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“Experience wild Africa!”
Review of Mpila Camp

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Mpila Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
137 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Experience wild Africa!”
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Mpila camp is a real bush experience. The camp is unfenced, other than an elephant cable. We stayed in a 5 sleeper chalet. It was well appointed and comfortable as well as spotlessly clean. We loved going outside to the braai area each evening. Two family members in our party hired a safari tent which in my opinion is the best safari tent accommodation I have seen in a non-privatized SA reserve (en-suite bathroom, well appointed kitchen, large deck). While braaing at night outside the chalet, we were suddenly aware that 5 hyenas were watching our cooking pursuits, they were a few metres away! This added to the whole enjoyment of our stay and the following evening they returned. Braai before dark if you are nervous!! Due to there being no fence around the camp, other game comes in and out too. On the downside, Mpila's shop is very poorly stocked (as has always been the case), so make sure you go to Mpila with adequate supplies. We had monkeys go through the chalet while we were out, reason being there was a lounge window with a broken latch, all very easy for primates to figure out! The deck and steps of the safari tent were in dire need of a new coat of varnish too. Please Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, maintain this treasure of a place. On the other hand, the picnic sites in iMfolozi are well placed and well maintained, with excellent toilet facilities including soap and paper towel. Not sure why the hide on Ngotsha Loop is closed, as it has been for some time. Hope that this is not a poor maintenance issue. Can highly recommend the Umbondwe picnic sight. It has the most stunning views and we saw 100+ buffalo down on the river bed.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank RosB__11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2013

What a fun experience. We have done a few trips to SA and always try to include KNZ especially Hluhluwe / Imfolozi.Instead of self drive day trips to both reserves as we have done before , this time we booked a tent and spent 4 nights there. The tents are clean, rustic and atmospheric but best best of all there is an open wooden deck overlooking the bush. There is a lockable, well equipped and enclosed kitchen designed to keep the critters at bay ! There is a braai on the ground right in front. Naturally its a big attraction for hyenas and bush pigs but certainly free entertainment for the guests ( not so much for the one doing the the bbq ) but if you use common sense and have a good torch no harm will come.You can hear elephants trumpeting in the distance, all sorts of animal noises and watch impala, monkeys,
( which can be a bit pesky, especially if food around ) etc. meander through the camp. The game viewing is excellent and one day we saw 27 rhino. For the price you pay its great value , and well run with friendly staff. Some of the much more expensive lodges in other reserves we stayed at didn't offer you this up close and personal atmosphere and experience . Our group all agreed it would be on our itinerary again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank stargaize1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
54 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2013

wow

i love this camp, it is clean safe and well looked after,

their is an abundance of wildlife wakling through the camp and yes, you have to watch your food on the braai.
its a bit sad that the animals have become so attached to taking food from visitors as we where visited by numerous during our stay.

people don't seem to be educated enough on the dangers of some of the animals that walk the camp but it adds to the experience.
this reserve has ample wildlife , although it seems clear that poaching is an issue as thier is very little antelope species

if only the reserve would be protected better from poaching we would have hope for kwa zulu natal nature conservation.

the night drive is a great addition at a cost and the driver was quiet professional and experienced, .


i recommend staying here for a unique experience!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dale g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2013

My husband and I stayed there with my father in two chalets, and we loved it. We wanted to stay in the tents but they were already booked - definitely one to try in future. However the chalets were great too - really clean and the kitchens had lots of useful utensils, etc. Great views from the braai areas in front of the chalets and lots of wildlife passing through. Definitely make sure you braai before dark because hyenas got more brazen after dark and came up to see if there was anything left on the grill.

Great base for game spotting - lots of animals make there way through and around the camp at night and they are still in the area in the morning.

Highly recommended!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Karen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

This was our first time at Mpila Camp. It definitely was everything we had hoped it to be and most certainly will be one of our favorite times spent in a big 5 reserve. We were fortunate enough to book into the tented accommodation, something we have wanted to do for ages. It certainly gives you that unique bush experience if that's what you are looking for. The tents are well kitted out and very clean and comfortable. We had read all about the regular visits by resident hyenas at night in the camp, and that is exactly what we got. Daunting at first, we watched from our deck how this particular hyena made straight for our braai and with nothing there, came up to our deck to see what else he could find. Somewhat disappointed, he made way for the tent next to us. An hour or so later we also had a family of bush pigs come through the camp, munching on whatever they could find. With the constant movement of game outside our tent and with hyena calls sounding into the early hours of the morning, we were in our element and tried to get a bit of sleep. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our stay. The staff were super friendly and very helpful when needed. We spent all our time in the Umfolizi side of the reserve this time round and were fortunate to see all of the big 5 except for that elusive leopard. This was a very memorable experience and we hope to return again in the near future.

Room Tip: Would definitely recommend the tented accommodation if you are after that unique bush experience.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Adel_van_Rooyen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2013

If you are staying in Hluhluwe Umfolozi stay at Mpila instead of at Hilltop. Mpila only has an elephant fence meaning nearly every other kind of animal can (and will) walk through the camp. In our short stay there we saw Kudu, Nyala, Samango Monkeys, Warthogs and Hyena's right on our doorstep. The camp itself is pretty basic and it's self catering but if you really want to feel like you are in the bush this is the place to stay. Everything in our place was clean and well cared for, the staff were all friendly.

Room Tip: Book early if you want to stay in one of the tent. They fill up fast!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank StephanieMcA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Netherlands
Level Contributor
68 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We had a big (7 person) house in Mpila camp, with the four of us. The space is good, big kitchen, 3 bedrooms, bathroom with toilet,. seperate toilet and seperate shower + handbasin. The furniture is basic and there was nothing to make the cottage cosy. The beds were fine and clean but the kitchen and bathroom not. The kitchen was greasy, there were dirty used towels still hanging in the kitchen, the floor sticks and was slippery due to grease. Also the equipment was not clean. Also the bathtub was not clean, when I opende the tap it began to foam (and I did not add this). The heating of the water is by a open geyser. Therefor we always let the window open for ventilation.
The 7 person cottage includes daily cooking and dishwashing. by a women. We did'nt use this because we did't know so we had allready had our dinner. Unfortnately the fire place was blocked and there is no heating otherwise. In winter it is cold. In the park the electricity is shut off from 22.00-07.00. Herefore are oillamps available.
The game park is great, we have seen rhino's, wild dogs, hyena's, elephants, impala's, etc. The roads are not so good. many putholes.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fwlp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mpila Camp

Property: Mpila Camp
Address: Hluhluwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Mpila Camp Hotel Hluhluwe Game Reserve

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