We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Superlative African Experience”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Hluhluwe
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Zulu Nyala Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 2, 2014

We stayed three nights here, and then three nights at the Heritage Safari Lodge with the Hemingway-esque tents (separate review).
Most guests here have purchased their week-long package via a charity auction, as we did. This means that your fellow guests may have paid different amounts for the week, but that's the nature of an auction. Didn't bother us in the least.
The package consists of two game drives per day, with options for side trips.
A major factor in our experience was our guide, James. He made it a point to find all the animals in the Reserve, even when they were quite timid. Through his stealth and knowledge, we saw a cheetah guarding and devouring his recent prey, hippos out of the water (we drove through the dark of night, and relied on his floodlight to get our pictures), a rhino with baby (notoriously shy), a leopard on the prowl, and enough zebra, cape buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, baboon, impala, and elephant to exhaust our cameras.
James took his time to fulfill guest requests, was very professional and pleasant throughout, and just had great depth of knowledge (the gestation period for a rhino? Ask James).
Our room (17) was very nice, with front door overlooking the pool and the Reserve. Spacious and comfortable. We discovered a small leak in the thatched roof, and found out that upon our exit, the whole roof was being replaced. Yes, there is air conditioning here.
The food was of very high quality each meal. ZN must have engaged a new chef since other reviewers registered their complaints.
The staff was always ready with a smile, and always ready to accommodate you. They also seemed to work well as a team.
The only proviso I might have is that the optional side trips seemed a bit pricey, and some trips were apparently better that others. Yes to the Cheetah Rehab center, but you could take a pass on the trip to Saint Lucia, because you have already seen numerous hippos and crocs at ZN.
A big yes to the Pindha experience as well, to see lions if you're lucky (the lions don't work by appointment). Get Wayne as your guide there.
I will treasure our African experience, and ZN is part of the reason why.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
9  Thank Aude48214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (591)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

287 - 293 of 591 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2014

The facilities are very well appointed with luxurious suites and rooms en suite. We were lucky to get a room overlooking the sparkling pool and the view over the valley is stunning.
Our rather expensive game drive was a bit disappointing as our guide was not very talkative and not much game to see. We did however see a cheetah and came very close to giraffe, some who were actually lying down. The hippos and abundand bird life made for some good photographs. The reserve is privately owned, so although not as well populated as the national parks, the game are not often disturbed by humans and one can be assured of a few close ups. We also had nyala (buck) graze around the pool area while we were there.
Service was disappointing and with one or two exceptions, staff seemed to be lazy or disinterested. The dining room and bar was under staffed on our first night, which caused much frustration. In their defence, we arrived on a Sunday before a public holiday and it appeared as if things picked up from Monday.
The buffet (breakfast and dinner) was well presented and the stunning dining room has a great ambiance with a lounge area as well as a bar for pre-dinner drinks. Watching the sun set from the big balcony, while sipping sundowners makes for a memorable occasion. Spirits and wine prices are reasonable and the bar is well stocked with a good variety, including cocktails.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pool still gives enough privacy. All rooms have a private sitting area outside with...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Juanv v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZuluNyala, Guest Relations Manager at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2014

Dear Juanv,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your Zulu Nyala experience with us. We are so pleased that you had a memorable visit at our property.

We wish to however sincerely apologise for some disappointing bits during your stay. This is most definitely not the level of service one can expect when visiting Zulu Nyala Game Lodge and we thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Despite this we are truly happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

We stayed here for a few nights and loved our time in this area. We went on a morning game reserve which was very interesting and we saw lots of animals. Room was comfortable and very quiet with tea making facilities. Lovely having a roll top, claw feet bath in the ensuite which was lovely and comfortable.

Restaurant food was to a good quality, very good service and staff were friendly. We had a problem with our safe being locked which we reported on two occasions which didn't get fixed which was disappointing and we struggled with wifi access.

Grounds were kept in good order and it was lovely to see Warthogs and Nyala's wondering in the grounds. All in all a very enjoyable stay.

Room Tip: If you can get a room by the pool the views are amazing looking out in an elevated position of the r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank samoruk65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZuluNyala, Guest Relations Manager at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2014

Dear Samoruk65,

Thank you very much for sharing your Zulu Nyala Game Lodge experience. We are delighted to hear that you loved your stay with us and that you had the opportunity to go on a Game Drive and witnessed the magnificent beauty and wildlife that South Africa has to offer.

I wish to sincerely apologise for the safe that was never fixed despite your requests as well as the problems with the WiFi access. Thank you, however, for bringing this to our attention.

We truly look forward to the opportunity to hopefully welcome you back in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

I, like everyone else for the most part, picked up two rooms through an auction as a fundraiser for a food bank. Money well spent for those who needed very badly. With regard to the reviews in this venue,many of them indicate that the facility was wonderful. This is very true. It is also true that many of the rooms are run – down. A few of them, including number 53-50 have been remodeled and are quite palatial. We were in room 10 and it needed a little paint and touching up but it was really a delightful and private room with the tremendous view. Just off the side of the pool and down one level.
A few things that no one mentioned to me, was with regard to tipping. I find that it is best for these folks to tip them as you go along, so that you can be sure the people you want to seek at the money you wish them to receive. However, we also left some cash at the end of the trip for people who are behind-the-scenes, like the cooks and dishwasher for example. Everyone at this establishment is extremely, extremely friendly and personable. I cannot emphasize that enough. One other reviewer wrote that they never thought of this as being on their bucket list but now it should have been, I can definitely agree with that. F.P. was our guide and he was fantastic as well!
The mosquitoes were not so bad but we did bring spray. You do need sunscreen and a hat for protection. We also wore thin long – sleeved shirts for added some protection. We had a car and did some sidetrips both honor on him through the lodge.
Not to be missed is the cheetah experience. We actually adopted one of them and it is a fantastic experience to actually Pat the cheetahs and other large cats. There per is tremendous. The elephant experience is also good. We recommend a side trip to the village of St. Lucia, which we did with our own car. Also, some went to the larger park nearby through the lodge and that was really terrific where you could see lions.

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank FineWine58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZuluNyala, Guest Relations Manager at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2014

Dear FineWine58,

We can not thank you enough for the magnificent review that you shared with regards to your stay at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge. We are truly thrilled to hear that your experience was life-changing and that you had the opportunity to take so many memories back home and most importantly, that our friendly staff assisted in making this all happen!

We look forward to hopefully welcome you back sometime in future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Chances are if you are reading this review, you are considering or already successfully bid on this at a charity auction. You won't be disappointed, especially if this is your first trip to Africa. It is no coincidence that African movies have been filmed at Zulu Nyala. We stayed two nights in the Heritage Tents and the rest of the time at the Game Lodge. Both are quite comfortable and well-appointed and offer distinct experiences. Every day is as much of an adventure as you want to make of it--there is always something to do in addition to the two guided safaris offered each day. Within a short period, we saw all the iconic African animals in their natural habitat. We bonded with the other members of our group who had the great fortune of being assigned to William, whose knowledge, wit and compassion made the trip that much more memorable to me. My biggest recommendation is to read up on your material about Zulu Nyala so that you are somewhat familiar with what to bring and what to expect.

Room Tip: If you like luxury, the Game Lodge is very well appointed. The Heritage tents are also very comfort...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Jeanne J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZuluNyala, Guest Relations Manager at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2014

Dear Jeanne,

Thank you very much for your magnificent review. We are delighted to hear that you had such a memorable experience at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge and that you enjoyed every bit of it. Africa is truly a magical place and we at Zulu Nyala absolutely love sharing this beauty with our guests.

We hope to welcome you back soon!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Zulu Nyala Game Lodge uses a business model which is based on bringing in guests to their game preserve by offering 6-days and 6-nights through local charity auctions. It's not a scam in any way, it's just how they compete with the larger preserves which have more resources. I note this because in reading the reviews for ZN one could be left with the feeling that this somehow cheapens or taints the experience - and it does not. (We had looked up the game lodge on our smartphone during the auction, so we knew what to expect before we bid). We flew into Durban (via Joburg) and then used the ZN shuttle service for the final 3 hour van ride to the lodge. We would suggest looking into Richard's Bay Airport which is closer. The 3 hour drive is LONG. Upon our arrival at the lodge we were met with a well-prepared and courteous staff member. We were given all the information we needed, completed all the paperwork, booked for our morning safari, and in our room within 15 minutes. The room was clean, large, and comfortable. We had air conditioning available and overhead fans. We were there in December so it was mid-summer. The room had some mosquitos we learned to live with but we were in Africa - on a game preserve - in a thatched roof, rustic lodge ... why would we think there would not be mosquitos? The bathroom had a full sized, stand-alone tub and a separate shower. The entire room/bathroom had more than enough room for two of us. The first morning of our stay we met our guide, "F.P." He is a young man in his twenties who is a very knowledgeable and compassionate guide more committed to the welfare and conservation of animals for which any guest to Africa could ask. We had a morning and evening safari drive for every day we were on the preserve. These drives were consistently longer than 2 hours and F.P. provided plenty of information AND time to just sit and observe the animals in silence. He even took us for one night drive and one evening drive which allowed us to see a different side of the preserve. Our mornings were a delight because F.P. would stop for morning coffee and tea on a beautiful stretch of roadway for us to discuss what we had seen and to have the chance to talk with our safari mates. We were grouped with the same safari mates throughout our time there which created a nice sense of camaraderie and provided a sense of comfort in our day trips outside the preserve. The game preserve is small, but that is not a bad thing. It is easy to see a nice diversity of game. No, there are no lions at ZN. That is true. However, the game sightings were frequent and close. We chose to take a few day trips during our time and worked out with those in our group the ones we all wanted to see - in this way assuring a group discount. There are some reviews which complain about this practice. It was our conclusion the ZN Game Preserve was assuming the liability of our travel, providing a vehicle and a driver, and for most of our trips packing us food, plus paying the entry fees. The fees we were charged by ZN were not far different than what we would end up paying on our own. PLUS, we had a trained and informative guide with us the entire time. The costs seemed fair and reasonable given these factors. We chose to do the Cheetah Experience, the day in St. Lucia at the Indian Ocean, and a trip to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Our meals were all well within what you should expect from any resort of this nature. While it was not "gourmet" it was certainly professional and varied. The Lodge itself was very well maintained and animals frequently roamed just outside our room. One night I watched a frog come in the front entrance of the lodge, hop past the reception desk, and out the back door. There is wi-fi in the lodge and we had no trouble keeping up with necessary emails. Finally, the only other thing to mention is the night time. The stars have a greater intensity because of the lack of light pollution. Because the landscape is green - and not populated with flowering plants - the air was clean (no pollen) and fresh. And, the frogs. Be prepared to be lulled to sleep by the loud and wonderful songs of the frogs. We had some of the best sleep we've had in a long time during our stay. The sounds of the night coupled with the natural fatigue brought on by being outside 7 or 8 hours a day rumbling across the bush can lead to some very restful nights.

Room Tip: We were in room 1 and it was very nice. We were told we could move to the Game Tents or the Hotel i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Jo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZuluNyala, Guest Relations Manager at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2014

Dear Jo T,

Wow! What an experience! We are ecstatic to hear that you had such an amazing time at our breathtaking property in Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal. We also thank you for supporting the charity auction which provided you with this unforgettable experience.

We are pleased to hear that our staff, especially F.P. who've already been mentioned a view times on TripAdvisor, assisted in making you stay as remarkable, comfortable and pleasant as possible.

We look forward to hopefully have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We purchased the Zulu Nyala vacation from a charity auction, as most of the guests at the lodge do. The purchase opened up an adventure we would never have had if not for the auction. Our room was large and very comfortable. We didn't spend a lot of time it though as our guide kept us very busy with the two game drives and the other opportunities. The Zulu Nyala game preserve provides an incredible experience of seeing the amazing animals up close. Our guide, Welcome, was wonderful and we think we had the best guide there was. Everyone thinks that about their guide at Zulu Nyala! The food was plentiful with plenty of delicious variety. Our vacation to South Africa was better than we ever could have imagined it would be. The optional activities we chose were Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, Elephant Interaction and Cheetah Rehabilitation. Each experience was magical. We regretted that we missed St. Lucia wetlands outing; but we were very pleased with the whole experience provided by our Zulu Nyala adventure.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Cathleen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZuluNyala, Guest Relations Manager at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2014

Dear Cathleen,

We are so pleased to hear that we managed to exceed your greatest expectations in making your vacation to South Africa as well as to our magnificent Zulu Nyala Game Lodge an amazing and unforgettable one! We truly strive to provide our guests with an adventure of a lifetime and we are delighted to hear that we succeeded!

Looking forward to many more visits!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Hluhluwe hotels
8.1 mi away
Anew Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris
6.7 mi away
Bayala Game Lodge
Bayala Game Lodge
#5 of 7 in Hluhluwe
30 reviews
13.1 mi away
Gooderson Bushlands Game Lodge
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
9.1 mi away
Zululand Tree Lodge
Zululand Tree Lodge
#2 of 7 in Hluhluwe
138 reviews
10.6 mi away
Hluhluwe River Lodge
Hluhluwe River Lodge
#8 of 32 in Hluhluwe
159 reviews
5.1 mi away
Bushwillow Collection
Bushwillow Collection
#1 of 32 in Hluhluwe
321 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Zulu Nyala Game Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing