General

Arathusa Safari Lodge

Arathusa Safari Lodge is the South African luxury safari industry’s best kept secret. Why, you may ask? This enchanting lodge lies within the world renowned Sabi Sand Private Reserve, flanking the unfenced Kruger National Park. Guests to Arathusa are treated to an exceptional wildlife experience, including the prized “Big Five” – the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. These formidable species earned their reputations as the most dangerous animals to be hunted on foot.

The phrase “Big Five” was coined by hunters of yesteryear – before the advent of the photographic safari.

With exceptional sightings of leopard (usually the most elusive of cats), lion and rhino during game drives – camera lenses are continuously filled with close contact wildlife interactions. There is so much more to The African Safari than the Big Five.

A veritable collection of smaller creatures add colour to the safari experience. And one need not leave the comfort of the camp to see massive herds of buffalo, antelope and elephant families which gather at the camp’s waterhole.

Arathusa has both standard rooms and ultra-luxurious exclusive suites tucked into the untamed African bush.

The camp is completely open-plan and flanks a mammoth waterhole which pulses with animal activity. This is the perfect location for the nature enthusiast who seeks an intimate environment and warm hospitality at an affordable daily rate.

Arathusa Safari Lodge is an intimate and hospitable camp. Thatched luxury suites are within the camp’s perimeter. Each have a bathroom en-suite (with bath and separate indoor and outdoor showers), and a verandah for optimum enjoyment of the surrounding wilds.

Twin rooms may also be arranged. Arathusa has recently launched 4 ultra-luxurious suites. These remote and exclusive units are further removed, and have their own private plunge pools and lounge areas. Fabrics are natural, furniture classic and the interior design both simple and elegant. Additional amenities include a mini bar (stocked with a selection of beverages), an electronic safe, hairdryer, air conditioning, direct-dial telephone, mosquito net and tea/ coffee making facilities.

There are no televisions in the rooms at Arathusa. In keeping with the traditional safari experience, the bush is best experienced “al dente”. Guests are however able to make calls from the reception area, and to send or receive e-mails and faxes.

Game Activities at Arathusa

Game drives in an open safari vehicle meander their way into the bush each morning and late afternoon in search of animals both large and small. Close contact encounters are guaranteed (the animals are not threatened by our presence in lieu of sound conservation management policies) affording unparalleled photographic opportunities of The Big Five and much more (including over 300 bird species – a treat for keen birders!). Experienced and personable rangers are coupled with local trackers. Together they ensure a first class safari experience. Guided walks with an armed ranger may also be arranged. Helpful Hint – do not head into the bush in the middle of the day during summer months! Walks are usually arranged in the more moderate hours of the early morning. Being on foot brings an altogether different view of the bush.

The Wildlife

Arathusa prides itself on its’ leopard viewing. As leopards are territorial, their regular appearances in our area allow us to plot their movements and to observe their behavior. Many of the animals become familiar and are easily recognized – this enables us to name them. There is a female leopard named ‘Safari’ who is often seen around the camp. Approximately 14 leopards are found in the area in which Arathusa operate, 6 of which are seen on a regular basis. Large herds of buffalo numbering in excess of 300 often find their way to the Arathusa lake. One need not move far to enjoy the safari experience! Elephants are also seen in numbers. There are various lion prides in the area, as well as a few nomadic males. Over 90% of guests will experience The Big 5 – very often in one day, sometimes in one drive. General “lowveld” game are abundant in this section of the Sabi Sand Reserve, including giraffe, zebra, warthog, impala and more. This region is a bird-watcher’s mecca. A few of the rarer birds are seen from the camp itself, such as the Horus Swift.

Getting to Arathusa

By Scheduled Flights South African Express Airways operate a number of flights from Oliver Tambo International Airport (previously Johannesburg International Airport) into Kruger Mpumalanga international Airport and to Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit. We are able to arrange road transfers between the airports and Arathusa. An excellent alternative to consider is a panoramic transfer from Kruger Mpumalanga international Airport to the camp. This transfer takes in some of Mpumalanga’s most breath-taking scenery and gives a good overview of this rich. unique and diverse province of South Africa. Please contact tours@africanwelcome.com for further information and costs.

By Charter Flight

Exclusive private charter flights may be arranged to and from Arathusa Safari Lodge, as the property has its own private airstrip. Please contact tours@africanwelcome.com to obtain a quotation. Please note, flights may land and take off only outside of game drive times.

By Road

Distances

  • Johannesburg to Arathusa Safari Lodge – approximately 550 kms (approximately 7 hours by road)
  • Nelspruit to Arathusa Safari Lodge – 170 KM ( approximately 2.5 to 3 hours by road)
  • Hoedspruit to Arathusa Safari Lodge – 80 KM ( approximately 1.5 hours by road)
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to Arathusa Safari Lodge – 165 KM (approximately 2.5 to 3 hours by road)

By Private Road Transfer

We are gladly able to arrange for road transfers on your behalf from Hoedspruit (Eastgate Airport ) and Nelspruit (Kruger Mpumalanga Airport) For more info on costs please contact Res office on tours@africanwelcome.com