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“Two New Yorkers on safari!”

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Hluhluwe Umfolozi Hilltop Camp
Brooklyn
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Two New Yorkers on safari!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2014

Like other reviews, we did have some issues with the workers at the front gate of the reserve. We hired a private driver to bring us from the Durban airport to the reserve, and he managed to speak with them, but we couldn't understand what they were saying except the part where they were all very obviously laughing at our expense. Eh, it was only 10 minutes of my life, I'm not that offended.

We stayed two nights at the Hilltop Camp in a non-self catering 2 person chalet. It was large and comfortable. We had a nice deck that overlooked the reserve and had lots of monkey visitors.

Wifi internet access can only be located in the "TV Room" and is slow and almost non-existent, which was a good and bad thing for us as we didn't have any other way to communicate with our next accommodations for the upcoming parts of our trip to South Africa. There is a computer at the reception desk that you can use for a small fee for 15 minutes, but it literally took me 15 minutes to connect to my email and send ONE email. Very slow. Also, reception closes at 7pm, so it doesn't leave much time to get this done, especially if you're taking advantage of the game drives.

We had the buffet breakfast and dinners. Average food, and nothing too special. We were satisfied the first morning and night, but then a little bummed that they offered basically the same things the next day. I'm a vegetarian and was able to subside on fruits and cheeses and the one type of pasta they offered each night.

THE SAFARIS!!!! We did one sunrise and one sunset safari. We had the same driver, Kholani (sp?), for both drives. He was great. We saw more during the sunrise drive. The moment we left the hilltop gate, there was a pack of elephants in the middle of the road. We saw lots of rhino, giraffe, zebra, warthog, impala, baboons, monkeys, elephants, and birds. Missed the lions, but as it's mid summer, there was very high grass.

I think 2 nights was the perfect amount of time to stay. Affordable and breathtaking views. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.

Coming from New York this was an absolutely thrilling opportunity!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Suzzanadu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014 via mobile

Good road from the airport to this facility. Make sure you have money for the toll gates, they do have change but it just slows you down. There are lots of speed traps along the way. Once you get into the park the roads are quite poor, lots of pot holes and animal dung. However this just serves to slow you down to Zulu time, relax look for the animals, wind down the windows and smell Africa don't whinge just accept and enjoy.
We stayed at Hilltop in a chalet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, lounge, kitchen fully equipped for what equates to £100 per night including breakfast for two people. In my experience this is good value for money if you are from Europe. Yes the accommodation is rather tired but think about where you are and why you are there. The scenery is stunning, staff friendly and if you are lucky you will see beautiful animals in their natural habitat. Food is edible, beer is cold, water in the shower runs hot and the beds are possibly the most comfortable I have slept on in Africa. Don't leave your windows open or you will be 'monkeyed'.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm
Level Contributor
44 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2014

Beautiful location but why didn't the huts have a key? Can't be that expensive to buy keys to the huts. Had to share toilet/shower with other people, luckily we were there during low season. If we wanted toilet/shower the price would be double. As far as we understood they only served buffee. We found this place a little bit overpriced even though the breakfast was included in the price.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Mary38Stockholm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
71 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2014

This is a spectacular setting with magnificent views of Hluhluwe/iMfolozi. We were in a two bedded chalet which had everything we could wish for. A well equipped kitchen, comfortable beds and televsion with good reception. The restaurant serves buffet style meals which are fairly basic but more than adequate but the view and setting more than make up for it. The lodge is well managed with friendly and efficient staff. It is a pity that the heavy vegetation ( summer time) around the chalets blocks off the wonderful views. On further investigation we noted that chalets 46, 47 and 48 have the best views. The twin camp Mpila has more open views but no restaurant facilities.

Room Tip: Request chalet's 46 to 48 for the best views.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SydneyTraveloz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2014

We had an incredible stay at the Hilltop camp in the self catering rondavals. The Rondavals, were well equipped with kettle and fridge and very clean. They were also very cool, with a ceiling fan that worked very well. The breakfast that was included by the resort was absolutely amazing and such a treat when you came back from an early morning game drive. The staff were all friendly and helpful and we really enjoyed our stay! The communal kitchen and toilets were well maintained, clean and equipped. The pool was also lovely during the hot days. The only thing that wasn't great was in the girls bathroom the showers would only work on HOT or COLD, you couldn't set an in between temperature. But otherwise, an all-round wonderful stay!

Room Tip: The Rondavel is good value for money.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Natasha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geneva-Switzerland
Level Contributor
75 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2014

We were there recently after 2 year and there are some improuvements:
Rooms have been repainted and are not so dark and gloomy as before,
linen in better and much new softer towels,
2 people at the reception desk and you are not ignored till the 2pm check-in time.

We saw so much on our own that we did not do the game drives with the lodge and therefore went to diner early and had a good selection of food.

Be aware that Hluhluwe/Imfolozi game park does NOT have a machine to check the validity of Wild card members and if you don't have a confirmation letter with dates on it, they make you repay!

Room Tip: Perimeter rooms have a small sitting area and a partial view but don't expect to see animals fro...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank chouboule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richards Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

From Richards Bay we visit the Game Reserve frequently. Unfortunatley the reception facilites at the top Hluhluwe Gate remains a problem with at least 15-20 wait due to only one cashier on duty from 5am - 7am. The roads remain a issue with large potholes, not sure what happend to the predicted repairs reported in 2013. Hilltop facility is a popular tourist attraction, it is the only camp that has restaurant facilities. These restaurant facilites are not good with poor service, misunderstandings when orders are placed, only one checkout / cashier service the terrace, restaurant and bar and sometimes very long ques for tables during lunch hours. Check in / front desk, shop and accommodation facilites are good. Accommodation self catering chalets could do with some modernisation and a coat of paint but still a pleasurable stay. Will be returning again in 2014.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wannabe2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hluhluwe Umfolozi Hilltop Camp

Property: Hluhluwe Umfolozi Hilltop Camp
Address: Hluhluwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 347
Also Known As:
Hluhluwe Umfolozi Hilltop Camp Hotel Hluhluwe Game Reserve

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