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REVIEW: Enticing Emdoneni Lodge Escape, Cat Tour & River Cruise!

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If you are looking for a local getaway but not sure where to go, a 2h40 hr drive from Durban central is all it takes to transport you from the hustle and bustle of city life into nature at its best. We want to tell you about a little gem called Emdoneni Lodge in Hluhluwe as well as our experiences of the incredible Cat Tour and River Cruise in St. Lucia – to view cats, crocs and hippo – so be sure to read (or scroll) through to the end for all the information you need to book your next trip!

 

(Editors note: The Emdoneni Lodge is a short 25 min drive to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park Memorial Gate entrance. If you are keen to try your luck at spotting the Big 5, this is a great days activity for the whole family!)

Catching some Zzz’s  <<Accommodation>>

Our room at Emdoneni was comfortable and intimate – with air conditioning. The décor was modern and simple with fresh crisp linen – just the way I like it! The en-suite bathroom was spacious and tidy, with a walk-in shower worth mention.  The only thing we missed (for a beat) was a TV but we must admit we did appreciate the opportunity to break away from our day to day life.

Emdoneni Lodge Bedroom and Bathroom

DinDins & Breakie <<Food>>

3 course meals were prepared for us nightly. The starters on both nights were worth writing home about, the tomato and mushroom soups were especially hearty and delicious. Main course was your choice between two proteins and a vegetarian option – the Dorado and Beef Curry get a special mention here. Dessert pleased the palate – tasty and decadent – the perfect way to end a day of good eating and adventure.

Breakfast was offered as buffet with your usual cereals, yogurt, fruits, tea and coffee available. The hot breakfast options prepared to order. Bacon and eggs done to your liking with various options but we would recommend the Emdoneni Tower Omelette if you are undecided!

Editors note: We could write about the food in much more, lengthy detail but instead will leave you with some photos below and allow you to let your eyes do the judging!

Emdoneni Lodge Food

Round About <<Common Areas>>

If you do decide to book at Emdoneni Lodge especially with the family or friends we can assure you the kids will be well entertained from sunrise to sunset; leaving you with time to sit back and relax. The games area has a ton of well, games as well as a pool table and a small jungle gym for the little ones.

We can imagine hours would be spent lazing by or swimming in the pool. The lush green gardens are perfect for a game of catches or hide-and-go-seek.

The comfy lounging areas overlook the gardens are the perfect spot to unwind and sip on an ice cold one from the bar. Come 6pm, it’s time to take a seat under the African stars alongside the bonfire. Open a bottle of red and chat about your days adventures!

Emdoneni Lodge Lounge

Emdoneni Lodge Pool and Bonfire

Emdoneni Lodge Garden Jungle Gym

Self-Love <<The Emdoneni Spa>>

While holidaying at Emdoneni, you will naturally be taking time to unwind. We couldn’t think of a better way than to book yourself (and your partner) for a morning of self-love and pampering. Various treatments are available at the Emdoneni Spa, click here to find out more.

Sadly we didn’t have enough time to indulge but this is definitely on our ‘To Do’ when we visit again.

Emdoneni Rooms from outside and resident cats

Emdoneni rooms from outside and resident cats

Meow <<Zululand Cat Conservation Project>>

This gem on the north coast is a must see for both young and old and is open to general public – not just those staying at Emdoneni Lodge.

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience and can safely say that it was the highlight of our trip!

The aim of this incredible project is to create a wildlife awareness and education centre which focuses on conservation and the sustainability of the cats which they home. The cats have come to the project, orphaned or injured and in need of care and rehabilitation.

We were lucky enough to go on a Cat Tour where we got up close and personal (but not too personal) with these majestic creatures. Along with our informative tour guide we had the opportunity to stand a few (safe) meters away from Caracal, Serval, Cheetah and the less intimidating but cutest, African Wildcat!

If you are a cat lover, you may want to consider their ‘Adopt a Cat’ initiative. It is a fantastic way to support the project either for yourself, or in the name of your nature-loving, cat-loving friends. To read up more, click here.

Zululand Cat Conservation Project

I’m on a Boat! <<Heritage Tours & Safaris>>

Keen to see some Hippo in their natural habitat? We would highly recommend booking a river cruise of the St Lucia Estuary though Heritage Tours & Safari!

