Beauty, Battlefields and the Big 5 – Family fun in the Zulu Kingdom!

“As promised here is Part 1 in Mandi’s fab family road trip where we share with you the Kwa-Zulu Natal portion of her trip.”

“As promised here is Part 1 in Mandi’s fab family road trip where we share with you the Kwa-Zulu Natal portion of her trip.”

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As promised here is Part 1 in Mandi’s fab family road trip where we share with you the Kwa-Zulu Natal portion of her trip. As we mentioned in our last blog post Mandi and her family have been all over KZN and the Eastern Cape, exploring and discovering this enticing and multi-cultural part of our beautiful country.  Enjoy her feedback from her trip below on KZN:


Mandi’s first stop was at the five-star country house and stud farm of Hartford House, which is near Mooi River on the Midlands Meander and the only hotel located on a world-class racehorse stud. Apart from the horse riding there is much to do on this picturesque homestead estate but the Aliverti’s where on a mission here – lunch! Regularly voted as one of South Africa’s top ten restaurants, they had targeted their stop specifically and were not disappointed.

From here they took a lazy dive through the Midlands Meander, a route near the Mooi River which offers visitors wonderful hospitality in truly beautiful surroundings. For miles and miles hectres of farmland extends on where you can stop off and see anything from local events to fabulous restaurants, take part in a variety of outdoor activities and adventure sports, view historic landmarks, wildlife and the best of all “shop-till-you-drop” at arts and craft spots.

Next up on the family’s busy itinerary was a two night stay at Fugitives Drift Lodge in the heart of the KZN battlefields.

With intense and emotional stories from the battles between the British and the Zulus, as part of your visit experience, Mandi highly recommends this stop for anyone interested in South African history.

But for the most part the family where definitely looking forward to the tours of the area.  Led by the finest battlefield guides in SA, tours are conducted daily to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. And they have also especially introduced a kid’s tour called Battlefield Kids which was wonderful for Mandi’s two kiddies.  They were taken to explore a Zulu village, learnt about the culture and battles of the area, and got to view the reserve and see its plain game like zebra and giraffe.  This is a once in a lifetime experience for kids to be educated on their country’s history and have fun at the same time!


From the battlefields the family then made their way on to Pakamisa Private Game Reserve, near Pongola in northern KZN.

This lodge is situated in 2500 hectres of pristine wilderness, allowing guests to enjoy an exclusive out-of-Africa experience in the bush. With Spanish and African influences, the lodge is small; offering eight beautifully maintained suites. 

The family who are avid horse lovers especially chose this lodge as if offers horse-back safaris at this predator-free reserve, where guests are invited to take rides on the Arabian horses that are bred on the farm.  Gabriella enjoyed some horse riding lessons and Mandi, who is a little fearful about getting on these beautiful four-legged creatures, even managed a ride or two! The family was also lucky enough to spot some game while riding, from ostrich, to warthog, bush buck and even impala. With stunning views of the estate and stables, where kids are encouraged to be involved in the cleanup of, the family really had an amazing time at this one-of-a-kind game reserve.

Their last stop was at another game reserve close to Hluhluwe. Voted as one of South Africa’s leading safari lodges, Thanda Private Game Reserve is a five star luxurious African lodge with large suites each with their own private plunge pool, tsala and deck.

The family especially appreciated the fact that kids are a well catered for priority at this lodge, with a kiddie’s ranger programme that encourages each child to participate on safari through a varied and fun activity book.

Apart from the friendly service, the family also enjoyed excellent game viewing, spotting not only lion, leopard and cheetah, but also a pack of wild dog!  The lodge also has a waterhole which is a lovely opportunity to again spot some of the reserves’ game, there are almost always warthog’s there and the family managed to spot three elephants coming to drink! A magical experience for them all and one that the entire family will definitely not soon forget.


Keep a lookout for our next blog post which will cover the Wild Coast part of the Aliverti’s trip!

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