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Babanango Zulu Rock Lodge
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About Babanango Zulu Rock Lodge

Perched on a vantage point within the Babanango Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, Zulu Rock Lodge offers an intimate safari retreat. The lodge features six luxurious free-standing villa-style suites and a family villa, accommodating a maximum of 16 guests. The uniqueness of Zulu Rock Lodge lies in its unparalleled views, as it overlooks the vast landscape from the edge of a mountain cliff. Crafted for an intimate and serene experience, Zulu Rock Lodge allows guests to connect seamlessly with nature. The absence of fences enhances the beautiful views and exhilarating wildlife encounters.

From the elevated pool, guests can enjoy the vistas of the valley, while the lodge's wine cellar, thoughtfully curated with exquisite wines, complements the culinary offerings enjoyed beneath the open sky or indoors. During the winter months, the fireplace lounge provides a cosy retreat, where the comforting warmth and enchanting crackle of flames enhance delightful conversations with fellow guests.

Babanango Zulu Rock Lodge Setting

Located in the heart of Zululand in South Africa, Babanango Game Reserve stands as a testament to one of the most ambitious rewilding projects in recent years. This conservation marvel is located within the breathtaking topography of the upper White Umfolozi River Valley, spanning over 20,000 hectares. Steeped in Zulu history and layered upon geological features dating back to the beginning of time, the reserve is a showcase for the successful rewilding efforts in the region.

The rugged mountains and valleys of Babanango Game Reserve provide refuge for an extraordinary diversity of birds, plants, insects, reptiles, and mammals, including the elusive aardvark and aardwolf. With the recent return of the African elephant, the reserve proudly claims its Big Five status. Visitors can embark on an unrivalled safari experience, guided by highly knowledgeable guides who navigate the expansive wilderness. Beyond the wildlife encounters, the reserve holds historical significance, with notable battle sites like Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift located close by. This adds a layer of cultural richness to the safari experience, allowing guests to delve into the storied past of the region.

What's included

Full Board:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Game drives (morning and afternoon)
  • Bush dining (weather dependent)
  • Walking safari (on request)
  • Bird watching on request)
  • Optional extra fee: Battlefield Tours; Wildlife Monitoring; Helicopter Conservation / Fence Patrols; Zipline Adventures

Frequently asked questions

  • Is Babanango Game Reserve a Big Five game reserve?

  • Is Babanango Zulu Rock Lodge child-friendly?

  • Is malaria a concern in this area?


  • Wonderful stay

    The property was absolutely incredible, with such friendly staff and an amazing guide. The housekeeping was outstanding.

    Conservio.com review

    L. Bell

  • Luxurious and comfortable

    Amazing views. The accommodation was so luxurious and comfortable. Super pleasant dedicated and friendly staff. We loved having a fireplace inside the room.

    Conservio.com review

    K. Rowe

Babanango Zulu Rock Lodge impact highlights

Babanango Game Reserve represents the result of a distinctive collaboration between forward-thinking local communities possessing land-ownership rights and dedicated philanthropic investors who acknowledged the significance of sustainable conservation practices for the well-being of both people and the planet. The land, now officially under conservation stewardship, had previously endured significant challenges due to decades of intense cattle grazing and illegal hunting.

Following a groundbreaking agreement with local communities, a substantial investment in infrastructure and a rewilding program was initiated. Currently, the reserve is making substantial progress towards restoring its natural state. Nearly 74% of the total reserve area has been contributed by surrounding community trusts, specifically Emcakwini, Esibongweni, and KwaNgono, placing community land ownership at the core of this conservation initiative. The lease income generated by the community trusts from Babanango Game Reserve benefits the beneficiaries, enhancing their collective quality of life. The true value for local communities lies in the creation of numerous new jobs, as 60% of the approximately 220 permanent positions are filled by individuals from the local communities. The project is wholeheartedly committed to skills development, upliftment, and vocational training, giving rise to a burgeoning 'wildlife-economy' in the neighboring communities as entrepreneurship takes root around the reserve.

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