Dennis was our tour guide; his knowledge of the Estuary and all its creatures (big and small) was extensive. Unlike some of other cruise operators on the Estuary this boat takes up to 15 people – which I preferred – it is perfect for a group of friends or family or if you just prefer a more intimate, quiet setting for your cruise.

We were lucky enough to spot some incredible bird life on the water’s edge, a one-horned Water Buck, some mean looking crocs soaking rays on the river bank and of course, the Hippo going about their daily Hippo business.

Did you know that the Hippo is the 3rd largest land mammals, after elephants and the white rhino? 

It truly was incredible to be so close to these enormous mammals, but of course observing from a safe distance – I was thankful I was on a boat and not in the water with them!

For more information you can visit their website by clicking here.

Heritage Tours & Safaris

That’s a Wrap <<The End>>

We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend getaway. Our only complaint is that we should have booked in for a 3rd night – there is just so much to see and do nearby that it is impossible to fit everything we wanted to do in.

A special thank you to Nondumiso Myeni for our warm welcome and making us feel right at home.

Slindile Ngema, thank you for your fantastic service and compliments to Chef Sindi Masinga for some delicious, hearty meals.

We cannot wait to come back!

Email info@emdonenilodge.com or whatsapp them on +27(0) 82 7133 686 for more information and visit them on Instagram for latest photos and news.

REVIEW: Enticing Emdoneni Lodge Escape, Cat Tour & River Cruise!
Location
9.7
Service
9.6
Food
9
Ambiance
9.1
Value
8.9
9.3
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Accomodation

Honeymoon in the most romantic place in KZN

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Planning the ideal honeymoon can be exceptionally daunting, not to mention expensive, but if you’re looking local, and want to continue the romance long past your wedding day, Granny Mouse Country House & Spa is a definite contender! Renowned for being one of the most romantic getaway destinations in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, this idyllic retreat offers the perfect setting for a romantic honeymoon, with its tranquil atmosphere, breathtaking scenery, world-class facilities and attentive staff.

Granny Mouse’s accommodation is luxury at its finest, ranging from their secluded garden rooms, nestled in their spectacular gardens, to their sprawling deluxe suites with private balconies overlooking the Lions River. Each and every room has been designed with comfort and luxury in mind, and are equipped with large bath tubs and aromatic bath salts and oils for those intimate evenings in.

Following the excitement of the wedding, what could be better than relaxing in their on-site, state-of-the-art spa, which offers an extensive range of treatments and therapies, including hydrotherapy to replenish your mind and body before you have to get back to reality?

One of the standout features of Granny Mouse is a culinary haven, offering guests a diverse range of delectable experiences. From their fine-dining restaurant, Eaves, with its sophisticated menu of modern fusion cuisine, to their open-sky Bistro, providing a more casual dining experience, and their wine cellar, which is undoubtedly the perfect spot for a romantic dinner for two. These, coupled with their award-winning wine menu, will have you toasting to your new life together. No matter where you choose to dine whilst on honeymoon, the Granny Mouse team will pull out all the stops to ensure the most romantic of occasions.

In addition to the fantastic facilities, Granny Mouse Country House & Spa is also ideally located for exploring the surrounding area. From picnics in the Caversham Valley to wine tasting, or just taking a leisurely stroll around the local stores to choose some new items for your home together, the list is endless.

Don’t miss out on an unforgettable honeymoon. Book your stay at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa today and let their team ensure a romantic and memorable experience for you and your partner.

BOOK HERE

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Accomodation

9 Reasons 1 Licorna Beach is the Ideal Umhlanga Stay

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In the heart of Umhlanga Beach lies a beautifully furnished, newly renovated beach house. Being a double storey with views and access to the ocean, 1 Licorna Beach is the perfect luxury getaway.

Suitable for both business and vacation rentals, this beachfront property will give you the “home away from home” relaxed feel with a pool, garden, outside braai area.

This beach house can accommodate up to 6 guests, and comprises of 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area. Stay entertained with smart tv, dual view DSTV and free wifi.

We’ve listed 9 of the many reasons why 1 Licorna Beach should be your next stay in Umhlanga:

1. UMHLANGA PROMENADE ACCESS
Enjoy direct access to the Umhlanga Promenade: a stretch along the Umhlanga coast and nature reserve, perfect for walks or runs and home to restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream spots and local vendors.

2. DIRECT BEACH ACCESS
Go for a swim in the warm Indian Ocean or chill on the shore. With beach access and a choice of four beaches in walking distance, what more do you need? Make sure there’s a life guard on duty if you go for a dip!

3. UMHLANGA NATURE RESERVE​
Explore the coastal wildlife, birds and forest along the Umhlanga Nature Reserve wooden boardwalk and trail. Be sure to check out the Bike & Bean coffee shop at the Northside of the Umhlanga Promenade.

4. FINE-DINING RESTAURANTS
Spoil yourself with a dinner date at The Chef’s Table or the 14 on Chartwell, both just a stone’s throw away at Umhlanga Village.

5. FREE WIFI
Stay connected with 1 Licorna’s free wifi during your stay. Whether for business or leisure, you and your family or guests are covered.

6. DAILY HOUSEKEEPING
No one wants to do the dishes & sweep on holiday! What’s better than arriving back to your accommodation to find it’s been cleaned?

7. 24 HOUR SECURITY & SAFE PARKING
Safety is a priority at Licorna Beach. Relax knowing that you, your family & belongings are tucked away in a gated, access controlled estate.

8. POOL ACCESS 
The communal pool is available for a dip, if the sea isn’t calling. Whether you’re braaiing, chilling or just cooling off – it’s nice to have options.

9. SELF-CATERING
Explore new restaurants or enjoy the comforts of home cooking. Remember, you won’t have to do the dishes either. Don’t forget to have a braai while you’re at 1 Licorna.

To book your stay:
Cell: 083 492 3241
Website: www.1licornabeach.co.za

Address:
82 Lagoon Drive, Umhlanga

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Accomodation

Want to stay in the heart of Cape Town? Here’s why The Cape Milner should be your go-to.

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For Durbanites, a trip to Cape Town is always enthralling. White-sand beaches, throngs of restaurants, and sea life sightings are just some of the things we look forward to when visiting our Mother City. Of course, the various accommodation on offer forms part of said hype – and can either make or break your experience!

Well, we’re here to tell you this: If you’re looking for a hotel that’s contemporary, comfy, central, quiet and not too costly, we’ve found the place for you. Not to mention its fascinating decor, great hospitality, and luxury charm that just wraps you up and keeps you snug throughout your entire stay.

The opulent Cape Milner building matches Cape Town’s Victorian aesthetic. But inside you’ll find a mix of art-deco, modern and African chic; much like the feel of modern Africa today.

As if wedged at the bottom of Table Mountain, the views from the rooms and lounges are spectacular. We particularly enjoyed dining out in the swanky Glass Lounge, where you can look up into the blue sky or night stars while you enjoy a hearty lamb shank below.

Our homely rooms overlooked the serene Milner Road, with its impressive avenues of trees. We were given complimentary macarons on arrival and enjoyed them with tea as we watched the rain pitter-patter on the tails of unbothered squirrels — how cute! The Milner Hotel really is a place you can enjoy come rain or shine.

The hotel was the absolute, perfect base from which to explore pretty much everything and anything. Just a few minutes drive away lies Bree and Kloof  – two favourites, Metropolitan streets for tourists and locals alike. Over the few days of our stay we visited many great spots, all within 5-10 minutes away.

We sank our teeth into cheesy pizza at the much-hyped “I love the dough” and tried out “Mochi Mochi” for dessert; we ordered fizzing and steaming cocktails from “Cause and Effect” at the V&A; and of course, we spent a fun-filled evening at the cheeky and illustrious “Beefcakes” in Green Point.

After each jam-packed day, coming home to our state-of-the-art bathtub and luxurious linen was the cherry on top. It fitted in perfectly with our diverse range of activities we had planned, and matched the entire style of our trip.

We didn’t want to leave!

And of course, we can’t wait to stay again…

To book your stay at the Cape Milner, contact

Tel: +27 11 516 4367
Email: res@extraordinary.co.za

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