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“Our dream trip come true”

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The Vuyani Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 July 2013

Art and I had always wanted to go on Safari. Each of our ten days at Vuyani was a dream come true. We were met at the airport in Johanessberg by Andre. From the first moment we met he was easy to speak with and very knowledgeable and proud of his country. Although the drive is close to six hours, it is worth the time. You get of feel for the country that you could not from a book. Rina met us at the door and made us feel special from the first moment. Vuyani had planned a night drive, so dinner was earlier than usual. The four other couples greeted us and made us feel like family. Gerard is an excellent chef and very personable. Dinner always started with an excellent soup and dinner was a five star experience. We sat together at a large table where everyone shared stories of their experiences from the day. Art and I soon learned that we had so much in common with the other guests.

For our first five days. Mike was the diver for the drives and OJ (can't spell his real name) was the tracker. They were outstanding. Being on a private reserve affords you the opportunity to drive off road. That's an experience in itself. We saw many animals on each of the drives. There is a drive in the morning and one in the afternoon before dinner. Sometimes we would see the animals on the road or very close to it. On one of the night drives Mike found the large male lion and a female sleeping. He must have been able to get within 30 feet. On one of the morning drive we saw a pair of cheetahs stalking impala. The list of experiences is endless.

One sunny afternoon, I decided to stay at the lodge while the others went on an afternoon drive. I was sitting on our deck when a Nyala came out of the trees and started to graze no more than a few feet from me. Eventually there were dozens. One actually sniffed my shoe.

Justine was a genius at arranging tours. We were able to do every trip we wanted and actually had the driver we requested for each trip.

Pierre was the driver for the next five days. He is very knowledgeable about the animals including interesting tidbits about the. If you go, ask him about squirrels and woodpeckers.

George drove his to the rehabilitation center and taught me how to massage a warthog. He was also our driver into town and back to the airport. George would point out animals along the way. I don't know how he did it while he was driving, but he spotted two white rhino.

I don't remember who told me that you will cry when you leave Vuyani, but I did. It felt as though we were leaving family.


Stayed: July 2013
1  Thank Tina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernard K, Manager at The Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2013

Many thanks for your fantastic review! It is always a delight to hear and read that our guests' expectations were exceeded. By any means, if you ever want to visit us again, please let me know, and I shall arrange everything for you! It would be a huge pleasure to host you again in the future.

All the best regards from the Vuyani team,

Bernard

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382 - 388 of 499 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2013

I'm at a loss for words to describe the wonderful experience we had during our 5 night at Vuyani. This is a small, intimate lodge and 10 lucky people are spoiled beyond belief by the wonderful staff. Décor is fabulous. Food is unbelievable. Service is way beyond what is expected. Game drives with Mike are unbelievable. Want a little taste of heaven? Go to Vuyani.

Room Tip: pay the extra money for one of the two free standing honeymoon bungalows.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank asfem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernard K, Manager at The Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 July 2013

Many thanks for your superb review!

We are absolutely delighted that you enjoyed the food, the lodge and the safaris as much as you did. I personally very much agree with you: this is a very intimate and special place in one of the world's most spectacular locations. We'd love to welcome you here again any time in the future!

Kind regards from the entire Vuyani Safari Lodge team,

Bernard

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Reviewed 3 July 2013

My husband and I are just returning from a five-night stay at Vuyani Safari Lodge, and as the title indicates, our trip was simply beyond compare. As all of the other reviews will attest, the food is superb, the game drives are exhilarating, and the décor is awe-inspiring. What really makes Vuyani better than any other place we have ever visited though, is the hospitality.

The ride down from Johannesburg with George was pleasant and comfortable, though we slept most of the way after an overnight flight. Upon arrival at Vuyani, Rina greeted us at the door with refreshing glasses of juice and then escorted us to our room, providing helpful information along the way. From that very first greeting, until the day that we left, Rina was always available to meet any request, no matter how large or how small. I mentioned to her that my husband was celebrating his birthday while we were there, and that I would like to do something special for him. With just that simple request, she made the day one we will never forget. The day topped with a boma, and specially decorated birthday cake made by Rose.

Speaking of Rose, she too is quite the genius. While we were there, one of the other visiting families had two members who required a gluten free diet. However, that did not prevent them from enjoying the delectable treats of homemade breads and pastries the rest of us did. In fact, my husband’s birthday cake was actually gluten free, so it could be enjoyed by all, and was so delicious we didn’t even realize the difference until all of the guests joined us to enjoy it.

