The Vuyani Safari Lodge
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2014 Best of the Best Finalist: Best All-Inclusive
- Rate includes three meals per day (breakfast, high tea, dinner), all drinks including wine and spirits and two game drives daily (weather permitting) led by an experienced ranger and expert trackers
- Elegant, eco-friendly base for exploring the South African bush
- Only seven guestrooms; the small size makes for privacy and personalized attention
What To Know
- Game drives depart twice daily in a 10-person vehicle with a tracker and a ranger (request a private vehicle and ranger for an extra $242)
- Gratuities are not included in the rate; the suggested amount is $50 per couple, per day
- Round-trip transfers to/from Hoedspruit Airport are included in the rate and can be arranged by the property
- Children 11 and under are not permitted
- Free WiFi
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Room Service
The Vuyani Safari Lodge is a charming, intimate base for a South African safari adventure. Brown leather armchairs, modern table lamps and cream-colored rugs add warmth to living spaces. Lantern-strewn dark wood decks overlook the 36,000-acre Blaubank Conservancy and vast Kruger National Park, a stunning area below the Drakensberg Mountains. Designed with a focus on the surrounding ecosystem, the lodge shrinks its carbon footprint by using energy-saving lights and a sophisticated water treatment system that returns cleaned wastewater to nature.
Bed & Bath
Spacious rooms are outfitted with netted four-poster beds, African art and artifacts. Earth-toned stone floors and vaulted rattan ceilings set off white furniture upholstered in playful prints. Although the rooms are without such mod cons as TVs and iPod docks, you won’t miss them when you’re watching nyala antelope graze just beyond your private deck. Soak in the deep tub in the marble bathroom or embrace the elements in the Honeymoon Suite’s outdoor shower.
Twice a day you’ll hop into an open, 10-seat four-by-four to explore with rangers who know this vast land like the back of their hand. You can see rhinos, elephants, lions, cheetahs and leopards roaming freely, and more than 300 species of bird flitting about. Drives leave at approximately 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., perfect times for viewing the wildlife either sleeping or hunting. Cool off in the infinity pool before heading back to your room for a candlelit dinner served on your private deck. Afterward, the lodge’s telescope showcases the unrivaled African starscape.
How to Get There
As just about every review of this place will tell you it is everything and more to what is advertised. We had a 7 day all inclusive meals, drinks and 2 game rides a day. In addition we booked to go to the Kruger NP and the endangered species centre in Hoedspruit all arranged with minimum of fuss by the lodge. Starts are early call at 5.20 am for morning but you are soon used to it. You stay with same tracker and guide throughout your stay which works well as you get used to asking them questions, to which they have all the answers. Our guys were Chris an Umli (sorry if spelt wrong). They were amazing on our 2nd we drove off road down a dry gull and came upon two lioness feeding on a giraffe. How they found that was amazing, and you get so close.
All the staff are so attentive from front of house to cleaners who clean your room whilst you are safari up to kitchen and waiting staff. Everyone is so attentive and friendly and will do everything for you. The rooms are great we had a honeymoon cottage with plunge pool and outside shower. A little chilli in winter though,! Mini bar is stocked daily and you can get drinks anytime of the day. Food was very good mainly western but you do have a couple of outdoor BBQ so take a warm jacket if you go in winter.
All in all a fanstic holiday where we got to see the big five animals and the cheetah and a hyena. Highlight would be when a pack of wild dogs ran past out van as we were living the KNP. These are so rare even the locals were jumping about with excitement.
Just so you know this place is not fenced so you do get a visit from giraffe elephant antelopes and monkey so watch your food they are fast.
Highly recommend this to anyone want a real safari experience backed by good service and food . This place is the best.
