Lovely lodge in a magnificent area
When I received an invitation for my partner and I to spend a weekend at Isandlwana Lodge in northern KwaZulu-Natal, I immediately called to confirm that we would definitely be there.
Take Note, the public relations company was hosting the media for a weekend away, which included star gazing. I have to say upfront that for me it was the highlight of our stay at Isandlwana Lodge.
Driving up to the lodge, which is surrounded by a village, the beaming faces and waving hands of little children greeted us.
We arrived at the lodge rather tired, after a long drive and bumpy ride on the potholed roads.
We sat on the balcony for a two-hour star gazing session. Everyone seemed to enjoy the informative, yet romantic evening under the stars with the people they love most. But maybe I should speak for myself.
From a number of planets that the instructor tried tirelessly to show us, I only managed to observe one - Scorpion.
The other people in our group were very excited because they were able to identify the planets according to their shapes.
The food was so great and the company so wonderful that no one wanted to go to bed - until the lodge manager warned us of a long day ahead.
The rooms are spectacularly decorated and designed in ethnic colours. They were designed for comfort. They are homely, with a fusion of luxury, style and romance.
Our room had single beds so we pushed them together. They were very comfortable and we slept like babies.
I remember that somewhere during high school, the battlefields of Isandlwana were part of our history syllabus. Although I could not remember what exactly happened there, I was here now and hopefully this time I would take something back with me and never forget the great history of our country.
The next morning after breakfast we gathered to be briefed about the activities for the day.
The weather was chilly so we were all provided with blankets to keep us warm.
The lodge overlooks the beautiful mountain of Isandlwana, and from the balcony where we were sitting, there is a splendid view of the mountain and a number of white rocks piled one on top of another all around the mountain.
The rocks around the mountain are the tombstones of the people who died during the Battle of Isandlwana way back in 1879.
Rob Gerrard, resident historian, brought history to life for us as he related the stories of the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift while we toured the areas and took pictures.
At the end of the day in the battlefield, relaxing in the bar area with soothing drinks, we recalled the wonderful day which was educational and informative.
The friendly staff at the bar were willing to answer any more of our questions about the other battlefields.
Shortly before supper, my partner and I finally spent some quality time together on the balcony chatting, but mostly arguing and testing each other's knowledge about who won and in which battle.
All good things come to an end and the next day it was time to leave the lovely lodge.
Isandlwana Lodge is a wonderful holiday destination to spend quality time as a family during the festive season and throughout the year. After all, both the young and the old need to know the history of their country and to experience the best holiday away from home. And Isandlwana Lodge has it all. .
It is situated within comfortable driving distance of several of South Africa's most spectacular game reserves, enabling guests to combine the enjoyment of Zululand's rich wildlife heritage and the living history of the battlefields.
The adjoining Umfolozi and Hluhluwe game reserves are perhaps best known for the part they played in preventing the total extinction of Africa's black rhino population. Both the black and white species of rhino are found here.
Mkhuze game reserve is world famous for its abundance of bird life. Make sure you take your binoculars along. Among numerous other reserves run by eZemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Itala Game Reserve offers visitors an opportunity to mingle with herds of giraffe, zebra and an amazing variety of antelope in a unique setting.
Isandlwana Lodge also offers guests horseback trails through the limitless landscapes and remote rural Zulu settlements of this magnificent province.
Even if you are not into military history of the famous battles that took place in the vicinity of Isandlwana, you can enjoy riding to where the sky meets the sun-drenched earth and beyond and experience a glorious African sunset.
All rides are guided by an experienced rider, or guide who is well versed and very knowledgeable in the history of the area.