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“Exceeded expectations!”
Review of Hilltop Camp

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Hilltop Camp
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Exceeded expectations!”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

As always I consulted Trip Advisor before booking Hilltop Camp. A few negatives were the service and the food. Besides the woman at the park entrance everyone else was lovely and very helpful. Travelling on the Australian dollar I thought the accommodation and facilities were great. We stayed in a Rondaval which was not only a unique experience but very cool inside, quiet and very dark for sleeping with the curtains drawn. The cost was equivalent to a shared hostel room back home. The grounds were impeccably maintained and the standard around the entire grounds was very high. The restaurant was a little expensive by comparison to eating in S.A but once again such good value for Aus$. Good variety too at the buffet as I am quite a fussy eater.
We went on one sunrise and one sunset guided safari which was excellent value and we saw almost everything up close except the elusive leopard! We are so impressed with hilltop we are booking my partners parents in for next month!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank R0aminggypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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291 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
95 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2013

The Hilltop Camp is a good value. We stayed in a comfortable cottage with nice bedroom and bath. We had a very good flatscreen TV with good cable service. Our stay included meals which were good and there was plenty of food offered buffet style.
Our game drives were sucessful in that we saw 4 of the big 5 and we were only there for one night. The evening drive on our first night we saw many elephant and cape buffalo. The morning drive we saw lions, giraffe , zebras. and many many Rhinos. The rhinos and elephant were on the road and we got great photos.
The game is mostly located lower than the lodge, but it is a short drive down to where they are. You can see animals from the deck off the dining room and they have a large telescope there. The views from the deck are really awsome.
The only downside is that it is a large resort and our cabin was 4 or 5 minutes walk from the main lodge. The pool is even further away. All in all we think it is a great place for the price which is reasonable and we would go back again if we were in the area.

Room Tip: Get a cottage near the lodge
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank love2skiLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
127 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Our party of 4 couples stayed in chalets on new years day, 2013 for 1 night. We did not choose or book the accommodations but I booked an overnight safari tour with Malule Safaris in Richards Bay.  Lovely Lyn Govender of Malule arranged the drives, transfers and accomodations for a very reasonable price.  As a result, we do not know what was paid for our stay at Hilltop Camp and did not have to deal with the staff or checkin procedures (Malule did all that) except in the dining room where we ate dinner one night after our game drive, and breakfast the next morning.  

I had no expectations whatsoever so was rather pleased with the chalet, although it was a 10 minute walk from the reception and dining room.  It was large, had gorgeous clear views out to the hills, clean sheets on twin beds that we pushed together, 2 pillows each, sitting area, large TV, hair dryer, fridge, lovely patio, generous storage space, and a ceiling fan.  However, the fan was noisy, there was a pervasive slightly musty smell, and there was no clock - which is surprising given the on-site morning game drives start at 5 am.  

My expectation about the food was that it would be basic.  Here again, I was pleasantly surprised.  While it would not win any awards, there was decent variety and it was perfectly fine.  

The reception, dining room, and patio are lovely with breathtaking vista views, and I would have liked to have stayed another day to enjoy the clean air and quiet serenity of the place.  

The park rangers were good. They use walkie talkies to communicate game sitings, and on our morning drive, our guide raced along roads, over hill and dale Indiana Jones-style, after being informed of a lion siting to ensure we got to the spot before the lions departed.  We did.  We saw a lot of game.  

Hilltop is not at all luxurious, but we found it perfectly adequate in some respects, a bit off-putting in others, with location, surroundings, and vistas that were absolutely breathtaking.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ingle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We loved the reserve and the accomadation. Avoid the restaurant food disappointing. We found the people lovely and did two game drives and saw soooo much. Wonderfaul patio to sit back and watch they approaching thunder storm. Good kitchen in our room. Very happy.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Trot65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
137 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

We were booked into the Safari tents at iMfolozi’s Mpila Camp. Due to the high rainfall and swollen rivers and much to our disappointment, we were unable to reach Mpila.

Although Hilltop Camp was almost full, staff were obliging in accommodating us for the two nights we had booked at another camp! The first night was spent in the 2 bed self-catering rondavels. Although this is not my preferred way to spend a holiday (ablution blocks and communal cooking), the rondavels were clean and well equipped. We opted to eat at the restaurant that night. The buffet was good and affordable and we were served by the most charming waiter. We also enjoyed a night cap at the bar before retiring.

On the second night the staff moved us to a 4 bed chalet. We appreciated this as the tents we had booked in iMfolozi were cheaper but we were not expected to pay in the difference. The view from our upstairs balcony was spectacular and the sunrise equally so. While we were there, an upgrade programme was underway and amongst other things kitchen nook stools and headboards were replaced (great to know Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is maintaining this lovely accommodation).

Game viewing was excellent and we saw four of the big five in two days, plus loads of birdlife, antelope, Zebra, Giraffe etc. The Siwasamikhosikazi and Molondozi picnic sites are well maintained and both have excellent views. The Thiyeni hide is worth a visit although the picnic site was overgrown and poorly maintained.

Hluhluwe has a beauty that in my opinion no other SA game reserve has. The view from the main terrace is unsurpassed. I can highly recommend the overall experience there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank RosB__11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2012

This was our first stop on a 2 week trip to SA and we were not disappointed. We had stayed in Hilltop Camp 7 years ago and knew what to expect. We had a 2 bed lodge very near the restaurant/reception, which was cleaned daily and was comfortable. Staying in the african bush one must not have their expections too high but this camp does what it says on the tin. The bar area in the main reception is comfortable, the food is what you might expect from a buffet anywhere and the staff are friendly and polite. The traditional barbeque (braai) on the weekend - weather permitting - was a real treat. Would return every year if I could. Great experience.

Room Tip: We had chalet 34. Great view and close to restaurant/reception
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank robchar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

I was very excited to stay at Hilltop as it is advertised as a top rate lodge. The reception staff was very rude to us. We witness them change the price for the people in front of us to "international prices" even though they had already booked the room at a lower price. At the gift shop we gave the check out lady 200 Rand and then she open the cash drawer and put the cash in, but claimed we only gave her 110 Rand. She also gave the person behind us the wrong change back and claimed it was correct. The lodges are okay, though there was poop on one of the beds from the lizards in the rooms. The dinner was awful. The food was not good and it was over priced. The view from the camp is nice and the game drives were good, but overall there are much better places to stay. If I could do it again, I would book a camp site instead of spending the money to stay at Hilltop. If you do plan on staying here, bring in your own food and DON'T go to the gift shop.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NatalM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hilltop Camp

Property: Hilltop Camp
Address: Hluhluwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilltop Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Also Known As:
Hilltop Camp Hotel Hluhluwe Game Reserve

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