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“Simply incredible...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ulusaba Safari Lodge

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Ulusaba Safari Lodge
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5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Simply incredible...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

From arrival to departure Robyn and the rest of the Ulusaba family looked after my wife and I to the highest possible standards. We had a 3 night stay in the elephant room which was really nice, comfortable and very traditional but with all of the modern comforts you would expect. The 2 drives a day were all different and our driver Ryan was very passionate, knowledgeable and an excellent driver. The view of the lion 3 feet from the jeep was down to some excellent manoeuvring by Ryan. Our tracker kaiser was also excellent locating the white rhino and more. Our 6 drives went very quickly and could not be faulted.

Service in the lodge was top notch, very friendly but not over fussy. The food was delicious and the wine top notch. There were some other excellent touches that made this a unique experience not to forget. We were both sad to leave and would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed August 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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213 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (68)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

So I and my family stayed for 5 days at the safari lodge and we had an awesome time! (Going to keep it short and simple as there are many other great reviews) Thanks to our ranger Dale and tracker Anois which really made the whole stay exciting, educational and awesome ;)

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Crawley, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

I had an amazing river room at Ulusaba Safari Lodge it was an amazing stay and the staff were so friendly. It was like you were part of their family and they were so welcoming. the rooms were well appointed with really comfy beds and our room had an infinity plunge pool. The game drives were also amazing and Sam our driver was very knowledgeable and explained everything well. I still miss the hot chocolate in the morning with amarula wow they were nice!!!! everything is included here aswell. The food delicious and well presented and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire stay. cant wait to go back and I don't normally go back to the same place twice.

Room Tip: pay a bit extra and get a river view room !!!
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  • 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
    • 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

We stayed at Ulusaba at the recommendation of a friend from Johannesburg. Ulusaba has two properties: the Safari Lodge which is closer to the river and allows for closer interactions with various wildlife (we saw lots of baboons, monkeys, nyala, and elephants right outside our room) the Rock Lodge which is built on top of a cliff and has a great view of the game park. Rock Lodge is slightly more expensive, but I personally like the close proximity to the animals at Safari Lodge. As both properties are owned by Ulusaba, you have the freedom to enjoy meals and facilities at both properties if you stay at either Lodge.

A typical day would be scheduled like this:

5:30am - wake up call
6am - light breakfast (muffins, granola and yoghurt, fruit, coffee and tea)
6:30-9am - morning game drive; with a quick coffee/snack break in between
9am - heavy breakfast at the lodge
Anytime between breakfast and afternoon tea - lunch at the lodge
3.30pm - afternoon tea
4-7pm - afternoon/evening game drive
7:30pm - dinner

We would normally try to get to bed by around 10/11pm so we could get up bright and early the next day.

During the game drives we saw the big five (elephants, leopards, lions, cape buffalo and rhinos). Because Ulusaba is not technically inside Kruger National Park we were able to drive off-road and get really close to the animals.

We were a large family of 8 (ages 27-60+) and we had a wonderful time at Ulusaba. The property has a heated pool, gym, spa, TV with satellite service if you absolutely need to catch up with sports events, wi-fi all throughout the lodge. The food was excellent, and alcohol was free flowing. Overall a very memorable and fun family holiday!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013 via mobile

Ulusaba is amazing!! From the moment you land at the airport you are treated like royalty as they greet you with a glass of bubbly. The staff is extremely friendly, helpful and accommodating, the food is fantastic, and they have great South African wines (along with anything else you would like to drink - the drinks are free flowing!!). Our room (elephant room) was absolutely beautiful (snacks, drinks, teas and really nice soaps and lotions awaited us) and we had a lovely private balcony. I would recommend splitting your time between Safari lodge and Rock lodge if possible. The views from Rock lodge are fantastic while you can see the animals (ie elephants, giraffes, hippos) up close at Safari lodge. The game drives are so amazing!! Our driver Steve was fantastic and really knew where to go. We saw the big 5 a couple times along with cheetahs, giraffes, wild dogs and hyenas. The drives take up 6 hours of the day but they are well worth it. They also break up the drives by serving coffee and tea in the morning and cocktails in the evening. I also recommend doing the village tour and getting a massage at the Safari lodge. Ulusaba was part of our two week honeymoon and was by far the best part!!

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Bunbury, Australia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

