Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Greater Kruger, South Africa
At a Glance
Each cottage has its own viewing deck and private plunge pool
Romantic candlelight bush dinners
Game viewing on day and night game drives
Dulini Lodge has the unique colonial feel
Home to more than 300 different bird species
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
There is no bad time to go on safari in the Kruger National Park. The experience does, however, change from month to month. In the summer months (October to March), it gets very hot. The verdant vistas are all the more spectacular because of the rains, but this means that the foliage is denser, water is more abundant and game is therefore trickier to see. There are lots of beautiful migratory birds during the summer months. While the daytime temperature in the winter months (May to September) is ideal, it does get a little chilly at night and in the early morning.
To start planning your holiday to Dulini Lodge
With only six suites, Dulini Lodge offers an exclusive luxury retreat within the Exeter Private Game Reserve, near the south western corner of the Kruger National Park. Guests staying at Dulini can enjoy superb game viewing in ultimate safari comfort.
Dulini Lodge is a firm favourite of ours, offering a luxurious and small safari lodge within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve which is renowned for having some of the best game-viewing in South Africa. There are no restricting fences between the game reserve and the Kruger National Park, enabling wildlife to roam freely. The Sand River, which flows all year round, is a major source of water for the animals in the reserve and is home to hippo and crocodiles, while the thick reed beds are a haven for many species of water birds and weavers. The reserve is also particularly famous for its leopard sightings.
The six spacious stone and thatch cottages of Dulini Lodge grace the banks of the Mabrak River, in the western corner of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. As one of only 12 guests, you will feel instantly at home in this quiet retreat. The beautifully appointed suites boast generous plunge pools, shady decks and classic interiors that celebrate the signature style of the Reserve. From the privacy of their own plunge pools, guests enjoy watching game explore the dry riverbed just a few metres away.
The guest area is an elegant space filled with big welcoming sofas and interesting African sculptures. Dine under the ancient jackalberry tree where skilled chefs serve delicious Pan-African meals, or steal away for a romantic candlelit dinner in the well-stocked wine cellar.
The lodge offers game drives as well as bush walks with experienced rangers and trackers to explore the finer details of your surroundings.
Dulini Lodge has six air conditioned stone suites, each with a cosy fireplace for cold evenings, and boasting generous heated plunge pools, facing out toward the river bed, shady decks and classic interiors that celebrate the signature style of the Reserve. Bathrooms feature inviting claw footed tubs and huge glass windows accentuate the beautiful surroundings.
Children are welcome at Dulini Lodge however children under six years cannot participate in game drives. The lodge is able to arrange baby sitting for younger children while parents go on game drives.
Facilities at the Dulini Lodge include private, heated plunge pools in each suite, outdoor dining deck, boma area for dinners under the stars a couple of times a week, a well-stocked wine cellar, sitting room and a lounge offering a wide selection of literature. There is also a curio shop, a gym and the lodge offers in room massages. Each of the vehicles are state of the art and seat no more than 6 guests and re equipped with binoculars for each guest, fleece lined ponchos and camera stands.
Game drives, family game drives, interpretive bush walks and bird watching are all included at Dulini Lodge. The summer season (September to March) is a time when many species breed and prey is plentiful for lions, cheetah, leopards and other predators that roam the park. In the winter season (April to August), the animals concentrate at the perennial water sources and the grass is low, making game viewing easier. Although winter days are usually warm and clear, late afternoon and early morning temperatures are distinctly chilly.
Anna Hearn (Staff)
We can only describe this place as heaven on earth. In the heart of the Sabi Sands, this gorgeous camp sits alongside a dry riverbed and has just six chalets. But what amazing chalets they are! Every one has a plunge pool and lovely views, with an enormous deck culminating in an outside shower. Inside is fabulously luxurious with soft blue and tan colours and space galore. The bathroom is glass enclosed with a roll top bath and a rain shower and delectable toiletries we particularly loved the body scrub, something we hadnt been offered previously. Dulini is a small and intimate camp, and each and every one of the other couples staying there were singing its praises. The director, Ian, came to sit with us at dinner, something he often does, and entertained us with stories of the camp. We felt this was a lovely touch. While at Dulini we experienced one of the most dramatic thunderstorms we had ever seen with pouring rain and incredible thunder and lightning this was dealt with brilliantly by the camp staff, with umbrellas being brought for us and the canvas flaps being lowered. Dulini is a brilliant camp and a firm favourite of ours highly recommended!
Dominic Atterton (Staff)
Dulini has recently split from the &Beyond umbrella and although we only stopped by for a short visit you could tell that they're totally committed to giving the lodge a complete overhaul and really making it a unique place.
Very much something for everyone it will work equally well for couples and families having enough space for each group to have privacy. There is a large lawn area in the middle of the property with huge trees offering plenty of much needed shade for the summer.
The property backs on to the Sand River and the round edged communal pool sits right on the banks making for excellent game viewing. One of the most imposing features of the property is the towering rope bridge which spans the width of the river. Children will love clambering across and for couples it offers the chance to escape to the far side of the river for stunning private dinners on the bank. The rooms are light and fronted with glass doors which lead to private decks and plunge pools. They have recently introduced some lovely romantic touches like four poster beds and free standing bath tubs that really make the rooms feel special. While we were there one of the rangers was taking the youngest son of one of the guests down on to the river bed to look for lizards. The ranger could well have been resting at that time of day but was making the extra effort to interact with his guests and teach an 8 year old boy about his surroundings. Amazing service!
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Dulini Lodge is part of the &Beyond group of safari lodges. They really know how to make a lodge work well. The welcome was warm and friendly and I was given a good tour of the lodge so that I knew where everything was. I had an hour to spare before the afternoon drive so I had a shower and then joined the rest of the group. There were only five of us in our car which is a good number on a game drive. The guide was great, he gave a really good introduction as to what kind of animals we could expect to see on the drive. We saw some amazing game, in two drives at Dulini I had seen four of the Big 5 which was impressive!
The rooms are comfortable with huge bathrooms and a nice sitting area to fall asleep in during the afternoons. The staff are always friendly and eager to please. That night, we had a boma dinner with local singers. It was so much fun and a great introduction to the Sabi Sands.
4WD Game Drives
Go on private or shared game drives in the world famous Greater Kruger Area, South Africa to see the Big 5 - lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino - and a host of other animals. The Kruger is also a brilliant spot for birders so pack some binoculars.
Search for leopard in the Sabi Sands
The Sabi Sands is widely regarded as one of the most rewarding regions for spotting leopard in Africa. With good populations and the ability to go on night game-drives which coincides when these big cats are most active, all you need is good timing!
Highlights of Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique
Victoria Falls, Sabi Sands and Bazaruto Archipelago
from £8100 pp inc flights & transfers for 10 nights
- Safari in one of the most wildlife-rich parts of Africa, the Sabi Sands
- Search for leopards on night game-drives
- View the Victoria Falls from a helicopter for the ultimate thrill
Location & directions
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Greater Kruger, South Africa
Dulini Lodge is ideally located in a private concession in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, South Africa. The Sabi Sands and the Kruger National Park share a fenceless boundary which allows for the free movement of game in this region. The lodge is located on the banks of the seasonal Mabrak River and is easily accessible from Johannesburg by road or air.
How to get there
Guests have a choice of flying to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport or Hoedspruit Airport on commercial airlines, which would be followed by a road transfer to Dulini Lodge. Alternatively, air charter flights can be arranged to an airstrip within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, where a safari vehicle will take you directly to the lodge. The flight time from Johannesburg to the reserve is about 90 minutes. Road transfers can be arranged from local airports in Nelspruit and Hoedspruit.
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