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Reviewed February 24, 2011

My husband and I spent 4 nights at Arathusa and couldn't have asked for a better experience. We had never been on safari, so didn't know exactly what to expect. Our driver, Armand, was so knowledgeable about the animals and wildlife in the bush and made the experience educational and lots of fun. I couldn't believe how close we got to all of the animals. We'd just drive right through shrubs and trees to get to the animals for excellent viewing.
The food was amazing (definitely top notch) and the accomodations for being out in the middle of the bush were really nicely maintained and very clean and cozy.
We woud go back in a heartbeat!

Date of stay: February 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank EmilyUrso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2011

We moved to Arathusa from Nkorho Bush Lodge which was far better. Negative points - ten people in the jeep excluding the driver and tracker. Far too many to get the full bush experience. The Guide, John was not very impressive. He was a bit short tempered and needed to disappear into the bush every now and then for a cigarette. He was more pleasant to clients who had money. As a previous person mentioned, the Guides are on the radio a lot, which makes it very noisy for the passengers in the vehicle. Nkorho used headsets which gave everyone a better wildlife experience. John's tracker, Roy, was brilliant though. Very quiet but excellent at his job. If you can, try and ask for Ryan who was superb.

Date of stay: September 2010
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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5  Thank dhikala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2011

This is a superb location for game viewing - the "big five" and more. The guides are trackers are skilled and make every effort to satisfy guests. One reason we were attracted to Sabi Sand and Arathusa was to see leopards (the only one of the big five that had previously eluded us) and we were not disappointed! Overall, a really enjoyable experience. Also, excellent value compared with a number of other lodges in the area. Highly recommended.

Date of stay: January 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank wdcw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2011

This was my fourth Safari trip to South Africa and this time I was able to bring my parents along for their first safari.

When we arrived at the lodge, there had obviously been an unusually large number of guests arrive at the same time. The check in procedure was therefore a little chaotic as they were short staffed. I got the impression that the check in is normally a more personal affair but this time we were checked in by the (very nice) lady from the spa ! Also luggage delivery was a little chaotic with bags delivered to the wrong rooms.

However, I am pleased to say that this was the only glitch of our stay and the rest was truly wonderful.

Based on my previous safaris, Arathusa is a larger lodge and at first I thought I would not enjoy it as much, but I have to admit that it was great. Although the lodge is larger, it is spread out over a large area and infront of an enormous water hole complete with hippos. The views were great and the lodge provided a very tranquil, beautiful and surprisingly personal environment.

The rooms, or rather villas, were very large with a very nice bedroom and a huge bathroom complete with indoor and outdoor shower facilities. Rooms were extremely clean and well maintained.

The food was superb. Three full meals a day were provided
- breakfast : upon return from the morning safari a cold buffet of fruit, yoghurt, cereals and fresh bakery items was followed by a cooked to order hot breakfast of your choice.
- lunch : a three course lunch was served at 2pm prior to the afternoon game drive. It consisted of a fixed starter, a choice of 3 main courses with one choice always being vegetarian, and a fixed desert
- dinner : consisted of a three course meal in very much the same structure as lunch.

As mentioned, quality and quantity of food was fantastic. I would give my full credit to the kitchen staff as well as the service staff. Excellent !

Of course the whole point of the trip is the safari. I had been to Sabi Sands before, although during winter, so a summer safari would be a new experience for me. As anyone who has been on safari would know, having a good ranger and tracker is essential. Obviously Arathusa have been very dilligent in finding the best, as I only heard rave reviews from all guests about their rangers and trackers.

During our stay the lodge was quite full, meaning there were three vehicles. You are assigned a ranger and tracker upon arrival and you stay with them until you leave. This ensures that the rangers know what you have seen and gives you continuity.

Our ranger, Ryan, and our tracker De Beer, were quite simply, astounding. Their ability to track game and deliver what all the guests wanted was amazing. During our game drives we were lucky enough to see the big 5 on numerous occasions, including lion mating, leopards mating, cheetahs, lions eating a buffalo and so much more.

I can't heap enough praise on our ranger and tracker. They delivered on every level and worked extremely hard to ensure that everyone got to see what they wanted.

I was also incredibly impressed how the rangers from Arathusa worked closely with rangers from other lodges to share sightings and organise viewings so that everyone got their fair turn.

I have stayed at probably 15 different lodges in South Africa on my trips, and I have to honestly saw that i would put Arathusa at the top of the list.

Full credit to all the staff who made the trip so enjoyable. I look forward to a return visit.

Date of stay: February 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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Thank barbene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2011

I had no idea where to book in Sabi (told Sabi a great place to visit) so I consulted tripadvisor. We chose Arathusa and we were not dissappointed. My sons are 16 and 19 and this was a trip we had been thinking about doing for some years. The boys loved the safari drives even with the 4.30am wake up calls and didnt complain at all. We saw the big 5 as well as many many more and sometimes more interesting animals. Ryan or driver was very good and listened to my requests.... somehow making them happen. I cannot recommend this lodge more highly. The food also was great... even come home with a great recipe.
We stayed in the less expensive lodges (not luxury) but they were fantastic.. very spacious great bathrooms and very comfy beds (only comment is these have air conditioners but the fans do not work... I like fans at night more than air conditioning). The weather was a little wet at times but we managed all but one dry safari.
Also I left my makeup bag in the bathroom which they happily returned to me by overnight courier to Capetown. Very very good service.
Thank you so much to all the staff for making our trip so great we have memories that will last a life time.

Date of stay: January 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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Thank franticsydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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