Mkuze Falls Game Reserve

From: $230 p. p. n. sharing

The setting at Mkuze Falls is picturesque African. The lodge is made up out of tented camps, a luxury safari suite, and nine thatched chalets build on raised wooden platforms with large verandas. The lodge and chalets all provide stunning views of the river and untamed rolling hillsides. Extra touches like flowers in your room add to the high standards of the lodge.

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The Mkuze Falls Game Reserve is ideally located in the heart of the historic Zululand of South Africa. Overlooking the banks of its namesake, the Mkuze River, the lodge allows you to study wildlife in elegant surroundings, from the comfort of the decks.

Wetlands, riverine, bushveld and grasslands makes for an intricate and diverse ecosystem, playing house with a large quantity of birds and animal species. Aside from the promising seduction of viewing the Big 5, you can also expect to see cheetah, hippo, crocodile, hyena, giraffe and zebra. For the ornithologists, there are over 400 species of birds in the area, including the Fish Eagle and the Giant Kingfisher.

The culinary experience at Mkuze Falls alone is worth the trip. Kitchen and waiting staff have been especially trained to delight you with a different menu every day. The speciality is local South African cuisine, which will always include the venison of the season. Vegetarians are well catered for, and staff can prepare you a vegetarian meal on request.

When the weather permits, dinners can be served outside in the Boma, where traditional Zulu dancers will provide entertainment.

Accommodation

Each chalet has its own private entrance. Only the luxury units feature an outside shower and plunge pool. The Safari Suite has a small but more than adequate kitchen. It also features an outside shower and splash pool and a terrace overlooking the river.

The safari tents in the tented camp are located on the river bank, directly overlooking the water hole. Fear not, you are still close enough to enjoy the animal antics, but safe enough not to get involved in their scrapes. The tents are built on wooden decks raised on stilts. The entertainment facilities and dining areas can be found in the central lodge and the lounge area leads out to the spacious deck built high over the riverbank. At the central lodge you will also find the indoor bar and swimming pool.

The lodge is child-friendly, but note that children under the age of 6 are not permitted on game drives.

Game Drives and Walks

Safari drives take place in the early morning, late afternoon and early evenings, each of these trips offering an appeal of their own. The lodge only admits a limited number of trips at a time as to avoid congestion. The guide will find the perfect spot for you to enjoy a sundowner as you watch the sun set. You will be treated to a hearty breakfast after your morning trip, and high tea in the lounge after the afternoon excursion.

Guided game and bird walks can be booked on request, and will really get you in on the action. Keep in mind that wildlife is generally more afraid of you than you it, so keep your voices down when going on a walk if you hope to get close to the animals.

A unique feature of safari at Mkuza Falls, is the safari boat. The Safari Pontoon gives you a game-viewing experience from another angle. The water edge attracts a large number of beasts and birds alike, and you will very likely see a Fish Eagle dipping into the water seeking its next meal.

Getting There:

Mkuze Falls is positioned on the Johannesburg – Richards Bay – Durban Road. From Durban, you will leave the R66 between Pongola and Nongoma once you see the large sign directing you towards the lodge. It takes about 10 minutes to reach your destination after leaving the main road.

A far better option for travelers from abroad is to fly directly to Richard’s Bay, where a transfer will await you on prior arrangement. You can also take a chartered plane from Johannesburg directly to Mkuze airstrip.

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