- Type: Lodge
- Summary: 13,500 hectares of unspoiled bushveld to roam
- Feature: Moonlit bush dinners and star-gazing
- Rooms: 21 rooms & suites within 2 lodges
- Location: Sabi Sand, Mpumalanga, South Africa
- Star rating: 5 Star
- Nearest airport: Johannesburg International Airport
Location and transfer
1 hour, 30 minutes from Johannesburg International Airport by light aircraft transfer.
Both lodges in Ulusaba Reserve offer couples the unbridled romance of the African bush, with safaris becoming increasingly popular for honeymoons and special occasions. At Rock Lodge, the top suites are set apart from all interconnecting rooms to provide couples with privacy and the finest views in the Sabi Sand. Safari Lodge offers star-gazing, spa treatments and serene seclusion in the Tree House Suite. It also boasts the new Safari Suite, which is a stunning and spacious accommodation for two people, comprising a private plunge pool and garden, separate lounge and large outdoor deck with enviable views of the Mabrak riverbed, bush and beyond. Couples at either might want to splash out on a private guide for the ultimate exclusive wildlife experience.
Sabi Sand offers, arguably, Africa's most impressive concentration of game, including all of the 'Big Five'. This includes exceptional volumes of leopard, which can be seen most regularly on game-drives. Rhinos are another member of the 'Big Five' that's scarce elsewhere, but often seen around Ulusaba, with cheetah another strong possibility. Bird-watchers can look out for a range of colourful species, or for more adventurous guests, there is the chance to get out on foot amongst Africa's iconic animals on a morning game walk.
There is a magical range of diverse settings within the reserve where couples can enjoy their special day with friends and family. These include a deck at Rock Lodge with sweeping views over the plains below, or the dry Mabrak Riverbed close to Safari Lodge, for those that might want wilder guests to drop by. Wedding day experiences can include performances by local bands, dance groups and choir singers, while photography packages and even pre-wedding parties for male and female groups can be arranged.
Culture & History
For an authentic South African cultural experience, visit the communities surrounding Ulusaba Private Game Reserve and enjoy traditional dancing and food-tastings whilst at the same time supporting Pride 'n' Purpose, Ulusaba's charity. This non-profit organisation - jointly funded by Virgin Limited Edition and Virgin Unite - focuses on providing improved access to food, water and health services for the six disadvantaged communities (equating to 35,000 people) that live adjacent to Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Examples of on-going and completed projects include installing FunPumps at a local school to ensure clean, safe water can be provided to the children, building three new creches, providing teacher training for the community's volunteer teachers and planting food gardens at the six houses that Pride'n' Purpose has built around the villages.
Sir Richard Branson's Rock Lodge at Ulusaba Private Game Reserve welcomes children up to 12 years old to its Cubs Club, which offers tailor-made activities. On arrival, 'cubs' receive a backpack full of goodies and participate in a treasure hunt to familiarise themselves with their surroundings. Children over six years old can join their parents on game-drives into the heart of Sabi Sand Game Reserve, accompanied by Rangers who will happily tell them all about the animals they see, while under 6-year-olds can go on short walks to spot birds and lizards. Indoors, there are games to play and DVDs to watch. Other activities include sand art, rock-painting, cooking lessons and swimming, and with every base covered, children can look forward to ice-cream, cookies, bedtime stories and an exclusive pen pal club. Complimentary babysitting is also available.
Spa & Wellness
Situated peacefully away from the main lodge area at Safari Lodge, the Aroma Boma spa treatment room specialises in internationally recognised spa treatments with an African twist. There are few spas in the world where treatments can be enjoyed to the background sights, smells and ambience of the African bush. The spa uses a range of Africology products, incorporating traditional local ingredients such as rooibos, aloe and marula. While the spa is nestled in the trees at Safari Lodge, guests at Rock Lodge can also book treatments.