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Reviewed 26 November 2017

Was traveling with friends and the camp itself is exactly as advertised in its pictures. The place is very new and you could tell. They kept things very clean! The meals were excellent and diverse, showing off Constance's talent! We stayed 3 nights and got to see 4 of the Big 5 (missed the hard to spot leopard) but we saw some other amazing things including Africa wild dogs after a fresh impala kill! Our guide Donovan was extremely knowledgeable and passionate (and also had a good sense of humor). When we hadn't spotted many new animals after two game drives they took us to a new reserve nearby that they have some kind of deal with and we got to see the rhinos and some elephants we had not seen yet. They do make every effort to get you too see as many animals as possible. The lion sighting was on our very last game drive before we left and we saw a pride of 6 including a brief mating! This camp is definitely best value for your dollar (rand) and the service/food/atmosphere really enhances the game viewing.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Chade L
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 28 November 2017

Thank you so much for your review Chade! It was great having you all here. I have passed on your words to the team and everyone sends their regards. Hope you enjoyed your time on the Garden Route and in Cape Town. You know where to find us for your next trip to South Africa. Thanks again, Lily

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Reviewed 30 October 2017 via mobile

Any safari divides into two - the accommodation comfort and the Bush experience. This review only deals with the Camp and another will cover the guide/tracker activities.
Lily and Conrad, the Camp owners/managers, are unique. Their attention to the details of timing, comfort and safety allow me to make that claim. They are passionate about the welfare of everyone who visits, about the game they protect and about each other (in a reserved English/Afrikaner way).
'Glamping' is not a word I ever expected to use but the Rukiya experience has spoilt me and left me wanting more. The place is extraordinary, the people attentive, confident and welcoming.
Just go there. Now.

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Peter_Phillips2014
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 Peter, thank you so much for your review! It was such a pleasure having you both here in camp and we definitely miss having you around. Conraad and I look forward to seeing you (and Koala's) on your side of the world when we have some time to get there. I will keep my eye out for the next review on the guiding side. Hope you are home safe and Brenda is enjoying her time with the cats before the next big trip to Japan! Until next time.... Thanks, Lily

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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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