Game Lodge Review: Amakhosi Lodge and Zululand

 

I have had the opportunity and honor to travel this glorious planet for some thirty-eight years. I have transcended mountains, crossed plans and some of the most desolated deserts in the world. I have stood on hills overlooking some of the most beautiful fjords and wind swept valleys. I have also sailed midsts the Greek islands and crossed oceans. I have floated silently as a cloud in hot air balloons over great and ancient rain forests and jungles. I have swum and canoed thousands of rivers, lakes, streams and coastal bays. I have also witnessed and felt the grief of utter sadness and shame when viewing polluted and destroyed land. Beautiful and glorious land laying in wasted devastation as mans endless encroachment spreads. Mankind has sought dominance and control over the earth and its life forms and thus he is responsible for its preservation.

Fortunately in many regions of our planet there are still absolutely untouched and stunning places that will captivate your spirit and leave you in awe. Our company and my crew will share our experiences with you as we continue to explore the best the world has to offer. While exploring South Africa I was soon to learn that this land has more than its share of great-unspoiled beauty. The southern regions of this continent have bestowed countless and great adventures through out the centuries and now it all lay before us and by our fifth month of touring this phenomenal country I have came to truly believe that South Africa was indeed the birthplace of man and most surely of…nature itself!

One of the white rhino residents of the game reserve.

One of the white rhino residents of the game reserve.

In our initial three months of touring in the southern regions of South Africa we covered approximately 40,000 square kilometers of totally inspiring land, but was anxious to begin our journey north. We spent weeks exploring the magnificent coast. We then proceeded to the beautiful Pongola Reserve. We arrived in the late evening and the umbrella of stars was in itself an eye opening experience as we drove through the reserve to our designated lodge. It was beginning to be apparent that the land and its people are the true wealth of this nation. While there are many tribes and cultures in South Africa one of the most dominant tribes in this region are the indigenous people of the great Zulu nation. We had spent weeks exploring Zulu Land, visiting many of its tribal villages and I have concluded that these humble and gracious people offer an incredible insight to the history and heritage of this nation.

Thousands of the Zulu people still live in the rural areas as they have for countless centuries and the Pongola Game Reserve provides many employment opportunities. Working in these reserves allows the indigenous people to continue their connection to natures golden blessings. These tribal people of South Africa are surely…the keepers of nature’s spirit and in the heart of this beautiful reserve one lodge, in particular, is definitely the keeper of mans spirit…The Amakhosi Game Lodge.

The enticing Amakhosi Lodge.

The enticing Amakhosi Lodge.

South Africa is nourished and well preserved by Mother Nature. With the land’s balance of wild life and scenic glory it is apparent of her adoration. Across this great land she endowed it with immeasurable balance of eco-systems and awesome beauty. Along the countless kilometers of coast she glorified the land with endless bays and panoramic beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. In the Pongola Reserve the forces of nature’s creativity are ever so evident in the rolling hills, deep valleys, open grazing land, lakes, flowing rivers, heavy bush, inspiring flora and deep forests. The land is not only incredibly scenic it provides food and shelter to the ever-diverse animal kingdom.

The Pongola Reserve of South Africa is a direct result of the insight and character of forward thinking men seeking to preserve the best of nature while protecting the heritage and history of the land they loved. Nature reserves assure the sanctuary of nature and the reservation of wildlife for future generations and the Pongola Reserve is one of the largest. Over the years it has merged with open range and farmland to create a balanced and stable home for thousands of varied species of insect, plant, bird and animal life. The Pongola Reserve is home to some of the most awesome species of animal life in the world, including the Big Five! In the heart of this unforgettable land we discovered and embraced a cocktail of enlightening experiences.

Three lion cubs drinking from a river in the reserve.

Three lion cubs drinking from a river in the reserve.

One enjoyable and unforgettable experience was definitely our stay at the Amakhosi Lodge. Before arriving, I had rarely witnessed mans willingness or ability to build a development, much less a luxury lodge, without contributing to the deterioration of the land. To my delight, the masterly designed lodge, built in the heart of the African bush, blended with style and artful adherence to rules of nature. In the midst of this haven for wildlife, The Amakhosi Lodge is most surely a haven for mankind. A palace of African design, the lodge shares the solitude of nature and makes its silent presence on the banks of the Mkuze River. As the lodge is a blending of tribal architecture and modern amenities it provides solace and luxury. The animals, the land and the Amakhosi Lodge combine to fulfill mans need of inner peace while still catering to his adventurous spirit.

The staff of the lodge is mostly from the local Zulu tribes and contributes greatly to the African experience. They are well orchestrated in the fine art of making quite sure that your stay will be unforgettable. The Zulu people are invigorating, yet gracious and you may be assured that their smiles are genuine and are a true reflection of their age-old wisdom and heritage. You are family and are treated as such.

The smiling faces of Zulu children performing a traditional dance at the lodge.

The smiling faces of Zulu children performing a traditional dance at the lodge.

As agents of Traveler’s Digest we had the privilege of staying at this beautifully unique lodge for four days. The smells and sounds of the surrounding bush-land and the visually stimulating opportunities to witness the wild animals in their native land revitalized my soul and elevated me to a higher level of awareness to the precarious plight of our planet. The sanctuary of this luxurious lodge was proof of mans ability to balance his co-existence with nature.

Amakhosi means “Place of Kings” in the Zulu language and such is the value they place on each and every guest. The luxury, the divine dining, the amenities and their location are but parts of a whole. Just outside the sanctuary and stylish comfort of the lodge awaits the adventure…the game drives. With professional guides and open roof vehicles your adrenalin will flow like a mountain spring as you are driven through the plains and climb the green and flora covered hills. The journey pushes deeper and deeper into the forest and thickets of this ancient land and the excitement mounts as you come face to face with Giraffes, Wildebeests, Impala, Zebra, Warthogs, Cheetah, the magnificent Lion and the largest animal on earth…the mighty Elephant. These animals are not tamed circus performers, nor are they housed or bred in a zoo…they are as nature created them, wild and free and now you, your friends and your family can enjoy them…up close and personal. The hospitality and warmth of this elegant lodge is felt from the first moment of arrival to the last reluctant moment of departure and bidding farewell is most difficult. Come to the land of mans birth…come to the land that is truly the home of “Mother Nature”.

Come to the absolutely unforgettable South Africa, safe, friendly, affordable and eternally inspiring! Luxury and adventure awaits you in the heart of Africa’s phenomenal Zululand at Amakhosi Lodge and Game Reserve. Highly recommended by Traveler’s Digest. An unparalleled adventure and experience… we assure you!

Visit their website at www.amakhosi.com

An elephant temporarily blocks the path of the safari truck.

An elephant temporarily blocks the path of the safari truck.

 

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Michael Smith was the touring editor for Traveler’s Digest. His journeys took him across the world and on a series of unforgettable adventures!