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“Unforgettable”
Review of Umkhumbi Lodge

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Umkhumbi Lodge
Ranked #2 of 10 Hluhluwe B&B and Inns
Ashbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Unforgettable”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

A group of 6 British soldiers kept occupied and intrigued, whether it was by Anton's reptile sanctuary or the breath taking safari we were taken on by 2 excellent guides.Dylan and Josie. The lodge's themselves are excellent and would reccomend them to couples as the setting when sun goes down is up there with some of the best things ive ever experienced. Food is exceptional. The only downside was the bar closed when I was really getting into the Dark and Stormy's. Oh and we lost our rugby ball to the Copper the Dog

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark_Cundy344
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wetland-Park-Group, Owner at Umkhumbi Lodge, responded to this review, January 13, 2013
whoops... sorry about the ball! Glad you guys had a good time with us. Thanks so much for your review.
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76 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    54
    14
    5
    2
    1
See reviews for
23
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Myself and my wife were hunting for a nice place to stay for our honeymoon, and came across Umkhumbi Lodge. From first contact, we were impressed. Emma, was very efficient with booking our stay, and our activities, and staying in contact with us till our arrival date. When we got there, we were greeted by very accommodating staff. They offered to help with our bags. The staff were impeccable. Food was AWESOME! The location, very central to most activities in and around Zululand, Yet, quiet, which was exactly what we were looking for. They went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed our stay, and our honeymoon.

To Anton, Emma, Izzy, and Copper.
We thank you again for your knowledge, insight, and your never-ending need to please us as guests and as honeymooners. We will recommend you and your lodge to anyone without thinking twice. All the best for 2013, and thereafter.

We will see you again!!!
André and Sarah Pieterse

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andre_Sarah_P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wetland-Park-Group, Owner at Umkhumbi Lodge, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay and all the activities. Glad you got those tiger fish! Thanks for choosing to spend your honeymoon here with us at Umkhumbi. Hope to see you here again next turtle season.
All the best, Emma
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kzn
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Without coming with any expectations other than wanting a couple of exciting days away with the family, we were totally blown away with this awesome lodge. Arriving we were greeted by a very hospitable team who went out of there way to make our stay, one our whole family will not forget too soon. WOW what a great start to the new year! Anton, Your passion and real love for nature and the outdoors is evident.Thankyou for your great knowledge, insight and expert advise on what to do and where to go in this beautiful location. You are a great asset in promoting such a wide variety of actiivities in the Zululand area. I will be recommending this lodge to my friends and family and will definately be back soon Wishing you all of the best in 2013, and thanks once again for a great stay. The vans

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank thevans_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amangwane, Owner at Umkhumbi Lodge, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Thanks so much for your review. It was lovely to meet you and we look forward to seeing you again in the (hopefully) not too distant future.
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Oxford
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We booked here as a treat on a long road trip, what a mistake.

It's right next to the highway in a piece of ill-kept, overgrown bush,very noisy and no views from the rooms which were dirty and very basic, not worthy of a R2500 a night "lodge", we've stayed in much better Sanparks accommodation for a far better location and much lower price. Even the furniture was falling apart and there was nowhere clean to put clothes. The pool is a small splashpool.

We'd booked for dinner and on arrival were asked immediately if pasta was okay (or "something which could be done quickly"!). No offer of welcome drink first or help with our bags after our long hot journey with 2 tired kids. For R2500 a night, we'd rather expected much more effort and something rather more than pasta. Our food when we had it was appalling-cold and very dated (deep fried mushrooms?!) and no menu to choose from.

Unsurprisingly, despite it being high season- summer school holidays- we were the only guests there apart from friends of the family staying.

The owners were v unfriendly- no apology about the above, surprise or effort to improve just "what do you want to do about it?" And a "who are you?" on the phone (No "hello, how can i help"! And this when we were the only guests!)

I question the validity of the other reviews- can only think they were from grace & favour friends/tour guides.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ZolaPola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amangwane, Owner at Umkhumbi Lodge, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
This is certainly the worst review we have had to respond to, and by all accounts the worst guests to stay at Umkhumbi to date. Where do I begin? Do I reply to each criticism, or do I explain to the other readers how dishonest you were as guests right from the beginning?

