My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Zulu Nyala Game Lodge after his mother won the 6 nights at a charity auction event. We arrived in Johannesburg and just stayed in a hotel overnight before flying into Durban. I would recommend flying into Richard's Bay if costs are comparable - it is MUCH closer to the game lodge (about an hour versus 3 hours). We decided to rent our own car after seeing the prices of transfer - and I don't regret it. The roads were extremely easy to navigate with a GPS. If you can, I would recommend renting a 4-wheel drive vehicle, however, because you need to travel up and down a lot of hills on a dirt road to get to the lodge.
We first arrived before everyone else in our "group" and therefore got our own personal safari, which was by far the best of all of the drives. Ronny was our ranger and although new to the resort, he was not new to animal tracking and he was very good and very knowledgeable. When the rest of our group joined us they were nice, but kind of a bunch of complainers so that was a bummer. We tried to spend as little time with them as possible. Also, our group was rather large and filled up the entire 10 person jeep, so my husband and I did have to split up a few times on the safaris when everyone else got on the jeep before us, which was a bummer.
Other than that, the accomodations were really good. We didn't have a poolside room, but like everyone else has said I would recommend that is it is available. The food was eh. Sometimes really good, other times sort of bland. It was a lot of the same thing over and over again. They did have a foosball table in the game room too, which I think my husband and I were the only people to use it in the last 15 years, but we had fun. The staff was always very friendly and we didn't have any issues with that. You do have to pay for internet, but when we would sit right outside the lobby with our ipad we could connect for free.
As far as the safaris, we got to see every animal on the reserve except for the leopards. They had 2 4 month old cheetah babies, and we caught them just once! It did get a little less exciting after the 3rd day or so. The only outside excursions we did were the Elephant interaction Tour and the Cheetah Rehabilitation Center - both of which I would highly recommend! On the elephant interaction tour you get to feed elephants and really learn a lot about them, whereas at the cheetah rehab center the handlers tell you each of the cats story and you get to go in and pet the male cheetahs and take pictures with them (which was terrifying, but I felt semi-okay since they were raised from birth by humans). It was definitely a great experience.
The scenery was absolutely breath-taking. I think 6 nights was a perfect amount of time to stay, though. Any longer probably would have gotten a little dull and repetitive. The weather was decent (Early November) but there was rain every night and I got quite a few bug bites.
Compared to other reserves it was quite small, but as the title says, I think it was a very nice introduction to South Africa and anyone who purchased this at a charity auction has a lot to look forward to.
- 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