About Isibindi Zulu Lodge
Isibindi Zulu Lodge is situated within the 4000 acre Isibindi Eco-Reserve which offers diverse habitats ranging from montane grassland and valley thornveld to riverine forests. The reserve is home to abundant indigenous game, morning and evening game drives are offered and there is excellent bird watching. It is also quite safe to walk or take a picnic along one of the meandering river beds and view Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, etc.
The 12 bed Lodge is a peaceful bushveld retreat with accommodation designed in an architectural celebration of the Zulu nation. Architecturally inspired by the traditional Zulu beehive shape, the beehive suites offer panoramic views of the game reserve and its diverse habitats ranging from montane grassland to riverine forests. Each Beehive suite has its own viewing deck overlooking the game reserve and the surrounding hills like Rorke's Drift. All rooms are en-suite with separate bath and spacious shower.
The Honeymoon suite, comanding views of a particularly game rich area of the reserve, has a romantic sunken stone bath. The rooms are individually set along the ridge ensuring ones privacy in this tranquil environment.
MAIN LODGE FACILITIES
The main lodge set amongst huge Buffalo Thorn Trees and dolorite boulders boasts a homely lounge with a large fireplace, a library, a unique bar carved out of a Wait-a-Bit Thorn Tree, a swimming pool with a view and spacious verandah. The privately set swimming pool has breathtaking views over the game reserve. Guests gather around the bar in the evenings to recall the days safari on the Anglo-Zulu Battlefields or a game walk on the game reserve.
Isibindi Zulu Lodge takes pride in its cuisine and has developed a reputation for its unique presentation of South African Fair. Breakfasts and lunches are either served al fresco at the swimming pool or on the verandah.
Picnics can also be arranged for guests wishing to picnic on the reserve. Bush breakfasts can also be provided with prior arrangement; this will consist of a game drive with a break somewhere in the bush to enjoy a breakfast cooked to order.
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
Isibindi Zulu Lodge is a peaceful bushveld retreat with accommodation designed in an architectural celebration of the Zulu nation. It offers a host of activities for those wanting to experience a combination of gameviewing, battlefields and Zulu cultural experiences.
Isibindi Zulu Lodge is a stone's throw away from the historically momentous Anglo-Zulu battlefields of Isandlwana where Zulu and British clashed in a devastating battle which had enormous consequences for the Zulu people. The battlefield tour starts at Isandlwana, where the greatest defeat in British colonial history took place. The events of Rorke's Drift (the battle proceeded from Isandlwana to Rorke's Drift later in the day) are described, as well as a short tour of the museum.
A Zulu Boma Dinner begins just as the sun starts setting, casting the hills in soft golden light. Guests are led down a narrow path to the beat of drums. As one emerges into a clearing coming across a historical Zulu umuzi (village) the dancing bodies of Zulu children make for a profound experience. The traditional dances and their role in Zulu history and culture is explained amid the energetic displays.
Zulu Homestead Visit
This is a full day trip departing after breakfast. We head off to Elandskraal Store first, which is a traditional Zulu trading store where you can buy pots, curios and mingle with the locals. From there we go to a farmhouse to meet a lovely family involved in subsistence farming, who will show you around and explain how they farm. This is followed by a visit to a local village halfway between Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana. Our lead Zulu dancer at the Lodge – Senzo, will escort and explain the everyday life of the people living here as well as hopefully seeing the resident Sangoma (witchdoctor). If she’s home, she will invite us into her house and explain her beliefs and practices and also show her special muti (magic potions). After this tour we drive to the nearby Museum for a picnic lunch and also have the opportunity to buy from the craft shop there. We usually return to the lodge around 3-3:30pm.
Panorama and Cultural Tour
These tours are only available through one guide in this area; he is a qualified historian with a special interest in the Zulu culture and his trips entail a day of unknown in the surrounding rural areas. Your trip could consist of a varied list of things including:
Mangeni Falls (known by the locals as Istwabeni) and watch the water cascade some 160 metres below. This place is still used as a Zulu sacrificial site. On the way, view giant gorges and other scenic spots.
Walk around a traditional smelting site where the Zulus would melt iron clay to make their spears and then see how to sharpen these spears at special rock sites.
Bushman Rock Art (some of which only the locals know about) deep in true Zululand where you will walk on paths that were very possibly the same ones used to reach these spots centuries ago. These are not always guaranteed as an easy journey. Up hills and across rivers in some instances, to finally reach the caves and crevices where wonderful examples of primitive art present themselves. These sites have not been visited by many so it’s a chance to glimpse a piece of real history. Some of the paintings are in fact blue – a fact that any expert will tell you is impossible. However some archaeologists who’ve come to inspect these enigmas have verified that they are still true bushman paintings.
Visits to local Zulus in their homes and catch a glimpse of ladies creating their beaded jewellery.
Your guide is ‘a relic hunter’ looking for antique spears and traditional bead work from the locals. Often these are available for your purchase should you be looking for such items. These trips also serve as transport of relief items such as clothes and shoes to these local communities.
This is a must for anyone who is looking for a true African experience, however it is essential that you book well in advance. (Min 2 pax).