Isandlwana Lodge, Isandlwana, Battlefields

Isandlwana Lodge is a magical, thatched lodge overlooking the site of one of Britain’s worst military disasters

Isandlwana Lodge will provide you with a magical experience at one of the most moving and inspiring locations overlooking the battlefield of Isandlwana which marks one of the worst military defeats ever inflicted on the British Army by the might and cunning of the Zulu led by King Cetshwayo in 1879. The Lodge has been very sympathetically built into the side of the hill overlooking the battlefield and from where the Zulu commander astride his white horse guided his troops to victory. This was immortalized in the film ‘Zulu Dawn’. The Lodge has an almost fairy tale quality with the 12 large suite style rooms built into the rock face. Each room has a balcony overlooking Isandlwana Mountain. The rooms are beautifully appointed reflecting the American owner’s style and attention to detail. The cuisine is beautifully prepared for a mixture of tastes. You will receive a warm Zulu welcome from the attentive and friendly staff – most of whom live in the little village below the hotel.

About Isandlwana Lodge’s Location

Idle over a beer in the bar around the log fire on a crisp winter’s evening and learn about modern day Zulu culture. By day, the resident historian will provide you with a very graphic description of the battle of Isandlwana. In the morning you will be seated in the middle of the battlefield and then in the afternoon at nearby Rorkes Drift where the small British garrison drove off the Zulu attack. This was the subject of the film ‘Zulu’. This is a fascinating location approximately two and a half-hours drive from Durban. You can easily visit the site of the Battle of Blood River (1838) which has become legendary in Afrikaans history. The Anglo Boer War battlefield of Talana is close by just outside the town of Dundee. There are also several Boer War battle sites within easy reach. This location can be easily combined with a visit to the Private Game Reserves of Zululand and the Drakensberg Mountains.

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Pakamisa Private Game Reserve

Pakamisa Private Game Reserve, Pongola, Northern Zululand

Pakamisa is a  horse lover’s paradise on a beautiful nature reserve

Pakamisa is set in the pristine wilderness of northern Zululand. The lodge offers exceptional comfort. Accommodation is in 8 luxurious safari suites complete with lounge and veranda – each with sweeping views over the beautiful surround countryside. The large pool is beautifully positioned overlooking the distant mountains beyond which is the Kingdom of Swaziland. Accommodation is provided on an all inclusive basis. As well as a sumptuous breakfast, dinner is served in the opulent restaurant and most of the vegetables and salads are grown organically on the reserve. The reserve’s resident owners are an Austrian / South African couple and there is an Austrian theme in the buildings. The attention to detail by the owners is exceptional. We recommend asking for a tour of the stables – they are immaculate! Just take a look at the lodge’s Trip Advisor reviews to see that this will be a well rewarded experience.

About Pakamisa’s Location

The property is close to the Jozini Lake, which offers good fishing including the tiger fish. Pakamisa is also an Arabian Stud and horseback safaris are offered to provide you with true feeling of wilderness among mostly plains game. The Wellness Centre can also provide you with massages and a health and beauty service. Durban is a 3 1/2 hour drive and Johannesburg is 5 hours away.  The Hluhluwe National Park with its wonderful array of animals is an hour’s drive. We do, however, expect your main interest will be enjoying the excellent riding through gthe African bush.

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Makakatana Bay Lodge, St. Lucia

A stunning location in a romantic lodge in a World Heritage Site

Clients who have spent time at Makakatana often wish they had stayed longer. Although rated 4 star by the South African Tourist Grading Authority, the lodge has a number of luxurious rooms in individual ‘huts’ set among the trees over looking the southernmost bay in Lake St Lucia.

About the Location

This lodge is fully inclusive of all meals and full day safaris throughout the iSimangaliso Wetlands including Lake St. Lucia. You will see many animals and as well as elephant, buffalo and zebra you may also see leopard and hyena. In the underwater canyons in the Indian Ocean close to where the lake connects to the sea, coelacanthes are found. These are a strange primordial form of fish that until relatively recently were considered to be extinct. It is possible to arrange a day trip for scuba diving at Sodwana Bay which is a 2 hour drive from the lodge.

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Amakhosi Lodge, Mkuze River, Northern Zululand

Amakhosi Lodge translates from Zulu as ‘The Palace of the Kings’ which is an apt description for this romantic hideaway

Amakhosi Lodge is in the Amazulu Game Reserve. Here you will find the Big Five. These include Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhinoceros but you will also see Hippo, Crocodile,  Antelope and 400 bird species. This small, select lodge is set on the banks of the Mkuze River. The 6 suites overlook the river from a private deck. Each suite is complete with a lounge, luxurious bathroom and has the necessary benefit of air conditioning. Game viewing and safaris are under the strict supervision of experienced rangers. The lodge is renowned for its cuisine and there is a beautiful pool to cool off in after a day in the bush viewing game. This is a fully all-inclusive property and the price includes accommodation, all meals, game drives and local beverages.

