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“The people, the place - like outer space!”

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Rafiki Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
A TripAdvisor Member
Costa Rica
Reviewed June 14, 2006

I have been living in Costa Rica for one year and visited many many spots and hotels. I have yet to find a place like Rafiki!

If you come to Costa Rica to brighten your life and feel hard to find emotions, go to Rafiki! It all starts at the road that leads your there... What an adventure! You will be immersed deep in the tropical rainforest accompanied by an amazing South African family who legitimately just want to make this world a better place.

The have all kinds of sustainable practices: They produce their own electricity, compost their waste, educate, hire and collaborate with the locals and at the heart of it all, make you realize that we live in a delicate and supremely interconnected environment. The staff is very knowledgeble (botanists, biologists, veterinarians...) and the attention is supremely customized.

DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT doing the white water rafting tour!

I want to take the opportunity to thank the Rafiki Safari family for their constant attention and for making me feel like I had a second home here in Costa Rica!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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355 - 361 of 389 reviews

Reviewed January 30, 2006

This place was the best. They are completely "dug out" from the effects of Hurricane Rita. The pool and waterslide are wonderful. I can't imagine how lush the landscape must've been before the slide (they lost one building). But Loitje (Low-key) in all his creativeness has made lemonade out of lemons by creating a one-of-a-kind Frisbee golf course where the mudslide is!

Rafiki is about as close to roughing it as you'll ever find me. Nice tents, clean, with good beds. Wonderful bathrooms and if you let the water run for just a couple of minutes, plenty of hot water. It gets LOUD at night from frogs and whatever else is out there.

We had our two boys 9 and 11 with us and they didn't ever want to leave. Rafa took great care of us for meals. Giovanni is an excellent (YOUNG!) chef.

A word to the wise: we had not planned on any excursions while we were here because we'd already paid in advance for some excursions elsewhere on our trip. PLAN ON EXCURSIONS. You're pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, so there won't be really anything to do if you don't. Also, the excursions are well worth it because of the guides--they really know there stuff and you get to really experience Costa Rica. We did the horseback/river raft/waterfall combo and it was a blast. The boats are small, so it's a whole different rafting experience than the big boats. The kids went in a boat with their guide, Lisa, while my husband and I were in a second boat with our guide, Shasta. Shasta's just a big kid himself, anyway, so he made it even more amusing.

We also did a hike with Loitje which we didn't realize was costing us $30/each until we got the bill, but it was worth it as well. Also, since we had been travelling before we got there we had some of our own alcohol with us (beer and wine) which they let us keep in the fridge, so we saved a couple of bucks on that. We also gave good tips all around when we left.

It's a magical place (even though the road to get there is ---- --especially after the mudslides, but they're working on it). Three days is about the perfect amount of time there.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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7  Thank dkmtw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2005

This is indeed a special place, hidden away in the hills and surrounded by an enormous range of birds and other wildlife. The lodge is a very relaxing thatched-roof enclosure where they serve up fine food and drinks. The 'tents' are quite nice. Each had a large deck/platform, comfortable beds, and fairly spacious bathroom. The honeymoon suite is no different except for being situation a little further apart from the other tents and for having a very nice hot tub. It's really quite nice but I'm not convinced it's worth the extra $100 a night for a hot tub.

The meals are excellent and they will cater to vegetarians. One night, they even cooked tofu in a red curry sauce. Quite good. However, on more than one occasion, I wanted just a little more food but they didn't have any more to offer. They will offer you some chips or light snacks during the day if you ask for it. On once occasion, they even made us a huge mound of nachos before dinner. Coupled with dessert, you're usually full.

The staff is very kind, very laid-back, and very welcoming.

It's important to note though... they recently experienced some very bad storms out here that dramatically altered the landscape. Enormous volumes of mud and dirt were deposited on the grounds. So much, in fact, that their swimming pool and slide are currently under 6' of dirt. Their boat house is almost entirely underground.
Do not expect these facilities to be available for the better part of a year, unless they're able to dig them out sooner (which is possible.)

  • Stayed: October 2005
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4  Thank stuttsdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2005

Rafiki Safari Lodge was an absolute paradise. The views, the accommodations, the white water rafting, the food and the guides were all excellent. We were a group of 19 so we had the entire lodge to ourselves. They even arranged to have a masseuse for our group. I highly recommend a 60 to 90 minute massage on the porch of a tent where you can hear the birds and the waterfall in the distance - absolute heaven. Loki and Nel took us on two white water rafting trips that were superb - the first was class IV and Class III and the second was Class II and III (but after an intense rain - it was almost as fun as day 1). No phones, no TV - an absolute getaway. Don't expect luxury - the tents aren't air conditioned (but there are fans) and the shower was never hot, but who cares?! We were in paradise!! Take a flashlight - you'll need it when you're walking from the bar to your tent at night. Also - make sure you hike to the waterfall - we saw toucans on the way. Also - don't miss the starry sky at night from the rocking chairs at the lodge!

  • Stayed: June 2005
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5  Thank Terrie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 6, 2005

Don't miss this wonderful experience. Luxury tents, gourmet food, and river rafting. The staff is so gracious. Our river guide Bob was a trip. He kept us in the raft- most of the time and we had a blast as we avoided rocks and crocodiles. Just kidding about the crocs- they are there, but we thankfully did not see them

2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2004

The ultimate experience to really living, feeling, loving, and touching Costa Rica. For the traveler who has just had one too many of the same old hotels and same old excursions, this is the place for you!
Coupled with some of the finest first class hosts, and well trained staff
who tailor each individual trip for your comfort level, Rafiki Safari Lodge is unsurpassed.
This is a luxury tent camp on 750 acres of jungle along the Savegre river. Each tent set atop hardwood decks have attached full modern bathrooms. All meals are included and were some of the finest cuisine that I have ever had! The lodge boasts a fabulous 100 foot waterslide and beautiful pool.
Let the Bosoff family and staff teach you the pure vida of Costa Rica with their passion for life, nature, conservation, and unending energy and love.

7  Thank dme625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: June 2017, traveled as a couple
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Thank rajang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rafiki Safari Lodge

Address: 16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 685 Specialty Lodging in Province of Puntarenas
Price Range: $270 - $341 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Rafiki Safari Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rafiki is a sustainable adventure lodge located in the Savegre Valley of Costa Rica. The lodge sits on 840 acres of tropical forest. Rafiki specializes in custom white water rafting, horseback riding and hiking trips. Guests sleep in imported luxury Safari Tents which feature hydro electric fans and lights. Each tent sits on a raised hardwood platform, has a deluxe bathroom with glass showers heated with fire. The units also have a private porch with rocking chairs looking over the Savegre Valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rafiki Safari Hotel Province Of Puntarenas
Rafiki Safari Lodge Costa Rica/Province Of Puntarenas

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