Classic colonial décor, refined simplicity, deep verandahs and sweeping views capture the history and romance of the bygone era. Eight luxurious Safari tents, each with indulgent bathroom, out door shower, private verandah and personal bar provide a secluded retreat in an unspoilt savannah bushveld teeming with game and birdlife. Sumptuous meals, personalised service, utter comfort and the passionate attention to detail ensure beautiful memories of Africa.
Celebrate nature, life and its myriad of small moments with us. Venture into the wilderness on guided walks, game drives or ‘elephanting’ and learn with us about nature’s intricacies and wonders. Cast the waters for tigerfish or unwind with dusky birdcalls, magical moonrises or a gently boat cruise.
Pongola Game Reserve
The Pongola Game Reserve was first proclaimed in 1894 and is the second oldest reserve in the world. It is a sanctuary to a large variety of wildlife, including giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hyaena, buffalo, rhino and leopard.
Exactly 100 years ago after the last sighting of elephant in the Pongola area, two breeding herds were reintroduced. Birdlife is prolific due to the diversity of habitats, with in excess of 350 species recorded. Accommodation at White Elephant Safari Lodge
Classic colonial décor, refined simplicity, deep verandahs and sweeping views capture the history and romance of the bygone era.
Eight luxurious Safari tents, each with indulgent bathroom, out door shower, private verandah and personal bar provide a secluded retreat in an unspoilt savannah bushveld teeming with game and bird life. Sumptuous meals, personalized service, utter comfort and the passionate attention to detail ensure beautiful memories of Africa.
Celebrate nature, life and its myriad small moments with us. Venture into the wilderness on guided walks, game drives or ‘elephanting’ and learn with us about nature’s intricacies and wonders. Cast the waters for tigerfish or unwind with dusky bird calls, magical moon rises or a gentle boat cruise.
- Tea and coffee facilities
- Overhead ceiling fans
- mosquito nets
- Swimming pool
- Private verandah
Security about the White Elephant entrance gate:
For your safety, the White Elephant gate entrance times and access is strictly controlled. Gate hours: 6h00 until 18h00. Should you anticipate arriving before or after these gate hours, please notify us on 082 945 7174 so we can arrange for your entry into the game reserve.
Pongola Game Reserve has strict security systems and is thus a safe area. We advise, however, that any valuables be placed in the lodge safe on check-in.
Transfers can be arranged with reservations on request at an additional cost. All transfers are handled by accredited car hire and charter companies. All transfers must be arranged prior to arrival.
Gate hours are strictly 6h00 – 18h00. A fee of R25 per vehicle/boat at the entrance gate. R50 is payable for after-hours arrivals/departures (18h00 - 6h00).
Please note the road to the lodge is a 12km rocky gravel road but is accessible with a normal sedan that has good ground clearance. The drive in could result in very good game sightings. If Elephant are encountered on the road, stop at a safe distance and wait for them to move off before you continue driving. Once inside the Pongola Game Reserve, do not leave your car until you arrive at the lodge. Remember, our wildlife have right of way. Please request detailed directions from Reservations office.
Avoid travelling at night. The South African Roads are frequently under construction and maintenance. Roads often have potholes and are subject to heavy truck and taxi traffic. Also many cattle, other animals and pedestrians can be encountered on the roads.
The wildlife in the reserve constitutes a potential danger to all persons, therefore do not walk or drive around without being accompanied by a guide outside of the lodges fenced in areas.
For general travel safety please ask your travel agency, or contact us for more information.
White Elephant is host to a diversity of wildlife species. Guests are advised not to venture away from the lodge and gardens without the company of a guide.
All guests are required to sign an indemnity form on arrival at the lodge.
White Elephant Safari Lodge Activities:
Northern KwaZulu Natal has an interesting array of activities on offer for tourists with time to explore beyond our Pongola Game Reserve.
- Arabian Horseriding
- Dumazulu Traditional Village
- Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre
- Pongola Golf Course
- Spa and Beauty Treatments
- Sugar Mill Tours
- Ubombo Culural Tours
- Zulu Croc
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Clothing & Accessories:
Khaki clothing and good walking shoes are advised for those guests who wish to participate in game activities. Hats, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended for use throughout the year.
During the summer months (October to March) cool cotton clothing is advisable as well as anoraks or raincoats as afternoon thunderstorms often prevail.
Jerseys and pullovers are suggested for the winter months of May through to August.
Health & Climate:
Pongola Game Reserve is Malaria free. However, if you are travelling via Mpumalanga and Swaziland or to the Northern coastal areas of KwaZulu Natal, before or after your visit to White Elephant, we advise the use of anit-malaria medication.
Please remember that the best insurance against contracting malaria is to prevent mosquito bites. 95% of malarial infections occur between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. It is advised to use mosquito repellents liberally and to wear long sleeved shirts and slacks in the evenings. Mosquito repellent is provided in our lodges, as well as mosquito nets on all beds. Tents/chalets have mosquito gauze on windows/doors for guests’ comfort.
Tick bite fever can be contracted from the ticks found in our game reserve.
We suggest that you spray all your packed clothing, socks and shoes with a tick repellant (such as Bayticol) prior to your safari and then re-applying repellent once you are at White Elephant before going out on game activities. (The mosquito repellant spray provided in our lodges is also an effective tick repellant).
Should you have flu-like symptoms approximately 14 days after tick exposure, consult a doctor.
If you become ill on your return, whilst still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped, make sure that your doctor does everything necessary to establish that your illness is not malaria. It is essential to seek specialist advice– a delay of even 48 hours can be dangerous. Prompt and proper treatment of malaria should always be successful. Six/seven days is the minimum incubation period.
Northern Zululand is situated in the subtropical zone of Southern Africa (Summer rainfall area). Temperatures average 34°c during the summer months of October through March. Winter months May through August, temperatures are moderate averaging 23°c.