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“Wonderful food and great people”

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The Vuyani Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 29, 2012

We stayed here for three nights, to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. I recommend this as a Boutique experience, which is managed and organised in a thoroughly competent manner.
We hired a car and drove ourselves to the entrance, which was marked more noticeably by a Century 21 sign, rather than the sign for the Moditlo Estate. The gate keeper called Justine, who came to collect and lead us to the Lodge. It forms part of a housing estate and there are no fences between the Lodge and the wildlife park.
Justine and Gerard are a competent and well organised partnership; each is customer focussed and is impeccable in service delivery. The food is wonderful- baked products from Rosa are sublime, too!
The three meals are organised carefully. Game drive, breakfast, relax time, lunch, game drive and then dinner mean the day passes quickly and in an exciting manner. We had giraffes and monkeys at lunch, one day and we saw zebras at the pool area another day.
We felt there is an emphasis on inclusion at the Lodge. We were invited to join group activities personally, each time anyone went on a drive away from the Lodge; everyone ate together at each meal. We were fortunate in our co-guests as we saw a lot of them during our stay! They were charming, intelligent and entertaining compnay.Everyone is asked what they would like to drink when we left to go on drives- these drinks are not included in the tariff.
Pierre and Jesse are fun, enthusiastic and hard working- the time they worked together we saw the family of five lions that are on the property.
The only criticism I would level is that the hot water remained tepid after we had demonstrated this to Henry. It was not a problem for us as the weather was hot while we were there.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Gabriel11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 30, 2012

Dear Sir, many thanks for leaving a review for us. We are delighted that you had such a great time with us. We wanted to let you know that the time switch on the boiler for your rooms has been fixed in the meanwhile, and that the hot water supply to that particular suite is back to normal. We apologise for the inconvenience caused during your stay. We also wanted to mention that the Moditlo Private Game Reserve is currently home to 5 lodges (4 private, and the Vuyani Safari Lodge), and with its 7000 acres it is not a housing estate, but a private game reserve, with a portion reserved for privately owned lodges.
It forms part of the the 36,000 acre BlueCanyon Conservancy, and the Vuyani Safari Lodge is located in a private area of the reserve with no nearby dvelopment at all. No other lodges are in sight in the vicinity. We would just like to clarify this for future guests.
We are looking forward to possibly welcome you again in the future! Please follow us on our Facebook fan page.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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429 - 435 of 485 reviews

Reviewed June 12, 2012

my wife and i stayed for 13 nights in Feb 2012. We were picked up at Jburg , and driven to the lodge , about a 4.5 to 5 hour drive , but well worth it , especially after a long flight. We stayed in a honeymoon suite , with its own hot tub , which was a very lovely quiet room.
Why stay here ? It is an ideal place if you want a quiet safari experience. You do not see loads of animals like you would in Kenya , but nor do you have 7 vehicles surrounding some cheetahs . You do not get the full on wildlife experience of being trapped in your tent as an elephant eats the tree growing in your bathroom - go to Ruaha for that - and do go and experience it at some point in your life . We chose Vuyani , as we wanted a quiet , laid back , and luxurious safari holiday , and sitting on your veranda , watching Nyala grazing less than 10 feet from you, is a wonderful thing.
What happens ? , you are woken at 5am , and leave at 5.45 am , maybe just the two of you in an open top landcruiser , or maybe 7 of you [ which is not as bad as it sounds - honestly ] back at 9.30 for breakfast , having stopped for Coffee , toilet break on the way - seeing probably Kudu , Rhino , Giraffe , warthog and the usual suspects. Breakfast is very good ,and very filling.
Then its relax till Lunch at 1pm , followed by a bit more relaxing ,till the next outing at 4.30pm,
again about 3-4 hours , stopping for a drink at sunset , then Dinner under the stars
We did go to Kruger , on trips arranged by the lodge, once with 2 other guests , and once booked for just the 2 of us , so that we could take lots of photos without boring other passengers
We have been on some fantastic safari trips in the past , which whilst we saw truly amazing wildlife , we were not able to relax on . This holiday does not offer such a large range of wildlife , but the wildlife that is about, can be amazing . What i should mention is the service , and the staff - they are all excellent - to get this level of personal attention you would normally be paying twice the price
we thoroughly enjoyed our trip , had some superb wildlife sightings [ well over 1000 photos ] and recommend Vuyani lodge as a luxury introduction to Safari

