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Review of Dulini Lodge

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Dulini Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Perth Western Australia
Level Contributor
161 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Book now - whatever you expect add another 100% on top!”
Reviewed 21 May 2014

Seriously if you are still waivering about where to stay - stop researching and book Dulini now.
It is the absolute best place we have ever stayed and we are lucky enough to have done a great deal of travel in our lives - the rooms were sublime with your every need and whim catered for and some! Private unobtrusive butler service, all drinks, laundry included - first class food, romantic dinners, huge bubble baths overlooking the outdoor plunge pool and riverbed where you are likely to see any animals! This lodge has been decorated by a team of people with great taste and class - everywhere you look there are extra little touches that make this place special. The team of staff are just delightful and always on hand to provide you the extras! have a massage also - was fabulous!
Game drives - our driver "dynamite" and tracker Isaac what a great team - such fun, lots of laughs and joking all the time and such knowledge. Out of the vehicles following tracks, explaining all the time to the guests, really comfortable jeeps, only ever 6 in a jeep, not crowded, fabulous drinks held half way thru each drive and the game - well we saw it all - and so close hardly used my zoom lens at all.
I could go on and on and on - but honestly go and experience it yourself - you will never regret your choice to stay at Dulini. Thank you Ian and Sue and your whole team - we are already looking at dates to return and have been home less than 48 hrs!! Thank you!

Room Tip: Stayed in room 3 - was fabulous!! best suite I have ever stayed in!!!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mytimenow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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385 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2014 via mobile

Stepping outside our lodge on the first morning, I had to make sure I had woken up as I came face to face with seven startled Impala, who stared at me and disappeared, as though rushing to grace someone else's dream.

The lodge is not fenced which gets you closer to the wildlife. We stayed in room 6, which apparently gets the most passing four-legged locals.

We were shown the park by Dinamosi and Isaac. I've been on safari in Tanzania before and had great trackers but these two were something else. Isaac managed to spot a chameleon. In a tree. In the dark. A chameleon.

He then allowed me to hold the beautiful creature, which was a highlight.

We saw: a family of rhinos; seven lion cubs either comatose from gorging or tearing through a wildebeest; two families of elephants; a hunting and sleeping leopard; various Cape buffalo; giraffe; impala; kutu; mongoose; hares; Marshall eagle and a medley of other birds; hippos (submerged); owls and hyenas.

Both D and I regaled us with hilarious tales of buffalo chases and gave us David Attenborough style tidbits on eating and mating habits.

The baked goods were amazing- cakes, breads are all baked on site. African dishes were delicious, the European ones so-so. We would have liked a larger selection of wines to choose from.

We were on our honeymoon, so really our only reservation was the regular group dining. Although I understand from the owners that they will now offer honeymooners a choice of dining options when they arrive.

All in all we had a magical three days. I will remember most turning a corner on our first drive and seeing a family of three rhinos feeding as the morning mist rose above the rushes. I was moved to tears.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank zheary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jaipur, India
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Dulini is a 1st class Luxury Bush Lodge owned by a South African Pastor. I haven't added the usual photos of the beasts that one sees on a safari in Africa. We saw all of the well known ones, & then some.

I'd rather focus on the Bush Walks we had with our Ranger Fred. He has a degree in conservation and an encyclopedic knowledge of the African Bush. I do believe the best way to experience nature is on foot. We didn't spook any Lions during our walks, but did encounter Wart Hogs & Impalas. Moreover, it was great to learn about the flora & fauna of Africa. There was one plant, name withheld, the leaves of which when eaten by a human would cause almost immediate death. Someone in our group showed a distinct interest in taking some home!

If you'd rather see animals from a vehicle, Fred teams up with Martin his Tracker. Unlike the run-of-mill safari where you go around in a Land Rover see some animals and come back. Martin actually leaves the vehicle when he spots tracks, he finds the suspect on foot and then calls in the vehicle. It actually plays out as an adventure, with everybody in the vehicle involved in the mission as you bump along in thick bush.

Last but not the least I must mention Freddy, our Butler who was well versed in old world unobtrusive hospitality. The Freddys' of the world are an endangered species in today's tourism.

We will be back next year, this time with our children in tow. Thanks for a fine time.

Capt & Mrs. Mrityunja Singh

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mrityunja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Don't even waste your time reading these reviews, just stop here and immediately go book this place. If I could pack every person that works there in a suitcase and bring them home with me, I would do it. It's literally that good.

Accommodations: Do you enjoy the option to shower inside, outside, or take a bath with candles? What about laying in bed while overlooking your very own plunge pool and trees with monkeys and baboons jumping around them? Lounging on the deck while enjoying a nice scotchy, scotch, scotch made from your own mini bar? That's right, the suites have everything you could possibly want.

Service: "Whatever you want"...that's what my guy James told us when got there and he wasn't lying. Laundry is included and there are an abundance of food and drink options. After every game drive you were greeted with warm washcloth which was a nice touch. We were two couples that traveled together so we always ate dinner together or with the group but they set up meals in different places to change it up and set up private in-suite meals for the honeymooners as well.