What we did was read the review out loud to all the guests last night. Authentic, full fare paying guests from Holland and SA. They had a good laugh and helped us draft the response. And yes they are authentic guests….as were ALL the others that have reviewed Umkhumbi on Tripadvisor.

I am sorry that we were not what you were looking for as a place to stay. If you had wanted a luxury bush lodge there are several to choose from in the area where you could have paid your R2500 + per person per night.

The R2500 you refer to was for your family of 4 for a dinner, bed and breakfast package. We are a small, family-run lodge in an area of un-manicured natural Sandforest. The rooms are spacious and comfortable without many frills (photos of the rooms can be found on the website – which I do not think you bothered to look at) and are all in the bush surrounded by trees (as shown in the photos) – there is however a great view from the tree-top bar.

When you arrived many hours after you said you were planning to arrive, you immediately demanded that we feed your children (whom, if you remember, you had not booked for and refused to pay for), which is why you were asked if you would like something that could be prepared quickly.

The pasta our chef had prepared was a choice of freshly-made beef lasagne or vegetable cannelloni, worthy of an old Italian grandma. The food at Umkhumbi gets more 5 star reviews than anything else. As a point of note, the guests (20 in total with kids of varying ages) had exactly what you were given and everyone across the board said the meal was the best they’ve had. I made a point of asking after receiving this review…

The other family that was there at the time you stayed was previously unknown to us, but had become our friends in the few nights they had been here, because they were very lovely people (as are nearly all of our guests). They will return as friends some day, as they loved their time with us, while you are definitely not welcome to return.

After the abuse my staff had to endure from your family I certainly didn’t feel any courtesy was due and thought offering you the opportunity of resolving the matter to suit you was the best course of action to follow rather than get into an argument.
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

I have been here twice now, and after staying many other places in South Africa, this is hands down my favorite. If you want to feel like you are in the bush, but still have all the amenities of good food, warm water and a spacious room, then this is the place for you. The staff is exceptionally courteous, and the location is very convenient for all your wildlife viewing needs. Heading back in Feb. with several friends, can't say enough about this place!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Myke C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 30, 2012

Our first and certainly not last stay at Umkhumbi, Anton and Emma were gracious hosts and were always certain to make sure we were well looked after and sorted out.
The dining was stunning and being both vegetarians my partner and i were extremely appreciative of what was catered for us amazing dinners , fantastic breakfasts and great interactions with all the staff. Issie in particular was a great deal of entertainment for us shared her knowledge and experiences with us.
The nights were cold but the rooms are warm and the beds and bedding as comfortable as my own home.
Copper ( the resident dog) is amazing and adds such a good feel to the place making it even more relaxing.

Thank you for the fantastic stay and we will be back soon!

Tyrone
Durban, South Africa.

Room Tip: We Stayed in 5A but would be happy with any!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TyronePing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amangwane, Owner at Umkhumbi Lodge, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Thank you for the lovely review Tyrone, we certainly look forward to having you both back with us again soon.
It is fantastic to hear that you enjoyed our vegetarian dishes. We are always trying to come up with new vegetarian options so that is great to hear!
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 1, 2012 via mobile

What an amazing place to linger for a while. This is one of my all time favourite places in the world to stay and is surrounded by amazing things to do. The location is absolutely beautiful, but the set up of these accomodations is really first rate. There is nothing better than enjoying a cold beer from their patio in the evening, and the food is really quite remarkably good. All served by the loveliest and charming people you could hope to meet.

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Joel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amangwane, Owner at Umkhumbi Lodge, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Hi Joel,
thanks for your review.
Hope you'll be able to come back soon.
Emma
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Umkhumbi Lodge

Property: Umkhumbi Lodge
Address: R22, next to Kuleni Game Park, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Hluhluwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Umkhumbi Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Umkhumbi Lodge offers spacious accommodation in beautiful air-conditioned chalets, all privately nestled in the bush. We have 12 x 2-sleeper rooms. Twin beds or Kingsize beds available. Each chalet has 2 rooms with each its own en-suite bathroom. An inter-leading door makes these units perfect for families. Each bathroom has a bath and shower. All rooms are fitted with a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, private veranda and air-conditioning. Our usual package includes a 3-course dinner and full breakfast. A B&B option is available on request. ... more   less 
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