We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Trip of a lifetime!!!!”
Review of Dulini River Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Dulini River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Trip of a lifetime!!!!”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Just back from an amazing South Africian trip. Staying at the Exeter River Lodge was a dream come true. The entire complex was secure, remote, luxurious and staffed with pleasant and professional individuals. Exeter River Lodge(s) consist of 8 newly built spacious individual lodges. Clean, conveniently placed and beautifully situated, one cannot want more when staying at the Exeter River Lodge. Rooms are large, well designed, each having an outdoor jacuzzi/infinity pool, indoor and outdoor shower, where one looks out into the safari wilderness, lounging patio and inside den to name a few. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the manager, introduced to the staff and given a tour. All meals & beverages were provided, in addition to two safari's a day. One taking place in early morning, the other taking place later in the day. Our ranger and guide, Steve and Prince managed to find every animal that one could expect to see in an Africian safari. From lions feasting on a wild buffalo, to wild dogs in the midst of a successful hunt, seeing black rhinos, giraffes, impalas, hippos, leopard and her cub, lionesses, elephants, zebras and a wide variety of Africian birds, our trip was breathtaking, exciting and adventurous. Staff was very attentive and kept the agenda full of surprises. The Exeter River Lodge went over and above our expectation. If you are thinking of experiencing an Africian safari, the Exeter River Lodge is the place to stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Canadian050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

290 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    272
    11
    5
    0
    2
See reviews for
41
177
15
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, Mississippi
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 14, 2013

I came here with my boyfriend and his family. It was truly an amazing experience. The rooms were breathtaking and so fresh and clean each time you returned to the rooms. The views from the rooms were also amazing. We spotted elephants, antelope, and monkeys on multiple occasions out of our window. The food and drinks were delicious! The staff, especially Return, Ronny, Thuli all knew what we liked and did not liked. They knew whether we liked "jumping" water or if we liked our bacon crispy. They provide you with more food and drinks than you can even consume or dream of consuming. The food was so fresh and different each day. Our ranger Steve Alan was amazing and he knew so much about the Bush and the game. We had such luck spotting the Big 5 several times. We were able to spot leopard and lion cubs, which was my favorite. Upon your return you were given fresh and cold lemon grass scented wash cloths to refresh yourself after the game drive. I am dying to return to this lodge and I just got back yesterday!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 8 but the rest of our group was in 7 and 6. We viewed all of them and room 7 had t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MillieFulk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We spent 3 nights at this beautiful lodge. The rooms are very spacious, nice plunge pool with wow views! The food was good and the service was attentive. The villas could use a little bit of a touch up, but the experience was very good! Will recommend this place!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2012

This was the best trip ever!

Staff: Small staff know your name from the moment you arrive. They find out what you like and don't like, and make sure you're happy the entire time. At night, the staff will escort you to your rooms, which I really liked. It made me feel safe and it also made me feel special. They do this in case you stumble across an elephant or rhino (that didn't happen to us, but if it did, that would have been awesome).

Food: Excellent food. After the morning drive we went to breakfast and thought it was a continental breakfast (yogurt, cookies, coffee, pastries, fruit). But it turns out they also make omelettes and eggs any way you want them. Lunch and dinner was different every day. We had ostrich steaks one night, and I've been talking about this meal ever since! If you're not an adventurous eater this may not be great for you but I promise, it's good!

Safari: We saw everything. You have 1 driver that you stay with the entire time you're at Exeter. We had Craig are our ranger and Martin as his spotter. The two worked so well together and made the safari and incredible experience. We saw every animal you could think of - multiple times! We saw leopards mating with each other, we saw a female lion eat a kill, and two male elephants fighting each other to establish their dominance.

In the morning when it's cold there are blankets that you can drape over your lap. Bring a heavy jacket and some ear warmers too. Once the sun comes up though it will get hot fast, so bring layers.

At the end of every drive we would stop for a snack and drink. Once we would get back to the lodge after a drive, the staff would greet us with warm towels/cloths and a mini-drink/cocktail.

Lodging: Out of this world! We had an outdoor shower which we used every day as well as a bath. The bed was so comfortable. what else? It was just so nice. Whatever pictures you see on the website or from guests doesn't even come close to how great it is.

We felt really safe the entire time we were there (3 nights, 4 days). We easily could have stayed another day or two.

Room Tip: There are only 8-10 rooms at this lodge - they are all great!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jill L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EU
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2012

We have splitted our holiday between River Lodge and Duline after having seen this thread. We have came across a lot of people who were also in doubt.

