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“The game viewing makes everything else pale into insignificance”

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Arathusa Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 18, 2010

Our experience mirrors others.

The game viewing was just amazing - and that was in the poring rain with the rain hitting your face relentlessly. Jason and Roy are fantastic - we were often the first to spot animals with other vehicles then joining us. Jason answers questions like he has never been asked them before and he was genuinely pleased that we were showing so much interest in birds too. The whizzing round the park in pursuit is part of the fun especially when Jason goes off road.

The thrill of seeing elephants and lions soooo close up makes you forget the things about the lodge which aren't up to the same standard. At the end of our holiday, we were talking to a South African guide and he said that Arathusa is mid priced but has the huge advantage of on your doorstep game viewing (it is on your doorstep too - one day we couldn't do the walking tour because of the kudu outside) Which reminds me, do the after breakfast walking tour if you get the chance, once again with the great Jason.

We went as part of a package our travel agent put together so we don't know the cost. The room is good - spacious - we didn't have one which had a close watering hole view which I was disappointed about. Saying that the weather was never good enough to sit outside and wait for the animals to arrive.

It is the food which lets the place down - average to good and I have to admit we were expecting very good. I agree with a previous reviewer who says they pitch the standard as 5 star and it is only 3 sometimes 4. Service can be slow too which doesn't often matter but if you want to get away after breakfast or go for the walk, it does.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank fredic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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677 - 683 of 863 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2010

This was my first safari experience and something I was extremely excited about and the game viewing did not disappoint. I would be here all day listing all the animals we saw, but it included the Big 5 and many extras which were unexpected, but made the trip eg. 8 week old Jackal puppies! The big cat sightings were superb and our driver Ryan and tracker De Beers were a pleasure providing information and stories which enhanced the experience. Animals aside it was a joy being in the bush and enjoying the vastness and beauty - the sundowners were a lovely chance to soak up your surroundings.

I enjoyed my stay in the lodge and found it relaxing and enjoyed meeting other guests. However, our room needed a bit of a facelift and there were a number of holes in our mosquito net which did lead to a number of bugs in the bed!! This was rectified once mentioned and all the staff were warm and friendly and had some great stories to share showing great passion for the animals and area. I also thought the food was a bit hit and miss. Breakfast was always great and lunch was not too bad (although a lighter option would have been preferred), but dinner was not great. I think the problem is that the lodge tries to cook gourmet food and falls short...it would have been nice just to enjoy a South African braai!

The one thing that did annoy me was the amount the lodge recommended guests should tip the drivers and trackers. Arathusa is quite good value for money in comparison to some lodges, but is still expensive and the amount they suggested for tips was extortionate. Of course guests can make a judgement call which is what we did, but this is something that should be reviewed as I know a number of guests felt the same way as me.

I would recommend the lodge as the viewing was amazing and as a result I had a magical stay. The other things fade away when you have such treasured memories of all the animal sightings.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Gemtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2009

I can only reinforce the positive reviews below (I think the person with the safety issue has slightly misunderstood the concept of a safari lodge). Although one of the cheapest options in the Sabi Sands, I can't imagine that any of the pricer lodges could offer much more. The food was good (although not outstanding) and plentiful, the rooms are lovely, huge bed, enormous bathroom with outside shower, the staff are all friendly, efficient and helpful and the location is stunning. The safari drives, however, are the absolute star of the show - I chose Arathusa based on the leopard sightings and we weren't disappointed - SIX different leopards in six game drives. Our ranger and tracker (Jason & Roy) were outstanding, knowledgeable, happy to answer a million questions and amazing at finding us the best sightings.
Highly recommended - book it quickly!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank RuthieR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2009

We chose Arathusa based on its positive reviews and we can only reinforce them after the wonderful time we had during our 5-day stay. The lodge is as beautiful as its pictures on the wedsite, the food was good, lovely chalets (beds comfy), and great service, but the best was what we came for: seeing animals living in the wild. Our ranger, Ryan and tracker, De Beer were key to our experience with their attentiveness, knowledge and skills. Every drive was full of life and action but highlights were leopards and a pride of lions (8 cubs) dining on their kills, leopards mating, giraffes and the big 5 with young, and a close encounter with a big bull elephant. And it didn't end there--in the lake and on the range beyond, we were treated daily to vists from zebras, monkeys, impalas, kudus, water buck, the resident hippo and elephants having a swim. The open and intitmate concept of the lodge, with its African ambiance, was relaxing and encouraged interaction with other guests from all over the world. It was a long way to come from western Canada, but it was well worth it! Suffice to say, we heartily recommend Arathusa!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank VancouverIslanders57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2009

We really enjoyed our stay at Arathusa, food, accomodation and friendly helpful staff made it a perfect stay. A special thank you for Ryan and De Beer for making the drives so interesting. We will be back for more.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank davejay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2009

Guests are exposed to unacceptable risks should there be medical emergency, maintenance issue or animal breach.

Chalets are sited in game reserve. Yet owner failed to provide for contingency in the event of emergency communication. Owner has been operating lodge for past 3 years and has not thought of providing a fog horn in each room pending eventual installation of telephone system.

Lodge owner-cum-operator also has no concept of "service recovery" and refuses to compensate for exposing guests to such unacceptable safety hazards.

For the price charged, they don't even provide one bottle of water/guest/day!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with friends
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9  Thank fi33ne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2009

we would go back at any time, it was the experience of a life time. very relaxed atmosphere. The guides were enthusiastic and informative and made everything fun. All the staff were so helpful and the surroundings were wonderful. We were able to sit outside our rooms , pool or dining table and watch elephants, hippos, impala.kudu,zebra,baboons and many other things. this is what we wanted from this SAFARI ! The food was mainly very good with one or two exceptions at dinner(keep it simple). However the experiece of seeing lions, leoperds,buffalos,rhinos , hyenas and wild dogs with pups was spectacular. We also met many very interesting people. Wow!! You have to go.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank trelynWales
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

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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