My wife and I spent just two nights at Camp Arathusa in September 2013, and it was amazing!
For our first safari we had divided our trip into two nights at Camp Shawu in Kruger followed by two nights at Arathusa in the Sabi Sands reserve, where we hoped for a better chance to see a leopard.
Chrisna from “Siyabona” organized our itinerary.
After the small camp and almost family atmosphere of Shawu, Arathusa was not only bigger, but seemed very structured, organized and professional, appealing to a lot of European and American visitors with a bigger and more specialized staff. However Arathusa offered its own unique charms and truly amazing experiences. Solid walls and windows, air conditioning and a private deck with a tub made for a very comfortable stay. The frequent and creative meals - braai in the boma, breakfast in the bush or just lunch in the open space by the watering hole - did not leave much time to actually enjoy the cabin.
The camp itself is not surrounded by fences; armed escorts become neccessary between dusk and dawn. A wandering elephant herd might block access to your cabin, a hyena prevent you from leaving the vehicle, kudus watch you in the outdoor shower or a hippo waiting at your front door in the morning.
Our ranger/tracker team of Sean and DeBeer was very knowledgeable and made every effort to give us the best game drive experiences. While wildlife seemed less abundant than in Kruger, a pack of lions devouring a fresh kill and a leopard on the hunt made for very unique sightings. Sean even took us on an impromptu bush walk, because we were not going to be there for one of the scheduled walking excursions, and his fascination with the local birds gave everything a personal twist.
We arrived at Arathusa later in the afternoon than expected and missed the first evening game drive. While the drive looked short on the map, and google gave us a faster route, local instructions from Simon our ranger at Shawu added about 2 hours to the trip. Apparently google is not always aware of the actual road conditions in Africa and would have sent us through rather rough and in the end slower and longer driving. As it was, the part of the drive in the Sabi Sands reserve is not on paved roads.
Wildlife sightings in Kruger added time to the drive as well.
These are things to keep in mind when planning time for a drive.
- Also Known As:
- Arathusa Safari Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- Hotel Arathusa Safari
- Arathusa Safari Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve