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“Appalling” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hilltop Camp

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Hilltop Camp
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Hluhluwe Game Reserve, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Cape Town
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Appalling”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013

We only booked for 1 night in the 2 bed rondawels at Hilltop camp Hluhluwe but we did not even stay for that one night. Having stayed at a few SANPARK run accommodations I was expecting the same standard of accommodation from Hilltop. We were extremely dissapointed. The communal kitchen was not very clean, I did not even look at the communal ablutions but the bathrooms at the gates and restaurant were also not very clean and are badly in need of some maintenance The rondawel itself appears to have not been upgraded at all since the original building. It was dank and was not clean. The doors had no keys, only a very small latch on the inside, completely unacceptable in SA security wise. The clincher for us however was witnessing a boomslang dissapear straight under the door of a neighbouring rondawel, in a snake infested area these rondawels are NOT secure, even the louvre windows will easily allow entry to snakes. The park has made no effort to keep grass and bushes trimmed down in the area around the rondawels that would help prevent this. It appears that very little maintenanance is being done in the park in general, not on the accommodation and also not on the roads which are now extremely potholed. It's a great pity but I will NEVER stay in this park again.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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170 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 (24)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

What a fantastic place! We stayed in one of the "rondavels" (huts) and would highly recommend. Fantastic setting and great access to the park. Recommend the 5am safari tour (don;t do the evening one - can't see a thing!) it was absolutely fantastic! The restaurant is sweet - and stay around after dinner as the kitchen staff come out and WOW you with some absolutely beautiful tribal singing and dancing!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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leeds
Top Contributor
213 reviews 213 reviews
205 hotel reviews
Reviews in 174 cities Reviews in 174 cities
217 helpful votes 217 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

The resort's confirmation clearly said 2pm check in. However based on our stay at Mpila camp and traffic around the park we guessed Hilltop wouldn't have been full the previous night and a 10am check out should have meant our room was cleaned and available when we arrived at 1pm. That seemed to be the case but as often is the case, we fell foul of the strict 'check in time' rule. 2pm check in- the receptionist re confirmed. But is the room ready I asked? That doesn't matter, check in is 2pm I was told. Little things like that annoy me so we were off to a bad start at Hilltop. We were eventually allocated a 2 person self catering chalet. It was large and seemed relatively new. With high thatched ceilings and polished beams, flat screen TV and modern kitchen it felt like an African dictators holiday cottage ! It was clean and had good quality furniture and decor - the only thing that spoilt the impression of it being a really high end resort was that the room smelt musty- a sort of damp smell which was soon shifted by opening all the windows. I would guess in winter there is a nice view from the wooden balcony but with the trees in full foliage we couldn't see much. The camp is fenced so it's possible to walk to the restaurant at night. It was a buffet and was pretty picked over when we arrived at 8 but the staff were happy to replenish most of the dishes. The bar has an outside patio giving great views over the surrounding hills.The park itself is quite compact meaning you can easily drive all the tracks in a day. The hotel runs game drives but we did our own and saw numerous rhino at close quarters but no big cats and we only saw elephant in the Imflozi Park. The hotel is probably the most luxurious option of the Government run accommodation -it has the feel of an expensive resort but isn't what you'd call an authentic bush experience.For that I'd go for a safari tent at Mpila Camp.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in a 2 bedroom bungalow with family and it was great. We were only there for one night and wished we could have stayed longer. We found all the staff very friendly and helpful. Unfortunately it was misty and rainy so the sunset game drive could really have been a bit shorter (we all got soaked despite being given ponchos to wear) and we didn't get to enjoy the views, which I believe are stunning, but we will be back again.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Durban
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

Hilltop camp is as you'd expect located on a hill top with the most stunning outlook and views across the park, the camp is very clean, well managed and serves excellent food, well worth the visit whether on a day visit or staying over and provided very welcome refreshment and meals after a long day of game viewing but beware the monkeys, don't leave food accessable or car windows open.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Durban, South Africa
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

Family of four stayed in the two-bedroomed, four-bed thatch cottage. The cottage is self catering except for breakfast. The rooms are clean and functional and the kitchen has all the basic requirements. The en-suite bathrooms and showers are perfect. We all had a wonderful night's sleep after an exhausting day of incredible game viewing. We ate breakfast in the restaurant overlooking a herd of Buffalo drinking water from mud patch below us. The Hilltop complex is set within a secured perimeter to prevent wild animals from wondering in, but watch out for the mischievous monkeys who will help themselves to any food left lying about, even in the cottage! Although the prices have gone up a bit, it is still good value for what you get.

Room Tip: Some cottages have en-suite bathrooms and some do not. Just check before hand.
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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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Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We stayed in a 2 sleeper, non self catering unit, the unit was very clean and well presented. The only staff member with a smile on their face was the lady that came to clean our room. Grumpy bunch mostly from reception to dinner and breakfast. Except for the odd few - in hindsight, probably should have noted their names....
Dinner at R165 per head and breakfast at R105 I suppose was average to high, considering the quality of the food served, although tasty, nothing to write home about. Also when one pays these prices, perhaps consider serving proper filter coffee and a choice of butter and margarine (not plastic tasting margarine only).
Pretty average stay in a fantastic game reserve. Our photos are taken on game drives not at Hilltop camp.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 #5 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 19
Also Known As:
Hilltop Camp Hotel Hluhluwe Game Reserve

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