Room Tip: we loved the honeymoon suite , sit on veranda , watch the wildlife , and soak in the hottub - perfec...
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank pilgrim3739
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2012

When we booked this lovely lodge for our much anticipated honeymoon, we had no idea we would be in for such a perfect holiday.

From start to finish, everything was immaculate and professional but with such a personable edge you cannot help but feel that you are staying with really attentive friends.

We were met at Johannesburg airport by Ranger Kris who drove both us and another lovely couple also staying at the lodge to our home for the next 5 nights. While still en route to the lodge, we were asked by Carlene if we fancied meeting up with the guests who were already out on the evening game drive, to which the answer was obviously "yes"!

After the drive, we came back to our room (we had the honeymoon chalet) with our bags waiting for us, the bed turned down and some yummy sweeties on the pillow. After a quick change, it was off for dinner where we got to know the other guests staying at the lodge over a wonderfully delicious meal prepared by chef Gerard (great success!!)

We did both the morning and afternoon game drives everyday except on the day we went to Kruger which is an absolute must to see as many of the 'big 5' as possible. That said, for us, the on-reserve trips we took at Vuyani were actually preferable to taking days out. This is because our Rangers, Kris and Pierre were so knowledgable and friendly and also there is such a freedom to being able to take off through the bush in search of lions/rhino/leopard and actually tracking them down. We saw plenty of animals this way and found that we really loved spotting the less famous or less glamourous animals and learning about them too.

Special mentions go to Carlene, Gerard, Kris and Pierre who all made the experience that bit more special (if that was possible).

We both came home full of utter excitement about our amazing trip and desperate to plan a return visit. The place really does get under your skin and this is both due to the stunning beauty of South Africa and also the warmth, care and attention of the staff.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Adele and Roger M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

This was a holiday we had dreamed of having for many years. It was also a holiday we had dreamed of sharing with family and so to finally have the chance was a once in a lifetime moment.

After a long flight we were greeted at the airport by Pierre and ready to begin our long journey to the lodge. Pierre was friendly from the off and threw lots of interesting info at us as we drove through the varying and often beautiful South African countryside. Upon reaching the lodge we were greeted by Justine and Gerard and our holiday was ready to begin!

The lodge is absolutely gorgeous. It's open, clean and very welcoming as you step inside. The decking outside (where most meals are taken) leads to the (freezing) outdoor infinity pool which overlooks the bush with the impressive mountains in the background. Keep an eye on this grassland as there are usually frequent visitors to be found here! That's the point, you come here for animals right? Well, animals you will find. To name a few whilst lounging around we saw baboons, Impala, Kudu, Vervet monkees, Giraffes, Warthogs...there's so much to see here, not to mention the array of weird and wonderful bugs!! But not a mosquito in sight! If you're lucky enough to be staying in the honeymoon suites you'll be escorted at night to your room by a night watchmen...the animals are free to roam remember! Sit out on the decking and more often than not your patience will be rewarded.

