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Last 5 reviews
BEAUTY & THE BEASTIES
Rhulani I am told was once known as “the Party Place” in need of a transformation. Along came new owners, Marisa & Rolf, & what a transformation. Stylish, sophisticated & welcoming. Rhulani today is deserving of its LUXUARY status. Arriving we were meet by both our wonderful Ranger Sean & Guest Manager Lisa, who immediately arranged for luggage to be taken to our chalet & the car to be removed. With welcome drink in hand we were shown around the vast open common areas which are decorated with plush lounges & tasteful artwork. Your eyes are Immediately drawn to the waterhole just beyond the deck which during our stay had a continuous passing parade of animals. Our chalet was beautiful. Hugh bifold glass doors open onto a deck & your private plunge pool. Inside, the large bed was adorned by crisp white sheeting & surrounded by volumous mosquito netting. A bench seat under the large picture window & a fire place with pot belly stove. Under the large window in the bathroom stood a free standing bathtub where you could soak & soak up the bush surrounds before drying off with plush towels. An inside & outside shower, a large double handbasin completed the area. Amenities by Africology are divine. A plus in the chalet was the availability of numerous power outlets including thoes with international adaptors. For the tech heads, rooms have excellent wifi & are equiped with iPads which allow you to book a massage view lodge activities or select a drink form the bar. Speaking of massages. We did book individual massages to be done on deck at our chalet. My girlfriend had the “stick massage” & I the aromatherapy. Both a heavenly experience & highly recommended. Meals were prepared by an experienced chef & served by attentive & dedicated staff. Varied & plentiful the al a carte menu changes daily & accompanied by complimentary South African wines. What I did love, Rhulani offers a Brunch option after returning form Morning Game drives & then a generous “afternoon Tea” before start of Afternoon Game drive. In my experience many lodges offer breakfast & then a few hours later lunch, & then afternoon tea all in the space of the few hours between Morning & Afternoon Game drives. A waste. Another plus for Rhulani is the allocation of its Ranger for guests. A Ranger is assigned to guest arriving on each given day. This means that you have the same Ranger throughout your stay & do not overlap with guests arriving either before or after, allowing each group to tailor their own adventure. This has not always been the case in my experience when staying elsewhere in Madikwe. Sean, our Ranger, was a delight. Knowledgeable, humorous & friendly with an obvious love for the wilderness. During our 4 day stay we were spoilt with an enormous variety of sightings including my favourites the Cheethers & the parks beautiful big male leopard. In addition, a special treat. Rhulani during our stay, was involved in the relocation of 8 Wild Dogs. An endangered species you are lucky to see let alone get up close & personal. A memory to treasure for a lifetime. I have been fortunate to stay in many Safari Lodges right across Africa. Apart from its “Beauty & the Beasties”, Rhulani stands proud in its conscious & continued commitment to the environment wether it be in Animal Conservation or its focus on reducing waste at the Lodge. Very impressive. Speaking to Sean I know the Lodge is endeavouring to introduce initiatives such as reusable water bottles for guests instead of the plastic bottles currently on offer. In addition I would like to suggest towels in chalets do not need to be refreshed as often, saving precious water. Whilst lovely to have fresh towels we found they were replaced sometimes twice daily. I appreciate some guests may demand this however can I suggest if guest would like towels replaced they place them in the bath. If they do not want them replaced then hung in the bathroom. Thank you to all at Rhulani for making my return to Madikwe such a memorable one. I don’t know when I will be back.... but I will be back. Fidelma & Carolyn
Rhapsodising about Rhulani
Stayed here as a group of 14 friends for 4 nights. Wonderful stay. Our knowledgeable, informative and engaging guides were able to track and locate many of the animals in the park, then position our land cruiser perfectly for photos.We were then able to listen to explanations of animal behaviours, history of some of the individual animals, conservation challenges they face and how Madikwe Reserve is trying to address these. The Lodge itself and the staff were superb. We had fabulous melas in different locations around the Lodge each night. We cannot praise them enough
