Zulu Nyala Photo Safari
We won our trip, like most others, at a charity auction. Didn't know what to expect but can tell you it was truly a trip of a lifetime! Airfare was costly and took a number of long hours from Seattle to the safari camp. We rented a car in Richards Bay (got the best deal through Costco's travel site) and saved us a lot of money in transfer fees from the safari camp. The major roads were good, the camp exit was easy to find, but the final few miles to the camp was dirt and rough, took about 1 1/2 hour total drive. You'll need an international driver's license which I acquired through AAA before I left. It takes a while to adjust to driving on the left side of the road and having the car's controls on the opposite side.
Here's some things to think about before you go:
- Get your money converted to Rand before you go. Once you get away from the major airports and major cities, its difficult to find places to convert your money. A few of the ATM's were empty.
- Avoid giving US dollars as tips, its worthless because its difficult for them to convert back to Rand and it costs them.
- The Tent Camp and Heritage Hotel are together, about 3 miles from the Lodge which is located on the game reserve. The guides pick you up at the Heritage and drive up to the Lodge game reserve. We stayed in the Tent Camp for the experience. It could be loud when the wind blows but its well protected from the elements. The meals are buffet style at both the Heritage Hotel and Lodge and food was excellent.
Everyone's reviews claim their guide was the best. We felt the same way about our guide William. If you want to have fun, excitement, amazing photos, and see more animals, you need to request William. Make sure you ask William to take you on a walking safari, we were able to see rhinos up close and personal.
I would pass on the Hluhluwe Umfolozi National Park trip, it had really nice scenery but William was restricted on where he could go. Try to take the Phinda excursion, pricey but worth the money. The School and Village excursion was also very interesting and enlightening. We took lots of candy, school supplies, a few frisbees and a soccer ball, which was insignificant to us but the motherlode to them. The St Lucia-Indian Ocean excursion was also nice, 45 minute boat tour of crocs, hippos, birds, etc. A nice lunch and then to a beautiful white sandy beach on the Indian Ocean. Make sure you stop at the Ilala Weavers on your way back to camp, it's about 5 miles down the road from the Heritage. They serve lunch, have a bar, and higher end souvenirs and merchandise.
If you plan to stay additional time in South Africa, we went to Cape Town, do the safari first then to your next destination.
- 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