The game drives come nice and early in the morning (5:30am wake up call). Wrap up warm for the morning, it looks beautiful outside this time of year but it is cold! You'd alsmost be advised to pack for two different holidays here! The drives were brilliant. We had Pierre for our first few days and what the man doesn't know, isn't worth knowing! How these guys spot the smallest of animals hidden deep in the bush I will never know.
What's more is that only after a short while you really get to know these guys as people, they're not just your rangers, they really do become friends! At each game drive we would stop off at a spot (always idylic) to have coffee and biscuits (mornings) or snacks and a beer (evening) and more often than not there would be lots to see. One evening we were treated to an almost hippo stampede! Sadly after a few days we didn't see a lot more of Pierre, but he had already made our holiday our best ever! Jessie took the reigns after this and simply carried on where Pierre had left off. Always good for banter, knowledgable to a ridiculous degree and doing everything he could to make our time here nothing but unforgettable! Especially the one night we drove into thick bush to find the elusive lions...and we did! Jessie was always taking the road less travelled which was always a good adventure and nearly always introducing us to some of the many animals on offer!

The food. Oh my Lord the food. You will never eat the same dish twice as Gerard works from no menu and serves up a storm every single day. Massive praise goes to Rosie in the kitchen for the amazing muffins and cakes she made for us...delicious. Nothing is too much trouble for Gerard and his staff, you cannot fault them. His always sunny demeanour and banter make for a great atmosphere when eating.

You can do as little or as much as you like on this holiday, there are plenty of trips to be had way from the lodge. We chose the day at Kruger national park which was incredible. We didn't see the elusive 'big five' but we came close! I think if you could gaurantee them then this would lessen it slightly, making it a zoo and not a an open wild environment. But what you do see (if you're lucky) will be amazing! Whatever happens, you'll take both a head and a camera full of memories home with you.

At this stage i should also mention Justine. If ever there was a slightest issue then this lady can sort it for you. Always accomodating and helpful to a fault. They're all amazing here, that's the point! I've never been anywhere on holiday where all the staff are like friends, the rooms and building itself is beautiful and nothing is too much trouble. I should also state that because there are so few rooms you will be living with a small group of people on your stay and you can guarantee you'll make new friends, it's so intimate.

There you have it. Perfect surroundings. Perfect people. All this has made a perfect holiday. I miss all those guys already. Just keep your camera handy!!

Room Tip: Every room is a good room!!
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank moodyman77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Wow, what to say about Vuyani? How do I sum up one of the best vacations we've ever taken into just 50 characters? Henry met us at the airport and got us off to an amazing start when he spotted 2 cheetahs and several giraffes before we even made it to the lodge! (The airport was still in sight!) We were greeted warmly by Carlene and the monkeys came to visit right away, too. I was actually afraid to even blink my eyes...I thought I might miss something amazing! :) We had an amazing and successful elephant tracking ride with Kris, and Pierre found us the wild dogs not once but twice so we could watch them hunt! Not only do you learn to appreciate the beauty of Africa, but I came away with a broadened knowledge of conservation and the detrimental effects of poaching, as well. It is truly a very special place. Not only was the atmosphere amazing, but the food leaves you just speechless. Extra thanks also goes out to Justine, Fillamon, Rose, and Rex, who each played a unique role in making this one of the most memorable experiences of our lives! We can't recommend this place highly enough!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank CQTCQTCQT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2012

We have just spent 7 wonderful days at Vuyani Lodge. Our safari holiday was nothing less than fantastic. Pierre our ranger at the lodge picked us up from Joburg airport for the drive to Hoedspruit. He was waiting for us in the arrivals section so we had no problems spottng him.
We chose to do this rather than fly down and back as we were a party of six and the cost for driving all six of us was cheaper than the flights for 6.

We arrived at the lodge and waiting on the steps to greet us was Justine and Carlene . The
check-in proceure was painless and we were escoted to our rooms where our cases were waiting. Our rooms were large and comforable The bathrooms were fully equiped (including face flannels)

To put this into a typical day it looks like this:

An early morning safarri with a stop for tea or coffee of juice and home made cookies
Lunch is served outdoors at the lodge and then an evening safari with a stop for sundowers with wine or beer or soft drinks followed by dinner served on our return.

