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“a little gem”

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Hluhluwe River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
oxford
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“a little gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

This place is a little Gem ! staying here is what Africa is all about.
We stayed here for four nights in Feb.2014. The accommodation was first class.
The food was of the highest standard, and what a dinning room !. The staff were very friendly
The young lady on reception, went out of her way, and spent lots of time helping us, to sort out
game drives, and days out. She even phoned our next "lodge"! up, to get the best directions
for us. The nightly visits of wild life,to our lodge were magical !.
As I said, this is Africa "in the bush".

Room Tip: we stopped in No 3 it was great
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank clive s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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140 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lancashire
Level Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2014

The 5th stop on our tour of KwaZulu-Natal where we stayed for 3 nights. A 5/6 km drive down a dirt road and then you get to the gate and you are still 1.2km form reception! but it was worth the drive. We arrived just as it was starting to rain and unfortunately got a leak in our thatched chalet but the staff were great and we moved to another room although we got soaked in the process, all part of the experience!

The general layout and accommodation are all excellent, and very well-designed to fit in with the woodland setting. From the lodge veranda where we had our meals and the bar is located, there's a lovely view of False Bay although due to the weather it kept disappearing.

Owner Gavin and and the rest of the staff were very friendly and helpful, both around the lodge and in suggesting places to go and making bookings (a particular thanks to Ayanda)

The quality of the meals was superb, and to have breakfast in the sunshine and dinner by candlelight overlooking the grounds with buck, kurdu and monkey about was delightful.

As we were there for three nights we decided on two game drives first in the afternoon followed by an early morning one.

For both drives a ranger picked us up at the lodge to drive in the viewing vehicle to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, which was a 40-minute journey, Although the weather was not at its best the afternoon drive round the park was great with buffalo, giraffe, lots of birds including vulture and up-close to elephants although the highlight was to be within touching distance of rhino as they came right up to our vehicle

The early morning drive was different on the exposed, elevated seats in the pouring rain and no waterproof ponchos and the cover having to be repaired with bandages!! We were all soaked and frozen by the time we got back to the lodge. (I think the lodge now suggests you drive in your own car to meet a ranger at the park entrance), to top it all there wasn't much game apart from some amorous giraffes. At least there was a hot shower and a good breakfast waiting when we got back.

Just a word of warning make sure you have plenty of mosquito spray as despite the ghekos (in the room) and mosquito nets we were still bitten many times!! although to be fair this was probably down by the hippo pool and despite our being coated in repellant.

Two other visits we made (recommend by Gavin) and were first class was Phinda Elephant Experience where you could interact with a Large Bull (Rambo) a cow and their calf. To be able to stand next to a large bull elephant with enormous tusks, feed it and actually put your hand in its mouth was an amazing experience and well worth the effort of getting there as we got stuck in the mud on the road and had to be towed out!!

The other was the visit to False Bay Park where we seemed to be the only people there and the amount of wildlife we encountered far outshone the earlier game drive, a beautiful spot

We would highly recommended the River Lodge as a base for visiting this part of Kwazulu-Natal.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank LancashireWarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2014

We have now visited Hluhluwe River Lodge 3 times, and have loved it each time!
Nice rooms, excellent food, and good staff led by a wonderful family!
We definitely make it an annual stop over for preferably two nights of chilling before hitting the game parks or beaches!

Room Tip: You choose what you want to do. Horse back riding, game drives to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, or a multitude...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Evanston, Illinois
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2014

Gavin and his staff were amazing. We arrived midday from a long journey (with 4 hungry kids) and the staff immediately set about to feed us. The food was incredible and appealed to the epicureans in our group. Besides the amazing food, one night we ate dinner with a serval staring at us from the trees. The second night, the staff offered to feed the kids first and so the adults enjoyed a quiet dinner. At night, Gavin built a fire and chatted with the guests, creating a lovely vibe. We stayed two nights and had two chalets. Both chalets were beautifully appointed, clean and comfortable. There are geckos, as mentioned in another review, but they aren't offensive and appropriately reminds you that you are staying in the wild - as does the varied visits from buck and kudu that saunter outside your chalet. The grounds and the main house are also beautiful. The staff was extremely helpful in helping us plan our activities. We would gladly stay again and would plan to stay longer. It is a 15 minute ride out of town. We did it in a minivan with no problems.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 2kidsBackpack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2014

Thank you to Gavin and everyone at Hluhluwe River Lodge for a wonderful getaway and experience. The hospitality, service, accommodation and food was all wonderful. You were all so accommodating to the kids and their food (dis)likes as well as our schedules. You provided a relaxing, peaceful and truly memorable vacation. Thank you all so very much. You truly have a piece of paradise!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

The staff are exceptional. Annelise was incredibly helpful and she and the rest of the staff looked after us very well. The food was very good. We were on an all inclusive and all of the meals were lovely. The ladies in the kitchen went out of their way to accommodate the children too and made chicken nuggets and chips / boiled eggs when they didn't fancy the grown up food. It's an incredibly peaceful place and is very good value for money.

Our aircon was a bit creaky and the rooms could do with a bit of tlc - they're look like they've not been updated since they were built but unless you're planning on spending all day in them, it's not really a problem!

We'd definitely return.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank headoftheclass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2013

The first thing I would say about our amazing stay at the lodge is try getting a rugged car to hire to ensure your worthwhile journey, when you're off the main road, is more comfy and less worrying!

From the moment you arrive you are made to feel extremely welcome by all the staff and and they are keen to accommodate you in any way they can!! We visited in June 2013 for 4 nights with 3 kids aged 9, 11 and 13 and 2 adults and it was fantastic for all of us.

To the surprise of the staff, my kids went for a swim in the freezing cold pool (it was winter time but they're quite hardy English kids!!) when we arrived!! They loved it after a long trip from the UK on the plane and in the car, but didn't have time to dip in again!!

The accommodation was brilliant!! We were placed in a chalet next to the kids and they loved the freedom!! It was very clean and tidy and the view from our balcony overlooking the lake was gorgeous!! The wild animals wandering past and swinging through the trees were a surprise and fab.......soooo great for the kids......and us!!

The food was gorgeous every day and they were brilliant at accommodating the needs of a vegetarian and a child with food allergies in our family!! The sweet corn bread was a particular fave for my son and the cook gave him the recipe and made him one to take away on the day we left, which made him extremely happy!!

We went on some fab trips when we visited, the highlights being, the Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre, where we stroked cheetahs!! The Zulu village down the road from there was good fun and the Elephant interaction was awesome!!!! The game drives were also fab and our guide was fantastic every time!!

All in all our visit was truly fantastic!! Would recommend to everyone and would love to be able to come back again sometime!! Thanks to everyone there who made our visit special for the whole family!!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Melanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hluhluwe River Lodge

Property: Hluhluwe River Lodge
Address: D540-Hluhluwe (District Road 540), Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 32 Speciality Lodging in Hluhluwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hluhluwe River Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hluhluwe River Lodge is an intimate forest lodge situated far from the hustle and bustle, offering a tranquil environment and relaxed atmosphere. The lodge is ideal for self drive visitors looking for a fully catered restaurant facility and spacious living area. The main lodge has a lounge, expansive terrace and Wifi facilities. Ideal for a family getaway or a couples retreat, our attention to detail and personal touch will make your stay memorable. Upon request, we offer guided walks into False Bay Park which includes forest and lake shore experiences where the focus is on the little details and magic of our greatest asset, the Sand Forest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hluhluwe River Hotel Hluhluwe
Hluhluwe River Lodge South Africa - Zululand

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