My wife and I stayed for 7 days/6 nights at this wonderful lodge on our very first safari. On our first day of game drive, we saw 4 of the big 5 and more!!. It could not get any better but each drive brought a new surprise.
We stayed at the “Treehouse Suite” which was a bit of a walk from the main lodge, but it was located right next to a dam so we saw hippos, crocodiles, elephants, lions etc. all within sight from our lodge. We could not fault the accommodation and the treehouse was clean, large and very comfortable. It had air-conditioning and a large bathroom/toilet with plenty of hot water! A huge and very comfortable bed with a turn down service each night with our mosquito net securely placed made this a super 5 star service that is unparalleled. An extremely well stocked bar and some 12 bottles of wine available all inclusive together with coffee and tea making facilities made this an extremely comfortable stay.
In the evening, we were totally surprised that we had a guard who accompanied us each time we left the tree house and back and stayed with us in the adjacent viewing deck till 6.00am each day. (I was told that this was for our safety) It was little touches like this that I felt makes Richard Branson’s lodge one of the very best.
The game rides (2 each day) were in very comfortable open top vehicles and our ranger Rico and tracker Sam did not disappoint with their expert knowledge and they seem to always “find” what we wanted to see each day. Ulusaba together with a few other private parks sits adjacent to Kruger National park and through cooperation between each of the parks, the rangers are in constant contact with each other which made looking for certain animals easier. This sharing of information saved us countless of hours looking for animals of this I am sure. This was one of the strengths of staying at a private game reserve. Morning coffee/tea and evening drinks were provided in a nice scenic spot each day and one morning they surprised us with a pancake picnic where they brought the chef out to cook for us with champagne and drinks and all this before breakfast!! After each of our evening rides we were greeted with nice warm towels which was a very nice touch and much appreciated.
Food was plentiful and Chef Ian created his magic each night, we could not ask for anything more. What impressed me most was the way the menu changed every night. We had breakfast each morning after our morning game ride with our same allocated ranger and guests on the vehicle which allowed us to get to know each other better. Lunch was left to our own devices where we could order off a reasonably comprehensive menu and drinks and dinner was held in the dining room where all the guests ate together in a long table. I thought this was a wonderful way to allow us to mingle and meet other people, talk about the day and share stories .What a wonderful atmosphere and for the solo traveler a great way not to dine alone!
In between drives, we enjoyed the heated pool, spa treatment and lunches at Rock lodge which had a magnificent view overlooking part of the vast reserve. We had the choice of splitting our stay between the Safari Lodge and Rock Lodge but chose to stay “closer” to the animals at ground level but it was easy commuting between the 2 lodges as they provided drivers to take us whenever we needed to go.
I cannot praise the staff enough for their friendliness and nothing was too difficult for them. Having travelled to a fair few countries and stayed in some very good hotels, this holiday and lodge is right up amongst the very best that I have ever experienced. Everything from the game rides, animal viewing, staff, rangers, trackers, chef ,food and accommodation was world class, I will certainly be coming back, this time with my family.
As we travelled from Australia and made the booking through a South African travel agency in Cape Town, we were not told that there was a direct flight (through Federal Air) from Johannesburg to Ulusaba which had its own private air strip. Instead we had a flight to Nelspruit and then a 3 hour taxi ride to the lodge. The car ride was long and there was really nothing much to see for the 3 or so hours of the ride. Please fly!!!

Room Tip: We stayed at the Treehouse Suite which was a fair hike from the main complex (0.5km). Connecting the...
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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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sussex
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013 via mobile

I have just returned from my second visit to Ulusaba in 6 months, I took a friend with me as it was my birthday whilst there and she had never been on a safari adventure before.
I again booked an Elephant room at safari lodge, the staff were as happy and as accommodating as before, they seriously cannot do enough for you without being overbearing in any way.
The whole game drive experience was as brilliant as it was the first time but very different, our ranger before was Greg who has sadly left but this time we had Sean and our tracker was James, I cannot speak highly enough of them, we went on a bush walk one day and even managed to track and see a male leopard about 20 feet in front of us but turned back as the bush was getting too thick, talk about heart stopping, the adrenalin was pumping I can tell you.
On the morning of my birthday we had pancakes and champagne in the bush as part of our game drive, lunchtime we had a private picnic at the treehouse viewing deck and then in the evening the staff had made the most glorious cake with the staff coming out singing in African...I was overwhelmed.
We went out on the community tour again which is so heartwarming to see the little children being given the opportunity of education along with a computer block at the school allowing women to come in from the village to learn computer skills.
Pride n purpose is an incredible charity and I urge anyone staying at Ulusaba to take the community tour.
I cannot speak of any one particular highlight from this trip but I really wanted to see the very rare African wild dogs, I knew they had been seen in the Sabi Sands area lately but didn't know if we would see them before they moved themselves again...on our first game drive walking along the road were a pack of about 10 of them, I couldn't believe my eyes...we never saw them again in the 6 days we stayed.
We also saw a male and female leopard mating, a very rare experience we're told.
The staff at Ulusaba are the most wonderful people in the world, far too many names to mention but a huge thanks to the beautiful Blair who is a general assistant, she is the most genuinely lovely lady with a heart of gold, she couldn't do enough for us.
Knox, the acting general manager...such fun and organised us a private dinner in the lounge in front of the roaring log fire on our last evening at very late notice from us..thank you.
Ernest, Ian the chef, and all the other staff...just wonderful..and not forgetting Chris.
We also had the most luxurious massage at the Aroma Boma spa with Mel, on the open deck with the sounds of Hippo grunting, baboons and rutting impala in the background.
The massage was the signature one, an hour and a half long !
Because we had the luxury of time on our side our game drives were not rushed, I don't mean time wise (they never are) but we didn't feel that we had to rush to see the big 5 and more over a couple of days.
We also got to see the leopard cub that I saw back in December when she was 3 months old (still with blue eyes) and now growing up, she was playing with her mum and it was a beautiful sight.
Also saw the lion cubs that had just been born in December that are now about 6 months old.
Returning to Ulusaba was like a continuing story...another chapter...and for that reason I am returning again in November this year.
I can see myself returning to Ulusaba and the Ulusaba "family" year after year.
A place I can and will never tire of.
Thank you all once again
Annee.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ulusaba Safari Lodge

Address: Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Ulusaba Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
Ulusaba Safari Hotel Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

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