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“Great place needing TLC” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Tala Private Game Reserve

Tala Private Game Reserve
P.O. Box 13 665 | Cascades, Pietermaritzburg 3202, South Africa
+27 31 781 8000
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Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Ranchs, Outdoors
Activities: Getting married
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Attraction details
Owner description: Nearly 3,000 hectares of pristine natural plains and grasslands, this Kwazulu-Natal reserve has abundant bird species as well as big game.
Durban, South Africa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great place needing TLC”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

I have always taken overseas visitors to Tala as it is close to Durban, has plenty of animals and we always have a picnic lunch or a braai by the rock pool in the middle of the day, so it is quite an inexpensive day out. I visited in December with family from overseas and was very disappointed in the state of the toilets and the pool was bright green, so our children were unable to swim. It is still worth going to Tala to see the animals but the management needs to do some serious maintenance to restore this gem to its former glory.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TalaGameReserve, Manager at Tala Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Dear Valued Guest

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience that was caused to you during your visit at the rock pools. Your experience of the service delivery overall most certainly does not reflect the high standard that Tala Private Game Reserve is usually proud to offer. I confirm therefore that your concerns have been addressed and that corrective action is being taken to rectify the shortcomings.

GUEST feedback is imperative for us to ensure whether or not we are meeting and exceeding our GUESTS' expectations. We need to know when we have done right, but more importantly, when we have done wrong! Your feedback has therefore been truly invaluable to us. Should you require any further assistance from our side, please do not hesitate to contact me personally.

Yours sincerely,

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Shockingly bad”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

I have been visiting family in South Africa this Christmas from England. We visited Tala shortly after new year. Having been there before in previous years, I was looking forward to visiting again. The bad service started immediatly we arrived at the gate. There was a distinct " I can't be bothered ," attitude. We drove around for a while, and then stopped for lunch. The previous lovely restaurant was appaling! No one greeted us when we walked in as they were chatting amongst themselves, and the tables had not been cleared away and were filthy. We cleared a table and took the dirty crockery to the staff who told us to put it in the kitchen. When we asked for a menu, we were told to help ourselves. We then proceeded to wait for almost an hour. When we then asked if we were going to be severed they asked how many of us were there. They never came to take orders, and after another 20 mins we left. The toilets were dreadful. When we went to complain at the office, there was already a very angry lady shouting about the very bad treatment she recieved. We promptly left. I will NEVER return, and strongly urge anyone interested in visiting Tala, not to bother. I felt if we did complain, nobody would have cared less. I have noticed that the customer service has declined hugely in South Africa, but this was beyond acceptable! I worry about the animals at the reserve, if they cannot look after their customers, how badly are these animals being looked after? So very, very bad....

L Trinder.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Space to escape”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014 via mobile

We had a great day out here recently. Tala is in the process of being refurbished and redecorated. The restaurant has a more contemporary look and feel nowadays so can only imagine future upgrades will be in the same modern style.
I had forgotten how big Tala is, it's a lovely spot for getting away from it all, seeing some beautiful game, and relaxing with friends. Figree lodge looks superb.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Change of management ruined a once wonderful place”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

We visited maybe four times in the last 18 months the Tala Game Park just for a day trip. It was always a wonderful sought after place with a marvellous lunch buffet.

Today we also went there for having a nice Sunday lunch and it was horrible. As I learned the management has changed some months ago. We noticed already when we entered. The main gate has been destroyed by a storm and not been put up again. Then we went to the pick nic area for a coffee and wanted to let the children have a swim. The once marvellous pool was green. No chance to swim. Also the whole site looked bad. Fences and other equipment, tables, benches are fallen apart and don't get repaired.
Our next stop was the restaurant where I had booked a table. The whole place very untidy, nothing gets repaired if broken. The once nice garden does not get any attention. The restaurant that was once very chic looks now bad and had lost all the charme it once had. Also the staff is not really intersted in the wellbeing of the clients. And the quality of the food has deteriorated significantly.

It is a pitty to see how a once wonderful place goes down the drain throuth change of management.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Nice outing from PMB”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

I usually take international guests to Tala for a wildlife experience, especially if they are short on time and are not able to make it up to Zululand. The staff at the gate were awesome, friendly and helpful ... but the ranger guy we tried to talk to was not very helpful at all. He was obviously busy but I don't think you should ever be too busy to smile and be friendly ie. ANY staff on the ground whether its your job or not? Tala is not a very big place but I always seem to get lost - personally I don't think the map is very good... the last time I went (2 girls on their own) we got stuck in the mud ... luckily were able to get out ...with a bit of pushing and lots of laughs!

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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