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Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge
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Reviewed 18 September 2016 via mobile

I "won" a week's report to Zulu Nyala at a school fundraiser. I was a bit leery, not knowing exactly what I was getting. And It turned out to be fantastic! Bernie was our guide, and she is the best! Game drives everyday. Animals! Every drive was different, depending on time of day, and what the animals were doing! We did many of the optional trips, which are worth it.
We made friends with the other people in our Safari group, and usually ate together. Food is good, served buffet-style. Casual dress, relaxed atmosphere, beautiful pool. Great trip!

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Mimi G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2016

Because all who book here have won the trip in a charity auction, there's a sense of getting much more value. We upgraded from a standard room to a "Hemingway Tent" and were very pleased with the room. They are a little further walk from the main hotel, but the grounds are nice and it's fun to walk past the crocodile pool. We liked the casual nature of the dining room, where you can meet and talk with other travelers and share stories. The food is very good, especially the soups (thanks to chef Wilson and his beautiful smile). We spent all six days at the Heritage Camp. The Safari Camp is about 15 minutes away and up on a hill. The views there are beautiful and their gift shop was open (the Heritage was undergoing remodeling expansion while we were there.) The suggestion is to spend 3 nights at each camp, which is fine, but we didn't want to have to unpack and repack in the middle of the stay. The only real drawback at Heritage was the wifi, which is only available in the main lodge, not in the rooms. (Don't know the Safari Camp wifi situation.) Our ranger was Bernie (Bernedette). She was fabulous!

  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AvaCarberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2016

I bought this 6 night package from a silent auction like most others, and I am SO glad that I did. This was a dream trip for my husband and me (we are in our early thirties), and the most memorable part of our 2 weeks in South Africa for me was our time at Zulu Nyala on safari. What a beautiful, peaceful, untouched portion of the country. Because I wanted to stay in all 3 properties at Zulu Nyala while there, we spent four nights in the tented camps and our last night at the Heritage Safari Lodge (first night at Game Lodge...see that review under its name). We are adventurous and loved the tented camps (such an authentic, uniquely-safari experience), but I will say that they are not for everyone. They are well appointed, spacious, with large bathrooms (separate shower and large tub) and are very clean. The downsides were 1) that ours did not have AC, so it got warm at times and 2) that on the last night it was very, very windy outside, which made the canvas roof and side walls slam pretty loudly against the tent, causing loud noises throughout the night. Because this was only during the last night, we didn't mind, but I would recommend ear plugs in case you need them. That would have solved the problem completely...again, we are so glad we chose the tents because we wanted to feel a true safari experience. The heritage lodge was also great (and actually did have a TV), but I won't take up space talking about it. Jenine/Jeneane was our guide, and she was AMAZING...could not have asked or hoped for a better guide. Request her because you will NOT be sorry. (I may have misspelled her name). She cares so much for her group and for making sure that every single one of us has fun and gets the shots he/she is looking for. She is so knowledgeable and also loves her job, which is evident and refreshing. The off-site excursions offered are not to be missed also! We had a rental car, which I would highly recommend because it allowed us to take the excursions on our own (not through Zulu), which saved us LOTS of money, since the price of admission at these places is much less than what Zulu prices the trips at. The drive from Durban airport is VERY easy...one highway, straight shot 3 hours north. We are from the US, but getting used to left-side driving was a breeze (we were nervous about that going in). Feel free to message me about specific excursions. The only one we did through Zulu was the Mbonise Village and School visit (can't be done w/o Zulu), and I am SO glad we did!!!! You must do this. Lastly, the food - I don't see why some people I these reviews complain (though some people will complain about anything). It is buffet-style, but it is great! You are on a safari, not staying at a culinary establishment. Food should be great, but not the main focus. Still, we always found it varied, fresh, and we loved that there were always authentic South African options on offer. Feel free to contact me with questions, but if, like me, you've "won" this at silent auction b/c it's always been a bucket list destination but you didn't really do any research on this place in particular prior to bidding and are now nervous, don't be! That was exactly how we felt, and we are SOOOO glad that we had this opportunity. I'll be glad to share our itinerary, as we spent 2 weeks in South Africa total, drove around the country lots, and visited many areas w/in the country. It's a beautiful place! Oh, and 1) take a good camera - the photo ops (both during safari and otherwise) are INCREDIBLE and 2) make sure to take enough Rand to be able to tip your guide generously for a job well done! You will no doubt see that he/she deserves!

Room Tip: We had tent #7, and it's one of the older, smaller ones. Some are larger and more modern with air conditioning...that would have been nice.
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
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23  Thank Kristi W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2016

I stayed at Zulu Nyala with my 17 year old son in July 2016. There is not much I can say that already hasn't been covered in the other reviews. We had a wonderful time and I would definitely recommend this as an introduction to African safari. We spent 3 nights at the Heritage Safari Lodge in the tented camp, and 3 nights at the Game Lodge. Although the Game Lodge seems a bit more "luxurious", we preferred the staff, ambiance (and food), at the Heritage. We rented a car in Durban and drove the 2-3 hours to Zulu Nyala. Once you get the hang of driving on the left side of the road, it's really not very difficult. Most of the drive is on highway and with the help pf GPS is very easy. It was nice to have the flexibility of our own transportation, although we did do some of the day excursions with the rest of the group. Our guide for the week was Christiaan. Chris was very knowledgeable, kind and friendly. He went out of his way to try to enable us to see as much as possible. As previously reviewed in winter, the drives are quite cold in the early mornings-- do bring a hat and gloves and wear layers. As previously reviewed, this is a very small (in comparison) game reserve. The advantage to this is that the guides are very familiar with the animals' habits, and thus can get you quite up close and personal with a number of the animals. This makes for excellent photo ops. There are countless types of safaris, and the possibilities are almost endless. I would highly recommend this experience as an introduction to southern African wildlife. It is the perfect way to begin learning about this incredibly vast continent and it's enormous quantity of species.

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with family
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3  Thank Nathalie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2016

After reading some other reviews, I was apprehensive about our stay. The worry was for nothing as it turned out to be a very nice facility. We ended up staying at the Game Lodge as well. Both are very nice in their own way. Heritage is more spread out and zebra graze right by the tents. At both locations we had Nyala and warthogs right by our rooms. The room and food were good. The service was excellent. There is an outdoor lounging area at Heritage that was very pleasant for a meal or drink. Our guides' name was Peace and he was superb! He was an excellent driver and tracker, we saw so many amazing animals. Do yourself a favor and get to know the people, they are so lovely! We booked a sidetrip to Hluluwe Umfolozi and I would HIGHLY recommend going there. We tried to go to Phindi, but they were already full on the first day. We took Zulu Nyalas' shuttle and booked excursions through them. I had thought about trying to rent a car, but so glad I spent the money and had a worry free and SAFE vacation. Aside from the safety factor of driving yourself, if you do some excursions on your own you won't see anywhere near what you could with a tracker!

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled with family
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5  Thank Kathy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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