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“One of the best trips of my life!”

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Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 July 2017

So, if your favorite non-profit is given this opportunity and you are thinking about bidding on a Photo Safari, do it! The man who owns these resorts offers trips to non-profits in the US and Europe. If you get this trip through an auction at your non-profit, your non-profit gets half the winning bid amount and you'll get the trip of a lifetime.
We flew direct from Atlanta into Johannesburg and then stayed in JNB for two days. Then we took South African airways to Richard's Bay. After a 1 1/2 hour drive we arrived at the Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge. We were put into a group with other travelers and were assigned a guide who not only took us on morning and evening wildlife drives, but also helped us plan excursions during the day. We were so lucky to get Alex. He is so knowledgable and made our trip memorable and fun! Expect to see beautiful countryside, zebra, and giraffe. We saw these animals and so much more! We paid for the cultural tour to visit the Zulu village, adjacent to the property. Also, we took tours during the day to other reserves. One day, we took a tour to the estuary to see hippos and to go to the beach in St. Lucia (to wade in the Indian ocean). I would have been okay with just hanging out at the Safari Lodge, but each trip was worth the extra cost and was amazing. We spent three nights at Heritage Safari Lodge and then spent the last three nights at the Game Lodge. Both were great. I highly suggest trying out both locations. We traveled in late June and it's winter, but the weather was perfect (cool mornings and very comfortable afternoons). Wear layers. Ladies, wear a sports bra for bumpy, adventurous game drives in the jeep! Instead of feeling as if you have to tip everyone, they suggest 10% of the bill at the end. For us, 10% to be shared among the entire staff was too low. Three meals a day were included and the food is great. I found the head chef and introduced myself and asked if we could have vegan options. The chefs at both the Heritage Safari Lodge and Game Lodge both did a great job of accommodating our vegan diet. We paid extra for soft drinks, cocktails, beer, and wine, but the prices were very reasonable ($3-4 for a beer). I never one single time felt as if the trip was a scam. In fact, it was the opposite: I wanted to get an appointment with the owner to look at/buy diamonds, but the opportunity never came up. I feel so fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to meet amazing people (our group was the BEST!), have a fantastic guide (Alex ROCKED!) and see sights I never dreamed of seeing! Being there to see the animals interact (to see a black rhino, white rhino, elephants, leopard, etc.) in the wild gave me hope. It was an awe-inspiring experience from the moment I arrived. My only regret was that I didn't bid more at the auction. It was well worth double or triple what I paid.

Room Tip: We loved room 47 in the Heritage Safari Lodge. It was comfortable and convenient to the dining area.
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
11  Thank Z1361YKmelissam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 - 22 of 427 reviews

Reviewed 17 July 2017

Absolutely loved Zulu Nyala.... Bought through a silent auction. Yes flights were quite expensive but it was well worth it as spent 4 days in Capetown prior to travelling up to Zulu Nyala.
It is about 3 hour from Durban Airport and the transport booked through ZN was good. 3 of us travelled so we upgraded the tent to a luxury family tent and It was lovely (Rhino 1). Big, 3 beds, lounge, coffee/tea making facilities, fridge, ceiling fans and a lovely bathroom with big shower and separate bath.
Food - all the meals were great. a few options each night and was very tasty. Very impressed with it all. it was all clean and looked fresh and the staff were excellent/ Very helpful and friendly.
The whole area was very well kept, plants, lodges, eating and drinking areas. All staff were excellent and friendly.
the twice daily safaris were excellent. Our guide was Amon and he was absolutely fabulous. He was amazing at finding the animals and getting us up close to them. One evening you get to take drinks and watch the sunset. That was a lovely touch, and we got to do some star gazing too and see the milky way come out. Our group was also a lovely bunch 10 people maximum and there was 9 in ours.
Even the additional trips were excellent and the tour guide assigned to you for the week plans and organises it all. We did the elephant interaction which was amazing seeing the elephants up close and learning much more about them, St Lucia boat cruise for the hippos was good and the beach and town visit at St Lucia was really good to see too. the Indian Ocean was lovely Zulu cultural tour was good, and is on the ground of the heritage lodge. Some other guys in our group went whale watching and saw about 30 whales, and some went to the cheetah interaction and Phinda trips too and recommended them.
The Game Lodge looked nice too, and seems to be on the grounds of the reserve so people did see animals walking round, whereas the heritage is just off the grounds.
overall.... it was an excellent experience and would totally go again NOW !!
I have travelled across various continents and Africa has always been my favourite and going back reminded me just how much I love it. Being at one with nature and seeing the animals in their own habitat is amazing and very touching.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
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5  Thank helenX1557IS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2017

My daughter and I spent 6 nights at the Heritage Lodge. The compound is gated and feels very safe. The rooms and the dining facilities were fine. The staff is very accommodating and tries hard to please.
However, the reception staff is disorganized and needs to improve. I planned the trip and made reservations in January, along with reserving transportation from the airport, and kept communication going until time for the trip. On my way to South Africa, during a layover, I received an email stating that they had to cancel my reservations. I had to call them to straighten it out. There were other problems with reception during my stay as well.
The twice daily safaris were amazing and the 5000 acre reserve is perfect for 1st timers. Our guide, Philamon, was in charge of us, our schedules, arranging additional tours, and taking care of any requests that we had. He was so wonderful, very knowledgeable, humble, and personable! Going on safari with Zulu Nyala was a dream come true!

Stayed: July 2017
2  Thank leah w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2017

We booked a 7 day stay with this resort and had a wonderful time. Here is what I would tell any family planning a similar trip:
1. Stay in a standard (family) room. You get one bed for the parents and two for the kids (tents, as I understand, while glamorous, do not have same bedding arrangement and flap a lot in the night wind - and it gets windy). I so appreciated having separate beds for our kids and more importantly across the room from my wife and I. Bathrooms were on point (spacious, claw foot tubs, etc)
2. Get CHRIS as your guide - He was amazing and really made sure we were well take care of
3. The food service was ok. Mostly Indian food but no issues. We did not have cold chicken or other issues as some have reported. Our kids are somewhat picky eaters and they made it through :)
4. Wi-Fi is sketchy but available - you are on vacation - get over it
5. Game Drives are twice a day (usually 6am-8am and again 3pm -6pm ...or even 9pm). Don't miss any of them. Enjoy the night time ones as animals are most active.
6. Bring a good camera and a set of binoculars
7. If you are going in winter (their winter) you will want shorts and short and short sleeve shirts for mid day but pants and a jacket each morning and evening
8. I can attest to the best additional excursions for our family were (in order) Phinda Game Drive (half day - ask for Bruce); Elephant Interaction Tour; St. Lucia Boat Cruise and Shopping.
9. The pool is only warm enough in winter for the hearty ones - my kids loved it though.
10. my only negative is that they have an imbalance (in my opinion) of wildlife to available food - there was little to no grass which is the main source of food (especially compared to Phinda) and while it did not impact our trip I do worry for how they will address and/or sustain this over the next few years. Keep looking for the most recent reviews.

Hope this helps and enjoy your vacation.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
7  Thank Rich M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2017 via mobile

I came here with my daughter and friend 4 years ago. This time I brought my 2 grandsons and daughter. The food was wonderful- 3 buffets a day. There are 2 game rides a day and no 2 rides are the same. ( One was a walking safari) I can not recommend this place enough. try the tented luxury accommodations. The staff is very friendly and accommodating.
Presently there is a lot of construction going on but that will soon end.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
2  Thank ckbucks
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

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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