We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Nearby Hotels
Reviews (439)
Filter reviews
439 results
Traveller rating
427
8
2
1
1
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
427
8
2
1
1
Show reviews that mention
All reviews wine cellar river room game drives private dinner richard branson swing bridge out of this world other guests plunge pool dry river bed great food and wine tree house private airstrip termite mounds once in a lifetime our honeymoon wake up call
Filter
Updating list...
20 - 25 of 439 reviews
Reviewed 3 June 2018

This was left for the last stop of my 50th birthday trip and I couldn't have asked for a better place! We are elephant lovers and only saw two in the southern Sabi Sand, but they were all here to greet us! The lodge is beautiful, the food out of this world, the staff extremely nice and ready to help in any way. Our guide and tracker team Brandon and Jack were awesome. We managed to see so much wildlife, including tiny leopard cubs and lion cubs! Brandon was great explaining about the starts. It was like being with a science teacher. The staff organized a lovely Mother's Day surprise in the bush and a very thoughtful birthday celebration for me. They even game me a photo album as a gift! We loved this place and I'm sure we will be back as soon as we can! Thank you to all the staff at Ulusaba Safari Lodge!

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank CGriffiths
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 reviewResponded 8 June 2018

Dear CGriffiths,

Wow, I don’t think we could ask for a nicer review so thank you for sharing it with us! It was a pleasure to welcome you to Ulusaba during your special birthday celebrations, and the whole team were delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your stay. Brandon and Jack were so touched to hear your feedback, and have to agree that spotting the little lion and leopard cubs was a highlight of your game drives! We think that the little touches make a big difference so were so pleased to hear that you agree and that you appreciated the Mother’s Day and birthday surprises. Thank YOU for joining us, we very much hope that we might have the opportunity to welcome you back one day in the not too distant future.

Have a magic day,
Karl & Llané Langdon
General Managers
karl@ulusaba.virgin.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2018

