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“3 year, keeps getting better!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Arathusa Safari Lodge

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Arathusa Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Corvallis
Level Contributor
85 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“3 year, keeps getting better!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2011

Arathusa just keeps getting better. They have added a restaurant area for those who do not want to eat dinner outside on the patio overlooking the watering hole (people have complained it's cold and their food is cold. I have never experienced this in the 4 stays there, unless I talk and ignore my dinner). We did not like eating in the restaurant area so they happily let us eat out on the deck by the boma. Other return guests also appreciated this during our stay. Sitting in a circle outside is very social and makes for some good laughs and wildlife sightings!

Arathusa also added a spa since last year. Very, very nice!!! The staff are wonderful and it's a beautiful setting overlooking the watering hole. I had 300-400 Cape Buffalo, Zebra, Waterbuck and Impala roaming around while getting a pedicure last week - AMAZING!!! (so was the pedicure BTW).

The chef (Max) was wonderful and has such a great sense of humor. His food dishes were out of this world. Thanks Max!!!

The new manager, Ashleigh is a pure delight. She fits in perfectly with the rest of the amazing staff at Arathusa. We truly miss the former managers, but Ashleigh has taken over and not missed a beat since they left.

The rangers and trackers are simply the best and most professional you will find. Last year we this was our only concern and Arathusa no longer employs the ranger who did not seem to win many friends during his time at Arathusa with the guests. Ryan and De Beer are AWESOME. Phillipe and Andre are awesome rangers also, but no matter who's truck you are on all of them are equally as warm and interetsed in your enjoyment at Arathusa. Also love that they all wear earphones so you cannot hear the communication between them during the drives - thanks!! (although it was nice to know where we were racing off to if you know a few animal names in Afrikaans).

This was the 3rd straight year staying at Arathusa, 4 time staying at the lodge (2 times the 1st year) and each year they add something new and exciting. I have noticed comments on trip advisor on ways they can imrove and Arathusa listens. They truly care about giving people the best experience they possibly can while at the lodge.

We will be returning next August again. Our most recent stay at Arathusa further solidified our love for Sabi Sand, and South Africa. Leaving Arathusa has always been so hard because I never knew if we'd be back, but this year I got to leave knowing I'd be back soon - back to see a group of people I can call friends, who remember us and who we look forward to seeing each year.

Thanks so much Ashleigh, Ryan, De Beer, Phillipe, Andre, Max, Roy, Helena, and everyone else for the best time yet. This year will be hard to beat, but we know you're up for the challenge!! Love you guys! See you soon!!!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank youngtravellers99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (251)
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English first
New Braunfels, Texas
Level Contributor
32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2011

What a delightful stay! Beginning with a delicious dinner served after hours since we arrived after the regular dinner hour! No one will go hungry with a chef who enjoys his cooking and presents wonderful dinners! The guides are fabulous for finding all of the animals! Ryan found lots of lions (as requested) for me as well as the Big 5! He also was able to show us lots of baaby animals! All staff members smiled and would do anything requested immediately. Don't miss the opportunity to stay at Arathusa!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nsr419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2011

Arathusa safari lodge was an absolutely amazing place to stay during our recent safari through Southern Africa.

To start, our flight from Livingstone came in late in the afternoon, resulting in us arriving late the first night. However, the staff called us while transferring to the lodge, to prepare dinner for us upon our arrival.

While at the hotel we stayed in luxury chalets (private pool/deck/indoor and outdoor showers, sitting room, jacuzzi, etc). The chalets were 5-star class at a very reasonable rate. All meals were included in the price, and all of which were fantastic (3 courses, and 3 options (2 meat, 1 vegetarian)).

However, the best part of the trip were the game drives and bush walks. While on 4 game drives we saw all of the big 5 (including lion cubs, a leopard eating a warthog, and a leopard kill an antelope) in addition to other animals like giraffes, wildebeest, zebras. Also at night, we could hear lions and hyenas from our chalets.

Thus, I would absolutely recommend this hotel to anyone looking to visit Sabi Sands or Kruger.

Room Tip: Booked through Go2Africa tour company
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 68ToGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grimsby, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2011

Arathusa is simply to die for!!!! From the moment we arrived we were made to feel as though we were the only guests in the lodge.

You are immediately struck by the incredible beauty and serenity of this lodge....it took us about an hour to come back down to earth. Our room "Bush Willow" was something out of a magazine....I truly have no words except to say it was spectacular.

The game drives absolutely blew us away....our guide was Armand and our tracker was Chris....both were absolutely wonderful and very knowledgable and respectful towards the animals and the environment. On our morning game drives it was quite cold however they provided hot water bottles and blankets. Within moments you were simply lost in the beauty of the animal world.

The animals, the lodge, the sounds, the food and the breath taking sun rises and sun sets....you have to experience it for yourself because I simply cannot find enough descriptive words to accurately convey my thoughts. The Chef comes out each night and introduces himself as well as the fabulous dishes he's preparing for that evening.....Gordon Ramsay would be very impressed!!!!

Everything about this place is classy and elegant. All staff have a healthy respect for the animals and are truly passionate about their preservation. We actually saw a female leopard hunting, then heard the kill and watched her drag her kill out of the bushes to eat. Within moments a male leopard approached and chased the female up the tree along with her kill and then he stole it. It happened so quick and it was the most incredible thing I had ever seen. Prior to this, National Geographic or Animal Planet was my only source.

An African Safari is not cheap however life is short. For anyone debating about doing this... I guarantee you will NOT be disappointed. Once in a lifetime experience....nothing else can compare.

Kimberley Clark & Mark Heyes

Room Tip: Ask for Bush Willow
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kymbur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
72 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2011

Our experience at Arathusa was nothing short of perfect. The property itself was beautiful, well appointed, and in excellent shape. We had 3 "huts" and everyone loved their rooms, ammenities, and services. The food was fantastic and the service was top notch. We loved every minute we spent there. But the best part was the guided safari rides where we saw everything from Leopard cubs to lions eating a fresh kill. Elephants walked so close to our vehicle that we could have scratched behind their ears. The entire trip exceeded our wildest expectations so greatly that we all have declared this our best vacation ever (and we have been all over the world). If you have the opportunity for this "once in a lifetime" experience, do it. I doubt you can find a better place than Arathusa.

Room Tip: All the rooms we had were fantastic.
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • 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 Colttravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex
Level Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2011

This was our third trip to Arathusa and it was once again a magical experience.
We arrived in time for lunch and on our first dirve hunted for lions; saw an old female buffalo, 5 rhino, had a brief glimpse of a leopard; watched the sun go down with our sundowners; before going off to watch a leopard in a tree munching on an impala kill that he'd stolen from a samller female with 2 hopeful hyenas waiting underneath for scraps - what an amazing start.
Ryan was our Ranger again with De Beer our tracker. Ther were fantastic, working really hard to make sure everyone saw everything they wanted to see. This included large lions strutting their stuff; lionesses with cubs hidden in the undergrowth; lions and leopard with kill; elephants of all ages eating, playing, swimming, lazing and even one throwing a tantrum; big herds of buffalo and elusive rhinos.
The waterhole provided entertainment during the day, with all kinds of animals coming to drink and play. A hippo even got out of the water to show off to us on the island
Food was amazing, now with 3 choices of main meal, and Max and Malcolm really ensured that we were well fed. It was just a little disappointing that we were not ale to sit and eat round the fire over the water every evening.
All the staff were so friendly and helpful, even searching through every bag of assorted teabags to find me English teabags! Every request was dealt with in an efficient manner.
The spa was new this year and offered a comprehensive range of treatments at reasonable prices.
Arathusa is a truly magical place. We have already booked to return.
Many thanks to 'Real Africa' and to Paul Hickey Fry in particular for organizing our stay and making flawless arrangements.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled 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?
1 Thank tortoisephobic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmond, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2011

Arathusa was great. My husband and I went there for a 3 night safari experience. I only had 2 complaints the whole trip - which is amazing for me, b/c when spending this much money I'm very picky. Problem #1- We were in Room 10 and our outdoor shower kept flooding everytime we used it. We complained night 1 and it still wasn't fixed the next day. So we called again about it on day 2 and they finally fixed it. So that was good. Just needed some drain-o I think. Problem #2 - The first morning we were there my husband and I couldn't sit together to eat breakfast. Breakfast started at 9am after the morning drive. All we did was run to the room to use the bathroom and change and then went right to breakfast. By then there we only 2 seats left open and not next to each other. :( So we grabbed some cold food and went and sat on our veranda to eat. Who wants to not sit next to their spouse on vacation? It was weird.

The rest of the days we had to hurry to the meals in order to get to sit together. They only have 3 large tables and everyone at the lodge sits together. Don't think you have an option of having a private conversation or a nice dinner alone. Good think we enjoyed the people who sat near us.

Other then that - our Ranger/Tracker - Phil/Rufus were excellent! We saw ALL of the Big5 and more. Phil even found us a leopard cub, in a tree, with a kill! It was Phil's birthday that day- so we were lucky! Phil took us on an amazing bush walk as well. Phil has been in this Ranger biz for a while and knows all the information you'll ever want to know. He's good!! Best tracker we'd had since we'd been on different safaris in Africa so far.

Spa was amazing!! Chef was amazing with great food. You get a starter, a choice of 3 main courses and a dessert. GREAT FOOD! 5star food for sure!

Loved the room as well with a nice little veranda with chairs.

Don't get a luxury suite here. The regular rooms are right in front of the water hole and close to the pool/ bar/ dining area. The luxury rooms, while I'm sure are nice - are way on the other side with no real view from your room of the water hole. At night you have to get escorted from you room by a ranger to dinner - b/c the luxury rooms are too far away and there are too many wild animals around. Go with a regular room here - they are amazing rooms with 2 showers (indoor and outdoor) and a tub! Each room also has a mini fridge stocked with plenty of cold drinks and alcohol!

We loved the place. I'd still rate it 5 star - even with the small problems. I WOULD stay here again.

Room Tip: Luxury rooms have no view of water hole.
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kl_waddell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arathusa Safari Lodge

Property: Arathusa Safari Lodge
Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4 star — Arathusa Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Arathusa Safari Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Arathusa Safari
Arathusa Safari Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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