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Ulusaba Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 August 2014

I knew this would be a wonderful trip but I could never have expected how great it would be. The attention to every detail made it the most enjoyable vacation we have ever had. From the moment we arrived until we sadly got on the plane to leave, we were in heaven. We were told upon arrival that it was the goal of the staff for us to feel at home during our stay. They treated us like family and we felt so welcomed. Our ranger Ryan was so knowledgeable and did such a wonderful job of sharing his love of nature and desire for conservation. I could go on and on but there is no true way to describe this to anyone. One must experience this to truly understand what a special place Ulusaba is.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TexasAggie83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 August 2014

Quite simply one of the best experiences we've ever had, we travelled in 2012 (although I can't enter that now).
We spent 4 days in the safari lodge and 4 days in the rock lodge, both equally amazing, both have their positives, i'd recommend either although the Safari lodge felt a little more laid back, which suits us.
Some amazing times
woken by an elephant right at our balcony, literally within feet of her
staff at the hotel every day
our tracker and guide amazing
cheetahs everywhere
education on local life in the area

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Dantgriffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

My husband and I spent four nights in a Safari room at Safari lodge enjoying what was probably one of the best experiences of our lives. It's all already been said in the other reviews, this place is out of this world. I never stopped saying 'wow' the whole time we were there, from viewing Saturn through the bush telescope, to watching a male and female leopard work together to kill a warthog, to being surprised to find the chef out in the bush preparing pancakes and champagne for breakfast. Awesome doesn't come close!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NikkifEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

If you are looking for a first-class Safari w top notch service and lodging, Ulusaba is it. From the moment you land at their private airstrip and they pop open the champagne to the moment you are taking off as your guide and tracker wave you off, they provide a aa around first class experience you will never forget. The accommodations are all unique and they escort you to and from your rooms to the main lodge so the lions, leopards and hyenas that all walked through the camp the nights we were there don't get any ideas. The Safaris were incredible - amazing animals up close while still respecting the animal's space, blankets, hot water bottles, and ponchos along w teas and coffees for a break if you want to (we only did it once as we were mesmerized by all if the wildlife). The staff were all very friendly and accommodating! Our three kids are Celiac and the chef and his team went out if their way to accommodate them. Can't wait until our next visit.

Stayed: July 2014
1  Thank Goldreyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Ulasaba is the ultimate for luxurious rusticity... accommodations, staff and food/wine are all excellent. I hope I have good photos to share!

We stayed at the safari lodge. (I found this a bit confusing when planning... Ulusaba has two properties; safari and rock lodges. They are a quick jeep away from one another and both magnificent. So check them both out.) (from what I can tell, the main difference is that Rock lodge is up high and offers amazing vista views, while Safari Lodge is down in the bush amongst the animals.)

Game drives were AMAZING. (There are two daily: 6am and 4pm) On our trip to Africa we did another game safari in Zambia and the wildlife viewing was far superior at Ulusaba. The staff at Ulusaba and other safari outfits in the sabi-sands region work in partnership on radio to track animals to ensure a once in a lifetime wildlife viewing experience. We saw "the big five" all in one day! Jeeps are comfortable and outfitted with warm fleece-lined ponchos, blankets and a water bottle for each guest. (We were there in "winter" -July. It was quite cold, maybe in the 40's fahrenheit, in the early morning and later evening...but warmed to mid 70's maybe 80 by mid-day.) So pack layers.

Rangers are very knowledgeable on a wide range of nature/science beyond typical safari animals. Including birds, plants, geology and astronomy. (They also carry guidebooks for curious guest like us.)

A wonderful surprise was to wake from an afternoon nap to find an elephant drinking from the pool on our deck (right outside our door)!

I also loved the heated beds!! (this was a surprise the first night and got too hot for my hubby, which caused a little confusion and scrambling in the middle of the night. so you may want to locate the controls before hopping into bed.)

