Win a camp-in-comfort getaway!

One of the five semi-luxury tents in a row, about 30m apart, at Hluhluwe Bush Camp. This is a three-bedroom.

BILLY SUTER reviews the colourful Hluhluwe Bush Camp, now in its fourth year of offering a chilled experience that takes traditional camping to another level, making it more comfortable and fun. For a chance to win a two-day getaway for two there, see the competition details at the end of this post.

CRAVING a break in the wide outdoors? Envisaging a relaxed camping experience yet dreading unpacking, setting up and repacking your own tent? Seeking something that bridges the gap between traditional camping and the many comforts of home? Couple all those thoughts with the appeal of viewing wildlife and/or visiting interesting restaurants, farm stalls, beaches and other attractions in or near Hluhluwe, and I have something for you to consider.

This beautiful area of Zululand has many camp sitesand getaway venues but the Hluhluwe Bush Camp – originally a pineapple farm, then converted into a working farm before its present purpose – offers that much extra if you want to camp with comfort.

Now in its fourth year, it is the only glamping (glamorous camping) spot in the region, we are told. And while it does not offer the sort of five-star luxury one gets, for instance, glamping at KZN’s oldest private game reserve, Thula Thula in Empangeni (see, under ‘Leisure’, my review of that from some years ago), it most certainly makes camping fun and takes it to another level.

Hluhluwe Bush Camp’s appeal is that it is a chilled, colourful, fun and rather funky spot that is perfect for simply mellowing out, or as an appealing base from which to explore the many other attractions in this area.

The No 3 semi-luxury tent unit at Hluhluwe Bush camp. It sleeps six people.

These include False Bay, the world heritage site that is iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Reserve and Mkuze Game Reserve. The lovely white beaches of Sodwana Bay and St Lucia are only an hour-or-so drive away, and, for the more sporty, hiking and cycling trails are to be found.

Hluhluwe Bush Camp was the brainchild of Trienke Lodewjik, from the Netherlands, who bought the former farm in 2019 and opened the camp in February of 2020. The beauty of the place is that it is totally off the grid for water and electricity, offers free wifi and has a swimming pool and quaint farmstall where one can buy food or book to dine.

When the camp first opened it had only its five, self-catering, semi-luxury glamping tents which stand in a row, each about 30m apart. A stone’s throw from the reception, pool and farmstall, these units have canvas roofing and exterior walls, with wooden floors, furniture and interior panelling.

All but one unit can accommodate up to five people. Each has a small verandah leading down a few steps to a covered entertainment area with a brick braai and wooden table and benches. Really nice.

Only one of the units, No 3 in the centre, has three bedrooms, accommodating six people, and it was there that I spent a very enjoyable break with friends this past weekend. This unit comes with a small lounge and verandah (both with couches), a small but delightful dining area, a tiny kitchen with fridge and gas stove, a toilet, handbasin and a very fancy, gas-operated shower. I’d recommend the addition of a microwave oven.

Two of the bedrooms have double beds (two joined singles) and are snuggly fitted against the canvas wall of the unit to the point that they are a bit difficult to get out of, but they are comfy and the pillows are plump. The third bedroom has two single beds.

A gas stove and gas geyser, and free wifi, are among comforts in this semi-luxury unit at Hluhluwe Bush Camp.

By June 2020, the camp had introduced its nearby Glamping Village, not far from the five original units. This area comprises two fully-equipped Adventure Tents with private outside bathrooms, three fully-equipped Tipi tents, a bohemian-style caravan from the 1970s known as Poppy, and two small, intimate campsites in the bush with electricity, a braai and an ablution block.

More recently, the getaway spot introduced Umfomothi House – a self-catering house very close to Hluhluwe Bush Camp

Carissa Prinsloo, who has been the camp’s manager for just over a year, says the five semi-luxury tents and two Adventure Tents were the first to be imported from the Netherlands, with the three tipi tents and renovated caravan arriving later.

Hluhluwe Bush Camp is about a three-hour drive from Durban. On arrival, after leaving the main road and passing pineapple plantations while driving along a sandy road, guests are greeted by the farmstall-cum-diningroom, which is open from 7am to 7pm.

Here there many splashes of colour, not least in the playful, multi-coloured wooden signboard that has a scramble of arrows showing directions to multiple cities.

The fair-sized pool in front of the building leads off a small verandah giving pride of place to two wall-mounted antelope busts, cleverly made from stripped tin cans, and chairs with colourfully striped cushions. Nearby is a cart containing rolled towels for anyone keen to swim.

The Hluhluwe Bush camp reception and farm stall, alongside the pool and kiddy play area. The hammocks are fun.

To the side and behind the building is a playground and climbing wall for children, where there are swings and a jungle gym. A number of white hammocks hang from trees. Fun.

The camp offers a 2.5km walking trail around the property that starts at the pool area. Called the Kambusha Trail, it apparently is great to do during sunrise or sunset.

Owner Trienke, who settled in South Africa 23 years ago with partner Peter, is still very active in the running of the business.

“We sold everything in The Netherlands and came with a backpack to Africa,” she recalls, adding that she and her husband first settled in Noordhoek and started working for a large tour operator.

“In 2007, we moved to the north of Mozambique to build Nuarro Lodge, an eco-community lodge, of which we are still are co-owners. We then moved to Uganda in 2010, where my hubby set up a solar company for a Dutch foundation, and in 2013 we moved back to South Africa.”

Peter worked for the same Dutch foundation, as turnaround manager at a solar company in Mkuze, she says.

Trienke is also busy with BBorange – a tour operator which creates tailor-made holidays in Southern Africa. She is also the only sales agent for Luxetenten Glamping Tents in the whole of Africa.


Contact: +27 (0) 78 396 9391


Prices: Luxury units from R625 per person per night (Larger Unit 3: from R725 per person per night). Tipi tents from R425 per person per night. Adventure tent from R850 per night for two people

Cleaning: Note that unit cleaning can be arranged for an additional fee.


One of the popular tents in the colourful Glamping Village at Hluhluwe Bush Camp.


Care to put yourself in line to win a two-day stay for two people at the Glamping Village (not one of the five luxury units) at Hluhluwe Bush Camp? This prize stay is available any time except long weekends and public holidays. It is subject to availability until September 1, 2023.

You simply have to be a follower of the SoSuterBill site to win.  At no cost.

If you are not already a follower, simply leave your email address in the space provided towards the end of the cover page of this site, (access the cover page by clicking ‘Latest Posts’ on the menu bar).

You will then be a follower, and receive email notification whenever I file a new story.

Once you have subscribed (there is no cost), send your NAME and PHONE NUMBER via email (NOT THIS SITE’S CONTACT FORM) to and place the words ‘GLAMPING VILLAGE GIVEAWAY’ in the subject field. 

Note that the competition closes at 6pm on Monday, May 22, and the winner will be contacted soon after. His/her name will be posted in this spot thereafter. (THE LUCKY WINNER OF THE GETAWAY IS HAYLEY LOVE),

Also please note that the prize does not include travel costs or the costs of cleaning should you request servicing of the unit.




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