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Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge
is located in the Phinda Mkhuze
area of the Natal Northeast
region of Natal
in South Africa
It is a large commercial facility set on the edge of a private wildlife reserve just to the south of the much more upmarket and better known Phinda Reserve.
The lodge is actually centred on a converted train station and contains large lounge, bar and dining areas. Guest accommodation is in a total of 59 rooms, most of which are contained within a low single storey building. There is also a number of pseudo-tented rooms which are sometimes referred to as Hemingway Tented Camp, although in truth they are just a different room type at the same lodge.
An unusually broad range of activities includes vehicle safari, walking safari and night vehicle safari inside the reserve, with motorboat safari in the nearby St Lucia Wetlands, snorkelling, diving and horse-riding out on the coast and visits to various animal rehabilitation centres, cultural centres and retail outlets.
The main potential downsides at Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge are that the reserve itself is relatively small, fenced and quite busy with safari vehicles. The fact that the lodge is outside the wildlife areas and you have to pass through the fence line to access the reserve also detracts from the sense of wilderness, as does its extremely large size, heavy build and very commercial atmosphere. There is the potential for adverse weather conditions Dec/Apr. Also, as with almost all the lodges in this area, different groups of guests are joined together on safari activities, unless you pre-book a private vehicle at significant additional cost.
Unusually this lodge largely goes to market through charitable auctions in the USA, with guests usually buying bed nights without quite understanding quite what they are letting themselves in for. We are regularly contacted by these guests, most of whom end up ditching some or all of their stay here in favour of upgrading to a higher quality safari experience elsewhere.