Zulu Nyala Game Lodge

Jul 27th, 2005, 02:59 PM
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Zulu Nyala Game Lodge

My husband and I will be staying at the Zulu Nyala private reserve and we are very interested in speaking with anyone who has experienced their hospitality. We've seen the website, but are very curious to hear about the different venues in which one can stay, the differences between them, and the experiences of anyone who has vacationed there. Thank you.

crystalsong is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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dsquared is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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We're not ignoring you, it's just that none of the regulars here seem to know anything about this place. A few other posters have asked this question and no-one answered them either.
RuthieC is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 04:19 PM
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RuthieC, thank you. I've searched and searched the Net for info other than what is on the website for zulu Nyala, but there seems to be so very little out there, although I have seen several postings from those who were going to be going but have not yet posted reviews of their trips.

I'm new at this posting business so can you tell me what TTT means? Just curious.


crystalsong is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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Crystal-ttt means to the top, a way of getting this message back to the top of the list so possibly someone can answer the question this time around.
matnikstym is offline  
Aug 8th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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Thank you! Now I don't feel like such a dummy!

crystalsong is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 10:35 PM
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so why have you chosen Zulu Nyala?
Lin is offline  
Aug 11th, 2005, 06:00 AM
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Hi, Lin. First, I've just got to say how much I enjoyed your trip report! I learned so much from it.

As for choosing Zulu Nyala, it kind of chose us. We won it at an auction, as I know many of its visitors seem to have done, and I am now awaiting someone's trip report to fill me in on the details of what the accommodations, game drives, guides, food, etc. are like. I've read on various boards of people who were on their way there sometime during these months, so...here's to patience.

crystalsong is offline  
Aug 11th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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You'll just have to post the first report.
napamatt is offline  
Aug 12th, 2005, 11:17 AM
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You bet I will...I promise! But till then, here's hoping someone will beat me to it!

crystalsong is offline  
Oct 6th, 2005, 01:49 PM
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I just stumbled across your email. May be too late, but I was at Zulu Nyala in June of this year. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions ([email protected]).
lincoln is offline  
Oct 26th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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I've been getting too many requests for info to respond personally -- here's an overview that I've sent out to a few. Hope it helps:

I visited Zulu Nyala in June '05. Flew into J-burg, spent
the night at a hotel at the airport, flew to Richard's
bay in the morning, and had someone from Zulu Nyala
pick us up and drive us there...it's about an 1 1/2
hour drive if I remember correctly.

Some folks have asked why I didn't stay at the Zulu Nyala lodge in J-burg. Personally speaking, it looked like a tourist trap to get you to buy diamonds. After an 18 hour flight, I just wanted to get to my hotel (about 1000 feet from the airport) and sleep. Maybe it's nice -- just seemed like too much work for me.

We stayed in the Game Lodge. I also checked out the Safari Lodge and Tents. I'd recommend the game lodge -- nice rooms, beautiful views, relaxing game room, and by far the best chefs (each lodge has their own chef. we ate at the Safari lodge one night and it paled in comparison to the game lodge).

Our guide was Sebastian. I highly recommend him. Low key, down to earth, very accomodating. He was great at spotting animals in the distance (especially in
the dark) and was willing to drive anywhere, on or off
road, to get you to a good view point.

The rides are great -- typically one around 7:30 AM
and one around 4:30 PM -- each lasts around 1 1/2
hours. You'll see pretty much everything (elephants,
alligators, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, nyalas) except
cats -- you need to go to hluhluwe for that. I must
admit that by about the fourth day, I got a little
tired of the same rides. Needed some kind of
diversion. You can also request a walk instead of
ride -- it was a nice change of pace.

Expect to spend the whole week with the same group of
6-8 people. You'll do game rides together, eat
together, and go on day trips together. If you get a good group, your golden. If you get a bunch of people with very different expectations ("we'll see whatever we see" vs. "I need to check off every animal on my list") or different politics, it can be a bit straining.

