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“Nyala Zulu's better location”

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Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 1, 2014

Our first two nights at Nyala Zulu were at the game lodge: nice, but the Safari lodge beats it hands down. First off, lodge is situated on the top a hill with views across the expanse. Our room was really nice, though they had these oversized chairs that were too large to get comfortable in. I know, how is that possible for a fat-assed American?!? The dining hall at the Safari lodge was much nicer. The dining room has a fantastic view if you can score a table near the deck. I thought the food was just a notch better than at the Game lodge. Our guide Philoman from the Game lodge remained our guide which was great. We lucked out with the family from Boston that shared our vehicle: they were a lot fun on the game drives. Again, if this is your first time on South Africa safaris this is a good place to start. None of these are inexpensive, but this is a better bargain (tongue in cheek) that some others.

Room Tip: I think we were in room 51: ask for an end room on the building for more light in the daytime.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ratboy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 30, 2014 via mobile

The stay in the tented Hemingway cabin with my husband and 2 year old was comfortable despite the cold nights, we stayed in T12 and were a little disappointed that our view of the veld where the Nyala and zebras graze was obscured by the tents in front of us.

The breakfasts and dinner were buffet style, selection was limited but very tasty. The staff were always friendly and courteous. Remember to carry a good supply of bottled water, especially if you are taking your baby along. The water from taps is borehole/tank water and was somewhat discolored during our stay.

From the reviews i read on Tripadvisor I expected more. On the negative side, there is very little privacy in the tents, as sounds carry through the canvas. You can literally hear your neighbors. Furthermore getting to the lodge was stressful because once you get onto the gravel road there is very little signage and you have to travel about 6km before you see the sign. Ensure you get there before dark as the roads are challenging if you are unfamiliar.

There was no tv in the tents and the safe didn't work. The mosquitos that got into the tent st night were troublesome despite it being winter. Also the loud noise from the diesel trains that pass through disturb your sleep at early hours of the morning. Construction was underway at the lodge and it was impossible to sleep in late because the workmen were loud and every sound carried freely in the tents.

The excursions to places of interest if booked through zulu nyala lodge is terribly overpriced, if you book directly you will pay a small fraction of the price. There are a lot of overseas tourists that frequent the lodge hence the expensive prices for the tours and excursions.

The elephant interactions at Bayete Zulu was amazing, the roads leading there are gravel but certainly worth the trip. Emdoneni cat/cheetah tours was also a treat. There are regrettably no self drives on Zulu Nyala Game Reserve either.

All in all a satisfactory stay but not the best experience for locals.

Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
1  Thank Ashina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2014

Zulu Nyala's Heritage Safari Lodge was originally built in the 1940's as a hotel between Maputo and Durban. It was acquired in 1996 and may have been renovated but still looks and feels much like a Day's Inn. The private game reserve is small -- no lions on the property -- and our guide "Welcome" seemed more interested in laughing with the other drivers and sticking to his set schedule of picking up and dropping off guests than too much else. We did see animals but felt that 3 days (2 safaris each day) is more than enough for this small reserve. The guide did have his moments when he was informative but these were few and far between. And, it did take time to pick up and drop off guest from the other properties. If we saw animals before getting the other guests, he would often zoom by and say he would find them later. They so have some individual cabins with tents over them that they call "tented room" -- which are so close to one another you have no view whatsoever and feel as if you must keep the curtains drawn in order to have privacy. Food was nothing special. Staff was pleasant. They do charge for laundry and seem to want to nickel and dime for most everything including anything other than tea or coffee at meals. Wi-Fi is available at no charge which is a plus. Flying into Richard's Bay and renting a car was the best thing we did as it's only about an hour and half drive to the property and roads are well marked. Three nights at this place is really more than enough. There were no closets in the room in which we stayed. The bathroom -- although large with two sinks -- seemed outdated. With a car you can do activities they offer at less than half of what they charge. Bayete Zulu offers an elephant interaction and isn't a far drive. Ilala Weavers is a good place to look for gifts and just down the road from this property. Also, you can do a self drive through Hluhluwe Game Reserve -- which is in between Richard's Bay and Zulu Nayla. The gift shop before the entrance to Hluhluwe is one of largest and best in that area -- and reasonable prices.

Room Tip: The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve outside of Johannesburg at the Krugerdorp Game Reserve is far bett...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Linda G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2014

we stayed in the tents for 6 days/nights and we had a great time. we slept deeply every night - even during a stormy night - and always had lots of friendly interactions with the lodge staff, other guests ( a mix of europeans and north americans), and all the animals wondering around the grounds.
we did a full day tour to the big Hluhluwe Reserve and other shorter tours to the elephant interaction, the cheetah rehab place (alcoholic cheetahs), and other local sights.
we flew into Durban and drove up: a 3 hour easy drive, plan your daylight though: it gets DARK here and the roads are not easy.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank richard8000milesaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

We like others won the 6 day 6 night safari package at an auction. We contacted Reshmi one of their coordinators and she assisted in created a 3 week vacation. She was a pro right from the start, guiding us on our itinerary and time of year to book. We left all decisions in her hands from hotels, excursions and guides to transfers. We could not have been happier with all her choices. We spent 2 nights at their Country Manor in Johannesburg, went to the Lion park and a full day of city touring the next day. Neo our guide the entire time was amazing. He really took care of us, he was timely, knowledgeable and just a great guy. We then flew to Durban and took the long ride to the Heritage Lodge. I would recommend checking out flights to Richard's Bay only 1.5 hour commute instead of the 3 hours. Our Accommodations at Zulu Nyala were fantastic. They have these new tents/Cottages/ Villas that are not a "tent". We had a huge bedroom, sitting room and bathroom with AC. Others that wanted the romantic experience of the tents didn't feel the same way after a few sleepless nights due to the wind and noise from the canvas. You can request one of these Cottages as an upgrade. They have named them Buffalo 1, Rhino 1 etc. Gugu the front desk girl was exceptional at her job, great smile, warm and very helpful. Candice the restaurant manager really took the time to get to know us and made a very positive impression.She is friendly, helpful with directions and overall good at managing her team and servicing the guests. The food was good, not over the top but they had great choices, good quality and a great staff to serve you each day.
Philemon was our ranger and I have to say he made our trip. He was phenomenal. I was so impressed with his ability to interact with our group, answer All our questions and make us feel safe and well taken care of. You can tell he really enjoys his job. He is a very kind soul that has found his calling. We saw animals everyday several times a trip. I love the way all the rangers communicate to keep each other posted of animal activity. I think it's important that I mention the family feeling that resonates through the staff, they take care of one another and you, it's special. I highly recommend this safari experience it's on the smaller side but talking to others traveling about SA they had different experiences at the larger reserves. Some days you would see very little activity due to the size of the reserve.
Reshmi assisted with our travels to Durban, Cape Town and Victoria Falls. Overall the best vacation of our lives!
Thank you

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
17  Thank Dahlia860
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Our recent stay within the complex of Zulu Nyala was a wonderful experience. We opted to stay in the Hemmingway Tent's, of which there are something like 35 or so, and they vary in size and age. We stayed in a newer one (Rhino 1) and it was much grander than I expected. We dined mostly at the Heritage Lodge, but took advantage of a lunch and dinner over at their Safari Lodge. The safari tours (morning and afternoon) were fulfilling and the pool setting at the Heritage Lodge was pleasant. Our assigned ranger was knowledgeable and the staff were warm and accommodating. We found the service and prices to be very reasonable and overall we really enjoyed our five night stay.

Room Tip: The options here include; 1) Safari Lodge (newer but remote), 2) Heritage Lodge (grand buildings and...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RDerringer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

This hotel needs a serious rooms refresh at least for the majority of the rooms as apparently there are new ones but that we did not have the opportunity to test...

The first night, we could not sleep due to a very noisy cooling system from the neighbours'room and I don't speak about the old aging "british" plumbing in the bathroom, not really working.

On top the TV did not work the first night as it needed two remote controls and one TV access card which was not supplied in the room, and not possible to get from the reception which closes at 10pm...

The next day, I finally manage to get the material to get the TV working but then we had no hand Towels neither floor bath carpet... Finally I only got the towels at 9:30 pm, when their were not necessary anymore...

Fortunately the hotel is located in a nice wild park but they need seriously to look at the quality of the hotel and the services if they want to keep Customers...

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank CCh74350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge

Address: 45 Bree Street Cradock 1969 | PO Box 247, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Hotel Class:4 star — Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Heritage Safari Lodge was originally built in the 1940’s as a hotel and was a landmark pit-stop for weary travelers between Maputo and Durban. Acquired in 1996, the gracious building was lovingly restored to its original colonial grandeur, enhanced with new accommodation, and tastefully themed to highlight Zululand’s unique cultural heritage.With buffet-style meals in our restaurant, the wide, welcoming veranda and our ‘human watering hole’ - the pub or thatched boma, warm and relaxing atmosphere is conducive to shared good times and conviviality. The sparkling pool is always inviting, and you’re sure to enjoy browsing our beautifully stocked curio shop for a few authentic African mementos. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Hotel Hluhluwe

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