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“Probably the best place I've stayed, ever.”
Review of Dulini Lodge

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Dulini Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 April 2014

We went for our honeymoon in September, had no idea what to expect as it was our first time on safari, and in Africa for that matter. I'm fairly well-traveled, did a ton of research on places to stay, knew exactly what I wanted -- luxury accommodations with a relaxed vibe -- and got that in spades here. From the moment you walk in, when Ian himself (the owner) comes out to meet you, you are in great hands and the experience has begun. The drives were fantastic -- the guides make sure you see everything there is to see and if you want to see something again, they make that happen too; the meals perfect (husband is veg and his meals were as delicious as mine); the rooms and grounds indescribably beautiful and fit in perfectly with the setting -- nothing ostentatious; and best of all, the company of Ian and his family made each meal that much more interesting and enjoyable. His wife is amazing. I noted that I loved the pepper dews in the salad and sauce, and the next day, she brought me a jar of them wrapped in a bow. Their daughters were fun and sweet and inquisitive, even coming on a drive with us one day and telling us about the animals. Our butler Maurice was wonderful, leaving surprises in the room for us (you'll have to find out for yourself what those are). And the setting was incomparable, set against a bed of water where elephants, warthogs and other animals come to drink and eat. On our last day, a leopard walked past us to the pool, grabbed a beach towel from a chair into its mouth and took it up into a tree with him. Incredible. I've recommended this place to anyone who asks about our trip, and hope to return ourselves. If you're going on safari in Sabi Sands, or just in South Africa period, this is the place to be.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Denise R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 April 2014

Our experience in Dulini Lodge was our first ever African experience. It has ruined it for us as I cannot fathom how it will ever be surpassed. We've set the bar far too high. The accommodations, the personal, attentive and pleasant service, the spectacular room with all details, even the smallest, were considered and with great sophistication. The food - excellent. The staff - excellent (especially Poppy, Butler Freddy, Ranger Patrick and Tracker Tyrone). We were greeted warmly every day, after each drive and our food requests honored without question and consistently. Not one compliant. Also, As a same sex couple traveling in Africa, we were unsure of the reception we might receive. We wasted our time with that concern. We could not have been treated more courteously or professionally.

Room Tip: We had Room #1 - beautiful. While away from the main facilities, the lodge is small and the walk is...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014 via mobile

The gane drives were an unforgettable experience and a must do !!! Rooms; service and food quality very good- be carefull of the monkeys stealing the food from your plate. We were pleasantly surprised and will recommed to our friends!

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank david n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

My wife and I had the extreme pleasure to be guests at this outstanding lodge on our return to Sabi Sands. Dulini was suggested to us by our travel agent as an alternative to where we stayed previously, they assured us we would be satisfied by everything. Boy, oh boy, were they ever right. This place was AMAZING!!!!

Right off the start we were greeted warmly and presented with the most refreshing Ginger cordial I could ever hope to taste again. The main building, well, all the buildings are thatched roofed with a very comfortable lounge and eating area. Adjacent to this is the BOMA (which I learned stands for "British Officer's Mess Area, a hold back from the colonial period) and we had the pleasure of dining there on several evenings beside the campfire that gently warms you in the chill of the evening.

After signing the obligatory indemnity papers (standard at all lodges) we were escorted to our private multi-room Rondaval accommodation by our valet, James. James, is every inch the cultured professional you would expect of a 5 star accredited lodge such as this. He had prepared our room with all the little things you think of, and many you would not. Home made fudge, for example.

Our suite, as really that's what it was, was beyond my expectations. Private plunge pool and deck, a covered sitting area with the best out door seats I've ever had the pleasure to sit on. An indoor sitting area with well stocked mini bar and top of the line coffee maker, great big comfortable bed and a massive shower/tub bathroom area, which had an indoor and outdoor shower. All private from unwanted eyes.

After getting settled we were treated to the first of many gourmet meals. Quite frankly, it's so very easy to indulge too much at the any of the meals here. The food was of the finest quality and was making me worry about my waistline more often than not as I have such poor will power.

Our dinner that night was in the company of the lodge owners who were visiting from away prior to continuing on to Cape Town. We were not aware until after their departure of their status. More engaging dinner companions would be difficult to find. My sincere thanks on a very enjoyable evening spent across the table from them both. We were treated at the end of the dinner to a very enjoyable set of singing and dances by the staff members. We were all encouraged to join in one particular number "no more turning back" which is the true face of South Africa for my wife and I. South Africa and it's people continue to steal our hearts with their warmth and genuine friendliness and desire for new beginnings.

Now of course, this is a game lodge, first and foremost and game drives are the focal point of their services. We had the amazing team of Fred and Martin to lead us on two days of pleasure at seeing the many beautiful animals contained in Sabi Sands. Fred and Martin both love what they do and it shows. They took pleasure in interacting with us and tried their best and usually exceeded on finding that particular animal we wanted to see. Sadly, Fred and Martin were scheduled for some vacation half way through our visit we were sad to see them both leave.