Day trips: You'll need to go on some to keep yourself
from going bonkers -- day trip to hluhluwe was nice
(although 5:00 AM drive in open jeep was FREEZING);
St. Lucia day trip was also nice. Horseback riding
into a field of giraffes -- awesome! Our best trip was
to a local Zulu village (just me, my wife, and
sebastian). this was completely off the beaten track
-- not some touristy gimmick, but an actual walk
through the village (they call it a "village" but it's
really thousands of folks spread out over a
mountainside). In fact, this was not a trip offered
by Zulu Nyala -- we requested a chance to meet some
locals, and they arranged it specifically for us.
they hooked us up with a guide (a very nice young man
that lives in the village) who took us to the high
school to meet the teachers and kids, to the local
general store, and visited with a 78-year old woman
living in a stone hut. It was fascinating, moving,
and sad. After seeing thousands of animals, it was
nice to actually meet some real S. African people. I
forget the name of the village, but it was very close
to the enterance of the hluhluwe national park. I'm
sure Sebastion will remember.

Other miscl stuff: during the day, not much to do at the lodge. Nowhere
to walk, the pool was not heated, and the tennis
courts only work if you have your own racket (they
have loaners, but I don't think they've been restrung
in 20 years). A small workout room would have been
great. If you don't mind laying around the pool reading, you're cool. Otherwise, expect to do a bunch of day-trips.

One dissapointment -- don't go thinking your going to
meet all these international and exotic people. I
think 90% of the guests were either from boston,
Seattle, Michigan, or NY. Everyone there got the trip
through an auction.

Finally, if you can extend your stay, do so. We had
to go home right afterwards, but most people stay in
Africa to tour around. Prime destinations seems to be
Cape Town, the battlefields (historical sites where
the Zulus/Boer/British wars were fought), or to
safaris in Botswana.

Hope that helps. Please post any add'l questions and I'll try to respond. I'll continue to try to respond to personall emails, but no promises if I have 20 requests in my inbox.
lincoln is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Thank you so very much for all the information on Zulu Nyala! It's the most I've read about the Lodge yet, even though I've been searching for months!

I do have a question for you: Did you get a chance to see either the Ndlovu Lodge or the Nyati Lodge, the two smallest lodges on the reserve, while you were there and, if so, can you tell me a bit about them? From what I understand, they each have their own chef and each accommodates only about ten people?

We'll be staying there in March of 2007, and then we're going to continue on to Zambia and Vic Falls.

Thanks again for your candid report.

crystalsong is offline  
Jan 13th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Sorry...don't know much about it. Our host told us that if we wanted to switch to one of these lodges once we got there, we could. However, after settling in, we decided to stay where we were. Don't think we ever saw them.
Jan 13th, 2006, 03:50 PM
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Please do post a trip report when you return -- it would be interesting to find out if there's a reason all of the guests win their stays through auctions rather than booking through more conventional means.

jasher is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Pretty simple answer there -- it's their business model. They've hooked up with a few people that specialize in charity auctions...basically if your organization hires that auctionaire, the auctionaire donates the trip for free. The non-profit organization is happy because it's extra money (I think the organization gets something like half of the money bid on the safari), the auctionaire can use that a reason to hire them, and Zulu Nyala gets two more guests. I'm pretty sure the money they get from the auction covers their fixed costs. They make it up on all the extras you spend there.

I know at our auction, all the brochures said they were going to auction off one trip. However, when 3 people were bidding close to $2K, the auctionaire suddenly realized that she could auction off three trips. I think as long as she could get close to $2K, she'd sell as many as she could.

Why don't people book there w/o auctions? Probably if you were going to go to all the time and expense to go on a safari in S. Africa, you'd pick a different one. But if you can get pretty cheap through an auction (I'm sure it's an impulse buy for a lot of folks), heck, why not.
Jan 18th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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Thanks Lincoln -- interesting business model. If the $2000 includes flights it's one serious bargain.

jasher is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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nope...airfare is separate. I used frequent flier miles, so didn't cost anything.
Jan 28th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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Hello Lisa,

This is Gayle. We are going to Zulu Nyala in April and I will let you know all about it. We are going at the end of our Africa trip and I am working on planning the rest of the trip.
GayleY is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Without flights, not such a bargain...for $2000 you can have a nice safari at a number of places.

jasher is offline  

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