Rose, however, is not the only member of the kitchen staff who prepares beautiful and mouthwatering delights. Gerard is truly brilliant in the kitchen. Each meal was prepared to perfection and presented as the masterpiece it was. And while his food could absolutely speak for itself, Gerard needs nothing to speak for him. Never to miss an opportunity to laugh, Gerard makes you feel as though you have known him for years, and is much of the reason guests feel instantly at home at Vuyani.

These are a few of the staff members who made our time at the lodge so wonderful, but of course what we were really looking forward to during our time at Vuyani was the safaris. The daily game drives with Pierre and the day trips with Mike were phenomenal. Mike took us on our day trips to Kruger National Park and the Blythe River Canyon. Both of these trips are, in my opinion, must-see excursions. We saw so much and learned even more. Mike was able to spot things I was sure he must be making up, until he patiently guided us to see them as well. Then, as we enjoyed and photographed at our leisure, he taught us volumes about each and every thing we saw.

Pierre was our game driver, and twice a day we set out with him on the game drives around the reserve. Every single one of those drives provided us with opportunities to see incredible animals at close range. He too is exceptionally knowledgeable and patiently answered all of our questions. Pierre’s tracking skills were fascinating to watch, and he goes out of his way to find the animals guests most want to see. We loved our game drives with Pierre. They were absolutely the best thing about our vacation. Before we left we were already planning our return trip!

Room Tip: We stayed in one of the honeymoon suites and loved it. We had tons of privacy and sat on the deck an...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank lawsonm29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernard K, Manager at The Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2013

Many thanks for reviewing us! We are all happy to hear that you enjoyed yourselves at our lodge, and that you could see so much wildlife. It was a pleasure for the cake!

We hope to see you again in the future. We are adding some spectacular river suites at the moment, so in about 8 weeks from now this will be yet another reason to come back!

All the best and our kindest regards,

Bernard

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Reviewed 27 June 2013

We have recently returned after spending 7 nights at Vuyani and it has got to be one of the best holidays I have ever been on! The reviews on here are all worthy!
I travelled with 2 of my close friends and from start to finish we all had an amazing time. I cannot praise the staff enough. From George who picked us up
from Jo'borg, Shane and Gerrard the incredibly talented chefs and to Pierre and OJ who made sure we saw all the animals while out on the drives. The lodge is beautiful, nice big clean rooms and has incredible views from the decking area. Still can't believe how close we were able to get to the animals, especially the lions eating! Thank you to all that made this holiday one to remember! Love Kristina Bethan & Priscilla xxx

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank KristinaJ85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernard K, Manager at The Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2013

Hi Kristina,

Many thanks for reviewing us. I am very happy that you enjoyed yourselves at the lodge, and that you loved all the sightings. Many thanks also for posting all the photos, they give a very good impression of what to expect here. I love the one with the elephants in the background, that's very special!

I hope to welcome you some time soon again at the lodge, it would be a real pleasure! Best regards from the whole Vuyani team!

Bernard

Booking manager
Bernard@vuyanilodge.com
www.vuyanilodge.com

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Reviewed 18 June 2013

If you are looking for a small intimate safari experience then this is the place for you. The accommodations are lovely and the staff quite personable and attentive to all your needs. With a maximum of 10 guests at a time you will get to know your fellow lodgers very well, especially at 6 am on your morning safari drive. We had a wonderful group and enjoyed everyone's company, however if you want to keep to yourself this may not be for you. Also, some of the larger places may be able to offer more animal sightings, and amenities, but not the same personalized intimate service and atmosphere that you get at Vuyani.

Room Tip: All the rooms are equally lovely I think.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank moero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernard K, Manager at The Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2013

Many thanks for reviewing us. I am pleased to hear you had a good time at our lodge, and we are looking forward to hopefully welcoming you here again in the future!

Bernard

Bookings manager
Email: Bernard@vuyanilodge.com

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Reviewed 16 June 2013

My girlfriend and I spent 6 nights at Vuyani Lodge. It was perfect, such an amazing experience! The lodge was flawless and the staff were amazing. During the game drives, the ranger and tracker were brilliant, knew everything you could want to know about the animals and the way they tracked and found them was incredible. Back at the lodge, the staff couldn't do enough to make sure your stay was just how you wanted it. The food was exceptional, something new and exciting every day. This trip was an unforgettable experience, supposedly a trip of a life time but we will without a doubt be returning as soon as we can. Thank you so much to everyone at Vuyani for making our holiday so special. See you soon! James and Lauren.

Room Tip: Both the luxury suites within the lodge and the luxury chalets were amazing!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernard K, Manager at The Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2013

Many thanks for reviewing us. It was a real pleasure meeting you at the lodge and getting to know you while out on safari on our reserve. I am looking forward to meeting you again on your next visit at our lodge some time next year hopefully. Let me know if there is anything I can help with.

Bernard

Bookings manager
Email: Bernard@vuyanilodge.com

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Reviewed 8 June 2013

My wife and I booked five nights at Vuyani Lodge for our honeymoon after seeing the lodge advertised on Jetsetter. Simpy put, we could not have been happier with our (first) safari experience. As the title indicates, the staff made what would have been a good experience into the trip of a lifetime. We could not have asked for a better guide in Pierre, and chefs Shane, Gerard and Rosie were fantastic (and prepared delicious food). In summary, you get a unique safari experience in Vuyani given it is the only lodge (presently) on Moditlo and there are only five rooms (ten people), which means there is only one safari vehicle on the entire 32,000 acre reserve. Most lodges do not have exclusive access like this.

Upon arrival in the Jo'berg airport, Bernard arranged for George to pick us up and drive us four hours north to the Moditlo Game Reserve. We rode there in a Toyota Hilux pickup (new truck with leather seats), which was generally a comfortable ride. When we arrived, Christopher greeted us with hot towels and beverages. We were shown to our room by Reena, who was a great hostess.

Shortly thereafter, we went on our first game ride and absolutely had a blast. Every game ride thereafter, we saw something new. In total, we saw four of the big five on the game reserve (we did not see leopards), but also saw cheetahs, hippos, and crocs, among the regular herbivores (zebras, giraffes, antelopes, etc.). Pierre went out of his way multiple times tracking prints of animals guests had not yet seen. On two occasions he (tracking prints) to be sure that we (and other guests) saw the pride of lions. He truly showed interest in getting to know the guests and making sure they were happy.

The bar/alcohol selection was not anything particularly amazing, but had many local options, which were all fine. The food made up for it though, as we were looking forward to every singe one of the homemade meals. The pool was very relaxing and we chose to go on an excursion one of the five days to Kruger National Park. We would recommend this as a top excursion option if you plan to spend a day away from the lodge. Kruger is a must-do option given your proximity to the country's largest park (before you go, Youtube: "Battle at Kruger").

We had an extra day at the end that we wanted to extend at Vuyani, but they were booked. Mike drove us in a brand new Toyota Fortrunner luxury SUV back to Jo'berg. It was so tough to leave and say goodbye to the staff that we had grown so close to. We can't recommend Vuyani enough. If you are looking for an intimate safari experience where you will make new friends in both the guests and the staff, you could not find a better place than Vuyani Lodge. We hope to go back in the future.

- Nick & Jess

Room Tip: If you do not want to worry about being escorted to and from your room at night, stay in the main lo...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nick N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernard K, Manager at The Vuyani Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 8 October 2013

Dear Nick and Jess,

Many thanks for your very detailed account and review of our safari lodge. It is always such a pleasure to hear and see that our guests appreciate the exclusivity, but also the many personal touches at the lodges, and the services. Our staff is passionate about what they do, and they share that with our guests which is why so many friendships are formed here.

I for one I am delighted that we provided the trip of a lifetime to you guys, especially as it was your honeymoon. We wish all the best, and we hope to welcome you here agan some time in the future!

Kind regards from South Africa,

Bernard

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Additional Information about The Vuyani Safari Lodge

Address: | Moditlo Private Game Reserve, Hoedspruit 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Hoedspruit
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 103 Speciality Lodging in Hoedspruit
Price Range: £319 - £509 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Vuyani Safari Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Vuyani Safari Lodge is located on the Moditlo Private Game Reserve within the Blue Canyon Conservancy which is more than 36,000 acres in size. Located next to the Kruger National Park, at the foot of the Drakensberg mountain range, Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of South Africa's premier luxury safari lodges, in the country's most famous area for African wildlife. The Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of only 3 lodges on this reserve, and with only 10 suites, it offers one of the most exclusive African safari experiences in South Africa. The reserve offers a unique opportunity to observe all of Africa's large game such as the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, hippo and crocodile as well as some of the very rarest species, amongst others the wild dog, the brown hyena, the ground hornbill, cheetahs and several other highly endangered animals. Almost 400 various species of birds have been counted. Some of the rarest European migratory birds visit the reserve in the European winter months. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vuyani Safari Hotel Hoedspruit
The Vuyani Safari Lodge South Africa/Hoedspruit

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