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“Life changing experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ulusaba Safari Lodge

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Ulusaba Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Life changing experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

From the moment we arrived, we knew this place was special. Our tracker and guide were waiting to welcome us to Safari Lodge. Spending four days with Ryan and Kaizer, was just the best. Every day got better and better as we learned about the animals. Kaizer has the eyes of an eagle as he was able to spot leopards and lions. Ryan shared with us fascinating details about the animals we were seeing. If you want to see wildlife, this is the place! When Ryan spotted painted dogs, he jumped in the air with joy ,with arms raised in his excitement! It was an incredible experience to share his love of the animals. As we left, and were walking to our plane, we had tears in our eyes. We will always remember our time at Ulusaba, and would love to return.

Room Tip: River Lodge 1 was spacious and comfortable! We had an elephant eating right off our balcony! Loved t...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Christine T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VirginLimitedEdition, General Manager at Ulusaba Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Dear Christine,

What a delight to read about your Ulusaba experience. Thank you for sharing your comments. We’re glad you were able to share with our team the love of the bush. We hope to see you again soon.

Best wishes
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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369 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2014

After a particularly challenging year or so I was very generously treated to this trip...all I can say is absolutely amazing...Our Ranger and Tracker Kalven and John made sure we had the experience of a lifetime and often stopped the jeep and took us on random bush walks !!
The service and food were second to none..I will be back

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Joeybum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VirginLimitedEdition, General Manager at Ulusaba Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and we’re glad you were able to enjoy what Ulusaba is all about. We’ll pass on your lovely comments to Calvin and John who will be pleased to hear you enjoyed the bush walks. We hope to welcome you back soon.

Best wishes
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
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

The beauty of Africa is captured in this oasis of style in the veld. The safari expeditions are fascinating varied and an astonishing experience. The trackers and rangers are hugely knowledgable, and share this with their guests in a gracious and informative way. Early morning starts, whilst an effort anywhere else in the world, reveal animals, light and experiences that make it worth while. Stunningly romantic, deeply magnetic, this is a fabulous place. Once in a lifetime is simply not enough. The addiction of Africa, it's wildlife, both flora and fauna, mean you will have to go back. Save, borrow, get the money somehow. Worth every Rand. The lodge is superb, no effort not made, food varied tasty and delicious. beds are inviting, showers look across the bushbat passing elephants or circling eagles. Absolutely without equal.

Room Tip: Decide what you want. Privacy or closer access to main lodge. That is really all you need to do. The...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 12 May 2014
Dear Andrew,

What a delight to read about your recent stay with us at Safari Lodge. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and we’re glad you were able to enjoy the magic we try and create at Ulusaba and hope to welcome you back soon.

Best wishes
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
Syracuse, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

My husband and I stayed at Ulusaba Rock Lodge for a 3 night, 4 day trip at the beginning of April. Everything was fantastic...from the champagne we received when we arrived, we knew that we were going to be treated exceptionally well for the remainder of our stay. The rooms and the grounds as a whole were beautiful. Some of the most amazing sites and views I have ever seen. Sean was our ranger and James was our tracker. They were a great team and worked together to make sure we saw as many animals as possible. We were fortunate to have been able to see all of the Big 5 along with a cheetah during our stay. The cheetah was the animal I was looking forward to seeing most, and was warned that it was very difficult to spot so I was thrilled when we did. Each evening, after the night drives, everyone came back to the lodge and ate a 5 star dinner prepared by Rock Lodge's on site chef. The food, like everything else, was top notch. I hope to be back again someday soon!!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jillian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 12 May 2014
Dear Jillian,

Thank you for your lovely feedback about your stay at Rock Lodge. We’re happy to read that Sean and James were able to showcase the African bush and you managed a rare cheetah sighting. We hope to welcome you back again soon.

Best wishes
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
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2014

As part of a 3 week trip through Africa this was an amazing stop! This game preserve is owned by Richard Branson and is in the northern part of Kruger National Park. It is very dry with lots of bush and we stayed at the Safari part of the Ulusaba compound. We were met on the outskirts of the lodge (where the bush planes land) by 2 friendly young men who would be our rangers all week. They gave us damp cloths for our faces and champagne or other cool drinks while we sat down to sign forms and fill out necessary paperwork and listen to their introductions about themselves and the place. After this they drove in to the compound where we were taken to our individual houses. Ours happened to have a salt water plunge pool off of our balcony. The units (houses) are tree house style and connected by rope bridges that are 20 feet above the ground and a dry creek bed and they swing as you walk on them! Our unit looked at nothing but land and many, many elephants that roam through the area! One elephant came up to drink out of our plunge pool which is 12 feet off the ground attached to our porch. The room inside is amazing with a beautiful sheer white netting around the poster bed and a door less shower in the bathroom. Air conditioning too. It was an unbelievable experience as we went out on game drives in the cool early morning and then again at night. Our guides and trackers were very knowledgeable and we ended up seeing the big 5 and then some! It was almost Disney like as each day I would ask if we could try and find a particular animal--say a leopard--and then before the 3 hour drive was done we usually would have found it! The rangers do communicate to each other from different parts of the park if they see something and let each other know locations. We even saw a pack of wild African "painted" dogs--very rare! The food at the lodge was great especially the morning breakfast local specialty. This place is expensive but worth every penny. I wonder how it is in other months when maybe the creek beds are not dry, etc.?? We were even lucky enough to have been there when Richard Branson was there himself and he and his friends drove up next to our vehicle and said hello!

