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“Amazing First Trip to S Africa”

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Zulu Nyala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Orting, Washington
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Amazing First Trip to S Africa”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2014

We stayed at the lodge 4/4-4/8/14 and loved it! We bought this through an auction like everyone else!

We flew into Richards Bay...only 1.5 drive vs the 3 hour drive from Durban. From there Zulu had a driver pick us up.

We were given Aman as our guide and he made the entire trip!!! He was amazing with his "Cheetah Eyes" as we called it....He could spot an animal from a mile away and would haul but to get there! Aman treated us with great hospitality and taught us so much about the area and culture!!! Every morning Aman would take us on a coffee break which he himself supplied as the company does not and not many other guides do....great personal touch.

The food as we found out was typical buffet type food for breakfast and dinner but good. The wait staff was awesome. We stayed two nights at the tents and came to appreciate the food and the staff and the lodge much more!!!!...tents not so much.

If we came again we would upgrade rooms as we were given the small side rooms that were much older but had AC and nice bathrooms.

The pool was pretty much always empty but we were there in the start of their winter.
Bugs were not too bad but did get a handful of bites.
Wifi was spotty but seemed to work good by the front desk.

If you have time to get a massage / spa treatment...Destiny is amazing. My husband and I both got 1 hour massages and felt great afterwards. The one hour was roughly $50 dollars. I believe we each tipped her $25 so not too bad compared to at home.

The side trips are fun but pricey...this is where they make their money. We did the Cheetah Rehab which was fun...got to pet the cats and Cheetahs.

We also did the day trip to St Lucia which was a nice getaway...the boat trip was a little long and not much to see besides hippos and a few crocs. Aman took us into town for a great little lunch at Sizzlers I believe?..not the same as in the states. Great Pizza. From there he took us down to the beach to stay for awhile in the water and then shopping in the town...same crap as everywhere else.

The friends that went with us did the full day trip to the big game park so that they could see lions. For my husband and I it wasn't worth the money or waking up and being in the truck by 4:30am only to drive for 13 hours...long day in a truck. Our friends did say it was fun and they saw larger herds of animals.

Overall we had a great trip and loved our experience!!!! Thank you Aman!!!!
Will be writing separate review for tents.

Room Tip: Upgrade room if you are wanting luxury
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Campbellfam04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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550 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (212)
Date | Rating
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English first
Wilmington, NC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

Zulu Nyala Lodge attracts a lot of Americans who have purchased the safari package through auction. We weren't exactly sure what to expect when we bought this package and I was anticipating a pleasant but not necessarily spectacular setting and accommodation. As it turns out, the lodge, which is in the process of renovations, exceeded our expectations by quite a bit. The Lodge and grounds are lovely and the staff was extremely helpful. In particular, Zonga (whom I believe manages the front desk) was very helpful in getting us an upgrade on our room within the first day of arrival. We took advantage of the 2 included game drives per day and saw many animals on each of our drives. Our game driver (Ronnie) has a wealth of knowledge about the animals and plants, and he entertained us with interesting stories about the behavior of various animals in the game park. The food (surprisingly) was excellent, and aside from the rather silly rule about not bringing your own liquor, in order to ensure the restaurant can sell you liquor, the eating experience was great. Many visitors chose to stay 3 days in the game lodge and 3 days in the tented camp. We, however, found the game lodge perfect for the 6 days we were there. I recommend you drive your own rental car rather than rely on the somewhat expensive side trips offered by the lodge. And if you aren't an early bird, I recommend you rally in the morning for the 6am game drive. You won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: We stayed in the family suite with two bedrooms and a sitting room with huge bath. It was very comf...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank amestey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Federal Way WA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014

We won out 6 day safari at a charity auction. The Lodge was wonderful. The people were so friendly and helpful. Our guide, William, was amazing. The food was nice and the rooms lovely. We had a room at the pool side with a fabulous view watching the nyala and warthogs "mowing" the lawn each morning. We saw so many animals every day was a new adventure. Highly recommend if you are going here from the US stop over in Joburg at Country Manor for at least 3 days to see the apartheid museum, lion park and constitution hill to better understand the culture and history of this fascinating country. Reshim did an excellent job of making our reservations in JoBurg and then on to the Garden Route and Cape Town. The accommodations throughout were excellent and the guides in all three legs (Patrik, William and Loryn) were knowledgeable and so helpful. Made this a dream vacation, very unique and special.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to the pool side with the view.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Rene E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014

We stayed 4 nights and like everyone else "won" our time at ZN at a charity auction. We met the nicest group of people at the resort and quickly saw 4 of the BIG 5 at Zulu Nyala. ZuluLand is an amazing part of S. Africa so be sure opt for a few excursions. Do not miss the excursion to Phinda Private Reserve and quickly find the 6 people needed to secure a reservation. Also visit the Imfolozi National Park which is also in the "neighborhood". We drove our rental car into the park and saw 8 rhinos in our day and a huge herd of elephants. So amazing! Don't forget the estuary and/or ocean visits. We went to the St. Lucia Estuary (lots of hippos) but if I ever make it back to ZuluLand I think Soldano Bay deserves some time too. I also strongly recommend that you upgrade your room and think about renting a car at either Richards Bay or Durban. This is not that difficult but be sure to arrive before dark. Having the car makes a BIG difference especially if you opt for the full 6 day visit.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank maureen m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Porte, Indiana
Level Contributor
63 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2014

My son and I stayed at this property before we headed to Victoria Falls. I purchased this trip at a charity auction like most of the Americans that stayed here. Our guide Janine was outstanding. She was very knowledgeable and we were able to spot many animals. This included zebra, giraffe, water buffalo, hippo, elephants, rhino, cheetah, monkey and baboon. Overall it was a great experience.

The food was good. We ate well everyday. Our room was very spacious for two people containing four rooms. The staff is good and attentive.

The down side to the property is they charge you a high transfer fee from Richards Bay to the lodge. They also charge for side trips that can be quite expensive. I highly recommend the side trips as they are quite amazing. We took a trip to Hluhluwe and St Lucia.

Staying at other lodges is more expensive but more is included. I would recommend you do a great deal of research before going on an African Safari. You can't go wrong with Zulu Nyala, but you may be able to find better.

Room Tip: The view overlooking the savanna our the best rooms. Consider upgrading
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank MfBuilders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

This is a small private reserve located in a beautiful location with an incredible view from the restaurant, pool and some rooms. We had a very nice and spacious room (nº1), but the sound of the frogs at night was too strong!.Everything was clean and the breakfast was abundant.relaxing at the pool was really a pleasure! We did one game drive and saw many animals, even two cheetahs that we haven t seen in the Kruger during the days we ve been there!We ve booked only for bed and breakfast but one night we had dinner there, it was buffet with an interesting local show.We used this place as a base center, and from here we went one day to Sta Lucía and Cape Vidal (about 1,5 hs), and another day we went to Imfolzi park (but it wasn t worth the trip).The only two things that we didn t like from this hotel, were a lady from the front desk that wasn t any helpful, and the other that they didn t lend us an adaptator (electrical plug) but charged for it (the only place in our trip!)

Room Tip: On the front with view but not over the pool
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Car023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2014

We bought the trip like others in a charitable auction and got information from a neighbor who had also visited as part of a charity auction prior to the time we arrived. The reserve is not large by most safari standards, but that worked to our and our ranger's advantage as William was able to locate most any animal due to his knowledge of habits of the animals. He was a wealth of information, extremely committed to providing the most informative and interesting drives--morning, afternoon and night! The reserve is lovely--stunning vistas from the dining area and friendly creatures like nyala roaming right around the guest rooms. The staff was always ready to assist and very pleasant. The food was plentiful and the wine good and inexpensive. We took several side trips and enjoyed each one. I feel lucky to have had the chance to visit this reserve.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the pool have a beautiful view.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank CRM77
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

Property: 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 #5 of 32 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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