Whether it’s tracking rhino or elephant on foot, scuba diving on exquisite coral reefs, canoeing on shimmering lakes or sipping sundowners beneath an inky sky studded with a million stars, with Isibindi Africa Lodges, you will be part of our vision to protect the wild, care for its people and educate, so that future generations can enjoy Africa’s wild and untamed splendour. From Kosi Forest Lodge and Thonga Beach Lodge in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, the only privately-owned lodge in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park and Tsowa Safari Island, 40km upstream from the world-famous Victoria Falls in the Zambezi National Park, Isibindi Africa Lodges owns and operates four uniquely different properties in Kwazulu-Natal and Zimbabwe. Its distinguishing factor is that all the Lodges are run as joint ventures with the communities in which they operate.
The Isibindi Africa family is distinctive by the nature of its people. With a team dedicated to making your stay as exceptional as possible, Isibindi have created a collection of exclusive lodges to celebrate the biodiversity and cultural heritage of the areas in which they operate, whilst at the same time ensuring that in establishing these elegant lodges, they “tread lightly on the earth” and local communities share fully in their commitment to protect the planet. The Isibindi Foundation was established to consolidate and further 23 years of community and conservation projects, and to also create a purpose-driven entity to assist these initiatives. The Foundation allows guests to be philanthropic travellers and to journey with purpose. All funds are administered by the Foundation, in collaboration with local communities and conservation authorities on all projects.
This is the only private lodge in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, providing guests with a luxury experience and outstanding service within South Africa’s oldest national park. In keeping with the Isibindi ethos, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is a joint venture between the National Empowerment Fund and the local Mphembeni community who own the land on which the lodge is built. People from the community have been trained to work in various departments and now constitute 97% of the lodge staff.
Each luxury room or villa is stylishly decorated and includes a spacious bedroom with impressive views from the bathroom, outdoor shower and outdoor deck. From each carefully considered space, guests can watch the wildlife below, uninterrupted in their natural habitat as they have been for decades in this protected area. Along with game viewing at the lodge and on morning and evening game drives, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge offers a host of authentic Africa experiences – from traditional Zulu homestays to rejuvenating spa treatments.
Surrounded by ancient sand forests, Kosi Forest Lodge is situated within the iSimangaliso World Heritage Park, South Africa’s last unexplored wetland wilderness. The lodge is privately tucked away within a unique wetland world of lakes and forests. Kosi Forest Lodge’s eight thatched forest rooms are raised on wooden decks, and the open-air, reed-enclosed bathrooms with baths and showers sunk into white forest sand are a highlight with guests. The rustic – yet comfortable – room aesthetic provides an authentic ‘back to nature’ experience. Guests can wake up in the morning surrounded by the sounds of the forest’s prolific birdlife.
Explore the pristine wetland environment by vehicle, guided canoes and boats and be rewarded by an abundance of birdlife, plentiful hippo and crocodile sightings and breathtakingly peaceful scenery. Or enjoy your privacy, as you relax by the pool or go on a Raffia forest walk. No matter what … that ‘get-away-from-it-all’ experience is guaranteed to bring you back in touch with nature.
An unspoilt gem on KwaZulu-Natal’s Maputaland coast, situated in South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Thonga Beach Lodge is just metres away from the sparkling Indian Ocean. Beneath the breakers lies a treasure trove of marine life, from vivid reef fish to schools of dolphins, and even turtles returning to the beach to lay their eggs. Thonga’s 12 thatched eco-sensitive rooms are positioned for maximum privacy and minimal environmental impact. The rooms are built on raised platforms among the indigenous forest and undulating dunes with expansive glass windows and doors to let in the ocean breeze and sounds.
The journey is all the more memorable with close natural encounters. Indulge in a spa treatment; track mother turtles laying their eggs; explore the reefs beneath with a snorkel or SCUBA dive; or go on a guided forest walk. Guests can rest assured knowing they’re travelling with purpose, discovering and helping to preserve one of the last undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent.
The mighty Zambezi river has captured the hearts and minds of explorers for centuries. Now modern-day explorers can experience the area’s many wonders from the shores of an exclusive island safari getaway. Tsowa Safari Island, located in the Zambezi National Park (Zimbabwe), is Isibindi Africa Lodges’ newest property and offers guests the chance to truly appreciate one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. The six eco-sensitive luxury tents (12 beds) have been thoughtfully positioned to make the most of the stunning natural surroundings, whilst minimising the environmental impact and blending into the bush. The main camp, with its stretch tents, features a stylish lounge and dining area, with open sides that overlook the Zambezi. The spacious open areas are situated beneath massive Jackalberry trees where full advantage can be taken of two swimming pools by day and the sunken firepit by night. Guests can watch the river glide by or view the abundant wildlife from every vantage point.
Tsowa Safari is an ideal spot from which to explore the area’s many attractions; morning game drives and guided walks in the Zambezi National Park, a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls and day trips to Chobe. Closer to camp, sunset river cruises, canoeing, island walks and fishing, are on offer.