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“One of the most beautiful places we have seen!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve

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HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One of the most beautiful places we have seen!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2013

We stayed at HillsNek Safari Lodge for the last two days of our amazing trip to South Africa, and we could not have gotten a better end to our journey. The service was incredible, the food was amazing and our room was perfect. We warmly recommend a stay at HillsNek to all couples traveling in South Africa, the setting of HillsNek Safari Lodge is breathtaking.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Romina_and_Rickard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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337 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2013

I stayed at HillsNek mid Feb, after my husband organised a Safari for our Honeymoon.
Not my first honeymoon destination choice, however once arriving at HillsNek, I was pleasantly surprised. The beauty of our surroundings and the accommodation of HillsNek was amazing.
We were greeted by a very friendly Warren who took us to HillsNek and calmed my nerves right away.

The lodges were clean and neat with amazing views. Service was top class with delicious meals made by the lovely Chef, Emma and assisted by the very quiet but friendly, Donald - you will not leave this place hungry!

On our first night, we were even surprised to find our lodge lit up by candle light, rose petals and chocolates - with a little card wishing us well on our honeymoon - very nice touch!

James was our ranger, who provided us with endless knowledge - and also showed us the "Big 5" - what more could we want!

Unfortunatley HillsNek was booked out for the third night we were after, so we had to move to Safari Lodge - although much larger, Safari Lodge is nowhere near the standard of HillsNek.
Even on the day we were departing HillsNek, we were unable to get into our room at Safari Lodge, Warren was kind enough to keep us busy taking us to the 'Born Free' reserve, before making sure we were checked into our new lodge with no hassels.

Do not hesitate in booking HillsNek - it provided me with the comfort and once-in-a-lifetime experience, I never thought I would have on a safari.

Thank You HillsNek!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank e_qoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2013 via mobile

We felt like we were living in our own private mansion! Staff were extremely hospital and friendly! Rooms were very clean, the food was delicious and fresh!! The ranger was friendly and very knowledgable about wild life! The view from lodge was just awesome! And the whole experience was breathtaking :) high recommended!!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kabbani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2013

From the moment we were picked up and transported to the lodge - we fell in love with Hillsnek. Like many other customers we are well travelled and have stayed in lots of different places around the world, and been to South Africa many times - but never have we been anywhere that captivated us like this.
Everything about it is special - there is certainly something in the air here!
The staff are dedicated, knowledgable and professional and nothing is too much trouble, the tents (if you can call them that) are luxurious, the views spectacular, the food and drinks first class and thats before I start on the landscape and wildlife, which have left such an impression on us.

Meeting a Bull Elephant on the track late at night as we returned to the lodge, Cheetahs at sunrise, searching for Lions in the undergrowth, a Mother Rhino and her Calf, hundreds of baby Warthogs (which we nicknamed Wartlets!) incredible starry skies and sundowners with Trevor and the rest of our fantastic group, are just a few of the memories that will stay with us forever.

Don't even think about booking anywhere else, there are only 3 tents, so this means you get a truly personalised service.
We cried as we left on the Land Rover - a Meercat popped its head up and seemed to wish us a fond farewell (like I say there is something in the air here).
Everyone should experience Hillsnek at least once in their lives - but we will be experiencing it second time - as we plan our next trip!!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CatDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hochheim am Main, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2013

We've stayed in South Africa for 15 days and stayed in different places for about 2 days. My daughter (6 years), my husband and I were so amazed by the beauty of the lodge and the unbeatable kindness of the staff. Tamsin was so lovely taking care about every tiny wish we had, Trevor was the best guide we've ever been on tour with and James shared his last cigarettes with us (thanks again for that!!!). The tents are definitively 5 stars, the food ( I will never forget the freshly baked bread) is brilliant and wildlife is thrilling with having such an experienced guide like Trevor. Feeling at home on vacation is very seldom and they were simply said better than home! We three are still remembering Hillsnek and we will for sure come back. As I'm writing that, my eyes get wet and I would love to get back right now. I send Hillsnek my warmest regards and see you soon guys!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tessa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2013

We stayed for four nights and our only complaint is that four days was not long enough, we have been fortunate enough to have stayed in many fine establishments throughout the world, Hillsnek does rank right there at the top, it was not only the camp that makes this place special but the staff as well, Trevor our ranger was just amazing,how does one person retain so much detailed knowledge, Tamzin the camp "boss" is just the most caring host, there was nothing that was too much trouble, the "tent" was luxury, and the outside shower is the most romantic shower I have have ever had, under the heat of the African sun with sunbirds cheaping, little lizzards stealing a drink of shower water and bush bucks skitting by trying not to be seen what a way to shower, all the little touches of the camp make this a place to re visit and soon, I could go on for pages and ages, but I will not, just to say there are so many place's in the world to see, one should not go back to the same place again but to experience new ventures, My wife and I will return to Hillsnek,

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berwick-upon-Tweed, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2013

Its difficult to find new words to express how amazing this place is after such a lot of detailed feedback here. Having travelled to many places in the world and stayed in all sorts of accommodation I have to say this was truly one of the best!

Its a decadent experience and quite an eye opener to have a nature/luxury combination. (Usually nature involves a bit of suffering...having to trek to a toilet block, climbing a mountain for a view etc). I felt pampered but not in the formal 5 star hotel manner, more like I'd gone to stay with some close friends who really cared I had a good time.

The tents are contemporary and fab with loads of privacy and space to chill. I wish I could have that bath and view at home with me. The main lodge is tastefully decorated and a great place to share the days experiences and laugh over a meal/drinks with your fellow guests.

But the bottom line is that what really matters is where Hillsnek excels – the staff.

We were met at the gate by the lovely James, our ranger, who welcomed us with a huge friendly smile and an insistence that we didn't lift our own luggage. On arrival at the lodge we were met by Chantelle and the team offering drinks, nibbles and cool flannels to help us settle in. Chantelle explained the pattern of each day and how the game drives work so we knew exactly what to expect. That sounds basic but for a couple of people who spend life planning having this all done for us was incredibly reassuring and helped us relax. The personal wake up call should be recorded and sold to download onto smartphones, it was so gentle (and accompanied by a flask of fresh coffee)! I'm so sorry I have forgotten the names of the lovely ladies who did this......they were like magic fairies in the background, tidying and making our space clean. Emma and Donald, the chefs, produced great quality food that was beautifully presented and the wine flowed. I loved the high tea and the best G&T ever for our first sundowner on the reserve.

Of course, the game drives were the main attraction here and they were way better than I expected. We got close encounters with rhinos, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, the many varieties of antelopes, zebras and the funny little warthogs that kept me giggling for days. I am still giggling actually. James was knowledgeable and had an enthusiasm for his job that was refreshing in this jaded world. He made a mean G&T (oh, I think I repeated that, but it was gooooood!) and could reverse up those tracks pretty damn fast if necessary. How he spotted that tiny fluffy mane of the lion I will never know. (By the way James, if you're reading, we discovered that phrase 'I'm a gnu' was a 1970's TV advert for tea, we weren't going mad!)

We were so tuned into the game drives after we left we spent the following 2 days of of our holiday scouring the countryside for animals as we drove.....only to remind ourselves that we had left.
I didn't want to leave. I want to be there now as I write this. I honestly don't usually get this attached to places. If you've got to this point in this rather long review then have no doubts, book up now, its a little slice of heaven that everyone should experience!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kath A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve

Property: HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve
Address: N2 | Greater Addo, Eastern Cape, Amakhala Game Reserve 6011, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Amakhala Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Amakhala Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HillsNek Safaris is an intimate, luxury tented camp positioned on the banks of the Bushmans River. Situated in a tucked away corner of the Amakhala Big 5 Game Reserve, the lodge is 70km's from Port Elizabeth in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. An abundant variety of wildlife includes lion,rhino, elephant, giraffe, cheetah, buffalo, zebra and a myriad of plains game. The stone, canvas and thatched main lodge is at the heart of the camp, with four private safari tents elevated on wooden decks that enhance the spectacular views of surrounding plains and bush. All tents have panoramic views of the African plains, and game viewing can often be enjoyed from the comfort of your bed. Personalized service and outstanding hospitality is the hallmark of every stay. ... more   less 
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