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“High expectations and not disappointed”

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Ulusaba Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 14, 2013

I have wanted to stay at Ulusaba for many years having read excellent reviews about the lodge.
From the moment our guide, Steve met us at the airstrip and offered us a glass of champagne I knew we had chosen the right place. As experienced safari goers we have high expectations of our game drives. Ulusaba did not disappoint. We had excellent viewings including lion cubs, several leopards including a cub, rhino, elephants etc. Steve was an excellent guide and we had a great time one morning tracking a male leopard through dense bush.
Safari Lodge is lovely. Our river room was beautiful with views over the dry river bed where we saw vervets, impala, nyala and baboons. It was very well equipped including well stocked mini bar. The gym is small but adequate and my massage was good and reasonably priced. As our trip was a special occasion I made a few requests in advance and these were all met and even surpassed.
The food was generally of a very high standard,
Downsides... Because of the high density of lodges in Sabi Sands some animal viewings were shorter than we would have liked as the guides from different lodges share their sightings. However this did mean that we saw some wonderful things. Bush dinner one evening marred the whole experience. On this occasion the food was poor, a shame given the calibre of Ian the chef and the excellent tasting menu we had had the night before. The way the evening was organised it was not possible for guests to opt out which did not fit the "what ever you would like " service attitude we experienced the rest of our stay.
Would we return... Yes but only after making sure bush dinner would not be inflicted on us.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lucyleopard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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247 - 253 of 395 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

We got married here in 2012 and cannot recommend the place any higher. Service, location, staff and the safaris all top class. We stayed 3 nights in a River room with plunge pool down in the Safari lodge and 2 nights in one of the Makwela suites in the rock lodge. Both was amazing and a totally different experience but if we had to choose one, we would probably pick the safari lodge as we was a lot closer to the bigger wildlife and it seemed a little more relaxed, more to do with the clientele than the environment (costs a lot more to stay at the top). However, both was amazing and would recommend doing both if you can afford too (i'm still paying for it).
I could go on for ages about the safaris, but they are one of the best things to you could do in your lifetime, especially when taken by such knowledgeable guides and trackers.
Overall i think this is the best place on earth i've had the pleasure of visiting and only wish i could afford to visit more often.
We have just come back from Morocco, where we visited another one of Richard Branson's Properties, and the service and quality was equally as good in it's own unique way. Seems the guy has really got his hospitality game down to a tee!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank exmouthsharris
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 reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Thank you so much for your comments. It was lovely to read your feedback following your visit last April with us, weddings at Ulusaba are really very special and so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you again for choosing Ulusaba as the venue for your special day.

Congratulations must be in order for your 1 year wedding anniversary, perhaps another visit to celebrate your wedding anniversary in the future could be planned!

All the best
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba

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Reviewed March 28, 2013

This is a first rate attraction. Everything is perfection; the setting, the service, the food and, of course, the wide variety of wild life.
The atmosphere is informal but efficient. Meals are often taken communally, which works to integrate everyone. The Rangers and Trackers are knowlegable and the Management know how to make your stay enjoyable.
We went with high expectations and they were surpassed.
Particular thanks to Johanus and Joseph for such memorable game drives and Blair and Earnest for such high standards on the hotel side.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Peter V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

Second time I've been here, brilliant place, lovely location and the best staff and management you will find. All in a very relaxed, casual and natural style.

It's not cheap, but it is exceptional and without the stuffy formality you might expect for the price.

Great food too, lovely wines, and the best thunder storm I've seen to accompany dinner one night!

And of course the game is exceptional which is what it is really all about, just amazing. Our ranger Sam is a star, a real credit to this great place as is Donald who entertained the two kids on our jeep brilliantly!

Only complaint is directed at the 4 Selati males who decided to disappear for he four days we were there!!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank Meohmy68
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 reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Thank you so much for your positive feedback, it really is greatly appreciated and I can assure you that I will pass all comments onto the team as I know they’ll be so pleased to hear them.

The Selati males have since returned, it seems like they were looking at expanding their territory but ran into another coalition of males and got chased back to the western sector, I will certainly inform them of your disappointment and will make sure they are here when you return!

We hope to welcome you back for a third time soon!

All the best
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba

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Reviewed March 25, 2013

Stayed in Cliff Lodge for 3 nights in January. Due to BA shutting down T5 we had to reschedule our trip and finally arrived two days late. No problem for Ulusaba staff who were friendly, professional and really good fun. Particular thanks to Sean and George who took us out every day, and really made the trip. Due to the heavy rain, the tracks were almost impassable in places and we, and a couple of the other trucks got stuck and had to be rescued. This just added to the excitement and fun of the drive, along with the 'Ferrari safari', when we'd get notified over the radio of a potential sighting and went tearing off to find it - just brilliant! We saw just about everything you can think of with the possible exception of Tarzan and had a couple of very close experiences with rhino and the most beautiful leopard.

The Cliff Lodge was wonderful. Huge suite astefully and sympathetically decorated, great showers and very comfortable bed, small plunge pool on the deck and the most fantastic views out over the dense green. At dawn, you could step out onto the deck and watch the mist clearing to reveal elephants having a mud bath beneath you.

The only advice I might give is that if you're mixing your safari with a longer sightseeing holiday in South Africa, do the safari first; it's tiring, because you're up very early and not necessarily having early nights to compensate. Also, one of other reviewers who gave a poor review commented on the fact that the LandRovers are shared. Yes they are, but if you don't like who you're sharing with, why not ask to change. We shared with a lovely family from New York, and spent the whole 3 days laughing together - they were brilliant.

You won't leave Ulusaba hungry either - the food was excellent. Pre-safari breakfast is served (muffins, fruit, cake, tea, coffee etc) from 5.30 am, followed by full breakfast with EVERYTHING upon return at around 9ish. Then lunch, and pre-safari tea, followed by a delicious dinner. Meals were served in the huge dining area communally, but if you wanted a table to yourselves, you just had to ask... The Chef came out before each meal to describe the menu (our evening meals included steak, kudu and a BBQ) and you had a choice of excellent wines. The whole three days was magical and memorable and I can't wait to go back one day.

Room Tip: For fantastic views try Cliff Lodge or Rock Lodge - if you want to be based around the (normally) dr...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank GoodersOnHols
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 reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Thank you so much for your positive feedback, it really is greatly appreciated and I can assure you that I will pass all of your comments onto the entire team as I know they’ll be so pleased to hear them.

I’m glad to hear that the rain didn’t dampen your spirits on the game drives, we have found over the years that some guests prefer them in the rain!

I do sincerely hope you will come back and visit us again one day.

All the best
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba

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Reviewed March 9, 2013

We stayed at Ulusaba in an Elephant room for 3 nights on our honeymoon.

From the moment we were picked up by our pilot for our private plane transfer to the moment we left we were treated like royalty. Being met off the plane with a glass of champagne we knew we had made the right choice coming here.

Our ranger Johnny and tracker Dan were highly entertaining as well as informative and made the game drives even more magical. We saw all the big five and you won't believe how close you get.

We booked the romance package which included romantic bath, private picnic lunch in the bush, couples massage at the spa and a romantic private dinner at the observatory which made the whole occasion so special.

Can't recommend the place highly enough.

Best wishes to Johnny and Kim who are due to become parents any day now.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank StuJen_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

We booked this trip because we could no longer use our virgin miles to travel to Kenya, so this was an alternative destination. We safari a lot this camp was one of the best we have stayed in. The staff very efficient, friendly made us feel as if we were very important at all times. The lodge is very luxurious food very plentiful and good. From our room (river1) we saw animals just grazing, baboons in the trees, and vervet monkeys playing on the rope bridges, that you access the rooms by. We had Johan and Joseph as our ranger and spotter, what was impressive is that they actually tracked the animals sometimes on foot to locate them, as the bush was very dense at this time of year. We did find that there were not as many animals as we would usually like to see, and on one occasion we went out on a morning drive and didn't see a single animal, but had some wonderful sightings of leopard, lions and rhinos at other times. Safari Lodge is better in the summer months as it is cool but in the winter months it is very cold so the better choice would be rock lodge at this time.

Room Tip: River1 is close to the main building and you do not have use the rope bridges to access it. Very lux...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jap5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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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