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Why did we hand pick African Spirit Game Lodge?

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  • Affordable but authentic Big 5 safari experience in the Zululand Rhino Reserve
  • Elegant chalets that offer self catering or mixed board options
  • Reasonably priced game drives on offer, and numerous activities in the region

African Spirit Game Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

15km from Mkuze


-27.7308, 32.0286


African Spirit Lodge offers comfortable accommodation in the heart of the Zululand Rhino Reserve, a bushveld paradise which is home to over 70 mammal species, including the iconic Big Five. As its name suggests, the lodge is designed to offer a warm African experience, and treats guests to friendly hospitality and a memorable safari experience. This is complemented by a host of facilities that allow for relaxation during off-time.

Guests will sleep contentedly in the stylish chalets, and with a choice of bed and breakfast, dinner bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation available, all tastes are catered for. 

The four twin chalets are pleasingly spacious, with en-suite showers and patios that look out onto the indigenous garden. The air conditioner and ceiling fan provide relief from the hot summer weather, while the mini bar and tea/coffee stations are welcome conveniences. The paths connecting the chalets to the main lodge are well lit, so guests will have no issues heading back ‘home’ after dinner.

The Intibane self-catering unit sleeps families or groups of four, while Idube is a large house that can accommodate groups of up to six people. Both units have kitchens that are equipped with a stove, microwave, oven and fridge/freezer, leading onto a dining room and big lounge area. 

The outside boma in each of the self-catering Intibane and Idube chalets allows  guests to sit around a campfire and enjoy the truly African experience of a braai under the stars, listening to the sounds of the bush. Firewood is provided and can be topped up at the main lodge if need be. 

The main lodge is a sociable communal area that has a variety of facilities geared towards relaxation. Guests in the twin chalets enjoy typically hearty South African cuisine for dinner, served in the laidback atmosphere of the dining room, with a fireside dinner at the main boma as an alternative option.

The comfortable lounge is attached to a quaint thatched indoor bar, which in turn leads out onto a viewing deck with scenic vistas over the veld. Outside, guests can plunge into a swimming pool and kick back in the gazebo.

The lodge offers two daily game drives at a reasonable additional cost, conducted by an experienced guide who will reveal the wonders of the reserve and hopefully connect you with the Big Five. There are also more than 450 species of birds to look out for along the way. Make sure that you book these drives in advance and take note that they are not suitable for children under 3. Also on offer are guided photographic safaris at additional cost that take participants on tours to Kwazulu-Natal’s most spectacular wilderness areas. 

All guests are well-positioned to go on day trips to the unspoilt northern South African coastline, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and several of the region’s famous game reserves. The area plays host to a spectacularly diverse range of activities and attractions, making for a varied and exciting holiday. On returning to the lodge, guests can relive their adventures around the open fireplace, in true African Spirit. 

Rates & Summary

4 Twin Chalets

Each sleeps 2 in twin beds
En-suite shower
Patio with garden view

Intibane (self-catering unit)

Sleeps 4 in 2 twin rooms
Each room with en-suite shower
Patio with braai area
Garden view

Idube (self-catering house)

Sleeps 6 in 3 double/twin bedrooms plus sleeper couch
2 full en-suite bathrooms and separate bathroom with shower only
Open-plan kitchen/lounge
Patio with braai area
Garden views


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


B&B or DBB in twin chalets
Self-catering in Intibane and Idube


Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

The allure of an affordable Big Five safari lies in wait at the owner-managed African Spirit Game Lodge in the 24 000ha Zululand Rhino Reserve outside Mkuze. The lodge offers catered and self-catering accommodation in elegantly styled chalets. The communal areas are particularly spacious and showcase bushveld views.


  • Affordable but authentic Big 5 safari experience in the Zululand Rhino Reserve
  • Elegant chalets that offer self catering or mixed board options
  • Reasonably priced game drives on offer, and numerous activities in the region


The chalets offer greater privacy.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels if self-catering, fishing gear, binoculars for bird/whale watching and game viewing.

Road Conditions

The gravel approach road is suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Morning and afternoon game drives
  • Photographic safaris
  • Nearby: game walks, elephant and cheetah interactions, horse riding, boat cruises, tiger fishing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling, whale watching, Zulu cultural villages.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast & dinner
  • No Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Stove
  • Fridge or minibar


  • Own water supply, showering and washing only
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Paid Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • No business centre
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Not wheelchair friendly
  • No babysitting
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted




Elephant Coast

KwaZulu Natal


On the eastern seaboard of South Africa, the wild country of the Elephant Coast presses up against the Indian Ocean in the east, Mozambique in the north and Zululand to the south and west. Here, the bright lights of the city are nowhere to be seen, replaced by night skies as unpolluted as nature created them.

The area was named for the elephants that once roamed here in great numbers, hunted for their tusks until they had all but disappeared. Luckily this has been turned around and elephants can once again be seen in many of the region’s game reserves, along with the rest of the Big 5.

Made up of extensive commercial farms, private game farms and government game reserves, the Elephant Coast is still relatively untouched by modernity. It incorporates vast expanses of wilderness, including an internationally renowned World Heritage Site, the 328000ha Isimangaliso Wetland Park. It is also home to Africa’s oldest game reserve, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, founded in 1895.

The area is a must-visit for ecologically minded tourists; there is far more to see than just the two flagship reserves. Fortunate tourists can see the Big 5, scuba dive with whale sharks or manta rays, watch turtles laying their eggs, fish for tigerfish, and ride horses on the beach or through the bush. It’s a region that is rich in diversity.

Ndumo Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Reserve are both on the border with Mozambique and offer unique experiences for twitchers and pachyderm fans.

Tembe now boasts herds of elephants that are noted for their impressive tusks, and it’s one of the better places in South Africa to get good sightings and photographs of these animals.

Ndumo is best known for its birding. Species such as the narina trogon, palm-nut vulture and green twinspot can be seen in the forests of figs and other beautiful trees. Healthy populations of hippo and crocodile lurk in the pans and rivers.

KosiBay, a reserve protecting a series of shallow coastal lakes and all that lives in and around them, offers excellent fishing. There are also fascinating cultural and wildlife walks and birding opportunities. In season, one can watch turtles as they lay eggs or hatch from them.

Also on the coast is Sodwana Bay, yet another conservation area run by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. It’s a mecca for scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the world.

Sodwana holds beneath its waters coral reefs that are home to an estimated 1 200 fish species. These include the prehistoric coelacanth, as well as sharks and other fish.

Lake Sibaya is another attraction, although one that has failed to attain the popularity it deserves. The largest fresh-water lake in South Africa, Sibaya is home to thousands of waterbirds. Game is plentiful along its shores and crocodiles stalk its clear water.

The Jozini, or Pongolapoort, Dam offers a wonderful blend of sport fishing with game viewing. The river itself is also home to healthy populations of tigerfish.

Look out for

Isimangaliso Wetland Park – this World Heritage Site is amazingly diverse and deserves at least a few days of your time. Go for a boat cruise on the estuary, a game drive through the bush, and a hike along the shores of Lake St Lucia.

Sodwana Bay – take advantage of one of the world’s top scuba diving spots. Beginners can go on courses or snorkel; while more experienced divers have a number of reefs to choose from.

Birdwatching – the entire Elephant Coast is home to bountiful birdlife, although there are a few hot spots. The pans of Mkhuze Game Reserve play host to pelicans and all sorts of other birdlife. Over 420 bird species have been recorded in the riverine forest, woodland and savannahs of the park. Ndumo Game Reserve has an even better record, with more than 430 species recorded, the most for anywhere in South Africa. Beautiful, fever tree-lined pans are home to specials such as Pel’s fishing owl, broadbill and black egret.

Fishing – the Elephant Coast’s Jozini Dam is one of the few places in South Africa where anglers can try their luck at landing the tigerfish, one of the most ferocious, toothy fish in the world. If salt-water fishing is preferred, Kosi Bay is a popular and exceptional fishery, while deep-sea charters also operate from St Lucia.

Turtle tours – St Lucia is probably the best place in the country to go on an organised turtle watching tour. While sightings can’t be guaranteed, you have a good chance of seeing leatherback and loggerhead turtles laying eggs or hatching. Community guides at Kosi Bay also offer turtle watching tours that are very worthwhile.

Game view – the Elephant Coast is still home to a healthy population of big tuskers, especially in Tembe Elephant Park. A good sighting of these animals will stay with you for the rest of your life. The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is internationally famous for saving the white rhino from extinction, and it remains one of the best places in the world to view this docile behemoth. The rest of the Big 5 can also be seen here, along with many other interesting animals.

Hike – while some areas require a guide (especially the Big 5 parks), there are some exceptional walking trails on the Elephant Coast. Almost all game reserves will offer day trails, while a trail with a difference can be enjoyed at Kosi bay. Here you can wander around the Kosi Mouth estuary, inspecting the primitive fish traps and watching locals at work spearing their catch. 

When to go

To Do

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