Ulusaba Safari Lodge - private lodge in the Sabi Sands Reserve

Ulusaba Safari Lodge - private lodge in the Sabi Sands Reserve near the Greater Kruger National Park

Ulusaba Safari Lodge

private lodge in the Sabi Sands Reserve –
near the Greater Kruger National Park

Ulusaba means ‘place of little fear’. The local Shangaan tribe (from whose language the name comes) that occupied the area long ago used the hills as an outpost for the tribal chief and senior warriors. The elevation gave them a tremendous advantage during battle and meant their enemies were unlikely to win, as surprise attacks were virtually impossible. The tribal members could therefore live in safety – hence, the place of little fear.

Ulusaba sits entirely within the Sabi Sands Reserve near Kruger National Park, surrounded by 13,500 hectares (about 33,000 acres) of open bush. The hills of Ulusaba are spectacular as they rise above the surrounding terrain, offering a view unsurpassed anywhere else in the reserve. The first incarnation of Rock Lodge was completed in 1983, with an access road having been built in the same year.

In 1994 Ulusaba was purchased by Sir Richard Branson. Both Rock and Safari Lodges were entirely rebuilt, and have been transformed into world-class lodges. In 2008 the Treehouse Suite was built at Safari Lodge, giving guests the opportunity to get even closer to the Xikwenga Dam and watering hole, and in 2009 the Cliff Lodge Suites were completed at Rock Lodge.

Safari Lodge

Safari Lodge fits snugly into the bush located beneath a canopy of ancient trees on the edge of a dry riverbed. You’ll love the sense of adventure as you access some of the rooms by swing bridges. Your room will provide fascinating views of the animals as they stroll past on their way to the nearby watering hole.

The 11 rooms at Safari Lodge include a Treehouse Suite overlooking the nearby Xikwenga Dam as well as three other room types: Safari, Elephant and River Rooms, some of which have private plunge pools. Kids over the age of 12 are welcome to stay at Safari Lodge.

If it is luxury accommodation in the Kruger National Park, in pursuit of the Big 5 game viewing, then it doesn't get much better than this.


Ulusaba Safari Lodge - Luxury Accommodation

Ulusaba Safari Lodge - private lodge in the Sabi Sands Reserve offers luxury accommodation

Safari Rooms

We have three adjoining Safari Rooms close to the Main Lodge, offering large viewing decks and en-suite bathrooms with great views overlooking the river bed and waterhole.

The treehouse viewing deck overlooking the Xikwenga Dam is a great place to get even further into the bush to see where the hippos and elephants come to bathe.

Far away from the all the light pollution you get in most cities and towns, a visit to Ulusaba is a great chance to gaze at the night sky, and our Bush Observatory is the perfect place to do this!

Hit the gym and work up an appetite. It’s equipped with a running machine, bike, multifunctional weight station and free weights.

Whether you’re staying at Rock Lodge or Safari Lodge, you should definitely make some time to taste a few reds and whites in the Safari Lodge wine cellar.

Elephant Rooms

We have three spacious Elephant Rooms with en-suite bathrooms and large viewing decks offering stunning views over the bush. Elephants regularly use a migratory route that passes by these rooms which allows for excellent up-close-and personal game viewing! The location of the 3 Elephant Rooms are ideal for friends traveling together or families with teens wishing to be close to their parents.

River Rooms

Built tree house style and very private we have four River Rooms, with two rooms offering private plunge pools. All are very spacious with snuggling seating areas and striking views of the river bed or bush. Ideal for those celebrating or enjoying a romantic escape as these rooms are secluded and tucked between jackalberry trees. Three of the River Rooms are accessible by swing bridge and are a short walk from the main Lodge.


Ulusaba Safari Lodge - Luxury Accommodation

Ulusaba Safari Lodge - private lodge in the Sabi Sands Reserve offers luxury accommodation

Treehouse Suite

A spacious and very unique suite featuring a private deck with views over Xikwenga Dam where hippos and elephants come to bathe. There is also a large viewing deck adjacent to the room perfect for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The Treehouse Suite offers ultimate seclusion and ideal for honeymooners. The location of the suite makes it the perfect choice for avid photographers and birders. The Treehouse Suite is an approximate 10 minute walk from the main lodge and is accessible by swing bridges and raised walkways.

