Rooms: 12: 5 doubles and 7 twins all with showers. Also a separate guesthouse with 3 bedrooms which sleeps up to 6.
Prices: Lodge (full board) R1,860 - R2,315 pppn sharing. Single supp. +50%. Guesthouse (excl meals) R2,200 - R2,400 per night (6 people). Ask for rates for 2 or 4. Battlefield tours: R475. Ask about other activities.
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Meals: Price includes full breakfast, lunch and four-course dinner.
Directions: From Durban take N2 north to Eshowe then R68 through Melmouth and Babanango. Turn left at 4-way stop in Babanango. Travel for approx 45km to turn-off to Isandlwana Lodge, then another 9kms on dirt road.
Isandlwana Lodge is 'the' place to re-live Anglo-Zulu War history and approaching through the dust I could see its namesake hill from miles away. The rocky outcrop was throwing a long shadow across the valley, just as it did on January 22nd 1879 when 25,000 Zulus attacked the British soldiers encamped on the hill’s eastern slope. The story of the ensuing battle is fascinating and the lodge eats and sleeps it. Rob Gerrard, an ex-Gordon Highlander (or one of his trusty sidekicks), leads tours that include nearby Rorke’s Drift. Even the lodge itself is designed around a Zulu shield, a thatched, tapered structure that wraps around the hillside and looks across the Isandlwana battlefield. Though steeped in history, it has a refreshingly modern feel. Upstairs, the lounge and bar have leather sofas, ceiling fans and high-backed, Nguni dining chairs. All twelve rooms are downstairs off a winding, rocky corridor, with very private balconies for enjoying the incredible view. Pat has furnished the lodge in a pleasingly subtle blend of hand-printed bedspreads, copper lampshades and slate-tiled, chrome-tapped bathrooms. Having arrived here from Florida and a life of "peanuts and insurance" she has taken to hosting as a duck takes to water. Once you’ve waltzed through her to-do list of battlefield tours, walking trails, 300 bird species, cultural tours, horse-riding, swimming and gourmet dining, you’ll have happily spent at least three nights here. Cultural tours are now available visiting local communities.