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“Trip if a lifetime”

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Ezulwini Game Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Trip if a lifetime”
Reviewed 8 November 2013

Fantastic trip. Wonderful friendly staff. Heavenly food. Amazing animals. Lawrence (owner) made sure he made everyone welcome and ensured the stay was wonderful. River Lodge is newly remodeled and Billy's Lodge is a slice of heaven. Would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank JaniceMJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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266 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
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English first
Wilmington, NC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

My husband and I spent five nights at the Ezulwini Lodges - two nights at the River Lodge, and three nights at Billy's Lodge. This was our first safari experience and we were both blown away by all of it. First, the accommodations were very adequate. Keep in mind, this is not The Ritz - you're out in the bush. So to have a nice king-sized bed, air conditioning, a separate shower and tub, etc. exceeded our expectations. Then there's the food - this really was more than expected. For breakfast they will cook eggs to order plus toast and bacon, there's always fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, and muffins. One morning I asked if they could make me pancakes and they happily did so. For lunch there was always a beautiful, big salad. Entrees while we were there included lasagna, pizza, pasta, and chicken. For dinner we were always given a choice of three appetizers (some choices I remember were butternut squash soup, corn soup, stuffed tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms), two entrees (we had stew, fish and chicken dishes, and for the adventurous there was ostrich in phyllo one night, which was quite tasty), and several desserts. All of our dinners were very good with lovely presentations. And the setting for meals is spectacular - out on a deck overlooking the bush. All of the staff members were wonderful!

But the most spectacular part of our visit was seeing the animals in the wild. Words cannot express how magical this was. Every game drive included at least one "made my day" moment. Lots of elephant and giraffe, hippos, lion cubs, impala, zebra, etc. We even saw the endangered black rhino. And watching the sunset while having a drink out in the bush was amazing! As a side note, one thing I really liked about our safari vehicles – they were covered. That meant we were protected from the sun, which made us much more comfortable. It didn’t hinder our ability to see the wildlife or take photos.

To sum up this experience I can tell you that when we left I started to cry. I've never ever done this before - loved a place so much that I was sad to leave. I absolutely recommend these lodges - you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank jrchapma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Queens
Level Contributor
110 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2013

A perfect winter in the bush of South Africa ... it was easy to spot animals without having to look through all the leaves. No bugs either - to be honest the winter was not that cold. Taking a blanket on the drives was helpful in the early morning and late evening hours. The staff was filled with beautiful, friendly, and kind hearted people who couldn't wait to help you!!! I've been around the world and this was by far my most moving, memorable, and humbling trip! To be surrounded by a family of elephants and watch lions feed their cubs was just - well, it still has me at a loss for words!!

Ohh & the meals - all freshly made home cooking family style :)

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank MissInternational080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Conroe, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2013

We stayed at Ezulwini's River Lodge for two nights and then at Billy's Lodge for three nights. From the moment we arrived, we were treated like family! Glory our hostess as well as Joe, always greeted us with a smile and made sure that our needs were met. Our tracker/guide, Lawrence and Richard, were incredible. They made sure that we had great experiences daily, often taking us in the bush as we tracked the animals. The River Lodge is more quaint and cozy with sightings of elephants right there next to the lodge.
Billy's Lodge is quite larger and more spread out. I felt that I was dropped right into the middle of the South African bush! We sighted warthogs, zebra, and even giraffe right off the back side of the lodge. Our hostess, Tandy, was gracious and accommodating. Our guide/tracker, Rex and Franz, were fantastic. We learned a lot about the various animals that we saw thanks to their knowledge. The food at both lodges was great with breakfast being made to order. The rooms were comfortable and well maintained. I would highly recommend Ezulwini Game Lodges as THE place to go and look forward to my next visit there!!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nancy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
73 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2013

There are 2 Ezulwini Lodges and both are wonderful! A friend and I spent 2 nights at The River Lodge and 3 nights at Billy's Lodge - we could not have been happier. The staff are absolutely amazing! At River Lodge our tracker was Richard and our guide was the fantastic Lawrence. We then were thrilled to have Franz serve as tracker and Rex as our guide at Billy's. It is critical that you pick accommodations with experienced and knowledgeable guides AND access to the surrounding private reserves.

The River Lodge is small and intimate - you'll get to know the staff well. Make sure you meet Glory and Joe. Billy's Lodge is larger and offers more to do but you can't go wrong with either. Food is tremendous and again - the service is unbeatable!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marianne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013

We began our 2 week safari through South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe with a 4 night stay at Ezulwini. We started with 2 nights at the River Lodge and then 2 nights at Billy's lodge. We absolutely loved our stay. The highlight for our family of 4 (2 boys ages 10 and 12) were our guides. Greg at River lodge was amazing and seemed to know exactly how to position the vehicle to get the best photos. He is a brilliant photographer as well. Rex at Billy's was extremely skilled. Our trackers were awesome as well and all business when it came to spotting game.
The lodges food was excellent, the rooms immaculate, and they treated my entire family like royalty. They were extremely accommodating to our two young boys as well. I will try to include photos after they load but I would strongly urge anyone considering a Safari to look closely at Ezulwini. I don't believe that you can do better. They have an awesome facebook page that is constantly updated with the days game drives. In 4 days at the resorts, we saw leopard, cape buffalo, lion and cubs, elephant, zebra, giraffe, impala, white rhino (just missed seeing the black when we moved to Billy's Lodge), fish eagle, and a plethora of other birds and smaller game. I am just speechless.
Ezulwini set a tough standard for the other lodges on our vacation to match.

Room Tip: We stayed in the family room at River's Lodge which had an adjoining room with a pull out bed fo...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Webster Groves, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013

We stayed at Ezulwini's River Lodge for two nights and then at Billy's Lodge for two nights, and while River Lodge seems a bit more upscale and both have friendly staff who go out of their way for you, I felt a better connection with the staff at River Lodge.

Our drivers and trackers went out of their way to try to find the animals we wanted to see on morning and afternoon game drives. I am very fair-skinned so I was really happy that our game drive vehicles had awnings. Almost all, if not all, of the other lodge vehicles we encountered on game drives did not have them, and I would have burnt to a crisp! We saw so many animals on the first afternoon drive that I starting making a list and stopped at 31 animals/birds. We saw the big 5 and so much more! I would go back and stay longer next time!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mizrenaissance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ezulwini Game Lodges

Property: Ezulwini Game Lodges
Address: Ezulwini Billy's & River Lodge | Olifants West Section, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Balule Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Balule Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Ezulwini Game Lodges 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ezulwini, the Zulu word for 'Place of Paradise', is situated in the centre of the Greater Kruger National Park, Balule Nature Reserve section, where Africa remains unspoiled. Ezulwini prides itself on being able to offer an exceptional African setting, indigenous fauna and flora as well as unique character and charm, to provide you with an authentic experience. Ezulwini Billy's Lodge nestles deep in the heart of lion country and offers three standard chalets as well as three new luxury suites with their own lounge area, private deck and plunge pool, indoor and outdoor shower and super King-Size beds. Ezulwini River Lodge is on the famous Olifants River, with large riverine trees and wonderful sightings of elephant, hippo and crocodile. River Lodge offers 4 standard rooms and 4 Ultra Luxury Suites. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ezulwini Game Hotel Balule Private Game Reserve
Ezulwini Game Lodges South Africa/Kruger National Park

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