For a break from city life, experience the tranquillity of the African bush at Umzolozolo Private Safari Lodge, writes Doody Adams
Umzolozolo is a small boutique lodge perfectly positioned within the Nambiti Private Game Reserve, high on a mountain top, boasting expansive views across the scenic landscape.
The lodge has recently been extensively revamped, and now includes a spa and four new rooms which take full advantage of the elevated position and offer the most exquisite views. The rooms are luxurious, and local decorator Shaz Milstead’s touch is immediately evident – with copper light fittings inspired by majestic sunsets.
“It goes without saying, the setting and views were the source of my inspiration,” says Shaz. “To keep the successful ambiance of the lodge we used earthy, warm colours, bold African-inspired prints, art, skins and different textures.
“The ‘talking point’ – and focal point – is the bespoke horn chandelier above the bar counter which was made locally in Cape Town.”
Arriving at Nambiti, we were welcomed by an Umzolozolo game ranger and escorted to the lodge on a private game viewing vehicle, where we were welcomed by the lodge team.
The renovated bar and patio area is impressive – with large comfy couches around a central glowing fireplace, a well-stocked bar (including a full range of local gins!), and a relaxing eating area on the open deck with views that go on forever. During summer the rim flow pool would make the perfect setting to watch the sun set, but during the winter months the lounge area with its warm fire made for the perfect, end-of-day chilling out spot.
We were served a light lunch on arrival, then enjoyed a late afternoon game drive. The game rangers are passionate and well informed – not only about the big five, but also about the natural vegetation and abundant birdlife. A stop at a watering hole for a sundowner (your drink of choice is professionally prepared by the ranger) was a highlight, and watching the sun slowly slide behind the mountains while sipping a G&T is an experience difficult to beat – or forget.
Getting up early while on holiday is not my idea of fun, but it is highly recommended while staying at Umzolozolo. Snuggle up warmly in the blanket and hot water bottle provided on the game viewing vehicle, and watch as the animals slowly emerge, waiting for the sun to rise and to warm up after a cold night. Steaming coffee and rusks were a welcome treat as we watched the dawn break – forever grateful of being able to enjoy the African bush in all its glory.
After about a three hour game drive, breakfast was ready and waiting on our return, followed by a morning spent lazing around the communal area or being pampered in the new spa, which offers an extensive menu.
Dinner was a four-course meal, and there was a good variety on offer for guests. A highlight was the boma dinner served around the traditional camp fire with twinkling lanterns hanging from trees. A truly unforgettable experience under the African sky with the sound of nature playing in the background. *
Umzolozolo Private Safari Lodge is situated with the Nambiti Private Game Reserve. A three hour drive from Durban, 25km north of Ladysmith.
To book: 031 579 3870 or 031 566 2828Nambiti Private Game Reserve, travel, Umzolozolo Private Safari Lodge