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“Brilliant Lodge and Brilliant Safari”
Review of Dulini Lodge

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Dulini Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Fowey, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Brilliant Lodge and Brilliant Safari”
Reviewed September 5, 2012

We stayed 5 nights in August and were not dissappointed. The staff are amazing with Gift,Maurice and Isaac worth a special mention. Our Game Drives were conducted by Steve and Prince and I still don't know to this day how Prince spotted a Chameleon at night to win his bet! WE saw five different leopards and also Lion and Hunting Dog together with a few month old Rhino.The whole Dulini experience was worth six stars if that's possible. We could not have been made to feel more special and the idea of dining in different places every night was great. The night that Maurice laid out our meal in our room was extra special. This place is worth all its brilliant reviews and more.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Gricper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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388 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
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  • French first
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  • Portuguese first
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English first
New York
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2012

We had high expectations for our first safari trip. The Dulini Lodge exceeding our expectations. It was fabulous!!! The staff was very warm, friendly, welcoming, helpful, knowledgeable, and just took excellent care of us. The gourmet food and homemade drinks were plentiful and delicious. The accommodations were just beautiful and comfortable. We felt very safe throughout the entire trip. Our guide William and tracker Isaac were awesome!!! We saw the Big 5 plus some rare sighting like wild dogs and honey badgers. We highly recommend the Dulini Lodge and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JessieNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Dave Patterson from The Africa Safari (Bwana Dave on Tripadvisor) handled all of our travel planning and was extremely thorough with the details and suggestions he provided to us. I highly recommend him! We had two nights at Tshukudu Game Lodge (see separate posting) and had a driver take us about three hours away for two nights to Kirkman's Kamp (see separate posting) in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and then a one hour drive on to Dulini Lodge for three nights. Dulini is a totally different feel than Kirkman's - it only has 6 rooms, It sits right on a river (partially dry in the winter time) and it is more green and foresty. Each room is in it's own building and they are huge! Living room, bedroom, dressing area, huge bathroom with large clawfoot tub and glass enclosed shower. The private deck has an outdoor shower, plunge pool, two comfy chaise lounges, and a table with chairs. They have recently renovated the rooms as a bad storm early in 2012 caused alot of flooding damage to the property. Our butler was Reply - he took care of us and served our meals. No TV at all at Dulini. Wireless internet at the main building included or there is a computer in the gift shop available for use. The other guests there during our stay was a family of five from NJ - three generations, and a family of four from Minneapolis. There were nyala all over the property - they would be right next to you when you ate lunch. In the river behind the property we had a group of elephants there while we were eating lunch and one afternoon we got a call that we had to get off of our deck because a leopard was on the property. Wake up call was at 5:30am and off to get coffee and a snack before you got in the car after 6am for about 3.5 hours of game drive. There was a wool blanket and a hot water bottle waiting for you.

I love that this property like Kirkman's isn't fenced to Kruger National Park, so animals can come in and out, Our first afternoon drive, we were the only people in the car with the ranger William and tracker Isaac, as the family we were to be paired with wasn't arriving until dinner. We saw waterbok, impala, giraffe, elephant, baboon, bushbok, a male leopard rolling in hippo poop to throw off his own scent prior to hunting, and a nocturnal civet. Warm towels were provided upon return to camp with a glass of sherry to warm you up - as it gets cold when the sun goes down. I forgot to mention that blankets are provided on the Land Cruiser for when the sun ngoes down and it gets cold.

Dinner was at the Boma that evening with everyone. The buffet had a fish, beef stew and sausages, plus numerous side dishes. For dessert, they actually brought me out a birthday cake and the entire staff sang and danced. Alot of fun!

Our next morning drive we saw our only kill of the whole trip.... a female leopard killed a francolin (bird the size of a cornish game hen). She pulled out the feathers before she ate it. It was neat to see but I am glad I didn't see something larger actually get killed. We also saw three lionesses, two white rhino, kudu, zebra, wildebeast, vervet monkeys and nyala. That afternoon I got extremely sick and couldn't do the evening game drive or go to dinner. Not sure what it was, but it knocked me out and pepto bismol really helped. The following morning we saw four out of the big five (no lion) and we stopped for a mini breakfast in the bush with our ranger making pancakes for us!

On our last night our butler had a bath drawn for us with champagne and candles lit, and then dinner was in the room. You had a choice of chicken or venison loin and was really special.

On our last day we were lucky enough to see male lion eating a two day old buffalo kill with hooded vultures and white backed vultures waiting. We also saw a leopard with a two day old kill (impala, I think).

We really liked Dulini but we liked Kirkman's more (both are & Beyond lodges). Kirkman's was larger and was more social- everyone got together after the evening drive and tallied what was seen on the day's drives. It was a lot of fun. With six rooms at Dulini, it was definitely more private.

