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HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   N2 | Greater Addo, Eastern Cape, Amakhala Game Reserve 6011, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Mid Wales
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Superb”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

We stayed 4 nights at Hillsnek and from the moment we were picked up from our car to the moment we were taken back it was superb.All aspects of the stay were fantastic.The "tents" were excellent and the outside shower was a unique experience.What was so nice was the fact that there are only 3 tents and that they are not on top of one another,spaced out just right.The lodge itself complete with sitting area,pool and bar was where you met up prior to your game drives. The game drives lasted a good 3-4 hours and our ranger Justin was just brilliant,the enthusiasm and passion he showed was amazing.
His knowledge of the animals was first class and he went out of his way to ensure everyone had a great time.We saw plenty of animals and Justin always tried to ensure we had the best opportunity for good photo shots.Another excellent thing on the drives was the practice of not allowing more than 2 vehicles at a time by the animals,if other vehicles were in the area they had to wait a good distance away until you moved on.Drinks and light snacks on both morning and evening game drives are provided and the places Justin stops at for these "Pit Stops"were stunning.
When we returned from the drives we were always welcomed back with a smile and a refreshing towel before freshening up prior to our meal.The food was fantastic with a good choice ranging from freshly baked muffins prior to the game drive through to stunning ostrich steak at night.Delicious!!!
The "Hillsnek Team" have got it perfect,yes the accommodation and game drives were brilliant but they have also got the little things right.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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194 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

This was our first trip to SA and also our first safari. Hillsnek was absolutely fabulous, all the staff were so helpful and friendly. Our room was spotlessly clean and so comfortable and the food was fabulous. Our ranger Justin made our stay by being so knowledgeable and enthusiastic with our game drives and we were lucky enough to see the lions make a kill on a waterbuck. Everybody went out of their way to make our holiday so special. thank you

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halle, Belgium
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

This was our very first safari experience, and it was truly fantastic! The service is excellent, the food is wonderful, there are no sufficient terms for this place. Very luxurious tent (if you can call it a tent), with a bath and outside shower. We slept well (excellent place for star gazing too btw). Very pleasant products in bathroom at your availability. We had David as our ranger, I must say we were very lucky to have him! Very good explanation, professional, all you can want. We saw a lot of animals up close with David, and we also really enjoyed his stories during dinner with the other guests. Breakfast, high tea and dinner were all extremely nice, very tasteful, good wines available. Nice to have it all inclusive too. So if you want a fabulous safari with all the luxury included, only one place to stay; you won't regret it!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

This was everything we hoped for having never been on safari before. 5 star throughout including the service, food, accommodation, passion and knowledge of the rangers, views and of course the animals. Its only a short drive from Port Elizabeth and a perfect start to a Garden Route holiday eventually ending in Cape Town. I recommend this being the start of any holiday as the early morning safari trips do take their toll and so having the rest of the holiday to chill worked well. We found 3 nights was perfect in terms of energy and seeing enough without having to rush. Totally recommend it.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Bushbaby99, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
A big thank you for taking the time to review HillsNek on Tripadvisor and for the wonderful review.

As a team we are so happy to hear that your 1st safari was enjoyable and memorable, in all aspects. Our proximity to Port Elizabeth Airport is certainly advantageous and it must be noted that we are situated in a malaria-free area of South Africa.

Many of our guests end their stay with a safari at HillsNek, but many also begin their South African holiday with HillsNek. It all depends on your individual itineraries and preferences. The early mornings may be daunting for some, but the promise of an afternoon siests normally puts them at ease.... Plus, there is nothing more spectacular than early mornings in the bush!

Thank you again and the best!
Kind regards
Chantelle and the HillsNek Team
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Lund, Sweden
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

We stayed here for two nights and this was our first safari. Justin was our ranger and he was excellent! He was very good at locating the animals and toled us a lot about them. We saw lots of different animals and four of the big five (not the leopard), but a cheeta.
We got spoiled every day, the food and the service was excillent and the tent very luxurious. Thank you so much Hillsnek!

Stayed February 2014
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Bushbaby99, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review us on Tripadvisor and for the excellent review.

Our staff love welcoming 1st time safari goers and introducing them to wildlife and nature. Your first safari will always be the most special... and I say first because be warned! The safari bug does bite.

Thank you for spending time with us, and we hope to welcome you back one day in the future.

Kind regards
Chantelle and the HillsNek Team
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Henley in Arden, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

From the warm greeting on arrival to the emotional farewell song from the staff, HillsNek cannot be faulted. The food, wine, ambience and accommodation are all first class. However, the game drive experience is world class. David, our ranger, excelled with his knowledge, wry humour and his passion for the animals, particularly rhino.

Room Tip: There are only three! Don't leave without experiencing an outdoor shower.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bushbaby99, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
What an absolutely wonderful review to share with our team! We are honored that HillsNek provided an "experience of a lifetime" !! Thank you for sharing this on Tripadvisor.

The HillsNek team is made up of small group of talented and highly passionate individuals, coupled with owners who are dedicated conservationists. At every level, we strive to deliver the best possible experience at all times. And of course in between the hard work, we all love what we do and enjoy nothing more than a good laugh with guests whenever we can!

All the best for 2014 and please do come back and visit.

Kind regards
Chantelle and the HillsNek Team
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Petersfield, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

Everything about Hillsnek is superb. The main lodge, the tents, the staff, the food, the game. The decor is quietly relaxing during the day and then is transformed in the evening by the lamps into a very atmospheric stunning place to return to from the evening game drive. We loved every minute and could not recommend it more highly.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bushbaby99, Owner at HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Thank you for an excellent review on Tripadvisor and for your valuable time.

We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time spent with us and found the whole experience superb. We really enjoyed your comment in regards to the transformation of the lodge at night... many of our guests are in awe upon returning back from afternoon game drive.

Thank you again and your kind recommendations are heart-felt!

Kind regards
Chantelle and the HillsNek Team
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Additional Information about HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve

Address: N2 | Greater Addo, Eastern Cape, Amakhala Game Reserve 6011, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Amakhala Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Amakhala Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — HillsNek Safaris, Amakhala Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HillsNek Safaris is an intimate, luxury tented camp positioned on the banks of the Bushmans River. Situated in a tucked away corner of the Amakhala Big 5 Game Reserve, the lodge is 70km's from Port Elizabeth in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. An abundant variety of wildlife includes white and black rhino, elephant, giraffe, cheetah, lion, buffalo, zebra and a myriad of plains game. The stone, canvas and thatched main lodge is at the heart of the camp, with four private safari tents elevated on wooden decks that enhance the spectacular views of surrounding plains and bush. All tents have panoramic views of the African plains, and game viewing can often be enjoyed from the comfort of your bed. Personalized service and outstanding hospitality is the hallmark of every stay. ... more   less 
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