Rhulani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, September 22, 2013
Dear Guest

it is a great honor for us to receive such praise and words of encouragement, and we thank you very much. We actually use TripAdvisor as one of our sources to make improvements based on suggestions, but also very positive comments such as yours are very encouraging, and a real motivation for the entire Rhulani team to offer only the best for our guests, and let them feel - as you say - like royalty.

In our daily routine, it is always a special moment for us when our guests choose Rhulani for a special celebration. We are therefore very pleased that you fully enjoyed your 10th wedding anniversary with your husband, and that we managed to make the romantic dinner in the privacy of your back patio special. Congratulations also from us, it was wonderful to have you as guests, and hopefully you will return Rhulani.

Yours
Rolf & Marisa
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140 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

My family and I were very disappointed with our stay at RHULANI SAFARI LODGE.We paid almost R6000.00 per night per room for five nights and found the accomadation to be very average for a so called 5 star. The rooms walls had cracks in them,the towels were totally worn out with threads hanging all over. The light fighting over the mirror completely broken . Holes in the mosquito nets, dirty plunge pool and Spider webs everywere.there were also dirty Marks on the linen.We did send a letter of complaint to the management but they are in denial and responded that they insist that they area 5 star lodge and brushed off all of our comments as just been fussy. They also advertised all meals inclusive yet there was no lunch on offer only high tea. They advertised massages in the privacy of your lodge, but were told that service no longer exists. The game drives were good and the staff were friendly.Overall I would not recommend that you spend this amount for a 5 star experience, when in fact you get more like a 3 star. We have stayed at &beyond group many a time, and you cannot compare the two experiences. Good luck with your choice.

Room Tip: Do not stay there at all.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RolfSteiner, Owner at Rhulani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Dear Gary

Since we took over Rhulani in March this year, your comment is the first one expressing disappointment and took us by surprise. We analyze very carefully our guest’s feedback so we thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

The star rating is done by an independent rating agency. Just recently, the annual inspection of the has taken place at Rhulani, and the 5-star rating was once again confirmed.

As regard the meals, our program includes a coffee before the morning drive, a rich breakfast after the drive, a high tea before the afternoon drive and a 4 course dinner. We are always willing to accommodate lunch requests, guests just need to ask.

About the massage program, we sincerely apologize our therapist was unavailable and we are working to find a solution to secure availability. It’s a new service and we are overwhelmed by the demand and the good feedback from our guests.

The cleanliness and constant renovation are a priority. We kindly ask our guests to be aware that leaves of the trees may fall on the terrace, and sometimes there are spiders in the bush, which within hours can build a complete net. As soon as guests inform our front of house, the matter is solved asap.

If you plan to come back to Madikwe, please let us know, we would love to have the chance to meet you and maybe talk more in detail.

With kind regards,
Rolf & Marisa
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Adelaide, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

We were a group of 9 Australians lucky enough to travel to South Africa and then get to go to Rhulani for a 3day experience . On arrival we were treated by the smiling staff . We thought this is good . It just got better. From the minute we walked into the Lodge we realised that we were in for something exceptional. Jacque and Jeanette and the whole staff just cared for our every mood . Jacques knowledge of the bush,his enthusiasm for his craft was extraordinary. We learnt so much about the bush and felt that he went beyond the call of duty to make us feel at home. I highly recommend this experience if you are planning a safari. Go there you won't be sorry ,thanks guys

Room Tip: Go in winter you see more game
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  • Stayed August 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
    • 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.
RolfSteiner, Owner at Rhulani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you very much for your warm and encouraging comment. You had a long journey coming from Australia, and we are happy to hear that Rhulani was the right place for your stay, and more, for experiencing something exceptional. Rhulani is a place of tranquility and privacy, and we attach utmost importance to the personal care of our guests. We are particularly pleased that you give us a good feedback in this regard.

We are also proud that with Jacques (the ranger of your group), Chris and Grant we have three rangers in our team with more than 25 years accumulated experience in the bush, and who get up early every morning to go out with all their passion to track the animals.

We wish you and all the members of your group all the best, happy memories, and hopefully we'll see you again!

Best regards
Marisa & Rolf
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

I would definitely recommend Rhulani. As someone who has been to dozens of game reserves and lodges, the game drives we did were among the top three I have ever experienced, and our game ranger was superb. We saw lion eating a giraffe, rhinos playing, dozens of elephant, brown hyena, giraffe and four cheetah hunting, all in a single game drive. The accommodation is five star and they pay attention to every detail of your stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RolfSteiner, Owner at Rhulani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Dear David

Thank you for your recent visit to Rhulani, and for your feedback via TripAdvisor, which pleased us very much. You seem to be a passionate visitor to the African bush, and therefore we are even more pleased that your stay was completely successful. We are sure that our experienced rangers have used all their skills to make the game drive to a memorable experience, but there is also always a bit of luck involved.

For us at Rhulani it is very important to take care of the little details and wishes of our guests. It is wonderful to hear that we get high marks from you in this respect.