We had a two hour drive to Nelspruit airport for our next stop - Capetown!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Stressed2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreux
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2012

We stayed 4 times now

Lovely lodges .nice people and very good safari.

Every time at least the big five several times over our 4or 5 nights stay with on 3 occasion the magnificant 7, i.e. cheetah and wild dog thrown in as well.

Hightly recommendable, also for novices

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank dr_p_j_seip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philly
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2012

We recently returned from a trip to South Africa with our 19 yr old son and 15 yr old daughter. We did a lot of research for this trip and was hopeful the &Beyond experience would be everything we expected. It was, and more. We loved the staff, Gift, Maurice, Isaac and of course our Game Ranger Steve and Tracker Prince. The attention to detail was beyond expectation. &Beyond knows how to make their guests feel special. The food was amazing and the game drives a trully memorable experience. Steve and Prince are a great team and we very much enjoyed their enthusiasm and respect for the animals. We saw everything and yet with each game drive, it was another adventure. We never took our sightings for granted, each one was a new experience. We were sorry to have left but very much look forward to returning again soon. Thanks Dulini!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank jpemsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2012

This is our 2nd review and was our 3rd stay at Dulini and won’t be our last. Arriving at this lodge once again was like coming home, the entire staff and management are as they say “family”. Couple family with fantastic food, unquestionable service, warm yet exciting ambience, and you have a heightened experience with the attraction of being in Africa.

One again, Gift was there to meet us with a warm hug, followed by Reply and Freddy who make everything just “work” with ease. Given our early afternoon arrival, Reply bought a lovely lunch to our room where we could relax for a short time before the afternoon game drive.

On this visit, our ranger was Justin, with Chris tracking, and both complimented each other perfectly to find us some unbelievable sightings. Justin was extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and surrounding environment and explained everything in layman’s terms.

Leisha is the lodge manager and we fortunately got to spend some quality time with her. She was quite forthcoming with great information and stories for just about everything, well that’s how it appeared after several good bottles of South African wine…..lol.

The game drives last for three to four hours and traverse with several other properties throughout the western sector of the Sabi Sand Region, including Inyati, Savanna, Leopard hills, Ulusaba, Idube and of course other &Beyond managed lodges such as Exeter River lodge and Leadwood. The area has an abundance of wildlife and the amount of sightings we encountered are too many to mention, however it goes without saying we had numerous sightings of our favourite big cats.

The lodge is unfenced and allows the wildlife to wander through the beautiful grounds at any time. We enjoyed beautiful nyala joining us for breakfast and lunch, and waterbuck, bushbuck and more alongside the deck of our room. Predators have also been seen leisurely walking through the grounds from time to time…..wow, how good is that.

Once again, one night on our way back to camp, we were surprised with a candle lit tree with a hanging basket of chilled champagne. On another occasion we were treated to a surprise champagne pre-breakfast on a hill top with 360 degree views of the Sabi Sand……how wonderful to experience this type of atmosphere in the bush.

One reason we keep going back to Dulini is that the guest accommodation is limited to 6 rooms and each game vehicle is also limited to a maximum of 6 only. Although children under 16 are welcome, this lodge doesn’t appear to attract them as only 2 guests are allowed in each room. Another reason this lodge is so special is the amount of repeat guests such as ourselves with whom we all share the same unique past and present stories and experiences.

Furthermore, we take advantage of &Beyonds offer of stay 4, pay 3 which is a great saving and reduces the average price per night. This is certainly value for money compared to some other surrounding lodges.

Dulini has certainly become part of our lives as our walls at home are full of memorable photos made into canvas paintings, giving us a little feel of Dulini and the African bush each day.

We trust anyone visiting Dulini or the other &beyond lodges within Sabi Sand will fall in love with it as we certainly have.

Vicki & Rob.

Room Tip: All 6 rooms are fantastic.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank thesandmans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sao paulo
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2012

Felt like I was leaving family behind when I left... that's how good the staff was! And, of course, the decoration, comfort, beauty of the cottages and main areas and the excitement of the game drives were things I will never forget. The Dulini family made our honeymoon unforgettable!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank vblatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dulini Lodge

Property: Dulini Lodge
Address: | White River, Kruger National Park 1240, South Africa (Formerly &Beyond Dulini)
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Dulini Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Under a leafy canopy of ebony trees, six luxurious stone cottages grace the banks of the Mabrak River. As one of only 12 guests, you feel instantly at home in this quiet retreat, where classic interiors enfold guests in quiet style and elegance. Generous private plunge pools and shady decks look out onto the dry riverbed. Large, welcoming sofas and African sculptures fill the gracious guest areas. Dine under the ancient jackalberry tree where skilled chefs serve delicious meals or steal away for an intimate dinner in the well-stocked wine cellar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
&Beyond Dulini Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
And Beyond Dulini Lodge
Dulini Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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