There are a lot of similarities and also several differences between the two camps.

There are 6 lodges in Dulini, compared to 8 in River Lodge. In both camps there are two vehicles. In Dulini you will therefore pretty much always have a maximum of 6 people in the vehicle (two per row), while this can be a larger number in River Lodge.

Dulini feels like every lodge itself is located right in the bushes. Niala (impala's) are almost always present in the camp. At night also other animals (apart from elephants) will cross the camp. From the lodges at Dulini you can see a river, which was pretty much dried up at the moment we were there. River Lodge feels more like you are on a platform, overlooking the (big) river. Although animals (including lions etcetera) walk through the camp, you get less of the feeling you are in the middle of the bush. The first day we sas >35 elephants from our lodge, later on we saw a hippo and 2 giraffes.

The atmosphere is also different. In Dulini it is more personnal and warmer, although this is relative and the staff in River Lodge was also great. The difference lies in small things: when we arrived at Dulini we were welcomed by loads of staff, which gives this extra something.

The guides and trackers we had in both camps (Steve and Jack/Isaac and William) were very experienced, service minded and knowledgeable. The butlers we had (Reply/Christopher) were also great and very interested in all our stories (which they must have heard a lot of times).

If you are a birdy, we can certainly advise to arrange a private vehicle with William at River Lodge to get the maximum out or your stay and to prevent any annoyance with non birdy's (the great majority of the people - who come to see the big 5).

The lodge in Dulini was twice the size a the lodge in River Lodge. However, both had a bath, a plunge pool, a sitting area etcetera. The Dulini lodge appeared more 19th century colony era, River Lodge oozed the vibe of a modern lodge trying to replicate that atmosphere.

It is really hard to advise on or the other, and really depends on your preferences. It was very nice to have the opportunity to experience both.

Both lodges are not cheap, but bear in mind that you will get two game drives a day, three great meals (a two course breakfast, three course lunch and three course diner/bush diner/festive diner), open (mini)bar, snacks all the time, with top notch guides and rangers (who had lengthy courses from And Beyond and are selected on both their knowledge and soft skills), by a non-profit company that is very thoughtfull and respectfull about their impact on the wildlife, perfect service, very nice places to stay. Furthermore And Beyond invests a lot of money in housing and schools from local people. The rangers/guides have continously contact with the other rangers/guides in the area to ensure you get to see what you want. We saw the big 5 (white not black rhino though) within 24 hours and saw so much activity.

We booked our trip (including return flight) through Wildlife Africa Safaris (Ernest was our contact) who gave us a good deal, was very patient (despite our indecisiveness and enourmous amount of questions) and gave us so much information on these two lodges. We would definitely recommend him.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Anmabech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highworth, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2012

We have just experienced a 4 night stay at Exeter River Lodge and it exceeded our expectations by some margin. We chose this camp because of the re3ported Leopard sightings and we weren't disappointed as we saw not only a male Leopard but a female with cub. A Series of unfortunate events meant we had several Ranger and Tracker combos but all were fantastic, friendly and knowledgeable. The camp is in a great location on the Sand river and the accomodations, food and the overall ambience made it a truly memorable trip. Special mentions to Return our butler, Sven the Head Chef, and all of our Rangers and Trackers. We would definitely recommend this lodge and hope to use &Beyond properties again in the future.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ade_Loz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

I visited Exeter for 4 nights this past November. The accommodations where extremely large and clean, and offered a private plunge pool (not heated, but still refreshing). The views were excellent from the rooms and from the lodges - we occasionally saw buffalo and elephants roaming.

The staff was excellent and highly accommodating. Food was top notch and won't disappoint.

The drives were outstanding and I have absolutely no complaints. Both the tracker and the driver were professional and extremely experienced.

Room Tip: All rooms face the river bed which is great for animal watching.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travel_dc_2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Sabi Sand Game Reserve hotels
6.5 mi away
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
#3 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
446 reviews
2.2 mi away
Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
Leopard Hills Private Game Reser...
#1 of 1 in Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
277 reviews
0.8 mi away
Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve
Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Res...
#1 of 1 in Inyati Private Game Reserve
414 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
12.7 mi away
Nkorho Bush Lodge
Nkorho Bush Lodge
#13 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
402 reviews
5.3 mi away
Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Elephant Plains Game Lodge
#15 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
834 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Dulini River Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 #23 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing