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pilarcm
Coral Gables, Florida

Unforgetable, just perfect..

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Sep 11, 2011
What an amazing experience. Both lodges have their charm. We are so happy to have made this trip. Ezulwini's staff are the best, they made you feel so at home. The best part of being there it was that they catersto a small group of guest. It's not dozens of people at dinner time, is so personalized.
The rooms are very nice at River's Lodge, but once you go to Billy's is just breathtaking.
We had very good game viewing, and when animals where hiding because of unsuspected cold front\, the guides went the extra mile to find them.
We are in a high after such an amazing vacation.... We'll be back with the rest of the family.
Date of stay: August 2011
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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Reviews (428)
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All reviews billy's lodge wine cellar charity auction the river both locations private pool cape buffalo luxury suite once in a lifetime rustic feel safari experience new friends treated like family stayed nights amazing trip elusive leopard no idea what to expect
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Reviewed August 16, 2011

Both the River Lodge and Billy's Lodge exceeded all of my expectations of an African safari experience. Not only were the staff incredibly kind, knowledgable, and attentive; they were fun and truly have a great love for the bush. My mother and I were lucky enough to have great sightings of the Big 5, and even a leopard, Cheeky Boy, twice in one day! After only missing the rhino, we managed to have a great sighting in the road on our last night drive during our stay at Billy's Lodge which made my mother and me ecstatic! Both Lodges have a very distinct traditional African feel and both are welcoming and very safe (which is my mother's first and foremost priority). With a more rustic feel, River Lodge was cozy and warm with great views of the wildlife and the cutest vervet monkees all around the lodge! Billy's, which is slightly bigger, has an absolutely mindblowing skydeck and a wine cellar to die for. You feel like your in an ancient cave similiar to that of your ancestors with ancient artifacts, but with a beautiful wood table, door, and lampshades the owner Lawrence designed and of course a superb selection of fine wines. The traditional barma barbeque was a special experience in itself trying giraffe game meat, which was divine, but the daily meals were all done to perfection; executed perfectly around the game drives (and our naps!) I truly did not know exactly what to expect arriving in the Greater Kruger National Park, but everyone did all they could to make it the experience of a lifetime. I would go back in a heatbeat and I plan to this January to experience a different season. I would post the amazing photos I captured during this grand adventure, but as excited as I was to review this Lodge, I couldn't wait to get home. If your going to go to any Safari Game Lodge near Hoedspruit, this one is a sure bet! Ezulwini truly embodies the meaning of the Zulu word "Place of Paradise."

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Thank carolynmcgrail
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 15, 2011

We spent two nights at Billy's Camp and three nights at River Lodge, and loved the experience. Every staff member was welcoming and helpful, and Lawrence's special wine tasting was much appreciated. We had terrific guides who often went the extra mile (literally) to find memorable animal sightings. A special thanks to Greg and Pinde at River Lodge who found a pride of 14 sleeping lions in the dark. The lodging is comfortable, but mostly irrelevant to the experience--you don't spend any real time in the huts.

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank hfarbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 13, 2011

It was the first time we as a family have visited a game resort and we were not very sure what to expect. The accommodation was arranged by an agency in SA, that really did a very nice job of planning our trip through various locations in SA: It ended to be a trip we will never forget. In relation to this resort, I do not have sufficient words to describe our experience. We stayed in 2 standard twin rooms (actually individual cabins) with the three of us.
- First of all the accommodation was very nice and romantic. Technically everything worked, was well maintained and very clean and practical. At the same time it has a nice and luxurious appearance. Initially I expected to see some what more of the river from the facility directly, however I can understand that that can become a challenge when the river is unpredictable in its size over the seasons.
- Then also the host and guides have been very friendly. It felt as coming “home” after the game drives. They were basically always available to provide answers and service when needed, but at the same time they left the visitors on their own to enjoy the environment. Having no previous experience on game drives, I cannot speak fully to their efficiency and professionalism, however it sure came across as being very knowledgeable and the results were fabulous for us. On top of that the Lodge One small remark that could be made is that during the game drives it would have been nice to get some more explanation on the intent and findings of all activities performed, without the need to ask for that. However, when asked, all explanation was provided.
- Finally the other service aspects like food, amenities and support. In short that was without any doubt impeccable. Meals were nicely in size and quality, also for people that need to watch their waistline. Also the rest of the staff was always available when needed, but seemed to be invisible, although their presence could be seen in all the results of how everything was arranged.
Overall the experience was really like paradise (Ezulwini is Zulu for Paradise). We could feel the warmth of the management and staff for the environment and the animals in it as well as for us as a guest on their facility. Look for the perfect game photography the driver/camp manager left behind on Facebook: Greg McCall-Peat Photography.
I am still working on the pile of photos I took during my vacation!!

Room tip: Twin rooms are fully sufficient
Date of stay: July 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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1  Thank Wilbert v
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 6, 2011

We stayed at River Lodge and Billy's Lodge. They were each different, but both were wonderful! The staff is exceptional, the food was great and the game drives were amazing!! Our entire experience exceeded our expectations!!!

Date of stay: July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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1  Thank KarenCornett
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 3, 2011

A friend and I recently spent four nights at Billy's Lodge, and we had an incredible experience. The accommodations, the staff, game rides, food, everything, was all world class. I was excited to explore Kruger and go on safari for the first time, but I had no idea what to expect. I knew right from the start we were going to have a wonderful experience from the attentive and helpful email and phone interactions with the Ezulwini family in advance of our visit. And whatever my expectations were, Ezulwini exceeded them. Everyone was incredibly nice, welcoming, helpful, and fun; we immediately felt right at home. We were delighted by our beautiful suite and the stunning scenery everywhere we went. The game drives were relaxing, exciting, and informative. We saw four of the Big 5, all except for the elusive leopard. And the many outdoor decks were perfect for chatting, napping and reading in between game drives. Everything was spectacular. I enjoyed my time at Ezulwini so much that I am already daydreaming about coming back and brainstorming when I might be able to do that. I give Ezulwini my highest recommendation, and hope to return again in the future.

Date of stay: July 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank akruszewski
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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