For game viewing, this park is better than Kruger. Accommodation in the park and outside in Mtubatuba was good but a professional guide is a must.
We were lucky to have Jeff Asherwood who made our trip memorable. His spotting skills and knowledge are legendary and he worked hard to find every animal we wanted to see. An excellent trip, first-class food and, best of all, we learned a lot while having a great deal of fun.
The accommodation near the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve is sub-standard for the money, which was less expensive than Tala - but far removed from the quality and beauty of Tala. We were booked for 2 nights but decided to leave after 1 night. The River Lodge was a 30 minute drive from the national park - so to do a game drive, you have a round trip of an hour of driving without being in the park. The park is massive and the animals are sparse. We did see an elephant and rhinos which was fantastic, but otherwise our guide didn't have any insightful knowledge beyond the basics, and we spent a lot of time driving around not seeing very much at all. There were cats at the park - but so elusive you seldom saw them. We didn't see any. But mostly the accommodation spoilt the experience of the stay.
We had booked the "honeymoon chalet" since we were on honeymoon and I saw a picture online which showed a lovely freestanding bathtub by a window. However you couldn't use it since the water was thick slug. Overall we found everything about the River Lodge from the food (which was unsophisticated) to the rooms (which smelt musty and had noisy and ineffectual air-conditioning) extremely poor. The "resort" lacked any kind of beauty and catered to groups rather than the independent, discerning traveller. I just wish their marketing had not been so misleading.
The lodge is just outiste the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org