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“My new happy place!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ulusaba Safari Lodge

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Ulusaba Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“My new happy place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

Ulusaba is an experience that I can't wait to repeat! From the moment we arrived, the service was friendly, professional and welcoming. By the time we left, it felt as though we were leaving family behind! We had a River room which was large and spacious with a huge deck area overlooking the river bed. The bathroom was huge, with a large wet room area for the shower and a huge bathtub. Full size toiletries in the room, and every possible convenience from the fully loaded mini-bar to the power adaptor. We saw saw antelope and elephants from the deck area, as well having monkeys and baboons taking a closer look at the human inhabitants!
The food was delicious and the wine choices were varied, although the lunch menu was a little limited as it didn't change during our stay. The dinner menu was wonderful, with each course described by the chef, and some excellent wines. We had a bush BBQ one night, experienced a 5-course "taster menu" another, as well as buffet and a la carte options. It was aways beautifully presented and very tasty.
Our game drives were a fantastic experience - this was our first safari, and we were very lucky to have a wonderful ranger and tracker in Trevor and Sam who were happy to spend time watching the animals, so that we got as many photos as we wanted, as well as helping with the settings on the camera for anyone who needed it. It certainly helped that there were only 6 of us in the jeep, so everyone had a good view, No two game drives were the same and I feel extremely fortunate to have seen so many beautiful animals ups close, from the lions and lionesses, to the leopards and being able to see both White and Black Rhinos!
I loved it so much that as soon as I got home, I started planning our next trip!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alli D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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369 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Woking Surrey UK
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

The game reserve at Ulusaba is open so you see herds of animals such as elephants and buffalos. The atmosphere here is very relaxed and embraces the concept of a safari being a 'shared experience' so breakfast and dinner is a communal affair. Everything and I mean everything is all-inclusive here - from mini-bar to laundry. Nothing is too much trouble. Food is beautifully prepared and if you like wine then this is the place to come (unfortunately my husband and I do not drink but we were sorely tempted!!). At time we could go 30 minutes with no wildlife but that is half the fun! We still saw all the big 5 plus wild dog, black rhino and the wow's for me were two leopards courting and the herd of elephant crossing the river - wow, wow and wow!

Room Tip: Elephant rooms are central and detached
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gibson1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2012

I visited last February/March and I have to say I simply can't get it out of my system!! So much so that I am heading back again next year for more!

The location is spectacular, peaceful, calm and very much part of the natural environment (I saw elephant and leopard from my room!) The rooms are beautiful too, very luxurious. I stayed in a River room which was stunning and loved being in the middle of the bush all but next time I will do stay a couple of nights in both camps to experience Rock lodge as well.

The overall mood there is relaxed and quite informal. There is a similar vibe in other Branson locations I have been to, but this doesn't mean quality is compromised in any way. It is just not stuffy or overly formal which works really well in this location.

And the game..having been on many safaris in the past I have never seen anything as close and in such abundance as in the Sabi, it is quite incredible. My only regret was not seeing wild Dog despite my ranger driving around all morning on my last day trying to find them! Our ranger Sam and our guide were first class too so you are in good hands.

Also worth a visit to one of the local villages that Pride and Purpose support. Great work being done here by the Lodge to support the local community.

What would I change? Very little. It is pricey and they need to watch it doesn't get too much so. Last time I went alone and it is great that they are now removing the single supplement when they're not too busy - that cost me yet there were lots of rooms empty - but they are listening to customers.

So, can't wait to go again. Hoping the remaining Mapogo lions are still around to see!

Room Tip: Room choice depends on several factors. All the rooms are lovely but differ in size. The safari room...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Meohmy68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2012

Ulusaba is not just a physical place, it is an experience of.the state of mind that safari is. The physical location, high on the mountain top is surreal and.the jeep ride up the mountain provides the framework for this amazing experience of sensory pleasure. The rooms are amazing, four poster beds and all and the luxurious feel is subtle and inviting. The restaurant provides a breathtaking view atop the mountain and the food and wine provide more intoxication of the senses. The game rides are fantastic and you are sure to see all the game since the rangers are in contact with one another constantly. It is truly one of the highlight experiences of my travel life to have the opportunity to stay at this resort. Definitely one for the bucket list! Enjoy!

