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“Life in the Bush”
Review of Malala Lodge

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Malala Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 November 2010

We stayed 3 nights at Malala Lodge and it was a very positive experience. The Lodges were adequate considering we were in a Game Park. Nice thatched cottages though thatch had a slight smell which we did not notice after a while. We had Dinner Bed and Breakfast option which was excellent. Meals were of a very high quality and the hosts Jane, Paul and Pete were very friendly and helpful. Game Drive is a must as is St Lucia Wetlands visit. Make sure you drive towards Cape Vidal as we saw many species of Game there too - especially some mean Rhinos. Hippos and Crocs were aplenty on the Wetlands. Also worth a visit to the Zulu Village nearby.
Altogether a wonderful part of our Hoilday.

Harry and Margaret Smith, Carlisle, UK.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank harrymag_smith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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196 - 202 of 240 reviews

Reviewed 22 November 2010

We greatly enjoyed our stay here - we were recommended by our family & were not disappointed. The Lodge is comfortable, the owners kind & helpful, the food delicious & the sail on Lake St Lucia & the Game Drive in Hluhluwe exciting - we saw so many rhino we couldn't believe our eyes - & other game too, of course. We were introduced to other guests & shared experiences chatting at the bar in the evening.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank rubyj_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2010

We recently stayed six nights at Malala Lodge. Opening and closing the gate at the entrance gave an exciting feeling to be completed by our thatched cottage set away amongst the trees, where we were lucky enough to see impalas drinking at our bird bath outside our cottage. The cottage was comfortable and well maintained and clean to the point that you could not see the glass in the window frame! Although we did not use the facilities our kitchinette was well equipped.
Delicious, tasty, home cooked meals (beautifully presented I might add) were taken in the thatched dining room with cozy lounge area nearby which was well stocked with bookshelves of information - even a Zulu dictionary - should you need it!
The hosts Jane, Pete and Paul were always discreetly atttentive. Pete and Jane gave lots of information over drinks in the Bush Bar and we would often chat after dinner.
Malala Lodge is extremely well situated to enjoy all the Kwa Zulu Natal Parks. A few kilometers and you are on the N2 for day trips to Hluhluwe, Umfolozi, Mkuze and St Lucia or you can enjoy a relaxing morning round the beautiful pool!!
As regular South Africa visitors I would recommend Malala Lodge.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sandy8449
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2010

Make no mistake, the location of Malala Lodge is excellent , being relatively close to Hluhluwe Game Park, and set in (almost) the complete bush of Africa. This review is based on our time at Malala Lodge and not the Game Park. Malala Lodge is a place to stay if you want to be close to nature and get back to basics. And I mean basics.

Unlike the other reviews here, we were a self catering party (with 10 in our group) and we did not experience the home cooked cuisine offered in the restaurant. This made our experience somewhat different. Our feedback is as follows:

The lodge kitchens were not at all well equipped and cooking for a group of 10 proved challenging. Saucepans, dish cloths and sharp knives were in short supply. Safety was carelessly overlooked - having an electric cable dangling dangerously close to the electric hob was an accident waiting to happen. (And from the tape stuck around the cable, it has probably happened before).

The condition of our lodges was poor. Our room had a terrible damp smell, even with the fan blowing the whole time. The shower cabinet doors were dirty in the corners and the overall appearance was tired, tatty and grubby. The beds however were comfortable and the linen clean and changed daily.

The lighting outside the lodges was very poor. Given we were in the Bush, but some light is still necessary. Otherwise, torches should be provided, or guests should be recommended to bring them.

The Braai area had dangling twigs and tinder dry leaves dangling perilously close, making a clear fire hazard. Malala does a good job in keeping the paths and scrub trimmed back, so why not the braai area?

The pool is nice but freezing and is too shaded and poorly positioned.

The bar area is very nice, but is only opened for a few hours in the early evening. This was a great pity, as we would have liked to have spent more time there as it is close to the pool.

Overall, we were not impressed with Malala Lodge, and would not return there. We appreciate that it is a three star listed accommodation, and that it is based very close to nature. However, this does not mean that standards of hygiene or safety should be compromised. Jane was a very welcoming host, but as an independent group we did not need help with organising tours or meals. For the facilities on offer, we did not think that the accommodation offered good value for money.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank Maija63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mlsafari, Owner at Malala Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 11 October 2010

Firstly, we must state that as a family owned and managed lodge we take very seriously any review of us, as every effort is made to go the extra mile for our guests - as attested to by the numerous very positive reviews we have received on TripAdvisor and other travel review websites.
Secondly, we would like to thank the reviewer for all the positive aspects of our lodge highlighted in her review: our location, our natural surroundings and closeness to nature, the comfort and cleanliness of our beds and linen, the general neatness of the gardens and paths, the swimming pool (which is invariably a little chilly at the end of winter), our bar area and our welcoming and friendly service.
Finally, we do deeply regret that certain elements of the 3 night stay were not in accordance with the reviewer’s expectations. Frankly, we were somewhat suprised at the complaints highlighted in the review, as no complaints or concerns were raised with us during the 4 days the group was with us. In fact as two of the owners were in attendance at all times and spoke to various members of the group on several occasions, we were under the impression that the group was completely satisfied with their visit. Certainly, if maintenance issues had been brought to our attention (e.g. replacement of a light bulb, trimming around braai area etc.) they would have been rectified immediately. Nevertheless, they have been duly noted. Thank you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2010

Very friendly people, good guide in Hluhluwe national park, helpfull, knows the region very well, good food, ... .
No complaints what so ever.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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Thank euronald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2010

Excellent vacation. High recommend. one of the best place which have visited in my vacation times.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled solo
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Thank franz030758
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2010

Wonderfull place in a small private game reserve near Hluhluwe NP.
We stayed in a family cottage which had enough space for the five of us. Cooking facilities were available.
The cottages are simply furnished and basic but the space and surroundings make up for that.
There is lots to do within 45 minutes driving (beach, st lucia, National Park, rehab center for animals, zulu village). We stayed 5 days which is actually too short.
We had breakfast and diner at the lodge. After one month travelling through SA we can compare the meals; they were excellent. It was fresh home cooked south african food with lots of variety.

Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
Thank Karin064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Malala Lodge

Address: Bushlands Road, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 33 Speciality Lodging in Hluhluwe
Price Range: £41 - £64 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Malala is a bush lodge on a 140 hectare (340 acre) private nature reserve, accommodating a maximum of only 18 guests, thereby ensuring a tranquil African bush atmosphere and experience. Our lodge is located in the Hluhluwe area, in the centre of the Elephant Coast in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. We are ideally positioned between the world-renowned Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, Mkhuze Game Reserve, Sodwana Bay and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Malala has been owned and managed by the Harvey family since 2001 and we, together with an enthusiastic team of staff, are always on hand to provide the personal attention one would associate with a small intimate lodge. Our property has a variety of vegetation types, including lowland forest, woodland, grasslands and wetlands. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll through these diverse habitats on well-maintained and marked walking trails. You may come across some of our game, which includes Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Nyala, Reedbuck and Red and Grey Duiker. In addition, Malala Lodge is at the centre of the birding hotspot of KwaZulu-Natal with over 500 species of bird having been recorded in the Elephant Coast area. The Malala Lodge birdlist currently has over 270 recorded species. The main thatched lodge is centrally positioned within the camp and overlooks indigenous forest. Here guests can enjoy a relaxing drink in the cosy bush pub or take a dip in the palm-fringed swimming pool. Meals are available, by prior arrangement, in the lodge dining room: - Dinner is a home-styled three-course set menu with cheese and biscuits and tea/coffee; and - Breakfast is a full English breakfast including cereals, fruit salad, yoghurt and tea/coffee. Adjoining the dining room is a small reading lounge where a variety of magazines and books are available for your interest. Malala Lodge can accommodate guests on a self-catering basis or, if you would prefer, indulge yourself in genuine home-cooked meals in the attractive thatched dining room. Our accommodation, which nestles within the forest fringe, comprises: - Four private, thatched, open plan chalets all with en-suite shower facilities. The chalets are 1-bedroom units which can accommodate 2 adults, or 2 adults and a child. All the chalets come with fully equipped kitchenettes, ceiling fans and braai/barbeque facilities. - A semi-detached chalet equipped with en-suite shower facilities, separate lounge, kitchenette and ceiling fans and braai/barbeque facilities. The chalet accommodates two adults sharing. - Two family cottages each comprising two bedrooms (en-suite), lounge and kitchenette and equipped with ceiling fans and braai/barbeque facilities. These units accommodate family groups of up to 4. - A family cottage comprising two bedrooms, bathroom, lounge and kitchen and equipped with ceiling fans and braai/barbeque facilities. This large unit accommodates a family group of up to 5. All of the accommodation units are supplied with tea/coffee facilities and all linen and towels are provided. We provide game drives, by prior arrangement, in our open game-viewing vehicle into the world renowned Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, providing guests with a superb opportunity of viewing a multitude of mammals, birds, reptiles and plants. Other activities include: - Self-drive day trips to the parks and beaches of St. Lucia, Sodwana Bay and Cape Vidal for boat cruises, kayaking, snorkelling, diving and whale watching. - Walking and horse trails through nearby parks and reserves. - Cultural Zulu Village tours - gain firsthand knowledge of traditional Zulu culture and lifestyle. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Malala Lodge Hluhluwe, South Africa - Zululand

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