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“Simply amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ulusaba Rock Lodge

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Ulusaba Rock Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
264 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Simply amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2014

Arrive back this morning, we have had the most amazing time.

The room are stunning, sometimes you forget you are in the bush.
The food and drinks are all included, the food is amazing and the drinks include all sorts of premium brands you often wouldn't get, and lots of great South African wine.

We stayed at both rock lodge and safari lodge and they are very different, here you get distant views, a compact but by no means squashed in accommodation so it's only a few minutes to walk from the room to the bar or wherever you are having dinner.

We got the fed air transfer from Jo'burg and were met at the airstrip by Rico & Orange our ranger and tracker for the week.
As stunning as the accommodation and food are it was Rico and Orange which made it for us. The whole experience of tracking an animal, the guys wandering off into the bush and then coming back and either driving us into the bush to see something amazing or carrying on to find something else was just brilliant.
Safari's unlike some lodges were kept to a max of 6 guests in a vehicle, we had seen the big 5 and more by our second safari.

You get up at 5am, there's a pre breakfast if you want it, leave the lodge for a safari get back around 9am for breakfast with your ranger and the other guests on you vehicle staying in the same lodge. Do what you like from then until lunch, then 4pm for afternoon tea then another drive, back in time for dinner which were usually with all of the guest in your lodge on one table. Then for me it was time for bed.

March is rainy season, so it was warm but wet, the vehicles are equipped with rain jackets and they put the roof on when rain is expected, but you have to be prepared to get wet. I didn't care 5am raining I was raring to go.

The spa treatments were very relaxing and the spa is in a great spot.

All the staff are so friendly, and it does really make a difference.

No doubt we will be back.

You do just need to remember you are in the middle of the bush, sometimes things stop working, there are insects, and whilst the staff will do everything they can, not everything is a quick job, but that's part of the adventure.

Room Tip: The master suite was simply stunning
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CHR1515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, 12 May 2014
Thanks for sharing your experience and photos from your stay at Ulusaba. We’re glad you enjoyed the true bush experience and also were able to stay at both lodges. Thanks for all your comments and we look forward to welcoming back to Ulusaba soon.

Best wishes
Karl Langdon
General Manager
Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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172 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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preston
Level Contributor
196 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2014

We loved Ulusaba; we stayed in the Rock Lodge accommodation. The lodge is in an amazing location, set on the hillside with fantastic views across the Kruger. We also visited the Safari Lodge which is again of a very high standard. This lodge does not have the views but it has direct access to the waterhole where you can view the animals up close and personal. You have two basic choices for access to Ulusaba. You can fly to Kruger airport and take a road transfer, this takes about two and a half hours and the last hour and a half are on unmade roads and very bumpy. The advantage of this is that the journey shows you the contrasts of Africa very clearly, from the upmarket malls to the reality of village living. The alternative is to fly into Ulusaba airstrip; however, you need to be careful which airline you choose. We understand that Airlink only give you 10kg luggage allowance and the remainder has to be left at the connecting airport whereas FedAir allows you a 20kg allowance but only soft bags are accepted. We had Michelle as our ranger and Don as our tracker, they were a fabulous team and always went the extra mile our drives were much longer than expected and the level of their knowledge and enthusiasm was amazing. The meals were delicious with good choices offered to suit all tastes. The whole atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly they clearly try to develop a family atmosphere for everyone and we were fortunate in the group that we were with, we all got on very well and enjoyed eating together for breakfast and evening meals. Beware a game reserve is not for you if you are not an early riser. Alarm call at 5am for morning safari drive, free time from about 10.30am to 4.30pm then afternoon drives until around 8pm. Other activities can be arranged during the free time by negotiation with your ranger. We would advise taking long sleeved shirts regardless of the season as even on hot days the evening drives can be quite cool. The lodge is expensive and not easy to book we would use Ernest again if going back. We cannot wait to return and the key reason is the welcome, the quality of accommodation the staff and the views. Next time we may be tempted to do 2 days at Rock Lodge and 2 days at Safari Lodge.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank aplpdf22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sitges
Level Contributor
46 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2014

We booked 6 nights at Ulusaba and on their recommendation stayed 3 at Rock Lodge and 3 at Safari Lodge - this recommendation was a really good one as the two lodges are quite uniquely different. I am reviewing Rock Lodge here.
We arrived by Fedair to the Ulusaba airstrip and were met by our Ranger Rico and our tracker Orange who would stay with us for the 6 days and 12 drives. After a champagne check in at the airstrip we were taken to Rock Lodge and shown around. The lodge is built high up on a 'rock' and gives spectacular views of the Sabi Sands, the facilities are all of an excellent standard and we used the gym, spa room and bar/dining area extensively.
We stayed in the master suite, which is on two levels and of an excellent standard with all the facilities you would expect and a very well stocked complimentary mini bar.
We were woken at 5am each day for the morning drive and as I said in my review for Safari lodge the drives are amazing, all the big 5 and Rico and Orange go out of their way to make sure you get to see what you want.
We will be going back, we will be asking for the same guys to track with us, as we enjoyed it so much with them. A special thank you as well to Robyn at Rock Lodge who was always there to help and full of enthusiasm and fun. Overall a great experience and a great team!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GaryWhite40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, 24 February 2014
Thank you for taking the time to give feedback about your recent stay at Ulusaba. We’re happy to hear that you appreciated the suggestion to split your stay between both Rock & Safari Lodge and have passed on your comments to Rico, Orange and Robyn. We all hope to welcome you back soon.
Best wishes
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zug, Switzerland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2014

Amazing place, amazing people and food is fantastic.