A truly fantastic, memorable experience
My husband and I spent 3 nights at Rhulani as part of our 30th wedding anniversary and my husband's 60th birthday celebrations. This was truly one of the best experiences of our lives - it's very difficult to find the words to do this justice but here goes : We travelled 4 hours from Johannesburg to Rhulani and upon arrival received a fantastic welcome from San Marie, Lisa and Moses - we had a welcome drink and our itinerary for the next 3 days was explained to us. Lisa then showed us to our lodge - well it was absolutely gorgeous - beautiful interior design and a gorgeous porch with sunbeds and our own dip pool. We faced out into the park and it was an absolute joy to sit on the porch or in the pool and see elephants stroll by! Later on day 1 we ventured out on our first 'safari ride' - our Field Guide was called Martin and he was fabulous. He taught us so much about nature and his excitement, passion and enthusiasm for the animals was infectious. Over the course of the next 3 days we had 2 trips out each day - 1 around 06.30am (with a wake up call from Mica at 06.00) and the 2nd around 15.30 each day. The trips lasted around 3 - 4 hours spent in the jeep and we were fortunate to see - elephants, rhinos, impalas, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, lions and many more -- all in their own natural environment. The park has only 4 cheetahs remaining - Martin managed to take us to see one of them - a beautiful creature. By far though the lions were amazing - to see them up close, literally 10 feet away from our jeep - we just couldn't believe it. Even with them so close, we felt very safe. The jeep trips were really exciting - driving on and off road and we really loved every minute of it. Tiring because of the early rises but great. On the evening trip Martin found somewhere for us to stop, get out of the jeep and watch the sun go down with a glass of wine and some nibbles. Then it was back in the jeep and to the lodges for dinner. Don't worry about taking clothes to change into for dinner - you just go straight from safari to dinner. To help celebrate our special occasions, Rhulani very kindly arranged a surprise for us with a private dining experience on our porch, beautiful food (we had ostrich that night) and a bottle of bubbly. On our last night the dinner was a Boma where all guests eat together outdoors - it's a version of bbq and delicious food. The staff shared some of their local culture and traditions with singing and dancing. To summarise this experience - every member of staff was lovely (special mention to Lisa, San Marie, Valencia, Mica, Sean, Alasdair and of course our brilliant Field Guide Martin). We cannot thank all of them and all other staff enough for making our holiday something we will never forget and giving us so many memories. It is a pretty full on experience but you get out of it what you put in and there is time for relaxing and chilling with a few drinks and a swim while you watch the animals go by and have a drink at the watering hole outside the main part of the lodge. I genuinely cannot find enough positive words to describe our stay - but it is something that everyone should experience at least once. I'd also like to thank our travel agent - Fiona #thetravelarchitect @thetravelarchitect for organising everything for us.
Very good overall experience.
My wife and I are experienced and seasoned safari goers as we have the good fortune to live in Johannesburg, relatively close to many game reserves and safari lodges. We had very few complaints about Rhulani Lodge and the ones we had were minor and hardly worth mentioning. (an obsession for looking for leopard over very rough terrain. We never did find one but we have seen many over the years so it was not that important to us.). We overall had a very good experience in all aspects: good comfortable accommodation, very good food and some excellent game viewing and excellent value for money. We were also fortunate to meet and chat with the owner, Rolf who obviously has a passion for making sure everying is up to standard and continually looking for improvement. (Rolf: a game viewing hide would be wonderful at the Lodge water hole and very doable as per the "bunker" at The Bushouse). We will definitely return.
Birthday trip 🎂
We had such a special time with our son for his birthday! The lodge was beautiful and the staff were wonderful. We had amazing game drives and the lodge staff spoiled our boy with a yummy chocolate cake. Thank to the Rhulani team for making it such a magical stay 😁
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