Game Drives

An open Landcruiser comfortably seating 10 people is used for these events. The morning game drive departs between 6am and 7am seasonally. The afternoon game drive departs between 3pm and 4pm. The drives are 3hrs of fantastic bush experience where our rangers enlighten you on all aspects of

Game drives take place on the Phongolo Nature Reserve, the neighboring National Reserve, which is the first Reserve to be proclaimed in Africa by Paul Kruger in 1894. You will have the opportunity to view an excellent population of wildlife from white rhino, elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, and giraffe to a wide variety of antelope.

R495 p/p (R270 p/child) unless included in the package.

Boat Cruises

The boat cruise takes place up the Pongola River and into the Lake. The boat is flat bottomed with 10 seats and has a canvas cover overhead. The boat cruise is wonderful for bird watching, sighting of hippo, crocodile and where a multitude game can be seen at the water’s edge making an interesting perspective.

The morning cruise departs at 7am and returns at 10.00am. The afternoon cruise is particularly popular and departs at around 3pm and returns at 6pm.

R495 p/p (R270 p/child) unless included in the package.

The Shayamoya Spa

Enjoy a session in the Sanctuary next to the office. Book with Miriam at Reception or Jabu at the Bar.

Treatment Menu

Foot Ritual 30 minutes foot scrub and leg massage R300
Indian Head Massage 30 minutes R 330
Back and Neck Massage 30 minutes R 400
Foot Ritual and Back Massage 60 minutes R 600
Full Body Massage 60 minutes R 650


This area is a bird watchers haven boasting over 300 species of birds with the advantage of hosting the variety of bush birds, raptors and water birds which nest on the edge of the Lake Jozini. Please find enclosed our bird list, which numbers endemic and rare species found in this area. You will find a bird list in this information file.

Guided Rhino Walks

Rhino walks are Outsourced with the neighbouring property, Pongola Game Reserve, the meeting point is at Mvubu Lodge. It is a combination of a drive and walk. The trails are not strenuous and therefore enjoyable for all fitness levels. We need 24hrs notice to arrange these walks. Pay at Shayamoya please. Ages 16 and above only. 

Max 8 people. R650 p/p.

In The Area

Guided Horse Safaris Outsourced With Pakamisa Game Reserve

Enjoy an early morning or afternoon out ride on a game reserve inland of Pongola, on well-trained Arabian Crossed and Boerperd horses. Tack is of excellent quality, English saddles.  With groups of maximum 6 riders on an out ride. Max. weight limit of 90 kg per rider, 1.90 m per rider. Preferably 24 hr Notice period required. 1,5 – 2 hours horse ride R850.00 per person Children under 10 years: guided ride R450 per child

Pongola Golf Course

The Pongola Golf Club has a lovely country style 9 hole golf course, situated amongst Tamboti trees , sugar cane fields and irrigation dams. Bring your own golf clubs as there are none for hire. There are no golf carts for hire either.

Game Reserves

Phongolo Nature Reserve: KZN Wildlife
Falling from the heights of the Lebombo Mountains down across the Phongolopoort Dam (also known as Lake Jozini) to typical African savannah in the west, this reserve is the oldest proclaimed conservation area in Africa. Proclaimed on the 13th of June 1894 by President Paul Kruger and reproclaimed in 1903, ostensively to protect declining game numbers, but in reality as a strategy for the old Transvaal Republic to gain access to the sea, the reserve contains a large number of special ecosystems and habitats. These include the unique veld type called Golela, which is an important Suni antelope breeding habitat. The area boasts a bird list of over 300 species and a range of game including white rhino, giraffe, blue wildebeest, kudu, impala, nyala, warthog, waterbuck, common and mountain reedbuck, zebra and the roaming elephants. The dam has large populations of hippos and crocodiles and fish species that include tiger fish, the focus of a number of fishing competitions through the year. There is a picnic site for day visitors. There is one launch site close by for people wishing to go boating or angling on the dam.