I should mention too, we were traveling with our extended family with ages 8-80 and every one of us had an amazing time. So no need to worry about older or younger guests in your party. (I guess the only thing to consider is room assignment. We had our older and younger guests stay closer to the main lodge so as to avoid having to use the long wobbly rope bridges. Fun for most, but maybe tough for older people who's balance/knees may be a bit off.) (Closer rooms would be elephant and safari rooms. "River one" is also not over bridge.) (I stayed in River 2 which has its own private mini pool -where the elephant visited for a drink.) (All of the teens and 20somethings were happy to have wifi so we could keep up with our email, Facebook and Instagram. :-))

Food and wine were wonderful and the family enjoyed learning about south african wines. They feature a different south african wine each night and teach you a bit about it and compare/contrast to better known varieties. (I really do not drink, so this was a bit boring to me, but I'm sure this is a big hit for many, as I'm one of the only people I know who doesn't enjoy wine.)

Oh would like to add too, that in a party of 19, no one had any stomach upset. (and we enjoyed all foods, water and ice offered at Ulusaba.)

We are from NewJersey, USA

Room Tip: "Tree House" (tho amazing) is a solid 5-10 minute walk to the main lodge over two large ro...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Helen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014 via mobile

As far as the animals go, the Game Drives were incredible!! Trevor, our ranger, and Eric, our tracker, found us incredible sightings each of the six times we went out. From herds of elephants, to four lions roaring together, to a leopard protecting its young from a hyena; we were never disappointed. The staff made us feel like family and were always happy to help in whatever way possible. I highly recommend it.

Stayed: July 2014
Thank Nick G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

You arrive at Ulusaba by small plane- unless you fancy a six hour drive.... The resort employs an animal chaser to ensure that the airstrip is safe- which should tell you something even before you formally 'arrive'. The complex likes to get the check-in details done at the airstrip, so that when you arrive at the resort complex, it is like staying as a guest in a family home- no money ever changes hands.
We stayed at the river lodges, and whilst I freely concede that pecuniary motives were behind this- the treetop lodge, perched high on some kind of atoll, not only possesses dizzying views, but a pricetag which reflects the fact that all supplies need to be brought in by small vehicles- the roads are way too steep to allow a truck. So, the Safari lodge it was- and I could not possibly have known how awesome that choice would be.
The restaurant where the meals are served crouches next to a waterhole, kind of sophisticated rustic, all wood and thatch and trees growing through the roof. A closer look reveals the sophistication, with all the right touches, roaring, air-pumped fire, computers nestling cozily in corners, cupboards opening to reveal enormous televisions, for the more ESPN-orientated of us. The rooms are more of the same- reached via wooden walkways,over scrubby bushland smelling vaguely of something feral. You can see light through the floorboards, but all the right luxury touches are also present. And then there was the elephant. The bull elephant- trapped me in my room for an hour and a half, reducing a small tree by my door to half-chewed matchsticks. No, I couldn't walk past him, as I enjoy life, and have no wish to depart it. "At least he chased that baboon that was trying all the doors away', my son volunteered helpfully.
Security just laughed- 'He will go away- eventually' was the response- "and don't let the baboon in, he will raid the mini bar'. Great. Greaaaat.
Am I really here? I've been a lot of places, but I can't say I have ever been roomlocked by a large, wild ruminant before.
But that's Ulusaba. I could bang on about the safaris (amazing), the food (I think it was fantastic, but alas, I had contracted food poisoning in Durban, and thus can only comment on the toast). I did get to watch a number of excellent meals being consumed by everyone else, though.
The staff- superlative, the massage that was interrupted by a giraffe wandering through, etc. All I can say, is that if you have ever watched animal planet, this is the holiday for you.
The standout for me was the quiet passion of Phil the ranger, who clearly loved the animals he was showing us. That, combined with the thrill of being driven over wide, shallow rivers, and tossed along deeply rutted tracks, as the sun either rose or set beside us, notched the trip up from memorable to life changing.
There's a different world out there, and being on safari confronts it head on.
Ironically, to earn the sort of money required to stay here, requires effort and extraordinary commitment. You then sit quietly,watching lions relax and play as the sun rises behind you. It was unsettling to say the least, and made me question things I have previously felt were certain- and on those grounds alone, I would recommend Ulusaba. Everyone should, at some time, have their assumptions questioned, and this experience may well change your thinking, as well as your wallet.

Room Tip: They are all good, but if you like to watch wildlife wandering past while you shower- try the safari...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank Lindalou086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
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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