About Amakhosi Lodge’s Location

You can easily combine a safari here with a trip to the hauntingly evocative KwaZulu – Natal battlefields.  Within a short drive are Blood River, Isandlwana, Rorkes Drift, Ladysmith and Spioenkop – all reminders of the tragic history of this beautiful land. In this area you will still experience traditional and fascinating Zulu culture even though it is fast disappearing.This area is approximately a 5 hour drive from Johannesburg International airport and is 3 1/2 hours from Durban International Airport.

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Granny Mouse Country House, Balgowan

Luxurious Old World Charm set in the scenic Natal Midlands

Set in beautiful gardens, this attractive thatched country house has a variety of luxuriously appointed rooms and suites. Accommodation is provided on a B&B basis but the property has two well rated restaurants. One is a bistro and the other boasts fine dining.

About the Location

This is a very convenient location for those arriving at Durban Airport. This is an easy 1 1/2 hour drive and breaks any journey to the Drakensberg or the Battlefields. This is probably one of the most English of all locations in South Africa. The area is full of craft locations, great restaurants, trout fishing and one of South Africa’s premier schools, Michaelhouse, is close by in the village of Balgowan


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Montusi Mountain Lodge, Drakensberg

Montusi is an exceptional family owned and run property in a magical location

It is rare that we repeat verbatim the words from the website of a property but in our minds having spent time here, these words are perfect: “Montusi Mountain Lodge offers genuine hospitality in the tranquility of one of the most beautiful settings in Southern Africa. Space, comfort and peace are what you will find. Treat yourself to the natural splendour and peaceful, romantic ambiance of this Drakensberg haven.”  There are 10 spacious, self contained Garden Suites, 4 Family Suites and 2 much larger Mountain Suites. These are set in an estate of 1,000 hectares with the glorious backdrop of the imposing wall of The Amphitheatre. This is one of the most spectacular areas of the Drakensberg.  Accommodation is on a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis with food served in the main thatched lodge

About Montusi’s Location

The property has a swimming pool and tennis courts and horse riding and guided hiking can be arranged. Guided hiking can be arranged to the top of Montusi Mountain. Excursions to a cave with Bushmen paintings as well as into the nearby Royal Natal National Park are also offered. For the adventurous a guided hike to the top of the Amphitheatre can be arranged. You can hire Mountain Bikes and ride on the 100 km Drakensberg Mountain Biking Trail which goes right through the property. Fly fishing is available on the lodge’s two dams and for those seeking extreme thrills, All Out Adventures is a 10 minute drive away. Add a stay at Monusi to a battlefields location and a KwaZulu Natal Game Reserve.


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Ghost Mountain Inn, Mkuze, Northern Zululand

Ghost Mountain Inn is a great inexpensive alternative to staying at a private game reserve

Ghost Mountain Inn is an old established, family run inn is situated in a particularly attractive part of Zululand. The hotel is in the little town of Mkuze with views of the almost mystical Ghost Mountain (inspiring many legends among the local Zulus). The atmosphere here is very relaxed and continues to get excellent reviews. The hotel has 51 bedrooms that are well decorated in simple furnishings and each room has air conditioning, a ceiling fan and each night insect repellent systems keeps the mosquitoes at bay. This is particularly important during the wet summer months. Some family rooms are available. Each room has its own patio and from these there are views of the garden or mountain. Guests eat in the comfortable restaurant and there is a choice of buffet or a la carte eating. The guest lounge is open to the terrace in front of the generously sized pool, which is very welcome after the heat of the day. The hotel does cater for conferences so at times the atmosphere is busy. The gym and wellness centre caters for those needing exercise and massage treatments, There is also a small but interestingly stocked gift shop.  On certain nights, guests may watch Zulu dancing around the bonfire in the boma.

About Ghost Mountain Inn’s Location

The hotel can arrange game drives into the adjacent Mkuze Game Reserve.  For us, however, a trip to the Hluhluwe National Park (a half hour drive) with one of the hotel’s excellent rangers is an unforgettable experience. Fishing on the Jozini Lake can be arranged as well as horse riding. Therefore, whatever your requirement there is something for most tastes here. You are ensured a warm and friendly welcome just two and a half hours drive from Durban and close to the border with Swaziland. Although the accommodation cannot be compared with the exceptionally luxurious private game reserves, your game experience from Ghost Mountain will compare with the best.

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Kwazulu Natal Region

Kwazulu Natal

Weather in Kwazulu Natal

 Summer  (November – April) temperature tends toward very hot (30c +) and very humid in the lower lying coastal area and in Zululand. This is the rainy season and the area is prone to torrential rain.

Winter  (May to October) is probably the best time to visit. It is drier, daytime temperatures rise to the mid 20c but at night and in the early morning it can be chilly.

For the Drakensbergs, it can snow heavily at higher altitudes during the winter, but the spring, summer and autumn are very pleasant.

The majestic Drakensberg Mountains, historic Battlefields and beautiful sandy beaches are complimented by exceptional game reserves and fascinating Zulu and Indian Culture. The Drakensberg (Dragon Mountains), known as the barrier of Spears by the Zulus, run along the western border of the province rising to 12,000 ft.In Zululand you will see Zulu culture everywhere. Traditional beehive shaped woven huts dot the landscape and you will discover a way of life that is fast disappearing and experience the land of the now legendary Kings, Shaka and Cetshwayo. Battlefields commemorate the Anglo Zulu war of 1879 at Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift and the Anglo – Boer War of 1899 – 1902. Here you will see commemorated the site where Winston Churchill, then a young journalist, was captured by the Boers, the sites of the battles of Spioenkop, Colenso and, of course, the siege of Ladysmith.

The National Parks are among the oldest game reserves in South Africa with a proud history of conservation and where, for example, the White Rhino was saved from extinction in the Umfolozi Reserve. The Beaches are some of finest in South Africa. The coastline is extensive with huge beaches and fun resorts. In the remote north is Sodwana Bay which has particularly fine diving among the coral reefs.

Activities and sights in Kwazulu Natal

  • Mountains & Hiking  The Drakensberg around Cathedral Peak and the Amphitheatre in the north and Giant’s Castle in the centre. In the south, the Sani Pass is a spectacular 4 X 4 route into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
  • Activities   Horse Riding, coarse fishing in the Natal Midlands and the Drakensbergs, tiger fishing in St. Lucia and game fishing in the Indian Ocean.
  • Game Reserves   These include The Hluhluwe / Umfolozi, Tembe Elephant Reserve, the world heritage site of the St. Lucia Wetlands and the impressive Phindi Private Game Reserve.
  • Crafts   Beautiful Zulu beadwork can be found in the craft markets in Durban and in the cultural villages. You will also find some fine woven bowls and jars.
  • Towns & Resorts  Umnhlanga Rocks, Ballito, Umdloti, Margate, Ramsgate and Port Edward are just a selection of the fine coastal resorts.

Accommodation in Kwazulu Natal

This region has so much for the tourist with a wide range of luxury hotels and safari lodges to excellent bed & breakfast lodges providing typical South African hospitality.

Malaria

Although most of the province is malaria free, you are strongly advised to take precautions in the north of Zululand and most of the northern game reserves from Hluhluwe northwards.

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Ingwe Manor

Ingwe Manor, Margate, South Coast

Popular location on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast with a Blue Flag Beach

This is a charming, 7-bedroom property with a unit suitable for a family. The rooms are nicely appointed and we particularly liked the four-poster bed! The bathrooms are enormous and by the exquisite pool and gazebo there is a Jacuzzi. The terrace is a perfect spot for breakfast or a sundowner, overlooking the Indian Ocean.

About the Location

The resort of Margate may be a little ‘tired’, although it does have an excellent, clean, Blue Flag beach with great facilities, but the delightful little resort of Ramsgate is a five-minute drive away with some very good restaurants. This would make an excellent base for a family to explore the South Coast area of KwaZulu-Natal and down to the Wild Coast and for golfers there are good courses nearby and the owner will be delighted to make arrangements and has been known to accompany guests for a game or two!


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Isibindi Zulu Lodge, Rorkes Drift, Battlefields

Stay in a luxurious Zulu style Beehive hut and be pampered

This is one of the most unusual properties in our collection. Isibindi is set in a huge private nature reserve  quite close to Rorkes Drift which is the site of the battle which formed the turning point in the Aglo-Zulu war of 1879.  One you are in your ‘hut’ you will feel as though you are in true  wilderness. For a get away from it all, romantic location this has to be one of the best. Accommodation is in 7 beautiful Zulu styled beehive huts on stilts in the trees. The decor is simple and rustic but the fittings are luxurious with unusual en suite bathrooms complete with a sunken shower. As the huts are thatched, this may not suit everyone unless you like the smell of thatch. Meals are served in the dining area close to the spectacular pool.

About the Location

The lodge can arrange battlefield tours, game drives through their own reserve and also organise a cultural experience at a nearby Zulu village. This is a real ‘Out of Africa’ experience.


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