We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Tripadvisor
Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Nearby Hotels
Reviews (316)
Filter reviews
316 results
Traveler rating
292
14
5
3
2
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
Traveler rating
292
14
5
3
2
Show reviews that mention
All reviews master suite sabi sands other guests game drives richard branson safari experience greeted with champagne our honeymoon wine cellar remember forever private airstrip wild dogs private meal out of this world land rover local village words cannot describe
Selected filters
Filter
Updating list...
263 - 268 of 316 reviews
Reviewed March 30, 2010

we travelled from the UK summer to the SA winter and arrived by private transfer from Jburg. As you fly into Ulusaba you pass across villages and we were concerned that this may spoil seeing the animals but when you arrive you are in another world.

The lodge is relaxed and informal with exceptional food. The game drives benefit from being in a private game reserve and the challenge for the rangers of showing us wild dogs was fantastic. For anyone going in this winter period the early mornings are cool and hats and gloves are useful although the lodge does provide hot water bottles and blankets.

Our fondess memory will be after supper talking about the stars and planets and the offer from a ranger to take us to the telescope observatory and see it properly. 4 guest plus a ranger one mile from the lodge lying on wooden chairs in the middle of the african bush.

we will be back.

Date of stay: July 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank steveandjenUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2010

So why get married in South Africa at Ulusaba everyone said??
Take a look at the piccys......
Well you only have to look at the most amazing views, sunset, animals (leopards inparticular) and add the food, the hospitality, the staff for the most awesome experience of a life time to remember!..... and not to forget that Ricjhard popped in for Christmas with his family on the day of our wedding.

There was no indecision about the venue, and dreaming of pictures on the deck.... the only question was safari lodge or rock lodge.....They are both very different....think we made the right decision the views from the Rock lodge and the family feel is amazing..... to sit and have lunch on the deck, see the bush moving and then spot a pack of lions chasing a herd or wilderbeasts...... We were unsure at first if we'd made the right decision and if it might be a bit stuffy and the other guests would be a little too refined for our liking but they were all great and socialable and made it a memorable stay.

We loved everything about it....the food, the staff were amazing.....
We were upgraded to the Rock Suite, lovelly suite, bathroom, far too big for the two of us but my wedding dress had a room of its own all week....

The game viewing was amazing....Greg and James did a great job, during our 3 days of drives we saw EVERYTHING!!!! Many amazing leopard sightings, lions, elephants, etc..... and the very evasive Wild Dog which even Mr B is still to see....

I had no idea what to expect of our wedding...... we chose Kings Rock, Al arrived by Landrover, followed by me 5 mins later..... they'd set up it up really well.....some sculptures, some canapes, strawberries, wedding cake and at least 4 bottles of my favourite Veuve Cliquet Champagne. The staff turned out and sang, the miister was hilarious. the staff doubled up as a video man, and the photographer was great and has put together the most amazing album. It was 36 degrees at 4.30pm in the afternoon but the breeze was lovelly, the rock lodge on the hill in the background, the hippo's snorting and the lions roaring........... You'd hardly of noticied we were the only guests........

Without doubt the best experience ever and I grinned and smiled all day it was beautiful.......... the day was finished off by an amazing sunset, dinner of out choice of favourite foods, copious amounts of champagne and a few drinks with our newly made friends.

Yes its not cheap, but its an amazing experience and you don't want for anything!!

Get saving and just do it! We'll be back!
It's a very special experience.

Sue & Al McLay

Date of stay: December 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank SUEDDerby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2009

Although with friends I stayed on a single supplement basis in a Rock Cliff Room at Rock Lodge. Firstly let’s get the good, great and amazing things here first;

1. The staff at the lodge were fantastic; genuine, sincere and really helpful. They couldn’t have done more for us and everything they did do really seemed a pleasure rather than a chore. In particular Carmel, Vickers, Knox, Peggy and the wonderful guy behind the bar (he knows who he is!).
2. The location was outstanding, having gone down to Safari Lodge I am really pleased we decided on Rock Lodge it seemed more intimate and more of a boutique feel plus the views were spectacular and it benefited from the breeze.
3. Our Ranger (Stevie) and Tracker (Tulani) were amazing, they worked so hard to ensure we saw the animals on our game drives, made everyone feel special and included and made the best tea’s and coffee’s known to man ;) Our team were also the best at “off roading” and deep bush trekking which made for an even more exciting time. Other’s who need a mention are Greg, Stuart and Johann for making everyone laugh via the radio and their camera expertise 
4. The size of the lodge and accommodation was great; Room 3 is on two floors with a spiral staircase leading down to the bathroom which included a free standing bath overlooking the bush and a huge shower complete with some of the original kopje stones. The balcony overlooks the bush with great views to the lake and cross-country to the mountains. The room was very well equipped with a safe, hairdryer, repellent and fantastic toiletries, slippers, gown and a mini bar stocked with wine, champagne and beautiful snacks together with a super quick laundry service.
5. The food and wine were outstanding with something for everyone and a bar stocked with every drink known to man and some we have probably never heard of! The wine was varied and well chosen and Carmel or Vickers always had a recommendation which proved to be good.

Now for one niggle which made the experience a little less amazing….

1. The game drives were somewhat spoilt for me by the constant change of companion in the vehicle – 3 in all over 4 nights. This meant that as soon as we had all relaxed into each others’ company those people left and we had new people to bond with. This also meant that we repeatedly saw animals we had already seen on earlier game drives (for the benefit of the new people) when perhaps we could have spent this time looking for the more elusive animals we had rarely seen. However we did see most animals including leopards thanks to our fantastic team. I totally understand the logistics aspect with people staying for different lengths of time however it would just have been nicer if we had managed to stay with one group for more than a couple of drives. Comparing the experience to other safari’s this aspect of the drives did make the animal sightings a little repetitive and frustrating.

All in all a good experience made even better by the genuine service, friendly staff and location. Value for money as a single traveller? I’m not totally sure. Perhaps I will see again soon….

Date of stay: November 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ChatelaineLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2009

We had for many many years wished to go on a safari so as we were both 40 this year we decided to go for it and treat ourselves to a stay at Ulusaba.

We had looked at many lodges but couldn’t get passed the Ulusaba page.

We began to become a bit sceptical the nearer the holiday became wondering if we would actually see any animals but this proved to be totally unfounded.

From the minute we arrived at the welcome lodge after a very long flight and a 4 hour wait for the private air transfer we loved every second.

Within 30 minutes of arriving at Rock lodge we were out on our first drive experiencing rhinos, elephants, lions to name but a few, the camera never stopped clicking. To our amazement half way through the drive we stopped, got out the jeep to stretch our legs only to be presented with a full mini bar and nibbles.

We thought because we were staying for 5 nights that we may have a lie in a few mornings and miss some of the morning drives….no chance we couldn’t wait and were awake earlier than the 5.30am wake up knock listening for the jeeps coming up the drive.

Every drive was different but all equally amazing…we never dreamed we would see so much. …playful baby elephants , cheetahs , leopards (including a 6 week old cub), lions with their kill , hippos , rhinos , buffalos, zebras, giraffes, snakes , crocodiles. We saw all these on numerous occasions.

We had the most FANTASTIC ranger and tracker …Steve and Thulani…they were awesome…they got us so close and were always smiling.

When you weren’t on the drives the lodge and the staff were equally as amazing. They are such a fantastic team …the chefs, the bar staff, the housekeepers, the security guards, the spa girls, the management…..they really did treat you like family.

And the send off from the staff, three jeeps parked at the side of the airstrip with the rangers and trackers standing in the jeeps waving us off….fantastic!

Ulusaba well exceeded our expectations on every level, we both had tears in our eyes when we left and we are already planning when we can go back.

Date of stay: September 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Mark_n_Pip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2009

There are so many things to consider when planning a safari trip (especially if it's your first, as this was for me) that it can be overwhelming. How long do I stay? What should I bring? What will the weather be like? How do I get from point A to point B? Here's one thing to make your planning easier: stay at Ulusaba.

I've just returned from a stay at Ulusaba and have to say that it's likely the best hotel I've ever stayed at. But then again, "hotel" is a bit of an understatement - this falls more under the category of an "experience" - and an amazing one at that.

Undecided on which lodge to pick, we opted to split our time between both the Rock Lodge and the Safari Lodge - 2 nights at each. As the Rock Lodge was our first stop, we were taken there upon landing at the Ulusaba airstrip and being refreshed with a nice glass of champagne - into the safari vehicle and up the hill to the lodge, the adventure had begun. Upon arriving, we were taken on a tour of the central lodge areas and then to our room (to our surprise, we had been upgraded to the Makwela Dawn suite -- an incredible split-level accomodation with private deck and plunge pool). The views from Rock Lodge were amazing. And the room was so nice that we actually then requested to spend all 4 nights there. However, new guests were coming in, so we had to move to Safari Lodge two days later. I'm glad we did it this way - they are two very different lodges, but with the same emphasis on both making guests feel at home and catering to their every need. At the Safari Lodge, we were surprised with another upgrade -- to a River Room...another gorgeous accomodation - a little smaller than the one we had at Rock Lodge, but also beautifully appointed and complete with private deck and plunge pool. While Rock Lodge is a teeny bit more refined and elegant, Safari Lodge feels like more of an adventure in the heart of the bush.

Food at both was excellent -- and plentiful. The day starts at 5:30am with your wake-up call. After getting ready, you call to be escorted from your room to the lodge, where you'll find tea, coffee, scones, shortbread, and cookies. Halfway through the drive is a rest stop for more of the same. When you get back around 9:00am, it's time for a full breakfast. Breakfast is the same every day (except for the day we had it served in the bush) - with cooked-to-order omelettes, pancakes, etc. As a person whose breakfast usually consists of a coffee, I actually found myself quite hungry after the game drives. Well - about 3 hours later, lunch is served. Again, the menu is the same every day, but there are plenty of options - ranging from a Kudu burger to a butternut/goat's cheese pizza. At 3pm, tea is served (we only managed this the first day) - sweet snacks and tea and then you are off on your drive. Halfway through - it's time for sundowners! Drinks and more snacks. And at 8pm, dinner is served at communal tables. The chef introduces the menu options - 3 each for appetizers and entree (1 of each is always vegetarian). Great, innovative, and tast selections.

But I haven't even gotten to the highlight yet - and that's the game drives. They are, in a word, fantastic. Yes, waking up at 5am is hard. Yes, they can be cold (they provide fleece cover-ups, blankets, and hot water bottles, but if you are going in their winter, bring a fleece jacket and hat). But they are absolutely great. With the trusted guidance of Jobe (our ranger) and Powlie (our tracker), we saw all Big 5 by our second day. We also saw mating leopards, baby elephants and hippos, a leopard chasing impala, and a lion about to feast on a wildebeast. The animals come very, very close to the vehicle sometimes and our adrenaline definitely got pumping, but we never feared for our safety. We also went off-road quite a bit, which was exciting! This is the type of thing that words won't do justice for, you just have to experience it for yourself.

So, how long should you go on safari? It depends. For us, 4 days was the perfect amount of time. We got into the routine, saw everything, but were not too exhausted by the early wake-up times or jaded by the amazine wildlife encounters.

But however long you choose to go for and whenever you choose to go, stay at Ulusaba. You won't be disappointed.

Date of stay: August 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Sunny77777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews