We spent a wonderful few days at Arathusa Safari Lodge at the end of March. Our two teen aged kids loved it and it was clearly the highlight of our trip to South Africa and Zambia. From the moment we arrived, greeted by a cool drink and a wet scented towel, we were made to feel welcome. Ashleigh was very welcoming and explained the timing of the drives and meals.
Phillip Wessels was our Ranger and was truly exceptional as he and his tracker Rifos went out of their way to show us the true secrects of the African bush. We were fortunate to see all the big five with their help. Our sightings of a pride of lions and 2 different leopards were incredibly exciting as they were close enough to touch at times. Mvula a male leopared is known affectionately as the Brad Pitt of leopards as he is so hadsome! The game drives were exciting as we rushed from a female leopard to see a pack of wild dogs chasing an impala on to an island in the middle of a watering hole. It was fascinating to watch the hippos charge at the wild dogs as they tried to get to the impala who they had bitten on his back leg. We were lucky enough to see Mvula hunting twice and almost saw him make a kill - but he just missed.
One afternoon we were sitting at the pool beside the watering hole and a whole herd of over 22 elepants came by for a drink and a dip in water. They had lots of babies with them which delighted our kids. We also enjoyed watching a family of warthogs come by and the hippos are a constant source of entertainment as first their eyes pop up then their noses and occasionaly we were treated to a wide open yawn and the sight of their massive jaws. Having the watering hole right beside the lodge is a huge benefit. Many of the rooms have views of the watering hole too. We saw many zebra, wildebeest, water bucks, elephants and even the elusive white rhino which is so severly threatened right now by poachers.
The game walks Pillip took us on were wonderful - up close and personal to discover the secrets of the bush. We saw many birds, animal droppings and tracks as well as buffaloe, elephant, zebra and giffafe, but it was Phillip's knowledge of wildlife and nature that made this an incredible learning experience as well as an exciting adventure as we lined up behind him to hide from a buffaloe (the animal most respected by hunters) on one occasion.
The rooms were beautiful with an "Out of Africa" feel and the meals were excellent. The lovely bath rooms were spotless and having an out door shower was very cool. *(Don't wory there's a huge indoor one too.) Dinners were held outdoors around a burning fire on the deck overlooking the watering hole. There was a wide range of courses and it was fun to try Kudu, springbok and ostrich for the first time. Breakfast was served after the early morning game drives and was delicious. Lots of fresh fruit, muffins, yoghurt as well as a full english breakfast with eggs cooked to order and bacon, sausage, mushrooms, potatoes and tomatoes. One of my kids is a vegetarian and the chef did a wonderful job catering for her - not bad for a place renown for its meat loving tastes.
I can't say enough about Arathusa - having travelled extensively around the world this is truly a world class experience. Phillip thanks for the "lekker" bush drives and walks!!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Arathusa
- Also Known As:
- Arathusa Safari Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- Hotel Arathusa Safari
- Arathusa Safari Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve