We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“No element short of excellent”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Everything about Hillsnek is superb. The main lodge, the tents, the staff, the food, the game. The decor is quietly relaxing during the day and then is transformed in the evening by the lamps into a very atmospheric stunning place to return to from the evening game drive. We loved every minute and could not recommend it more highly.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Habyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bushbaby99, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2014

Thank you for an excellent review on Tripadvisor and for your valuable time.

We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time spent with us and found the whole experience superb. We really enjoyed your comment in regards to the transformation of the lodge at night... many of our guests are in awe upon returning back from afternoon game drive.

Thank you again and your kind recommendations are heart-felt!

Kind regards
Chantelle and the HillsNek Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (392)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

208 - 214 of 392 reviews

Reviewed 15 February 2014

With only a maximum of six guests the service is of course excellent. More food than you could eat and more wine than you could drink. Tented rooms are comfortable with all mod cons and wonderful views across the reserve. The rangers are very experienced but still convey excitement when spotting game which does require some tracking down. Vehicles are completely open top which makes it feel more authentic but in the blistering heat of day one and heavy rain of day two we felt a little challenged ! My wife has limited mobility but this was not a problem.

Room Tip: All are superb
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ItsAllOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bushbaby99, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review us on Tripadvisor and for the excellent review.

Our small and intimate camp allows for personalized service and we are thrilled that you experienced and noted this aspect. A safari is of course not complete without good food and wine and our talented chefs take that responsibility very seriously.

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your game drives, and have noted your comment regarding the open tops. As a team, we prefer open tops on our game viewers for a number of reasons - firstly, the experience is definitely more authentic, and secondly, there are no poles from the roof to obstruct your view. The poles often get in the way of taking photographs as well and the roof itself can cast unwanted shadows. The majority of our guests prefer the open tops, but we certainly understand how the heat and the rain could have been challenging for you both. We do provide rain ponchos for inclement weather, and have a selection of caps in our curio store for guests who may have forgotten headwear.

Thank you again for your kind review, and we wish you a wonderful 2014.

Kind regards
Chantelle and the HillsNek Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

What can i say - just had 3 days at Hillsnek Safaris, Amakhala utterly brilliant 10 out of 10 for everything. The customer service was superb, accommodation just what you would want - the right balance between feeling like you are in a tent in Africa and lovely comfort. The food was beyond excellent cooked to perfection the moment you arrived back from the game drive. Ostrich, Kudo and Springbok - all a first for me ! The outside shower was great fun! Our ranger Warren was fantastic, very knowledgeable and never seemed to tire of answering our questions. He made all 6 of our drives fun and a great learning experience. The animals were of course the true stars truly magnificent. Big thanks to Justin who rescued me when Africa got a bit to up close and personal when a snake found its way to my tent ! Justin dutifully removed said snake and supplied Gin & tonic remedy :) Nothing was too much trouble for this brilliant team. HillsNek is small catering for just 3 tents making it just perfect. And what these guys do for conservation is to be applauded. If anyone is looking for the best safari experience this is the place to go. I have come home inspired by Warren to do more to help protect our majestic wild animals from the ignorance of man.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kay A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bushbaby99, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2014

Wow!! Thank you for an incredible review and for honoring us with a 10 out of 10 score! We are always blown away when guests have such an amazing time at HillsNek, and shower us with accolades such as these.

Thank you for taking the time to detail the wonderful variety of cuisine you enjoyed, the timeless outdoor shower, and of course, our wonderful team of staff. We believe that this element is what makes a property truly memorable... its people.

We are also glad to hear that you have left inspired and motivated by our conservation efforts. All our team plays an integral part in our conservation projects, and volunteer of their time whenever they can. We are a small but passionate team of players who believe that any journey to Africa should come with some sense of enlightenment in regards to environment and conservation. We hope you keep the spirit of conservation close to your heart, and thank you for taking a genuine interest. Come back and visit again soon!

Kind regards,
Brent, Chantelle and the HillsNek Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

We had 3 nights at Hillsnek and I would recommend this number of nights to ensure you get a chance to see a good number of game as some of them can be elusive. As other reviewers have remarked the food is exceptional. I do not think I have ever been anywhere where it is as consistently good. It is clear that the staff go to great lengths to ensure everything is freshly prepared from scratch. The game drives take place early morning when you are gently woken with a beverage of your choice at 5.30. The drives can last from 3 to 5 hours depending on circumstances. Then the next drive is around 3.30 just after the most delicious high tea you've ever tasted.What can I say about the rangers? Well, there are just not enough superlatives to describe them..David who took us on our first few drives was extremely knowledgeable about just everything, helpful, cracked many corny but funny jokes and was a great guy. Then there was Warren, the lodge manager. He was an absolute treasure regaling us with many hilarious tails and educating us on the wildlife. He made sure our every need was taken care of. The tents are beautifully and luxuriously appointed with stunning views over the plains. We had some extreme weather during our stay starting off with 42 degree heat followed by a torrential thunderstorm that evening where 75mm of rain fell within 40 minutes flooding the lodge which was badly affected and us guests all joining in to help bale out. What an adventure! When we all appeared the next morning you could hardly notice anything amiss. Everyone had worked so hard late into the night to clear up. That is the kind of team work at Hillsnek. We loved it there and cannot wait to return some time in the future. Thanks to everyone for making our first safari experience one of the best times of our lives. We will never forget the female lion resting on the track behind our jeep nor the two male elephants having a tussle right in front of us.. Magical place and highly recommended.

Room Tip: All the rooms (tents) are superbly located though the one on the left, I think No 1 is nearer the ro...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LeedsBuster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chantelle C, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 13 February 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed and extensive review on HillsNek. We really appreciate the time and effort involved.

I think first and foremost, we would like to extend a HUGE thank you for doing your part during the recent torrent of rain we experienced. Our team recorded a whopping 70mm of rain in under an hour!! The heavens certainly opened up and 'showered' us well! As owners Brent and myself cannot agree more that we have a truly amazing team of staff at the lodge. From manager to ranger, to chefs and housekeepers, they all pull together and display incredible team work at all times. You witnessed this yourself and have poignantly shared it. Thank you for the recognition! And thank you again for your help that night. You and our other in-house guests were all amazing.

Your first safari was indeed an adventure.... in true African style. Unpredictable nature can yield some amazing and memorable moments. We hope to welcome you back one day at HillsNek.

All the best
Chantelle and Brent

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2014 via mobile

This camp has only 3 tents, meaning only 6 guests at any one time, it is very personal and you meet interesting people and you can really enjoy the company. The tents are very comfortable although it is not air conditioned. During summer, the weather is very cooling at night and in the morning so not a problem, but it will get a little warm in the afternoon, but we were so busy chatting and laughing, the hot weather didn't bother us very much.
This was our 1st safari trip and we didn't know what to expect, but it turn out to be such a wonderful experience doing the game drive and no words or photo can do justice.
David is the best guide I have met, he is very passionate about his work and he love to share, he makes our safari drive very interesting and we all love him! It was difficult to bid goodbye as we have made friends with the other guest and we regret not planning early and book more nights there...

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Miaw G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chantelle C, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 6 February 2014

Dear Miaw G,

Thank you for taking the time to review us on Tripadvisor.... already!!!

We really appreciate the effort and kind words. HillsNek prides itself on being a small camp, that indeed does allow for more personalized attention and service. Our guests get to interact on a different level, and most leave the lodge as friends, exchanging email addresses and photos.

We are thrilled that you enjoyed your time spent with us... although it was too short I do agree. We hope to welcome you back again in the near future for a longer stay.

Thank you again, and we have passed your kind words along to David who is beaming!

All the best and enjoy the remainder of your 1st holiday in South Africa.

Kind regards
Chantelle and the HillsNek Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2014

Thank you to the wonderful staff (and animals) at Hillsnek who created an experience which we will never forget. From the standard of accommodation (that outdoor shower...if I could have fit it in my bag it would have come home with me) to the generosity of the hosts (special thanks to Warren, David and Duncan) and the amazing animals, it was the most memorable 3 day break we have ever had. The food was exceptional, the attention to detail was brilliant and the feeling that this was something special stayed with us well after the holiday ended. The safaris were certainly the highlight of our trip - we spent 8 hours a day watching animals, looking for animals and taking over 1000 pictures of animals (still sorting through them!). David was a great host - with a good mix of educational facts and....umm....humour. It was also made fantastic by the rules the reserve has in place about not having too many vehicles at an animal sighting which makes the experience even more thrilling. We saw cheetah, lions, rhinos, elephants (my favourite after this trip), giraffe, zebra and many many more. I highly recommend this place to couples who want a very special holiday.

Room Tip: All three tents are amazing I suspect. I loved ours. We would see rhinos when we woke up.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank katecameback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chantelle C, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 6 February 2014

Thank you for your time and excellent Tripadvisor review. We are truly very grateful!

We are most happy that you enjoyed the outdoor bush shower... it really is a true African experience when you can shower under the stars at night and gaze at wild animals on the plains during the day.

As for our staff, thank you for noting their great sense of humour! We are blessed with a fantastic team of employees who really are passionate and proud of what they do. Thank you for taking the time on commending them. It means so much.

Aaah... waking to the sight of rhinos on the plains is such a privilege! It is fantastic that you got to enjoy that sighting from the comfort of your private tent. A special moment indeed.

Thank you again for your time in reviewing us and we wish you all the best for 2014.
Come back and visit please!

Kind regards
Chantelle and the HillsNek Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2014

We have recently spent two nights at the unforgettable HillsNek in the Amakhala reserve. We have stayed in many different lodges and they all have magical qualities of their own. But, it is worth mentioning that HillsNek only have 3 tents so the attention to detail is very obvious and the experience is very intimate. All the staff need to be commended on their excellent service, particularly Justin and David. They both went out of their way to keep us all happy, and David's knowledge and "cheesy " jokes made for very enjoyable game drives and still has us laughing 3 days later! Loved the lodge, tents and especially the food!!! Well done , HillsNek team...this is a great experience for South African locals and foreigners...we shall be sending friends your way!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Nat S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chantelle C, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded 8 February 2014

Thank you for your time in reviewing us on Tripadvisor and for the excellent review.

We are needless to say, honoured to be described with words like "heavenly" and "unforgettable". What a compliment! Thank you very, very much.

Thank you for taking the time to highlight our fantastic team of staff, their attention to detail, level of service and even their sense of humour!

We would gladly welcome your friends and family at HillsNek!

Thank you again and all the best for 2014.

Kind regards
Brent, Chantelle and the HillsNek Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Amakhala Game Reserve
10.2 mi away
Kichaka Luxury Game Lodge
Kichaka Luxury Game Lodge
#1 of 4 in Grahamstown
366 reviews
3.8 mi away
Hlosi Game Lodge
Hlosi Game Lodge
#3 of 8 in Amakhala Game Reserve
372 reviews
2.3 mi away
Bukela Game Lodge
Bukela Game Lodge
#6 of 8 in Amakhala Game Reserve
247 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
8.1 mi away
Amakhala Safari Lodge
Amakhala Safari Lodge
#5 of 8 in Amakhala Game Reserve
250 reviews
8.3 mi away
Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
Shamwari Game Reserve Lodges
#1 of 4 in Shamwari Game Reserve
1,132 reviews
16.9 mi away
Pumba Private Game Reserve
Pumba Private Game Reserve
#1 of 33 in Grahamstown
1,325 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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 8 Speciality Lodging in Amakhala Game Reserve
Price Range: £435 - £727 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, Hotels.com and Ebookers so you can book your HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing