Zebra Hills Safari Lodge is nestled in the wonderful Zululand Rhino Reserve, which boasts of over 400 bird species and abundant game including the Big 5. Zebra Hills is a popular getaway for wildlife enthusiasts seeking to unwind in the lap of nature while enjoying modern and comfortable amenities.
While in South Africa, my parents and I enjoyed 6 nights in this fabulous lodge. It was truly the highlight of our African adventure.
My review of Zebra Hills Safari Lodge
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with smiling staff and ushered to our ultra luxurious rooms. Our rooms were spacious with comfortable beds and splendid decor. The lodge comprises of 9 en-suite and 4 kids rooms, all air conditioned and strategically placed to give a bird’s eye view of the adjoining waterhole.
The entire lodge had a subtle “Zebra” theme to the adornments – Be it rugs, pictures or the classy black and white bed throws. This added a great touch and it wasn’t overdone, at any point.
After we freshened up, we were greeted by FP – The lodge manager. He was polite, friendly and extremely courteous. His tale of 4 cheetah’s wandering around the lodge the night before had us hooked instantly. We felt like we were truly “in the bush” and could not wait to get started with the game drives.
During our game drives over the next few days, we were very impressed by the staff of Zebra hills and their incredible knowledge of birds, flora and fauna. We were thrilled to bits as we saw lions up close, experienced the adrenaline rush of three black Rhinos charge at us, capture 4 cheetahs tearing their prey apart along with a huge array of birds – Almost 70 lifers. Our birding spree was immensely successful as we were lucky enough to be accompanied by Adam Riley, founder of RockJumper Birding Tours & Rockjumper Wildlife Tours. Adam is one of the most renowned birders in the world birding circuit.
Another highlight of our game drives with Zebra Hills were the sundowners in the bush. The rangers would take us to the best spots and we saw some of the most mesmerizing sunsets on this trip – That too in the wild with a Gin tonic concoction in hand – Who can ask for more?
Activities at Zebra Hills Safari Lodge
Apart from the usual morning and evening game drives in their brand new open vehicles, there is a lot more to do at the lodge.
– They have a decent WiFi connection, just in case, you need to stay connected or get some work done.
– There is a nice swimming pool if you wish to beat the afternoon heat with a dip in the cool water.
– After brunch, you can head off to ‘The Manyoni Hide’ – This is a comfortable hideout in the bush, around a waterhole and often visited by Rhinos, Lions and other game. Excellent spot for birding as well.
– There are optional night game drives in case you haven’t had your fill or are looking for nocturnal animals.
– Zebra Hills has a lovely boma right over the waterhole where you can gather after your evening game drive for drinks or enjoy a traditional braai as you watch game coming and going from the waterhole
– Watching game at the waterhole is another great way to enjoy being literally ‘in the bush’. We were especially lucky as we saw a lioness with her full grown cub, sipping water and chilling for a good 30 minutes in front of us. This was also my first time watching big cats on foot hardly twenty feet away – quite a rush.
– A comfortable TV lounge and bar adjoins the main lounge area and is open to all guests. A place to relax and enjoy the idiot box if you please with a glass of wine.
It is a self catering lodge with a large kitchen with all possible amenities one could wish for. The lodge is ideally situated just 3 hours from King Shaka airport with several supermarkets en route, so we had stocked up on groceries on our way in. There were cooks to conjure piping hot meals for us. In some cases, we cooked ourselves to enjoy some Indian cuisine however the staff was more than happy to lend a helping hand when needed.
All in all, it was an unforgettable experience and a sure shot highlight of my trip to South Africa. Even though being in the bush is not new for me, the whole experience at Zebra hills – night drives, lions at the waterhole, incredible birding and game sightings, super friendly staff, comfortable and classy adobe – was simply amazing. At the end of 6 days, it was really hard for me to leave the lodge and I wished I could stay there forever.
If you are looking for a memorable and wild experience in the bush, Zebra Hills should be your first choice. Still not convinced? Read more reviews of Zebra hills from other guests of the lodge.
Disclaimer – We were guests of the lovely Zebra Hills Safari Lodge. However, all opinions are 100% my own, as always. This place will knock your socks off – That’s my guarantee! Click here for a full disclosure policy.