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“Another fantastic holiday at Dulini”
Review of Dulini Lodge

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Dulini Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 August 2014

After a wonderful holiday at Dulini in 2013, the family's immediate vote was to return this year. We were back last week and had another fantastic few days. Having been fortunate enough to visit a number of other lodges in the Sabi Sands and Timbavati (all of which I loved), I have to say Dulini surpasses them all. A perfect balance has been struck between absolute luxury and comfort, but not forgetting the African bush experience. Added to this, the lodge is small, intimate and personal with only 6 rooms (with the added advantage that the land rovers seat 6 instead of the traditional 9 people!). Iain and Sue are wonderful hosts and their carefully handpicked staff go out of their way to make your stay a very special and personal experience. Our Guide and Tracker (Dinamosi and Isak), for the second year running, are a brilliant team. They are very professional, knowledgeable, passionate about the bush and it's inhabitants, and entertaining to be with. If an animal is in the area, they'll find it for you with genuine enjoyment and enthusiasm. Huge herd of buffalo, elephant and more elephant, including some wonderful viewing of a breeding herd in the river in front of the lodge with a couple of elephant calves providing lots of entertainment, lots of leopard (including one in front of the lodge), lion (including two wonderful sightings of big male lion in the area), successfully tracking down two elusive groups of white rhino and two really good cheetah sightings plus so much more!!. Not to forget the fantastic food, mid winter swimming in your own very private heated pool, and sitting on your deck after dinner with a night cap listening to the unforgettable sounds of the African bush. The vote for next years holiday -- you've guessed it!!

Room Tip: All the rooms are fantastic.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank Andrew T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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225 - 231 of 417 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2014

We were referred to Dulini Lodge by Wild Wings Safaris, the local trip consultants who organized our 12-day trip to South Africa. Our 3-generation 7-member family absolutely loved our 3-day stay at Dulini. Owners Ian and Sue and their entire crew are happy, welcoming, charming people who know how to make every guest feel special. When one in our party had asthma problems, Sue arranged to have a nebulizer delivered for her – from 40 miles away. Meals were excellent – and always served in a new location, including out in the bush, where staff members danced and sang for us by the light of the fire. Laundry service is complimentary!
But all of that wonderfulness is secondary to the amazing pre-dawn and sunset game drives with Patrick and Tyrone. We learned so much from these experts. I just wish I had been able to record everything Patrick was telling us along the way. When he spotted fresh tracks, Tyrone would inevitably hop off and – usually successfully – track down the animal that had made them. We saw the proverbial big five, including leopards on the prowl, mating lions and a confrontational female elephant, plus cheetahs and wild dogs and half a dozen different species of African antelope. And during every drive we were able to relax and soak in the beauty of Sabi Sands as we sipped our morning coffee or evening sundowners around the jeep while the rising/setting sun cast its long shadows across the veld.
A special thank you to Jess and Freddy, to Patrick and Tyrone, to Ian and Sue and to the entire staff at Dulini for an unforgettable vacation!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Leslie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Beautiful grounds, luxurious rooms, and great food. It is truly amazing to see how many different animals wander through the grounds of Dulini while guests are there. We saw nyala, warthogs, monkeys (sneaky little things), elephants and a leopard strolling around. James is wonderful, no one makes better soup than Jess, and Kelly is so wonderful to work with via email while making reservations.

You will definitely see lots of animals on your game drives, but I agree with rtr2008, that in comparison with another lodge we had stayed at it seems like Dulini tracking is a little more centered around radio info and getting into the queue to see animals people have already found. It's not disappointing to see the animals no matter how they're found, but it does kind of miss a little something.

I also agree that this seems to be an excellent lodge for couples. We were a group of friends/family and found the other lodge we stayed at to be more focused on getting guests and staff together. We missed the interaction with other travelers, talking about where everyone is from and being able to compare daily sightings.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank rmcareer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

