Arathusa Safari Lodge is privately owned and run. This is a property with an impressive history of assisting local communities through direct employment as well as use of local products and services. The lodge has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor! Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, twice-daily game drives, once-daily walking safaris, and Wi-Fi. The lodge is open all year round.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge can be accessed via road transfer from Arathusa Airstrip, following flights from, for example, Johannesburg and Cape Town. It’s situated in the northern region of the Sabi Sands.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
There are 13 suites, all within classic timber, stone, and thatch structures. Nine suites are rather close together, whilst the remaining four suites offer more privacy and are larger. Both categories feature a spacious bedroom, containing double bed or twin beds, bedside lighting on tables or chests of drawers, a sofa, a couple of easy chairs and coffee table, and a writing bureau and upright chair. Other amenities include air conditioning, mosquito nets, a direct dial telephone, a tea-and-coffee station, a mini-bar, an electronic safe, and a hairdryer. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, washbasin/s, step-up shower, and bathtub. There’s an outside shower too! And every suite has a private veranda, where you can relax and enjoy your views. Guests of the front-facing (where the waterhole once existed) suites have a couple of chairs and a small table, while travellers staying in the bush-facing suites benefit from two modern-look chaises longues, two tables, and a plunge pool!
Arathusa’s communal lodge is another wood, stone, and thatch build, accessed from the guest suites along neat little pathways. The main lounge features comfortable sofas and armchairs around coffee tables, some reading material, and a cosy fireplace. The bar adjoins this space, offering a good range of wines, beers, spirits, and more. In the main dining area, chic separate tables are laid ready for delicious meals! Both hot and cold options are provided at breakfast, while lunch involves a choice of three dishes, afternoon tea includes a tempting assortment of freshly baked cakes, and dinner is a lavish four-course affair, served in a variety of locations. Guests can dine in the traditional boma, on the deck, or somewhere else within the site, all the while watching out for mammals such as elephant, buffalo, and antelopes. The spa provides some wonderfully soothing treatments – body wraps, mani-pedis, and bath ceremonies, to name just three. You can also enjoy gatherings around the lodge’s fire-pit and refreshing dips in the highly inviting infinity pool!
NB: Please note the waterhole has been dry for a number of years.
- Activities from Arathusa focus on wildlife viewings, with the lodge’s knowledgeable and experienced guides guaranteeing some superb sighting.
- The sprawling savanna, woodland, and water sources of the Sabi Sands support a great diversity of mammal species.
- All Big Five are in residence – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. The reserve is particularly renowned for its populations of big cats, including cheetah too.
- Other predators you can expect to see are hyenas, jackals, and wild dog, while the herbivore count features hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, and many types of antelope.
- There’s also a lot of birdlife, not least hawk eagle, purple heron, grey cuckoo-shrike, and the glorious emerald cuckoo.
- The lodge’s game drives take place during morning and afternoon into evening, while walks are usually available on summer mornings.
- Drives cover a lot of ground, whereas walks concentrate attention on smaller areas and can involve very close scrutiny of plants and insects, as well as providing opportunities for tracking.