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“One of the most memorable visits of my life!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Heritage Tours & Safaris

Heritage Tours & Safaris
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Hluhluwe Game Reserve Safari
Certificate of Excellence
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
128 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“One of the most memorable visits of my life!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2014 via mobile

We drove in from Ulundi and as soon as we drove through the gate and done the formalities we found a huge giraffe standing in the road. It was an amazing moment. Later more giraffes and zebras, and then - astonishing for us certainly - two families of white rhino. And then as we approached Hilltop Camp another rhino walking straight down the road towards us! Only one elephant on the first day...... After a great night at Hilltop and a fantastic breakfast, we transferred to Mpila - a wonderful bush tent! Some wildlife on the way and we were getting used to warthog and hyena. Then late afternoon we set off to drive round a loop in the river, and in the course of 45 minutes we encountered a group of 7 rhino, then a small herd of buffalo, and then just round the corner a sizeable herd of elephants crossing the road, which was both terrifying and exhilarating! It was now getting dark and we needed to get back to camp. As we drove up the hill, something feline crossed the track. We stopped and a young leopard stood staring at us for a few moments before disappearing into the bush. Extraordinary!

Visited July 2013
Thank ChCath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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405 reviews from our community

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Level Contributor
37 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Arrogant staff who clearly hate their job”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2014

Although we went on to enjoy a wonderful three day experience in this reserve, unfortunately our first impression will never leave us. We arrived at the Memorial Gate after 2pm and eventually worked out exactly which building houses the reception as there are no signs from the parking area to tell you.

We waited for over 10 minutes for two of the most arrogant women I have ever encountered in Africa to even acknowledge our presence while they had a chat and slowly and laboriously counted some money. I couldn't believe they totally ignored us for so long.

Finally surly woman no. 1 looked up at me with an abrupt "yes?" indicating that we had thoroughly inconvenienced her. As I gave my reply she turned away to talk to misery no. 2 and then back to me "what?". I said much louder that we had an accommodation booking. She proceeded in monosyllables in the most unpleasant tone: "Form?" "Car?" "Make?" "Colour?" "Cell phone?" before typing endlessly all the while talking to no. 2. Finally prints off a form and hands it over counter saying absolutely nothing to us. We continued to wait while she carried on her private and absorbing conversation with no. 2. After a few minutes we interrupted to ask what we should do next and she says without looking up, "finished". We had to ask where to go. "You just go through, 15 kms. Straight ahead."

We were utterly seething, never having been treated so poorly in Africa or anywhere else. Ushered through a boom gate by a friendlier guy just as one of her colleagues jokes with her "I know how much you love mzungus". For the unfamiliar this means white person.

It turns out we had entered at the wrong gate and we still had about 2 more hours of driving before reaching our accommodation. A person who cared about their job could have told us to continue on the main road for a short distance and avoid all that driving. On entering the park, we encountered a large herd of white rhino but honestly could not appreciate the scene as were so angry.

This probably won't get published but, if it does, could someone please tell me where I can report these women so they can get some much-needed PR training. Or better still, get them out of public view. They are a disgrace to your tourism industry.

Visited December 2013
5 Thank bilasukari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
101 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Lovely landscape, nice game viewing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2014

This is one of the oldest game reserves in Africa. The scenery is stunning. Wildlife is not abundant, but you will manage to see most. Its a bit more challenging to find game since the vegetation is lush and dense.

Visited January 2014
Thank Marki663
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Level Contributor
71 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Four of the big Five ....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

We took a family day trip to this Game Reserve in two vehicles. Although I live within a couple of hours of this park and have long known of its existence I had never visited. It took an Australian visitor to galvanize us into action! We took a day trip so missed the bad experiences of an overnight stay that other reviewers have mentioned. Unfortunately there is a don't care attitude from staff and even the toilet used during our day trip was not up to standard. We gave the restaurant a miss as we had heard from other members of our family that it was not good value.

However, the aim was to spot the big five, and in that respect we were not disappointed! Within a few minutes of driving in we saw a group of zebra and giraffe and were so busy watching them we didn't see the elephant until he was quite close. Later it was time to see lots of rhino and even a mother with a calf. There was a herd of buffalo on both sides of the road, a couple of lions lying in the long grass, lots of bird life and large numbers of antelope.

We went on a cloudy overcast day which was perfect for viewing as the animals were out and about. On hot days they hide in the shade and one can drive for ages without seeing anything.
You can get around in a normal vehicle with great care but a SUV or 4x4 is better as the roads need a vehicle with a higher clearance as they are not in the best condition - but it all adds to the safari style experience!

All in all it was a very worthwhile day visit. We will be back...

Visited December 2013
Thank Jeanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“such potential but badly managed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed at Hilltops for 3 nights,it really saddens me as a loyal South African to have to hear tourists making negative comments about the poor standards of a beautiful national game reserve.
The rooms are dirty as well as the restaurant,the general service is shocking and the staff are not trained,therefore the incorrect information is passed on all the time.

The service and food in the restaurant is shocking,expensive and not fresh.

The one hide we visited had nails hammered into the bathrooms.
The one entrance gate's bathrooms were all broken so could not be used.
The state of the bathrooms in general were filthy,with staff who really do not care.

The guide who took us on a night drive was very good.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank shashy2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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