Game Drives: This is obviously the most important part. Fred was our ranger and Martin was our tracker. They put up with all of our non-stop banter and managed to find pretty much any random thing I could think to add to our list of "To-Do's". The game drives were always fun but we still got to see so much and Fred always had a good story to tell about the animals. Martin can track a lion like a dog can track a scent, guy is on it and it's so fun to see him in his element. And you spend like 6-7 hours a day in these land rovers. And they are legit. Only 6 people is amazing because no one is ever in the way and you don't feel crowded. And they provide blankets which is nice because if you are anything like us, you will completely under dress and will need them.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank wwiems23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We stayed in Dulini for 4 days in April 2014, and must say we loved our stay from start to finish.

Poppy makes you feel at home from the moment you arrive. We were seated in the 'living room' while being offered a lovely ginger cocktail. After the check-in we were shown our suites which are outstanding and beautifully appointed. While the parents stayed in one suite, our 3 girls (16, 14 + 12 years) shared another and still had plenty of space left. Gorgeous bathrooms and outside showers simply complete the picture. Fully stocked mini bars and personal touches such as home made fudge were greatly appreciated. Communal pool and plunge pool in the suite looked lovely but water too cold for us to use at this time of year.

From wake up call at 5am until the end of the day all family members enjoyed every minute. I know some guests prefer to nap between meals/ drives, but we loved the lodge and suites so much we felt that would be a waste. In addition the resident owners Ian & Sue made our stay very personal. Their 2 delightful daughters made our girls feel very welcome, joining us on some drives & providing many entertaining stories about life in the bush. Plus taking our girls for a picnic in the bush one day and fishing on a lake on another. All unforgettable experiences.

The drives of course were exceptional. Our ranger, Patrick and tracker Tyrone ensured we saw the big 5 plus more. The jeeps are very comfortable and layout with 2 seats per row ensures everyone gets a great view. Ponchos provided were perfect for the chilly mornings. Highlights - Driving out through the early morning mist to find a pride of lions sitting on the road in front of us was unforgettable. Following a pack of wild dogs (getting close enough to enjoy their unmistakable smell!!). Watching a leopard hunt its prey, didn't actually witness the kill (luckily) but saw the leopard in a tree the next morning with the carcass. Watching a pack of hyenas fight over a kill. Bushwalk back to the camp. Sundowners in various locations, star gazing with Patrick amazing us with his knowledge of the constellations.

Food was very good and they cater for vegetarians and fussy eaters. Dinner and lunch were set up in different locations each night with the most amazing setting on our last evening, wont spoil this surprise by saying where. They have a small but well equipped gym which we used on at least one occasion.

We were all very sad to say goodbye. Dulini is a really special place and certainly lived up to all the reviews we read on trip advisor.

Room Tip: believe they are all good
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank o_poelmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buderim, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

My husband and I visited Exeter Dulini in September 2013 - we thought we had already written a review but have just seen we didn't so here goes. We drove into Sabi Sands and saw elephants and a white rhino - a great introduction to what was to come.
The accommodation at Exeter Dulini was outstanding. Beautiful rustic colonial exterior with a large, warm and inviting interior. There is a lovely sitting area, bedroom with views to the bush and a fantastic, huge bathroom.
Reply was our butler and he made sure that all our needs were catered to without ever even letting us know he had been there.
Our guide and tracker were Fred and Martin. Their knowledge was excellent and entertainingly delivered. Fred, hope you tell everyone how kudu got their name. On one occasion Martin got off the vehicle and tracked a leopard for nearly two hours just to make sure we all saw one - and we got to see a mum and her cub. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty!! We saw a lion kill actually happen, two leopards mating and the list goes on. This all due to Martin's great tracing skills and Fred's driving ability.
The food here was the best we had in our five weeks in Southern Africa. Jess strives to make a delicious and varied meal every occasion. She is a little treasure.
We are so sorry but we can't remember the managers name, nevertheless his attention to detail, his love for the country and animals, his conversation and his thoughtfulness made our stay the best we had.
All in all, Exeter Dulini Lodge is truly wonderful and the staff tip it over the edge.
Many thanks from Col and Carolyn for making our stay such a wonderful and amazing time - we miss you all.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank FooteParty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
Level Contributor
106 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Absolutely fabulous experience. Great units, better than the photos. Fantastic attentive service, including from the part owners, Iain and Sue, who dined with us one evening and were there often to greet us after game drives. Also the wonderful butler, Freddy. Food very good and they strived to give you a different dining experience every evening. Shifted location and theme.

Great team on the game drives, Dinamosi, Isaac and May. Wonderful game drives and all different. Loved the special at the end of the morning drive, mocha with a kick. Only six to a vehicle.

Good combination of couple time and socialising. Can't recommend enough for an all round experience but still very African.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SGGNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dulini Lodge

Property: 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 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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