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Reviewed 30 October 2017

My wife and I spent three enjoyable days at Arathusa Safari Lodge in October of 2017.

We were very impressed and pleased with our lodging. The room contained a sofa, numerous chairs, a large comfortable bed surrounded with mosquito netting (even though we saw no bugs during our visit), a room safe, a small refrigerator, a double sink, bathtub, an indoor shower, and a large outdoor shower area.

Housekeeping always had the room cleaned upon our returned from our morning game drive and turndown service always occurred during our evening game drive.

A personal note in our room listed all of the pertinent times associated with our stay.
Starting times for morning and evening gave drives, meal times, and wake-up call time.

After each game drive the lobby staff met us with smiles, a warm wash cloth, and either juice or a cordial of liquor.

Unfortunately as other reviewers have indicated the watering hole in front of the lodge is dry and has been dry for some time. I can only imagine how beautiful this lodge would be if the watering hole was full of water. That said we still saw monkeys/baboons, warthogs, antelope, and various birds in the dry bed during our stay.

WI-Fi was available in the bar/lobby area. The speed and reliability was acceptable but did vary depending upon the number of guests using the network at the time.

Our driver, Roy, and tracker, Chris did an excellent job of positioning our safari vehicle for great photo opportunities. Many time shifting the vehicle to get the sun behind us, illuminating the animals for near perfect pictures.

We visited Sabi Sands for its purportedly high concentration of leopards. We were not disappointed. On our first game drive we viewed two leopards including Tingana, the dominant male leopard of the area in a tree with an impala kill next to him. (& a large male lion walking below the tree forlornly looking upwards at the meal he wasn’t going to get) At the same time a herd of impala in a rather agitated state could be observed a short distance away.

We observed leopards on three of our six game drives.

Arathusa safari vehicles are allowed to go off road in pursuit of the Big Five. This allowed us to get within feet of rhinos, leopards, and prides of lions. I felt like I was in a tank when the vehicle began driving over small trees and going through thick brush to place us in position to observe these animals.

Other highlights of the trip was viewing a male lion on our night drive and catching a short but good viewing of a pack of painted dogs.

I would not hesitate to recommend to our friends a stay at Arathusa Safari Lodge.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank DePere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2017 via mobile

My husband and I loved Arathusa! We were blown away by the exclusivity of the game drives and the impeccable staff. We got so close to Lions eating a giraffe, saw a Hyena while eating dinner, and had the most experienced Game rangers. It is worth every penny, you get a lot more than you bargained for! :) great Honeymoon Safari destination.

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Tijana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2017

Arathusa is incredible! Every aspect of my stay there was perfect. The rooms are gorgeous (I stayed in a water hole facing room for 3 nights and a bush facing room for 2 nights), the service is fabulous, the food is great, and the best part is the amazing wildlife! Every drive was a new adventure...I couldn't wait to see what we'd find next. Lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, zebra, impala, monkeys, hippos, rhinos, cape buffalo, birds...we saw it all! Our ranger, Jamie, and our tracker, Debeers, were awesome - very knowledgeable, great at finding the animals, and also very respectful of the wildlife, the properties we drove on, and the passengers. This was my first trip to South Africa and now I want to go back every year to stay at Arathusa again!

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Beebles54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2017

We are coming to this lodge twice in a year. Went here last March and are going again in November. We have done a lot of safaris in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana but this one is still on the top of our list. The lodge is beautiful, clean and the staff will do everything to make it a memorable stay. It is situated in the middle of the reserve and has no fences so you have to be aware of animals in your direct proximity. Elephants, all kind of antilopes but also seen hyena's on the lodge area. The only downside is that the waterhole is often empty besides the rain season due to drought. Animals still are coming but there are no hippos anymore like there used to be. The drives are magnificent. We drive every time with our ranger Jamie and tracker Norman. They are very knowledgeable, always looking for the animals you would like to see and positioning the car for great photo shots. If you are lucky, and we have been that several times, you can see the big five in a single drive. The scenery of the landscape can not match like for instance the Okavango Delta in Botswana but the density of wildlife and especially leopards are unmatched. So despite high costs we keep coming back to this paradise in the bush and still loving it.

Room Tip: in the bush chalets you have private dip pool where sometimes elephants come to drink
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Berend d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2017

Arathusa Safari Lodge is beautiful constructed and situated with comfortable chalets some nicer than others. This is a very expensive lodge. Unfortunately Sabi Sands has had deficient rain for about 3 years so that the whole reserve is dying due to a lack of water. Animals are present but in high numbers and while you get to see leopards and lions, they like the other animals are struggling to cope with the water shortage. We did see Leopards and Lions and for this we are grateful. However the lodge is also a little handicapped in management issues - we paid a LOT of money about 5 months ago paying off our full visit reserving a chalet yet when we arrived we were given a chalet facing the dinning room with not a lot of view. It was well constructed but having paid fully 5 months ago shouldn't we have had a better chalet? The cooler on the evening rides was never cool enough so that you have to drink parboiled wine, luke warm beer or a strong alcohol that uses ice. Good enough? No. The food is good here and the staff obliging. They are struggling to keep alive a lodge that is doing well despite its decertifying environment. A 3 night safari trip consists of the safari rides but also of the environment and the overall experience. Mine could have been much better if some small aspects had been taken care of. Honestly, I feel i would have chosen a different Kruger or Sabi Sabi environment had I known these elements before - and you travel and learn. Very very bad wifi - dont count on it at all.

Room Tip: Ask for a "Bush" chalet where you have your own private pool
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Zubaida R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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