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“Perfect”
Review of Dulini River Lodge

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Dulini River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
West Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
200 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Perfect”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Top notch in all aspects. Accomdations, food and service all great with some nice dining surprises. Morning coffee and afternoon cocktails on safari a real treat, standing in the middle of nowhere watching the hippos wallow was an experience. Saw the big five and more. Guide and trackers knowledgeable and professional.

No point in going on, a frist class experience that was first class in all aspects.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank lightening996327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
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English first
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

After reading some of these other reviews, I won't waste my time by repeating all of their details, but suffice it to say that you will not be disappointed! The staff was amazingly attentive and caring and I still cannot believe that they could remember all of our names. Our butler, Ezekiel, was outstanding and took care of things before we could even think of them. It was great to talk to everyone and hear about their lives, families, and aspirations and it really gave us insight into the African people - a perspective we really valued. Judy and Eugene at the front desk made sure that we were happy and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and special.

We had William as our guide and Issac as our spotter - what a team!!! We were in awe how they were able to track the animals based on just a few clues. We saw all of the Big 5 on our very first drive! I know this is not common on one drive, but it was a huge way to start our time there! I can't believe we got as close as we did to some of the animals (or that they got as close to us). Each drive was an adventure and we had no idea what we would find. That was the cool part about being in the Game Reserve and its lack of fences with Kruger - the animals can move freely between them, so you never know who is where. One of the highlights was seeing a leopard sunning himself while his impala kill hovered 25 feet above him, safe from his enemies. What I would have given to see him dragging that animal up the tree - wow! William and Issac were alot of fun, and I really enjoyed their banter with each other and the guests. They were also great with my 70-year-old parents and their needs during the game drives.

The room and the food? Simply ridiculous! The menus are pretty well set, but they will make any accomodations necessary for dietary restrictions and preferences. You might ask if they have anything special for breakfast beyond the typical eggs/meat and cold buffet. The rooms are beautiful, clean, and welcoming. I especially loved the outdoor shower and the view from the indoor shower, not to mention the back deck and splash pool. I wish the pool was heated, but that would probably just be a waste of energy.

I seriously don't know what would make this experience better, except a longer stay! I can't say enough about it and the people. Phenomenal...

Room Tip: I was in cottage 5 "next" to the lodge, but seriously, I never heard any noise. Not sure...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank stefwithanf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

A fantastic safari experience with really knowledgeable guides and prolific wildlife in luxurious surrounding. Our last stop in a 4- week trip from the west coast of Namibia to Maputu in Mozambique. Plenty of wildlife and interesting to see the aftermath of a recent coup in the lion population - late 2012 should be terrific for seeing lots of young lion cubs! Could have easily stayed longer than the 3 nights we had. Food and hosiptality were terrific and the &beyond culture came through loud and strong which encouraged us to try any of their hotels/camps in future.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gerdav4074
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mea2006
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2012

I can't sing enough praises for the River Lodge. Everything is taken care of, and every details has been handled before you can ever think what you might want. Everything was luxury and relaxation, but there was still an emphasis on enjoying the wildlife and respecting the amazingness of the African Bush.

Food: The food was amazing. Totally fabulous. Since on of the main events of the day is eating and drinking - snacks, meals, sundowners - the food is critical. It really surpassed all expectations - a huge spread of cold food and fruits for breakfast, along with any hot breakfast you could want, lunch of a meat and delicious vegetable salads, and a decadent plated dinner. They were very respectful and conscious of any dietary restrictions - my husband and I don't eat cheese, which is kind of odd - and they were very good at accommodating. The wines and drinks were great, and as we stayed and they learned what we liked, they stocked our room with our faves.

Game drives: we saw everything we wanted and more. Lions, leopards, zebra, elephants, giraffes. You name it we saw it, all with wonderful narration from our knowledgable guide. The car did have 8 people at it at one drive, but it didn't in any way impair our experience. We also found that compared to other lodges in the area, we were able to sight animals alone, without other cars coming along for the show, a bit more. Additionally, your comfort is at an utmost peak, with hot water bottles and blankets in the morning, amarula coffee or sundowners for breaks.

