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Reviewed 8 June 2018

Since we came here directly from Tswalu, which was an incredible experience, I was quite aware of how they were similar and different - and both deserve ratings of 5. With only four cabins, this was a bit more private in the hotel itself. But, since there are several hotels sharing the same reserve, we were much more aware of the other tourists and competition to follow and observe the same animals. That said, wildlife was much more accessible and we didn't have to drive as far to see it; in fact, one day it seemed as if a leopard was actually waiting for us as we drove out the gate for our morning safari.

Our room was large and lovely and the outdoor pool was a special bonus. I missed, however, having an assortment of snacks and beverages readily available in our room. But food was plentiful at mealtime and teatime and the food itself was excellent and we enjoyed dining in different locations - the first night in the "treetops"; the second with other guest in the boma; our last on next door on the deck of our friend's cabin that we were traveling with. I missed attention to the little things - e.g., the gas for our fire was empty so we didn't have a fire in our room the first night; the list of "reserve" wines that required a supplemental payment was longer than that of wines included in the base price. I recognize that these are quibbles and, while they don't affect my overall rating, they do suggest a wonderful experience might be even better - always room for growth.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank WandereringWayfarers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2018

So much has already been said about this gem of a lodge.
We stayed at Dulini Lodge for 4 nights. Our guide, Dan, and tracker, Martin, made our time at Dulini so enjoyable and exciting. They couldn't have been nicer or more knowledgeable. We learned so much about the animals and birds that it has made me eager to learn more about wildlife.
There was such an abundance of animals and birds. We were able to view them up close. Because the neighboring lodges share their tracking information with each other, we were able to view even more animals. Vehicles were comfortable and well supplied with blankets, binoculars, sun screen and mosquito repellent.
Our tracker, Martin, had an extraordinary ability to locate the animals. A highlight of our trip was when Martin spotted two leopard cubs hiding in a drainpipe that eventually came out to be with their mother. It was a memorable moment. Other special sightings included seeing rhino, hyena, zebra, monkey, and elephant mothers each nursing their offspring.
The lodging was beautiful and the food delicious. We often took advantage of using our lovely outside deck that spanned the entire length of our suite for some of our meals or just for relaxing.
We could hardly wait to go out on the game drives or the walking safaris, and we didn't want to leave at the end of our stay. The staff were so friendly. They tried to accommodate any requests we had. They even provided a box lunch to eat on our way to the plane on the last day so we could maximize our time on the morning game drive. Not only were the staff at Dulini wonderful, but we also enjoyed meeting other guests from all over the world who came to this amazing place.
I can hardly think of any way they could improve our overall experience. For us, our time at Dulini was an experience of a lifetime.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank L S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2018

We visited Dulini as part of our 11 day tour of Southern Africa prior to departing on a cruise from Cape Town. We would have to say that our stay at Dulini was literally an experience never to be forgotten. The welcome from the staff and their ongoing care and attention to our every need was quite exceptional. The lodge itself was exactly tailored to provide extremely high class accommodation and facilities to guests who were here to experience close viewing of wonderful creatures in the wild. Despite our afternoon arrival we were taken on a drive which revealed a plethora of wild animals and birds in their beautiful bush settings. Upon return to our lodge, we by chance glanced from, our lodge across the (then dry) river only to see a family of elephants walking along the other side of the river within easy viewing. After a short review of our luxurious personal lodge, which is obviously tailored to meet and exceed the expectations of those lucky enough to stay here, we headed off to a wonderful dinner offering choices of fine wines and matching food. Early coffee the following morning started the day with the morning safari drive (including morning tea) Breakfast upon return set a very high standard and established our daily routine of coffee followed by a safari drive, a hearty welcome breakfast and return to our lodge for a quiet time in the plunge pool or an equally quiet time reading on our balcony, a light lunch and another excellent afternoon safari drive. It is very easy to adopt the routine while at the same time experiencing what can only be described as an unique experience.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank tss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2018 via mobile

Disney claims to be the happiest place on earth but for me Dulini lodge is my happiest place. My husband and I visited in September on our honeymoon and I can not compare any other experience to our stay at Dulini.

The staff are the loveliest people, they were so accommodating. I was 10 weeks pregnant and the staff ensured I was always catered for, if I needed anything they made sure it was available. They also take the time to get to know you personally, nothing is too much for anyone there. Until you have experienced their hospitality words simply aren’t enough to describe the unique experience you will have at Dulini.

