Ulusaba Rock Lodge

Kruger and surrounds, South Africa

Virgin rating

The hotel

Owned by our own Sir Richard Branson, this is one of the most luxurious and exclusive game lodges in the world. It is located amid the breathtaking landscapes of Sabi Sands and combines exceptional service with a superb safari experience - what could be better? If you have a head for heights, stay in the unique Rock Lodge, high above the reserve, where all rooms have beautiful panoramic views and are carved out of the Ulusaba rock itself. For a change of scenery, why not combine your stay with Ulusaba's nearby Safari Lodge, located right in the heart of the bush. Your day starts early with a cup of tea and then it's out to the 4WDs in search of the reserve's exciting creatures. Then it's back to the lodge for a delicious hearty breakfast and a chance to enjoy the impressive leisure facilities. You'll also enjoy an evening safari to spot some different bush creatures, before enjoying a first-class dinner accompanied by excellent wines and occasionally by tribal dancers and singers.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Wedding
  • Honeymoon
  • Evening Entertainment
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Internet Access
  • Restaurant

Where is it

In the western sector of the Sabi Sand reserve. Road transfers from Kruger Mpumalanga or Skukuza airport are available. We recommend to fly direct from Johannesburg to Ulusaba's private airstrip. Flight time approximately: 1 hour 20 minutes.

Hotel information

Ulusaba has 20 rooms and suites spread over 2 exquisite lodges. Rock Lodge is set 800 feet above the wilderness perched on the summit of a koppie. There are 8 rooms at Rock Lodge including 4 Rock Cliff Rooms, 2 Makwela Suites, Master Suite, Two Bedroom Rock Suite and also Cliff Lodge featuring 2 magnificent suites offering guests the ultimate in safari luxury. Rock Cliff Rooms are spacious with a private viewing deck and spectacular views over the vast landscape, en-suite bathroom, twin or double beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults. Please note: 2 of the Rock Cliff Rooms are split level with a spiral staircase.

All Inclusive of: all food and beverages - including top quality wine list, premium-branded spirits and French Champagne. Twice daily game-drives, daily walking safari (subject to favourable weather conditions), local entertainment, laundry service and transfers from Ulusaba air strip.

2 Bedroom Rock Suite features 1 master lavish bedroom with a full en-suite with views over the bush with 1 king-size bed and there is 1 smaller bedroom with an en-suite shower room. This spacious suite with separate living area, is ideal for families, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 2 children or 3 adults and 1 child on a rollaway bed.

The Master Suite has 3 levels, offering 1 double bedroom with spacious en-suite bathroom and balcony with infinity plunge pool providing beautiful views. The separate living area also has a private furnished sun deck and has a telescope to watch the stars - a perfect room for honeymooners! The Suite sleeps maximum 2 adults.

Makwela Suites are built on 2 levels offering a spacious bedroom, living area, library area, infinity plunge pool and outdoor showers on the private balcony, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 1 child on a rollaway bed.

Cliff Lodge features 2 magnificent suites offering guests the ultimate in safari luxury.

Cliff Lodge 1 is an opulent 2 bedroom suite with 1 large bedroom and a second smaller bedrooms - great for families as it can accommodate maximum 3 adults and 2 children. It also features a spacious lounge with fireplace, kitchen with bar, a mini-gym and outdoor deck with large private pool.

Cliff Lodge 2 is a spacious one bedroom suite sleeping maximum 2 adults and 2 children on rollaway beds. The luxurious suite features a lounge area with fireplace and has its own Jacuzzi on the large viewing deck with stunning views over the bush.

You can hire both suites at Cliff Lodge for exclusive use which includes your own chef and private vehicle for game-drives. Cliff Lodge can accommodate a maximum of 5 adults and 4 children when booked exclusively.

Romance/Honeymoon package

Enhance your stay by adding a Romance/Honeymoon package to your room or suite and recieve the following benefits:

  • A fruit basket and champagne in the room on arrival
  • The Aroma Boma Devotional Journey spa treatment for two (60 minutes)
  • Lovers’ Picnic private lunch on a day of your choosing
  • Romantic bath time experience on an evening of your choosing
  • Private dinner on the last evening complete with own personal butler
  • Complimentary space-available upgrade
  • Gift on departure

Local entertainment. Daily game-drives. Late morning walking safaris. Outdoor swimming pool. Viewing deck. Aroma Boma spa*. Gym and 2 tennis courts. Ulusaba Cubs Kids' Club. Babysitting service. Video, music and book libraries. Wine cellar at Safari Lodge. Observatory in the bush for star gazing. Complimentary WiFi access.

3 nights between 22 Dec-1 Jan.

* Denotes local charge.

Please note: children over 6 years are allowed on game-drives, with their parents or a guardian but are unable to participate in safari walks. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed on game walks. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed on game walks. Infants are unable to go on game-drives although they can join the kids programme at Rock Lodge called Cub’s Club. Babysitting is also available free of charge. 

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (308)
  • Very good (15)
  • Average (5)
  • Poor (3)
  • Terrible (2)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Out of this World!

Jul 18, 2022 Pratt5874

Words cannot express how special this place is. All of it: the game drives, the staff, the location, the accommodations, the food and drink. Excellence. Eric and Sipho were simply the best guide/tracker team (request them - you will not be disappointed). They made each of our drives an adventure. We knew something good was coming when Eric… Read more
Words cannot express how special this place is. All of it: the game drives, the staff, the location, the accommodations, the food and drink. Excellence. Eric and Sipho were simply the best guide/tracker team (request them - you will not be disappointed). They made each of our drives an adventure. We knew something good was coming when Eric would pump his arms in celebration 😄! Our first sighting was a leopard, and it just got better from there. On several drives we saw each of the Big 5. Awe inspiring, and far exceeded our high expectations! Back at the lodge, Patience, Zodwa, Anelle, Jason and the whole team kept us well fed and cared for. The food and wines were great (the chef Mulusi went above and beyond to accommodate a dietary restriction), and the rooms were immaculate. The gym, pool, tennis courts and spa are nice amenities for the “down” times between drives. Or just hang out enjoying the impressive views from Rock Lodge, or plan a visit to the watering hole at Ulusaba's Safari Lodge. No request goes unfulfilled! And the office staff were great as well, and kept us informed throughout a lengthy COVID postponement (thank you Tumi!). This was our first, and “once in a lifetime” safari, and we are so glad we chose Ulusaba. So much so, that we are now figuring out how to possibly make it a “twice in a lifetime” experience. Thanks to all from the Pratt family. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Perfect as always

Jul 7, 2022 mikeandshirl West Sussex, United Kingdom

It’s hard to find new words to say as we have visited several times before and always submitted very positive reviews. All of our previous reviews were glowing recommendations of Ulusaba and this one is no different. Some of the faces have changed since we were there last, but the overall scenario and atmosphere has not. We won’t bother too much… Read more
It’s hard to find new words to say as we have visited several times before and always submitted very positive reviews. All of our previous reviews were glowing recommendations of Ulusaba and this one is no different. Some of the faces have changed since we were there last, but the overall scenario and atmosphere has not. We won’t bother too much with the fantastic aspect of Rock Lodge, the food, drink, cleanliness of the rooms, etc. as just about every other review praises those aspects. Instead, we will concentrate on naming and praising (if we can remember all the names) the people who make this Lodge such a wonderful, fun and enjoyable place to stay. It was a great pleasure to meet up again with some of the “old” faces (if they will forgive the term) like Karl and Llane of course who have steered and nurtured the Lodge for over twenty years and made it what it is today. Stuart, Brandon, Brad, Vickus, Anel, Sam, Janine, Lauren, David, James, Orange, Precious and Patience are all there still and it was great to catch up with them all again. The new faces, (the ones whose names we can remember) are Milton who provided fabulous meals along with the rest of the catering staff and our new ranger Henry. Danielle was always laughing and unendingly helpful in so many ways, and it was lovely to meet Amber for the first time. We must not forget Erica Gaspar of Virgin Limited Edition in Johannesburg who was so patient and understanding when we have had to rebook so many times throughout the pandemic. So, the game drives. Brilliant as always, in fact in one period of about two hours we had sightings of the entire Big Five. Every drive was different and so exciting, and from hyenas devouring what was left of their kill to following, at speed, two huge male lions as they looked to the sky at the circling vultures to discover the whereabouts of a kill, the sightings just came thick and fast, one after another thanks to the joint perseverance, skill, knowledge and experience of our tracker Orange and our new ranger Henry. The banter between the two of them was priceless and every single drive was a mixture of excitement and humour. Many thanks and well done everyone, we’ll see you again in September all being well. Mike and Shirl. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating We had a wonderful time here! Didn't want to leave!

