Rafiki Safari Lodge At a Glance
Name: Rafiki Safari Lodge
Price: $295 a night - includes all meals
- Over 800 Acres of Land
- 11 tents with room for up to 5
- High speed slide
- Restaurant onsite
- Excursions onsite: including horseback riding, bird watching & white water rafting
- Spa Service available
- Hiking Trails (with waterfalls!)
- A Beach Camp is also available
Best tip: The sunsets from the main lodge are spectacular, but watch out, immediately after the bats come out and will fly very close to your head!
Stay here if…
…you are vacationing as a family
…you want a “glamping” experience
…you like to be close to nature
Driving to Rafiki Safari Lodge
Arriving is fun...and by fun I mean I hope you enjoy rough rides. From route 34 you will turn off into a dirt road for a long 16 km. The drive will take between 30-45 minutes. The good news is you can access this road (all the way to the lodge) with a standard car during the dry season. I did not have a 4x4 or 4 wheel drive and I got to Rafiki just fine. Although the road is pretty straightforward and probably impossible to get lost on, there are many signs along the way to assure you that you are on the right path and give you an update on how many km you have left. My favorite sign was towards the end: "the bad road ends" with the next sign saying "the good times begin".
Checking into Rafiki Safari Lodge
Your first impression of the lodge is straight awe. The 16 km dirt road brings you to a wonderful oasis in the middle of the jungle. The grounds are beautifully kept with local foliage everywhere. In the center, set up on the hill, is the main lodge where you will check in and receive a nice welcome drink. Flash will most likely greet you. He is a friendly and gentle dog that loves to have his ears scratched.
The Rooms at Rafiki Safari Lodge
The entire lodge only has room for 35 people spread out in 11 tents. My tent had a queen and a twin bed but other rooms had bunk beds and are more family style. Each tent gives you a full “glamping” experience. A beautiful deck looks out into the forest with rocking chairs to enjoy the view. The main room is a huge tent with full nice beds and outlets to charge phones and other devices. Two fans are also equipped in each room and I had no trouble sleeping without A/C. The tents back up into a full bathroom that is built into the land with a wonderful (and large) shower. I had no problem with water pressure or hot water.
Wifi at Rafiki Safari Lodge
Wifi at Rafiki Safari Lodge is only available in the main lodge. A few of the tents closest to the lodge may receive wifi service but I am not sure.
Extra Touches at Rafiki Safari Lodge
Rafiki has books and pamphlets of the various birds and other wildlife you see on the trails and from the lodge. There is also a spoting scope on the deck at all times.
Dining at Rafiki Safari Lodge
Coffee is set out around 6 AM and breakfast is served starting at 7 AM but is available all morning if you are a late riser. The same is true for lunch. There is a set lunch menu with a variety of sandwiches, salads and lighter appetizer options. There is also an in-between menu from 3pm-7pm with wings, salsa, guac, and other things to munch on.
Dinner at Rafiki is done family style at 7 pm. Around noon they will put a clipboard on the bar with 3 offerings for dinner (usually meat, fish, and veggie option). You sign up for whichever meal you would like. Don’t worry if you have specific dietary restrictions, upon check in they will ask you about this and accommodate accordingly.
I absolutely loved dinner at Rafiki Safari Lodge. Everyone begins to gather around 5:30 for sunset and enjoys drinks together while waiting for dinner. It really forced everyone to get to know one another and was a wonderful experience. Dinner each night was served in 3 courses and each course was cooked to perfection! My only complaint was that I wanted more each night because it was so good!
Onsite extras at Rafiki Safari Lodge
Rafiki Safari Lodge has a plethora of extras to choose from including spa treatments, onsite excursions and hiking trails to various parts of their 800 acre property.
My absolute favorite though was the waterslide. You can watch a funny video of me riding the slide below. Let me warn you…it is FAST!! I rode it too many times to count and every time I wasn’t prepared for just how fast it flings you into their pool. The owners joked that it was made for kids so adults "extra momentum" is at your own risk. There is also a Jacuzzi to relax in with wonderful views of the jungle.
The onsite excursions are another great benefit and one of the main reasons this is the best family vacation lodge in Costa Rica. Many guests woke up early for the bird watching tour or spent the early evening on horseback walking through the jungle. The most popular is the white water rafting available on site and was a real hit with everyone who did it.
Final Thoughts for Rafiki Safari Lodge in San Jose Province of Costa Rica
If you want an amazing and adventurous vacation in Costa Rica I would recommend Rafiki Safari Lodge above anything else. The extras onsite are too perfect and the unique camping experience is out of this world. This is also my top spot for family vacations in Costa Rica. Find out more here.
And if you want less jungle and more beach they have a beach camp as well!