Zulu Nyala Game Lodge

Apr 7th, 2007, 04:45 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 102
I am eager to hear more about ZN when you get the chance. Right now we are booked into the game lodge but you make the Nyati sound interesting.

Did you take side trips? Which ones do you recommend? Did you take them thru ZN's transportation or did you have a car?

Really looking forward to your full trip report. We go in Nov. and the wait is killing me...yet I know it will come all too soon.
julienk is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 07:42 AM
  #42  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 96
Hi,

The game lodge is lovely, boasting 50 rooms, with a capacity of 100 guests. Nyati Lodge, in contrast, has only 5 rooms. It depends on which kind of atmosphere you prefer. At Nyati, the manager, Sean, sits down to dinner with the guests, and on some evenings, your guide will also join you. You can eat at the game lodge at any time, but we found the much more intimate setting of Nyati to be more to our liking. I remember the resident warthogs at Nyati--there are three of them--that feel quite comfortable being in close proximity to the guests. I look out our window in room 5, only to notice they were literally right outside, cropping grass and grunting. I'd sit on the windowsill and listen.

As for sidetrips, there are many to choose from, but even our guide, Marius, cautioned us not to book them through the lodge because of the expense. If you have your own car, he would offer to help you in any way he could to provide directions, info, etc., but you could simply drive yourself there, for lesss expense. There are sidetrips to Hluhluwe-Mfolozi National Park, St. Lucia Wetlands, a Zulu village, a day trip to Pfinda, and much more. The only one that would be worth taking through the lodge would be the trip to Pfinda, since only Zulu Nyala can get permission to have its guests on Pfinda vehicles. This is one trip you can't do on your own. Many guests try to do this one, simply because there are no lions on Zulu Nyala property, and Pfinda is your best chance at seeing these magnificent cats.

We did not do any sidetrips. We only stayed four nights out of the six, since we wanted to take more time in other locations. During those four days at Zulu, we actually took all of our game drives on the property. We had hoped to go to Pfinda, and had put in our request for it, but it is never a guarantee since it's entirely up to Pfinda when it will allow Zulu guests on its vehicles. While we were at Zulu, the Pfinda vehicles were always full with Pfinda guests, so we had no luck in this area. Others we came to know at Zulu drove themselves to St. Lucia, and seemed to have enjoyed seeing the hippos, but I had the sense that self-driving was not all it was cracked up to be, since they ran into a nasty accident and almost backed down some kind of a cliff! Maybe they were just a bit unlucky?

On the day that our vehicle mates went to St. Lucia, we had a private game drive with Marius, and wouldn't you know that it turned out to be our best drive at Zulu! We parked at a water hole for two hours, and while we sat there in silence, we had the unbelievable pleasure of being visited by all six resident rhinos at one time--the dominant male actually walked within five feet of our vehicle on his way to the water hole!!! We had the pleasure of watching giraffe interaction, including giraffe drinking at the water hole. Warthogs wallowed in the mud, zebras finally got used to our presence and came within a few yards of the vehicle, and the rhinos entertained us for the entire time! What an amazing afternoon!

Hope this helps.

Lisa
crystalsong is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 06:05 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 102
Thank you so much for the advice. We will have been in Africa for 13 days prior to going to ZN. Hopefully we will be seeing big cats during that time, in case we can't get on the Phinda drive.
I really want to snorkel one day at Sodwana and that might be an easy self drive. St. Lucia might be best to take with the ZN tour.
I am thinking that maybe we should spend 3 nights at the Game Lodge and 3 at Nyati.
julienk is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 06:25 AM
  #44  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 96
They will certainly be happy to book you at both places, no problem. However, if I may make a suggestion, I would book to stay at Nyati first, followed by the Game Lodge. While we were there, others had booked the other way around, and were quite disappointed they had, once they got to Nyati. You see, almost universally, once people stayed at Nyati, they wish they had booked it from the beginning, and stayed all six nights there. If you do Nyati first, and if you discover you really like it, you can always request to simply stay the final three nights there as well. Zulu seemed quite flexible in these matters.

Hope this helps.

Lisa
crystalsong is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 06:01 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 102
do you find there are more insects when you are living under thatched roofs as opposed to a lodge type building?

I read one post where a dung beetle fell out of the thatched roof onto the back of a person on the bed.
julienk is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 11:42 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6
I also just returned from a trip from Zulu Nyala back in Jan. We stayed at the Game Lodge. I found it to be quite nice. But everyone that was in my tour group stayed there so I didn't really get any other opinions. I would also have to recomend taking a trip to Phinda. We were able to see both cheeta and lions there, which are not at Zulu Nyala.
I didn't find bugs to be a huge problem, but it is Africa so sometimes they will be around. The only thing that kinda made me squirm is there did seem to be a little salimander that would scatter up the wall when I entered my room. But as long as we were in there he never came out. We also did the trip to St. Lucia through the lodge which was fun. It might have been an extra cost but I think we liked having the piece of mind that there was going to be someone driving/showing us around that knew where he was going. I would also have to recommend Pen as a great guide. Him and Marrius seem to be good friends and very good at what they do. Pen's family is Zulu so it was interesting to get an education from him on the culture. While there we also took a trip to Vic Falls. If anyone is looking for a reccomendation for a hotel The Royal Livingstone is the best hotel I have ever stayed in! I believe it is on the expensive side but well worth it! Hope this helps and have a great time!
spacie012 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 01:50 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
My daughter and I are going to ZN in August 2008 (yes, another auction winner). We want to see lions and so are planning to take a one day trip to either hluhluwe or phinda to see the lions. Do any of you knw which park gives us the best chance of seeing lions on a one-day trip?

Also, we are planning to go to St. Lucia for a day and would love to see some local culture (authentic). Several of you have mentioned going to a local Zulu village and also going to St. Lucia. any specific insihts you can give about those day trips would be appreciated.
AtlantaTom is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 09:10 PM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 26
I'm so glad this thread has been revived! I have been coming here to the website for a little while and never saw this thread until today.

My husband and I leave for Zulu Nyala next week (on the 20th)! We are stopping in London for 3 days first then on to South Africa. I have been a little worried about the trip because I had only the info from the ZN website and their brochure. Those of you who have gone there already and were kind enough to post have put my mind at ease.

We are booked at the Nyati lodge for our first 3 nights then at the Game Lodge for the next 3. (We wanted the tents but they were booked.) I am relieved to hear that everyone has been happy with the accomodations. My excitement level has just gone through the roof!

And, yes, we won our trip at a charity auction too.

MarthaR is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 11:46 PM
  #49  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 20
I just another about another good report from people who went to ZN recently. I have not talked to them but they were raving about it to a friend.
When you say you "won" it at an auction, does that mean you didn't have to pay...or just that you won the bidding war. At the school auction we were at, the trip was given a value of $3000 for the 6 nights all inclusive for 2 people We bid $2000 and got it. Then they said that they would sell as many trips at $2000 if there were more people that wanted them. I haven't heard of them going below that amount....anyone out there get the trip for less?
jk34jk is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 10:37 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 26
I was part of the auction committee that decided to include the trip to Zulu Nyala in our auction. We were told by the representative that the opening bid had to be $2000 or we couldn't sell it. We paid $2300 for our trip and sold two more trips that night. Our high school band program got half of the money so we were very glad to pay it.

Martha
MarthaR is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 10:46 PM
  #51  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 20
Martha, I am glad such a big amount went to the school. I was wondering what percent they got and that is more than I expected.
Bet you are getting excited.
jk34jk is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 03:04 PM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 26
jk,

We are VERY excited!! Only six days before we leave. I'm at the point though where I'm running through all the "what if's" that can go wrong. I haven't had any of my pre-trip nightmares yet though.

Martha
MarthaR is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:07 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 20
Martha....there was a rather negative review of ZN on another website. But the main gist was that they felt that although you get 6 safaris on the ZN land, it only to about 3 or so to see most everthing there was to see. And they complained that side trips cost extra. Did say that the guides were great, though.
I understand that Phinda is a great place and to sign up for that trip if you can. St Lucia looks interesting as well. I am hoping to get to Sodwana for a bit of snorkeling and some evening turtle egg laying viewing (think it is too early for turtle right now but you might ask about it)
Have a great time and report in when you get back.
jk34jk is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 09:50 PM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
Does anyone else think that auctions are an odd way to get/decide on/pay for a safari? Is this legit?
Momliz is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:24 PM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 26
Momliz
I was on the auctuion committee that decided to include the safari in the auction. We did our research and the auction chairperson talked to some people that had been to ZN and thought it was a great idea. We used to auction off cruises but the cruise lines stopped offering them to us at a price we could afford. The only restrictions on the ZN trip was a $2000 opening bid and a 2-year expiration date. Yes it is an impulse buy (but then, isn't everything at an auction?) but it has been a great fundraiser for our high school band. I assume we will be including them in next year's auction too. By the way, the band received half the money paid for the trip (and we sold multiple trips each year). I know this is repeating some of what I posted earlier but I wanted to let you know that it is legit.
MarthaR is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 05:22 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Hi, Martha,
Where could I get some info on this? I didn't see anything on their website. Our high school might be interested as well.
Momliz is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 07:05 PM
  #57  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 20
Selling at auctions is part of their business model and plan. Momliz...are you in Seattle area because I think I have their contacts in my paperwork.

It is legit. They have been doing this for a number of years. I will let you know if it is a good buy, when I get back just before Thanksgiving.

It is too far to go for just 6 days, so we arrive 2 weeks prior and are traveling in other area of Southern Africa.
jk34jk is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 07:16 PM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
I am on the opposite coast, jk, but I'd love to hear how it went. Hope you have a great trip!
Momliz is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 07:23 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 195
I need help. I am trying to decide between three days at Zula Nyala or three days in Capetown. We will have been to Mala Mala and Durban and en route to Botswana for nine days. My late husband purchased the Zula Nyala trip for me, and I am finally getting to go. My travel pals are going to Capetown, while I am booked to ZN. I am really wanting to experience as many types of camps as possible, and know this will not be my only trip to South Africa. Is three days enough in Cape Town.

AFter spending three hours on this site, thank you to everyone for the words of advice on travel, packing and people.

Thanks for any input.

ShellCat
ShellCat is offline  
Sep 15th, 2007, 07:53 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
shell cat, I think you might get better results if you posted this as a separate thread with a short, descriptive title.
Momliz is offline  

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