Service: This is where the River Lodge really takes the cake. All of the staff, and particularly the butlers, were beyond kind, accommadating and personable. They made it so we didn't have to lift a finger or worry the entire trip, and took extra care to make my birthday, which occured during the honeymoon, extra special.

Rooms: The room was super large and super comfortable. A private patio complemented an awesome glass rainshower and nice big bath. Everything you could hope for!

Lodge: The lodge has a fabulous view of the river, and animals would graze nearby for you to watch during downtime. The grandeur of the lodge was something we had not been able to comprehend before we arrived, but it was absolutely stunning, and really added to the lodge's charm.

Massage: While there isn't a spa, we got amazing in-room massages, which was one of the best we have ever had (and we get a lot of massages!).

So...all and all, amazing. Highly recommended. This was the perfect, perfect, perfect place for a honeymoon - romance, adventure and relaxation all rolled into one - but families were there as well and were definitely enjoying themselves. We would recommend the & Beyond Exeter River Lodge to anyone.

Room Tip: Ask for a room farther from the lodge - while all rooms are the same set up and private, the isolati...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mea2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed June 26, 2012

We didn’t want to leave!!
The first thing that comes to mind is the relaxing and refreshing sound of the river flowing in front of the lodge and the feeling of peace and comfort, a place where you feel at home. After a wholesome and tasty lunch we decided to take a short nap before the afternoon game drive; instead we noticed a couple of resident grumpy buffalo not far from our elevated rooms and sat watching them for a short while. Before we knew it we spotted and elephant approaching, followed by another and before we knew it the elephants had warned the buffalo away and began to browsing the trees below the rooms. Several elephant, including a mother and baby came right up close. One large female sniffed the edge of the deck and had a drink from our plunge pool. This was so entertaining that we never got a chance to have a nap and yet didn’t seem tired anymore.
The game drives were informative; we couldn’t have faulted Justin and Chris as a guide/tracker team. Having found 4 of the ‘big 5’ within the first game drive so the pressure was off…
We particularly enjoyed spending much time amongst a huge buffalo herd who didn’t mind our presence at all and happily allowed us to share their space. Of course the big cat sightings were great as one would except of Sabi Sands!
Since we go on safari regularly we have learned so much more respect for the little things in the bush as well as the birds, until recently we didn’t realise that we love birds that much. Well, despite visiting here in July when the bush was dry and not the best birding season we weren’t disappointed what we got to see.
For our anniversary the lodge surprised us with a surprise romantic dinner… so much love and mostly organised (and decorated) by our butler Ronny. Ronny was fantastic!
PS – Remember that the daily rate might seem steep, but it pretty much includes everything and if you are able to make use of their ‘pay 3, stay 4’ offer then BONUS!!

Room Tip: Give the lodge an indication of your personal preferences and if this is a special occassion...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DrummerSafari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
99 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2012

This is more than a lodge, it is an experience. From the animals - lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, hippos, giraffes, and more - to the beautiful river location, the staff, guides and trackers, the food and the rooms. It was a great time.

This was our first of six safari experiences and one I will always remember.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank boone52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2012

from the moment we set foot onto the grounds of the reserve we were transported to another time and place. from the accommodations, to the f&b, to the service staff to the property, we have never had as incredible a travel experience. go with &Beyond and Karen and you wont go wrong. the dream of a lifetime became the reality of a lifetime. special shout out to "difference" our f&b server, the trackers and rangers who took us for the ride of our lives, and to the big 5 that accommodated us by just "showing up" when we least expected them to! wow!!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: every room is a great room
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Esther B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dulini River Lodge

Property: Dulini River Lodge
Address: | Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park 1240, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Dulini River Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In spite of the dry name of the river on which it is located, there is nothing arid about warm and welcoming and Beyond Exeter River Lodge. Perched on the edge of the Sand River, this tranquil lodge is the perfect safari retreat, boasting spacious riverside suites, Big Five game viewing with excellent leopard sightings and the perfect amount of privacy. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Exeter River Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Dulini River Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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