So what can i say about the food? well to put it mildly every meal was simly fantastic. All home cooked by Carlene. Breakfast is served outdoors, fresh fruit, cheeses, home made bread and homemade coridal, tea coffee followed by a served hot breakfast course incidenlty we were asked If we had any special dietry preverences o rrequirements and needless to say this was fully accomodated.
Lunch again served outdoors, with fruit, fresh bread, salads, and a hot course
Dinner was served indoors but again the quality is unbelievable a starter, main course, fresh bread and a dessert, again all home cooked by Carlene.

During the day we had time to ourselves time to have a swim or read or take an exercise session on the bike on the upstairs veranda area. The lodge keep excellent books, a TV etc etc

So this is what happens on a safari run: Pierre was our ranger for each run so after getting into an open 4 wheel drive vehicle we set of on our journey. Incidenlty the 'truck' as I called it has a warm blanket on each seat for use on the chilly early morning run and the evening run when the sun goes down. We tracked animal prints along the way with Pierre stopping to point out what he was looking for and keeping us well informed about animal behaviors and life in the bush. During our time we saw so many animals and to name a few - we saw lion, wild dogs, hippos, elephant, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, kudu, water buck, impala, warthogs, jackals, mongoose, porcupine, wild cat, bush babies, owls, vultures, guinea fowl, kingfishers, ground hornbills, go-away birds, bee eaters, giant snail, great blind snake, dung beetles, praying mantis, chameleons, termite mounds, locust, stick insects, dragon flies, lace wings, golden orb spiders, bark spiders the list goes on an on and for each sighting Pierre explained the animals behavior.

So to wind up all I can say is this - for me I doubt we could find a better lodge in the whole of South Africa - I hope we can return one day
.

Room Tip: If you have one on the outside rooms (ie not in the main house) there is a night watchman called Rex...
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank JenniferEckles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2012

From beginning to end our 12 night stay at Vuyani Lodge was exceptional. Chris, one of the chefs/rangers at the lodge picked us up from Johannesburg for the drive to Hoedspruit. We chose to do this rather than fly down so that we could take in the landscape and get some feel of the country as it was our first visit. Another factor was that the road trip took about the same time as flying without any of the hassle of more time at the airport. We made a few necessary stops on the 272 mile journey and the cheese and bacon toastie at the services (complete with game park!) comes highly recommended.

When we arrived at the lodge Yolande, Quentin and our 3 friends (who arrived the day before) were waiting on the steps to greet us. The cold towels were welcome as was a refreshing fruit juice. Chris had called ahead when Bob said he was looking forward to a beer which was waiting for him. Check-in was painless and we were taken to our room where our cases were waiting. Bob had upgraded to a honeymoon suite as a surprise for me which was really lovely. We didn't have to wait long before we spotted a small herd of kudu just outside our room amongst the trees. The room was large with a huge bed (complete with mosquito net), armchairs and delightful soft furnishings. French doors led out onto a decked area with chairs. The large, very modern, bathroom was equipped with quality toiletries, fluffy towels and bath robes. There was an outside shower (with protective fence) complete with our own golden orb spider and web!

We didn't waste time unpacking as lunch was waiting for us. I won't go into detail about the delicious food served at every meal each day but will say that it was beyond our expectations. I particularly liked the fact that there was no menu to choose from at any meal as the element of surprise was good. If anyone had any special requirements then a quick word with one of the staff (in advance) was all that was needed. We also particularly liked the fact that all meals were taken with the other guests at one table either on the outside deck, in the shade of the viewing deck or inside the lodge with the french doors open. If the evening was chilly at dinner the doors were closed and the log fire was burning. On three evenings we had a traditional South African braai with a huge log fire burning in the centre of the fenced off area which was lit by oil lamps - very atmospheric.

