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With Safari Lodge now open, my team and I are so looking forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful Ulusaba in the spectacular Sabi Sand game reserve.
We have truly missed all of our guests here at the lodge, but we have been busy on property ensuring everything was ready for us to re-open in the safest way possible, without compromising on the incredible experience we have always delivered upon. The wildlife has certainly been keeping us busy too and game driving is as exceptional as ever, as you might have seen in our weekly Sofa Safari – but the animals are definitely ready to see some new faces again!
No matter how you are arriving into the reserve, you can be assured that you will always be greeted with the same Virgin Limited Edition magic that we are renowned for. We may be keeping a social distance and our face masks might well hide our smiles, but we will still have smiling eyes, ready and waiting to create your own truly unique bush experience.
It goes without saying that you can have complete peace of mind that we will be carrying out the most meticulous of cleaning measures even before you have set foot in the reserve; ensuring that every single touchpoint is covered throughout your stay. Each member of our team has received new COVID-19 training and we will be continuing to refresh, adapt and improve our processes, to ensure we are always one step ahead.
You will most likely be arriving by air, so please do take the time to check with your airline for their precautionary measures too. You can have every confidence that once we collect you from the airstrip, the vehicle you take back to the lodge will have been rigorously cleaned and we will have hand sanitiser ready for you as soon as you land - and a refreshing glass of fizz too of course!
We want to make your stay as simple and relaxed as possible and that’s why we have created our own little welcome pack that you can expect with all the usual little luxuries that we will never compromise on. Each of our guests will receive a face mask (Virgin Limited Edition in style of course!), sanitiser and antibacterial wipes for your convenience, to use as you wish.
We will then talk you through all of the different options available during your stay to ensure you feel as at home as possible, whilst still getting the outstanding service we're known for.
As hard as goodbyes are, when it comes to it, we will make it as seamless and easy as possible for you.
We understand that everybody’s level of concern is entirely personal and while our promise is that your safety is our number one priority, we want to ensure that we are working to your comfort level.
So, whether that’s choosing not to have housekeeping during your stay, or providing you with the same member of staff or guide every day, you can have complete confidence that we remain fully flexible, adapting our processes around your preferences and ensuring that you have as memorable a stay with us as ever.
We give you our absolute word that we will be carrying out the most meticulous cleaning measures throughout the lodge and in our game drive vehicles. These measures will also as a minimum meet any new local regulations now in place throughout South Africa.
You may notice a few temporary alterations to some of our rooms and guest areas as we do our very best to keep our guests safe. Our rooms will still have the same beauty, comfort and authenticity that they have always done, but as we strive to increase safety measures we ask you to kindly bear with us.
For the comfort of our guests, we have placed hand sanitiser stations throughout the guest areas at Ulusaba and in our game drive vehicles too.
Hand cloths have also been replaced with disposable cloths throughout for your convenience and we encourage all of our guests to make use of these and the sanitiser throughout their stay.
For the safety of both our staff and guests, our staff will be wearing face masks at all times. Whilst these may well hide our smiles, we will most certainly still have smiling eyes!
We kindly ask our guests to respect the mandatory government guidelines which require guests to wear a face mask in all communal areas. Unless of course you are enjoying our incredible dining experiences!
It is our number one priority to ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of all of our guests and staff, and with that in mind, we hope you’ll understand that we’ll be carrying out temperature checks and a medical questionnaire for all guests on arrival.
In addition, our staff will undergo daily temperature checks before they start work every day (including those staff that reside on property); so you can have complete trust that you are always in safe hands.
Should any of our guests have any health concerns, we have medically trained staff and access to local emergency care 24/7. We also have in place an emergency medical advice service called Africa Safe-T Evacuation giving us full access to qualified doctors via the telephone should we need it.
We know that game drives are one of the most important guest experiences at Ulusaba and therefore our vehicles, like everything else, will be meticulously cleaned, before and after every game drive.
To ensure safe social distancing, guests on game drives will be reduced to four people per vehicle, unless travelling as one larger family or group, of course. We promise you'll still have the same magical Ulusaba game drive experience, and this really is some of the best viewing in the world. The wildlife will, as ever, be respecting our social distancing rules too!
Please rest assured that we will not be compromising on the incredible dining options offered at Ulusaba – perhaps even a few surprise ones too, but we will be making a few small changes to ensure there is social distancing between those in your party and with the chefs, our team and other guests.
We all love to be pampered every now and then and whilst there is likely to be a limited treatment offering compared to normal, we will be making use of the incredible outdoor locations Ulusaba is privileged to enjoy.