Well we always said we would return, only shame it took us so long. There are few superlatives left to describe a visit to Ulusaba, but taking Sir Richard’s advice to do both Safari and Rock Lodges in a split visit is the only way to really appreciate what this unique place has to offer, so this is what we did on our second visit.
But before we get on to the review of the lodges a special mention must go to Precious at the Johannesburg office who appeared to make it here personal mission that we got the trip that we wanted, even when the initial dates we requested were not available. Getting 6 days in in April/May and split between both lodges is no mean feat, but she did it. A major difference to the last time we tried to book, but that is history now. A big thank you Precious and I have no doubt this will be passed on to her as part of the Ulusaba “family”.
As usual we drive in and the +/- 20kms from the Newington Gate gets you in the mood for the safari’s to come.
At the Reception, located near the airstrip we were again met by a ranger, who was none other than Philip from our previous visit. The cliché of every guest being part of the Ulusaba Family is a value all the staff live by and that is how Philip greeted us. This time he was joined by Sipho who met us with a huge smile and welcome. Over the next 6 days this great team would treat us to some exceptional sightings, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
All the formalities completed at reception while happily sipping a couple of glasses of champagne, our vehicle unloaded and the safari vehicle loaded, we set off for Safari Lodge.
The Lodge
At the Safari Lodge entrance we were met by Annelle with the now accustomed Ulusaba welcome and ushered through the gate and into “Heaven on Earth”, while our luggage was taken to our room. Annelle started giving us the tour of the lodge, Spa, Gym, pool. It was then Llané who was having lunch came over to greet us (remember the Ulusaba Family). Just then my wife recognised who else was having lunch. Quickly dropping handbag, cell phone etc. she rushed over to introduce herself to Sir Richard, apologies for interrupting your lunch, but the big hug meant everything to her and epitomized the Ulusaba welcome. Karl and Llané a big thank you for allowing us to interrupt your lunch with Sir Richard. It was then off to see the rest of Safari Lodge, bar lounge, dining room, viewing deck etc. before taking on the swing bridges to our room River 4.
The Room
Our room River 4 was about a 6-7 minute walk along the swing bridges and walk ways over the dry riverbed, which characterises Safari Lodge. River 4 is a bit further from the lodge situated on the edge of the dry river bed and more secluded than the other rooms. The room itself is spacious and uniquely decorated, with African and antique furniture, a very comfortable King size bed, with the obligatory mosquito net adding a colonial style to the room. Lying on the bed also offers views out on to the river and bush beyond. There is a fully stocked bar fridge and any drink you want is available. G&T’s or champagne by the pool a must. The bathroom comes fully equipped with everything one needs with both indoor and outdoor showers, as well as a bath with a view. Outside is a veranda and plunge pool over looking the bush beyond. The plunge pool was another highlight of our stay at Safari Lodge at a temperature that must have been around 30 degrees we spent may an hour between game drives and after dinner in the evenings enjoying the plunge pool on our own private stretch of river bed.
The Food and Wine
After wonderful game viewing the one thing you will not go short of is the superb food at Ulusaba. This family truly wines and dines its new members. Breakfast is served on the deck overlooking the dry river bed. Fruit, cereal, continental pastries, salmon, cheeses and ham as an appetizer. This is then followed by your choice of a full English, just add what you want it is all there and more. For a lighter touch the Eggs Benedicts are awesome. I discovered the Ranger’s Omelette was just enough. All of this washed down with fresh juices and tea or coffee. Your Ranger normally joins you for breakfast, which is great touch as you can continue the discussions from the drive or just shoot the breeze. All the while the animals are wandering past, even elephants one morning. One warning though the “table poachers” need to be watch out for, but there is an “anti-poaching patrol” on hand, fully equipped to keep the monkeys away.
Lunch also served on the deck is worth trying at least once during your stay, if you have any room left after breakfast. The Kudu Burger is recommended or a salad.
On our first night dinner was served as a bush braai under the stars, around a fire with local music and dancers. A great buffet, with plenty of salads and soup to start, followed by braaied meat including game all cooked to perfection, dessert and washed down with some excellent red wine.
The other nights at Safari Lodge started with drinks after the drive in the bar with Annelle, Chris and the Rangers, where everyone gathered and chatted about their experiences of the afternoon, each vehicle had seen different sightings or at least one shared experience. There was a cosmopolitan guest list from around the world, Americans, New Zealanders, Dutch as well as some local SA visitors and it was fun trading stories around the dinner table.