Mkuze: KZN Wildlife
Mkhuze is renowned as a mecca for bird lovers, with more than 420 bird species on record. The reserve has an astonishing diversity of natural habitats, from the eastern slopes of the Lebombo Mountains along its eastern boundary, to broad stretches of acacia savannah, swamps and a variety of woodlands and riverine forest. A rare type of sand forest also occurs in the reserve. Two beautiful pans, Nhlonhlela and Nsumo, home to communities of hippo, crocodile, pink backed and white pelicans, as well as a diversity of ducks and geese which gather in spring. This 40 000 hectare reserve was proclaimed a protected area in 1912. Mkhuze Game Reserve constitutes the northwestern spur of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site. The Mkhuze River curves along the reserve’s borders with a stretch of fig forest along its banks. Fish eagles swoop over the pans, snatching prey spotted from their perches in the fever trees. Other animals include Black and White Rhinoceros, Elephant, Giraffe, African Wild Dog, Leopard, Buffalo, Nyala, Blue Wildebeest, Warthog, Impala, Kudu and other smaller Antelope. Rare species occurring are Cheetah, Hyaena and Suni. Visitors enjoy excellent sightings from the three hides.

Hluhluwe: KZN Wildlife
Set in the heart of Zululand, the oldest game reserve in Africa where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and put in place the first conservation laws, where today the “big five” of African legend stalk the verdant savannah. Established in 1895. Viewing hides overlook waterholes enabling visitors to see animals at close range. As the home of Operation Rhino in the 1950s and 60s, the Park became world renowned for its white rhino conservation. The Park covers some 96 000 ha and contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora.

Ndumu: KZN Wildlife
Ndumo Game Reserve is perhaps best known for its magnificent bird life with the highest bird count in South Africa, some 430 species. Situated near the Tembe Elephant Park on the Mozambique border, the Usuthu River forms its northern boundary and the Pongola River flows along the eastern boundary to its confluence with the Usutu. Ndumo boasts many beautiful pans set about with yellow fever trees and extensive wetlands and reed beds as well as acacia savannah and sand forest. This varied habitat hosts an astonishing range of aquatic birdlife such as black egret, pygmy geese and flocks of pelicans. The prolific birdlife includes many tropical East African forms at the southern limit of their range. Special ticks for birders include Pel’s Fishing Owl, the African Broadbill, and southern banded snake eagle. Game species such as nyala, bushbuck, impala, red duiker, suni, black and white rhino, hippopotamus and a very large population of crocodiles. Ndumo is of particular interest to entomologists with a very interesting array of insects including 66 recorded species of mosquito.

Tembe Elephant Park: KZN Wildlife
Where the world’s largest elephants roam wild with other Big 5 species.  This remote park, deep in an area of sand forests, pans and wetlands in northern Tongaland, lies on the border between Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mozambique. Sandy tracks so only fit for 4×4 vehicles. Arranged drives: Tembe Safaris take our guests at 10am for a 3 hour drive. Bookings essential. Lunch at the camp can be arranged in advance. R1500 per vehicle and R100 per person which is very well worth it. Gate Fees: R100 p/vehicle + R70 adult R35 child. 24 Hour notice required. Enquire at Reservations.

Ithala: KZN Wildlife
This magnificent reserve, tumbling from the heights of the Ngotshe Mountains a thousand meters down into a deep valley, carved over the eons by the Phongolo River revealing the world’s oldest rock formations, is a game viewers paradise. Situated in the rugged, mountainous thornveld of northern KwaZulu-Natal, the reserve’s multitude of habitats host a spectacular array of wildlife species. Its scenic beauty aside, Ithala’s most characteristic feature is perhaps it’s astonishing geological diversity. Some of the oldest rock formations in the world are found here, dating back 3 000 million years. With a topographic profile varying from 400m above sea level in the north to 1 450m near Louwsberg in the south, Ithala’s terrain extends over lowveld and densely vegetated riverine valleys to high-lying grassland plateaus, ridges and cliff faces. The area now proclaimed as Ithala has been occupied by man for thousands of years and there are many sites littered with stone age spear and axe heads dating back some 20,000 years. There has even been a middle Stone Age tool discovered by archaeologists which pushes the date back to anything up to 200,000 years. More recently, in the last few hundred years, with the advent of the Nguni people, iron smelting took place in Ithala and there are a number of smelting sites adjacent to deposits of banded ironstone which was crushed to provide the iron ore. Ithala has provided the setting for many historic events, from Shaka’s reign and those of successive Zulu kings, to a number of gold mining enterprises in the early years of the 20th Century.


Sodwana Bay
For scuba divers this world class dive spot is regarded as one of the top ten reef dives in the world. Sodwana’s amazing reefs offer warm clean and colourful experiences with a huge species diversity. The Maputaland reefs are the most southerly coral reefs in Africa and owe their existence to clear warm water carried southward by the subtropical Agulhas Current and the absence of silt- carrying rivers discharging into the region. These sandstone outcrops are the remnants of ancient dunes and beaches that were fossilised during a low sea level about 80,000 years ago. There is a safe snorkeling spot on the reef at Jesse Point, on the main beach. Only ideal at low tide. Fishing in Sodwana: South Africa’s premier fishing spot, boasting year-round fishing for game fish such as blue and black marlin, sail fish, yellow fin tuna, Dorado, Mackerel and Wahoo.

Kozi Bay: KZN Wildlife
The Kosi Bay Nature Reserve lies on the coast and surrounds the unique and beautiful Kosi Bay lake system. This system consists of four lakes and a series of interconnecting channels, which eventually drain via a sandy estuary into the Indian Ocean. It is home to a large variety of birds and animals including hippos and crocodiles. Humpback whales can be seen off the beaches on their northerly migration to calve in Mozambique and in December/January loggerhead and leatherback turtles come onto the beaches to lay their eggs in carefully prepared nests. Permits are needed for 4×4 and only 20 are issued per day.

Lala Nek
Lala Nek gives access to 5 vehicles, but no permit is required.  Lala Nek is perfect for snorkelling at low tide. Also enjoy coastal forest birding and surf fishing.

St. Lucia
A world heritage area and coastal town. Restaurants and shops. Crocodile farm: Saturdays: 2pm snake talk, and 3pm weekly crocodile feeding. 2Hr Estuary boat cruises Depart @ 10am, 12h00, 14h00 & 16h00


Bheki’s Lebombo Tour
Your guide, Bheki, takes you on an enlightening tour along the mountain roads and rural Zulu villages, on the Lebombo Mountains behind Mkuze town. You visit a Nyanga and his trainee Sangomas (Which Doctors) who give you an insight to the world of throwing bones, the spirits and the muties (medicines) used to cure illnesses etc. You can even ask for a private consultation at an extra fee. From here we visit a Zulu homestead witnessing how the Zulu people live and their cooking methods and taste some home brewed Zulu beer. After this, meet some students and teachers from a local school. The tour takes about 3 hours once you have left Mkuze. R695 per person If less than 4 people, R795 per person. The meeting point is at the Ghost Mountain Inn at Mkuze.

Dumazulu Traditional Village
DumaZulu is a cultural Kraal with over 50 Zulu residents form part of the “Living museum” and carry out age old manufacturing traditions including spear, shield and clay pot making, basket weaving, intricate bead work and Sangoma bone throwing. The cultural experience culminates in spectacular and vibrant Zulu dancing. Adjacent is the restaurant, Shebeen (bar), curio shop and Reptile Centre. Snake Pharm is a guided tour into the wonderful and deadly world of reptiles. Tours include snake venom, antivenom and bite education as well as demonstrations what to do in a snake encounter. They also explore crocodiles, lizards and spiders. Cultural Village Show times: 8.15am; 11.00am or 3.15pm Price: R250 adult R140 Child Reptile Centre Show times: 9am; 11am; 2pm or 4pm Price: R150 adult R80 Child


Zulu Croc Farm
Nestles among a large, lush variety of cycads and orchids, Zulu Croc is home to a large variety of pythons, Nile crocodiles, Dwarf crocodiles, alligators and iguanas. Enjoy a 2 hour interactive crocodile and snake tour. Tour times: 9am; 10:30am, 12:00 and 3pm Cost : R120 p/adult and R60 p/child.

Emdoneni Cheetah & Serval Cat Project
Enjoy an up close and personal tour and learn more about South Africa’s endangered wild cat species, the Caracal (Lynx), the Serval, the Cheetah and the African Wildcat. Cost : R300 p/adult Children R140 Tour times: 10:30am and 4:30pm Feeding Tour

Bayete Zulu Elephant Interaction
Come and enjoy an up close and personal meeting with Rambo, Rachel and Jabulani, habituated elephants. One of their knowledgeable rangers talk you through their history and provide you with interesting facts about elephants. You will be given the opportunity to feed them as well as touch Rambo’s ears, behind his tusks, between his legs and even get to feel his tongue!
Tour Times: 11am Price: R580 p/adult and R310 p/child

Gem Stone Trail
The area around Pongolapoort consists of ancient Karoo basalts. The outflow of these basalts covered most of South Africa, and heralded the break-up of Gondwanaland approximately 180 million years ago. The rapidly cooling basalts trapped gas bubbles, and percolating fluids carrying minerals in solution, led to the growth of amethyst crystals in cavities and openings in the rock. A mineral hike in the Lebombo Mountains, provides you with an excellent opportunity to collect your own amethyst crystals. Travel up the Lebombo Mountains and meet your guide at the Wildlife Spirit parking with panoramic views overlooking Lake Jozini for a little treasure hunt for the kids. Hike along the mountains in search of semi-precious stones that are found from when the Lebombo Mountain range was created millions of years ago. R150 p/p. You may collect limited number of stones. Tel: 083 459 8988 Jean-Michel Delvaux

Arts & Crafts

Ilala Weavers Gallery & Museum
Established some 30 years ago, with a clear vision and objective of revitalising and enhancing the age-old Zulu tradition of handcrafts. Today, Ilala Weavers helps over 2000 Zulu people to attain self sufficiency, by working from their homes. Enjoy the largest collection of Zulu baskets in the world, locally woven lamps and shades, interesting and unique artifacts collected across Africa. Enjoy a delicious meal or quench your thirst at the Ngweni Railroad Brewery & Café.


Big Game Parks Include

Mkaya Game Reserve
In the southeast of Swaziland, the heart of the lowveld lies an unspoilt wilderness, haven to endangered species Mkhaya offers Land Rover day tours – a popular activity for people not staying overnight at Mkhaya. Safari tours depart at 10h00 and includes safaris in the open game vehicles and a delicious lunch, finishing at 16h00.

Mlilwane Game Reserve
Swaziland’s pioneer conservation area, is a beautiful, secluded sanctuary situated in Swaziland’s “Valley of Heaven”, the Ezulwini Valley. Mountain biking in Mlilwane is a popular activity. Mountain bikes can be hired on an hourly basis accompanied by a Swazi field guide.

Cultural Experience
Umphakatsi Chief’s Homestead Visit: is a hands-on experience of our neighbouring local lady chief, Inkhosikati, in her homestead – a very real glimpse of Swaziland’s culture. Your guide, who will hand the ladies in your party traditional Swazi cloths (Emahiya) to wrap around their waists. Before entering the homestead, you are requested to remove your shoes. The Inkhosikati has a vibrant and infectious mannerism and talks you through how the huts and traditional items are made. Try your hand at grinding maize and plaiting mountain grass or gents, join the children in Swazi song and dance. An offering of a taste of local food and sometimes brew.

Horse Trails
The hourly rides depart from Mlilwane Rest Camp and are especially designed for the less experienced. Taken at a leisurely pace the main emphasis is on viewing the wildlife from close proximity.

Swazi Candles

Situated in the Malkerns Valley in the Kingdom of Swaziland, has been producing fine handmade candles since 1981. Our artists and craftsmen produce unique candle designs which are renowned throughout the world.

Ngwenya Glass Factory

Amongst the mountains that encircle the tiny African Kingdom of Swaziland is one that resembles a basking crocodile. At its summit is the world’s most ancient iron ore mine, dating back 43 000 years and at its foot is the remote village – NGWENYA – (Siswati name for “crocodile”). Witness first-hand the magical art of glassblowing from an overhead balcony. Each item handmade from 100% recycled glass! Browse around the adjoining showroom which is well stocked and purchase your little memento of a truly African Kingdom

Swazi Trails

White Water Rafting
The Great Usutu is Swaziland’s largest river and offers a variety of Grade II to Grade IV white-water. Trips are undertaken in 2-man, inflatable “croc” rafts, and closely guided by experienced local river guides. Participants paddle and portage their own boats and must be prepared for vigorous activity. Meet at the Matenga Cultural Centre, Ezulwini. Bookings essential with advanced notice.

Art and Craft Trail
We stop at the local market and streets interacting with the people. Visit Swazi Candles, Gone Rural, Baobab Batik and House-on-Fire – Swaziland’s most famous art & craft stops. Pass through Lobamba with guide interpretation of various national features: palaces, parliament, King Sobhuza II Memorial Lunch at Khazimula’s Restaurant followed by a tour of a Swazi Cultural Village, traditional dancing display. Bookings essential with advanced notice.

Indigenous Gardens

Well manicured pathways link the chalets with the central lodge. Marvel at the extra ordinary indigenous gardens hosting over 60 species of aloes. While strolling from the chalets, you may come across duiker, zebra and guinea fowl that roam around the lodge.