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“DESTRESSING CONFORTABLE AND MEMORABLE STAY”

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Zulu Nyala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“DESTRESSING CONFORTABLE AND MEMORABLE STAY”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

Visited Game Lodge for the first time and had one of my most memorable stays I have had in a long time on holiday. The lodge is rustic but very comfortable with all the conveniences. No TV in rooms which is great as the whole idea is to be one with nature. To see wild animals right outside your door when you wake in the morning is awesome. The views spectacular and the game drive was excellent. The game ranger was absolutely fantastic "like a walking encyclopaedia" I think her name was Bernice or Belinda. Ask for her to be your guide. the food was excellent and they will accommodate any eating preferences' you may need just give them a weeks notice. the staff were also excellent and helpful. free internet access is also available. would recommend that you have a four wheel drive vehicle as there is a long drive to the lodge on gravel roads. I will almost certainly go back given the opportunity to do so. Great value for money.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view. do both game drives the morning and afternoon.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Wendy N
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
  • Dutch first
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English first
San Clemente CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2014

My wife purchased at auction, we were a bit concerned about the property being relatively small comparatively and somewhat lesser known. However we had an amazing trip. Our guide Dionne was absolutely outstanding. Knew the property and the animals so well he kept us entertained even in quit moments. He worked so hard to get us the right experience and the best pictures, telling us about the animals and their habits, the birds, insects, geology, he was the highlight of our trip. The restaurant staff was also very nice. Peaceable, who waited on us several times and Tobogo were very accommodating and kind, the front desk staff was a little aloof and the wireless less than stellar but overall, since frankly if your reading this, your already committed.....expect a really good experience. If you have the nerve to rent a car and drive yourself, most of the excursions can be done on your own at lesser expense. And for family's that is important...but if you are a couple it is probably worth it to leave the planning and driving to them. Be excited and expect the time of your life.

Room Tip: Wifi only available in lobby. Get a room near the pool, higher numbers 8-16 better. Ask for Dionne...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SanClementeCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Payson, Arizona
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

We too purchased this trip at an auction, never thinking of going to South Africa before, but this was such an adventure. The hotel and personnel were great. We enjoyed the food, especially all the fresh fruits at breakfast. Our guide was William, he really made this trip. He was very knowledgeable, great driver and enabled us to get great "money shots" as he called them. We would definitely recommend this trip.

Room Tip: We had room 19, which overlooked the pool and a valley. The room and bathroom was very spacious and...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sandy53805
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gadsden, Alabama
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014

Got the safari for my husband and two teenage boys at an auction. Never thought about going to South Africa before but I sure am glad we did. It was a trip of a lifetime. Lodge was great. Manie Esterhuizen was our guide and he was the best. Kept us entertained the whole time. He was so knowledgeable about everything from soil to plants to the animals. If you ever go to this game reserve be sure to request him as your guide. We had some great people in our group that made it even better. I am so glad me family was able to make this once in a life time trip.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sainte-Therese, Canada
Level Contributor
242 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014

we stayed there only one night last May; this is a magnificient resort located on top of a small mountain; the scenery is superb; we had room 28, which is in fact a very large suite with two bedrooms and a double shower. We aslo had excellent buffet meals, supper and breakfast; we were feeling like millionnaires!
This is one of our best souvenirs of South Africa.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lessasy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
Level Contributor
515 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014

Like every other international traveler visiting Zulu Nyala we purchased the 6 night stay through a charity auction. We ended up doing three nights in the tents (we were in T7) and three nights in the Game lodge (room 35)

Note there are three options to stay when you come here:
-The game lodge--this is up on the hill, and inside their actual game reserve--this is my top pick
-The heritage lodge--this is outside the reserve (less than a 5 minute drive) and from appearances is more of a best western in Africa
-The tents--these are on site with the heritage lodge. The tents and the heritage lodge share all facilities--reception, restaurant, pool, etc.

We did not experience any bugs at all while at Zulu Nyala, no mosquitoes but also not any bugs or snakes at all. Snakes were not on my list of things I wanted to see so I was quite happy to hear that when it's cold they don't come out. Apparently in the summer they do have a lot of snakes on the property.

The room was nice. It was less spacious than at the tent, but it was quiet and we slept great! It also had a completely seperate bathroom with a door! The grounds up here at the lodge were also far better. The landscaping just outside the room was lovely, but try to watch the sunrise from the pool area-it's just gorgeous.

The food at the lodge was better than at the tented camp. Breakfast was a nice buffet with an egg station every morning. There was a wide variety of tea, coffee, hot cocoa, and three juice options per morning. The breakfast assortment included fruit, yogurt, cereals, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, pastries, and more. Dinner selection was also great as far many many varied foods and desserts. Each night seemed to have one beef/chicken option and one more exotic option (kudu, warthog.)

Staff were all pretty good up here, but our guide for all our trip, Amon, was just absolutely amazing. If you're paired with him you're in great hands. He spotted things in the bush we'd never have been able to pick out on our own. He did our best to make sure we were all comfortable on what was often a bumpy, windy, cold dive. He told great stories about the land and culture, answered all our questions, and was just generally very knowledgeable.

We did a total of 4 game drives on site, and one at Phinda, plus our self drive at hluhluwe. That was enough for us. Amon was such a great guide we saw pretty much everything on the first day. There are two drive a day, one in the am 6-8:30 or so, and one in the evening 3-6pm or so. The animals are active at dawn and dusk. We did one full day of drives, and additional morning drive, and one night drive looking for nocturnal activity. The starts on the night drive were the best part. I thought we'd see a ton of stars from the lodge or tent, but the grounds where you're staying are very well lit and cause too much light pollution to see stars.

If you are travelling in July, you'll realize it's their winter, but it will be even colder than you expect. Gloves are a must. I usually wore a long sleeve shirt, a long sleeve hoodie, and a long sleeve fleece. Used the provided blankets on top of that. Still often a little chilly when driving full speed on the road.

As far as renting a car or not, travelling as a couple it was certainly worth it. I'd imagine even more so if you're travelling with a family or another couple. We flew from Joburg to Richard's Bay and arrived after dark with a bit of rain. The drive was still fine. Roads were very well marked. This was also our first time ever driving on the left. Leaving the lodge we were flying from Durban to Cape Town. A longer drive, but still easy. The highway (N2) actually improves a bit and is often two lanes each way during this stretch. But there are a few tolls, so be prepared for that. All told the tolls were less than $5. If you're choosing the Durban airport is a bigger modern airport, Richard's Bay is small but a lot more convenient to the lodge. You're good either way.

Having the rented car saved us money both in not paying for an airport transfer, and in doing our own excursions which we were not as sure about doing in advance. We drove to St. Lucia and did the hippo/croc cruise, and also drove around the Cape Vidal park. We drove to Sodwana Bay even though it turned out it was too windy to snorkel (call ahead.) We drove to the cheetah rehab in the morning, and to the Hluhluwe park for the afternoon. All driving was easy. We used one tank of gas which cost us about $60 to fill up.

I've tried to be pretty thorough here as we relied heavily on reviews when planning our trip. Overall we had a great experience here and everywhere we went in Africa.

Room Tip: Find out how much it would be for an upgrade, the rooms over the pool were certainly higher quality.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank hdempsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chapin, South Carolina
Level Contributor
88 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

One of my best friends had an Africa trip on her bucket list and I came across an amazing deal to take a photo safari at an auction. I could not have been more pleased with this purchase! We did a LOT of research prior to our trip which made everything come together like a well oiled machine. We booked at the lodge for our 6 night stay and upon our arrival, we were very pleasantly greeted by an ostrich!! Needless to say, this gave us great hope of the things that were yet to come! The staff were absolutely amazing and very helpful with any and all of our requests. The facility was very clean, the restaurant and bar were fabulous, and our guide - Welcome - couldn't have been better!

If you are planning this trip, I highly suggest that you book your flight early for the best price. Book the flight to Richards Bay Airport from Johannesburg and from there, rent a car to drive to the lodge. It's pretty much a straight shot thru the area with only a couple of turns off the main road. We also rented a cell phone and internet connection for my laptop at the airport in Johannesburg. We exchanged our US Dollars to the African Rand at Johannesburg as well even though we didn't need as much as we thought!

While there, make sure you go to Phinda to see the lions - AMAZING experience to get within 25 yards of these amazing cats! Also, the Zulu Village tour was very informational about the local culture. We drove our rental cars to a couple other nearby reserves and were amazed at the different animals we saw. Some of them actually were within reach!!

If you bid on this trip - take it! You will NOT be disappointed! It is a life changing adventure!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CEpting
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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