Ulusaba Safari 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 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.

Safari Suite - this private suite is next to the Main Lodge and is accessed through its own entrance into a walled garden with boma fire pit. There is a separate spacious lounge that opens onto a large viewing deck with jacuzzi plunge pool, outdoor shower and private dining table for maximum 8 adults. The suite boasts an en-suite bathroom with a separate toilet and an additional guest bathroom next to the lounge. The Safari Suite can be interconnected with the Safari Room to sleep maximum 4 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

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 (487)
  • Very good (10)
  • Average (4)
  • Poor (1)
  • Terrible (1)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Go NOW or you’ll regret it forever!

May 2, 2022 Hotspurs61 Dronfield, United Kingdom

Ulusaba really is a special place. The animal viewing is tremendous. As an example, on two occasions we saw the big 5 on a single drive. The rooms are fantastic, the food excellent, the views amazing and the proximity to the animals special. But the single biggest factor that makes Ulusaba THE standout lodge in Sabi is its people. We have been to… Read more
Ulusaba really is a special place. The animal viewing is tremendous. As an example, on two occasions we saw the big 5 on a single drive. The rooms are fantastic, the food excellent, the views amazing and the proximity to the animals special. But the single biggest factor that makes Ulusaba THE standout lodge in Sabi is its people. We have been to Ulusaba on a number of occasions and it is like returning home and meeting up with old friends. The camaraderie between the Rangers and Trackers is all too plain to see, as is the obvious enjoyment and pleasure every member of staff gets from working there. The atmosphere that this creates makes for a wonderful guest experience and interaction. On this visit, we were lucky enough to be superbly looked after by Tom, Sipho, Stuart, Janine, Patience, MPol, Douglas and Bongi. We can’t wait to return next year, the year after, the year after that……….. Thank you guys, yet again it was magical. Angela & Ed Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great first time experience

Mar 29, 2022 alexgD2793VV

Excellent experience and great safari staff. A special thanks to Janine, the lodge manager for providing an accommodation upgrade for our anniversary. That was a cherry on the cake. We also want to thank all safari employees for providing an unforgettable experience, especially: Bradley, safari ranger, Harold, safari tracker, Amber, guest… Read more
Excellent experience and great safari staff. A special thanks to Janine, the lodge manager for providing an accommodation upgrade for our anniversary. That was a cherry on the cake. We also want to thank all safari employees for providing an unforgettable experience, especially: Bradley, safari ranger, Harold, safari tracker, Amber, guest services supervisor, Godfrey, assistant lodge manager, Jason, lodge coordinator. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Incredible experience - Part II

Mar 29, 2022 658davec Oxford, United Kingdom

After 2 nights at the Rock Lodge, we moved to the Safari Lodge for the remainder of our stay. Once again, the welcome from Amber/Jason/Godfrey was very warm - almost as if we were long-standing friends. Our room was incredible - comfortable, really well presented, with a plunge pool and deck to relax on. Every meal (and there are many!) was… Read more
After 2 nights at the Rock Lodge, we moved to the Safari Lodge for the remainder of our stay. Once again, the welcome from Amber/Jason/Godfrey was very warm - almost as if we were long-standing friends. Our room was incredible - comfortable, really well presented, with a plunge pool and deck to relax on. Every meal (and there are many!) was delicious as were the paired wines with dinner. Being all-inclusive meant you can have anything you want when you want it - champagne on the viewing deck of the treehouse was something very special. This was our first safari and indeed our first time in South Africa. Despite there being no guarantees that the "Big 5" would be seen, we did get them all in the first 2 drives - this was testament to the abilities of our guide Andrew and tracker David - a great team who offered knowledge and comedy in spades. The variety of wildlife seen far exceeded our expectations and covered lizards, birds, insects, reptiles as well as the more obvious ones. Being at Ulusaba for 4 nights meant 8 game drives and we wouldn't have missed a single one with the fantastic Andrew/David team - our special thanks go to them for making this such a magical trip (especially making us the essential coffee at 5am each morning!) In summary, the place itself is amazing but it is made by the people who work there - everyone we saw was friendly, stopped for a chat and engaged with us. There are waaaaay to many names to mention so thanks to everyone. Leaving was very very hard but looking at some pictures on the short flight back to Johannesburg bought smiles to our faces and tears to the eyes of someone (anyone who met us will understand who this is!). We are already planning our next trip so see you all soon. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Stunning place!

Dec 10, 2021 LizUk UK

Absolutely loved Ulusaba. We can’t fault a thing Accommodation is gorgeous with every need thought of and room so comfy. Food and wine excellent - you are looked after so well Game drives are amazing and we got to see leopards every day, thank you Eric! Biggest shout out is to the wonderful staff who can’t do enough to help. We were only 2 days… Read more
Absolutely loved Ulusaba. We can’t fault a thing Accommodation is gorgeous with every need thought of and room so comfy. Food and wine excellent - you are looked after so well Game drives are amazing and we got to see leopards every day, thank you Eric! Biggest shout out is to the wonderful staff who can’t do enough to help. We were only 2 days into our stay when the UK Govt delivered their knee jerk reaction and we had to abandon our holiday to try to get home. Despite seeing all their forthcoming UK bookings cancel, the staff all rallied to help us and were anazing A huge thank you! We will be back when some normality returns to overseas travel! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating 6/5 for game sightings and 3/5 for service

Sep 10, 2021 Elizabeth10 Johannesburg

We always fly Virgin to the UK and US because we love the great service, attention to detail and fun of the whole experience. We also love going on safari, so Ulusaba has always been on our to-do list because we thought it would be an amazing combination of a favorite experience and great service levels, especially given the prizes they have won.… Read more
We always fly Virgin to the UK and US because we love the great service, attention to detail and fun of the whole experience. We also love going on safari, so Ulusaba has always been on our to-do list because we thought it would be an amazing combination of a favorite experience and great service levels, especially given the prizes they have won. Disclosure: our gold standard for both game viewing and service levels is &Beyond’s Phinda Rock Lodge and we assumed Ulusaba would be on this level or even better. The game viewing was superb - saw most of the Big 5 on every drive, and had two lion kills, with two separate prides, one of a buffalo and the other a big Kudu bull. We also had amazing leopard and cheetah sightings, as well as numerous encounters with elephants with calves, and hippos. So, if you have Virgin miles that you can use to go to Ulusaba and have never been on safari, you will enjoy it. If, however, you have been to a few different game lodges, you might want to consider alternative options. It is as if the lodge is managed and run by (friendly, welcoming and well-meaning) amateurs who appeared to have only the most basic hospitality experience and attention to detail (when benchmarked against other lodges). This comment also applies to the ranger. The food was nice, but the service was on the standard of a three star hotel. Again, the staff are really friendly, but food is served and removed from every angle without regard to other guests at the table, and the meal service is very rushed, with each course following immediately on the other, without any enquiry as to whether you would like a pause. Tip- there is a wine cellar with a reasonable selection of SA wines included in the price, so ask to select your wine at every meal. If you are staying at Safari Lodge, River rooms 2 and 4 are nice, each with its own plunge pool. Do note, however, that access is via two wobbly suspension bridges, so if you are mobility impaired or afraid of heights, these rooms are not for you. Rock Lodge has stunning views, but lots of steep stairs that may pose challenges for older/mobility impaired guests. In summary, if you want the 6 star combination of game viewing and service, I would suggest rather going to &Beyond Phinda. If you want a wonderful game viewing experience, great food and wonderful service at a more reasonable price point, consider Impodimo in the Madikwe Game Reserve. Read less