We took advantage of going on all possible game drives from the very first day we arrived to the morning of the day we left. Getting up at 5am (or earlier) was a bit tough on some days but once out of bed the thrill of wondering what we would see on the drive kicked in and I'm not an early riser out of choice! The rangers while we were there were Jacques, Jesse, Pierre (and sometimes Chris when he wasn't cheffing). They were all so knowledgeable and eager to share their knowledge with us. They were also as excited as us whenever there was a sighting. It was as if it was all new to them too. There was not one game drive when we didn't see something of interest from a small chameleon (spotted in the dark in a tree!) to the elusive lions. The lion sighting was a particularly exciting experience as 2 of them decided they would chase the jeep! Sundowners during the evening drive became a nightly ritual with pre-ordered drinks and snacks of chilli biltong or dried mango. The list of sightings was endless and included lions, hippos, elephant, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, kudu, water buck, impala, nyala, wild dogs, warthogs, jackals, mongoose, porcupine, wild cat, tree squirrels, bush babies, owls, vultures, guinea fowl, kingfishers, ground hornbills, go-away birds, bee eaters, giant snail, great blind snake, dung beetles, praying mantis, chameleons, termite mounds, locust, stick insects, dragon flies, lace wings, golden orb spiders (with their super strong webs), bark spiders and not one mosquito!

The view from the deck, complete with infinity swimming pool, to the Drakensberg mountains was breathtaking. We had some beautiful skies at sunrise and sunset and the stars were amazing especially on the nights with no moon when we saw the milky way!

We took two trips to Kruger Park which I would highly recommend to anyone. The only species we saw at Kruger that wasn't at the Vuyani Lodge reserve was Cape Buffalo. Admittedly there were big herds of elephants, giraffe, wildebeest, etc but seeing them at Kruger was in no way the same as seeing them up close in the bush around the lodge at Moditlo. There the animals were much less habituated and therefore more wary, making each sighting so special. The other trip we did was the Panoramic Route (minus God's Window). This was a good day out with some shopping in Graskop. We also went to the cheetah rescue centre, a half day trip which enabled us to see cheetah although behind fences.

Other staff at Vuyani who are extremely worthy of a mention are Henry, Justine, Carlene, Gerard, Rosie, Phillamon and not forgetting the night watchman, Rex. They all had a professional approach but were still able to interact with the guests and chat, making us seem like part of one big family. The rangers also pulled together and helped out with serving meals and clearing the table when needed. Whenever we returned to lodge after a game drive or other outing at least one of the staff was on the steps waiting to welcome us back. Little things like those special touches are what makes Vuyani what it is.

We were reluctant to leave when the day came and had the pleasure of Jacques' company on the drive back to Johannesburg. Even then he was still obliging us with more information about the mountains, trees, life in South Africa and the people!

As you can see from my review, our stay was everything we could have wished for and more. No attention to detail has been overlooked and the staff have obviously been carefully chosen. We may never return to South Africa again but if we do we would not hesitate to return to Vuyani Lodge and all it has to offer.

Room Tip: Any room is good honeymoon suites were special.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank redvanmorrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Vuyani Safari Lodge

Address: | Moditlo Private Game Reserve, Hoedspruit 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Hoedspruit
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 104 Specialty Lodging in Hoedspruit
Price Range: $550 - $882 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Vuyani Safari Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Vuyani Safari Lodge is located on the Moditlo Private Game Reserve within the Blue Canyon Conservancy which is more than 36,000 acres in size. Located next to the Kruger National Park, at the foot of the Drakensberg mountain range, Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of South Africa's premier luxury safari lodges, in the country's most famous area for African wildlife. The Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of only 3 lodges on this reserve, and with only 10 suites, it offers one of the most exclusive African safari experiences in South Africa. The reserve offers a unique opportunity to observe all of Africa's large game such as the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, hippo and crocodile as well as some of the very rarest species, amongst others the wild dog, the brown hyena, the ground hornbill, cheetahs and several other highly endangered animals. Almost 400 various species of birds have been counted. Some of the rarest European migratory birds visit the reserve in the European winter months. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vuyani Safari Hotel Hoedspruit

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