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“Lukimbi is the real deal”

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Lukimbi Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Ludlow, Vermont
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lukimbi is the real deal”
Reviewed December 2, 2009

Put Lukimbi at the very top of your list if you are considering a safari in the Kruger region.

First...the people are wonderful, the food is some of the best we have ever had anywhere in the world...really! The facilities and grounds are gorgious. The guide and tracking staff is unbelievebly well trained and resourceful. This place is so wondefully run that you get no sence that you are anywhere but at your own private game lodge with your personal staff that seems to know what you want before you have even thought of it.

Unless you are headed to a fenced off Busch Gardens type of safari lodge some animals just don't want to be found, this is where serious trackers and serious guides fit into the equasion. They/we (learned) tracked several of the big five in vehicles and on foot to sucessfully locate and witness some of the Krugers' treasure. This is not a go through the motions-drive around and see the sights deal, this is the real bushveld. Our ranger/guide Dylan Brandt is the real thing; enthusastic, knowedeable and relentless. He made the bush expierence; comfortable (hot water bottle for thos chilly mornings) interesting (we learned so much about the animals the habitat, social behavior etc.)The tracking staff lead by KK were like the characters from the old Western movies in the US. The zen like Indian tracker that put his ear to a rock, smelled the wind and points in a direction and says imbube (lion).

We traveled with out 19 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. One of the things you will find is that not many kids go on safaris because the days can be pretty long and most lodges don't have programs designed for kids. Lukimbi is not designed around kids so no one should fear dozens of obnoxious kids playing "Marco-Polo" in the pool screwing up your safari expierence. What Lukimbi does is they have a "Junior Ranger" program with days full of activities that relate to the Safari expierence. They learn about tracking animals, make plaster castings. They learn and expierence natures gifts first hand. We pulled our 7 year out of school for a month, she learned more at Lukimbi from the guide staff during our stay than she could in a lifetime of reading about it in books.

Now the food, most up-market lodges have really good food, this is way beyond good food. This is three meals and two game drives a day worh of prefection. The Executive Chef and his staff put on a culinary masterpiece five times a day. On the menu or not your wish is granted...anything.

This was not out first safari nor our last, I can not imaging how any future safari expierence could be better, perhaps diffferent but not better.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
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1 Thank VermontSnowtownracer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Fayetteville
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2009

There is not one bad thing I can say. Everything was top. Absolutely amazing. Each group (2-3 people) has their own "cottage" with a great view both from the porch and the bathtub. The food was delicious, the staff was spectacular, and the safaris were more than I imagined. I never thought I would be literally 6 feet from a lioness after her morning kill. Completely and totally an experience of a lifetime.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
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1 Thank ecadams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carrara, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2009

The stay at Lukimbi was everthing my family and i expected and more. The acommodation was stunning with lots of room, beautiful bath facilities and great beds. With the decor and artwork you get a real african bush meets luxury, The food was plentiful and very tantalising with some new taste combinations. The views from the pool and relaxation area over the river bed below provided many animal sitings and would be interesting to experience in a summer season. The game experience was nothing short of amazing driver and tracker John and Albert were fantatstic with unbelieveable eyes finding animals that we had no hope of spotting. Saw the big 5 (leopard was on the last day with 10 minutes to go) and more. The highlight was seeing a pride of lions devouring a girrafe. Tips- bring plenty of layers of clothing over the winter months, schedule some rest time after leaving as they keep you very busy, get there before 3pm and leave after 10am to get the maximum number of game drives. Strongly reccommend for all.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank sandmanGoldCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2009

It was one of the most luxurious holidays I've ever been on! The folks at Lukimbi pamper you :) the rooms, the game drives, the food everything is exceptional!
Of course it was an expensive vacation, but at the end of it, it was worth it!

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank svrao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2009

Our visit to Lukimbi was the highlight of a trip of a lifetime! We were dazzled at every turn-- and everyone on the staff treated us like royalty. Lukimbi for us was paradise found!Dylan and Stranger were the safari dream team! Dylan's scientific background and communication skills added true depth of knowledge to the amazing bush experience. And Stranger's boots-on-the-ground expertise-- finding every animal imaginable-- made it all real. Not only is each one exceptional, but their team dynamic-- how they work together-- created a positive atmosphere that maximized our learning and our fun! Yes, we saw four of the "big five", but so much more-- giraffes, zebras, owls, chameleons, kudu, gorgeous migratory birds, we even came face-to-face with nursing lion cubs. The warm smiles of the staff made us feel more like family than hotel guests, and when we think of Lukimbi, we will always be reminded of their extraordinary kindness. The accommodations were beautiful and comfortable-- love that oval granite bathtub and the outdoor shower! Felt like a queen in the canopy bed with mosquito netting! When our 10-year old saw monkeys from the bathroom window, he really thought he had died and gone to heaven! And the food...I don't think we've ever eaten so well, and certainly not in such a fabulous setting! The staff created a special setting for us at each meal, including dinner on the terrace over the game reserve, surrounded by oil lamps and the roar of lions!!! We loved the local menu-- exotic fruits, just-picked veggies, and especially the game and fish. Who knew that we would be eating eland, and that it would immediately become our favorite meat (more tender than fillet mignon)! We are all so eager to return!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank WorriedMomDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2009

When arriving at Lukimbi you immediately sense you are in God’s paradise. This 5 star hotel is located in heaven. Often when seeing pictures and reviews on the internet and hotel web sites when booking a resort and then actually seeing and experiencing the resort, you are often disappointed. At Lukimbi it was definitely different.

What was the most surprising was the fantastic food that they served. A bush experience does not often come with good food.

I will definitely be back there again.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Oresti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 20, 2009

On the long drive up to the Kruger I was a tad wary of the 5 star promise. My last safari experience in Limpopo had promised 5 star and was anything but. What absolute relief when I took my first stroll through Lukimbi's wooded cabins and walkways which blend respectfully into the surrounding bush and thankfully sans the safari kitsch decor some South Africans appear to have a predeliction for. There is no doubt that this lodge well deserves their rating.

The food was the big surprise of the trip. There are schools of lodges which believe in focussing on the game and tend to serve school cafeteria fare piled high in all you can eat buffets. Lukimbi's food was exquisite. I had probably the best dessert of my adult life there, it's the chocolate tirramisu and is reason enough to visit Lukimbi.

The bush fulfilled all the cliched decsriptions you get in the brochures, beautiful, untouched and teeming with animals. The elephant family sightings were really special with babies frolicking and splashing about whilst the herd matriarch kept a watchful eye.

The staff were incredibly attentive, almost embarassingly so. I felt transported to a place of total calm and left Lukimbi wistfully wishing for just a few more days.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TashJohannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lukimbi Safari Lodge

Property: Lukimbi Safari Lodge
Address: Kruger National Park | Malelane Area, Kruger National Park 1320, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 174 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lukimbi Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lukimbi Safari Lodge is a stunning luxury safari lodge situated in the easily accessible southern portion of the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Kruger is home to the Big Five and a wide variety of other animals and birds, which roam freely in their natural habitat ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lukimbi Safari Hotel Kruger National Park

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