The safari- Over the years with my family I have done around 5 safaris in a number of Countries and my time at Dulini lodge was by far my favourite. We were extremely lucky with the animals we saw on Safari, we were lucky enough to see the magnificent 7!!! Seeing the Wild dogs and their pups was the most surreal experience that you only imagine you’ll see on David Attenborough shows as the sightings are so rare.

My husband and I are looking forward to our next trip back, it was by far the best part of our honeymoon and we will never forget it. Thank you Dulini Lodge, we will return!

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank gabriellamayevans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2018 via mobile

My wife and I visited the lodge for three nights in May of 2018 as a part of a larger South African anniversary trip. Overall, this is a really nice resort and it is difficult to come up with much that could be improved. You will get your $1K+/night value.

We visited in the start of winter. Temperatures were warm in the afternoon and slightly chilly at night. If visiting this time of year, don’t assume it will be hot. On safari, where you are driving in the open air, it can get cold.

The lodge has 6private villas, all with:
1. 6 distinct living areas (bath, bed, living, pool, covered outdoor living, outdoor shower)
2. A plunge pool (not heated)
3. Shower and large tub (easily fitting two people)
4. Two sinks
5. Private water closet
6. King size bed with mosquito net
7. Couch and two chair sitting area
8. Two outdoor recliners
9. Stocked mini bar with well-level liquor
10. Wardrobe
11. Not a single television set (a good thing)

The villas are very private. Even with effort, it is virtually impossible to see into another villa, its outdoor space, or outdoor shower. This place was carefully built for privacy. We never heard or saw anyone while there were in the other villas.

The main lodge has a large outdoor pavilion where coffee/tea and breakfast will be served - all family style. There is an outdoor pool area (which we didn’t use) where lunch will be served. Additionally, there is an indoor living room where some dinners will be served and a “boma” outdoor eating area with a fire pit for large dinners. Finally, there is a gift shop and a walking bridge to explore. All in all, all of the common space are nice, clean, well taken care of, and high quality.

Meals work as follows. There is a breakfast served after the morning safari around 915am in the main outdoor pavilion. Typically you eat with the others in your safari group and your safari ranger. Breakfast will include a continental first round with fruits, breads, and meats. This is followed by a hot portion with your choice of eggs to order, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, onions, French toast, omelets, etc. We found this breakfast to be delightful each day.

Lunch is served in the afternoon, typically late, and typically at the pool area. We ate lunch only once but it included burgers, salads, cheeses, etc. Several of the couples at be lodge skipped lunch every day - three meals is just too much given the size of the breakfast and dinner plus the snacks on safari.

Dinner is served typically around 720pm following the afternoon safari. While we were there, dinner came in three variations, variation selected by the staff.
1. Private tables for two throughout the property
2. Family-style traditional dinner with singing and dancing
3. Private dinner in your villa with a poured bubble bath

Each dinner was three courses and contents varied day to day. Generally, there was always a steak option paired with either fish or chicken. Like the other meals, we were very pleased with the quality of the meals and found the variation of format enjoyable.

Here is how safari works. You will be put into one of two safari groups of 6 people (three couples) with a ranger and a tracker. You will stay with this group, as possible with departures, for every safari. While we were there in the winter, the morning safari left at 600am (with a 530am wake-up!) and the afternoon safari left at 400pm. Each safari drive was 2-3 hours and included a break for coffee or drinks. The rangers drive around the property in modified land rovers looking for animals.

We were fortunate to see the big 5 in our first 3 of 6 drives. We also saw all of the other big animals (Zebras, Giraffes, etc) very quickly. After the 4th drive, it was a lot of repeat for us. The holy grail out there is Cheetas, baby leopards, and wild dogs - we saw two of three. We only had one drive where we didn’t see much.

Your safari experience will be heavily impacted by the ranger. We switched rangers half way through due to the first rangers leave - it impacted our experience greatly. If you aren’t happy with your ranger, ask to switch. You will be very happy with Mack if you can get him.

Pro Tip 1. The vehicle has three rows of seats. The experience from the front row is the best. The back row is the bumpiest, has the hardest time hearing the ranger, and is most vulnerable to being hit by trees. Also, try and avoid the top for the car - it will make viewing harder.

Pro Tip 2. Either bring or rent an SLR camera with a telescopic lense. You can’t shoot the animals with a gun, so shoot them with a nice camera. The iPhone doesn’t do these animals justice and you are rarely close enough for the iPhone to do well.

Finally, the lodge has WiFi but it is spotty at best. We got better Internet access over cellular while on safari (when you don’t want to use it). Overall, a great experience for us. There are nicer lodges in the reserve (namely Richard Branson’s place) but I don’t think you will get the value.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank awhsnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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