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“5 nights in heaven!”

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Zulu Nyala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 September 2013

I just spent 5 nights here with 2 friends. The rooms are small but comfortable and well maintained. Ask for Jacque to be your guide he is so fun and informative. Look for Peaceable in the dining room who will meet your every need. The food is excellent as is the occasional local entertainment, Take the side trip to Phinda as it is amazing. I would not take the river boat in St. Lucia to see the hippos and crocodiles,and am sorry to have missed the chance of seeing whales in the Indian Ocean - try that instead. I had high expectations and this place totally exceeded them!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 September 2013

This is my second safari experience - first was in Botswana Chobe national park. Zulu has some great benefits with its smaller size. If you are realistic with your expectations it is well worth the trip. Since it is a smaller reserve it is easier for the guides to find the animals. The animals seemed less likely to run away, making it easier to observe their behavior and get great photos. Within the private reserves the guides are allowed to drive off road which helps a lot. This is not allowed at the national parks.

It only takes about 2-3 days of game drives to feel like you have covered Zulu very well. The game lodge and the heritage lodge are separate properties but they share the reserve. The heritage lodge has more animals that come up to the building. The view from the game lodge is great- it overlooks the valley below.

Zulu makes it real money on the extra excursions. Everything off the property is an extra charge similar to how it is works on a cruise. The excursions are very good but the cost adds up quickly. The prices go down if more people go on the same excursion with the exception of phinda. I would budget $700 - $1000 extra total for 2 people which can cover 3-4 trips. We went on phinda, elephant interaction, cheetah interaction, st. Lucia, and the national park. They were all a lot of fun.

Zulu's food is good especially for this type of lodge. You won't leave hungry. All drinks including bottled water are extra but the prices are reasonable. If you want 5 star then stay at phinda's lodges for $600 per night per person. Staff and guides were friendly and accommodating. Room was nice but nothing special. If you upgrade then get a room by the pool which has an amazing view of the valley.

Last note- we met many Americans that were traveling outside of the states for the first time. Everyone said the trip was beyond their expectations. South Africa (as well as many other countries in the southern part of Africa) have amazing tourist networks. Do not confuse being in this part of Africa with the crazy things you see in the news concerning central and northern Africa. It is very safe and the people are very friendly. You won't be staying in a hut and riding a donkey (unless you want to).

Room Tip: Stay in the lodge. When it is windy you will not get any sleep in the tents.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lenny2299
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Four of us went after buying the safari at a charity auction. (Every American there bought a safari at a charity auction.) The rooms were well appointed and very clean! We had a poolside view which was lovely! The food was great.

Our guide, Deon, was relatively new (7 months) and delightful! He went out of his way to accommodate us, and what he may have lacked in experience he made up for in enthusiasm and customer service. One night we joined us for dinner and shared his training and qualifications.

The food was very good, some more exotic dishes (impala one night) but always enough of a selection to satisfy even picky eaters. (And the pumpkin was beyond wonderful, and I don't normally like pumpkin! The guides all know the animals and are well able to find them regularly, a high point for us was watching the giraffes drink.

We stayed three nights at the game lodge and then moved to the safari lodge tents, which were also nice, but not quite as nice. The fun of that was walking out in the morning and seeing herds of zebra and impala.

Room Tip: The pool view is lovely, and a bit quieter I suspect.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Bookslut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2013

Those who have complaints must be impossible to please. Everything was just wonderful. The food is abundant and well prepared. Our room, #11, was huge and well appointed with views to die for. The staff is friendly and efficient. The game viewing exceeded our expectations. Do not miss the side trip to Phinda! We travel a lot and I thought I had seen it all, but Zulu Nyala blew my socks off.

If you are looking for Four Seasons in the bush, this is not it. If you want to experience a bit of Africa and view the animals up close. And personal, this is the trip for you. We will return.

Room Tip: Room 11 and 20 are both great. I believe pool side rooms are the best, but did not see others.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Vickiinaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Buying this trip was way outside of my comfort level, but the best decision we ever made. Our vacation at the game lodge was our very favorite travel experience. We traveled with three other couples and enjoyed wonderful game drives, a superb guides, great accommodations, good food, and a staff that was eager to help and fun to engage. The animals were spectacular, including the three elephants who showed up on our patio at 3 am, tore up the tree outside our door, and provided two hours of great entertainment. I would recommend the lodge to anyone, of any age or experience. Oh, and definitely take the trips to Tembe and Phinda.

Room Tip: Stay in the lodge
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Terrelee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2013

Within a few hours of Durban, Zulu Nyala offers a great safari experience without the travel of getting to Kruger or having to put up with the thousands of other visitors there.
The rooms are clean, comfortable and well appointed, service excellent and food exceptional.
We went on one game drive and saw everything but leopard, really good for a first attempt.

Room Tip: Upgrading to a superior room around the swimming pool, looking out over the valley is well worth it...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jonathan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

I don't even know where to start....we flew into Johannesburg and stayed at the Country Manor. The only complaint of our entire trip was that the grounds here looked a bit like a construction zone with obvious remodeling going on. Staff were awesome however. Go to the Lion Park and play with lion cubs if you spend time in Jo'Burg. We flew into Richards Bay and arranged for the van from ZN to pick us up. Glad we did it. Wouldn't have been comfortable finding our way there. Others did without trouble though. Arrived at the Game Lodge and greeted warmly with a little juice drink to welcome us. Nice. Within a couple of hours our guide called our room and had arranged for us to go to Phinda the next day, if we wanted to go since it was not easy to get reservations. Wow! So we went. Saw the lions really up close. Wonderful start. We did a couple of other outside excursions but went on nearly every game drive we could on the ZN property. We saw so much, were charged by elephants (ears flying, trunk trumpeting - scary and exhilarating at the same time!) and saw some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets imaginable. Our guide Amon was absolutely incredible. He seemed to know where the animals would be and gave us so much information about the animals (giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, buffalo, wildebeest, hippos, rhinos, warthogs, nyala, impalas, kudu, lots of different birds, monkeys, etc), the land and the Zulu people themselves. Nyala roam freely around the grounds and we had them outside our room. Food was yummy and lots of it. Staff were wonderful. The dining room staff even sang and danced for us one night. The other two excursions we took were the Elephant Interaction (fun experience) and the Cheetah Rehab (now that was an experience!) and both were well worth going. There is so much more I could say. The friends we made after spending the days with them (you know who you are!). The memories of sights and sounds we just can't imagine without going there. I thought this would be a once in a lifetime trip, but after spending time there, we not only will be back, but we will bring our young son the next time.

Room Tip: By the pool has breathtaking views
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank thekenns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zulu Nyala Game Lodge

Address: Msinene Rd, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 33 Speciality Lodging in Hluhluwe
Hotel Class:4 star — Zulu Nyala Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An entrancing experience in a unique wilderness area. Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve provides a unique bush experience in the heart of one of South Africa’s most diverse conservation regions. Nestled between the wilderness reserves of Mkuze, Hluhluwe and St Lucia, this lush stretch of paradise is home to a wide variety of game, from the majestic elephant to rhino, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, the shy and beautiful Nyala buck that is endemic to the region and the secretive leopard. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Zulu Nyala Game Hotel Hluhluwe
Zulu Nyala Game Lodge Hluhluwe, South Africa - Zululand

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