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“Stunning Location but terrible service”
Review of Hilltop Camp

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Hilltop Camp
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Hiltop is one of the most unique locations in any game reserve. The views from Hiltop are beautiful. The only major let down here is the absolutely terrible service at the restaurant and bar. They are terribly under staffed. Expect to wait 20 mins for a drink, and another 20 before being able to flag down a waiter to help you again. The food is good at the restaurant but once again the service just killed it. Besides from the service it is just such a stunning place to sit back and relax and take in the views, and sip on a cocktail.
The location outweighs the service. This is a must stop when travelling through Hluhluwe Imfolozi.

Room Tip: order a drink directly from the bar.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SamTravel68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 - 137 of 313 reviews

Reviewed April 12, 2013

Hilltop Camp is located in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. We had a spacious chalet with a huge view over a large part of the reserve. The Camp is spacious with various types of houses. The interior the lodge looked fine, but is quite clear in the '70s-style'. Spacious room with flat-screen satellite TV and a kitchen. Large bedroom with two large single beds.Not a luxury chalets, but the whole fits with the atmosphere of a safari. As the Camp-shop has a limited suply, you better shop in Hluhluwe-village before you enter de reservee. Good diner at the restaurant (buffet) and also the breakfast was good. The staf was very friendly and helpful. We booked a wonderful game drive and made onw with our own car the other day. We've seen many wildlife!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bartho0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Hilltop Camp was a perfect end to a long day's drive and game viewing.. with well stocked self catering we were able to quickly set up for a braai and enjoy the evening on the balcony, telling stories of the events of the day. The cottages was clean, well equipped and hence allowed me to relax and not worry at all the the family was comfortable. The staff were polite and attentive... Well Done KZN Parks!!!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Michael Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We, four adults and four kids, stayed for two nights. The first night was in the private lodge at the Hilltop camp. This was the original game warden's lodge and it feels like you have been propelled 50 years back in Africa. It has it's own large garden and a friendly chap who looks after it.

The second night was at Munyawaneni lodge, also a private and secluded lodge sleeping 8. The lodge needs maintenance work. There are handrails missing and two out of four showers did not have hot water. There was also supposed to be a field guide available at the lodge but the chap who was there said he was not available. This is not acceptable for a lodge that costs almost R5000 a night.

The actual park is stunning with rolling hills giving you a great aspect to look for game. We did one game drive which was OK. We could barely understand the guide. In the two days we were there we saw Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant and various others. The kids loved it.

What let the experience down was the Hilltop Camp. The chap that served us drinks was possibly the worst waiter I have seen since arriving in SA in 1992. You could wait anything between 20 and 30 minutes to get your drinks, and much longer for the lunch food. We had dinner one night and had the same unfriendly and inefficient service. The food was very average with the roast pork being hacked into small pieces (2 max?) by a miserable server. When the pork ran out (at +/- 7:30pm) they replaced it with beef that looked like it's only cooking was when the chef walked past the oven.

This is a wonderful reserve is let down by poor management. The head of Kwa Zulu wildlife and our minister of tourism should take a trip here to see how humans are making a mess of things. Only the animals and the scenery saved the experience.

Room Tip: If you want seclusion, the private lodges are the way to go, but pricey.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank jimiti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I will start my review with a word of advice - keep your clothes in your bags and keep your bags zipped up. My sister in law came home with a cockroach in her bag- we all ended up spraying our bags , just in case. If possible get premises on the right hand side as you go in, as they have the better views. The left side is very over grown .

Cleaning is average- the picture in the lounge had something sprayed over it which had dried.
Expect insects, both evenings I stayed, I was brushing them off my bed- It is normal you are in the bush and under a thatched roof .

We saw a lot of elephant and water buffalo. No cats. In the reception they have a sightings board which is very interesting. The shop is very fairly priced but if self catering do not rely on it for everything. There is a restaurant and bar . The bar has lovely views and there is a lovely outside space you can have bar food and drinks. We self catered so cannot comment on the food.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mrs-TravellerAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank R0aminggypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank love2skiLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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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