Hilltop Camp, Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park
Hilltop Camp is one of the oldest accommodation options in KwaZulu-Natal and, being located on top of a forested hill, has outstanding views across the wild landscape. The camp sits within Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, formerly Hluhluwe–Umfolozi Game Reserve, the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa and an ideal location for game viewing.
There is a range of two- and four-bed chalets at the camp, some fully self-catering with a small kitchen area while others only offer a bedroom and seating area: most have private bathrooms. The two bed self-catering chalets have twin beds with mosquito nets, ceiling fans, TV, lounge area, fridge, microwave, stove, kettle and cooking utensils and cutlery. While the non-self-catering chalets offer the same facilities with the kitchen. There are also larger chalets with two bedrooms (4 beds) that can accommodate a family.
The main building at Hilltop houses a restaurant serving a tasty English breakfast buffet, a la carte lunches and hot or cold buffet for dinner. There is also a barbecue (braai) used for some evening meals depending on weather. There is a bar and lounge decorated with historical photographs of Hluhluwe and a curio shop. Outside is a patio and swimming pool with deck chairs. The camp benefits from 24-hour electricity and a backup generator and is fenced from the rest of the reserve making it safe to walk around, even at night.
Activities at the camp focus on game viewing drives but there is also a forest trail and a hide with floodlights overlooking a waterhole visited by many species. Nocturnal spotlighting drives and bush walks are also offered, thereby increasing the potential for wildlife sightings.
Accommodation at Hilltop Camp ranges from a luxury lodge to a variety of well appointed self-catering units. All units at Hilltop Camp are serviced daily. There are some rondavels with communal ablutions and kitchens, and two-bedded and four-bedded self-catering chalets. We would normally choose the twenty two-bedded chalets which are not self-catering and within close proximity to the main reception area. Most units have private bathrooms and there is a restaurant, lounge, bar, TV and 24-hour electricity,
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is home to the big five (lion, leopard, black & white rhino, African elephant and Cape buffalo) and a very important population of white rhino in particular. Other key mammals include cheetah, African wild dog, spotted hyena, warthog, nyala, giraffe, steenbok, common reedbuck as well as many commoner antelope species. The park is also home to wealth of bird species with over 300 species recorded.
Game drives, bush walks and nocturnal spotlighting.
Despite being graded a three-star camp, Hilltop is good for the price and the game is the same. The view over the years has been obscured by vegetation growth so the best vista point is the restaurant.
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We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Leopard View was fantastic. The guide did his upmost for us and the rest of the game viewing was great. We saw everything that we wanted to see.