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“Outstanding!”

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Arathusa Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
“Outstanding!”
Reviewed January 2, 2014

I can't say enough good things about this place. The game drives were amazing and the staff were absolutely fantastic. Our room was brilliant and the food was out of this world - they even made me a gorgeous suprise birthday cake! Dries was our ranger and Derek was our tracker - don't think you could find two people more passionate about their jobs! It was all round 10 out of 10. Thank you and I will be back!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Karzmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (266)
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Essex
Level 5 Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2013

Although we have been to Arathusa several times before, we were aware, this time that there had been some major staff changes and we were a little worried that things might not be the same. But we need not hav worried as everything was as amazing as ever.
Reception greeted us warmly and showed us to our rooms. The ffice staff continued to be helpful and efficient throughout our stay.
We stayed in Room 3 again, which had had some repairs since February and was very comfortable. We were able to enjoy lots of animals coming to the waterhole by just sitting on our little patio.
Food was lovely (and the chef was on leave!). It was all well presented in a variety of settings and locations.
Our Ranger this time was Roy and our tracker Dereck. They were an amazing team and worked extremely hard to find animals for us. Roy was a little diffident at first but as we got to know each other better we found him to have the most amazing sense of humour and a real passion for his job. He took us on 3 truly wonderful bush walks and we became poo and print experts. Roy really knows the area and the animals within it and was keen to share his knowledge.
The highlight of our trip was a large lion roaring right next to the vehicle. The whole vehicle vibrated and the sound echoed across a moonlit lake. Awesome!
Arathusa is a truly wonderful place

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank tortoisephobic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed December 19, 2013

It was wonderful to get so close to the animals and Leopard in particular. The Guides and Rangers were very knowledgable and keen to ensure we saw the animals that interested us.

Our lodge looked over the water hole and was very comfortable. The food was superb and the South African wines excellent. I would recommend The Arathusa Lodge. They have their own landing strip so might fly in next time.

Room Tip: We had a lovely room at the end of the water hole next to the Spa. You could sit in the plunge pool...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Riskylad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013 via mobile

I have just returned from a trip with my mum to South Africa and the highlight of our trip was a four day stay at Arathusa Game Lodge in Sabi Sands, what a fantastic place. It was my second and my mum's first trip to SA and we were both so happy to have chosen Arathusa. Ranger Dries and tracker Derek made the trip for us, they were with us for all the game drives and we saw the Big 5 very quickly, plus lots more. Sighting leopards everyday was a huge thrill, we sighted 6 different ones all up, maybe we got lucky, but more likely it was the skill of the ranger and the tracker. The accommodation is superb too, as is the food and the overall service level. I took my mum there for her birthday and they had a great surprise there for her on our last night. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Atathusa to anyone, we would love to return.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank oneworldsapphire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring, Texas, United States
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We spent 2 1/2 days in Arathusa before traveling to Kruger, and it was fantastic. The rooms were very nice, with very large bathrooms and outdoor showers, with a great view of the watering hole and its hippos. The meals were very good and the chef did a presentation on each evening's dinner selection.

The game drives were excellent. We saw all the big 5 in a single day. We saw leopards on 2 of our 4 game drives, along with lions, zebras, elephants, cape buffalo, giraffe, rhinos, and numerous birds. One of the nice things about the private game reserves is that the vehicles are allowed off-road. In addition, the drivers are in contact with each other, so if one vehicle spots something interesting, the other vehicles can be notified. This was not the case in Kruger.

I would definitely recommend Arathusa.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Darren W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Ontario
Level 6 Contributor
81 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2013

We spent three nights at Arathusa, and the entire experience was amazing. First, the lodge itself. Our rondavel was clean, comfortable, and immaculate. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable and the indoor and outdoor showers were terrific. We loved seeing the hippos every day out in the watering hole and the impala in the background.

The staff were attentive, friendly, and entertaining. We won't forget Nelson and the drum playing of Blessed!

The food was very, very good. The braai we had on the second night was outstanding. Breakfast out on the reserve was a really nice treat.

For the game drives, one of the reasons why we opted for Arathusa was that it shared an unfenced border with Kruger, so the animals could come and go as they like. As such, it could take some time to spot an animal, but on our 6 game drives we saw leopards 4 times (5 different ones in total including 3 spottings on one drive), a group of hyenas including pups, a herd of elephants, 3 different lions, cape buffalo, a pair of white rhinos, warthogs, wildebeest, zebras, kudu, waterbucks, and wild dogs! We also saw countless number of birds and impala. I know I'm missing a lot of things on the list, but those are the things I can remember.

Our guide, Sean, and tracker, Rifus, were outstanding and a lot of fun. Besides the animals, the off-roading was extremely fun and thrilling.

We had a great time with the staff and other guests, and we look forward to our next trip here.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank B_in_Ottawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2013

We spent three nights here at the end of a trip to SA, and I only wish we could have stayed longer.

The accommodation is excellent. We stayed in a standard chalet, and frankly I couldn't see any reason to upgrade. It was comfortable, spacious and well appointed though a little dark. But as we were only in there to go to bed or use the bathroom, that didn't matter too much. The bed was large, extremely comfortable and far too difficult to get out of at 0430. But that's a different matter.

Food was plentiful, varied and very good. Breakfast was the closest to a full English that you'll get in SA I reckon (should the mood take you), lunch varied every day and was filling without putting us to sleep, high tea was a delight before going on the afternoon game drive and dinner was also excellent.

But that's not why you're looking at this, and not why we went.

The game drives. I'm advised by those who know that your safari experience is only as good as your ranger and tracker. If that's the case then my recommendation is even higher. Though our team or Ryan and Debeer was brilliant, the conversations with the other two rangers lead me to believe that, whoever you get, you'll be in for a treat. The vehicles are fairly new, well maintained, clean and surprisingly comfortable in an agricultural sort of way. Your view, wherever you sit, will be excellent - they are nothing if not well thought out. The rangers work together and co-operate with several neighbouring lodges so if an animal is sighted then everyone gets a look-in. But the quality of the look-in depends on the quality of your ranger. For instance, on the first evening a ranger from another lodge found a leopard. He and his colleagues charged around and their folks got a few minutes quality time. Our ranger was more patient and as a result we got a whole lot of one-on-one time with a leopard who was happy to let us get close and photograph him. And it was the same every day.

The animals are treated with respect. They don't get crowded and the guys adopt a strict rule about how many vehicles can be on station at a time. We saw leopard, lions, elephants, rhino, buffalo, African hunting dogs (very rare) and we had hippo in the waterhole on camp. Including a baby. You *may* see Impala - there are one or two there.

I'd go back in a heartbeat, and hope to get the chance to do so. It's not cheap, but it's definitely worth it...

Room Tip: Room 10 has a tree in front which obscures your view of the waterhole...but it's in the best pla...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Yellowgixxer
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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