Ulusaba stands proudly in 14,000 hectares of private game reserve in South Africa’s Sabi Sands. Considered by many to hold the richest variety of wildlife, it is not uncommon to spot all of the Big Five on your very first game drive. Your expert ranger and tracker will not only take you on intimate encounters with the local game, but will provide you with cosy blankets and hot water bottles for those chilly mornings and a well stocked bar in the middle of the bush for sunset G&Ts.
The Rock, Cliff and Safari Lodges host a total of 23 bedrooms, all individually decorated in a modern African tribal style and featuring huge gorgeous bathrooms. Dining at Ulusaba is a real treat, you have the option to eat wherever and whenever you like, but guests flock to feast communally at the grand central dining table. We found it a great place to swap safari stories and listen to the latest goings on from the bush.
Each lodge has its own little surprises, at the Rock Lodge it’s the relaxing Aroma Boma spa and infinity edge swimming pool whereas at Safari Lodge it has to be the extensive wrap around wine cellar and tree-house set on the Xikwenga Dam.
Just an hour’s flight from Johannesburg to its private airstrip, Ulusaba is hidden in the western district of the exclusive Sabi Sands reserve next to Kruger national park. The accommodation is split between the Safari Lodge on the banks of the river and the Rock and Cliff Lodges perched high atop a 300 metre koppie (mountain).
Due to the bespoke nature of the accommodation, there is a room suited to every need. Down in the Safari Lodge, bedrooms are spread out along a dry riverbed and are connected by rope swing bridges passing through the jungle canopy. Replete with plunge pools as well as all of the modern amenities, you really will feel that you are in the heart of the bush…keep an eye out for elephants or baboons plodding past your window whilst you’re in the bath. Up at Rock and Cliff Lodges, it is all about the breath-taking views, every room boasts balconies and binoculars for spotting giraffes feeding from the trees far below. At Ulusaba it is all the little extras that we have come to love: the in-room wine cellars, the jars of homemade biscuits for snacking, the amazing rainfall showers and the huge comfy beds with their accompanying pillow menus.
Why we love it
The level of service is outstanding; staff go to great lengths to satisfy their guests’ every whim, including sourcing any kind of food that takes your fancy (try the Kudu burger) and really making you feel like part of the family. In fact you can join the chef’s in the kitchen for tips or to give your own recommendations, and the open bar policy allows you to step in and pour your own drink if you ever find the place un-manned.
The Cub’s Club at the Rock Lodge will take exceptional care of the kids, holding safari treasure hunts and a mini Ranger’s course, educating the budding wildlife experts on the local environment and keeping them entertained all day long. And to make sure you’re kids unwind from the day in the bush, there’s even a Cub Spa range of treatments.