Ulusaba Rock Lodge

Ulusaba Rock Lodge, accommodation in Kruger National Park

Richard Branson loves Ulusaba, his private game reserve in the famed and gorgeous Sabi Sand Naure Reserve, under his Virgin Limited Edition brand and near the renowned Kruger National Park. Panoramic views from a rocky outcrop make Ulusaba Rock Lodge one of Richard Branson’s best lodges in his private collection. 

Yes, we all love wildlife and game drives on a luxury safari just like he does, so we understand his reasons for choosing this extravagant dedication to the wilderness of Africa. Exclusive family safari holidays and special packages for couples are customised for your ideal break from real life.

Rising above the vast 13 500 ha of natural bushveld, Ulusaba Rock Lodge poses on a hill, absorbing extensive views over the impressive Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Safari enthusiasts revel in this clean-cut regal destination with the Branson Virgin flavour and some of the best game viewing in the country.   

Three majestic pieces of the lavish accommodation cake are presented in Rock Lodge: Master Suite, Makwele Suites, Rock Cliff rooms and Rock Suite – a total of 8 splendid airconditioned rooms with endless views, private plunge pools and warm spaces for sheer soul food.

Elevated Rock Suites Hang in the Clouds at Ulusaba

High up with stunning views, 4 Rock Cliff rooms hang beside each other as if in the air, over lush, vegetated hills and facing south forever. Their treats are large sunny personal decks, king size beds, air conditioning, ceiling fans, mosquito nets, free Wi-Fi access, tea and coffee-making facilities, snacks and a complimentary mini bar.  Some guests love the two rooms built on split levels with a jaunty spiral staircase that links the bedroom to the bathroom.

Rock Suite is the ideal family suite that hosts children on bunk beds with their own bathroom and shower. Amazing views and things to do ensure that the family is bonding in a paradise setting with nature as the TV and the birds as the music! 

Master Suite exceeds all suites with its three eye-opening levels to enhance gracious living with jaw-dropping views of the bushveld, enormous hanging deck over the trees with dazzling plunge pool, extra terraces with sun lounges. A best place for Richard Branson so a best place for you and your loved one on honeymoon of course! Romance knows no boundaries in the lavish setting of this master suite. 

Two Makwela Suites also boast two levels and mind-blowing private balconies with plunge pools, separate chic, tasteful living areas and libraries, stunning soft couches and a place for the kids to play and relax. Kids will connect well with all staff who love to sing and dance in the Shangaan tradition. 

One of the good reasons to choose Branson’s Ulusaba Rock Lodge is its commitment to sustainability and sustainable tourism. Fair Trade products and local support systems encourage the sourcing of local foods while natural beauty products are sourced in Africa. Recycling is a great effort and other environmentally friendly initiatives with the planet at its heart – no disposable plastic water bottles or toiletry bottles, elephant dung is used to make paper, and half of all waste is recycled.

Ulusaba means ‘place of little fear’ in Shangaan and it goes back to the days when the tribal chief and his main warriors would stand on this rocky hill and look out to see when the enemies were coming so that they had the advantage in battle.  No one could attack them without warning and the community lived in safety. 

Richard Branson loves the setting and the lodge so much that he bought it in 1994 and completely transformed it to suit his Virgin Limited-Edition brand and theme. Now guests can feel on top of the world, literally, when they stay at Ulusaba Rock Lodge on the cliff and survey their own kingdoms of miles and miles of safari veld and horizons made for relaxation and soul searching.   The lodge incorporates the view beautifully, as well as the tribal influences from those days of yore when the Shangaan lived in these hills. 

Weddings are prime functions at Ulusaba thanks to the mesmerising and romantic setting, the fine service and dreamy accommodation for honeymoon couples. So ideal in its lavish three- and two-level designs with decks and plunge pools and quality ethnic décor. Chefs treat all guests with hearty fare using local fresh ingredients and a lot of inspiration and creation. 

Gallery

Overview

Family safari fun at Ulusaba Rock Lodge means plenty of adventure in the famous Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve next to Kruger, a Big 5 destination with lavish cliff hanging accommodation and so much to do. 

This is Richard Branson’s Limited Edition Virgin private collection lodge so it aims to provide the best service for all guests, leaving no stone unturned for your comfort and delight. Find a lavish suite having in mid-air from a rocky cliff overlooking a huge expanse of South African wilderness area, with the Drakensberg mountains in the distance and most of Kruger waiting to be explored below. 

Beautiful wooden decks make the most of the outlooks and hark back to the days when tribal warfare was rife. The tribal chief stood on this hill, saw the enemies coming and was forever one step ahead of them. Which is why the lodge is called Ulusaba, ‘place of little fear’ – and today, guests can see all the lions coming!

Choose one of 8 ornate, designer chalets made for families or honeymoon couples who need time alone for romance – or children’s games and bonding sessions. Small enough for personal attention but so much space that guests can feel alone if they want to, or join other guests later on in the main lodge if they want to. The modern gym and sensational spa allow tranquillity, solitary fitness and self-care hours between awesome game drives in the thick of the Kruger bushveld. 

Laze around the vast blue pool and its timber sundeck or choose an exciting excursion to a local community area – or explore conservation of biodiversity in action. Bush walks are ever popular allowing guests to use all their senses to absorb the bush, find animals and feel part of something much greater. Helicopter flips and tours of Mpumalanga’s Panorama Rute are wonderful outlets for making the most of a South African safari holiday. 

Families choose the Makwela Suites, built over two levels, featuring two bedrooms and bathrooms, attractive lounge and study, capacious couch that turns into a bed and huge timber deck with plunge pool. Four high cliff top rooms feature funky spiral stair cases to link bedrooms with bathrooms and the views are certainly awe-inspiring.

Recommended for families, Rock Suite is a spacious two-bedroom villa floating on the clouds it seems, complete with sitting room, large bedroom with shower, second bedroom with queen size bed and shower and all rooms meeting up on the extensive patio facing the sunset. 

Richard Branson chooses the Master Suite when he comes on safari at his favourite safari lode, Ulusaba – he appreciates its decadent 3 levels each with a different deck and each one a scintillating view over the Sabi Sands. Huge plunge pools and king size beds, tasteful toiletries and large soft sofas in which to sink after long hot days seeking out game on foot or in a 4×4 vehicle. Honeymooners can spread out and wallow in the lap of luxury in this chalet! 

Children are welcomed at Ulusaba and chid friendly staff keep young ones entertained all day while mom and dad try out the spa and the gym, take a nap or read a book. Your family safari vacation in the Sabi Sand at Ulusaba Rock Lodge matters. We love all game drive activities, bush walks and excursions to meet community members, see the sights in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, or outside the reserve where Mpumalanga is such a tourism drawcard for every good reason. 

Highlights

  • 8 individually designed rooms and suites, swimming pool, gym, wine cellar, spa, stargazing, and tennis courts
  • Globally inspired, trained chefs create terrific diverse African dishes influenced by fascinating cultures, flavours and spices
  • Best bushveld views over Kruger from a high rocky koppie where the sky seems to touch the roof and the wilderness undulates for miles
  • Volunteer to assist the community during a tour of their village or tour the Panorama Route
  • Eco lodge with sustainability ethos and recycling mandates plus no single use plastics.
From ZAR 17 734

PER PERSON SHARING PER NIGHT


Activities

  • Spa treatments
  • Game drives
  • Gym
  • Tennis
  • Safari walks 
  • Birdwatching 
  • Helicopter trips 
  • Excursion – Canyons, Cultures and Contrasts – Panorama Discoverer
  • Excursion – Cascades and Canyons Spectacular
  • The Community Tours and Excursions are organised by Pride ‘n Purpose
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting
  • Gift shop
  • Children activities 

Included

  • Luxury accommodation 
  • All meals, served in a variety of locations 
  • All beverages including a top-quality wine list and fine champagne
  • 2 game drives a day
  • A daily walking safari (weather dependent)
  • Fully equipped gym 
  • Lounges equipped with DVDs, an Xbox and a small library
  • Laundry service 
  • Business facilities 
  • Complimentary wireless 
  • Informative talks on flora, fauna and conservation that can be organised 
  • Private dining for up to 6 guests at Safari Lodge’s wine cellar and Rock Lodge’s wine room (subject to availability)
  • Local telephone calls
  • The contents of your minibar
  • A dedicated team
  • VAT and South African Tourism Bed Levy

a family of lions cuddling together
that include this property

Facilities

  • Luxury accommodation: Makwela suites x 2, Master suite x 1, Rock suite x 1, Rock Cliff rooms x 4
  • Outdoor pool
  • Viewing decks
  • Gym
  • Tennis
  • Lounge
  • Wine tasting
  • Star spotting telescope
  • Children’s activity club
  • Babysitters


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