We recently spent 2 Nights At Zululand Lodge Hluhluwe which is situated in a private nature conservancy in the heart of the Elephant Coast in northern KwaZulu Natal. The lodge is built on a slope offering breathtaking views of the Msinene River valley and surrounding bushveld.
My husband, my mom and I stayed at Zululand Lodge in mid January and we were extremely lucky with the weather – we just missed days of continual rain, and it was pretty warm but not too hot and humid yet.
The private nature conservancy that is home to Zululand Lodge borders Phinda Game Reserve and is not far from Hluhluwe town.
* Fun fact – There are massive pineapple farms all over this area, be sure to stop on one of the quiet dirt roads to take a closer look!
How pineapples grow is fascinating!
Nearby Hluhluwe town (on the main highway) there is a Farm Stall that sells fresh pineapples by the box, and everything pineapple related – pineapple jam, pineapple chutney, dried pineapple, the list goes on!
Plus they sell all the other kinds of jams and chutneys that you would expect to find in a farm stall.
We bought pineapple jam, pineapple chutney and plum jam (my absolute fave).
Anyway, back to our 2 Nights At Zululand Lodge Hluhluwe
As soon as we drove in the gate of the conservancy we were met with a lovely baby giraffe. And then several more fully grown giraffe before we arrived at the lodge.
A few details about Zululand Lodge:
- It was the most affordable lodge I could find in the area that offered all the amenities we were looking for
- It’s pretty rustic, which we liked, but if you’re looking for creature comforts like air conditioning and a giant bath, this might not be the place for you
- That being said, the tents are lovely, each one is nestled deep into the bush, you can’t see any other dwellings around you, and all you hear are bush noises – I loved this aspect.
- Each tent has its own shower room with lovely hot water
- At night, all the path lights are turned off so you can’t see any artificial light from your tent. Which was amazing as it was full moon and the sky was lit up and so beautiful. We had to close our tent flaps to sleep because the moon was so orange and so bright!
- The communal areas are simple and comfortable – the dining area and lounge are nestled into the trees and the viewing deck sits above the kitchen so you can see for miles, this is a great spot for sundowners!
- The staff are extremely pleasant and more than willing to help if you have any special requests
- The food…isn’t the most impressive. But like I said above, if you ask the staff to make you something specific they will do all they can to help (If you have any food sensitivities I’d advise you to let them know before you go as options are limited once you get there)
We were there when the lodge was not busy (there was one other couple there), so we asked for a braai (BBQ) on our last night with pap (a South African staple food made from maize) and gravy and a large salad and it was really delicious!
When we first arrived and the manager showed us to our tents, he told us that the area is rife with snakes – mainly green bush snakes which are harmless, and Mozambican spitting cobra which are venomous.
So, he stressed that we should be very careful in zipping up our tents, and wear glasses when walking on the paths – in case we got spat at by a spitting cobra – they tend to go for the eyes (insert wide eyed emoji).
I’m VERY happy to say we didn’t come across a single snake while we were there. Phew.
Which is a little surprising as we went on two long afternoon walks in the bush. They were a lot of fun.
(And one afternoon game drive in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve which is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, you can read all about it here -> Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Drive)
We didn’t see any game other than buck on our afternoon walks, but then, we weren’t wanting to come face to face with a hippo or a leopard when it was just the three of us with nothing but two big sticks for protection. So that was just fine with me, lol.
The Msinene River is lovely, and easy to get to from the lodge. This is where they often see hippo wallowing in the water. We saw plenty of hippo prints on the banks of the river, so they were definitely there!
Hippo tend to come out of the water later in the day to graze on the banks once the sun is going down and the weather has cooled a bit.
I’m writing this post at the end of January and Natal is now in its extremely hot and humid time of year. I wouldn’t be too excited about staying in a tent with no breeze and no fans right about now.
Just something to keep in mind when booking your getaway to the bush in KZN.
In the evenings we sat around a fire in an outdoor boma, the sounds of the bush so loud you could barely hear over them – magic!
Thanks for reading this post on our 2 Nights At Zululand Lodge Hluhluwe! Check back soon for more healthy recipes, travel posts and interior design ideas.
Book your stay or get more details about Zululand Lodge on their website.