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Reviewed December 27, 2011

Ezulwini's Billy's Lodge and River Lodge are enchanted places, beautifully laid out, incredibly scenic and understatedly elegant, offering the best of the bush experience. We had a fabulous time in every way. The wildlife is miraculous, very protected and respected. Our guides, Lazarus, Richard and Beth, were knowledgeable and accomplished, managing to show us four of the "Big Five" which included the elusive leopard--an amazing experience, along with a myriad of other animals and birdlife. We particularly enjoyed the "sundowners!" Lawrence and Tess were the perfect hosts, as was their staff. They accommodated us in every way possible, from an evening visit to the wine cellar to, amazingly!, moving their TV to the Lodge so we could watch the World Cup Cricket Finals in-between safaris! When India won, a tasty Indian lamb curry was served that evening in honor of my husband's native country. Our visit was the best of the best, every day the perfect day thanks to all those at Ezulwini Lodges! I thank them for our many lifelong memories. I would recommend to anyone seeking a relaxing, personalized holiday.

Jacob and Margaret, Clovis New Mexico

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank margaret g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2011

My wife and I were truly mesmerized with the beauty of this lodge. The ultra luxury suite was the perfect place to rest after returning back from the daily game drives. Well appointed with everything you can ask for and more. Freeman who is the lodge manager was on hand to greet us back from the drives with hot or cold towels and a nice shot of liquor every evening. Rooms were made up every time we got back and clothes that were left on the floor were washed and neatly folded without being asked to. I wished every hotel or even my home was like that. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were very good. I am certain I put on some weight there. The game drives led by ranger Rex and tracker Frans had to be the best safari experience in the world. I saw the big five within one day and saw much more over the five days we stayed at the lodge. In fact many occasions, it was Rex and Frans who found a pride of lions, elephants, or cape buffaloes and they shared the location with other rangers who looking. Truly teamwork at it's best. On our last night, Lawrence Saad invited us to his wine cellar to enjoy a bottle of south African pinotage and what a treat it was. The cellar was built into a rock face that was ancient and even had cave paintings on them. He used local wood from he property to make his wine table and cellar door. The Saad family hospitality is second to none. Every night the sky out a magical show for us. We saw planets, a gazillion stars and shooting stars on our last evening. This is a magical trip that will always be etched in our memories.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank alan l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2011

An absolute amazing experience which I am finding so difficult to put into words. Our accommodation was truly African and sooooo comfy, how I enjoyed my outdoor shower in the middle of the bush. Freeman your meals were delicious, Geoff and I leave kilograms heavier, I could not wait from one meal to the next. Rex the master land rover driver and Frans the tracker, how will we ever forget seeing the herd of 20 elephants, the hippos sunbathing in the Olifants river, the pack of lions trying to chase zebra, the herd of about 20 buffalo and most unforgettable the leopard.Lawrence it was the 1st time we had met. Your hospitality, kindness and concern for us was indescribeable. Nothing was ever too much.THANK YOU. The experience of which I can never forget. My family will be hearing so much about Billy's Lodge and me proudly showing off my photographic skills.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Abegail J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2011

My wife and I stayed at both River (2 nights) and Billy's (3 nights) Lodges, and left there a few days ago. Before providing my comments, however, I feel the need to respond to the negative rating that was recently posted. In my view, that person dramatically over-reacted, and seems to have had unrealistic expectations. For example, to have seen 'elephants, a rhino, lions, giraffe, and hippos' during a two day visit in an environment that is wide open is nothing to complain about!

The recent reviews by missfitz and Dennis really tell the story and don't need to be repeated here. Laurence, the owner of Ezulwini, is an excellent host, and this carries over to his staff. Laurance's wine cellar, about which he is justifiably proud, was a great place to share a glass of wine with other guests. Erin (at River) and Freeman (at Billy's) were very attentive to the needs of the guests. Food was very good, and on par with what I had on another much more expensive trip to Tanzania. The rooms were comfortable, and as others noted are a bit more rustic at River Lodge. Internet service was available at both locations for a cost.

On the game drives we saw a leopard on two occasions, which made even the guide (Rex) and tracker (Frans) excited. Other animals we saw on multiple occasions were rhino, giraffe, lion, hippo, zebra, wildebeest, warthog (including one peaking out of its hole) and many other animals (including birds). We also did not see elephant, which we were told are harder to see for a time because the recent release of about 20 black rhinos in the area resulted in some regional fences to be erected that have limited elephant movements. The highlight for me were the lions. We saw groups of males and females on separate occasions very near Billy's lodge, and also that same group of males soon after they had killed a giraffe. Watching the 8 males gorging on the giraffe was fascinating.

In addition to the many strengths that others noted, there are a few areas where improvement can be made. For example, the Land rovers, particularly at River Lodge, are ready for replacement. And having a small blanket for each person in the vehicle would be nice for when it is chilly. River Lodge could benefit from a raised walkway, like the one at Billy's, so that one can walk around a bit (guests are not allowed to walk outside the immediate lodge areas for obvious reasons). And we saw cobwebs in the ceiling at River. One service recommendation is to assure that newly arrived guests at both locations receive the same sort of orientation on schedules, options, costs, etc.

I would definitely recommend Ezulwini, and if I returned I would stay at Billy's Lodge. While my overall rating is 5.0 because of the Tripadvisor rating system, I would give it a 4.5 to reflect that some improvements would be good.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sonora_Sunrise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2011

A safari in the bush is an incredible experience so when we chose our dream vacation we knew we wanted an experience that would always be remembered. Selecting the ultimate in game lodges is a must; therefore, I did research and chose Ezulwini Game Lodges. The staff is conscientious of your every need; the meals are sumptuous and gourmet; and the luxurious accommodations are in a tranquil, exotic setting. Our safaris were a National Geographic highlight. The experienced tracker and driver skilfully achieved us seeing four out of the Big 5 (not the leopard) major animals. We were able to witness a pride of 7 lions taking down a giraffe and feasting on their kill for days, something most people are not fortunate or "lucky" enough to view. Thank you Ezulwini Lodges, especially Laurence and Lauren, for making this such a memorable, priceless experience, one we will remember endlessly. This is the best trip I have ever experienced and know it would be difficult for another to even come close . YOU'RE THE BEST!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rhonda062
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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