Amakhosi Safari Lodge - An extraordinary destination where royal treatment is a part of each day.
AmaKhosi Safari Lodge is a big five and five star private safari lodge and is nestled on the banks of the Mkuze river in the Amakhosi Private Game Reserve in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal, 40km west of Pongola. The natural blend of river wetlands and valley bushland, with the umbrella thorn trees in the north, open grassland in the south, the thick bush grassland blanketing the mountains in the west and wild game roaming free, makes this a concealed unscathed paradise worthwhile to explore.
AmaKhosi teems with ‘Big Five’, giraffe, warthog, hyena, antelope, hippos and crocodile with the wetlands area resonating with over 400 bird species and home to fish eagle, giant kingfisher, narina trogon and the spectacular purple-crested lourie, only to mention a few.
From the moment you arrive, you are scooped up in arms of royalty and elegance. The warm friendly atmosphere, the seductive turquoise swimming pool, carefully designed dining room, lounge, satellite television, library, curio shop, conference facilities, and central communication centre all say: “This is five-star opulence in a place where grace is an everyday reality.”
The main lodge, the six luxurious river suites and two honeymoon suites have open views of the flowing Mkuze river and merge beautifully with the vast colours and textures of the surrounding wilderness. With comfortable air-conditioned lounge, bedroom, bathroom with a bath , separate shower and toilet, safe, bath robes, fully stocked mini-bar and a tea and coffee tray, artistic décor, African fusion cuisine and prompt attentive service, AmaKhosi is a lodge difficult to match.
There is no substitute for getting married under open skies amidst lush bush and here at AmaKhosi in one of the most beautiful areas of the reserve you can say “I do” in front of all nature’s creatures the way it was meant to be. The two Umntwana (meaning ‘a child of royalty’) honeymoon suites offer a true seduction of pleasure, romance and passion for newlyweds. A private bubble pool and a hammock overlooking the river surrounded by lots of flickering candles and aromatic bath salts - transports lovers into a fantasy world of their own.
Amakhosi has also offers a private home experience with the beautiful villa they call “IsiGodlo” (meaning “chiefs residence) IsiGodlo, is private and located a leopard’s leap away from the main lodge, this hidden gem accommodates four deserving guests and offers them a touch of paradise.
AmaKhosi’s cuisine is a combination of African fusion style and European flair with personalised attention to dietary requirements and fresh produce sourced locally, ensuring that mealtimes are a highlight of the stay. Meals are scheduled to accommodate game drives, starting early in the mornings with hot coffee, tea, biscuits and fruit served on the terrace and in the bush during the game drive. Brunch is a buffet of cold and hot variety and high tea (late lunch) is traditionally taken on the veranda while platter after platter is served with vegetable wraps, chicken kebabs, mini pancakes with salmon and caviar, pâtés, quiches, chocolate- and mini cheese cakes. Dinner is usually an elegant, candlelit multi-course affair or around the boma fire in the open air with choices of pot stewed veggies, and barbequed meats.
AmaKhosi offers various safari options: traditional game viewing safari in open vehicle, bush walking safari and seasonal frog safari
A game viewing safaris is where the ‘Big Five’ becomes the ‘big AmaKhosi six’ (including cheetah). Early morning and late afternoon game drives lead you into the African bush with qualified, experienced and committed game rangers, introducing the unique role each animal, insect or plant play in the ecology system.
From December to March is ‘show time’ and at night time, General Manager Alwyn Wentzel will take you deep into the bush, following the “ribbit… ribbit”, introducing the spectrum of colours and the loud calling of hundreds of mating frogs between the reeds in the banks of the river, in search of the 32 species.
Amakhosi River SPA, this elegant Spa will take safari spa treatments to new heights. Here you can indulge each of your senses, soak up panoramic views of the Mkuze river, the sounds of the surrounding bush, enjoy the skilled hands of our Africology trained massage therapists, taste our selection of relaxing beverages and healthy snacks and finished off with a refreshing swim in our infinity pool. This idyllic location is also our tranquil zone with no children under the age of 16 allowed. This area also boasts a well-equipped exercise room with spectacular views of the river making a work out all that more enjoyable.
AmaKhosi Safari Lodge offers a high level of service and luxury living amidst striking surroundings in the heart of Zululand in a place where time belongs to the rhythm and beat of ancient Africa. An extraordinary destination where royal treatment is a part of each day, where the staff’s passion for the wildlife and bush filters through every moment, every encounter, every touch evident in the upscale accommodation, the outstanding cuisine, the up-close game viewing and the splendid charm in their manners which say, “Welcome in my private kingdom”.
Life in the bush is an exhilarating, unique experience with well-deserved moments of relaxation being the order of the day.
Game drive Safaris
This doyen of safari experience (early morning and late afternoon) allows guests to observe the Big 5 as well as shy nocturnal animals, along with a variety of flora and fauna. Due to COVID only 6 guests per vehicle.
Walking Safaris are offered from the lodge this includes a combination of bush walking and game viewing safaris. This is not for the faint hearted.
Seasonal Frogging Safaris (Nov – Feb)
Wade through water ponds and reeds at night in search of 33 different species of frogs. With headlamp and gum boots, as many as 15 to 20 of these slippery little amphibians can be sighted in one outing.
On request and subject to guide availability 4-6 guest minimum for private vehicle prebooking essential. Unlimited birding in the different habitats of Amakhosi Private Game Reserve.
This needs to be prebooked in advance as we would have to secure local photographer and also 4-6 guests minimum in order to secure private vehicle.
We suggest a warm jersey or windbreaker for early morning game drives, suntan lotion, a cap or hat, binoculars and camera. Amakhosi is situated in a low risk Malaria area; however, please consult your doctor for advice. Basic first aid can be administered by a staff member at the lodge.
Slip into a nirvana in this private kingdom with high thatched ceilings and glass walls. An open-plan design with spacious deck, a private bubble pool and hammock overlooking the river.
From Johannesburg (6 hours)
Exit from Johannesburg on the Witbank N4
Take the Middelburg exit to Hendrina
Continue towards Ermelo on the N11
Continue towards Piet Retief on the N2
Drive through the town Piet Retief and continue for approx 3 km
Turn right towards Paul Pietersburg on R33
DO NOT continue on N2 due to terrible Roadworks
Continue past Paul Pietersburg towards Vryheid on R33
Turn left on R69
From here our main gate is approx 103 km. Continue on R69 past Louwsburg
2km before the junction with R66, Amakhosi main gate on the right
From Durban (4 hour)
Exit from Durban to Stanger on the N2 North
Staying on the N2 North, continue past Empangeni, past Mkuze to Pongola
DO NOT Take the R69 Candover turnoff from the N2, this is a dirt road,
continue all the way to Pongola
From Pongola ( hour)
Turn down the R66 to Nongoma
Continue for 22 km
Turn RIGHT at the R69 towards Vryheid
Continue for 2 km & turn left down gravel road.
Follow the AmaKhosi Lodge signs