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“An oasis in a desert of tourists”

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Hluhluwe Backpackers
Pretoria, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“An oasis in a desert of tourists”
Reviewed 30 January 2013

After a hard day of riding gravel roads across northern natal and zululand in temperatures up to 42 C, the day was coming to an end and I had only reached Hluhluwe and was hot and tired. Accomodation in hluhluwe is aimed largely at upmarket tourists in safari mode wanting luxury and game drives, not bikers who just want a shower, cold beer, their bike parked nearby and to be off early. Nothing much in hluhluwe was suitable so i pressed on and found Dave's place. A piece of paradise! Away from the hordes with clean safari clothes and cameras. Large cold beers, a great meal, and fantastic host and company. I couldnt have wanted more.

I covered all Natal, stayed in far more expensive and posh places, but Dave's backpackers was the best and most memorable by far. The KTM will park her wheels next to that bed again. I would gladly go back with my kids as well. Well worth a stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kradmelder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hluhluwe M, General Manager at Hluhluwe Backpackers, responded to this review, 19 March 2015
Thank you very much for your great review and its always rewarding to see our guests happy. We would love to have you back with your children next time as we are especially children friendly with a kiddies corner and activities such as marshmellow braai and star gazing at night. We have also recently expanded to make our lounge pub area larger and with a pool table. We look forward to having you stay with us again. Best Regards Hluhluwe Backpacker Team
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64 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
Reviewed 14 January 2013

My boyfriend and I decided to go to Hluhluwe for a few days in lieu of the further trek to Kruger. We were told by another backpackers in Durban to try to do the three day tour with the owner. Dave was nothing but courteous and informative. I wouldn't have done a game drive without his expertise, knowing what I know now. The place itself is modest, has a very chill vibe... beautiful ground! His dogs and cat are adorable! All meals were included and awesome!

We were taken to a Rugby Club, a shabeen to play pool, the river cruise in st. lucia, a half-day game drive and some beach time and then a full-day game drive at Hluhluwe which was AMAZING! Dave knows everything and everything about safari. I was thrilled with our trip. My boyfriend and I were travelling for awhile, so this is the perfect option for people on a budget. The place is nice, nothing outrageous, but really fun!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank dkuds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hluhluwe M, General Manager at Hluhluwe Backpackers, responded to this review, 19 March 2015
It was wonderful to have you stay with us and have you enjoy all our area has to offer and especially mixing with the locals at Rugby night! Our venue is in a very peaceful environment away from city and noise with peace and quiet and surrounding hills close to the park. We have now expanded our lounge pub area and have a pool table for our guests to enjoy. Please feel welcome to contact us anytime next time you travel in South Africa. Best Regards Hluhluwe Backpackers Management
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2013

I would definitely NOT recommend HluHluwe Backpackers, after an ATTEMPTED ARMED BREAK IN, filthy bathrooms, no electricity, a poorly equipped kitchen and incompetent staff we didn’t even spend the night there.

Here is what happened:

We arrived at the backpackers in peak season(December) to be the only holiday makers on the property. Our booking was not noted anywhere, even though we had booked well in advance. We were also informed by a less-than-helpful manageress that there is no electricity and upon enquiring when the electricity would be functional there was no real response.

The bathrooms were dark and dingy and there were no torches or candles to help us unpack in the dark. When the power came back on in the evening, the bathrooms turned out to be dark and dingy even with the power on and definitely NOT clean.

There was one VERY SLOW hot plate with two plates to service +/- 20 guests (that had arrived throughout the afternoon) for making dinner and no wood for a fire. A disaster. It was in the summer and all that was on the bed was a double thick blanket, no top sheet.

The most terrifying experience of our stay was AN ATTEMPTED BREAK IN! We heard the dogs barking after we had dinner and two Scottish ladies from the campsite said they found two men in their tent saying that they were ‘looking for food’. We all went inside and the men were looking for these guys. All this time the dogs kept barking vigorously. Two of our guests encountered men trying to climb through the window and pointed a rifle at them (there are no burglar bars in front of any of the windows). Luckily the dogs deterred him from climbing through the window.

We were able to find accommodation at another backpackers in St. Lucia and ended up spending the night there. We left HluHluwe Backpackers in convoy fearing for our lives as we drove out of the place.

On top of this, the dogs look like they are underfed and are very skinny.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Natasha G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hluhluwebackpackers, Public Relations Manager at Hluhluwe Backpackers, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
Although this review was posted years ago, I feel the need to set the record straight for future guests. Hluhluwe Backpackers underwent major changes since then. Whatever was alleged in this particular review has no merit whatsoever anymore. Hluhluwe Backpackers as it stand today, is one of the best budget accommodation properties in the area.

We do not offer camping anymore, their is regular maintenance, the building and room structure have changed and there is a 24 hour security guard on duty at all times.

It's as safe a place as anywhere in the World. I would like to invite any future guest to have an open mind and not let this review deter you from including Hluhluwe Backpackers in your travel plans.

We feature on many websites and always get good reviews. We look forward in receiving you as guests and it will be our honor to have you here.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2012

The location was great. It was a disappointing visit as the backpackers genuinly has amazing potential but much neglect on details that make travellers want to stay an extra night. Dave was very accomodating. Unfortunately my brother and I got eaten alive by large bed bugs that had infested the pillows. One week later and we are both still itching and quite grossed out..

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank lesserspottedhuman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hluhluwe M, General Manager at Hluhluwe Backpackers, responded to this review, 19 March 2015
We are sorry your experience was as described. Been a busy backpacker we have travelers from all over the world and we do all in our power to ensure that all bedding and such as kept clean and spotless. Please feel welcome to contact us anytime to discuss your concerns and we look forward to having you stay with us again. Best Regards Hluhluwe Backpackers Management
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Viernheim
1 review
Reviewed 23 November 2012

We arrived at Hluhluwe backpackers in the afternoon of 27.09.2012.

Unfortunately we realized that the description of this accommodation as mentioned in SafariNow do not have any similarity with the reality !!

The descriptions says we can get breakfast as well as dinner in this accommodation like in other accommodations. This meansfor us:"backpacker" is only a name but not the sence but this corresponds not with the truth !! The truth is, that you have to use the kitchen bay yourself !! But this kitchen is in an uncredible dirty condition !!

Additionally an other contradiction: at the entrance there is a large label, which shows 4 stars for this accommodation. The reality however is a reception where you stick with the arms.

The result: we are not in the position to have an overnight stay !!! We arranged an other accommodation for this night.

But! We should say this especially!! We have to thank the owner of Hluhluwe backpackers that he accepted that we are not able to stay and gave back to us the payed second 50% of the charge!!

Later on we became acquainted with an "accommodation tester". He told us that he knows Hluhluwe backpackers and this accommodation is not allowed to show 4 stars !!!

Fortunately this was our only bad experience in South Africa over almost seven weeks.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Martin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hluhluwe M, General Manager at Hluhluwe Backpackers, responded to this review, 19 March 2015
Your review in all honesty does not any any sense. You had booked with an online booking agent and secondly as clear with `backpackers` we are a budget accommodation with shared bathrooms and kitchen. You arrived expecting a four star Southern Sun Hotel type of accommodation and environment which is fine but then you need to book at those type of establishments and be prepared to pay those prices. The same we state it does not make sense you met a accommodation tester??? Breakfast and dinners are available by prior arrangement and are not included in prices as stated on our website and all booking sites.Our management still gave you a refund but you put as a heading `Incredible` while still running our establishment down? Our kitchen is kept spotless that said it is shared and not possible for our staff to stand behind every single guest cooking to watch every dish is done immediately. I am sure you will understand this will be the case even in your own home. We hope you enjoyed the reat of your travels in South Africa Best Regards Hluhluwe Backpackers
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Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 21 September 2012

We did Dave's 3 day Zululand Tour, which was a great time. Dave was an excellent tour guide and he took care to ensure that we got a proper experience. He's a funny guy and very knowledgable about the park. The rooms were fairly basic but clean, and well lit. That's what you get in South Africa at backpackers prices; if you want a five star, go down the street. But the property is beautiful, the location can't be beat, and Dave is a cool dude. Strongly recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hluhluwe M, General Manager at Hluhluwe Backpackers, responded to this review, 19 March 2015
Thank you for your review and we are pleased you enjoyed your stay with us. Please do come visit us again! Best Regards Hluhluwe Backpackers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed 30 August 2012

Very close to the Hluhluwe Park Memorial Gate, easy to find and Dave (the owner) was very welcoming and friendly. Bathrooms are clean, rooms are clean, and the rates are great! I will definitely go back to Hluhluwe Backpackers the next time we head to Hluhluwe for a weekend.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Alyssa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hluhluwe Backpackers

Property: Hluhluwe Backpackers
Address: Cnr Memorial Gate & Hluhluwe Dam Rds | Hluhluwe Dam Road, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 32 Speciality Lodging in Hluhluwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are the closest spot (1km) to the Hluhluwe/Imfolozi National Park. For the best 4x4 open vehicle game drives, visit Hluhluwe Backpackers!! We call the Big 5 our neighbours and enjoy a stunning 360 degree view onto the surrounding hills of Zululand and the mountains of the Park in the distance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hluhluwe Backpackers South Africa - Zululand

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