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank shekie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arvada, Colorado
Level Contributor
87 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2012

I visited Ulusaba after I had been to several game lodges in South Africa. Everything from being collected at their private airstrip, to the food and lodging and the game drives were awesome! Have never seen as many wild animals in my life as I have seen there. Went fishing in one of the ponds with alligators on the opposite shore. The fish never stopped biting. I will definitely return a.s.a.p.!

Room Tip: Go in the spring as the grass is shorter so the animals can't hide quite as easily. This is an...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ferret50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2012

Ulusaba was worth every cent we paid to stay there. This is not just a holiday destination it is an experience of a lifetime.

For the moment we contacted the Virgin team to make our travel arrangements, every member of staff we came into contact with was incredibly helpful. I've been on safari before but this is different - from the very first moment you step off the plane, every little detail is taken care of. The safari lodge rooms, the meals, the location, the game drives with hot water bottles and ponchos, sundowners drinks in the bush, the guides and lodge staff are all incredible - and that's before you even see any animals!

We saw lions mating whilst we ate breakfast, heard lions and hippos calling during the night, got to see leopards on 4 occasions, saw elephants playing in muddy watering holes, tracked zebras and rhinos and saw so many amazing birds and that still doesn't even nearly cover it - we saw everything - except a honey badger :) Every minute of each game drive was different.

We spent 5 nights at Ulusaba and didn't want to leave...it is the only place we've ever visited that we know we'll come back to, it is a magical place tha everyone should have the privilege of visiting.

Thank you to the whole Ulusaba family including Phillip and Kaiser our guide and tracker and all the lodge staff - it totally surpassed all our expectations! THANK YOU!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NatSydney52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2012

James and I have just returned from our honeymoon, during which we spent the first 5 days in Safari Lodge, Ulusaba. I'm not sure we are going to be able to decribe in words quite how amazing it was. All the staff at Ulusaba are absolutely fantastic and made us feel so welcome.
Our room was amazing, the food was awesome and the choice of drinks was unbelievable. The games drives were out of this world and were one million times better then we ever expected them to be. I remember saying to James one day into our honeymoon, after our first drive, where we saw leopards, hippo's, and a male lion roar to his brothers that even if we go home now it will have been the most amazing experience of my life!! Luckilly we didnt have to and spent 4 awesome days and nights at Ulusaba. Johnny our ranger and Dan out tracker were fantastic. Johnny enthusiasm was infectious and his knowledge was immence, his love and respect for all the animals especially the leopards shone though and we feel so lucky to have them both to take us on safari drives. Ulusaba was fantastic, life changing and we will remember our four days there forever.

We wanted to write to thank Johnny, Dan, Kim and Robin personally for being just so lovely and helping make our honeymoon so totally unforgettable and amazing. We've never ever been close to tears when leaving anywhere but both James and I were crying when we got on the plane to leave. Thank you all so much for the best 4 days imaginable. We will never ever forget it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rachel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Safari Lodge, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Thank you so much for your amazing comments. It means so much to all of us here at Ulusaba to know that you had such a lovely experience and really appreciate all the positive feedback. We look forward to welcoming you & James back to Ulusaba in the future; perhaps for a wedding anniversary one year!

All the best and have a magic day.

Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ulusaba Safari Lodge

Property: Ulusaba Safari Lodge
Address: Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ulusaba Safari Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Safari Lodge is built along the banks of the dry Mabrak riverbed. The 11 rooms at Safari Lodge include a Treehouse Suite overlooking the nearby Xikwenga Dam as well as three other room types: Safari, Elephant and River Rooms, some of which have private plunge pools. Kids over the age of 12 are welcome to stay at Safari Lodge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ulusaba Safari Hotel Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

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