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Rukiya Safari Camp
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Reviews (105)
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Reviewed 28 September 2017 via mobile

Can’t fault anything about this place if I’m honest. Even the 5am start and the sometimes chilly morning transfer to the big game reserve, still can’t fault it.

The camp is small (but not too small) and personal in a superb location on a private reserve (Wild Rivers) in the greater Kruger area, superbly maintained and run by a friendly and dedicated couple (Lilly and Conrad) with a passion for what they are doing helped by a high quality staff.

The tents are as advertised - glamping safari style - and VERY close to a river with resident hippos, visiting crocodiles and a troop of baboons; plus other visitors ranging from birds to small antelopes (sorry, I KNOW I have generalised a name there!). The staff can’t do enough for you (I have allergies, my better half is just plain fussy, we never had problems with the food and Gemma worked with us to ensure we were safe, happy and satisfied). A member of the team eats with you every evening - a beautiful personal touch that makes the experience better and leaves you feeling like a friend rather than a visitor.
And if Donovan is still doing the guiding, you are in for a treat! I managed to develop his sense of humour a bit over a couple of days, had a brilliant time even when just driving. And he knows his stuff (how he spotted the tree frog in the dark still has me stumped!)

We will be back as soon as we can manage it!

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank catlinm1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lily J, Owner at Rukiya Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2017

Hi Matt, Thank you so much your your review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. You talk about developing Donovan's sense of humour, you have also developed his interest in cross fit! I have passed on your message to the team and everyone sends their regards. We look forward to having you both back here soon. Until next time! Thanks, Lily

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Reviewed 23 September 2017

We stayed at Rukiya for five nights. The camp is in a beautiful location overlooking the Blyde river, a green oasis at this arid time of year and the area is teeming with birds and wildlife. The staff are all professional, knowledgeable and friendly, nothing was too much trouble and we were made to feel completely at home. The atmosphere is very welcoming and friendly. Constance cooks the most delicious meals and we enjoyed eating at the big table with staff and other guests, a sociable time with lots of laughs. Whilst you pay for sparkling water and other soft or alcoholic drinks there is an unending supply of free filtered water and tea and coffee. I particularly appreciated the organic cafetière coffee! There is free wifi in this main lodge area. The tented accommodation is spacious and has an atmosphere of simple luxury, the en suite showers are powerful and there is a good supply of eco friendly toiletries. And then there are the game drives, what a privilege to be the only vehicle at a sighting, not to have a radio constantly disrupting the sounds of the bush and to have guides who are skilled tracker, have a wealth of knowledge and a sense of humour. There is always an element of luck in what you see in the natural world, and we were lucky. We enjoyed every minute and had some amazing sightings and close encounters. Breakfasts by the riverside and sundowners with panoramic views were a nice addition to the game drives. Thank you Lily, Conraad, Gemma, Donovan, Elliott, Constance and all the staff at Rukiya for a brilliant time, we have many happy memories....and quite a few photos!

Room Tip: They are all good. There are 4 overlooking the river and 2 overlooking the bush.There is free wifi in the main lodge area.
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Val936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lily J, Owner at Rukiya Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2017

Val thank you so much for your review. We were commenting the other day how we missed Bruce's humour in camp! We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us; camp life, staff, food and game drives. You are so right about the luck element; I always say that there are 3 things are required for a good safari; an area where the wildlife exists, a good guide and the third component is luck. There is nothing better than a bush breakfast or sundowner out in the bush! Everyone sends their regards! Thank you, Lily

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Reviewed 19 September 2017 via mobile

Rukiya is a very nice tented camp. Beautiful location on the banks of a small river with crocodiles and hippos. The tents are very comfortable and clean. The bed is also nice. From your own private deck you have a nice view over the riverbanks where warthogs, antilopes and hippos wander around. The reserve in which rukiya is situated is not a big five reserve, however there have been sightings of elephants, lions and leopards around rukiya. The idea is exciting eventhough we havent seen them near rukiya camp. During the afternoon drive you stay around rukiya. During the morning drive you go to balule nature reserve which is on the other side of the road and is a big five reserve. We have seen lots of elephants and also lions there and of course lots of other game. The guides are very good and have great tracking skills. Very exciting to follow lions footprints. The breakfast is okay, but because you have this in the middle of balule it is a very special breakfast. They bring some yoghurt with cereals, a sandwich or croissant and some healthy muffins. The lunch back at rukiya is very nice. The diner is also delicious. The lunch and diner is family style, all sitting together. The staff is super friendly at rukiya. I would definitely recommend to go here!

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank erwin_luesink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lily J, Owner at Rukiya Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 21 September 2017

Hi Erwin, Thank you very much for your time taken to review us. We are pleased that you enjoyed your time with us; the camp, staff, meals and of course the game drives. Everyone sends their regards. Wishing you both the best for the very exciting times ahead for you! Thanks, Lily

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Reviewed 12 September 2017

Beautiful surroundings
Exceptional service
Wonderful hosts and staff
Twice daily game drives incredibly informative and just spectacular with regards to environment, animals and guides knowledge
Must do

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank karenbT6521AN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lily J, Owner at Rukiya Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2017

Hi Karen, thank you for the review. We loved having you both here. Please do come back with the whole clan when you are back in the area in December, we would love to see you again! Good luck with the visa between now and then and I hope you manage some regular trips trips over in the mean time. Hopefully see you all soon! Thanks, Lily

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Reviewed 12 September 2017

We were very lucky to spend three nights at Rukiya early in September. We were picked up from jo'burg so had an opportunity to see the amazing scenery on our 5 hour drive to the camp.

Rukiya is in a beautiful position overlooking the Blyde River. It was fabulous to be woken by hippos on the river at 3.00 am! The tents were great, stylish, providing everything we needed, and the hot water bottles sneaked in while we were at dinner were just what we needed as it was cold after dark. Be prepared with hats, gloves, scarves and coats for the transfer on the morning game drive, it soon warms up but the open road on the journey tended to be very cold, as it was the end of winter.

The guides and the game drives were excellent and we felt privileged to be in a maximum of two game vans looking at the wildlife. We learnt a huge amount and enjoyed the experts enthusiasm. Thanks Donovan and Elliot. Taking a break on the drives for breakfast and sundowners was lovely, I can now say I've had breakfast with hippos and crocodiles!

Lily and Gemma make their guests very welcome, the quality of the food was excellent and as someone with a dairy intolerance it is the first place I have stayed where I've been able to have a three course meal, what a delight to have lovely puddings... I very rarely find a dessert I can eat. Thank you Contence.

A very special place, visit if you have the opportunity!

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank holidaybug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lily J, Owner at Rukiya Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2017

Thank you so much for you time taken to review us, it is much appreciated! We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and have some memories to last a long time. It is one of our favourite aspects that we are the only vehicles in the areas that we drive as we can spend as long as we want wildlife, without having to share sightings with lots of vehicles. I have passed your message onto the whole team and they send their regards, thanks again, Lily

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