Rock Lodge & Cliff Lodge, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, Mpumalanga
Did you know?
Ulusaba’s Pride 'n Purpose project helps uplift the lives of 35 000 people.
Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, in the Sabi Sand Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park, is owned by maverick entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. Immediately you know you’re in for something really special.
And your first sight of Ulusaba’s Rock Lodge and Cliff Lodge will only confirm this. Clinging to a high hill like something out of a fairy kingdom, the Ulusaba lodges promise incredible views.
Rock Lodge set new standards in luxury accommodation when it was built. The style combines traditional and modern African aspects. Think thatch, leadwood, muslin, the finest linen, wide decks, breathtaking vistas.
There are 10 suites, three of which have their own plunge pools where you can lie and dream as game roams the bushveld below. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Drakensberg mountains.
But if you seek that edge in exclusivity, privacy and luxury, consider Cliff Lodge. There are only two suites here. One has a private pool and the other a jacuzzi. Should you book both suites you’ll also have your own private chef, your own guide and game-drive vehicle, and you’ll have full access to the spa treatment room and the private gym. The views here are superb.
The acclaimed Sabi Sand Reserve shares a long, unfenced border with the Kruger National Park. The Big Five are generally relatively easy to see, even the elusive leopard. You might also see other interesting creatures, like cheetahs and wild dogs.
If you’re interested in astronomy, Ulusaba guides will take you to the bush observatory to show you the features of the bright southern skies at night – the Southern Cross, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the Jewel Box, and the starred spine of the Milky Way.
Alternately, if you’d like to find out more about the lives of local communities on the border of the Sabi Sand, there are Pride 'n Purpose tours that will give you a real insight into daily village life.
Proceeds from the tours go directly to the communities.
But whatever your choice of activity, expect a memorable time at Ulusaba’s Rock Lodge and Cliff Lodge.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Ulusaba Rock & Cliff Lodge
Tel: +27 (0)11 325 4405
How to get here
The easiest way to get to Ulusaba is by air. Federal Air and Bateleur Air fly directly to Ulusaba’s airstrip from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. You could also take one of the daily flights from OR Tambo to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Nelspruit and either hire a car or get a transfer to Ulusaba.
If you’d prefer to drive, it will take about six hours from Johannesburg. The Ulusaba website has detailed directions.
Best time to visit
Midsummer – from December to the end of February – can be extremely hot. The rest of the year is quite pleasant. Winters (May to August) can be cold at night, so take warm clothes, particularly for the early morning and evening game drives.
What will it cost
Expect to pay approximately R7 000 to R15 000 per person per night, depending on the suite at either Rock Lodge or Cliff Lodge. The rates include transfers from the Ulusaba airstrip, accommodation, all meals, all drinks, game drives and walks, and laundry.
Length of stay
Two nights should be a minimum stay.
What to eat
Ulusaba specialises in innovative pan-African cuisine.
When actor Christian Slater stayed at Ulusaba, he was so impressed with the Pride 'n Purpose project that he made a DVD about the experience. You can buy it at the gift shop.