Staying at River 4 meant it was easier to stay in the bar before dinner and by the second night our G&T’s were waiting for us. Once everyone is at the bar the Chef comes out and lets everyone know what is on the menu for the night. There were varied starters and the mains catered for all tastes, meat, fish and vegetarian followed by palate scintillating desserts. All the food is 5 star, cooked to perfection and presented well. Chris or Annelle would then give us their choice of wines for the night both red and white that would complement your choice of meal. Normally a red drinker I was pleasantly surprised with their choice of whites so some great selections. We even introduced some of the guests to the SA Dom Pedro and thanks Chris for staying with us on the last night as we chatted on after dinner. A word of warning when you join the Ulusaba Family they are never shy in offering you something to eat or drink, whenever you make an appearance at the lounge or viewing deck, what great people to spend a few days with.
The Game Drives
There are two game drives each day. Morning starting at 6am, so you are up at 5.30am a quick coffee and quick bite to eat, before setting off, in April it was still quite warm, but a light jacket is advisable until the sun gets up. The afternoon drive is at 4pm, with coffee, tea and yes you guessed it more snacks before heading off to view the Game, again once the sun sets it does get chilly so keep that jacket handy. On both drives there is a stop for morning tea/coffee and evening sundowners, timing is dependent on sightings so go with the flow.
As mentioned earlier Philip and Sipho were our team and Philip had a lot to live up to given the sightings we had on our last visit, but this excellent team were more than up to the task and we had some exceptional game viewing opportunities. The Big 5 were crossed off quickly, more than once, but it was the quality of sightings that made the difference. We were virtually falling over elephant with breeding herds surrounding the vehicle on more than one occasion, all with very young calves. Numerous bachelor males in groups of 2-4, who put on some mock fights for us to enjoy or at least sit back in awe at the power of these animals as they pushed each other around. Then the was the magnificent mature Bull strolling down the road as if he owned the place (he probably did) and nobody argued with all vehicles giving him a wide berth. The same with the buffalo some good herd sightings and the usual Dagga Boys strolling around. Two prides of Lion, one of 4 in the north and a second made up of 9 juveniles in the south, who had been abandoned by their mothers to fend for themselves, which they were just about doing, with some obviously not getting the “lion’s” share of the kills. A number of Leopard sightings including the Ravenscourt male who is quickly becoming one of the dominant males in this section of the Sabie Sands, a couple of females one of which had two young cubs in tow as she changed dens. This was a race to see but still some excellent views as they moved on. However this was not the end of some magnificent predator viewing. On one drive we came across a Hyena feeding on a kill that had been made earlier by a female Leopard, which they had chased off. While we were watching in came a large male Leopard and took over the kill, obviously he wanted this for his supper, as he quickly moved the Impala some +/-100m away and took it up a Marula Tree all of which played out in front of us.
Add to this all the other sightings of Giraffe, Zebra, Hippo, Crocodile, Warthogs along with numerous buck and raptor sightings, it was an exceptional 3 days on Safari we shared with Fabien, Sarah and their sons. That was only made possible by the skills of Philip and Sipho.
Sipho tracked Leopard and Lion on foot for us, spotted chameleons in the dark on trees and animals where we only saw bush. Philip has a wonderful understanding and knowledge of all the species in the area. When we lost sight of a female Leopard, he did not follow, but drove off and waited by a tree, 5 minutes later she pops out of the bush. When the male Leopard took the kill from the Hyena, he drove to the very tree over 100m away that he took the kill up and we were in the perfect position to see it. An exceptional team. Never mind the cloudy skies that stopped us going to the Observatory to see the stars, they were on the Landy with us .
We had a marvelous 3 days at Safari Lodge thanks to Annelle, Chris and the whole team at the lodge, it was a great time. So much so that we are already planning our return trip and bringing our Family to meet the Ulusaba Family. Thank you all for a special experience R&K.
We would recommend Ulusaba to anyone even remotely thinking of doing a Safari in Africa. Combining a majestic location, with warm and friendly people and some of the best game viewing on the planet, Ulusaba should be on everyone’s bucket list. When you book, River 4 should be top of your list, especially if you want a romantic setting for a special occasion. One tip if you are in River 4 – the swing bridges appear to be easier after a couple of glasses of red wine .

