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HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 April 2014

We stayed for two days here with friends and the total experience was really super! The unique element is that it is so small scale, only three tents. You feel at home right from the start. Host Warren welcomes you when you return from the safari and both rangers (David and Justin) were excellent. The staff is also very friendly and the food was excellent too. This was not our first visit to a game reserve but certainly the best.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank JanB367
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 18 June 2014

Thank you for taking the time out to write this wonderful review.

We are so glad you enjoyed your stay with us, we are a small camp and strive to make your time here personal and special.

We hope you will return one day to enjoy another safari with us here at HillsNek!

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186 - 192 of 379 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2014

Visited: 01/22/14 – 01/24/14
Family: 2 adults, 3 children 3,4,8
Experience: From start to finish incredible 5 stars experience in an ultra-private game reserve.
Staff: Warren, Justin, Donald, Anita and all the staff at Hillsnek were 24/7 ready, professional, super-friendly, kind and focused on giving us an unique experience. Each of them gave a 110% and that really made all the difference, moreover when traveling with 3 children. They were our friends BUT they always kept focus on every detail and necessities during our stay.
Food: Menu was really unique combining kiddies menues, with exquisite international and local meats and ingredients. All-inclusive option was superb. Food was prepared by Cheff-level staff with fresh ingredients. In addition, at your luxury tent you have always cold drinks ranging from Coke to Vodka.
Game routine: every day early in the morning (around 6 am – 7 am) Warren, an experienced ranger drove us through different areas with a huge Toyota Land Cruiser, finding different animals, vegetation and habitats and gave us a very deep understanding of the geography and animals dynamic without being too scientific or boring. In fact, he was really friendly with our 3 kids and they felt they had a new friend but they also learned from his comments on different animals we found during our stay.
We even searched for big 5 animals at night, using reflector which was a great “night” adventure for us and our children. They keep talking to their friends about the experience at Hillsnek and they will never forget this unique eco-adventure.
Lodging
Infraestructure: Luxury tents were very well equipped, ultraclean, safe and really private. Each tent was relly isolated from the others, so you have 100% privacy al the time.
Hints: Talk to kids about Southafrica, it’s prehistoric origin, their people’s origins (African, England, etc) . Show them videos about how are the kids in SouthAfrica, respect for animals and different humans.
Clothing: layers and do not forget a hat with chin strap!, sunscreen 30/50(NO MOSQUITOES in February)

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Max M
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 18 June 2014

What an amazing review, thank you so much for taking the time out to write this on Tripadvisor.

It is wonderful to hear that as a family you had such a memorable experience. I am certain your children will remember their African experience for many years to come, especially getting to look for the animals at night!

We do have a wonderful team, and they all take pride in what they do. This review will certainly brighten up their day!

Come back soon!

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Reviewed 3 April 2014

A very special and unique way to enjoy Africa´s wildlife and nature. The luxury tent was gorgeous and the staff very friendly and always helpful. The reception after our game drives when we were welcomed with hot/cold towels and the dinner table was already set as well as the welcome drinks around the fire place was just wonderful. We have enjoyed every minute!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Petra C
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 28 June 2014

A big thank you for taking the time to review HillsNek on tripadvisor.

A private game reserve is definitely a unique way to do safari, it offers guests intimate time with the wildlife as well as exclusivity at all levels.

There is something so special about sipping on a drink while standing around a roaring fire, we are so glad enjoyed that experience with us.

We hope to see you again one day.

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Reviewed 22 March 2014

Hillsnek was our first safari experience and will be hard to beat. The location is beautiful, our 'tent' was private and secluded with stunning views across the veldt. Our experience began the moment we were collected by our ranger Justin, who was knowledgeable and passionate about the animals and their environment. Nothing was ever too much trouble for our generous host Warren and his staff. Our game drives were just fantastic, we learned so much from Justin and his enthusiasm was catching. All our meals were delicious and our room was very comfortable indeed. We cannot recommend Hillsnek highly enough, and we were very sad to leave this special place.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Gavinl2
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 28 June 2014

Thank you very much for your wonderful review on Tripadvisor.

As a team we are honored to have made your first safari experience such a memorable one.

Justin is indeed a passionate ranger, he makes sure all our guests have the best possible experience. His love for the environment is contagious and we are so glad to enjoyed your time with him in the bush.

Come back soon!

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Reviewed 17 March 2014

Every aspect of our 3 day trip was first rate from a stunning setting to brilliant wildlife sightings. The thing that made it so special though were the people. The staff who prepared absolutely wonderful food and attended our every need were so friendly and pleasant while Justin who generally met us as our drive came in was the perfect host with both his knowledge and attention to selecting the right wine! However it was David our ranger that made our trip the experience of a lifetime. While some of his jokes were questionable, his passion for the wildlife and the environment was not, and his ability to locate the animals and create truelly memorable moments were the true highlights. It was an absolute privilege to spend time with him and we were lucky enough to have 2 drives as the only passengers. John and Chris, March 7-10th

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank 609Christine
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 11 July 2014

Dear John & Chris

Thank you so much for your wonderful review on Tripadvisor, it means a great deal to us that your time here was so special.

David is indeed an excellent guide, his passion for the bush is awe inspiring and his sense of humour ever entertaining!
We have a wonderful team that are all dedicated and passionate about our lodge and your comments are appreciated by all.

Come back soon!

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Reviewed 13 March 2014

1st safari ever and booked for 2 nights from 5th march. Only 3 luxury tents and they don't feel like tents. The outdoor shower was hilarious not having used one before and as it got up to 42 degrees on day 2, it was well used. I was worried about the early starts but I was awake before the delivery of tea as the scenery was just magnificent from our balcony! Our ranger was warren and we Used an open top land rover which was superb to see the scenery and to sit in the sun, preferred it over those vehicles with roofs. What warren doesn't know u could write on a cigarette packet and on the first drive we had seen cheetah and lion, my favourites, I got the impression from the radio that warren was top dog, whether end I'm reading too much into that I don't know. He had a very good rapour with the other rangers but it appeared most of the animals were down our end of the camp. The lions were on the road leading to our camp on the first nite on our return to dinner,! The food is scrummy, u do take pot luck with who u are staying with and your ranger joins u for dinner! I particularly loved the stops on each game drive when the checked cloth came out laid over the bonnet at a beautiful spot where u had tea and muffins in the morning and drinks in the evening! Vodka and tonic with a beautiful quiet view watching the sun go down! Lovely,! Seriously it does all go too fast and if u are considering going 3 nites is a must! If u want small and attentive this is a must! It is a week later, I'm back in the U.K. but at least the sun is shinning as I sit drinking a glass of wine wiv my cat at my feet, he's no cheetah though! Would definitively return, go for it! Shirley and Jean.

Room Tip: There is only 3 so don't worry!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Cully195
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We stayed 4 nights at Hillsnek and from the moment we were picked up from our car to the moment we were taken back it was superb.All aspects of the stay were fantastic.The "tents" were excellent and the outside shower was a unique experience.What was so nice was the fact that there are only 3 tents and that they are not on top of one another,spaced out just right.The lodge itself complete with sitting area,pool and bar was where you met up prior to your game drives. The game drives lasted a good 3-4 hours and our ranger Justin was just brilliant,the enthusiasm and passion he showed was amazing.
His knowledge of the animals was first class and he went out of his way to ensure everyone had a great time.We saw plenty of animals and Justin always tried to ensure we had the best opportunity for good photo shots.Another excellent thing on the drives was the practice of not allowing more than 2 vehicles at a time by the animals,if other vehicles were in the area they had to wait a good distance away until you moved on.Drinks and light snacks on both morning and evening game drives are provided and the places Justin stops at for these "Pit Stops"were stunning.
When we returned from the drives we were always welcomed back with a smile and a refreshing towel before freshening up prior to our meal.The food was fantastic with a good choice ranging from freshly baked muffins prior to the game drive through to stunning ostrich steak at night.Delicious!!!
The "Hillsnek Team" have got it perfect,yes the accommodation and game drives were brilliant but they have also got the little things right.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank rsbron
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

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: £449 - £700 (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 
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