You will pay a bit more, but in the price you get a lot of extras, such as free laundry service, two safari tours each day ,drinks, 3 meals per day (amazing food). Ensure to try to Cheese burger at least once 

We had Rico and Orange as a tour guide, which are amazing. They know everything and find every animal you can dream of. Keep up the good work.
Book this hotel and you will be happy

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mateomeier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
stockholm
Level Contributor
48 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2014

Game viewing in Sabi Sands is such a treat, the best - and to stay at Ulusaba is out of this world. There is no comparable place to this spectacular lodge so if you are looking for something truly unique and extremly good Ulusaba is your prime choice. Rock lodge is build high high up on a cliff with a view and setting so stunning it takes days just to realise you are not dreaming. The Ulusaba Family not only cares and pampers you in the best way they also make you feel included in the "family" along with the other guest. The food is above all expectations and the Game Drives totally amazing. Ranger and Trackers are very knowledgeable and their passion for the wild life and enviroment pinnacles the guest experience. We believed that this would be a once in a life time experience due to the level of luxury and of course cost but we are determined to come back to Ulusaba- we feel it is a must!

Room Tip: Book a suit with private plunge pool! Even if Ulusaba is expensive it's worth every penny and y...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank saltis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Thank you very much for your review “Unique, extraordinary superb overall experience!” – What a lovely comment! We are delighted that your stay with us exceeded your expectations and that you felt at home at Ulusaba; that is exactly how we want our quests to feel. Hopefully we’ll welcome you back soon.
Best wishes
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

We visited Ulusaba Rock Lodge mid December for 4 nights....immediately on arrival before even seeing our rooms we booked an extra night. The whole wonderful atmosphere began with champagne expertly served by Sean our Ranger just after disembarking on the private airstrip. Personal, friendly, customer service is excellent all round...as is the food and plenty of it too. Superb fine high quality food and menu choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner with as much as we could eat. Fine wines, champagnes and all spirits etc are very plentiful. Food and drinks on game drives too with several lovely surprises ! Our Ranger and Tracker for the first 3 days were Sean and James, our last day Brandon and Jack... all were excellent, great fun and very professional and knowledgeable...we had some brilliant sightings of animals too all thanks to their expertise. The big 5 all close up and many others too.
Highly recommended is the spa high up in Rock lodge with fantastic views....we had several treatments all first class by the lovely Esther...Thank you Esther you were fab!
Our rooms were huge, luxurious,very comfortable, great amenities, always clean and well serviced and stunning views. The plunge pool and decking with sun loungers very lovely to use in the afternoons. Wifi is available along with full use of pc...very good service.
We were married here at Ulusaba...obviously our highlight of the trip. Everything for our wedding from start to finish was expertly organised for us both from Erica and Gill in the reservations office to everybody at Ulusaba...big thank you to Knox for anticipating our every need and delivering the very best for us...Thank you, you made our day and whole stay very special.
We have travelled extensively world wide and taken many safaris in Africa ...Ulusaba for us has a special quality about it, we have found new friends and will definitely return....Thank you all.

Room Tip: All Rock lodge rooms are lovely with great views, we had Rock Cliff room 3 and Makwela Dusk suite.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
Thank you for choosing Ulusaba to share in your special day and congratulations again on your big day. We always appreciate when our guests share their experiences with us and I’ll circulate your lovely comments to the entire team.
We look forward to welcoming you back to our Ulusaba family in the future.
Best wishes
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2014

Great location with great views overlooking bush. Rooms very good and spacious with balcony view like a james bond film and even had a small plunge pool. Flying in direct from joburg after long flight is excellent as some other safaris don't. Game drives are very well organised early morning and late afternoon and they try and avoid numbers of vehicles crowding animals. Saw all the big 5 and more. Guides and trackers excellent. Tourist may feel very sanitised safari but unfortunately one tracker who was on foot for our vehicle got gored by a Cape buffalo . Very rare occurrence and everyone was shocked but brings home that this is still the wild! The days can be a bit long esp after 24 hr lack of sleep to arrive and the evening drives tend to be extended unnecessarily for late drinks, star gazing at observatory to see white smudges thru telescope- would be better to have it as a separate trip after dinner for those who want it. Breakfast and lunch were satisfactory but dinner was major disappointment and no where near the standard of the resort but closer to school dinners eg meatballs and pasta or veg moussaka and bland sponge cake for dessert. Would expect more at this level of resort. (Every other hotel we stayed in south africa the food and quality of ingredients was amazing) Service generally was good other than restaurant which was friendly but inefficient. They try and get group to eat dinner but we were not prepared to wait as many we're late so we ordered and ate as by this time we were very hungry and not interested in pre dinner drinks. If you wish as we did you can ask for separate table, being friendly doesn't mean you also have to conform to this forced friendliness. Gym was good with amazing views. Overall great safari and location but very disappointing as a hotel restaurant.

Room Tip: We visited safari lodges but think its better to be on the rock
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PaulinDorridge87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, 10 January 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback with us; I’ve shared your comments with the team which will help us to improve in areas where we fell short on this occasion. Whilst I was pleased to hear that you enjoyed your overall experience at Ulusaba especially the safari experience, I was sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the food.

Regarding the comment about the tracker, we are happy to report that he is recovering well which I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear.

Once again thank you for taking the time to write and I hope that we have the chance to welcome you back to Ulusaba or a different Virgin Limited Edition property in the future.

Karl Langdon
General Manager
Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ulusaba Rock Lodge

Property: Ulusaba Rock Lodge
Address: Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With panoramic views overlooking the miles of African bush, there are 8 rooms at Rock Lodge, including the Master Suite, Makwela Suites, Rock Cliff rooms and the two bedroom Rock Suite, some of which have private plunge pools. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ulusaba Rock Hotel Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

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