We have recently returned from 8 wonderful days at this Safari-Lodge-Resort. It was an unbelievable experience. EVERYTHING good said about this great place is true. Yes, fully inclusive, all food and drinks (alcohol included) were, well, included - no extra charges. Mini Bar with one bottle of white, one red, beer and soft drinks was re-stocked daily. All meals superb, fully cooked breakfast of your choice and volume! Buffet lunch and multi-course, multi-menu dinner, rotated through three lovely venues, including an outside BBQ area. Drinks of your choice continually topped up. Food amazing. All staff were super. They soon learned your name and preferences and served and attended to you with genuine pleasure. Nothing was ever too much or too difficult. And, free use of the complex's cat, though he would choose with whom to stay each night, and even greet you on return from the Safari Drive. Admin Staff, Justine, Kelly, yzie (sorry if mis-spelt) and Andre all attended to us with genuine care and organized with super efficiency our needs as required. 'General Everything', Chad, was a star and the kitchen staff fabulous. Accommodation wonderful, and beautifully maintained each day. Were were in Honeymoon Suite 3, and were often visited by Nyalas and Impalas who happily drank from our plunge-pool! The two daily Park Drives were most pleasurable, the drivers and spotters excellent and very knowledgeable and amazing at tracking! And yes, there is a wide variety of wildlife you will see. On odd days when we weren't on some activity or other, it was fabulous to just sit outside on our deck, and relax and soak up the utter silence with a glass of wine. This venue was so serene and peaceful that it would make an excellent retreat stay. It as one of the most beautiful holidays we have had and would happily enjoy another stay. Thanks to all who made it so wonderful! Lastly, if flying and have a long wait for connecting fight at J'burg airport, take advantage of the Limo service pick-up and drop off offered by the Lodge. Cost is no more but it is a fantastic experience-a mini tour in itself (thanks Goodman and Derek)
What an amazing experience!! From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we felt as if we were the only guests and were treated like rock stars!! We were greeted with a wonderful welcome drink and refreshing towel after our long drive and shown to our wonderful honeymoon chalet. We were too tired to go to dinner but they brought dinner to us in our room being respectful that we needed half an hour to unpack and freshen up. Firstly the lodge... beautifully designed in wood and with beautiful local artefacts and books about the park and Kruger, has a lovely pool but you probably won’t get much time to use it!! A fully stocked mini bar with wines and beer and crisps. A wonderfully comfortable bed, a bathroom with outdoor shower and a hot tub on a decked area outside your bedroom door. Secondly the food is outstanding, wonderful freshly made breads and muffins for breakfast and freshly made cooked if desired along with fresh fruit and evening meals of various meats or vegetarian you can even try Impala stew!! Lastly the guides, we had Aggy and Petro, you will be allocated your guide and tracker for your stay. What can I say about these charming, wonderfully experienced and knowledgeable men over than they made our trip!! They don’t miss one track can tell when it was made and make such an effort to ensure you see everything as close as they dare to get!! A wonderful experience and we are already making plans to go back!!!
Just returned from the best holiday I've ever experienced, from the minute you get off the plane, it's personal attention throughout. The staff and the way the lodge is run are superb everyone knows your name within hours. I have to give a big shout out to our driver Uyai and his tracker Christopher. Uyai's knowledge is outstanding, no question went unanswered, they explained what they were tracking and made sure we got the best photographs. The little stop overs in the morning and evening for drinks were a real treat and a welcome addition to the drives. The food was also outstanding, I tried foods I'd never experienced before.
I could go on for hours about this trip...... don't just consider it...... do it, you definitely won't be disappointed.
On our last evening the waiters and Izzy did a traditional song and dance around the fire pit, which was really entertaining. Loved the whole thing, can't fault it and did not want to go home.
Vuyani Safari Lodge is a wonderful holiday experience and strikes the perfect balance of style and adventure. It’s not 5-star luxury with white gloves, 10 course meals and “Sir” or “Madam”, instead the staff all know your name and make you feel like a welcome family guest. The lodge feels like Africa, in comfort.
We were in a “ honeymoon chalet“ nestled in the bush with a deck, a spa size plunge pool and stylish outdoor shower (which, being winter here, meant we showered at noon when the outside temperature was warmer!)
Every morning at 5.20am we would get our wake-up “Morning” knock at the door and at 5.50am a guard walked us all in line to the main lodge where tea & coffee awaited before we climbed into our open-air safari vehicles and headed off on our drive, approx. 8 people per vehicle. It was still dark and really, really cold when you’re on the move so everyone was rugged up with hats, gloves and thick jackets. We would drive around the private game reserve for 3 hours, with a break for coffee, looking at the various animals. Just amazing to see them in the wild so close to us; elephants tearing down trees, giraffes necking, lions eating their kill, etc. The guides track by hoof/paw prints, dung and sounds and at times we would go crashing through and over the thorny trees with the occasional hack of the machete. Our driver Uyai had an amazing wealth of knowledge and experience and our spotter Chris must have x-ray binocular eyesight. At around 9.30-10am we would come back for a huge cooked to order breakfast. There was quite a bit of competition around the breakfast table about which group had seen what – “You saw lions? Well we saw lions killing an impala. Well we saw lions juggling fire whilst balancing on a ball!” Etc, etc. The middle of the day was snooze and reading time with lunch at the main lodge at 1.30pm. Temperatures were pleasantly warm for relaxing during the day. At 4pm we headed off again on a 3 hour safari drive, with a stop for drinks at sundown. It’s just magical sipping an Amarula with a journey of 18 giraffes walking past in the twilight. Dinner would be around 7.30pm (again with a guard to walk us there) and was either a “braai” served seated on tables around a fire pit, with a selection of dishes including local food like Kudu stew (delicious) or alternately, formal candlelight dining indoors with a beautifully presented choice of 3 course menu. A few drinks then off to bed and do it all again the next day. Perfect!
We did the Kruger Park day trip which I would definitely recommend. It’s a totally different animal experience. At Moditlo Reserve you have a more personal interaction but you have to spend quite some time to hunt out the animals and they’re usually in 2’s or 3’s or at the most a dozen while at Kruger there are herds of 100’s of animals and they’re not skittish so will graze next to the road and cross in front of vehicles complacently.
We also combined the Panorama Route tour with our transfer drive home as it’s on the way between Hoedspruit & Johannesburg anyway, and we were under no time pressure. By the time you stop 20-30mins at each vantage point (Blyde River Canyon/3 Rondavels, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window and more) it makes for a long day compared to the direct drive, but so much more scenic and interesting. Our driver Norman was a fantastic guide, worth asking for by name.