Ulusaba Safari Lodge

Kruger and surrounds, South Africa

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 like to keep yourself close to the ground and the passing wildlife, you'll enjoy Safari Lodge - with treehouse inspired rooms and suites, all with private decks. 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
  • Near National Park
  • 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. Safari Lodge has a fantastic bush location built along the banks of a dry river bed and offers a selection of Elephant Rooms, a  Safari Room, River Rooms, a Treehouse Suite and the new Safari Suite. All with private entrances and terraces providing incredible views of passing animals on their way to the nearby waterhole, a sitting area and en-suite bathroom with separate bath and shower. The Safari Room is located close to the main building and has a large viewing deck, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

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.

Elephant Rooms are 'treehouse style' built high above the bush and mostly accessed by swing bridges, sleeping maximum 2 adults. As the name suggests they are great for elephant viewing with their location being on a elephant migratory route!

River Rooms have the same facilities as an Elephant Room and 2 of the River Rooms have infinity plunge pools, sleeping maximum 2 adults. River Rooms are very secluded making them the perfect romantic bush getaway.

The Treehouse Suite is a stunning, unique suite featuring a private deck with magnificent views over Xikwenga Dam where hippos and elephants come to bathe. Perfect for honeymooners, sleeping maximum 2 adults. The suite is a 10-minute walk from the main lodge and is accessible by swing bridges and raised walkways.

The new private Safari Suite is located next to the main lodge and boasts it's own entrance into a walled garden with boma fire pit. The suite also features a separate spacious lounge, viewing deck with jacuzzi plunge pool and outdoor shower, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

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
  • Honeymooners: couples staying 3 nights or more receive a fruit basket and Champagne in their room on arrival, romantic bath experience, a complimentary room upgrade (subject to availability) and a gift on departure. Valid for stays completed between 2 Jan-21 Dec '19. 

  • Free night offer: pay 4 nights, stay 5 nights. Valid for stays completed between 10 Jan-14 Mar; 16 Apr-30 Jun and 1 Nov-21 Dec '19.

    Maximum 1 free night. 

Local entertainment. Daily game-drives. Late morning walking safaris. Outdoor swimming pool. Viewing deck. Aroma Boma spa*. Gym and 2 tennis courts. Video, music and book libraries. Wine cellar. Observatory in the bush for star gazing. Complimentary WiFi access. Gift shop.

5 nights between 22 Dec-1 Jan.

* Denotes local charge.

Children over 12 years are welcome to stay at Safari Lodge.

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 (461)
  • Very good (9)
  • Average (2)
  • Poor (1)
  • Terrible (1)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating absolutely wonderful

Aug 5, 2019 59paul1 Southampton, United Kingdom

if you`re going to stay here get a river room with the spash pool great to chill out in and a lovely big room too the hotel/food itself is excellent couldn`t fault the staff either very friendly and so helpful knowledgeable rangers and trackers we had a great time would love to come back again sometime .
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great second stay and animals galore!

Jul 27, 2019 CGriffiths Bethesda, Maryland

We loved Ulusaba so much when we visited in May 2018 that we decided to visit this year again, this time with other family members. After an initial disappointment and a possible lack of communication where our party of 8 were assigned to one vehicle when in all other camps, we were lucky to have been assigned two (then again the Sabi Sand is so… Read more
We loved Ulusaba so much when we visited in May 2018 that we decided to visit this year again, this time with other family members. After an initial disappointment and a possible lack of communication where our party of 8 were assigned to one vehicle when in all other camps, we were lucky to have been assigned two (then again the Sabi Sand is so popular, we understand that the lodge was likely full), we felt that having two people sit in the middle was just not comfortable or acceptable for a lodge of this quality and pricing. As my husband and I had been there previously and it was the first time our family was on safari, we volunteered to go on another vehicle with other guests so that the remainder of our party could have a better experience. Sandra was kind enough to arrange this quickly on the second day. The guide assigned to our family was a great man, very knowledgeable with the area, but he didn’t explain as much as others and there was a tad of disappointment there, but the party decided to continue with him anyways. They clearly did not see all the great sightings we did and when we asked our guide if the other vehicle knew about this sighting, he wasn’t sure. However, we did hear guides communicating with guides from other camps on sightings, so why not share this information with all the Ulusaba guides as well? It’s great to build relationships with other camps and share sightings. We are extremely grateful for the lovely upgrade we received to a River room, special details organized by Sandra such as a birthday celebration and present, farewell goodies, etc. It was a memorable stay which we thoroughly enjoyed sharing with our family members. We hope to be back soon! Thank you to all Ulusaba staff and wonderful guides! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating incredible experience for animal lovers

Jul 18, 2019 mpug76

I would not change anything about our 3 nights in Ulusaba. From the minute we arrived we were spoiled by the staff at Ulusaba. Brandon our Ranger went above and beyond to show everyone in our vehicle life in the bush. At this point all of us in the vehicle had been on safari before, so showing a giraffe drinking water was not going to impress us.… Read more
I would not change anything about our 3 nights in Ulusaba. From the minute we arrived we were spoiled by the staff at Ulusaba. Brandon our Ranger went above and beyond to show everyone in our vehicle life in the bush. At this point all of us in the vehicle had been on safari before, so showing a giraffe drinking water was not going to impress us. Brandon was able to track a pack of wild dogs as they killed an impala and devoured it within minutes. It was an incredible experience to witness and we only got to see it because our ranger was an expert in animal behavior. Brandons knowledge and passion was contagious and he really got everyone engaged in the experience. You name it, we saw it, loins, leopards, rhino, elephants, buffalo, wild dog, hippos, etc. All of the staff was lovely during our stay. Our spa experience was top 3 of all time and we have traveled all over the world. The wine selection and pairings were impressive and the food was all top notch. It's incredible how they can provide such a luxurious 5 star experience in the middle of the bush. Without question I would recommend Ulusaba safari lodge to anyone interested in game viewing while staying at a 5 star resort. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Magical

Jul 16, 2019 KatinaJ88

From start to finish the whole safari experience and hotel was perfect! The lodge is beautiful. The enthusiasm and passion from the wonderful staff accompanied with first class service, delicious food and adventurous game drives, meant no stone was left unturned so our safari experience was truly magical. Safari = We were in awe of the expertise… Read more
From start to finish the whole safari experience and hotel was perfect! The lodge is beautiful. The enthusiasm and passion from the wonderful staff accompanied with first class service, delicious food and adventurous game drives, meant no stone was left unturned so our safari experience was truly magical. Safari = We were in awe of the expertise and passion from ranger Steve and tracker James. They knew where to look and which direction to follow just by looking at the animal footprints which meant we saw the Big Five by drive 2 and experienced proper off-roading to witness nature at its best in its natural habitat (leopard cubs playing, leopard eating impala kill up in a tree, wild dogs and hyenas fighting for food and so much more) . We went on a winter safari which I would recommend as the grass was low and there were few watering spots so game viewing was optimal. Early morning drives commenced at 6am and evening drives at 4pm, just before the spectacular sunrise and sunsets. In the early mornings, temperatures were roughly 5-8 Celsius plus wind chill which made it feel colder but hot water bottles and windproof ponchos were provided. In the evenings around 6pm the temperature would drop again so for both morning and evening drives, the key to dressing is to wear long trousers and to layer clothing so you can add/remove clothing as the temperatures rise/drop. We would stop in different locations during the drives for coffee breaks (tea, coffee, nibbles) and sundowners (champagne, beer, Amarula, wine, soft drinks, nibbles) so you never went hungry or thirsty. As the Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a private game reserve, only jeeps from lodges within the reserve are allowed to drive around unlike the Kruger National Park so the reserve was not busy which again helped with game viewing. We saw The Big Five (Lions, Rhinos, Elephants, Leopards & Buffalos), giraffes, warthogs, zebra, hyenas, hippopotamus, crocodiles, impalas and other bucks, vultures, eagles and plenty of colourful birds. All the fabulous Ulusaba staff; Sandra, Steve, James, Sunny (too many to list) were always friendly, polite, addressed you by your name and always made sure you were having the most magical time. We never went hungry during our stay and all the food was super delicious and very well presented. The mini bar in the room (which is complimentary) was always fully stocked. The lodge and rooms were very clean and were set in the most beautiful setting. As you are in a game reserve, animals would be wandering around minding their own business (except the monkeys who wanted to steal any food they could but staff had this under control as much as they could). Elephants walked along the empty river bed below the lodge and drank from the water feature below the bar. Impalas eating outside your room. Male nyalas performing their dominance dance. All things you wish to see and are lucky enough to experience. At night security would escort you to your room as it is dark with limited lighting in certain areas plus to ensure safety from any animals but this is nothing to worry about. Breakfast was served when you returned from the morning drives which included coffee, teas, orange juice, pastries, cold meats, cheeses, breads, yoghurt and granola, fruit plus several cooked breakfast items. In the evening, dinner would be served when returning from the drive. You could go back and freshen up before dining but I loved the simplicity of fine dining in casual clothing. The chefs, who were also very skilled and knowledgeable, would explain the menu to all the guests and the hostess would then explain the wine pairings which were always fabulous. We were celebrating our 1year wedding anniversary so had private dining one evening which was the most romantic setting I had ever seen; lots of lanterns, rose petals and a wood fire next to the table. The staff also arranged a wine tasting lunch at the wine cellar where we tasted 3 reds and 3 whites, all from South Africa, along with a cheese and charcutier board. All the hosts had a lovely understanding of the wines at the lodge so you could tell them what you like and they would find a wine that suits. One afternoon for lunch we had a fabulous picnic at the treehouse which is about a 10minute walk from the main bar. It was peaceful and picturesque there plus you saw plenty of animals. They brought the freshly made picnic over along with proper cutlery and crockery so it didn’t feel like it was a picnic but more like a romantic al fresco dining experience. There is a minibar at the treehouse so you done have to worry about quenching your thirst. Thank you to everyone at Ulusaba. We will definitely be back! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Return to Paradise (part 2)

Jul 16, 2019 NikiSteveSarah Sydney, Australia

We have separately posted a review for Rock Lodge (superb) but felt we should also comment here as we were lucky enough to spend our last day and night in the fabulous Safari Suite. This was our third time at Ulusaba and we love both the Rock Lodge and Safari Lodge. It was a wonderful surprise to return to the Safari Lodge and the experience of… Read more
We have separately posted a review for Rock Lodge (superb) but felt we should also comment here as we were lucky enough to spend our last day and night in the fabulous Safari Suite. This was our third time at Ulusaba and we love both the Rock Lodge and Safari Lodge. It was a wonderful surprise to return to the Safari Lodge and the experience of having wildlife wander past our room. A truly magic place. Read less