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Rukiya Safari Camp
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Reviewed 22 October 2017 via mobile

I traveled to rukiya on October 1st and stayed for 8 nights as part of a trip with conservation group. I will say it was not long enough. I could have easily stayed another week. The camp exceeded my expectations. The tents have everything you need and are very comfortable. Bonus is having a deck looking out on river to sit out on in evenings and early mornings listening and watching the wildlife. Lilly and Gemma are there to greet you and look out for every need. They even treated me with bottle of champagne first night to celebrate my birthday. Constance and her team delight you with different food every day that was wonderful. I am very picky eater and I found food incredible. The lodge with books to read and study, deck to relax on and bar for drinks was heaven. Favorite time was early morning on deck with coffee relaxing. Pool is great and wonderful at night for swim. Game drive are so exciting you get all in and watching guides and trying to read tracks giant adventure and off roading is so fun. Conraad, Elliot, and Donovan are amazing. They spot wildlife that I would swear is impossible to see even in the dark. They go all out to give you incredible experience. They are so knowledgeable always learning and able to answer any question. Did I mention how patient they were with all the questions in addition to being fun with great sense of humor. You stop on river to have fantastic breakfast while watching hippos in water. Sundowners are a blast going out and watching sunset with great view them driving back in dark. Also had bush walk with conraad which was whole different and exciting experience. We got to collect camera traps with conraad and was like Christmas morning when we got back to discover what they caught in camera

So to wrap up, don't hesitate if thinking of visiting

Marie Roberts

Stayed: October 2017, travelled solo
Thank Marie R
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 31 October 2017

Hi Marie, Thank you very much for your review. It is great that you enjoyed your time, both at camp and out in the bush with the guides. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the bush and its wildlife so it is great that so much of that got passed over to you. Breakfast with the hippos is one of my personal favourites too! I have passed on your message to the team and everyone sends their regards. Thanks, Lily

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Reviewed 17 October 2017

We were lucky enough to stay at Rukiya Safari Camp in September this year as part of our On Track Safari. It was just excellent. From the moment we arrived, Lily and Gemma made us feel like one of the family. The setting by the beautiful Blyde River is amazing, even though the resident hippos are not exactly quiet, it was a haven of peace and tranquility. Our tent was lovely; our own veranda, wet room, crisp white sheets, luxury toiletries, even our towels folded to look like elephants!
The food and hospitality were second to none and the cook, Contance was a delight, announcing her menus nightly, which never disappointed!
The game drives were wonderful. Our guides, Elliot and Donavan, were extremely knowledgable, entertaining and very skillful in tracking and delivering on our game viewing experiences. Elliot was even able to inform us about the magical African night sky and the constellations after our beautiful evening "Sundowners".
Our last morning was spent with Conrad, on a walking safari. It was so interesting and we saw our first live kill: an ant lion killing an ant!
Rukiya will be a special place in our hearts forever and we thank Lily and her team for a truly wonderful experience.

Room Tip: This is a very small camp and all the tents are lovely as far as I could see.
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank pennyjaxon44
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 18 October 2017

Thank you very much for your review. It was such a pleasure having you and Peter in camp. I have passed on your words to the team here and everyone sends their regards. As you have seen there is so much to the bush, its not just the iconic big African Wildlife but also the bush itself, the astronomy and the smaller creatures that could so easily be missed. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your time with us, both in camp and out on the drives. We hope to see you again! Thanks, Lily

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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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