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Why did we hand pick Isibindi Zulu Lodge?

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  • Convenient access to the most momentuous battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu war
  • Set in a ruggedly beautiful 4000 acre eco-reserve
  • Wonderful cultural integration with the local Zulu people

Isibindi Zulu Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

11km from Rorkes Drift

 

-28.4316, 30.5623

About

Within a network of ecosystems ranging from montane grassland and valley thornveld to riverine forests, Isibindi Zulu Lodge offers a fascinating opportunity to learn about Zulu culture and traditions, while reflecting on the dramatic moments in the tribe’s colourful history. Pre-booked tours take guests to the battlefields of Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana, where a fascinating narrative gives a chilling account of the events and the impacts of the fighting.

The main lodge, set amongst huge Buffalo Thorn Trees and dolorite boulders, boasts a homely lounge with a large fireplace, a library, a unique bar carved out of a Wait-a-Bit Thorn Tree, and a spacious verandah. The swimming pool offers expansive views of the reserve. 

Architecturally inspired by traditional Zulu beehive construction, the six luxury suites offer panoramic views of the game reserve and its diverse habitats from the comfort of viewing decks.  The Honeymoon suite commands views of a particularly game rich area of the reserve and has a romantic sunken stone bath.  

The traditional spirit of the Zulus is a feature throughout a stay at the lodge, with Boma Dinners – complete with dancing and drums – and a separate day trip to a Zulu homestead giving guests a personal insight into a culture which has remained largely unchanged for centuries.

A guide can also take guests on a panorama tour to some of the region’s prettiest natural attractions and sacred Zulu sites.

The lodge’s cuisine is excellent and has developed a reputation for its unique presentation of South African fare. Breakfasts and lunches are either served al fresco at the swimming pool or on the verandah.

Due to the absence of dangerous game on the reserve, it is quite safe to walk or take a picnic along one of the meandering river beds, or cast a line into the Buffalo River.

Rates & Summary


6 Zulu Suites

2 double rooms, 4 twin rooms
En-suite bath and shower
Viewing deck overlooking reserve
Inspired by Zulu beehive shape

Pricing

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

Catering

Full Board

Why Stay Here?

In the 4000 acre Isibindi Eco-Reserve, this 12 bed luxury lodge is a stone's throw away from the historically momentous Anglo-Zulu battlefields of Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana, where the Zulu and British clashed in a devastating battle which had enormous consequences for the Zulu people. An architectural celebration of the Zulu nation, the lodge is a peaceful bushveld retreat which also offers a host of activities for our guests wanting to experience a combination of luxurious accommodation, game viewing, battlefields and Zulu cultural experiences.

Summary

  • Convenient access to the most momentuous battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu war
  • Set in a ruggedly beautiful 4000 acre eco-reserve
  • Wonderful cultural integration with the local Zulu people

Privacy

The rooms are individually set along the ridge ensuring privacy in a tranquil environment. 

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, fishing gear, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

The 20km gravel approach road is suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Morning and evening game drives
  • Game walks
  • Bird watching
  • Picnics
  • Battlefield tours
  • Zulu Homestead tour
  • Panorama and cultural tour
  • Swimming and fishing in the river

Details

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Blog

Zululand & the Battlefields

KwaZulu Natal

About

It was from the bush and grassland of northern KwaZulu-Natal that the impis of King Shaka emerged, sweeping down onto the other tribes of the hinterland and eventually engaging the British forces and shaking the very roots of the Empire. At the height of its power, the Zulu nation covered 30 000km2, but 60 years after it was first formed, its reign was over. In those 60 years, the Zulus shaped the future of the country and were engaged in battles with the Boers and the British, but these were not the only bloody conflicts in the region. 

After the Zulu empire was broken, the English and the Boers fought for control of South Africa, with many battles taking place in Natal. While the best-known battles in the area are undoubtedly Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, as well as the siege of Ladysmith, there is fascinating history to be had at countless other ones. 

The beauty of the scenery clashes harshly with the devastating past, while the rough terrain makes one wonder how the machines of war were manhandled across the country, and how the Zulu impis managed to cover such vast distances in a single day, barefoot.

The regions of Zululand and the Battlefields merge together and are hard to separate, stretching from the northern and western KwaZulu-Natal borders to the towns of Ladysmith and Colenso in the south and towards the Elephant Coast in the east.

Zululand has managed to remain largely unaffected by industrial expansion and much of it remains farmland, timber plantations and rural wilderness, including beautiful Big-Five game reserves and grasslands. 

On the other hand there is the industrial hub of Richards Bay, the largest port in South Africa.

Tourism revolves around the natural beauty and diversity, as well as the haunting battlefields on which so many lost their lives and which are simply fascinating to visit, especially with a knowledgeable guide, of which there are a few.

Since this is the birthplace of the Zulu nation, it is also the place to come to grips with Zulu tradition, culture and history.

A number of cultural experiences exist, where tourists can become immersed in the local tradition and culture, learning a huge amount and enjoying themselves even more.

A few reserves in the region offer good game-viewing, from Weenen and Spioenkop in the south up to Ithala in the north. The diverse ecosystem means that hundreds of bird species are present, and a few notable bird-watching spots include the Dlinza and Ongoye forests, as well as the wetlands of Richards Bay.

An area as large and diverse will always have an almost endless array of attractions, and Zululand and the Battlefields are no different, from fishing in Richards Bay to horse-riding, mountain-biking, game-viewing and bird-watching. There is even a brewery to lighten the spirits when the history gets a little heavy.

Look out for

Zululand Brewery in Eshowe is a great place to pop in for a relaxing Zulu Blonde Export Ale, a beer that has won awards and rave reviews internationally. While you’re sitting at The Happy George Bar, ask around for recommendations on what’s new to do in the area.

The Dlinza and Ongoye Forests are serious birding hotspots and both are easily accessible. In fact, the Dlinza aerial boardwalk is something that even non-birders will enjoy and appreciate.

Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are the two seminal battlefields in the Battlefields tour and are both intensely fascinating and moving. A good guide is invaluable in bringing them to life. Ulundi and Blood River are also well worth visiting, giving different insights into the bloodshed that shaped this land.

Take a hike up Majuba or Spioenkop mountains, both of which offer sensational views in addition to stirring battlefield history. The historic O’Neills cottage, where a peace treaty was signed to end the first Anglo-War, lies at the base of Majuba.

The majestic Ithala Game Reserve in the very north of KwaZulu-Natal offers good game-viewing and bird-watching, as well as epic scenery of mountains and valleys. While there is a variety of accommodation, the pick of it is undoubtedly the bush camps that can be booked out for your group.

Every year the Zulu nation holds the Reed Ceremony near the eNyokeni Royal residence in Nongoma north of Melmoth, thousands of maidens gathering to pay their respect to their king. This happens in spring and visitors from all over the world come to watch the women dance and sing to King Goodwill Zwelithini in his ceremonial regalia.

The eMakhosini Ophate Heritage Park should not be missed by anyone with a sense of history. It is the birthplace of the Zulu clan and what is known as the Valley of the Kings. The Spirit of eMakhosini memorial and an educational multimedia centre are worth a visit, and there is also game, including the rare oribi antelope and black rhino.

Immerse yourself in the Zulu culture at a place like Shakaland and watch Zulu dancing, ask a sangoma (witch doctor) for his sage advice, sample traditional Zulu beer, listen to singing and perhaps try out a few simple phrases for yourself. Arts and crafts are also on sale and make wonderful gifts and souvenirs.

When to go

To Do

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