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Dulini River Lodge
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Reviews (302)
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All reviewsplunge poolsabi sandsgame drivessweeping viewssafari experiencebreakfast in the bushwild dogsdrink waterour honeymoonnatural settingprivate vehiclesouth africafour nightsoutdoor showervegetarian optionsgreat game viewinglittle touches
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249 - 254 of 302 reviews
Reviewed April 8, 2010

Loved it. The rooms are huge and have direct view to the river in front. The all have a living room, bedroom area, huge bathroom with tub, terrace, plunge pool and outdoor shower. They're all really private so it doesn't matter which one you get.

My husband and I were there for our honeymoon and we were really impressed by how well kept things are. Everything looks brand new and decoration is tasteful and... perfect!

Guides and trackers are experienced and you get to see lots of animals in one day (on our first drive we saw a hippo, several elephants, giraffes and a leopard). We especially loved the vegetation which is dense and green, you get to cross rivers and ride on dry river beds on your safari car which is absolutely exhilarating.

The staff is amazing. Everyone's accommodating and helpful, it's definitely a "yes" kind of attitude. We have absolutely nothing bad to say about this hotel and believe me, we are picky!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Vacationbesotted
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2010

We had a wondefful time at Exeter river - having experienced East African safaris on many occasions we were a little anxious about the South African equivalent. We feared it night be more organised and the lodges more 'hotel like'. However we found Exeter River Lodge and its surroundings an incrediblesetting for safari goers, both first timers and those with experience of safaris. The staff at the lodge and our driver and tracker (Craig and Josiah) were amazing - we saw a great variety of game incl;uding wild dogs, white rhinos, several leopards and a cheetah.

The lodge itself is well appointed, service was exemplary and the food was wonderful. We stayed for four days which is the ideal length of time to ensure you can see everything.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank polly2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2010

After spending 2 nights at the exquisite Dulini Lodge, we loaded up our rental car and headed over to River Lodge. We were greeted warmly by staff, as they had been alerted by Dulini staff that we were on our way. The main house has a majestic, open, airy feel with panoramic views of the savannah, river, and wooded areas. At no point was there any lack of animals grazing, playing, fighting, bathing or relaxing. Dozens of monkeys inhabited the surrounding tree's and would provide constant entertainment as they galavanted in playful farce. Never a dull moment at this place.

Our room was beautiful. Everything was very clean, nicely designed, comfortable bed and furnishings. A nice spacious layout. Our deck and dunk pool looked like it might have been a nice relaxing area, but with all of the monkey/baboon commotion, we had to use the inside bed to achieve any real relaxation.. but that was an experience in itself! Like I said.. never a dull moment amongst those mischievous tree dwellers.

River Lodge has a great family atmosphere. It seemed like a great resort to bring the kids (if we had any), yet adults are still able to have an incredible 5 star safari experience. With 8 guest rooms on the premises, it had a bit more of a busy feeling than our prior resort.

The food was incredible. Breakfast was boma (buffet) style, with the option to order hot breakfast. I especially enjoyed the lunch at River Lodge. Tables were set up on a deck down beside the river. The chef's prepared a great selection of dishes that were just utterly amazing. Normally when we communicate our dietary specifications to a resort (even in advance), they have a very limited selection of vegetarian options for us. This was not the case at this place. They had such an abundance of options for us. I don't know what it is, but every restaurant we've visited in South Africa has had a wonderful chef who could prepare an outstanding vegetarian feast. No bland boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli like you would usually experience in the midwest or Europe.

Dinner was lovely. First night was a moonlit buffet/family style set up, followed by traditional African singing and dancing. Second night was a private dining experience on our deck. Our butler timed our 4 course meal perfectly. It was a special occasion, so the staff decked our room out with flowers and candles.

The game drives were amazing as well. Our tracker was always asking us which animal we wanted to see next. I think his name was Nelson? Can't remember. But he ended up finding every animal we asked for.. besides my beloved Pangolin. NEXT time.. I'll just keep saying that. Our driver Ryan was friendly and informative. There's nothing worse than an arrogant, cheeky driver (have had a few bad experiences at other resorts more recently), so Ryan passed my "good attitude safari guide" assessment. (Jared at the Dulini was excellent too!.. forgot to mention that in my Dulini review). Our truck was a little crowded, but that was because they happened to be at full occupancy. We were greeted with a tasty beverage and hot soup immediately following our evening drives, which was very nice after a brisk open air drive through the night.

Our charming butler "Return" and driver Ryan gather to bid us a warm farewell. Even waving to us until our rickety old rental car was out of sight.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank heatheratkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2009

On the drive from the airstrip to the lodge we saw a couple rhino. The first of the big 5 just on the jeep ride to the lodge. That's just how amazing Sabi Sands and Exeter River Lodge are.

In Sabi Sands, a private reserve, the vehicle paths are apparently merely suggestions. The vehicles go to the game wherever they may be.

On a single day over the course of 2 drives we saw ALL big 5 PLUS hippo, giraffe and, amazingly, the elusive cheetah! After three nights we had seen the most amazing sights that nature has to offer: elephants frolicking in mud and water, lions stalking impala, a leopard guarding her kill in a tree. The list goes on and on.

And the lodges are perfect. Very comfortable beds, enormous bathrooms and solid mobile service for uploading photos for jealous friends and family. Meals were plentiful and excellent, served either in-room or at the main open-air lodge on a deck. And of course there is a bar-b-que in the Boma every other night.

Lounging on our lodge’s deck by our plunge pool overlooking the Sand river between drives we were thrilled when an entire herd of elephant appeared for a drink.

Our ranger Craig, tracker Chris and butler Christopher were all perfect. Accommodating and thorough without being at all fussy. Craig kindly heeded our request to leave the canvass roof on the vehicle and we could tell passengers in other vehicles were VERY jealous of our shade as they burnt to crisps under the African sun!

Other than during the drives and Boma dinners there was not a lot of opportunity for socialization among the guests, but that didn't bother us at all.

All in all, Exeter River Lodge delivered everything that a luxury safari should be.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kokonutzFT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2009

We came to Exeter River Lodge to celebrate my boyfriend father's 60th birthday. We couldn't have chosen a more hospitable and welcoming place. The staff is so friendly and caring and you really feel like you are part of their family at the end of your stay! The rooms are beautiful, and the food was absolutely delicious.

The most amazing thing about this lodge, however, is that they give 22% of all of their profits to the neighboring communities. If you have a chance, the wonderful staff at Exeter River Lodge will arrange for you to go into one of these communities and visit a school and meet the people. It is amazing to see how their lives have been positively affected, and you get to feel good about staying in Luxury!

The safari drives here were unbelievable and I have to give a BIG shout out to our guides, Isaac and Zwaai. We spent 8 days after safari in Cape Town and we couldn't stop talking about them. They were so knowledgable and professional, but also very warm and friendly. We spent 4 days with them and I feel like they are lifelong friends. Their wealth of knowledge about the animals and their surroundings was incredible. I learned so much and had the experience of a lifetime. The only downside is that they have made it impossible for me to go on safari anywhere else - I know I will only be dissapointed! :)

I promise you won't be dissapointed if you stay at Exeter River Lodge. You are in the middle of everything, "roughing it" in complete luxury. You view monkeys, hippos and elephants as you eat lunch, and see leopards hunting impalas on the drives. What could be more exciting?!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank khartmanxoxo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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