By their very nature, beauty treatments have very strict hygiene protocols, so you can have confidence that our trusted therapists will be operating in the safest way possible.
We know lots of our guests like to stay active during their stay and whilst we still encourage this, please understand some activities might not be available.
Our team will be sure to keep you updated before you arrive on property, but if you have any questions about particular activities or our third party partners, please do reach out to our lovely reservations team who will be happy to help.
How long will these measures be in place?
We can't put a date on that as it very much depends on local South African government advice, but we will continue to review all of our measures and ensure they remain in line with local law whilst keeping both our guests and staff safe.
Can I hire the entire Safari Lodge exclusively?
The simple answer is yes! Safari Lodge has ten rooms and suites and can be booked exclusively, meaning you’ll have the whole place to yourself. Or, if you have a smaller group you can still enjoy exclusivity by booking a up to seven rooms, accommodating up to 14 adults. To enquire just contact us
I have a large group over of more than 14 guests, am I able to hire both Rock and Safari Lodge exclusively?
Yes, absolutely! Although we are only opening Safari Lodge for the moment, this may well change as government policies change and we will certainly be more than happy to chat further with you about opening up Rock Lodge too for larger group stays for you to enjoy both lodges with your guests exclusively. This is particularly popular for birthday celebrations and larger family gatheringstoo and we are known to manage these special events exceptionally well, if we do say so ourselves!
Can I still get married at Ulusaba?
We always have a special connection with those who choose to get married with us at Ulusaba so quite simply the answer is yes and the pleasure would be all ours. This of course will need to take into consideration both the current South African guidelines and the availability of and measures in place for ministers to conduct the ceremony, but we would be honoured to be your venue of choice and we would of course ensure you have some very special guests (aka as The Big Five!) as part of your wedding celebrations.
What happens to my luggage?
Your luggage will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised at every single touchpoint upon arrival and departure, so that’s one less thing for you to worry about.
How will game drives work?
There will be a limit to the number of guests sharing a vehicle for game drives, to ensure social distancing - currently this is set to four guests per vehicle. Of course, if you are part of a group then you will still be able to have up to six guests in one vehicle. Vehicles will be thoroughly cleaned before and after each use, including all equipment we carry on the vehicles i.e. binoculars and the wildlife reference books for guests to use, and we will have hand sanitiser on board for our guests’ convenience too. As an additional measure, guests will also be allocated the same game drive vehicle for the duration of their stay, wherever possible.
Can I still hire a game drive vehicle exclusively?
Yes, absolutely. You can still hire your own private vehicle exclusively for your party, subject to availability. Please do speak with our friendly reservations team directly who can organise this for you.
What if I don't want housekeeping?
That's completely fine! We will be limiting housekeeping services, but should you wish not to have housekeeping during your stay just let us know and we'll ensure our team are aware.
Will the pool and gym be open?
While it may not be optimum pool weather just yet in South Africa, our stunning outside unheated pool, surrounded by 360-degree views will still be available – ready for the hardier swimmers. Loungers will be readily available and spaced out to observe social distancing rules and will be thoroughly sanitised after each use. Our gym will remain closed for now, but there are plenty of other activities on offer, guaranteed to get the heart rate up!
Is babysitting still available at the Lodge?
As much as we love to look after your little ones and allow you some “me” time in our beautiful surrounds, sadly social distancing restrictions around COVID-19 at this time do not allow us to look after your children in the safest way possible. We will of course continue to monitor this and as soon as restrictions lift and we are able to safely do so, we will be delighted to re-introduce this service.
Will you still be offering community tours ?
While our local community visits play an incredibly important part of the role we play at Ulusaba, keeping the community members, our guests and our team safe is our number one priority. With this in mind, we are currently not offering any local community visits but we hope to resume these as soon as it is safe to do so and will do our very best to keep you updated on this.
What are the procedures for any of your suppliers coming to the Lodge?
All of our suppliers and third-party contractors are fully briefed before they even set foot inside the Lodge and are required to follow the exact same guidelines and measures as our own Ulusaba team. The wellbeing of our guests and staff remains our number one priority, so we will never compromise on the rigorous measures we have in place for whomever visits us.
Where can I find out more about local regulations?
For more information on local regulations and travel guidelines from your destination, we recommend visiting the official website for the South African Government.
It's our number one priority that everyone feels safe, well and happy when they're with us. We are working with pandemic experts Pandefense to advise our response to COVID-19, and Virgin companies globally are implementing wide-ranging safety initiatives so you can travel, play, stay well.
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