We hope to welcome you again soon in Rhulani and send you best regards

Marisa & Rolf
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Ottawa, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

I only had two days at the end of a business trip to Gaborone and a travel agent suggested a trip to Rhulani lodge. This turned out to be a perfect solution to my very time limited safari experience. I saw so much in just two days and four game rides! Jacques, our guide was knowledgeable and went out of his way to ensure we saw as much as possible. Every ride was exciting and educational. We followed four cheetah when suddenly they charged a herd of zebra and killed a wildebeest. It was like being in a national geographic movie! We also saw a heard of buffalo, a rhino, five lions, tons of elephants giraffe etc.

It was difficult to decide which lodge to pick out of the 50 or so 5 star available in the reserve. I certainly would go back to Rhulani. The lodges were comfortable and the staff friendly and kind. The staff went beyond the call of duty to ensure your stay was memorable. They lit a fire in our room on cool evenings, greeted us with warm towels and a glass of sherry after the evening drives, and had hot water bottles in the jeep on cool early morning drives.

While sitting on our deck sunning in the afternoon I was woken up by elephants, zebra, and kampala at the watering hole just yards away. During our stay the owners of the lodge were on site and even shared a bottle of lovely wine with us at dinner. A young couple got engaged during our stay and they raved about how special the staff make their candle light private dinner in their lodge.

I thought a safari was something that I would do once in my lifetime. But my two-day experience at Rhulani exceeded my expectations. I would love to take my family back and even thought there are about 49 other lodges to try…I would return to definitely go back to Rhulani.


Colla MacDonald, Ottawa, Canada

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RolfSteiner, Owner at Rhulani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Dear Colla

We are very proud to read that the election for your first safari booking fell on Rhulani after a detailed analysis over the internet, and certainly we were also a bit lucky. But that after your short stay your expectations have been exceeded, and you would choose Rhulani again for a second travel together with your family, is a compliment that pleases us immensely.

Besides, we also remember the special experience during an afternoon game drive, where you witnessed a spectacular cheetah kill. There is a video of it, which can be seen on our youtube channel "rhulanisafarilodge" – have you seen it? You really do not see this every day, and as Jacques says on the video: "this is a very special moment".

Colla, we remember the nice conversation with you during the morning coffee on a sunny spot next to the waterhole, and it was a pleasure to meet you. Let us know, if you plan to come to Rhulani again!

Marisa & Rolf
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Just returned from a wonderful 3 nights stay at Rhulani Safari Lodge. It's a must if you are looking for extremely knowledgable and accomodating rangers that will not only go the extra mile for you but also keep you entertained on the way and it's all part of their 5 star Safari Lodge service. The Lodge's staff are excellent, it's very well run, the 'cottages' are well equiped including telephones and wifi, but leave your laptop at home and enjoy the wonderful experience. In the Madikwe game reserve where you are almost guaranteed to see 4 of the big 5, if you see a Leopard then that's a bonus. But there is so much to see in Madikwe, animals, birds, flora and fauna and the Rhulani staff will ensure that the experience stays with you forever. They also welcome young children (obviously not on the game drives) and can organise baby sitting. Can't tell you all their 'secrets' so go there relax and enjoy.

Room Tip: Room 5 has a view of the Lodge's own water hole
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  • Stayed July 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RolfSteiner, Owner at Rhulani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, July 31, 2013
Dear John
It is wonderful to hear that you had a memorable stay at Rhulani, and that you took the time for telling us your impressions via TripAdvisor. Thank you very much for that.
A stay for 3 nights is truly the ideal way to get a good overall impression of Madikwe's flora and fauna, and to see with a high probability most of the animals - including the Big 5. It is not an easy challenge to find all the animals in the middle of the bush, but as I read from your report, our rangers have once again used their full experience to discover practically all of them.
I had to smile because of your comment regarding the wireless internet. Nowadays, a non-stop connection seems to belong to everyday life such as brushing teeth, which is why we provide at Rhulani this free service to our guests. But I totally agree with you: Leave the computer at home and enjoy the peace and silence of a beautiful nature.
We hope to welcome you and your family soon again at our lodge. I understand, you must still locate a leopard?
Yours Marisa & Rolf
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Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

The design of a lodge melting into the magnificent African bush is exceptional and even more so upon getting engaged under a maroela tree on a private deck with star filled skies, fantastic food, great staff and great game viewing! The staff has been very accommodating in making the engagement a surprise and special occasion.

Christian Krone

Room Tip: Chalt no 5 in front of the waterhole.
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  • Stayed July 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.
RolfSteiner, Owner at Rhulani Safari Lodge, responded to this review, July 31, 2013
Dear Christian

We are pleased that your engagement in a unique scenery was a complete success - congratulations! Although we did not organize the magnificent starry sky (it is automatically present there for the current season most of the time), we are pleased to hear that we were able to contribute with a good service and little surprises for your special dinner on the deck. It was an honor for us that you have selected for such an occasion Rhulani, and also for our team, your celebration was a special moment.
Again, good luck to you and your future wife, and hopefully, we can welcome you soon again at Rhulani.

Marisa & Rolf
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rhulani Safari Lodge

Address: Bravo 21 Wonderboom node, Madikwe Game Reserve 2840, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Rhulani Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Succumb to the peace and tranquility of this spectacular setting. Relax in the spaciousness of your private luxury chalet with its own deck and plunge pool.Each chalet includes a Morso fireplace, climate control air conditioner, mini bar fridge, tea & coffee making facilities and full en-suite bathroom and outside shower. ... more   less 
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