Apr 6, 2012

Mtwazi Lodge

Nearly there
Scenery on the way
For any visitor to South Africa a trip to a game reserve has to be on the itinery and with that in mind I did some research on the internet to find a place at Hluhluwe/iMfolozi that would accommodate 7 people. Mtwazi Lodge was then booked for an overnight stay on 31st March. We are very fortunate that  it is an easy drive from Durban. My brother Robin was going to come with us but at the last minute he had to work that weekend so he was unable to come which was a pity as he has never been to a game reserve. We decided at the last minute to hire a vehicle so that we could all travel together. When I say last minute, it really was last minute. We booked it at 6:04pm on Friday night and we were leaving on Saturday morning. There was a slight mix-up with the booking. When Chez and I went to pick it up from the Umhlanga branch, it was closed. Chez phoned the number on the sign outside and spoke to the agent. She did not see any bookings at 5:00 pm when she checked so did not come in to open up on Saturday. Anyway to cut a long story short she spoke to the depot and we picked up our vehicle from King Shaka Airport. It was a Hyundai H1 - a very nice vehicle that was high up so we would be able to see game nicely and very comfortable for travelling. However, this resulted in us leaving a bit later than we had intended but at least we were travelling in a reliable vehicle. I must confess I am not too happy with my car at the moment and was worried about it breaking down on a long trip, so peace of mind was an added bonus.

....and we're in the Game Reserve

A bit about the history of the camp. The original directions are written on the rock
Chez had invested in a gold Rhino card before we left. This entitles you to free entry for 1 vehicle for a maximum of 8 people. The price of the card was less than the entry for the six of us and it is valid for a year for any Parks board venue in SA. We arrived at the main gate with plenty time to get to our accommodation and view game along the way. We saw rhino walking along the road, an elephant mother and baby crossing the road, zebra in the bush, a water buffalo and some buck all before we had reached the campsite. Mtwazi is situated within the main Hilltop campsite which is fenced to keep out the wild animals. The lodge was the original home of the first Game Ranger and it is a huge place filled with memorabilia. It is self-catering but comes with a chef  who cooks your food for you - no complaints about that! After we had settled in we drove to the reception area of the campsite where we sat and had a drink whilst looking out over the reserve. There is a dining room and curio shop there. You can go on game drives but at R300 per person we decided we would do our own driving! Ideally this would be the right way to go but unfortunately not for our budget.
Not the best photo - first thing in the morning with no make-up!
Mtwazi Lodge

Looking in towards the dining room

Chez under the huge Natal Fig Tree in front of the house

The front entrance hall

Yathi, our chef

Time for a group photo

Back to the fig tree

The visitors - human variety

The following photos are some of the items found inside Mtwazi Lodge. I loved the Zulu basketwork . Yougot a real sense of history in the lodge. In the study there were old books and I noticed in the Visitors Book that the American Consul had stayed there quite recently and loved it.

...........and to end off 

Sundowners at Hilltop


  1. This looks like a great place to go, what a pity Robin didn't make it in the end :( Did you get photos of any of the wildlife? (or is that another blog post?).
    I can't believe Kyle and Emma will be heading back this weekend but so glad you got to have the family time together.

    1. Yes the animals are the on the next blog post. Been taking ages to get it done as it keeps freezing on me or dropping out of the internet connection. Very frustrating! We have had a lovely visit with Kyle and Emma. Both are sad to be leaving. I think they have really enjoyed their holiday. Hope you have a lovely time in Dublin. Look forward to seeing lots of photos.xx

  2. Such lovely places of interest for Emma to see on her very first visit to South Africa. How sad that Robin was unable to be with you, he would have enjoyed it.
    Great photographs again Norma, so interesting.
    Enjoy your last day with Kyle and Emma and lots of love to you all. xxx

    1. We have tried to give her a taste of what SA is like - mountains, sea, game reserve and she has enjoyed them all. Weather has been good too. We were disappointed Robin couldn't make it but are hoping to go again.Look out for next blog with the animals and more to follow Lots of love xx