Rock Lodge

Rock Lodge has the best view in the Sabi Sand – and we promise we’re not biased! Perched high on the summit of a koppie, with panoramic views over miles of bush, grab a pair of binoculars to see what you can spot. Within Rock Lodge is Cliff Lodge a two bedroom suite, perfect for some added privacy. Both Rock and Cliff Lodge are ideal for families with children of all ages who are welcome to join our Cub’s Club.

You’re on top of the world at Rock Lodge! Survey miles of game-rich bush as you stand eight hundred feet above the wilderness.

Here the view is king and there are endless opportunities to spot the roaming wildlife, all set against a backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains far in the distance. The view inside is just as spectacular and the granite rock of the koppie is a key feature of the main house’s design and each room has a different design reflecting African tribal influences and style.

There are 8 rooms at Rock Lodge, including our Master Suite, Makwela Suites, Rock Cliff rooms and the two bedroom Rock Suite, some of which have private plunge pools.

Ulusaba Safari Lodge - luxury Kruger Park Accommodation
Ulusaba Safari Lodge - luxury Kruger Park Accommodation

Rock Cliff rooms

We have four adjoining Rock Cliff rooms, all south facing with views over the vast landscape each from their own private balcony. Rooms are spacious and offer en-suite bathrooms with spectacular views. Two of these rooms are built on split levels with a spiral staircase connecting the bedroom and bathroom.

Rock Suite

A spacious two bedroom suite with living area, the master bedroom can be split into a twin and has a full en-suite with views over the bush, and the second queen bedded room has a smaller en-suite shower room. An ideal option if you’re travelling as a family as we can accommodate two children.

Master Suite

This suite is built on three levels with beautiful views, an en-suite bathroom, and private balcony with infinity plunge pool. The living area has another terrace with sun loungers looking out over the bush, so bring your binoculars! This is one of Richard Branson’s favourite rooms and ideal for honeymooners!

Makwela Suites

Two lavish suites built on two levels with en-suite bathrooms and featuring private balconies with infinity edge plunge pools. With separate living area and study/library, each has a luxurious couch perfect if you’re bringing the kids.

Ulusaba Safari Lodge - Luxury Accommodation in the Greater Kruger Park

Ulusaba Safari Lodge - private lodge offering luxury accommodation

Cliff Lodge 1

A luxurious two bedroom suite accommodating up to 3 adults and 2 children with one large bedroom and a second smaller bedroom. Cliff Lodge 1 offers a spacious lounge with fireplace, separate kitchen and bar and also features a mini spa, gym and an outdoor deck with a large pool.

Explore

Cliff Lodge enjoys the magic of Rock Lodge as it takes full advantage over the forever views. Cliff Lodge can be booked exclusively so if you’re after privacy you’ll enjoy private decks, views and pools to take it all in.

Make a splash in your private pool and cool down after the excitement of your game drive experience.

Enjoy some downtime, staring out over the bush from the top of Rock Lodge. Enjoy our telescopes and search the horizon for any activity.

Lounge

The lounge is a great place to enjoy the beauty of the views below. We think it’s a perfect spot to cosy up with a book, enjoy a selection of movies on the big screen or soak up the afternoon with a pre-dinner cocktail. A lovely spot for a romantic dinner on the balcony that extends over the granite rocks.

The Lodges at Ulusaba

Ulusaba has 21 rooms and suites spread over two lodges: Rock Lodge and Safari Lodge.

Rock Lodge is perched on the top of a koppie with panoramic views over the bush below. There are 8 rooms at Rock Lodge, including our Master Suite, Makwela Suites, Rock Cliff rooms and the two bedroom Rock Suite, some of which have private plunge pools. Just a short walk from the main house is Cliff Lodge, a private two bedroom suite.

Nearly 500 metres away is Safari Lodge which has 11 rooms, including our Safari Rooms, Elephant Rooms, River Rooms and the private Treehouse Suite. Built along the banks of a dry riverbed, Safari Lodge guests cross swing bridges between the exquisite tree house style rooms. For the ultimate experience, guests can share their time between both lodges.


A replenishing bath at luxury Ulusaba Safari Lodge in the Greater Kruger Park

A replenishing bath at luxury Ulusaba Safari Lodge in the Greater Kruger Park

Game Drives

Anyone who’s been on safari before knows that no two game drives are ever the same! There are two daily game drives at Ulusaba, one leaving early in the morning and one leaving late afternoon, each lasting around three hours. Times will vary depending on the season, but you should always keep your eyes peeled for the Big 5!

You’ll traverse over 13,500 hectares of private reserve with your dedicated Ranger and Tracker who will tailor your game drive just for you!

Here are some hints and tips for making the most of your time in the bush on game drive. Your game drive will leave you with some vivid memories, so make sure you don’t forget the following:

  • A good camera, although take care when using a flash – some of the animals aren’t particularly keen. Just ask your Ranger and Tracker for guidance – they’re on good terms with all our neighbours
  • Binoculars. We have a pair on each game vehicle to share, but if you’ve got your own you should certainly bring them
  • Always bring sunglasses, and in the winter months a sweater or fleece, especially in the evenings. We provide blankets and hotwater bottles in winter if it’s cold, and there are also ponchos if it is raining
  • It’s best to wear pale and neutral colours when on game drives so not to attract the animals’ attention any more than strictly necessary!
  • Please do not bring your mobile phone with you on game drives – we have radios in the cars to contact Ulusaba or the Sabi Sands authorities in case of an emergency

Spa Treatments

The Aroma Boma is built on the banks of the dry Mabrak riverbed amongst the trees and away from the main lodge area, so the only likely disturbance is perhaps the odd elephant wandering past! Ulusaba uses a range of products from ‘Africology’. ‘Africology’ prides itself on its African roots, taking inspiration from home and using local active ingredients including Rooibos, Aloe, Marula and African Potato.

Exquisite dining at Ulusaba Safari Lodge in the Greater Kruger Park
Exquisite dining at Ulusaba Safari Lodge in the Greater Kruger Park

Dining

All your meals are included and with at least six chances to eat, we promise you won’t go hungry.

Freshly baked goodies wait before you set off on your game drive, we might surprise you with a few more treats while you’re in the middle of the bush.

Once back at the lodges a full breakfast and debrief – our pick is the poached eggs on a boerewors patty, simply delicious and hard to resist ...

Lunch time is taken any time you please from 1.30pm until 3.00pm and our chefs will whip you up anything you fancy and we have a menu if the choice is too hard. Our Rangers favourite is the Kudu burger.

Foodie Highlights

Afternoon tea is our boss, Sir Richard Branson’s favourite, as the South African fancies are offered before your PM game drive. Stop for sundowners and more tasty treats while you take in the beauty of the sunset. You’ll be back at the lodge for your evening meal and you can dine by firelight, candlelight or star light - feast on a traditional Braai in the heart of the bush, or sample the local specialties.

Breakfasts and lunches are organised ‘restaurant style’, but in the evenings you’ll dine together at communal tables, comparing notes on the animals spotted that day. We also promise you won’t be parched with all drinks including a top quality wine list and fine champagne included in your rates.

What's on the menu?

Our internationally renowned chefs have developed numerous pan-African dishes influenced by many African cultures, flavours and spices. Our recipes are constantly refreshed and consist of seasonal, local ingredients. Whether dining under the African sky, in the Boma, on a deck or in the dining room, our menus and meals promise to be exciting, social and inspirational. All our breads and pastries are home baked daily and we also cater for private meals and special occasions.

Private Dining

Of course, if you’d like a more intimate experience, we’d be delighted to organise private dining for you either on a secluded deck or at a location you choose. Be sure to win some brownie points by organising this before arrival and we’ll make sure we ramp up the romance.

Safari Lodge wine cellar

Wine lovers won’t go thirsty with our well-stocked wine cellar at Safari Lodge. Our tailored wine tastings are a must with an experience at the Safari Lodge wine cellar starts with us establishing your own personal tastes. If you prefer hearty reds we won’t delay your enjoyment by showcasing our best rosés, and likewise if you can’t wait to sip a refreshing glass of chilled white we won’t hold you back. South Africa has an excellent reputation for wine worldwide and naturally we’re keen to showcase some of the best local vintages on offer. The wines speak for themselves, and we want you to feel at home, so we don’t have a lengthy wine list full of ‘winespeak’.

