Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, South Africa - Review
Living the Wild Life
Off the beaten path and deep in the heart of wild game country lies Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, set in the western sector of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve. If you're looking for rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, lions and elephants, you're likely to find them on an open-air Land Rover tour offered here. And if you want to play tennis and lounge pool-side, you can do that, too. The best of both worlds are just one hour from Johannesburg by plane, at this safari destination owned by Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson.
The reserve comprises two lodges about one mile apart. Rock Lodge, spanning the cliff face of Ulusaba Mountain, has views of the wilderness and private sun decks off every room to enjoy them. All eight rooms feature artifacts, weavings and the traditional colors of African tribes and regions, as well as air conditioning, telephones, laundry service, DVDs, videos, music, libraries and board games. Rock Lodge also includes Cliff Lodge, housing two spacious one-bedroom suites — ideal for an exclusive getaway. Located in the Riverine bush, Safari Lodge offers a quiet setting sheltered by trees. The eleven rooms, including the Treehouse Suite, are in thatched chalets with individual views and are equipped with similar amenities, as well as handcrafted bush beds and furniture, antique Mali Mud cloth cushions and throws and king-size beds. The Elephant Rooms in Safari Lodge are linked to the main lodge by a wooden swing bridge. In addition, there are four River Rooms.
All guests have use of the two Rock Lodge tennis courts and viewing pavilion, along with the swimming pool, gymnasium and Aroma Boma (beauty therapy room). Other thoughtful touches include insect repellant, mosquito nets, sunblock and email access upon request. Cuisine at the reserve caters to individual dietary requirements and focuses on Pan-African dishes influenced by local cultures, flavors and spices. Guests may dine under the African sky, in the boma, on a deck or in the dining room; private events can also be accommodated.
Of course the wilderness is Ulusaba's biggest draw. A professional tracker and field guide accompany each early morning and afternoon-into-night tour in four-wheel drive safari vehicles. Guided bush walks are also available. On a tour you are likely to see more than 300 species of birds, as well as giraffe, antelope, cheetah, zebra, hippopotamus, impala, klipspringer, steenbok, duiker, wildebeest and several types of reptiles, amphibians and fish. One couldn't ask for more adventure combined with so much relaxation in the wilds of South Africa.
(Updated: 03/20/12 KNF)