We did, however, get the team of Dynamios and Issac to replace them for the remainder of the trip. These two gentlemen are real pro's. They were able to read the tracks out there like you're reading this now. I don't know how they do it... They did find for us Zebra (sorry Fred) and a second Leopard on several occasions. This cat, is, as I understand the big guy around these parts and he needed to bring the younger guys on line. He was very mobile and we just missed on one occasion seeing him catch a small Dika doe. Our fellow guests were disappointed they didn't see it as the two boys and dad were very keen on it. For myself, I was glad she missed the dinner plate.

I would be remiss without mentioning, Ian and Sue, who also as I understand have an interest in Dulini and expertly see to the day to day operation. They were the perfect hosts and were concerned that everyone's stay, however long or short, is what dreams are made of. There are so many other good people there who need mention such as Given, Poppy and Vincent that made our visit so memorable. I am truly sorry that I cannot recall the other staff members by name but they too were part of the team.

On our last night, James, had turned our sitting area in our suite into a private dinning experience with such thoughtful touches as a warm bubble bath for my wife. She doesn't do baths as she's a shower person, but I wasn't about to let it go to waste, and I didn't.

At our departure we were sent off with heavy hearts at leaving them all and it is our fondest wish to cross the threshold one day again.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank jollyjacktar321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

My wife and I, along with our two teenage boys, just spent 3 very special days at Dulini. It's an experience we will never forget. Owners Ian and Sue, their beautiful kids, and the entire Dulini family made our stay so memorable. We stayed at a few camps during our African vacation, and though the others were also fantastic, the warmth of Dulini really was unique. Our guide Dinamosi and tracker Isaac were so fun to spend time with, and made sure we saw EVERYTHING -- including the "Big Five" in our very first drive. The accommodations were luxurious and clean, and the food superb. Every day brought another wonderful surprise. I would recommend that Dulini be at the top of anyone's list when heading off on an African adventure....we miss it already!

Stayed: March 2014
Thank skroft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2014

We booked Dulini as our final stop on a 100 day, 10 country trip....hoping we had saved the best for last....but 'best' just doesn't seem to describe our stay...the staff, the lodge...all as described and better....our tacker, Martin, and ranger, Fred, are an incredible team. We learned and saw more than we could have ever have hoped for....not a 'tick the box' experience, but an understanding of the importance of this land to the animals, what's endangered and why (mostly people...) and a greater sense of belonging to this incredible environment. Thank you Ian and Sue for making this possible...and to the rest of the crew...Poppy, Jess, Freddie, Given...and to Martin and Fred....for sharing your passion!!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank dmj2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

My wife and I have recently returned (March-14) from a four-night visit to Dulini Lodge and had a wonderful time. It was our first experience of a safari and I can't imagine anywhere being better.

The lodge comprises 6 villas each of which is extremely well-positioned and with excellent amenities. There is a large bedroom area, a huge bathroom and the good-sized lounge area. In addition, there is a lovely and large verandah, with plunge pool, overlooking the river, to relax in between game drives. There is a lovely central area, where meals are taken, which also has a large lounge area for relaxing. There is a pleasant pool and relaxation area next to the river.

The food at Dulini was excellent and imaginative throughout our stay. The service during meals was extremely good, with Given and Maurice ensuring that the evening progressed smoothly and that glasses were kept filled! It was really nice to catch up with the other guests each evening to share experiences of the drives during the day.

All of the staff were absolutely charming and the service was both personal and uniformly excellent. The safari drives we had with Patrick and Tyrone were exciting and exhilarating in equal measure and we got to see the Big 5 and more, mostly in very close proximity to the animals. The lay-out of the land rovers (2 per row) meant that everyone had a perfect view. The drives were also very enjoyingly interspersed with hot chocolate (laced with Amarula - very good) in the morning and G & T in the evening.

During our stay, we also had a chance with meet with Ian, Sue and their charming daughters on most days. It is obvious that they are both hugely knowledgeable and passionate about Dulini and the local ecology and it added to the whole experience.

The whole experience will live with us for many years to come and I can't recommend Dulini highly enough. Anybody looking for a perfect South African safari should go to Dulini Lodge.

Room Tip: We had room 5, which was lovely, but I suspect they are all good.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AlanNewForest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dulini Lodge

Address: | White River, Kruger National Park 1240, South Africa (Formerly &Beyond Dulini)
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 43 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: £387 - £2,730 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Dulini Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Under a leafy canopy of ebony trees, six luxurious stone cottages grace the banks of the Mabrak River. As one of only 12 guests, you feel instantly at home in this quiet retreat, where classic interiors enfold guests in quiet style and elegance. Generous private plunge pools and shady decks look out onto the dry riverbed. Large, welcoming sofas and African sculptures fill the gracious guest areas. Dine under the ancient jackalberry tree where skilled chefs serve delicious meals or steal away for an intimate dinner in the well-stocked wine cellar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
And Beyond Dulini Lodge
&Beyond Dulini Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Dulini Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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