Babanango Game Reserve is currently home to three lodges: Babanango Valley Lodge, Zulu Rock Lodge and Matatane Lodge.
Each lodge is tucked into its own slice of pristine bush and has distinct offerings, activities and facilities to better cater to your wants and needs. The entire reserve forms a 22,000 hectare conservation area encompassing mistbelt grasslands, thornveld and river frontage. A further two 4 and 5 star lodges are planned to open in late 2022 and other accommodation options and facilities are also being planned.
Babanango Valley Lodge:
Situated in a remote valley in the south of Babanango Game Reserve, Babanango Valley Lodge offers four-star catered accommodation in a relaxed bush setting. The lodge overlooks the picturesque Nsubeni River valley with its granite koppies, sandstone cliffs and quartzite ridges stretching into the far distance.
With nine tastefully decorated and spacious two-sleeper suites, each bedroom has a garden outlook with views over the reserve. Two rooms have interleading doors to create a comfortable four-bed family unit. The generous honeymoon suite, slightly separate from the lodge, offers the perfect retreat for newly married couples or those looking to indulge in a little alone time.
With Chef Khumbulani at the helm, South African-inspired cuisine is on the menu. Guests can look forward to four-course traditional meals featuring bobotie, milk tart, malva pudding and more. With a few culinary tricks up his sleeve, Chef will also wow guests with his duck a l’orange served up with a distinctive local twist. Traditional boma dinners, bush dinners and breakfasts are also offered.
At Babanango Valley Lodge, guests can do as much or as little as they like. If you are looking for pure relaxation, the suites offer an incredible view. The glittering swimming pool also invites you to lounge. For the adventurous, this private nature reserve boasts a large diversity of animals, birds, trees and wildflowers to discover, and contains more than 30km of self-guided trails. Morning and evening nature drives are conducted daily while guests can also join one of the guided bird walks. Trail running is also available, and history tours of the nearby battlefields and a visit to the eMakhosini Valley (Valley of the Kings) can also be arranged.
Zulu Rock Lodge:
Situated atop a mountainside on the outer reaches of Babanango Game Reserve and overlooking the White Umfolozi Valley, three-star Zulu Rock Lodge offers sweeping views across a sensational wilderness and an immersive bush experience. It will open in November 2020. A nature lover’s paradise, the terrain at Zulu Rock includes mist belt grasslands, thornveld and many kilometres of White Umfolozi river frontage.
Decorated to minimalistic tastes with clean lines and curated Zulu artefacts, the lodge’s stone clad chalets are spaced out for privacy and designed to maximise the views, allowing the natural surroundings into the built space. Featuring seven units and sleeping up to 18 people, guests will fall in love with this intimate bush setting while sitting at the lapa (recreational space) or cooling down in the pool. Set back from the hillside, the family unit sleeps four people and boasts its own pool and lapa area with space for children to play. It also has a back veranda where guests can enjoy the bush. There is also a dining room and a bar. Dinner, bed, breakfast and lunch plus two game drives are included in the price. The lodge’s honeymoon suite also has its own pool and private deck. With majestic views extending towards the White Umfolozi River in the distance, this romantic corner of the reserve offers that ‘on-top-of the-world’ feeling.
Guests will have the chance to see buffalo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, several species of antelope, and if they’re lucky, the elusive aardvark and aardwolf. Teeming with birds, the reserve boasts half of South Africa’s birdlife species including nine breeding pairs of blue crane, black eagles, the lappet faced and white backed vultures, crowned eagles and the shy narina trogon. Guided nature drives are available from the lodge twice daily while guests can self-drive to the nearby battlefields areas of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Even doing nothing at all is an absolute treat with just the area’s dramatic hillsides and valleys offering a feast for the eyes.
Matatane Lodge is situated in the White Umfolozi Valley, close to the impressive Nhlazatshe Mountain. If you’re after an outdoor adventure, the Three-star accommodation Matatane is the place to be with its hiking, game viewing, mountain biking, birding and soon to be completed Activity Centre with adventure activities such as abseiling and zip-lining. Matatane accommodation includes, two tented villages sleeping 6 per tent on stretches in a catered or self-catered capacity. Chalets are offline until December 2020. Tented village accommodation opened on the 1st July 2020. Guests can spend the evenings around a crackling fire in the spacious Braai area and enjoy the magnificent view of the Milky Way on a clear night.