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Patricia O
Amersham, United Kingdom

A trip of a life-time

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 19 May 2024
" Perhaps we're too old to be contemplating a Safari." was my first thought being in our mid 70's and not in great health. I shouldn't have worried. Be prepared to be totally spoiled from the moment you're picked up at Johannesburg airport for the 5 hour drive to Vuyani which was scenic and informative in the safe and capable hands of our driver. Arriving at Vuyani, our lodge was spotless and we were in time for the evening ( 4pm. - 7pm. ) game drive. We were so near to elephants, giraffes, lions yet never felt unsafe. The driver/guide was so informative and great fun! The tracker spotted incredible things which brought us to seeing a leopard and porcupine just when the sun had gone down as we went back for dinner at 7.30pm. We'd stopped to see the hippos mid lake while we sipped on a 'sundowner'. The stars at night were amazing and eagerly explained by our driver's knowledge of astrology. And all this on our first day!! The cheery chef was extremely proud of each meal produced - and so she should be! Delicious!! Be prepared for your wine glass to be permanently full and your wildebeest steak medium rare to rare and so, so tender!! Perfect for us, perhaps not for the 'well-done' guest. Morning drives started at 6am. I was surprised how very cold it is at 5.30/6am. and how very quickly both the sun coming up and down was! From our raised lodge and walkway, we watched nyalas and wildebeest happily grazing below us while monkeys would be waiting for any opportunity.
By the end of our week, we saw a cheetah, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lioness with cubs, many lions including the aftermath of a kill and a warthog family, hyenas, impalas, kudu, vultures and many beautifully coloured birds.
If you're thinking " I'd love to see those wild animals for real" as you watch the many wildlife programmes on TV - do it! And I know just the place!!
Date of stay: May 2024
Room Tip: Take warm clothes for early morning and evening. All inclusive cost, inc. mini bar and meals. ...
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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All reviews mini bar raised wooden walkways small number of guests outdoor shower lunch and evening meals first couple of days other guests the reserve on stilts sundowner drinks game drives true safari experience wonderful week don t hesitate elephant whispers moment you arrive large bed
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Reviewed 14 May 2024

It is difficult to sum up this amazing trip to Vuyani lodge.
The staff are absolutely fantastic and nothing is too much trouble.
The lodges are great and the beds extremely comfortable.
The food is delicious but a word of warning expect to leave a little larger than arrival as it’s difficult not to eat all that is prepared.
The safari game drives are spectacular. In 2 days we had seen the big 5 and the ugly 5 and so much more.
To get that close to such beautiful animals is a privilege. The baby cubs however elusive are adorable being protected by the mother aunt and Grandmother.
The morning coffee watching the hippos and the sundowners sipping gin and tonic with 7 giraffes walking around.

Kruger as a day trip is a must as it’s great to see the herds and the enormity of the national park.
Vuyani plan a special day which although tiring is fabulous.

Most of all we would like to thank 2 special people.
Jarrod and Direct. Simply you were fantastic and made each drive an adventure. Not once did you seem to get fed up with my endless questions about teeth mostly but also each of the incredible wildlife we had the privilege of seeing.

My dream holiday was perfection.
Thank you
Julia and Willem

Room tip: Remember warm things for early morning game drive. Hat gloves puffs coat
Date of stay: May 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Julia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 29 April 2024 via mobile

Amazing safari experience.

The daily game drives were brilliant, our tracker Direct and guide Jarrod were the ultimate dream team!

We took advantage of a couple of the excursions including the boat ride at Blyde river canyon and the all day trip to Kruger which were well organised and worth doing.

The food was great. As a fussy eater / pescatarian I was so well catered for at each meal. The sundowner drinks on safari were also a lovely touch, sipping on a G&T surrounded by giraffes watching the sun go down - priceless.

We stayed for 5 days - will go back for longer next time.

Room tip: Take a light jacket for the morning / evening game drives.
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank RachelF622
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 25 April 2024

Warning. This is not my first review of this place nor will it be my last, I’m sure. Keeping it short this time (ish).

Incredible game viewing ✅ (thanks Jarrod and Direct)

Great food and drinks ✅ (Mini bar in the rooms included in the price)

Amazing staff ✅ (they will feel like family)

Fantastic value for money ✅ (it really is for everything that’s included)

Would I book again ✅ (I actually already have 😂)

It truly is such a beautiful place, comfy beds, lovely rooms, the wildlife viewing will blow your mind, and on such a beautiful reserve.

Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled solo
1  Thank 99judyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 4 April 2024

Well the 5 star reviews are definitely not exaggerated! We have had the BEST 5 days at Vuyani River Lodge! Our flight was delayed by an hour and a half but we had a brilliant car journey with our lovely driver Johan. Yes it’s long but Johan kept us entertained on the way and is very knowledgeable and the time flew by!

Johan got us to the Lodge in time for our afternoon safari and we jumped on board with Stuart (our driver) and Mpilo (our spotter) and a lovely couple who had arrived on the same flight as us and who when we left feeling we had made some great friends!

We went on every single drive (FOMO 🤣) and we came really really close (sometimes holding my breath close) to lions, lionesses, elephants, cheetahs and giraffes. One evening we were having sundowner drinks and heard a whoosh like a snort and Stuart said for us to turn around and there was a rhino literally 10 metres from us all (in the pitch black 😳)…he just looked at us and sauntered by!

I can’t even explain how amazing our driver Stuart was…he was so funny, so friendly, so knowledgeable about the wildlife and was always looking out for anything of interest . There were many times we were at specific spots first, he was constantly on the radio, refusing to give up when he knew animals were in the area. He completely made our safaris! He was very careful not to overload these beautiful creatures with too many watchers and kept viewing numbers to sensible levels to ensure that they were given the respect they deserved. How he managed to drive, look out for any wildlife whilst also being so funny and entertaining we do not know but we do know we were soo lucky to have Stuart as the leader of our A Team 👍🏻

Our spotter Mpilo was awesome, he even spotted a small chameleon on a bush in the dark on the way back to the Lodge…how on earth he spotted that I do not know! He went looking for lions nearby on foot 🫣 and we literally didn’t pick him back up for at least 30 minutes whilst we watched these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.! Then on our very last safari drive he spotted the very elusive leopard 🐆 and we gazed at it in awe for around 15 minutes from a distance but this just completely topped our holiday.

There are so many memories made from this holiday, the outdoor shower, the giraffes walking past the pool area, monkeys trying to steal food, the warthog family and their babies within the ground, so many lovely guests we spent time with over 5 days, the early ‘Good moorrnniinnggg’ knock on the doors from Benjamin and Floyd who escorted us from our rooms in the dark, the drinks at the bar throughout the day and evening from Clive and Clyde and the housekeeping team Gloria, Gladys and Remember, Jan with his care and attention every day.

This has honestly been a holiday of a lifetime and we felt very emotional leaving and can’t wait to return 💕

Tips/extra info:
We went the last week of March and I wish I’d taken some warmer clothes. Both drives are cold before sunrise and after sunset on the jeep. I had packed a scarf so that really helped and hold onto your hats…sometimes the jeeps go very fast when alerted to big 5 sightings.
The back row on the jeep is bouncy so go nearer the front if you need more support with back/neck problems.
Our Safaris were 530-830 (based on sunrise) and 430-730pm with coffee stop in the morning and sundowner drinks in the evening.
Breakfast is 830am - cereals, fruit and yogurt are self serve and you will be asked what cooked breakfast you would like, lunch 130pm, salads and different options every day buffet style eg chicken kebabs, lamb kebabs, chicken pies, wraps. Dinner served around 8ish dependant on what time jeeps return, sometimes earlier or later to give you time to freshen up. You’re asked at lunchtime to pick your main meal, starter and dessert are pre-planned.
Bbqs are Weds and Saturdays - no preorder for main course is necessary.
Wine is really nice, both red and white (and I’m picky!) but you can order other drinks obviously. Mpilo made a mean gin and tonic on the sundowner safari!
There is a coffee machine so I ordered cappuccino to have with my breakfast rather than the cafetière coffee.
There is a mini bar in the room which is stocked with beer, cider and soft drinks but we asked for wine to be added - to be honest we didn’t really use the mini bar as drinks were flowing when we wanted them.
We asked for some envelopes and separates the tips for our driver, spotter, housekeeping and bar/catering staff.

Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank T27SJX
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 26 February 2024

Cannot fault anything with this holiday. All the staff were amazing, so friendly & helpful, nothing was too much trouble. The food & drinks were the best. Saw everything we wanted to see on the drives. Thomas & Kris our Tracker & Ranger were great. Our driver, Johan Brummer to & from the airport, was the best. Very good driver & full of information about the area.

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Sue H
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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