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“Trip of a life time”

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Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Trip of a life time”
Reviewed 28 September 2016

The Zulu Nyala Property, safari and overall staff is excellent. The staff really made the trip great especially our safari guide Musa! He was such an expert and provided great information, but you could tell how caring he is of all the animals. He respects them and gave us so many wonderful memories. I can not say enough about how fantastic this place is. The staff, accommodations, food and the wonderful animals is AWESOME.

Room Tip: Stay in the heritage lodge vs. the tents.
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  • Stayed September 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank B2695EMkarenl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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378 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2016

We stayed 3 nights in the Heritage Safari tents and 3 nights at the Game Lodge and highly recommend staying at both for two different experiences while enjoying the exciting game reserve experience. The tents made us feel like we were really camping in the great outdoors though the interiors were large, and comfortable, with all modern amenities of a resort hotel. The Lodge was a more refined experience, with beautiful spacious accommodations and four poster bed, double shower with rain shower heads and expansive floor to ceiling views over the hilltops and valleys of the game reserve.

We read all the reviews and had low expectations. The philosopher who said, "When you expect nothing, you have everything" was right. We were BLOWN AWAY by this place. The management and staff were absolutely GRACIOUS. The accommodations were lovely, comfortable, charming, but we found that to be so because we didn't expect Frette linens and rose petal turn down service etc.

The game reserve was large enough to give you the great outdoor experience and compact enough to see all the animals up close and personal. The animal encounters were one surprise after another - breathtaking! We were within 20 feet of a cheetah, five feet of elephants, and just yards away from multiple forms of wildlife every day. You will see tons of Rhino, zebra, monkeys, Cape Buffalo, hippo, wilderbeast, giraffes.

You must spend the money to get to Phinda Reserve one day in order to see the lions. We were right in the path of herds of elephants, got up close and personal with two lionesse and their cubs, and saw cheetah, giraffe, We also took a morning drive in Bayete GAme reserve and came across 3 male lions which was unforgettable. It is necessary to get to these reserves if you want to see Lions and you can't go to Africa and not see lions. But i sure don't want them wandering around my tent at night. So we were so happy to lay our heads down inside Zulu Nyala at night!

The cuisine at Zulu Nyala is absolutely wonderful. IF you enjoy home cooking and authentic cuisine of the country you are visiting, you will appreciate the choices. The breakfast spreads and dinner buffets were amazing. They served curry, carved ham, venison, barbequed chicken, cheese platters every morning and night, beautiful and abundant vegetable dishes and always a fresh selection of fruit and salads. My husband and I gained weight!

If traveling in September, bring knit hat and gloves, scarves and jacket, as the weather is cool n mornings and at night and there are very gusty days. Bring shorts and long pants, and if staying at the Lodge part time, bring tennis rackets and clothes- who would've guessed! They offer a beautifully maintainedl tennis court, billiards and black jack table! LOL!

A special thank you to our guide, Erica, who made sure we saw all the animals and got all the photos we wanted. She took us on multiple Ferrari Safaris in order to get to the animals that were spotted at the other end of the park before they dissapeared into the bush. We went on one safari drive with Janine one morning and were bored to tears, so we had opportunity to gauge the difference a guide can make!

We were celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary and Valentine at the Heritage Reception desk made sure that we received a beautiful room with a view at the Game reserve when we made it known that we'd like to stay there as well. That gracious hospitality went a long way in making our visit unforgettable in every way! We were so impressed with the entire staff's desire to make our stay most enjoyable. All were beautiful, gracious and sweet.

We highly recommend Zulu Nyala to all of our friends. We tied it in with 3 days in Cape Town, One day and night in the Cape wine lands, One night in Uhmlungha Rocks near Durban and it was perfect.

Room Tip: The tents are the way to go - get the real authentic experience!
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  • Stayed September 2016, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
3 Thank Mimi G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AvaCarberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
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 a...
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  • Stayed September 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank Kristi W
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 
Also Known As:
Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Hotel Hluhluwe

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