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“Worthwhile”

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Protea Simunye Zulu Lodge
Köln
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Worthwhile”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2013

We got an off-season rate of R1, 940 for the double room at Simunye lodge and thought it was really worthwhile. We stayed in a very spacious beehive hut, which had sort of an entrance area, a big comfortable bed and a very big bathroom all made from rocks. Staying here was already an experience. :-)

Simunye lodge is situated in a beautiful valley right at a river. When we got to the reception we rode down on horses into the valley. The ride took about an hour and we enjoyed excellent views over the stunning valley. We liked it so much that we decided on riding back up the next day as well.

In the evening we walked up to the village for a little dance show. Sure, its all not "real" and the kids are brought in from the town but it still gives you a good idea of the local tradition and culture. And it seems like everyone is having a good time. Be careful: They make you join the dancing so make sure you have a good sip ot the Zulu beer which is given out first. ;-) There's another "cultural experience" in the morning where they show you everyday life and you get to throw some spears, which was good fun.

At night we shared a nice dinner with the other 4 guests. Breakfast was also nice. The staff members have been very helpful at all times.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank planetbarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    5
    9
    1
    3
    3
See reviews for
4
13
Solo
0
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Roeselare, Belgium
Level Contributor
305 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2012

The road to the entrance of the Zulu Lodge is bumpy, beware! Certainly when it has been raining the day(s) before.

When you arrive, you get to park your car behind the "fence" and offered the choice to make the trip to the Zulu village on horseback or in the jeep. TAKE EVERYTHING OUT OF YOUR CAR: OUR WINDOW WAS SMASHED FOR A BAG OF CRISPS AND 2 PACKS OF CRACKERS. The trip to the village takes about a half an hour and is bumpy.

After a bumpy horseback ride, we were welcomed at the entrance of the village by our guide Pretty. She showed us our rooms and showed us around the village.
Our rooms are refurbished and fairly clean. The bath, shower and toilet are made of rocks; it's cold waking up like this in the morning. Look at the pictures. Beds are clean and soft.

Dinner: average food and not enough to feed 8 hungry tourists. The buffet consisted of beef stew and chicken drumsticks, rice, peas, butternut and sweet potatoe. When I went the second time to get taste the stew, I had to scrape the pot to get a piece of meat... From the moment you lay down your fork, the waitress takes away your plate... Is this over-service or fear of the guests taking some more food?

When the night falls you get to taste Zulu beer and get a demonstration of Zulu dances. You can join in if you want. Nice atmosphere, but not everybody will enjoy this as much as we did: we were in a group of 8 friends and joined in, although the young girls with naked upper body made us a little bit uncomfortable.

The bar was not ready to host 8 people... we drank 2 beers each and they had to go look for more ... Not 2 bottles of wine of the same brand / year / grape
We were the only 8 people in the place at the time.

Breakfast: fruit from a tin, instant coffee, no bread, only toast, not much choice of meat or cheese. NOK!

After breakfast you get some explanation about the old tribe habits and activities: making of speers, making beer, cooking, throwing speers, clothing, marriage, engagement,... Nice.

There were some workers refurbishing some rooms, so it can only get better, I think. The new bar has to be built, the pool is dirty and not accessible, ... Although I see a lot of possibilities for this place.

Our guide was great, the rest of the village should be following...

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank rattenpakker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Zululand hotels

Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2012

Had high hopes for this experience!!i had looked forward to this for some time!!!
The staff that met us were indifferent and did not offer explanantion of the lodge..we had to do all the asking with one word replies. The room was lovely, quiet and picturesque surroundings.
The zulu show was clearly pantomime..the children were embarrssed and needed encouragement to dance which was awkward. The zulu chief apparantly was unavailable so his son stepped in. He apparantly could not speak english (as traditional zulu) however an hour later he was serving us food in a baseball cap. we travelled a long way and at great expense for a very disapointing experience. As other reviews stated, we unfortunately did not have home made beer (cans of castle and coke) or food.
I would not recommend this lodge.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank sunsearcher50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2011

This is no longer a Protea property; it is owned and operated very well by the community itself. From our five kilometer trip into the valley on horseback -- we could have driven with our luggage had we chosen to -- through our morning with the chief and his wife, the stay was magical. We were accompanied by a guide on horseback and Eric, our interpreter who walked with us and was there throughout our visit. On arrival at the village, we were greeted with a glass of refreshing juice and escorted to our room near the chief's compound. The room was one of those recently added and was clean, attractive and well appointed. We enjoyed a delicious Zulu dinner and afterwards participated in a traditional evening including homemade beer and Zulu dancing. After a full English breakfast we joined the Chief and his wife to learn more about traditions and customs. We recommend this village and experience.

Room Tip: The older, smaller rooms are nearer the guest dining pavilion. We liked our newer room very much.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JWO51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eliot, ME
Level Contributor
73 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2011

We stayed at the lodge while on a tour and for us, it was the high spot of the tour. The staff were exceedingly friendly and helpful and the food excellent in every way. One could not find a more beautiful setting than this. It was a unique experience staying here. The Zulu evening was breathtaking with song and dance and audience participation. The room was very clean though somewhat rustic. Other rooms were extremely rustic - the shower/ tub were made completely out of stone. I had one of the most wonderful massages I've ever had by a lovely Zulu woman. I can't recommend this spot enough. Its beauty is enough to recommend going there.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank tiza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leefdaal
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2011

At the old factory where we left the cars, our Zulu-guide 'Eric' welcomed us with coffee and tea before we got into the valley by horse (the children loved it).We were treated as we were old friends and everything was very spontaneous and pleasant.We joined the evening with the chief , one of his wives and the great dancers.The diner was excellent,and the rooms very charming (we had enough water to take a shower and there was airco , the beds clean and we slept very well).Don't forget that you are in the middle of nowhere !After a perfect breakfast, we spend the whole morning with the Byela-clan visiting the kraal , listening to the chief's war-stories and we had a lot of fun throwing spears , making bread, traveling the land with the oxes, dancing and laughing with them...This is really worth while ..especially with children (ours are 18-16-13-11)we all enjoyed ! Thanks Eric and his Zulu-community

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnnBelgium31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brussels
Level Contributor
105 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2011

We arrived at the meeting point without much hope as you have to do 12 km in a very broken street, but as soon as we got there we discovered we had to go down the valley with two horses. That has been great. Our guide Sipho was so friendly and nice and while riding we could ask all the possible questions. Sipho is 20 something and lives in the nearby village and works in simunye. This has been the first contact with the zulu culture, and has been a great one. Later on we saw Sipho dancing for us with other guys from the fillage. We really appreciated this as we wanted to get the most of our contact with zulu people so it has been great to havve real zulus instead of professional dancers. The food was ok and the rooms were really good, all made of stones. Ok it is not luxury but for being in the middle of nowhere it's the greatest experience and I really don't understand how previous comments could say there were nothing to do. For us the time was really too short, there were places to explore, time to relax, people to talk to, the nature to admire. Great experience!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank valib22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Protea Simunye Zulu Lodge

Property: Protea Simunye Zulu Lodge
Address: 18 km from Melmoth on the D256, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand
Hotel Style:
Ranked #53 of 68 Speciality Lodging in Zululand
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Simunye Zulu Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Protea Simunye Zulu Hotel Zululand

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