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“Fantastic African Safari”

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Arathusa Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Fantastic African Safari”
Reviewed April 2, 2012

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

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank westcoastcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 review
Reviewed April 1, 2012 via mobile

Our group of 16 spent four days on safari...the staff was so welcoming, accommodations were excellent, safari far exceeded our expectations, guide and tracker (Phil and Rifos) were knowledgeable and very entertaining. We couldn't have had a better experience!

Stayed March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Carol D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
motril
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2012

Although offered everything that we could expect in terms of location, excellent, game drives, good sightings, and accommodation, really good, we were still left feeling that this was not as good as it promised. We think the reason is that it has a very corporate feel and staff are doing a job, whereas all other places it seemed that all concerned felt this was their vocation. Food was good and even offered exotic game meats which was nice to try, but, again rather pretentious. The villas are really good as are the communal service areas. Difficult to write a negative review as so much is good, but this is our laying impression.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank theoliversmotril
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Granby, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2012

Our group of 16 friends stayed at Arathusa from March 16th through March 20th, 2012. The most amazing experience of all of our lives. The weather was perfect. We saw Leopards mating on our first game drive, along with elephants, giraffes, Impalas- just in the first 3 hours. The location on the edge of a watering hole - spectacular. Always able to view Hippos, and a wide variety of animals coming to drink.. We utilized 2 vehicles, so we had two Rangers, Phil and Ryan, and two Trackers, Rifus and I am sorry, can't remember the other ones name. They were so accommodating, knowledgeable and funny. The food was delicous,- got to try Kudu, Gnu and Impala- served in a gorgeous setting. The accommodations were large, comfortable- with views that I will remember for a lifetime. The staff couldn't have been better. Always checking if they could help with anything. Having Sundowners, under the stars overlooking the bush- It was a spiritual experience I feel so fortunate to have been able to have.

Room Tip: We had "economy rooms", and they had a better location and view then the more expensive lu...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marilyna14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guildford
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2012

My wife and I visited there about 31/2 weeks after the floods. We arrived a day late due European snow. On arrival we were not even asked how the delay had affected us , needless to say we had prepaid the night we missed,At the time we thought it would have been a nice touch to have been offered a small token in lieu of the meals we missed.I had e-mailed them to advise we would be 24 hrs.late and I understand someone else stayed in our room as a result. No mention by the Arathusa staff.
Our chalet was very nice,well furnished and spotless, the food was OK certainly not gourmet but adequate.
Communication between Rangers, guests and management on timings of meals and game drives was somewhat confusing ......on 3 occasions we were told wrong times.
Guides and Rangers did a good job in difficult circumstances.

Room Tip: Avoid the premium lodges,they are isolated and away from the waterhole
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank hallbower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2012

We spent three nights at Arathusa Safari Lodge, which we consider to be about the right time. We were so lucky to see all the animals we had hoped including spectacular sightings of a leopard up a tree. The lodge is very comfortable and the waterhole makes for good viewings of the hippos. Our ranger Ryan is truly an expert and he is aided by De Beer. No effort is spared to find the best viewings of the animals and also birds and insects. The rooms are very big and very well equipped, the food is very good and the staff very friendly. We think we made a very good choice.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Margaret J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoedspruit, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2012

As a camp owner, I came to Arathusa with 2 french people and everything was perfect and professional,from the Deluxe bungalow (huge and confortable)nested in the bush, to the very good food and of course the game drives.
Even after the terrible floods of January, we were lucky enough to have great sightings:wild dogs, rhino and 2 times leopards (3 of them together!);
thanks to Jason, our guide !

Room Tip: Deluxe bungalow are bigger are more private but looking at the waterhole
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jean-Marc D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arathusa Safari Lodge

Property: Arathusa Safari Lodge
Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4 star — Arathusa Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Arathusa Safari Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Arathusa Safari
Arathusa Safari Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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