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“Beautiful Hilltop and Hluhluwe” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hilltop Camp

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Hilltop Camp
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Hluhluwe Game Reserve, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hilltop and Hluhluwe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

We were booked into the Safari tents at iMfolozi’s Mpila Camp. Due to the high rainfall and swollen rivers and much to our disappointment, we were unable to reach Mpila.

Although Hilltop Camp was almost full, staff were obliging in accommodating us for the two nights we had booked at another camp! The first night was spent in the 2 bed self-catering rondavels. Although this is not my preferred way to spend a holiday (ablution blocks and communal cooking), the rondavels were clean and well equipped. We opted to eat at the restaurant that night. The buffet was good and affordable and we were served by the most charming waiter. We also enjoyed a night cap at the bar before retiring.

On the second night the staff moved us to a 4 bed chalet. We appreciated this as the tents we had booked in iMfolozi were cheaper but we were not expected to pay in the difference. The view from our upstairs balcony was spectacular and the sunrise equally so. While we were there, an upgrade programme was underway and amongst other things kitchen nook stools and headboards were replaced (great to know Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is maintaining this lovely accommodation).

Game viewing was excellent and we saw four of the big five in two days, plus loads of birdlife, antelope, Zebra, Giraffe etc. The Siwasamikhosikazi and Molondozi picnic sites are well maintained and both have excellent views. The Thiyeni hide is worth a visit although the picnic site was overgrown and poorly maintained.

Hluhluwe has a beauty that in my opinion no other SA game reserve has. The view from the main terrace is unsurpassed. I can highly recommend the overall experience there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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161 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
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English first
Hampshire, UK
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

This was our first stop on a 2 week trip to SA and we were not disappointed. We had stayed in Hilltop Camp 7 years ago and knew what to expect. We had a 2 bed lodge very near the restaurant/reception, which was cleaned daily and was comfortable. Staying in the african bush one must not have their expections too high but this camp does what it says on the tin. The bar area in the main reception is comfortable, the food is what you might expect from a buffet anywhere and the staff are friendly and polite. The traditional barbeque (braai) on the weekend - weather permitting - was a real treat. Would return every year if I could. Great experience.

Room Tip: We had chalet 34. Great view and close to restaurant/reception
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I was very excited to stay at Hilltop as it is advertised as a top rate lodge. The reception staff was very rude to us. We witness them change the price for the people in front of us to "international prices" even though they had already booked the room at a lower price. At the gift shop we gave the check out lady 200 Rand and then she open the cash drawer and put the cash in, but claimed we only gave her 110 Rand. She also gave the person behind us the wrong change back and claimed it was correct. The lodges are okay, though there was poop on one of the beds from the lizards in the rooms. The dinner was awful. The food was not good and it was over priced. The view from the camp is nice and the game drives were good, but overall there are much better places to stay. If I could do it again, I would book a camp site instead of spending the money to stay at Hilltop. If you do plan on staying here, bring in your own food and DON'T go to the gift shop.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whangarei, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Wonderful views from our chalet, including a spectacular lightning storm one night. The two story, four bed chalets were comfortable and clean, with good cooking facilities, including a BBQ and outside dining options on the deck or in the yard. There were two bedrooms downstairs, both with single beds, although one had an ensuite with bath. There was an extra shower/toilet near the front door, and a kitchen with large living room and deck upstairs. Our only problem was a failed water heater resulting in cold showers the first night, but this was rectified within an hour of advising reception.

The restaurant was surprisingly affordable, and if we had realized this we probably wouldn't have self-catered. We didn't do any of the Game Drives, just used our own car, but two of our party did the morning guided walk, which they said was interesting, but they didn't see much in the way of game. It was too cold to try the swimming pool while we were there.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Frankfurt, Germany
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012 via mobile

The camp is overlooking Hluhluwe National Park which is not as touristic and crowded as Kruger National Park. The Chalets of the camp are spacious and comfortable and clean. You can prepare your own food in your fully equipped kitchen if you like. The Game Drives are not worth doing - since the guides are not that good. Go around by yourself and you will see lots of animals.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Paris, France
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

After 20 minutes of a wonderful drive thru the mountains, the hilltop of the world keeps its promises !!!!
The room are very authentics and large, big balcony with a wonderful view of the mountains !!!nice restaurants on a buffet and the staff come and sing and dance for you after the diner !!
Nice walk in the bush with the staff, and very nice place to stay and see the animals !!!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, 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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Stuttgart, Germany
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We didn't have much of a choice because the camp was packed with people - so we had to book one of the big houses. At first we didn't regret that although the price was much higher than we originally wanted to spend. A wonderful place to stay: very large bedrooms, balcony, terrace with braai and a huge living room. When arriving at the place antelopes were strolling around the house. We booked a ranger walk in the morning - a great experience and a rather shocking moment when being confronted with a herd of African buffalo only 30 meters away. But the ranger handled the situation and we didn't get into any problems.
The only downpoint: the rather high price combined with the fact that there was no warm water in the bathrooms. We only stayed for one day so there was no chance of getting the boiler repaired. And until now there was no reaction to our complaints - not even an excuse.
I think it's as simple as that: the guys at Hilltop know only too well that they will always have a lot of visitors even if they don't put that much energy into the business.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hilltop Camp

Address: Hluhluwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 19
Also Known As:
Hilltop Camp Hotel Hluhluwe Game Reserve

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