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“African Magic!”
Review of Rhino River Lodge

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Rhino River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Silverthorne, Colorado
1 review
“African Magic!”
Reviewed September 28, 2012

I had the pleasure of spending a night at Rhino River Lodge in September. My trip to S. Africa was primarily to visit a friend in the Durban area, and I had no idea what to expect of a trip to the bush. I couldn't believe that such wonderful accomodations, food, and game drives could be available for such a reasonable price. My room was beautiful and clean and fully represented the bush experience. The food was incredible and the service, outstanding.

The game drives were the highlight, and I couldn't believe the cost was included in the room package. I had the pleasure of seeing numerous rhino, including moms and babies up close and personal. There was a huge herd of water buffalo, along with wildebeest, zebra, ostrich, nyala, kudus, wart hogs and impalas. I also was able to see several hippos in the only hippo pond in the area. The place was teeming with wildlife. Although I didn't see the lion or elephant, I was thrilled with the amount of wildlife seen in my short visit. I'll just have to come back! Finally, with all of the publicity regarding rhino preservation, it was such a comfort seeing these amazing, prehistoric animals not only protected, but flourishing in this special place.

Thanks to all of the wonderful staff at Rhino River Lodge for making this one of my top memories in my S. African experience!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Debra N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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357 reviews from our community

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English first
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2012

A huge mexican wave to Shona & Jason. Fantastic stay friendly staff food out of this world and lots of it. Accomodation is fantastice. large comfortable rooms with a fully stocked bar fridge. The Game Drives are brilliant although nothing is gaurenteed as Jason never failed to make clear.Hhe seemed to know where to go and like magic the game appeared. So if you want to unwind and have everything taken care of this is the place to go. It has all the frills but they arent in your face, down to earth staff who at the end of our stay you felt as if you had known them for years. Well Done once again Shona & Jason you definately set the bench mark in Customer service i look forward to visiting you again and i will recommend you to all that want a hassle free battery recharging break away.

Room Tip: Room 6 Lovely view and a wonderful deck to sit out for that first cup of Coffee in the Morning
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Gregory L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2012

Travelled with my family and it was just what we needed
Lodges were comfortable, clean and was stocked mini bar, toiletries ,hair dryer etc
Food was freshly prepared and very tasy
Missed out on seing Lions, but viewed all other animals, birds and reptiles hiding in the bush
Went to a game reserve near by and had the chance to interact with elephants what an amazing experience definitely would recommend it
The reserve only catered for 18 guests so it felt quite exclusive would return again no hesitation

Room Tip: All rooms have a private area with direct access onto reserve and by the Poland dining area
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank teddybear28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2012

Researching our trip in South Africa, it was difficult to know how to plan our safari experiences. Having never been in Africa, we were wary of anything at all do-it-yourselfy, since most of the options seemed to involve pre-packaged safari experiences where you go out twice a day with a guide on private property, as opposed to the real national parks which tend to be more self-guided.

We just returned from our two weeks in South Africa. We only had time to stay one night in Rhino River, having spent three days in a smaller lodge. Rhino River is one of five lodges constituting the Zululand Rhino Reserve- the 5 properties have no fences between them. They are rehabbed farms, going "back to nature" since the early 90s. It is lovely to see how the land is reclaiming itself. The Reserve is now stocked as a big 5 reserve.

We wanted to do the Rhino River night for a more upscale "out of africa" experience. We were not disappointed, although frankly I liked the smaller more personal experience quite a bit better. Rhino River is a beautiful lodge- our cabin was gorgeous, the staff is terrific, the meals lovely. Our game driver Jason was charming, although unfortunately our group did not luck out with elephant or lion. Nonetheless, we saw rhino, giraffes, nyala, warthogs, and plenty of ostrich. There was evidence that elephants had been there- with uprooted trees, and plenty of bare bark.

Had we not been to the smaller property, I would be even more enthusiastic. However, the personal attention at that property was unexcelled (see my other review for more info). And the truth is, the game in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi park is far more plentiful than on the Zululand Rhino Reserve. Had I to do it again, I'd spend more time in the smaller place, and take more day trips in Hluhluwe. On our drive back to Durban, we drove the tarmac road north-south in Hluhluwe and were regaled with wildlife, including a dazzle of 35 or so zebras, loads of water buffalo, rhino, baboons, giraffes, ostrich....we apparently just missed 30 elephants, some lions and wild dogs.

That said, Rhino River Lodge is lovely, and if you want the upscale luxury safari experience, it's price point is excellent, the service is great, and I'd go back again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Steven G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Catharines, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed there for 4 days in August 2012. Rough road from main road, however once you are inside the gates the road is so much better. What wonderful caring staff at the Lodge, and the accommodation was absolutely perfect. This lodge is a place to unwind, switch off the electronics (though cell service everywhere) and to chill. From the time we arrived and met Shona at reception to the time of our sad farewells there was nothing that wasn't catered for. To combat the cold evenings, after spending the evenings around the fire, you are totally surprised on climbing into bed to discover a wonderful hot water bottle waiting for you, so thoughtful. Those are the nice little touches.... Wonderful atmosphere and tranquility at this lodge, small lodge catering for only a few people (2 cabins for 5 people and 4 cabins for 2 people, so small groups of people, and thus you get to know everyone on site and other guests very easily. A special mention of Isaac, our game driver, what a fabulous knowledgeable man, who made our twice daily game drives something to look forward to, catering to our needs when it was so cold and ensuring that we were all safe and never in danger. Thank you very much to all at Rhino River Lodge for making our stay there so memorable and something that we eagerly look forward to for our next visit to that part of the world. Until our next visit (hopefully soon).

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank sa2can
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbine, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 3, 2012

A great place, run by first class group of folks.

We attended the fourth international wildlife management congress in Durban and stayed a few days at Rhino River. This operation is a great value for those looking to experience afrcian wildlife in native habitats. Game drives were excellent as were accomodations and food.

Room Tip: Chlaet offers plenty of privacy; food was very good, and staff is most accomodating. You can see al...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Allan o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Had a great stay at Rhino River Lodge and enjoyed every minute of it. Even though I don't have children, there were children here who also a great time. Jason our ranger made sure our drives were fact filled and fun. When you are there challenge him to impala poo spitting competition. The game viewing was good and included buffalo, crocodiles, hippos, giraffes and some stunning big male kudus. For me seeing a pair of porcupines on an evening drive was a real thrill. The rooms are comfortable and there always seemed to be a family of warthogs outside watching me coming and going. The food was also good and lunch included one of my favourites, babotie.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank SafariKZN-Mark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rhino River Lodge

Property: Rhino River Lodge
Address: | P.O BOX 2950, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 33 Specialty Lodging in Hluhluwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Rhino River Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 4
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