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“Perfect!”
Review of Dulini Lodge

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Dulini Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Media, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Perfect!”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We spent two nights here in early October for our honeymoon and it was perfect. We flew JFK-JNB direct, then a short layover and the short flight from JNB-Nelspruit. From there, it was about 2 hour drive to arrive at the lodge. From the moment we got there, we were treated like royalty. Reply is the man. The staff will go above and beyond to make your stay amazing. The lodge has only a small number of rooms, and each suite is set apart to ensure privacy. We were in suite 1, which I recommend since its on the end. The suites themselves are extremely luxurious and the pictures on the website don't even begin to do it justice. The bar is always fully stocked with whatever you like. Game drives were at 530 AM and 430 PM. The vehicle situation is good b/c they have two trucks, which ensures that at most there will be 6 people in the truck. Barry and Martin were our guides - they were tremendous. The lodge is located in the sabi sand game reserve and there are some other vehicles that you will encounter during your drives, but overall it does not feel over-crowded. During our stay, we saw lions, rhinos, leopards, elephants, wildebeest, etc. The game viewing overall is phenomenal. The drives last for 3 hours approximately and sometimes you stop for coffee/sundowners in the bush which is an amazing experience. There are other surprises that the staff will do for you during your stay, but I won't spoil them here in the review. Overall, the stay was amazing and we highly recommend it to anyone. For honeymooners, it was perfect.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CDKLmedia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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385 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Finchampstead
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2012

As seasoned travellers we have been to some good holiday destinations in the past but oh boy Dulini is very very special. Dulini lodge is idyllic with exceptional accomodation which is very spacious and luxurious but the most exceptional part is the amazing staff. From the minute you arrive until the time you leave the ever attentive staff weave their magic of surprises and thoughtful touches which provides a stay well beyond any expectation you may envisage. You can see from the previous reviews that in Dulini you get to know the staff by name and ours was no exception. Thank you Patricia, Gift,Freddy to name but a few. We saw the big 5 in the first 2 days and the safari experience was heightened by Patrick and Tyrone's excellent knowledge of the animals and knoweldge of the family history of many of the big game animals. This is a memorable experience made magical by the very special people in Dulini. I will make sure that when my children are older that they get to visit this extraordinary place.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Martin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2012

Dulini Lodge was our first stop on our first African safari and was a special introduction to this beautiful country. The rooms are wonderful: spacious, lovely decor that fits the locale, very comfortable bed and great bathroom. I loved the layout of the camp. The cottages are spread far enough apart that you don't see or hear your neighbors, from your deck or any room in the cottage all you see are the animals grazing in the dry river bed. In spite of the beauty and comfort of this lodge , it is the staff that makes Dulini so special: Isaac, Gift, Given, Reply, Maurice who made us feel so welcome. Also, Sinah and all of the kitchen staff produce fantastic gourmet meals of great variety. We ate so many fruits and veggies!
Our game drives were amazing thanks to the passion and expertise of our ranger William and tracker Isaac who make a terrific team and were so much fun to be around. We had plenty of sightings of the Big 5 and a wonderful hour watching the fascinating African Wild Dogs. What a bonus!
I could write so much more but don't want to spoil all of the surprises in store for you. Just go, be enchanted!
Oh, and a special shout out to Mummy for the best massage, ever.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Mariamalia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Forest, Illinois
Level Contributor
103 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2012

Where to begin? My husband and i have been home now for about 2 weeks and not a day has gone by that I don't think about our trip to SA and the Dulini Lodge in particular. I just read a few of the reviews below and smiled because some of the reviewers are now friends that we met while staying in Sabi Sands. This was a special place, from Gift, Isaac and Maurice to Steve and Prince (our ranger and tracker) every detail was covered. They were all so nice and generous with their time. This is a 5 star safari experience. My husband and I loved the Dulini because of the privacy and the fact that we were not looking to share our safari experience with young children. It was fun having a little coffee liqueur on the morning drive and a cocktail during the evening drive. Prince and Steve make great Moka Choka Laka Vula Valas (excuse the spelling;-) The night of the Boma was sooo much fun plus it is a great way to get to know the other people in the camp. You can spend as much time as you want with your fellow campers or just be private. We also liked the fact that there were never more than 6 people to a vehicle, which is not the case at other lodges.

We saw every animal except the Cheetah and Wild Dogs. Maybe next time because there will definitely be a next time! Oh and I worked with Janine Crawley at "And Beyond" to book our entire trip through SA and Vic Falls, Zimbabwe! Fantastic Job Janine!

Room Tip: They are all fabulous!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank paljoey1075BD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fowey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
163 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
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.
New York
Level 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 Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 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.
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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:
And Beyond Dulini Lodge
&Beyond Dulini Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Dulini Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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