Location: World famous Sabi Sands, in the Western block on the Mabrak River
As with the other camps/lodges in the Western block, Dulini shares traversing rights. The first hour of each drive is restricted to your own property, but then crossover is allowed. The guides from all lodges in the Western block communicate, ensuring an unrivaled game viewing experience. Sightings are limited to two vehicles (in rare instances three) per sighting. The Western block is known across the greater Kruger area for its superb leopard viewing.
Accommodation: The lodge has 6 stone cottages, all identical. The units are massive – each features a lounge when you walk in a bedroom & bathroom. There is a large deck the entire length of the room on the banks of the river. Part of the deck is covered for shade (or to protect you from rain) while the rest is open to the sun. There are chairs in the shaded part and loungers in the open area by your private plunge pool (it’s an infinity pool).
When you enter the suite you walk into the lounge area, which features two large comfortable chairs and ottomans and the door to the covered portion of the deck. The lounge has a small desk with a
‘safari kit’ (suntan lotion/insect repellent/etc.) and there is a hand written personalized note from your butler waiting for you. There is also a coffee/tea making station and mini fridge that is re-stocked with your favorite snacks and beverages daily.
The bedroom is large and well lit. Dulini has recently re-introduced mosquito nets draped around the bed to add ambiance. There are doors leading out to your deck from the bedroom as well and your bed looks onto your deck/plunge pool/the river.
Continuing through the suite you get to a large wardrobe and then the bathroom. The bathroom is incredibly spacious, featuring his & her basins, brand new free standing bath tub, and indoor & outdoor showers. The back of the bathroom is all glass and looks out to the river and plunge pool as well. There is a beautiful and unique chandelier hanging over the bathtub that matches the one in the lounge area.
Main/Common Areas: The setting of the camp is gorgeous – the grounds are surrounded by lush greenery. The main sitting room/library is a bit tired and very ‘crowded’. They will be refurbing this and ‘uncluttering’ once they finish the refurb of all of the rooms. There is a small wine cellar that has a nice selection (there is a great selection of house wines included in the rate but there are ‘nicer’ bottles available for purchase as well). The attached dining area is covered but open and sports a nice large fireplace. The one thing that seemed to be lacking is walkways – there are some dirt paths but they are very undefined. Ian did say that they will be doing some better landscaping and will be putting in walkways between the suites and main area and to the pool area. This will be a huge improvement.
The real star of the ‘common areas’ is the pool. The pool is large and beautiful and it’s surrounded by really nice decks and enough comfortable seating for the entire camp. This also makes for a great private meal venue (more on that to come). All of the patio and pool furniture has been replaced with new pieces.
The other unique feature is a cool rope bridge that goes over the Mabrak River and brings you to a platform where you can enjoy views of the river banks and cocktails!
Dulini also gets quite a few ‘guests’ in camp which is an added treat:
Dining/Cuisine: The head chef, Jess, is a culinary whiz. The food was excellent! They serve breakfast in the same fashion as most camps/lodges – cold buffet with hot breakfast to order. They then do a nice ‘family-style’ lunch. They have a few different salads and then one or two ‘entrée’ type dishes; these are set on the table in large bowls/platters for all to share. Lunch is served at tables set up in the garden under the shade of the many trees in camp. Prior to game drive high tea is served with some light bites – EXCELLENT iced coffee!!! Dinner varies night by night; guests staying at Dulini for 3-4 nights will likely have a different dining experience each evening. They do one large table for all guests to dine together; private dinner tables; boma dinners; bush dinners. Normal dinners are plated and there is a choice of 2 or 3 entrees (or you can go half & half as I did). The camp manager dictates what will be done each evening. Prior to lunch and dinner the chef comes out to announce and explain the menu – a nice touch.
Staff: A great team has been assembled to look after Dulini guests and it all starts with the owner, Ian. He is a great host and ‘gets it’ when it comes to safari. The manager is Nick – he looks after conservation and the reserve and he is a wealth of knowledge; the front of house camp manger is Poppy. Poppy always has a smile and makes sure things run smoothly. The two butlers are Given & Reply – they are incredibly friendly and were great at anticipating everyone’s needs and taking care of them immediately. Even the housekeeper (mine was Dudu) leaves a nice hand written note when she does the turndown service! Our ranger/tracker team (Fred & Martin) was quite good as well. Although we only had one night at Dulini we managed to find quite a bit of game thanks to them.
- Wi-fi will be available in each suite, NOT in the common areas (currently it is only in common areas, but this is being switched now).
- Three brand new game drive vehicles – incredibly comfortable and smoother ride than the old ones. Bucket seats with center console for storage. In the vehicles Dulini provides blankets, fleece lined ponchos & binoculars for all guests!
Categorized in: Trip Reports