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BIG 5 SAFARI - June 24-27

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Capturing the suspension between earth and sky, this glass wrapped lodge rests on a ridge overlooking Africa’s oldest game reserve. Down below a waterhole, frequented by a diversity of wildlife, your eye is pulled away from the extraordinary views, as you slow down and connect with the earth.

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Safari

There are few things more iconically African than setting out at dawn in an open game viewing vehicle and watching the crimson sun creep over the horizon as a herd of majestic elephants ambles across the dusty road in front of you. These are the experiences and unique wildlife encounters that we take utmost pleasure in providing for our guests on our safari drives in the spectacular Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve, a vast haven for protected species such as rhino, elephant, leopard and wild dog.

Both morning (6:00am) and afternoon (4pm) safari drives are included.  These drives  in open, high game views with professional guides are the highlight of every safari in South Africa. You just never know what’s around the next corner… Safari drives are not only about seeing the Big 5, but learning more about the amazing ecosystems and creatures great and small.


Your knowledgeable guide will impart a wealth of fascinating information, bringing you closer to the natural environment. You’ll also get to enjoy the scenery when you park the vehicle to enjoy outdoor treats – warm drinks and nibbles in the morning, and sundowners and snacks as you watch the sunset on your evening game drive. 

Formerly known as the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve now the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. The park is the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa. 96000 hectares in size (960 square kilometers) that's the same size as Netherlands Antilles while Hong Kong is 1104 square kilometers. Officially opened on the 30th of April 1895 as a Park. 

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is the only state-run park in Kwazulu Natal that is home to the African Big 5. The park is world re-known for its conservation efforts and history. The Umfolozi was previously used as King Shaka's private hunting grounds. The conservation efforts have contributed to this park having the largest population of White Rhino in the world.

Home to 86 species including the African Big 5, some special wildlife include:

Nyala one of the top spots to view them, Nile Crocodile, Hippo, Giraffe, African Wild Dog, Cheetah, KuduImpala, Bushpig, common Warthog, Hyena, Water Buck, Duiker, Blue Wildebeest, Jackal and much more. The park is incredible should you be a avid birder with up to 340 species found within the area.

The Hluhluwe River Flood Plain is one of the only areas in the whole of South Africa where yellow-throatedpink-throated and orange-throated longclaw species can be seen together.

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Accomodations

Take a deep breath. Long after you’ve left you’ll remember this view of Africa. The lodge has an elevated sense of peace and tranquility which allows guests to fully decompress. Visionary open-plan architecture and a deck that runs the full length of the main lodge combine strategically with the natural vantage point to create views that take your breath away.

A sense of calm, the ultimate luxury. Time in the bush and shared connections, the joy of seeing a newborn antelope, the thrill of a cheetah hunt. As we slowly unwind and deepen our connection with nature and ourselves, we remember she restores. A morning and evening game drive or walk unfolds the raw beauty of our continent and it’s most magnificent creatures. An early morning start as a honey golden sunrise seeps into the day, as you settle into the journey of layered knowledge led by your guides. And as the day closes down she opens a myriad opera of night calls, stars and dramatic encounters. Settle, listen and watch, it’s the best show on earth.

Mindfully curated interiors drawing on our best architect - the natural wilderness - our villa’s and safari rooms are organic and raw with a pure natural elegance.

Oozing with contemporary energy, our rooms are placed on a walkway seamlessly blending along a cliff edge and offering magnificent views over the game reserve and down onto a busy waterhole.

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Dining

Chef Carl Moller is the Executive Head Chef. He is a true creative who combines a love of cooking with beautiful plating skills and a passion for photography.
We love the way he incorporates local cuisine relevant to each of our lodges.

Ethical eating and sustainable sourcing on the menu is his pride.

With his focus on sustainability, Carl’s food philosophy is closely aligned with the Isibindi brand. In these remote and ecologically-significant locations, it is vital for social, economic and environmental factors to work symbiotically and interdependently. Carl believes that incorporating these principles into his food and choice of suppliers enhances sustainability from the ground up.

Carl sources many of his ingredients from ethical suppliers – like GMO-free stone-ground flour, Desert salt and locally sourced eggs from the community.

Along with his modern fusions and traditional favourites, guests can look forward to a few hyper-local dishes like Thyme and lemon deboned ‘Shisanyama’ (hot meat) grilled chicken with pap chips (mealie meal chips) and smoked salt, as well as Sishebo, a hearty stew with succulent tomato relish, & coleslaw.

Coming soon is our new cocktail list which will include spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) G&T cocktail with locally distilled pineapple gin.

Food of the future comes to life today

Carl’s approach to food is in line with what he believes to be the future of food – going back to ‘how things were’ before the modern era, with real, unadulterated ingredients and by eliminating damaging food production methods. An example of his philosophy in action is how he takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary by incorporating fresh produce into his cooking – like homegrown microgreens which were a success at Thonga and are now grown at Rhino Ridge along with traditional herbs.

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