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Reviewed 15 July 2018

As of the other reviews indicated, my friend and I bought this trip via a charity auction. I say is you get the change to purchase this package, by all means, BID ON IT!! You will not be disappointed. You are assigned a guide for the week when you arrive at Zulu Nyala and he stays with you all week. Our guide was Semo, a young Zulu man, who was very outgoing and very knowledgeable. It was fascinating learning more about the Zulu culture from him and he was a wealth of information about the animals and the bush.
There are safaris morning and late afternoon with awesome animal sightings and many opportunities for other excursions. Your guide helps you make the arrangements for those.
Food was wonderful and buffet style for breakfast and dinner and often for lunch. If the expected crowd is not big for lunch, there are a la carte items from the menu. Everything is included except for drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Rooms large and beds very comfortable. Had a couple of wonderful bubble baths in the claw foot tub!!
Staff very friendly and outgoing and helpful.
Several other reviews went into details about the animals - check those out. Animal sightings are awesome!!
We checked out the Elephant Interaction Tour, the Cheetah Rehab Park and the boatcruise on St Lucia. All were awesome trips! Elephant Interaction especially wonderful.
We were there in May and that is the start of winter. Going out and back on the safaris was very chilly!! I wish I had known that before and had brought a winter hat and gloves!! Blankets were available from the guides for the safari trucks

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Susieqnurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2018 via mobile

I studied the prior reviews both positive and negative. Some people are so enthusiastic it’s hard to believe they are not over selling it and others are kind of negative and it makes you wonder. The truth is usually somewhere in between. I will say this, it was better than I imagined and the photos on Trip Advisor do not do the property justice. The new section of Heritage Safari rooms is really really well done. It’s unrecognizable compared to the photos. Why are almost all the photos of the tented rooms? The new rooms are way nicer. Very spacious and fresh. Good pillows, comfortable mattresses, very nice bathrooms with a good soaking tub and nice shower. You get two waters per room per day. No TV. My biggest complaint is that there is no room refrigerator.
The food each day was fine. Better than I expected. Basic salad bar with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, onions, rolls. Breakfast is beans, eggs, toast, country potatoes, bacon, sausage. They have either pancakes, or french toast and sometimes cream of wheat. Dinner usually has something with rice, potatoes, veggies and up to three types of meat including venison/Nyala meat a couple times. Yes Nyala as in the antelope you see on the reserve.
The best of it is of course then safari drives. This “small” reserve is plenty big enough. It is thick bush. I was amazed that we actually found animals near the roads we drove. They could so easily be out of sight but we had good luck on a regular basis. Some drives are better than others but it never gets old. From the funny warthogs to the rhino, giraffe, and elephants that you see almost every time to even the cheetah, hippos, and black rhino that are less common even or most rare to be seen baboons or leopard (we saw neither) you never know where or what you will see them do or how close you will get. I think compared to other large reserves this one gets you up close more regularly. From what I could tell all the guides are good and everyone likes the one they have. Ruan was our guy. He was always laughing with us or at us when we deserved it. We loved his laugh. He was patient with our questions. He has some good stories too. We did the St. Lucia boat cruise to see crocs and hippos. It was decent. Nothing incredible but good to see hippos in the wild. The beach on the Indian Ocean is really nice even in winter when we were there. Waves were rough and with dangerous riptides when we were there. My suggestion is take a couple days in Joburg to have an elephant interaction and Lion/cheetah interaction. (See Glen Afric and Ukutulu). Some people went to Phinda to get their lion box checked. I would even suggest working in another safari camp to get another experience if you have time. Maybe Kruger or something with different topography compared to Zulu Nyala.

Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
4  Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2018

Like many other reviewers, my husband and I won this trip in a charity silent auction. This is an African adventure in an upscale "adult sleep away camp" type of environment; while the rooms were spacious and the buffet meals were hearty, the main attractions were hands down the trips into the reserve, learning a little about the Zulu culture, and the animals you can spot just walking around the lodge's beautifully landscaped grounds (zebra, nyala, impala monkeys...). We were lucky enough to be assigned Chris (senior) as our guide both in Zulu Nyala Reserve and also for an optional 1/2 day trip to Kruger National Park. Chris' vast knowledge, skilled tracking, genuine concern for conservation, and his outgoing and funny personality meant we learned and saw new things every single outing and had a great time bonding and joking with our safari group of 10, including us, for the week. The highlights are way too many to name, but a few things we saw: three elephants chasing a rhino, two hippos laying on the side of a water hole, a cheetah capturing and later eating an impala, a lioness and and her three cubs nursing (Kruger), a buffalo calf born right in front of us (Kruger), African wild dogs eating a kill (Kruger) ... Chris also offered us the option of doing a night safari and a walking safari at the Zulu Nyala Reserve - we did both and would recommend taking advantage of anything your guide is willing to do with your group. We saw a leopard cub eating at night and walking as a group with numerous giraffes looking way down at us in curiosity was an absolutely awe inspiring experience. Chris also drove us to a second optional trip to a neighboring reserve to get a more up close view of lions. We did have a different guide from that reserve once we arrived who was also good. The vehicles at the neighboring reserve are a bit different - lower to the ground, no top, and they really went off-road. At the neighboring reserve, we saw a lioness stalking through the grass to chase some crows off a kill she had made the previous day and also drove up the side of a hill totally off-road to find several cheetah cubs. Each reserve we visited had a very different feeling and landscape so, if you can swing it financially, we felt it was worth it to pay the additional cost to do a few add on trips. The one thing I wish someone would have told me is while the highs during the day got up to the 70's during our visit, in order to really maximize your animal sightings you are advised to leave between 5:30-6:30 am and the night trip went to almost 8 pm. Traveling in the open air vehicle, especially to Kruger Park, I desperately wished I had brought a warmer coat, winter hat, scarf, gloves, etc. Lucky for me, we had such a caring group that Chris leant me his warmer jacket and he had lots of blankets for us - and other guests brought us extra scarves, and headbands. We spoke to some other guests who asked their guides to start later in the morning or skipped opportunities and they really wound up having a less ideal experience as compared to our group who was generally up for whatever Chris recommended. Overall evaluation: if you are looking to sleep in, just relax, have five-star gourmet food or have an all-inclusive type of experience, you may be disappointed. If you are looking to embrace an adventure packed first safari experience with an exceptional guide and a little bit of Zulu culture thrown in, the Zulu Nyala Lodge/Reserve was simply an incredible place & we were fortunate enough to meet some really incredible people there as well!

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank K9395QAjenniferl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2018

Ok as others I bought this Safari from a charity auction. I got a great deal and it was a great adventure! We had an awesome guide. But it is a small game preserve and we stayed too long 3 to 4 days is the max! I have to say they worked hard to up sale you to the other areas ! Charging outrageous prices to go to the neighbor resort to see the tamed lions. I think people had a great time doing it but I can go to a great zoo here in Atlanta and see Lions, for a lot less. We stayed in the tents and the lodge both were a great experience, The food was good, of course again anything extra was a charge.
I had rented a car in Durban so we were able to drive over to Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park it was amazing ! We saw Rhino Elephants Buffalo, giraffe well I would be listing most of the animals of Africa. Rhino lodge next to this Park I heard great news of. I would take a look at that Lodge if I was to return! I can say that this was a long time bucket list item, I don't think I could have had a better trip to Africa each segment had its rewards. Zulu Nyala was certainly another highlight in my list of adventures!
We also stopped a Richards Bay and St Lucia well worth the visit.

Stayed: May 2018
Thank Ga-ATL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2018 via mobile

It's been about a month now since I've returned home from our trip to South Africa and Zulu Nyala. To this day, I'm still waking up each morning - a little disappointed that I'm not still waking up to an African Sunrise at Zulu Nyala. I didn't want to leave. It was life changing.

It's always been a dream of mine to go to Africa. I was fortunate (like many who are here) to win an auction for our trip Zulu Nyala South Africa and realize my dreams. Even though my expectations were high, nothing could have prepared me for how amazing and life changing this trip would be. It blew all my expectations away!

Reshmi - who helps arrange and plan the trip - was incredible. Fast responses and on point communication and instructions - and incredible professional.

We arrived into Durban and our driver (Simo) entertained us during the drive out the game reserve - and welcomed us warmly to Africa.

You are paired with a group of approximately 10, to a driver/guide. This is your group for your stay. The driver helps your group arrange excursions while you're there, and takes you on your twice a day game drives. Our driver Justin (Siyabonga) is probably one of the nicest human beings on the planet. He was extremely knowledgeable, accommodating, kind, enthusiastic, and so on and so on... I can't praise him enough. He truly made this trip magical.

Our group was amazing. We all got along so well - and we have made incredible friends.

The staff at the lodge were hospitable and friendly. A special shout out to Mikhosi, Sibongile, and Simpiwhe who took exceptional care of us. The staff took the time to try to teach us Zulu. A beautiful language which was so exciting to learn. Everyone speaks English - so no worry - but the staff was so kind to share their world with us despite our incredibly slow ability to learn it haha.

Please do yourself a favor while here and visit the adjoining Zulu Cultural Village (It's less than a 30 second walk). The chief is wonderful. The villagers are so welcoming. Their shop is beautiful - hand made items make great souvenirs. They perform each night after dinner and are truly talented!! My biggest regret of my trip is I didn't spend more time here - so don't make the same mistake!

I read comments on here about the food being subpar. This is confusing to me - as I thought the food was exceptional! There are numerous choices of meats, salads, and desserts. There's a lengthy list of bottles of South African wine for a reasonable price. (we tried to try them all, and I don't think we made it through the list... and we tried hard! haha) The guava juice was delicious. They were even nice enough to make a cake for 2 in our group who were celebrating their wedding anniversary and sing for them!

I feel that the photos on the website do not do the grounds justice. The landscaping is breathtaking. the rooms are gorgeous. I tried to capture photos of the beauty myself - but I can see how it's difficult to capture the majesty of this resort in a photo.

For our excursions we did:
The Cheetah rehabilitation
The Elephant Encounter
The St Lucia Boat cruise (with horse back riding on the beach)
Hluhluwe game reserve game drive

These are an added cost - but all were well worth it and did not disappoint!

I could go on and on and on about how amazing our time here was. Come with an open mind - and you will leave with a full heart.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
10  Thank Sean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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