Although this was our 6th visit to Arathusa, it was the first time that we had visited in summer. It was amazing to see everything so green and lush and with the recent rains there was water everywhere.
The Lodge was as welcoming and friendly as ever. The new reception area is very smart and cool and we were given a very welcome cold drink on arrival.
The food was excellent. There was a great choice at breakfast with special requests catered for. Lunch was a selection of salads and meats. A high tea before the afternoon game drive provided scrummy cakes. Dinner was 4 courses and beautifully presented. And on top of that there were snacks on the game drives, with early morning coffee and on the bar!
One night we were surprised with a braii type dinner out in the bush. All the tables, chairs, cooking equipment and bar had been transported. It was so beautiful and there was even a nearby herd of elephants. One of the rangers gave us a talk on the stars. It was a magical experience.
We were also treated to breakfast on the airstrip in the company of impalas and wildebeeste.
The game viewing was the main reason for staying and it was excellent, although the Rangers and Trackers had a much harder task than in winter with many areas inaccessible for off roading after the recent rains. Some special things that we were lucky enough to see were 2 leopards hissing and spitting at each other as they both marked the same territory; two tiny leopard cubs shooting up a tree to escape a hyena. A group of wild dogs, a herd of buffalo, a rhino having a mud bath; and lions of every size from tiny cubs to a very large male.. AND elephants everywhere, even drinking from one of the plunge pools at the lodge.
We stayed in Room 3 which was very comfortable. We were very glad of the air conditioning at night. Everything was in good working order, but the cleaning was a bit disappointing. However there were special touches. We were there for Valentine's Day and were surprised on return from the evening drive to find petals, champagne and chocolates on our bed and a bubble bath drawn.
I was taken to see the luxury lodges by one of the managers. They are truly amazing - very private and right IN the bush. But they are a bit of a walk from the main facilities and are without a view of the waterhole and it's resident hippos.
All in all it was another wonderful stay. We stayed for 7 nights and would happily have stayed for 7 more.
- Also Known As:
- Arathusa Safari Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- Hotel Arathusa Safari
- Arathusa Safari Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve