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“Very nice experience & great environment”

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Zululand Tree Lodge
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 June 2010

I attended the wedding of friends which was being hosted at the Ubizane Game Reserve.

Booking from overseas took some back and forth as I was unable to transfer my deposit immediately due to issues with the branch code and my bank's interpretation of it - the booking staff were pleasant and accommodating but couldn't help me with my queries and just kept giving me the identical info which was a bit frustrating... I was also able with the help of the bride to book into the Tree lodge rather than the safari lodge which the staff felt would be more suitable for us (they felt the safari lodge was better for a family with a 3 year old).

However once arrived, all was very pleasant and easy. I assume based on some of the other reviews here that we must have stayed in a renovated unit, it had a lovely comfortable four poster bed with draped mosquito net, stylish furniture, reasonable amenities etc. and a stunning view of the forest. It was early winter when we were there and we didn't need the aircon, it was dry, quiet, cool & relaxing. The buffet meals were very good and once again the views and location of the dining area were outstanding. I wish we had time for a dip in the pool.

Despite staff worries about the suitability of the tree lodge for a 3 year old we were fine in the tree lodge, it was not difficult to help/carry our little girl up & down and we even could carry up/down the pram when she was asleep in it. She slept with us so we didn't need another bed. She also loved the room and the view (complete with owl which often swooped out from under the eaves when we entered the room!). We also had access to a babysitter during the wedding ceremony and I would recommend Thembi, she was a lovely lady who made friends with and took very good care of our daughter.

Speaking of wildlife we also strolled past nyala so close we almost touch them just a metre or two off the path. The only animals a bit too close for comfort were the monkeys which were determined to steal the snacks left out at the bar but that was about the worst of it!.

All in all I would call it a proper south african experience.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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Thank marabsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 June 2010

On 22 May 2010 we held our wedding at Ubizane reserve (Zululand Tree Lodge and Safari Lodge ) and it was the most exquisite, magical, unforgettable venue ever. our 50 friends and family travelled to and stayed at Zululand Tree Lodge and Safari Lodge on Ubizane Reserve, and each and every one of them found it to be the most remarkable wedding they had ever been to, as well as one of the most wonderful places they had ever stayed.

After the extensive renovations to Tree Lodge and Safari Lodge the accomodation is beautiful, with Tree Lodge providing a mystical feel with rooms set on stilts amongst the fever trees, and Safari with that luxury-in-the-wild feeling with outside showers, bright airy rooms set in stunning grasslands. The pool/bar areas are gorgeous, and the antelope running around are so cool.

The fabulous staff at Tree Lodge worked like trojans to help us pull our wedding plans together and succeeded in more than making our dreams come true. We had a ceremony in the wild, on a gorgeous deck surrounded by natural bush, with all our guests around us. We even saw rhino and other amazing animals on the way to the wedding!

Our evening reception was pure magic: set out in the bush, in a fever-tree forest on the reserve, with nothing but grass beneath our feet and the moon shining down through the shimmering lit-up branches of the fever trees overhead as we danced the night away in our magical forest setting.

They even use this venue for bush dinners for their lodge guests when the weather presents itself!

The food was stunning; real bush fare of ostrich carpaccio, potjikos and babotie with divine deserts to follow. Our evening was lit only by candle light, lanterns anda ragin bonfire, creating an atmosphere unsurpassed by anything we have ever experienced.

We spent the whole weekend there and were taken care so brilliantly! it was just heaven lazing about the pool at the bar, sipping G&Ts with our friends in the sun, watching the resident antelope walk through the camp. We were taken on a game drive around the reserve, and stopped for sunset champagne in the most spectacular setting. Our dinner the following night was just as spectacular, in the open-air boma at Tree Lodge.

The buffet breakfasts are EXCELLENT, and just what we needed to kick start our days!

Being a small reserve and lodge it achieves such an amazingly personal feel with detailed attention and friendliness where everyone actually gets to know you and really goes out of their way to make your stay amazing.

All in all we spent 3 unforgettable nights at Tree Lodge and cant wait to go back. They have created such an amazing place, with an incredibly beautiful energy, in a wonderful setting, with the most fabulous staff, all going out of their way to make your stay a truly spectacular one.

WELL DONE and THANK YOU GUYS for making our wedding something so special!

keep it up, you have worked hard and created a little piece of heaven!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank WozJuffie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2010

Myself and my boyfriend decided on a quite weekend away from the city rush. We found this little piece of paradise right under our nose. From the new airport in Durban it took us just over 2 hours to get here. From the friendly receptionist with a welcome drink to the comfort of the room and the excellent game viewing. Our weekend turned out to be the most wonderful one we ever had.

For the Ubizane team nothing is an effort. We came to relax and this is exactly what we got. Glass of wine by the pool , the amazing cream of tomato soup , the late night chats on the lounge or by the fire place, the animal bed time story and nougat biscuit before we go to bed and even the handshake of the general manager - all contributed to a weekend to remember.

We definitely recommend this amazing lodge. Thank you Ubizane and see you soon!!!

Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank Ubizane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2009

We believed Zululand Safari Lodge was a 4 star and was one of the stars of the 'Three Cities Groups' of hotels. Well we paid for 4 star, and believed from the information that we would get value for money..... how dissapointed we were! I could go on about a number of things that let the hotel down,there were so many, I know that all the people we met there were shocked at how run down, shabby and generally dirty the place was.
No upkeep or ongoing refurbishment takes place and consequently the lodge is more and more run down and now it has hit rock bottom.
The staff has an unfortunate attitude and you feel you are intruding and uncomfortable being there.
The pool was filthy and i found a crab living in the bottom of the yellow swimming pool
the food was not very nice to taste even though it looked ok on the display, the breakfast tasted of ransid fat. On each table was a glass pot of margarine!!!
the rooms were shabby and in need of a good refurbishment
the holiday was made bearable by the ranger who took us out to Hluhluwe ..Mosa .. he was a good ranger and we had great safaris in Hluhluwe although we got soaking one day and did not see any cats.(luck of the draw)
We went on our first morning to the park belonging to the lodge and we refused to go there again because of the shameful state of many of its animals.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Pattie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ubizane W, Manager at Zululand Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 October 2012

Ubizane wildlife Reserve, incorporating Zululand Safari Lodge and Zululand Tree Lodge has been bought by a single entity and is under new management. Since this change of ownership, Ubizane Wildlife Reserve as well as both Zululand Tree Lodge and Zululand Safari Lodge have under gone extensive changes.

Zululand Safari Lodge Reception area has been stripped down, re-plastered and painted inside and out, Giving guest a welcoming feeling upon arrival.

17 Safari Lodge room’s walls have been broken open to allow for more light and air, wood and glass sliding doors as front entrances, all rooms have been re-thatched, re-tiled and painted inside and out. All furnishings are brand new, including all kitchen utensils, beds, furniture, cupboards, bathroom fittings (including new showers, baths, basins, toilets, etc), new linen, and bedding, outside furniture, toweling, mosquito nets and floor rugs. Communal Braais have also been built on the lawn areas.

We have gone through extensive re-fertilizing and replanting of our massive lawns at Safari Lodge, to create a more manicured feel and experience for our guests. A brand new jungle gym area has been built at Safari lodge and all the children play areas, the swings and the see-saw have been fixed.

Safari Restaurant has been completed, we have enclosed the restaurant to allow for it to not be so weather dependent and to be more of a communal area in winter and summer. This communal area is equipped with a TV, Pool Table and comfortable couches to create a relaxed environment.

We encourage everyone, weather new, or returning guests to come past and see Ubizane’s transformation for themselves. Our friendly staff is always willing to assist in any way they can, in order to make every guest’s stay enjoyable!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2007

Looked fantastic on the website but time has taken its toll. The accomodation really needs a good revamp as it is looking very tired. The rustic nature of the cabins encourages insects (a straw roof over tthe bathroom) - when it was new, it probably looked good, but not now it is falling to bits. As in the previous review the mosi nets are a waste of time and more for show or to stop things dropping from the roof on to the sleeper. The concept of the hotel seems good, cabins set in the woods, however the journey to the room can be just a trudge at the end of the day, not to mention the snakes which are around. Communal areas are OK but again a bit old.
On the positive side, we loved the sitting area with its big log fire at night. The dinner in the bush on our second night was brilliant and very well done, this was a highlight. Food was good and plentiful - semi buffet.
Game drives were OK , however the drives around their own game park relied upon finding the local rhino (all 4 of them!) and the one game drive a day to Hluhluwe only covered a small area of the park - where frankly game viewing was very limited - we saw more when we returned in our own vehicle later in the day.
This hotel could be good with investment..

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 75AT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ubizane W, Manager at Zululand Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2012

Ubizane wildlife Reserve, incorporating Zululand Safari Lodge and Zululand Tree Lodge has been bought by a single entity and is under new management. Since this change of ownership, Ubizane Wildlife Reserve as well as both Zululand Tree Lodge and Zululand Safari Lodge have under gone extensive changes.

Heat pumps have been installed at 12 of these units. All these units are fitted with air-conditioners, brand new beds, linen and toweling, as well as smaller trimmings. They have brand new cherry wood cupboards fitted, with marble top counters, bar fridges and huge glass sliding doors that open out to your own private viewing deck.

Pathways leading to Tree Lodge rooms that were cracked and broken have been redone. As well as clearing the riverbed in front of Tree Lodge rooms, to afford a better view/vista from our Tree Lodge private viewing deck.

We encourage everyone, weather new, or returning guests to come past and see Ubizane’s transformation for them. Our friendly staff is always willing to assist in any way they can, in order to make every guest’s stay enjoyable!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2006

This hotel form the outset looks great and our first drive was nice but not mind blowing.

Down the road is Hluwe Hluwe which is well worth the visit and my favorite park.

The tree lodeges are drafty, the nets above the beds are usless, the bathroom had ants nesting on the loo seat, spider etc you name it! it really does need refurbishment and i would stay somewhere like the hill top lodge in hluwe luwe if you want this area.

One reddeming subject is the food was fantastic.

Would not recomend this for families as is a little to rustic

Stayed: September 2006
1  Thank UK_travel_agent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ubizane W, Manager at Zululand Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2012

Ubizane wildlife Reserve, incorporating Zululand Safari Lodge and Zululand Tree Lodge has been bought by a single entity and is under new management. Since this change of ownership, Ubizane Wildlife Reserve as well as both Zululand Tree Lodge and Zululand Safari Lodge have under gone extensive changes.

Heat pumps have been installed at 12 of these units. All these units are fitted with air-conditioners, brand new beds, linen and toweling, as well as smaller trimmings. They have brand new cherry wood cupboards fitted, with marble top counters, bar fridges and huge glass sliding doors that open out to your own private viewing deck.

Pathways leading to Tree Lodge rooms that were cracked and broken have been redone. As well as clearing the riverbed in front of Tree Lodge rooms, to afford a better view/vista from our Tree Lodge private viewing deck.

We encourage everyone, weather new, or returning guests to come past and see Ubizane’s transformation for them. Our friendly staff is always willing to assist in any way they can, in order to make every guest’s stay enjoyable!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
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  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank DOMetSOPHIE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zululand Tree Lodge

Address: Box 116 | Ubizane Wildlife Reserve, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Price Range: £160 - £167 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Zululand Tree Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the cool, whispering tranquility of a fever tree forest, the TreeLodge is a truly special retreat where you will be accommodated in luxurious stilted chalets. Enjoy the quiet lounge, observation deck and a sunny pool area where you might be visited by a family of warthog, a shy Red Duiker or a pair of Purple-crested Loeries. Accommodation at Zululand Tree Lodge consists of thatched chalets raised above the floor on stilts, set in the cool tranquility of a fever tree forest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zululand Tree Hotel Hluhluwe
Zululand Tree Lodge Hluhluwe, South Africa

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