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“Fantastic experience”

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Arathusa Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 December 2013

We spent 2 1/2 days in Arathusa before traveling to Kruger, and it was fantastic. The rooms were very nice, with very large bathrooms and outdoor showers, with a great view of the watering hole and its hippos. The meals were very good and the chef did a presentation on each evening's dinner selection.

The game drives were excellent. We saw all the big 5 in a single day. We saw leopards on 2 of our 4 game drives, along with lions, zebras, elephants, cape buffalo, giraffe, rhinos, and numerous birds. One of the nice things about the private game reserves is that the vehicles are allowed off-road. In addition, the drivers are in contact with each other, so if one vehicle spots something interesting, the other vehicles can be notified. This was not the case in Kruger.

I would definitely recommend Arathusa.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Darren W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 December 2013

We spent three nights at Arathusa, and the entire experience was amazing. First, the lodge itself. Our rondavel was clean, comfortable, and immaculate. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable and the indoor and outdoor showers were terrific. We loved seeing the hippos every day out in the watering hole and the impala in the background.

The staff were attentive, friendly, and entertaining. We won't forget Nelson and the drum playing of Blessed!

The food was very, very good. The braai we had on the second night was outstanding. Breakfast out on the reserve was a really nice treat.

For the game drives, one of the reasons why we opted for Arathusa was that it shared an unfenced border with Kruger, so the animals could come and go as they like. As such, it could take some time to spot an animal, but on our 6 game drives we saw leopards 4 times (5 different ones in total including 3 spottings on one drive), a group of hyenas including pups, a herd of elephants, 3 different lions, cape buffalo, a pair of white rhinos, warthogs, wildebeest, zebras, kudu, waterbucks, and wild dogs! We also saw countless number of birds and impala. I know I'm missing a lot of things on the list, but those are the things I can remember.

Our guide, Sean, and tracker, Rifus, were outstanding and a lot of fun. Besides the animals, the off-roading was extremely fun and thrilling.

We had a great time with the staff and other guests, and we look forward to our next trip here.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank B_in_Ottawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2013

We spent three nights here at the end of a trip to SA, and I only wish we could have stayed longer.

The accommodation is excellent. We stayed in a standard chalet, and frankly I couldn't see any reason to upgrade. It was comfortable, spacious and well appointed though a little dark. But as we were only in there to go to bed or use the bathroom, that didn't matter too much. The bed was large, extremely comfortable and far too difficult to get out of at 0430. But that's a different matter.

Food was plentiful, varied and very good. Breakfast was the closest to a full English that you'll get in SA I reckon (should the mood take you), lunch varied every day and was filling without putting us to sleep, high tea was a delight before going on the afternoon game drive and dinner was also excellent.

But that's not why you're looking at this, and not why we went.

The game drives. I'm advised by those who know that your safari experience is only as good as your ranger and tracker. If that's the case then my recommendation is even higher. Though our team or Ryan and Debeer was brilliant, the conversations with the other two rangers lead me to believe that, whoever you get, you'll be in for a treat. The vehicles are fairly new, well maintained, clean and surprisingly comfortable in an agricultural sort of way. Your view, wherever you sit, will be excellent - they are nothing if not well thought out. The rangers work together and co-operate with several neighbouring lodges so if an animal is sighted then everyone gets a look-in. But the quality of the look-in depends on the quality of your ranger. For instance, on the first evening a ranger from another lodge found a leopard. He and his colleagues charged around and their folks got a few minutes quality time. Our ranger was more patient and as a result we got a whole lot of one-on-one time with a leopard who was happy to let us get close and photograph him. And it was the same every day.

The animals are treated with respect. They don't get crowded and the guys adopt a strict rule about how many vehicles can be on station at a time. We saw leopard, lions, elephants, rhino, buffalo, African hunting dogs (very rare) and we had hippo in the waterhole on camp. Including a baby. You *may* see Impala - there are one or two there.

I'd go back in a heartbeat, and hope to get the chance to do so. It's not cheap, but it's definitely worth it...

Room Tip: Room 10 has a tree in front which obscures your view of the waterhole...but it's in the best pla...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Yellowgixxer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

What a place! Firstly the lodge is beautiful, set next to a watering hole, with fantastic views of game coming to drink. The welcome from staff was superb, the chalets well decorated and very clean. Service is first class with every whim catered for but done with aplomb and privacy, you have no option but to relax and unwind. The food was delicious with in-house chefs making every meal an experience, particularly the braais in the boma area. Game drives were breathtaking, with rangers who live and love their craft. My father-in-law was celebrating his 60th and the lodge spared no effort, making it a wonderful experience overall. Would go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: All rooms face the watering hole, take a standard room as it has everything you could possibly need.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank AdrianGurnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

It was a wonderful experience, such a beautiful place to be. We spend there 3 nights and we had 6 game drives. All the game drives where wonderful and we had such a lot of fun en we see lots of animals. The first game drive we've seen the big five. Thanks to Brandon our ranger and thanks to our tracker Debeer. If I go back to South - Africa I will be back in Arathusa. The people who worked there where such lovely people and the lodges are great!!!!! Also thanks to Sean, who drove us the last 3 game drives. Thanks to all the people we've met. And I hope that one time i'll be back in Arathusa. Kyra Haverkate

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank hermien1992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013

We spent 3 nights here and did not want to ever leave! The rooms and food are wonderful. Our guides found us all of the big 5 numerous times and much more. They had us so very close to all the action. We loved having the hippos right outside our door and seeing all the animals come to the watering hole. We saw Kudu, Cape buffalo, Impalas, Zebra, Giraffe, Elephant, Hyena, Lion, Leopard, Jackal, Mongoose
Black rhino, White rhino, Hippos, Water bucks, Bush bucks, Vervet monkeys (even an albino one), All kinds of birds, Gennet, Wild cat, Duiker, Wart hogs, Turtles

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank carrie7111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2013

This is without doubt one of the best places we have ever been to. Staff friendly, efficient always happy and cheerful. We had sightings of the big 5 plus cheetahs, 1 one day and another mother and cub on another day. The food is good and the atmosphere is just idyllic, peaceful yet always animals to see. Rangers and trackers very knowledgeable, it has always been a pleasure to visit. Hope to go back very soon to chill and recharge batteries. A little of heaven on earth. Baby hippo 1 week old too cute.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Dee H
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

Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 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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