About our selection: You’ll find wines from tiny family owned cellars that put so much passion into their craft because they want people to love their wine as much as they do. The traditional bigger names are also present along with some newer, equally impressive small producers, with wines from organic and biodynamic producers. There’s something to suit everybody: a dry rosé for lunchtime, a beefy cabernet sauvignon with your game dish as well as South Africa’s very own pinotage and local specialty chenin blanc. You’ll also find exquisitely oaked and unoaked chardonnays and delicate pinot noirs for lighter dishes.


Dining in the bush at Ulusaba Safari Lodge in the Greater Kruger Park
Game drives in search of the Big 5 at Ulusaba Safari Lodge

Our Values

We believe in making a difference and we're committed to ensuring our core brand values translate into the best possible experience for our guests. This means making sure that they get value for money, brilliant customer service, and of course have fun while they're with us!

Customer service to us means always being professional and honest - our employees are empowered to make decisions and monitoring customer feedback to vital to make sure we continually improve the customer experience. Even the little things count, like the delicious brownie box when you leave Ulusaba so you can take a taste of the Bush home with you.

Taking care of the environment is also high on our agenda. Ulusaba is committed to sustainable development and respecting the local community and environment in which we operate.

A little about Shangaan Culture

Most of our staff are Shangaan and hail from the communities that border Ulusaba. Shangaans are celebrated for their dancing and singing, and their rich musical heritage is based on playing a wide variety of musical instruments.

Traditionally the Shangaan from the area depended on farming for their livelihoods, but a number of jobs and development opportunities now come from the lodges and game reserves that attract visitors and tourists from all over the globe.

Although the Shangaan now have access to modern medicine, historically their culture made extensive use of Sangomas (healers) who continue to practice some of the traditional bush remedies, making use of the plants and herbs available locally.

Breathtaking scenery from luxury accommodation at Ulusaba Safari Lodge in the Greater Kruger Park

Breathtaking scenery from luxury accommodation at Ulusaba Safari Lodge in the Greater Kruger Park

Viewing decks

Enjoy some downtime, staring out over the bush from the top of Rock Lodge. Enjoy our telescopes and search the horizon for any activity.

Gym

Work out while keeping a lookout over the unique environment below. If you’re feeling fit, we have a running machine, bike, a multifunctional weight station as well as free weights for you to get rid of any stress and tension and get back to what you’re supposed to be doing ... relaxing!

Lounge

The lounge is a great place to enjoy the beauty of the views below. It’s a perfect spot to cosy up with a book, enjoy a selection of movies on the big screen or soak up the afternoon with a pre-dinner cocktail. A lovely spot for a romantic dinner on the balcony that extends over the granite rocks.

Refreshing private splash pool at Ulusaba Safari Lodge
Spa and massage at the luxury Ulusaba Safari Lodge

Aroma Boma

Relax and unwind after the excitement of game drive with a spa treatment at the Aroma Boma. A whole range of treatments are available, from facials and massages through to those essential grooming rituals.

Families

At Ulusaba kids of any age can stay at Rock and Cliff Lodge and are invited to join the Cub’s Club. We offer a range of activities tailored to each child or group together with Cub’s cuisine. All Cubs will be given a Cub’s Club Backpack full of little goodies to entertain and educate them about the African Bush. Rock Lodge is ideal for families with children as this is where our Ulusaba Cub’s Club is based.

Because Rock Lodge is intimate, we do not operate a set programme, rather a range of great activities for your cubs to choose from. On arrival each cub will receive a cool backpack filled with educational safari goodies and a cap! Cubs have their very own amenities in the room, just like their folks do, and we will provide a fantastic range of kids’ products. In every Cub’s room there will be a personal welcome letter and a special introduction to their stay with a health & safety briefing specifically aimed at younger guests.

A breathtaking, memorable sunset at the luxury Ulusaba Safari Lodge

A breathtaking, memorable sunset at the luxury Ulusaba Safari Lodge