I can only wholeheartedly agree with all the other reviewers before me & I will try not to repeat too much if what has already been said. This is a truly unique lodge & as our first safari lodge in Africa it set a benchmark so high it was hard for all the others to match it.
The accommodation is spacious, beautifully appointed & in a perfect setting. The staff led by owners Ian & Sue have perfected the formula for mixing authentic African bush with luxury. They constantly surprise with new & unexpected experiences which I won't spoil for future visitors!
We also appreciated the mix of social dinners with all the guests, lunches at individual tables set in the garden or by the pool & breakfasts with the guides & those in your jeep on the drives.
The drives & the game we found exceptional with amazing sightings of the big 5 plus many more unique sightings, most memorable being two lionesses going for the kill on an injured zebra only feet away from us. The zebra got away but we went back the next morning to find the hyenas feasting on him. Several cheetah sightings, a leopard playing with her cubs, a lioness calling her cubs from their hiding place........& so it goes on.
The food was consistently good, varied & plentiful.
I loved the little gym which allowed me to get some much needed exercise in the middle of the day. Jess & Ian even offered for me to go for a run & have our guide follow me in the jeep if I wanted too but we settled for a walking safari instead which was an informative & fascinating experience too.
For comparison purposes we went on to Botswana after this. Whilst Botswana offers a wilder & more remote experience, Dulini is fantastic value for money & for us delivered on all levels & was certainly one of the highlights of our trip. Hopefully we can return again one day

Room Tip: At present only one large has the plunge pool heated which is good in winter but I gather they are a...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Sydneygirl99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

From the moment they picked us up at the local airport to our very reluctant departure, we were so well taken care of that we all regretted leaving. The setting, the public areas, the suites, the staff, the service, the food, and especially the game drives were superlative. The lodge area and buildings tempt one to stay and relax, but the excursions were a new adventure each time. We saw all the Big Five and so much more, including my personal favorite, a cheetah. The dinners were an event each night, but the best were the brai and the one out in the bush with stem ware and china. Our tracker and our ranger, Isaac and Mr. D., were the best: informative, educational, professional, warm, and quite humorous. They even took requests for the game we wanted to see and almost always found it. We also visited an orphanage and donated balls to the children. Ian and Sue were great hosts. It was an incredible experience. We all want to return as soon as possible.

Room Tip: There are only six and there are no bad rooms. Maybe five and six are best because they are further...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Keith000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

We stayed at Dulini a few weeks back and loved it. Would definitely recommend it. Everyone there was so nice and helpful. The game drives were great and the food was excellent. We had a great time. The room was spacious and faced the river bed. Pure luxury ! Service was excellent. I can't wait to go back there.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Avina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014 via mobile

With my eldest of 2 sons aged 16 I suggested to my family that we set out on planning a family holiday to remember. After deciding on an African Safari I contacted Bench International to organise our holiday. They suggested as first time visitors to Africa we visit Kruger and Vic Falls. They arranged our Adventure to start with 4 nights at Dulini Lodge. Our stay was the absolute highlight of our entire trip and unanimously announced by my family as the best holiday ever!
Words and photographs can not sum up the wonderful time we experienced! On the drive to Dulini we were greeted by the first of the Big 5, a big Bull elephant! We had encounters with the other 4 by our second game drive. We were welcomed by Jess who my 9 year old announced was the most beautiful person he has ever seen, and enjoyed a refreshing cocktail while she discussed our itinerary. The intimate lodges (only 6) were exquisite - luxury accommodation, temperature controlled, inside and outside showers, a giant bath, plunge pool, bar, international power adapters - absolutely nothing over looked! The wildlife was literally on our doorstep with daily visits from the local warthogs and Nyala. Our butler was Given who looked after us like royalty including organising special meals for my not so adventurous youngest; Ranger Fred's knowledge, passion and good humour was second to none. His ability to anticipate the behaviour of wildlife gave us close encounters on every game drive. After the first game drive (8 in all) he was the idol of my boys, one who insisted on riding shot-gun with him on future drives, the other who engaged in Impala poo games with him..; our fearless tracker was Martin. He was determined share every experience possible during our stay including many leopard encounters, cubs, hunting and dining big cats, crocodiles, hippos, and charging
elephants; our hosts Ian and Sue introduced themselves in the evening and ensured we were comfortable. They listened to our stories of excitement from game drives and shared some about their own close encounters. Stories were shared with other guests in the evening over 5 star dining. One evening we dined under the stars to be interrupted by an elephant pushing over a tree! All of the staff were wonderful, thoughtful and caring throughout our stay right down to our chaperone back to our room in the evenings. Blankets, ponchos, hot water bottles and hot drinks helped combat the morning and evening chill. Chilly mornings heralded lovely mild days. During the day their was plenty of time for relaxation, game walks or other activities.

We have fallen in love with Africa, it's wildlife and people. We plan to return one day and I know there are so many options to chose from but I don't think we will be able to visit without a visit to Dulini!
Thank you Fred, Martin, Given, Jess, Sue, Ian and all staff at Dulini for making our dream of the best holiday ever come true!

  • Stayed: June 2014
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4  Thank Anthony Z
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 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: £78 - £1,667 (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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