Dulini River Lodge
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Greater Kruger, South Africa
At a Glance
Sit and watch the animals drinking from the river right in front of the lodge
Private plunge pools in front of each suite
Enjoy an outdoor shower under the stars
Big 5 game viewing literally on the doorstep
Fantastic service and attention to detail from &Beyond
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.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to Dulini River Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to South Africa
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the game rich Sabi Sand Game Reserve's western sector, Dulini River Lodge's eight large suites, each has a private plunge pool and sit in the shade of a grove of ebony trees along the edge of the Sand River.
Dulini River Lodge (formerly Exeter River Lodge) is situated within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is renowned for having some of the best game-viewing in South Africa. Located near the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park, there are no restricting fences, enabling animals to roam freely. You will get a chance to view the big five and the park is particularly famous for its leopard sightings. The Sabi River, which flows all year round, is a major source of water for the animals in the reserve and home to hippos and crocodiles, while its thick reed beds are a haven for many species of water birds and weavers.
Dulini River Lodge sits in the shade of a grove of ebony trees right on the edge of the Sand River. Eight luxury suites are spread out along the shady bank with dramatic close up views of the river, all with generous spaces and elegant bathrooms. Cool off in the private plunge pool while enjoying the sight of a herd of elephant drinking or perhaps a hippo surfacing in the river below.
Magnificently positioned sitting and dining areas overlook the Sand River. A giant sausage tree provides shade for long, lazy afternoon lunches. Delicious Pan African meals, complimented by the finest South African wines, are shared in the open air boma around a blazing fire under a star-strewn sky. Romantic candlelit dinners in the African bush or on the deck of your suite, offer memorable dining experiences.
River Lodge offers eight air-conditioned suites featuring generous spaces, elegant en-suite bathrooms with twin hand basins, separate WC, bath and indoor and outdoor showers. Private plunge pools are surrounded by spacious decks that overlook the river.
Each suite has a private deck and plunge pool as well as an elegant en-suite bathroom with indoor and out door showers.
Children of all ages are welcome to come and stay at River Lodge. However, children under the age of 6 years cannot participate in game drives. The lodge is able to arrange baby sitting for younger children while the parents go on a game drive or have dinner.
Facilities at River Lodge include the outdoor dining area serving sumptuous Pan African cuisine, a lounge with comfortable sofas and each suite has a private plunge pool. There is also an open air viewing deck overlooking the river below.
Game drives, family game drives, special children’s programmes and bird watching are all included at River Lodge. You can also enjoy interpretive bush walks where an armed ranger will accompany you and share his vast knowledge of the local fauna and flora. Take in the intimate details of your surroundings, from the intricate patterns of a spider's web to the bright plumage of the local birds and the sharp alarms calls of a dozen small creatures.
Meg Shepro (Staff)
Dulini River Lodge is a fantastic option in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve that is about to get even better. This upcoming February (2018) the lodge has scheduled renovations to give their rooms a fresh new upgrade.
Anna Hearn (Staff)
We loved the location of Exeter River Lodge, set on a sweeping bend of a perennial river where game often comes down to drink and the lodge makes the most of this fabulous position with huge open sides and plenty of areas to sit and watch the world go by. Exeter started as a hunting lodge and game farm back in 1937 and still retains an atmosphere akin to that era although the safari lodge has been running since 1996. The rooms are nicely spaced and all overlook the view with lovely plunge pools which we were told were often frequented by thirsty elephants during the heat of the day an incredible photo opportunity. Exeter is perfect for families, and while children over the age of eight are accepted on game drives, the lodge also offers a childminding service to younger children, meaning parents can enjoy the wonderful game in this little corner of the Sabi Sands.
Dominic Atterton (Staff)
Exeter has a fantastic location within the Sabi Sands area of the Kruger National Park. Running right along the front of the Lodge is the Sand River and this presents excellent game viewing opportunities from the hotels main deck and pool as well as from the rooms.
The open plan cottages at Exeter each have their own plunge pools overlooking the river and made up in the trademark &Beyond mix of contemporary style and classic safari touches.
I was lucky enough to stay at the lodge on a Braai Night, or bbq night for the rest of us. After an incredible evening game drive which ended listening to two leopards calling to each other across a river bed whilst we enjoyed our sundowners we returned to a roaring fire and an outdoor table set up for us. We ate communally that evening chatting around the fire and sharing stories from safaris past. It was a hugely memorable occasion and a great opportunity to chat with rangers and staff at the lodge and learn more about what is such a fascinating part of the world.
Ms Janelle Britt (Guest)
Exeter River Lodge was the most luxurious place I have ever stayed.
The service (particularly from Christopher) was of the highest level, the food was excellent. I could not possibly recommend this place highly enough. It was the best 4 days of the trip by a mile.
&Beyond Wild Child programme
Specially designed activities ensure your children get the most out of their safari experience, with activities such as tracking footprints and making traditional bows and arrows to add to game drives with their parents.
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!
Luxury Honeymoon to Mozambique & South Africa
Dulini Private Game Reserve and Benguerra Island
from £6000 pp inc flights & transfers for 11 nights
- Have an amazing honeymoon at 2 of &Beyonds finest lodges
- Enjoy an amazing safari and then relax on a paradise beach in Mozambique
- The amazing honeymoon offers available mean you can have incredible luxury at an affordable price
Location & directions
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Greater Kruger, South Africa
River Lodge is situated in the 65, 000 hectare (160,600 acre) Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with Kruger National Park, allowing African wildlife to move freely across the territory.
How to get there
You can easily access River Lodge by road or air from Johannesburg. Fly from Johannesburg OR Tambo International airport (ORTIA) to Ulusaba airstrip, followed by an easy game drive to the lodge. This direct flight is approximately 1.5 hours and generally scheduled for the morning or early afternoon to allow arriving guests to enjoy an afternoon game drive on their day of arrival. The distance between River Lodge and Johannesburg is about 500km (310.68 miles), a 6 hour drive.
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