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“A nice introduction to South Africa”

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Zulu Nyala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A nice introduction to South Africa”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Pool side rooms get the best view overlooking the reserve
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Jessica J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Leawood, Kansas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2012

My mom, sister and I traveled to South Africa in late September. Our first stop was the Zulu Nyala reserve. We had a wonderful time and saw so many different animals. We fell in love with the female cheetah and her 3 cubs. We were amazed at how close we were able to get to the animals. Our gide was Philemon who was wonderful. He was so knowledgable about the area and made an extra effort to make sure we saw new aspects of the animals each day. I would also highly recommend Phinda for an excursion if you want to see the lions. I would defintely recommend Zulu Nyala to friends.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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3 Thank Debbie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakewood, Colorado
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
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.
Waterville
Level 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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Helpful?
1 Thank donnyp99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
80 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 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 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 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 Contributor
32 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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank andi 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 #6 of 33 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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