May 11, 2022 NorahRocket123

We had the most wonderful time during our 4 day stay at Rock Lodge. Absolutelly everyone was so genuinely friendly and hospitable, but also with a great eye for detail and emphasis on guest comfort. The food was amazing, as was the wine selection. Rooms were very special and immaculately cleaned and refreshed. It felt like halfway between… Read more
We had the most wonderful time during our 4 day stay at Rock Lodge. Absolutelly everyone was so genuinely friendly and hospitable, but also with a great eye for detail and emphasis on guest comfort. The food was amazing, as was the wine selection. Rooms were very special and immaculately cleaned and refreshed. It felt like halfway between staying at a hotel and staying at the house of a close friend, with lovely greetings when we came back from game drives and genuine interest as to the things we'd seen that day. On the subject of the game drives, we have never learnt so much fascinating stuff about animals, birds, plants, insects, stars, as we did from our guide, Brad. We saw so many different animals, large and small, and felt as though we were in the safest talented and was responsible for us seeing and we enjoyed our drinks/coffees with Brad and Harold. A big thank you to every member of the team at Rock Lodge. Going there has made it difficult to go anywhere else! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A faultless and unforgettable experience

May 11, 2022 Lucy F Bristol, United Kingdom

We have just returned from the most incredible four nights at Ulusaba’s Rock Lodge. I cannot fault one second of the experience. The views, the staff, the food and wine, the game drives, the massages, the rooms, the pool - everything was excellent. This was our first Safari experience and it exceeded all expectations. Thank you to all the… Read more
We have just returned from the most incredible four nights at Ulusaba’s Rock Lodge. I cannot fault one second of the experience. The views, the staff, the food and wine, the game drives, the massages, the rooms, the pool - everything was excellent. This was our first Safari experience and it exceeded all expectations. Thank you to all the wonderful staff in the lodge - especially Mpore, Amber and Anell. When I got stung by a wasp on a game drive, Amber bought some special cream to my room, and when I had a stomach ache, Mpore brewed fresh ginger tea with lemon and mint and bought it to my room… nothing was too much trouble and everyone was so kind, happy and genuine. Our guide, Brad, and our tracker, Harold, were both outstanding and bought everything to life. Brad’s knowledge was quite remarkable and we felt totally safe with him at the helm. We loved learning about how to spot the different animal tracks, and in 8 game drives we saw the big 5 multiple times, as well as some rarer animals like the African Wild Cat and the White-Tailed Mongoose. Harold cracked some great jokes and kept the smiles on our faces, and took photos of us at the morning coffee stops and sundowners. His unbelievable tracking ability was one of the most interesting parts of the whole experience. I loved sitting in the vehicle watching his line of vision dart from side to side, tracking a pride of lions, and sometimes even getting down from his seat to explain the tracks and enhance them with a stick to help us further our knowledge. He also accompanied us to the tennis court for safety and collected our balls when we hit them out of the court - sorry Harold! Every touch at Ulusaba is world-class, right down to the very last moment as the trackers and guides waved us off from the side of the airstrip as we took off. I may have shed a tear or two because I just didn’t want to leave. I want to experience more of Africa, and Namibia and Kenya have always been on the list, but it’s going to be virtually impossible not to return to Ulusaba. We will be back! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Incredible experience - Part I

Mar 29, 2022 658davec Oxford, United Kingdom

From the minute we arrived to the minute we left, our trip to Ulusaba was one of the best experiences of my life. The initial welcome at the airstrip, the short drive to the Rock Lodge, the welcome we received there, the steps down to the lounge and the views that greeted us - just astonishing. After the tour, we were shown to our room which had… Read more
From the minute we arrived to the minute we left, our trip to Ulusaba was one of the best experiences of my life. The initial welcome at the airstrip, the short drive to the Rock Lodge, the welcome we received there, the steps down to the lounge and the views that greeted us - just astonishing. After the tour, we were shown to our room which had the same views, a level of comfort we would become very used to (!) and everything we needed. With 2 nights here and 2 nights at the Safari Lodge (hence this review is Part I), we had the full range of food, experiences and care. I won't pick anyone out in the Lodge as providing a higher level of service than others because everyone was fantastic. Having to leave here after 2 nights felt an absolute wrench. With our guide (Andrew) we walked down to the second part of our Ulusaba stay, experiencing the walk through the bush for the first time. In summary, this is a special place, run by special people who really understand how to look after their guests. We will be back. Read less