The Chiefs went back to the top of the Super Rugby standings when they beat the Bulls 28-22 ending a four match losing streak against the men from Pretoria.
The Chiefs had not beaten the Bulls since March 2008 in Rotorua and the run included the 2009 Super 14 Final.
The match was the last for the Bulls on their tour and they now head back to South Africa where they will play South African Conference leaders the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld next weekend.
The Chiefs travel north to Auckland next week where they will face the struggling Blues at North Harbour Stadium.
The Chiefs went into the match off a bye and a loss to the Reds before that. The Waikato men started slowly in the match and trailed 8-9 minutes before half time.
The Bulls however extended their lead just before the half time whistle with a converted Bjorn Basson try to lead 8-16 at half time.
The Chiefs scored three tries to one in a tightly contested match in which the lead changed six times, coming back from a lacklustre first half to outscore the Bulls 20-6 after the break.
The Bulls' rolling maul and Morne Steyn's boot kept the dogged South Africans within touching distance but a Sam Cane try 10 minutes from time proved decisive.
The loss cost the Bulls a chance of overhauling the Stormers in the South African conference and their arch-rivals can draw level with the Chiefs in the overall standings with a win over the Sharks.
The opening stages were fast-moving but mistake-ridden, with the scores locked on 3-3 after a penalty apiece after 15 minutes as defence dominated.
The Bulls' renowned forward pack twice threatened to set up tries through rolling mauls but could not break through and Steyn eventually settled for a drop goal on 22 minutes.
The Chiefs hit back against the run of play when Akona Ndungane spilled a speculative Aaron Cruden kick and opened the way for Andrew Horrell to soccer the ball over the line then touch down for a try.
Cruden tried the same tactic five minutes later but the Bulls' defence was alive to the danger and the South Africans again built pressure through the forwards, earning a penalty which Steyn kicked from 45 metres out.
Winger Bjorn Basson scored his eighth try of the season from the back of a Bulls' maul just before half time, outpacing Lelia Masaga for the five-pointer with Steyn adding the conversion to make it 8-16 at the break.
The Chiefs lifted after the restart, narrowing the gap to 14-19 as they notched two penalties to one, then taking the lead after Asaeli Tikoirotuma crossed with a slick move from a set piece off the scrum.
But the Chiefs immediately surrendered the advantage with a soft penalty, gifting Steyn his fourth penalty to make it 21-22.
The New Zealanders continued to run the ball and Cane brought the home crowd to life 10 minutes from time, latching onto a Sonny Bill Williams offload for the Chiefs' third try.
A Cruden penalty extended the lead to 22-28 and the Bulls could not break through before the clock ran down.
Final Score Chiefs 28 (9) Bulls 22 (16)
Tries - A. Horrell, A. Tikoirotuma, S. Cane
Pen - A. Cruden 3
Con - A. Cruden 2
Tries - B. Basson
Pen - M. Steyn 4
Con - M. Steyn
Drop - M. Steyn
Referee: Mark Lawrence
Assistant Ref 1: Bryce Lawrence
Assistant Ref 2: Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri
TMO: Nick Briant
1. Toby Smith, 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Ben Afeaki, 4. Craig Clarke (c), 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 8. Kane Thompson, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Jackson Willison, 14. Lelia Masaga, 15. Andrew Horrell.
Replacements: 16. Mahonri Schwalger, 17. Arizona Taumalolo, 18. Michael Fitzgerald, 19. Sam Cane, 20. Brendon Leonard, 21. Robbie Robinson, 22. Maritino Nemani.
15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Pierre Spies (c), 7. CJ Stander, 6. Dewald Potgieter, 5. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3.Werner Kruger, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16. Willie Wepener, 17. Rayno Gerber, 18. Juandre Kruger, 19. Arno Botha, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Louis Fouche, 22. JJ Engelbrecht.