Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, KZN

“Why is it you can never hope to describe the emotion Africa creates? You are lifted. Out of whatever pit, unbound from whatever tie, released from whatever fear. You are lifted and you see it all from above.” Francesca Marciano (Italian novelist and filmmaker; extract from “Rules of the Wild”)




 Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge was the final property that we stayed at that falls under the banner of isibindi africa. I finally get some KZN bush time. A great way to end of a week that included both a forest and beach lodge.




Returning to this reserve after a hiatus of nearly 50 years brought back memories of a different time. I had come on a visit as a member of the Eastern Cape Wildlife Society to spend time doing something that I no longer remember. In fact, the only memory that I have of that trip in stumbling into a herd of Zebra and Wildebeest after being left behind on a run. A combi passed me by and I tried to flag them down, but they thought I was waving…and waved back as they disappeared into the growing darkness. I then had to traipse the last km home in the dark. Not a fun time. This time, however, I was in a vehicle, safe from the wildlife and with a map to get my wife and me to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge.




The vegetation was so different from that which I am used to in the Lowveld. Lush, green and sub-tropical was what greeted us as we drove through the park gates after having completed all the relevant forms and COVID-19 protocols.




Finally, we arrive at our destination. We had seen the lodge from the road leading in as it lies just below a ridgeline(hence the name of the lodge) but the reception area blends almost seamlessly into the surrounding vegetation and rock formations.




This welded rhino greeted us on our arrival at the main lodge building. The front door opens into a spacious reception area and gift shop. There were indemnity forms to be completed, and while I took care of that my wife perused the items for sale in the shop.




If only there had been time just to sit and admire the scenery from the main deck. We were on a very tight schedule as we were only here for one night as we had to return to Johannesburg for an important family event.




And the views…Did I mention the views?




Although we had a plunge pool at our accommodation, I took a moment to visit the public pool that is situated between the main building and the Spa (which we did not get a chance to visit.)




The main bar area by day…light and welcoming.




And by night, cool and romantic. Situated at the far end of the main building, this is the perfect place to end off a day of exploration and adventure.




This is the lounge area that welcomes guests upon arrival. The space is huge and images do not really do the triple volume roof justice. Suffice to say that being in this environment was spectacular.




The dining area of the main building. See what I mean about the volume of the space?




But the best was yet to come… our accommodation! A huge bedroom/seating area that leads to a bathroom…




That has a bath as well as a shower, both of which have extensive views of the vista beyond the windows.




The wood-trimmed mirror at the desk/dressing table caught my attention as it reflected the cushions on the vast bed.




The plunge pool at the room, with more views out over the KZN bush.




Getting ready to head off on an early morning game drive…To be continued.



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My only complaint? I wish we had been able to stay a little longer. But, it gives us a reason to return…and I hope not to have to wait for another half-century to do that.





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