Rafiki Safari Lodge
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
With a name that means “friend” in Swahili, the Rafiki Safari Lounge can provide the ideal getaway vacation away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. This exquisite lodge overlooks the lush beauty of the Los Quetzales National Park in Costa Rica, and the expanse of the Pacific Ocean is only a short drive away. With activities ranging from horseback riding to rainforest exploration, it’d be hard to be bored in this jungle paradise.
Owned by the Boshoff Family since 1999, the Rafiki Safari Lodge is located about ten miles (16 km) from the Coastal Highway near Santo Domingo. It borders the Los Quetzales National Park, and the Rio Savegre river flows nearby. Hundreds of acres of pristine rainforest surround the lodge.
- Swimming pool
- Jungle water slide for the kids (and adventurous adults)
- Hot tub for ultimate relaxation
- South African/Costa Rican fusion restaurant and bar
The lodge has 10 rooms available. Each room consists of a luxury safari tent with a hardwood base. These high-quality South African tents include bathrooms, ceiling fans and patios. Sitting in the middle of the rainforest, these hotel rooms have plenty of windows. It’ll feel like camping, but with all the amenities of modern living and none of the downsides of “roughing it”. They’re even powered by an ecologically friendly hydroelectric generator owned by the resort. The rooms don’t vary by too much, but the lodge does have a few that stand out from the rest:
- Lakeview Tent Rooms: These units have both a view of the lake and the valley at the lodge. Those looking for the best view at the resort – and perhaps a romantic sunset experience in the jungle – will be especially fond of this room.
- Bunk Bed Room: Closer to the ground, this room is equipped with a bunk bed. It can host up to five people, which is ideal for family accommodations.
- Small Pool Room: The biggest room of the bunch, this one has a small pool. It’s touted as being the most private as well, giving its occupants the ability to make the most of the night.
- Double and single beds
- Spacious, tiled bathroom
- Hot water
- Lights and outlets with hydroelectric power
- Private patio with rocking chairs and coffee table
- Anti-insect tent designs
The lodge prides itself on its South African-style cuisine, and there will be no shortage of good eats during a stay here. At the center of the resort, “The Rancho” features a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ingredients are locally sourced and combined with South African recipes, giving it an exotic taste unlikely to be found anywhere else. For those wishing to heartily indulge in brews and tropical-tasting drinks, “The Lekker Bar” whips up all manner of concoctions for guests. Typical eating arrangements include:
- Breakfast: The lodge serves coffee and tea at six in the morning, with breakfast beginning at seven. Traditional breakfast options are offered, with fruit being a noted staple.
- Lunch: Options will vary on lunch, and in a good way; “a la carte” offerings are provided and the lodge features an ongoing daily special.
- Dinner: Touted as the epitome of the lodge’s dining experience, dinner is where everyone winds down and indulges in a meal that includes salad or soup, varying meats or vegetarian entrees, and dessert. This is the meal where meat-eating guests can enjoy the lodge’s specialty, which is “braai” – South African barbeque.
Nearby Things to Do
The expanse of the Rafiki Safari Lodge’s acreage, and its location in the middle of the lush Costa Rican rainforest, means that there’s quite a lot of activities. There are numerous paths that snake through the jungle, and the close proximity of the Savegre River offers some exciting opportunities as well. During a stay here, guests can partake in the following activities:
- Whitewater rafting
- Hiking (includes a journey across a hanging bridge)
- Jungle horseback riding
- Waterfall trip
- Wildlife observation with local biologists
- Visit the old Spanish architecture of Santo Domingo
- Visit Playa Sevegre and see the Pacific Ocean
- Visit Rafiki Beach Camp