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“A wonderful retreat”

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Zulu Nyala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Lakewood, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A wonderful retreat”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We spent 6 nights at the Game Lodge and had a wonderful time. We were there just after Thanksgiving (USA version) and there were very few people there. It is a great time to go if you have the opportunity because the animals are all giving birth, the crowds are non-existent and the weather is very pleasant.

All of the employees at the Lodge are extremely friendly and will do anything to be of service. The food was excellent and the desserts were to die for. The rooms are very nice in a Game Lodge sort of way. Not the Hilton but very clean, large, and comfortable.

The game drives are a great time. The Lodge has four (Elephant, Rhino, Cheetah, Buffalo) of the Big Five (missing the Lions). The animals are very accessible and you will see have lots of opportunities to get up-close and personal. You haven't experienced wildlife until you have seen a pair of female elephants take apart a tree with their trunks and tusks. We would also recommend some side trips (which your guide can arrange) to the the preserve next door (Pinda, which has Lions and about 6 times the area so you get a different feel), the Elephant Encounter (where you can get up-close and personal with a very large male Elephant) and the Cat Rescue Facility (where you can pet a Cheetah). These will definitely add to your wildlife experience.

All together a great experience.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Bud_In_Denver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Waterville
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Great resort and very friendly people. Would definitely recommend. It was an amazxing adventure and we had "Welcome" as our guide and would hihgly recomend him to everyone! We would recommend the excursion to Pinda and the boat trip. We enjoyed both and felt they were great values!

Room Tip: Rooms near the pool are preferable!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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1 Thank donnyp99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012

We traveled to the Zulu Nyala Reserve in August. The first three days of the trip we stayed in the Tent Camp and then moved up to the Game Lodge for the last three nights. To anyone traveling to the Reserve I would recommend foregoing the tent camp all together. The camp is located outside the reserve and though the tents are certainly comfortable, it was windy all three days so the canvas roof flapped and banged with the wind all night long. The Game Lodge on the other hand is situated at the top of one of the many "hills" within the reserve so the views are spactacular and there are no rooms with canvas roofs. The rooms are very clean and modern. There are no TVs so if you are traveling with kids be sure to bring a tablet or something for them to do. The service at both locations was outstanding.
The only real "issue" was that in the one week we were at the property, a zebra was killed and left out in an attempt to lure a leopard that supposed had crossed over from an adjacent reserve. The leopard was a no show so that seemed to be a waste. The last night we were there one of the game drivers named Mark killed a Kudu and set that out for the Cheetah family to eat. The whole time we were at this reserve we only saw one male and 2 female Kudus so that too seemed to be a waste - they should have killed an Impala or a Nyala as both of those animals were in abundance all over the park.
If you are planning a trip to Zulu Nyala make SURE you book a drive at the neighboring park Phinda as that park has a huge herd of Elephants and it has Lions where Zulu Nyala doesn't have Lion's. There are also Black Rhinos at Phinda.
All in all it was a greast experience.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Michael T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CT
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

My boyfriend and I had the experience of a lifetime when we were able to fulfill one of the top destinations on our bucket list. We visited South Africa and stayed at the Zulu Nyala Game Lodge for 6 nights. It was an amazing adventure that we will never forget. We actually bid on a silent auction for the trip and won it, as did many of the travelers we met there. We had 2 years in wish we could take the trip, which was great as it gave us plenty of time to plan and save. We choose to visit in late August as it is just coming into there late spring time but before their rainy season. There were no leaves on the trees and the brush was sparse allowing us full advantage when coming upon game. The trip was amazing right from the start. We flew premium voyager on AirFrance from JFK to Paris, which was definitely worth the additional cost as we flew at night and it allowed us access to the AirFrance lounge and was extremely comfortable for sleeping. We had a 12 hour layover in Paris an therefore took advantage of being able to see the Eiffel Tower and Arch de Triumph. We also had dinner at a little street cafe. From Paris to Johannesburg we flew business class, which was wonderful, our seats reclined to the point that you were almost horizontal. Upon arrival at JNB we then took another flight on South African Air to Richards Bay where we rented a car and drove on to Zulu Nyala. Were we to do this again we would for go the rental car and just taken the Lodge transportation as we really didn't need a rental for any reason. Although it didn't take long to get the hang of driving on the left hand side of the road. Upon our arrival at the lodge we were greeted by everyone with a smile and warm welcome. Our room was rustic in appearance with stone walls and thatched roofs but very comfortable with everything we needed. I will say however the mosquitos were horrible, only at night. We actually had to spray our selves down with bug spray before we went to bed each night. We really didn't understand this as the other people we talked with didn't seem to have this problem, and some of them were staying at the other lodge in tents. But, again we over came this simply by using the bug spray. The weather was wonderful during our entire stay. No rain, bright and sunny in the 80's each day. We went off each morning by 9am for our first safari which usually lasted at least 2 hours if not longer. Our guide for the entire time we were there was a young man of 26 years from South Africa named Chris. He was wonderful, friendly, knowledgable and interacted with us all. We traveled in Range Rovers seating 10 plus Chris. We were with the same people for each safari each day and got to know them all very well. There was another safari in the afternoon we would take and again be out at least 2 to 3 hours. At no time did we see the sane things twice. It was truly amazing and very educational. The food at the lodge was fantastic, from breakfast to lunch and dinner. We had game on several occasions including Wart Hog and Impala. drinks at the bar were priced very well and after riding on safari for hours it was great to be able to take advantage of a cold cocktail. There is much more I could share but at this time you really need to experience it yourself. It is truly worth every minute.

Room Tip: Our room over looked the pool and valley. We would have wart hogs and impala grazing on our lawn ar...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank countrygirl59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Golden, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2012

if you go--request Manie as your ranger. he's excellent and made the trip. we loved the accomodations and the scenery. being an active colorado couple, we got bored easlity as you are not supposed to run on the reserve (they do have 4/5 of the big 5) and so there were times in which we had nothing to do, no workout room, and we're not the relaxing type of vacationers. however, we did have an excellent trip and enjoyed every minute of it. if you're looking for lions though, do take some extra cash and do a day trip from the reserve as there are no lions there. we rented our own car and drove from richard's bay. it was an easy drive and one i'd recommend to other people.

Room Tip: we only stayed in the lodge and had a great experience. i would say if you can get a room facing th...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank andi b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
284 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

We won this experience at a charity auction like most of the others and loved it. We went to five different game preserves during our four week trip to South Africa and Botswana - Zulu Nyala, Phinda, Hluhluwe Umfolozi, Elephant Plains, and Chobe. Although Chobe was our favorite game experience, Zulu Nyala was our best overall experience. While Zulu Nyala is a relatively small game preserve, they have a good diversity of animals - we saw everything but lions and leopards there. It is actually harder to see a lot of animals at the larger game preserves (with the exception of Chobe) because the animals can be anywhere and the guides can't always locate them. What we loved about Zulu Nyala was being able to get close to so many different wild animals every day in their natural habitat. We saw rhinos, hippos, elephants, warthogs, cheetas, wildebeasts, zebras, giraffes, nyalas, verbit monkeys, impalas, and lots more. Our guide, Amon, was the very best we experienced at any of the game parks. Amon was extremely knowledgeable about every animal and bird we saw or heard, and he loved sharing his knowledge with us. We highly recommend taking the excursion to the village and the school but don't bring much candy for the kids, bring them pencils and pens and paper and elementary age children's books - that's what they want and need the most. Try to hand them out in class instead of giving them to the Principal, if you can - that way you get the joy of seeing the children light up with happiness to receive anything. The Grandma loved getting rice and beans and packaged milk and marshmellows. Stop at the village store and talk to the people, buy something made by hand there, the prices are very low and the people need so much! Be sure to take the boat ride in St Lucia if you have the time. We rented a car for four of us making it less expensive to get to Zulu Nyala and St Lucia. The game lodge is very nice and the staff extremely helpful, Marcus was great. Upgrade your room to one of the fantastic new suites, it is well worth it - we didn't do this and regreted it although the regular rooms are nice and more than adequate. We went to Africa in September when it was no longer cold but the trees had not bloomed out yet which makes it easier to see the animals. There were a few mosquitos but not too many here. The food was very good with a nice variety including some local game along with typical American food, and the dining room staff were all fantastic.

Room Tip: Upgrade your room to one of the new suites, it is worth the extra cost and you will be very pleased...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Adventurers8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2012

It's understandable that some folks aren't enamored of ZN, but my guess is they are seeking greater luxury and are easily bored. Hey, you're in South Africa -- it's impressive that they have some of the luxuries they do especially given the intense poverty that surrounds you. Almost everyone coming here is a supporter of non profits; you'd think there'd be a little more cultural understanding. While many of the game lodge rooms might be a tad shabby by 21st century western standards, they are nonetheless impressive given their location perched on a stunning mountaintop in the midst of some of South Africa's most beautiful terrain. Yes, the food is buffet; yes the water is off from 2 to 5pm; yes they charge for beverages and for any excursion other than the game drives -- have you looked at the rates at Phinda? Egad, give some of that extra cash to the locals or to charity for ***sake. We actually went on a Phinda tour and were happy to have seen the lions (asleep though they might have been). It was also lovely to experience the smooth sand tracks and newer vehicles of Phinda. BUT, we saw more action at Zulu Nyala in an hour than in 5 hours at Phinda -- there's a price you pay for all that extra land -- the animals have figured out where to hide! And if a king feather bed is what's really important to you on Safari, try an urban safari at the four seasons. Again, remember where you are and try and take in the local scene. We stayed at Heritage also and are glad we experienced both properties. If you can get a room by the pool, bully for you. Our guess is that they save them for retail guests or those who paid the most at auction. Want some fun? Ask the other what they paid -- but be prepared to hear the answers and not be upset! All in all, a lovely place. We had Peace (and his monkey, Boy) - and we were thrilled to have him, but our guess is that all of the drivers are great folks and highly competent, plus they share information to make sure everyone gets to see the most. Sure we would now like to go see the great migration, but we saw lots of giraffe and elephant babies, closeup rhinos and even a cheetah eating it's kill. A wonderful first safari -- well done, Zulu Nyala! Oh, PERFECT weather end of September/early October. Not a drop of rain, not too hot. We took a day off and self-toured the iSimangalios wetlands at St. Lucia -- we highly recommend 2-3 days there either mid-Zulu or post. We drove from Joburg and enjoyed seeing the terrain/villages along the way.

Room Tip: the rooms by the pool are larger and newer -- the ones you see in the brochures. the rest are like...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zulu Nyala Game Lodge

Property: Zulu Nyala Game Lodge
Address: Msinene Rd, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Hluhluwe
Hotel Class:4 star — Zulu Nyala Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An entrancing experience in a unique wilderness area. Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve provides a unique bush experience in the heart of one of South Africa’s most diverse conservation regions. Nestled between the wilderness reserves of Mkuze, Hluhluwe and St Lucia, this lush stretch of paradise is home to a wide variety of game, from the majestic elephant to rhino, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, the shy and beautiful Nyala buck that is endemic to the region and the secretive leopard. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Zulu Nyala Game Hotel Hluhluwe

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