Room Tip: Ask for River room #4 if you want a plunge pool (small) and the chance that an elephant might walk u...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank thistrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 12 May 2014
We’re delighted to read all your comments from your recent stay at Ulusaba. We love reading all our guests feedback and were thrilled to read your detailed feedback especially about the elephant sightings from your River Room. Thanks again and we’d love to welcome you back to Ulusaba in the near future.

Best wishes
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
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2014

We spent four nights at Ulusaba as the first stop on our first safari vacation and we didn't want to leave! We kept trying to think of what we could suggest to improve it and came up with nothing. Everything was outstanding here but the staff and incredible service really made our stay extra special.

We stayed in a safari room, which is the least expensive room category. It was very nice and had a great view of a watering hole from our deck. The bed was extremely comfortable and our room was just a short walk to the main lodge - which we found to be very convenient. Our room had creature comforts such as a mini-bar, wifi, toiletries, and a hairdryer.

The game viewing was absolutely amazing! Our ranger, Ryan, and our tracker, Kaizer, were the best out of everyone on our trip! We saw the big 5, plus 2 Cheetah sightings, within our first two game drives. We also saw numerous baby animals, which I was really hoping to see, and witnessed lions roaring and leopards mating. It was unbelievable how close we could get to the animals! Ryan was a wealth of information and we learned so much during our game drives. Also, Ryan and Kaizer clearly care about and respect the animals and their environment which was very important to us. We are already planning a return trip and will be requesting Ryan and Kaizer as our ranger/tracker team.

Robin, who provided us with our orientation and functioned as the hostess at the lodge, was very witty and conscientious about making sure everyone was having a great time. We saw her from morning till evening every day and she always made us feel right at home. She appears to thoroughly enjoy her job and really added to our enjoyment during our stay.

The food was excellent and abundant, as were the drinks. Someone who is only minimally interested in the game drives could still have an excellent time here if they enjoyed eating delicious food and drinking top shelf drinks in a beautiful environment surrounded by nature. We ate, on average, seven times per day with the highlight being the evening meal. Every night after the game drive the guests would collect and socialize around the bar area for snacks and drinks. At about 8:00 the chef would come out and announce the menu for the evening to the group, which always included both meat and vegetarian items.The group sat at a communal table for dinner and there was always plenty of lively conversation. Because we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, we did request one private dinner at the wine cellar which was very romantic.

Although it was a five star lodge, the environment was casual so there is no need to bring any clothing other than your safari gear. In addition, they provide laundry service every day so there is no need to over-pack on clothes but make sure you bring good binoculars, cameras and sunglasses.

At the far end of the property is a watering hole called "Hippo Dam" that has an observation deck. We really enjoyed spending time there watching the hippos and viewing any other wildlife that was in the area. You can even have your lunch served there if you'd like but we always went there as part of our afternoon stroll between lunch and high tea.

We did have high tea at the Rock Lodge one afternoon and it was very beautiful. We were still happy we stayed at the Safari Lodge though since it is so close to nature. We had animals right outside our room every day.

We would definitely recommend Ulusaba to anyone who wants a safari experience that includes excellent game viewing combined with five-star amenities!

Room Tip: Safari rooms are smaller but less expensive and close to main lodge.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lkkaves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 12 May 2014
We’re incredibly proud to read your comments from your recent stay at Safari Lodge. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience, especially about our team who will be thrilled to hear about your experience. We’re glad you had the chance to appreciate the Treehouse viewing deck as it is truly a special place.

Best wishes
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
Woodbridge, Connecticut
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

Phenomenal ! From the minute you arrive you are welcomed by your Guide with a glass of champagne and an overview of what to expect while you are a guest at Ulusaba. The adventure begins with your ride to the main lodge. The entire staff is EXCEPTIONAL ! They are Warm, Friendly , professional and very patient. They are the happiest staff I have even encountered. They all truley love their jobs and it shows. We were lucky enough to have Ryan and Kieser as our guide and tracker. We saw the "Big Five" within 2 drives ! Ryan's knowlege of the park and the animals was astonishing. If anyone asked if we would see a certain animal, Ryan made sure that they did. Just as you thought you had seen the most fascinating animal sighting and nothing could be better, you were awstruck by another sighting. We stayed in the Safari Lodge in a river room and could not have been happier with our choice. Though both lodges are special in their own ways. In the Safari Lodge you felt like you were a part of your surroundings. One night while we finished dinner, and adult elephant walked right up to the lodge! Prior to our trip, we were very worried and apprehensive about the whole safari vacation, HOWEVER, as we were leaving Ulusaba, we were already talking about returning ! Great job to everyone at Ulusaba for making our vacation one that we will never forget! Don't miss this very special place

Room Tip: River Rooms - Very private, at night you need to be escorted to your room by security because you ar...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Scott A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 12 May 2014
Dear Scott,

We’re absolutely delighted to read about your stay at Safari Lodge. Thank you so much for all the comments about our team; I know everyone will truly appreciate all your feedback. We’re glad you were able to experience both lodges and very much look forward to your next stay.

Best wishes
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 Safari Lodge

Property: Ulusaba Safari 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 #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ulusaba Safari Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Safari Lodge is built along the banks of the dry Mabrak riverbed. The 11 rooms at Safari Lodge include a Treehouse Suite overlooking the nearby Xikwenga Dam as well as three other room types: Safari, Elephant and River Rooms, some of which have private plunge pools. Kids over the age of 12 are welcome to stay at Safari Lodge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ulusaba Safari Hotel Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

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