Room Tip: River 4 must be the best
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Karrst
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 reviewResponded 17 May 2018

Dear Karrst,

Wow, we are not quite sure where to start with this amazing review but a good place might be with a huge thank you! It was truly a pleasure to welcome you back to Ulusaba and you have certainly made our day with your incredible feedback. We will be sure to pass on your kind comments to Precious, who no doubt will be delighted to hear them. The whole team shared a smile when we heard about your welcome to Safari Lodge and that you felt fully part of the family, that’s exactly how we aim for. River 4 is one of our favourite rooms for views, although it is a close call between the plunge pool and the bed for the best vantage point; we’re glad to hear that you made the most of both! Our Head Chef wanted to personally thank you for your comments on the food; he couldn’t agree more that the Ranger’s Omelette is one of the best ways to start the day. Philip and Sipho couldn’t help but smile when they heard how much you enjoyed your game drives, there were some incredible sightings which I am sure they too will remember for years to come. Once again, thank you so much for sharing such a touching review, we feel very lucky to have played a part in your special memories. Our favourite part was hearing that you are already planning your return trip, we cannot wait to welcome the rest of the family and will be sure to have the G&Ts at the ready!

Have a magic day,
Karl & Llané Langdon
General Managers
karl@ulusaba.virgin.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2018

Could not recommend this place highly enough. Riverside suite with plunge pool was absolutely perfect with wildlife literally walking past the pool and deck. The food and wine was amazing as you would expect. The big difference that made it so special was the staff. The Ranger (Brandon) and Tracker (Jack) - both of which were well over qualified, made the game drives relaxing, fun and informative. Two of the friendliest people you could hope to meet. Thank you so much to all the staff who went out of their way - especially Ben. We arrived with no fuel left in car, they even put half a tank in to get to a garage - above and beyond any expectations!!

Room Tip: Riverside room 2 with plunge pool
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Gerard A
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 reviewResponded 17 May 2018

Dear Gerard A,

Reading your perfect review put a huge smile on our faces, so we wanted to thank you for sharing it with us! Maybe we are biased, but we feel incredibly lucky to work with such a fantastic team, so hearing your kind feedback about the service really means such a great deal. Jack and Brandon were beaming from ear to ear when they heard that you thought they were two of the friendliest people, and Ben also wanted to say thank you for his personal mention. It’s easy to go above and beyond for our guests when they are as lovely as you! We very much hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to Ulusaba one day soon, we miss you already!

Have a magic day,
Karl & Llané Langdon
General Managers
karl@ulusaba.virgin.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2018

Words cannot describe how special Ulusaba is to stay at and visit. We previously stayed three years ago for our honeymoon and loved it so much we decided to come back with our respective families.

What makes Ulusaba stand out from other holidays and ‘hotels’ is the personal service you receive from start to finish. Staff go above and beyond to cater for your individual needs and make you feel like part of the Ulusaba family. It never fails to amaze me how the staff remain so welcoming and considerate, and friendly and energetic, throughout your stay.

The game drives are excellent. I cannot praise Liam (ranger) and David (tracker) enough for their tireless efforts to ensure each and every drive is a memorable and jaw-dropping experience. Both were extremely engaged and Liam was so open to share his knowledge and experiences, keeping us both informed and entertained for hours on end. We were very impressed by Liam and we were so lucky to have them both as our ranger and tracker!

The rooms and lodges themselves were luxurious yet authentic. Food and drink was of the highest quality with no expense spared. Toiletries were locally sourced, natural spa products. The spa itself is similar to London prices and quality (very relaxing). The pools are heated and very inviting after an early morning game drive!

We leave Ulusaba with a heavy heart and in hope we will return again one day.

Tip: Spread your stay across the two different lodges for two very different experiences. We stayed two nights in Safari Lodge and three nights in Rock Lodge. Both of similar quality, however two completely different perspectives of Sabi Sands. All rooms are lovely.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank gennasingpo
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 reviewResponded 17 May 2018

Dear Gennasingpo.

Following on from your review for Safari Lodge, we wanted to once again say how delighted we were to read your fantastic reviews. It really means so much to hear how much you enjoyed your experience, and we only hope that we might have the opportunity to welcome you back again one day. We would love to see you again for visit number three!

Have a magic day,
Karl & Llané Langdon
General Managers
karl@ulusaba.virgin.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2018

The most amazing weekend getaway! The staff is super friendly and informative - our guide was Liam and our tracker was Eric - in my opinion the best Ulusaba has to offer. Thank you for the most amazing experience. The game drives are beautiful and the animal sightings are unbelievable. Food and Drinks are of exceptional value and all guests are treated as if they were royalty! Truly a remarkable experience! The rooms are perfectly located and private, and the room service is amazing! Thank you Ulusaba - Keep up the exceptional work!

Room Tip: No matter where you choose - you will have the most amazing experience!
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Monique l
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 reviewResponded 3 May 2018

Dear Monique l,

What an amazing review, thank you for taking the time to share it with us. We really enjoyed welcoming you for a weekend away and couldn’t have been happier to hear that you felt like royalty, that’s exactly what we aim for! Liam and Eric were both beaming from ear to ear when they heard that you thought they were best guide and tracker, they were delighted to receive such a big compliment but you may have sparked some healthy competition amongst the rest of the team! Whilst we know that a safari is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we very much hope that we might have the chance to welcome you back to Ulusaba one day in the future.

Have a magic day,
Karl & Llané Langdon
General Managers
karl@ulusaba.virgin.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews