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“Into Africa !!!”

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Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Certificate of Excellence
Hamilton, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Into Africa !!!”
Reviewed 30 July 2013

Wonderful place to experience the natural trills of the South African Bush. The staff is very knowledgable, courtous and professional. They saw to our needs in a kind and thoughtful way. Although the reserve is not one of the biggest in the region by far it is afine represntation of the natural wonders that the Zulu Natal region has to offer. It is a great "jumping off" place for trips to Tembe Elephant Park, St. Lucia and the other game preserves.

We would go back in a flash if we are ever given the opurtunity..Wonderful, wonderful trip..Thank you to all the staff, especially Jacgue - our game driver, for a true South African adventure.

Room Tip: Stay two night at the Heritage Lodge than move to the Game Reserve -- you will get(and expereince) t...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank TuscanyHorizon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
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Des Moines Iowa
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

I was very discouraged by some of the other reviews. I thought it was a decent hotel, but I wasn't expecting a 5 star resort either like some of the other reviewers. I was happy to be in South Africa surrounded by a great view no less. The rooms are just ok but kept very tidy. The bathrooms aren't modern, but I didn't care. I was there for the experience and that was all. The food was actually pretty good. They had a nice selection too. I got to try warthog and impala which were both delicious. The staff was terrific. They all tried to make sure we were happy. The grounds are very nice. The weather was very pleasant, in the low to mid 70s by day. Make sure you have a hat and scarf that won't blow away for the game drives though! It was VERY cold driving back in the evenings and even more so on the early morning drives. We saw everything but elephant and leopard but others say they saw them at different timed drives. I also did the St. Lucia river cruise and the Mbonise school and village. I would recommend both. If you do plan on going to the school, take something for the kids. Someone else told me this much too late and we had no time to plan so only got candy from a convenience store. I would have bought crayons and notebooks and candy from Walmart back in the states to bring if I would have known ahead of time. I definitely want to visit again. This was a trip of a lifetime.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank andmarDesMoinesIowa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lafayette, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2013

I think the negative comments for the Heritage Lodge are from people who have not compared this to more expensive 5 Star Lodges - either private reserves or those in Kruger Park. Note that this reserve is next to Phinda which is probably twice as expensive.

We spent a week at two other lodges - one in Kruger and one private lodge outside of Kruger - both were more upscale than this - both considerably more expensive. We saw as much game in any day at Zulu Nyala as we did in any day at other venues. If you need to be pampered, go somewhere else. If you want a great wildlife viewing experience it's fantastic - after all, did you come to South Africa for a massage or to see animals? We also enjoyed the people we met - the other places we stayed seemed to have more overly demanding people and one lodge was to large - taking entire bus tours making seem much less intimate. We met fun and down-to-earth people and had a blast.

We were booked for 3 days at the Lodge and 3 days in the tents, but we liked our tent (it's actually a spacious bungalow with a heavy canvas roof) so much we asked to stay and were accommodated; however we arranged to have dinner at the lodge with the people we had been on our game rides - the grounds at Heritage are more spacious because it is just outside of the reserve. The people we joined on game rides were staying at the Lodge and had no complaints.

Our guide Bernie is delightful and was a wealth of information on both wildlife and local culture. We saw as much wildlife in our first 3 game rides than we expected to see the entire 6 days (even spotted the elusive Honey Badger)

The food was decent (breakfast was about the same as other places we stayed) but not gourmet. Someone on this site said the drinks were expensive? The wine was about what you pay in grocery stores or bottle shops so I'm not sure what they were drinking. The dining rooms are both nice and no less well appointed than the other lodges we stayed in.

Couple of suggestions:
1. Do not miss the full day excursion to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park. It is a 1000 square mile park not far from the Lodge and we saw a number of animals we did not see in Zulu Nyala - hyena, lion, baboons - plus some massive elephants. It really adds to your viewing experience. If you choose only one of the optional excursions, this is a must.
2. If you fly to Durban, you might find it less expensive and more convenient to rent a car and drive - it's only 120 miles on a good road, and it is cheaper to rent a car than pay to picked up and returned to the airport. It allowed us to visit the Cheetah rescue facility in Hluhluwe on our own one morning.
3. We also took the excursion to a nearby village. Many people fly to Africa, take a van to a game lodge, and return to the airport. If you want an unvarnished view of life in rural South Africa this is worth the couple of hours. Our group stopped in a general store in Hluhluwe and bought a few bags of children's shoes, visited the local school, and a family home. If you are traveling with kids, by all means take them - they won't gain this sort of insight into the rest of the world in a Geography class. The lodge provides a local guide.



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Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank 61GaryL843
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hillcrest, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2013 via mobile

What I was disappointed by was the attention to detail - no plugs provided in the tented rooms for the bath or sink, no handles on the bedside cabinet or the dressing table, cracked window glass... BUT I enjoyed the facilities, the service, the walks around the plot, the game on site, the zulu village and the food.

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
Thank LMAdkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2013

Ask for James. Amazing guide! Tents are a little noisy, but worth the experience. Game Lodge is neat because it is inside the reserve, but the tents and safari lodge are cleaner, service is better, and food is a little better (especially breakfast). Loved every minute of this trip. James made the trip even better. Would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mdmoore2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
241 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2013

We stayed at the Zulu Nyala Safari Resort and we had a mixed bag in terms of the quality of the experience. While the tents are quite nice, the rest of the resort is a bit like a boarding school - including the food. The first night the food was just short of 'horrible' while the second night it improved somewhat and came close to being a good meal. (Breakfasts are good - good variety and choice but avoid anything fried if you don't like LOTS of oil.) If we had not bought the deal at a very discounted price we would have been very disappointed in terms of the value for money. Basically we paid a hugely discounted rate and the whole experience was worth only what we paid. While the staff were generally friendly, they became increasingly overwhelming during the two day stay and insisted on teaching everyone Zulu while serving them breakfast, and dinner. It was fun in the beginning but really got a bit much by the end of the stay. The service definitely slipped in direct proportion to the amount of Zulu they wanted to teach us. The dining room staff were definitely too 'in your face'. The fatal flaw in the whole weekend was the fact that the front of office staff and the Manager who was eventually called to sort out the problem, did not understand the deal that we had bought and were not willing to give us the discount due to us. After a lengthy argument and a phone call to 'headoffice' they grudgingly apologised and gave us the bonus discount that we were due. the game drive (although very clearly orchestrated so that you are guaranteed to see all the Big Three that they have on the reserve - Elephant (3), Rhino (3) and cheetah (2)) was a most pleasant experience the ranger was well prepared for the questions that we had to ask. All in all - there needs to be more attention to detail - like the person who shows you to your tent should not have to drive in your car to show you where you are staying .... there are vehicles available at the camp that the porter could use to take you and your bags to the tent. The chairs in the tents need a sponge cleaning, and the plastic orchids could be done away with. And the dining room staff need to back off a bit - its about your guests; it's not about you!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank LeeKZN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle WA USA
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2013

We so enjoyed our stay at the Zulu Nyala Game Lodge in 2009, that we bid on it again; but this time we purchased two trips so we could bring our friends, too. This experience surpassed the previous one. Sipho, our safari guide for the week, was terrific! He attended to all our needs and answered all our questions, we learned so much about the Zulu culture from him. Our safari group bonded so well that we are making plans for a reunion visit to Zulu Nayala with Sipho as our guide!

For those wondering about room assignment, the size and type of room depends on how much you bid for the experience. The first time we paid the lowest accepted price, so we were assigned the budget accommodations, which suited us just fine. For us we were on an adventure to Africa, so we were completely satisfied with having a comfortable bed, quiet room and a private bathroom which included a nice soaking tub and a separate shower. We did not expect to have a TV. We did have an overhead ceiling fan which I recommend using to discourage mosquitos.

For this trip since we purchased two experiences, we were upgraded to the view rooms overlooking the valley and the pool. Our room layout was identical to the room on our previous stay, however our friends' room had additional space for a seating area. I noticed that there are also much larger 2-3 room suites, too. So auction bidders need to understand this when they check in to the Game lodge. If you want a more luxurious room than a basic hotel room, I recommend that you request to pay extra for the upgraded room. Also this time, our room had internet access which was a nice addition from our previous experience.

Since the outdoor temperature was mild during the day (Africa's late autumn); it was not warm enough for me to take a dip in the pool , although a couple guests did. I would have loved to have done this. Our safari mates, who stayed a couple days in the Heritage Lodge Safari tents said the Heritage Pool seemed ten degrees warmer than the Game Lodge Pool.

Other than swimming in the cold pool or playing tennis; there were no opportunities for exercising off our meals as guests are not allowed to jog or walk off the lodge grounds ( the elephants do come up to the lodge on occasion). If I could make a recommendation, it would be nice to have an exercise space equipped with treadmills, bikes; TV, mats and exercise DVDs so we can minimize the weight gain.

The buffet type breakfast lunch and dinners suited us just fine. At breakfast, they do have made to order eggs, too..

The front office staff, were warm and welcoming; the dining room staff was attentive. In particular, I'd like a shout out to "Peaceable" who remembered us from our previous stay.

We are looking forward to our next visit in a couple years!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank MJDnewcastleWAUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge

Property: Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge
Address: 45 Bree Street Cradock 1969 | PO Box 247, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Hotel Class:4 star — Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Heritage Safari Lodge was originally built in the 1940’s as a hotel and was a landmark pit-stop for weary travelers between Maputo and Durban. Acquired in 1996, the gracious building was lovingly restored to its original colonial grandeur, enhanced with new accommodation, and tastefully themed to highlight Zululand’s unique cultural heritage.With buffet-style meals in our restaurant, the wide, welcoming veranda and our ‘human watering hole’ - the pub or thatched boma, warm and relaxing atmosphere is conducive to shared good times and conviviality. The sparkling pool is always inviting, and you’re sure to enjoy browsing our beautifully stocked curio shop for a few authentic African mementos. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Hotel Hluhluwe
Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge Hluhluwe, South Africa - Zululand

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