Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Arathusa Safari Lodge

Well, it's back to reality after an incredible eight days in South Africa. I cannot believe that the trip has come to an end and I start work at my new job tomorrow (yup, got it!!).  We had such a wonderful family holiday with time spent in Johannesburg, Cape Town and three days on an unforgettable safari.  While away we tried unique local foods (game meat was on many menues), drank delicious wines, and saw some of the most breathtaking sights I have ever experienced. I will be posting on our trip over the next few days so I do hope you enjoy our taste of South Africa.

After doing much research on lodges in the Sabi Sands (a Private Game Reserve that borders the west side of the Kruger Park) we decided on Arathusa Lodge - an intimate lodge with a maximum capacity of 28 guests that prides itself on the quintessential African bush experience.  We agreed that this was the area to look in as it wasn't too far from the airport we were flying into, and the reviews online from guests were all wonderful.  We knew we were in the right place when we were regaled by hippo's living in the watering hole, Kudu sliders for lunch (see image below) and private thatched roof huts as our suites.  The lodge is set along a watering hole and each day we enjoyed the wildlife that came to drink.

There was a main lodge building, again with the view directed towards the watering hole, with a couple of seating areas, a bar and little infinity pool.  The rooms were these thatched suites with four-poster canopy beds and outdoor showers.  The design was very simple and true to it's surroundings and although we had never been before, we each felt comfortable and at home right away.

We were taken on two daily safari drives by our very knowledgable ranger Ryan.  We saw wildlife beyond any of our expectations, and although were missing the rhino's in order to complete the Super Seven (Elephants, Buffalo, Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, Wild Dog and Rhino) we were blown away at how close the jeep was able to get to, and how we really got to experience the animals in their natural habitat.  We saw a pair of Cheetah brothers relaxing after a huge meal (their stomachs were so big they looked pregnant), Wild Dogs - the most rare to see African predator -, a Hyena den with a little one just over a month old, a mating Leopard couple, a group of four full lions trying to coax a Civet down from a tree as a snack, and much more. One afternoon we were even taken by our ranger on a bush walk, which was a great way to get to see the smaller things that one usually missed from the jeep rides - footprints, insects, fauna - and we came across a giraffe. It is really hard to capture the experience on film, but I hope you enjoy a selection of our photos below

I hope that there is a day soon where we are able to spend some more time at Arathusa Safari Lodge. It really was an amazing experience that left all of us wanting more. For now we will have to live through our photos and the Ranger Diary Blog that the lodge publishes weekly (worth a read for sure!) in order to get our fix.

How many of you have been on an African Safari? Was your experience similar? What were your lasting memories?


  1. First... congrats on your job! No surprise you got it!! Second, your trip looks AMAZING! Thanks for sharing!!

    I hope that little civet got away!

  2. WOW that's great new! Congrats on your job! I'm happy you got it!
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pics, looks you had a wonderful time in Africa. Hope I'll have the chance for a safari, somewhen. Must be really great!

  3. Wow! I'm so glad you were able to have this experience - it's definitely something I want to do in my lifetime. PS - Congrats on the new gig too!

  4. WELCOME back and glad to hear you had a fab time. It LOOKS incredible! .. and once again. CONGRATS on the job. I'm sure you'll be the star!

  5. I read somewhere that once you breathe the dust of Africa, it never leaves you. And after living in South Africa for two years, it's sooo true!

    I did many overland trips in the bush in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Canoed down the Zambezi for five days sleeping on sandbars. All of it! And once in Kruger too.

    I will never ever forget it - when the girl is older we'll be back!

    P.S. congrats on the new job...

    1. I love that idea because the thought of the continent leaving me makes me so sad. It was a truly wonderful experience on all fronts and I can only hope to go back soon.
      You are so lucky to have lived there and it sounds like you have had some truly wonderful experiences and memories from your time.

  6. Well Anna,
    Thank you so much. You have brought your trip right to all of us. As well thank you so much for the reviews and the fantastic experience. You did a great job taking us along with you. The pictures were outstanding. Hope you enjoyed your first days on the job. Waiting to see and hear about this trip. Love M

  7. Hi Anna,

    We were so delighted to come upon your blog post, and to see your absolutely wonderful images!

    We hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back at some point in the future.

    Would you mind us sharing your blog link on our Facebook page? We are sure our online community would love to read your experience and see your pictures.

    With warm African regards,

    The Arathusa Safari Lodge Team.

  8. We have been to Arathusa 4 times and agree we everything you have written. Ryan is a great guide and Debeer his tracker is brillant. We returnin August counting the days. I hope you enjoy your new job

    1. Incredible! It is a truly spectacular place and it will forever hold a special place with all of us. I hope you enjoy your time there in August and say hello to Ryan for us :)

  9. great photos, it even makes me want to come back sooner than the planned 3 nights in september.

    some footage of my first trip to Arathusa:




    1. Wow Cyrille, just took at look at your videos, incredible! I cannot believe all you saw! The lodge truly is a wonderful place and I wish we were going back so soon!

  10. We were at Arathusa in February 2011...we are planning to go back February 2013. This was our first safari and we loved Arathusa so much we are going back...they treat you like family. We also had Ranger Ryan & DeBeer(sp). The food there is amazing and the drives are fantastic! I did not want to leave. Can't wait to go back.

    1. We didn't want to go - were very depressed coming back to life in a city with a desk job and traffic!


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