Spring is in full swing at Babanango Game Reserve as we celebrate South Africa's Tourism Month here on our beautiful game reserve in the making, focusing on tourism offerings and how they benefit our community partners and help us to protect this critically important environment, plus its fauna and flora.
With Babanango Valley Lodge open and already welcoming guests from across South Africa, we are getting ready for the grand opening of the brand-new Zulu Rock Lodge. Find out more about this stunning new lodge below, as well as an exciting honeymoon special currently running at Babanango Valley Lodge.
Tourism is one of the critical pillars that underpins the development of Babanango Game Reserve because of its ability to affect positive change in rural communities and drive local economies. It's a catalyst that changes peoples' lives for the better, so we are extremely happy to be celebrating tourism this month and the role it plays in making a lasting difference.
By staying with us at Babanango Game Reserve - whether for a weekend getaway or an extended family holiday - you are directly benefitting both people and planet. So we hope to see you very soon!
HOSPITALITY WITH A CAPITAL "H"!
When it comes to hospitality, Babanango Game Reserve shines thanks to its amazing team of 74 people, most of whom come from our partner communities.
From Hospitality Manager Nadia du Preez and Executive Housekeeper Gugu Mbatha to the various lodge and camp managers, assistant managers, lodge anchors, camp leaders, waiters, bar staff, chefs, housekeepers, stock controllers, kitchen staff and guides, Babanango ensures that its brand of hospitality is served with a capital "H" at all times.
Gugu grew up in Hluhluwe in the Mnqobokazi area before moving to Mpumalanga to attend high school there. Her first job was as a housekeeper, but she quickly moved up the ranks, doing waitressing, butler duties, stock control, working as a lodge anchor and relief manager before returning to housekeeping as an assistant executive housekeeper and now executive in charge of Babanango's housekeeping department.
For Nadia, the hospitality bug bit at a young age and she always knew she wanted to work in the industry. Born in Johannesburg and raised in Amanzimtoti on the KZN South Coast, she has a long history with Babanango Valley Lodge where she worked for five years under its previous owners. Now she runs the entire hospitality team on the reserve.
"It's a wonderfully enthusiastic team," she says. "We all have a great time together at work and it's marvellous to see your staff dancing and singing together and eager to put their best feet forward for our guests," she adds.
Zulu Rock Lodge gets ready to open its doors!
We're excited to announce the opening of the brand-new, beautifully reimagined Zulu Rock Lodge on 11 November 2020. This breath-taking new lodge is located high on a mountainside in a remote corner of the malaria-free Babanango Game Reserve with incredible, panoramic views of the undulating hills and plunging valleys that make this part of Zululand so unique and special.
Sleeping up to 16 people in seven beautiful, rock-clad guest rooms, Zulu Rock Lodge is all about comfort, good food, warm smiles and great hospitality and, as its name implies, is a celebration of the rich culture of the Zulu people.
The lodge is filled with rich tribal colours and textures and curated Zulu artefacts. Its polished concrete floors and contemporary wooden furniture are accented by cool white and deep terracotta coloured walls. It's an inviting atmosphere that makes you want to put
your feet up and unwind, whether it be in the cosy lounge, out on the deck with views of forever or beside the sparkling pool.
Your stay at Zulu Rock Lodge includes three wonderful, home-cooked meals each day, prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. So whether it's a hearty buffet breakfast, delicious light lunch or fabulous three-course dinner, you most definitely will not go hungry!
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in open safari vehicles, birding, mountain biking, guided bush walks and cultural and history tours to local places of interest.
Get in touch for more information and for our amazing ‘opening special’ rates. The website is still under construction but will be ready to launch soon.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BABANANGO VALLEY LODGE'S HONEYMOON SPECIAL!
Romance is in the air at Babanango Valley Lodge thanks to a fabulous ‘honeymoon special’ that's guaranteed to pamper both newlywed couples and those looking to reconnect with their partners after a long, hard lockdown...
For just R2,900 per person, per night, this special rate includes a free upgrade to the lodge's spectacular honeymoon suite, an intimate dinner for two on the suite's private veranda, two game drives each day and all meals.
Valid until 14 December 2020, get in touch with Reservations today to find out more details and to make a reservation.
DID YOU KNOW?
A look at some of the fascinating facts and unusual things discovered on Babanango Game Reserve. This month we also celebrate Arbor Week and find out about some of the amazing trees that call Babanango home...
Every September we celebrate Arbor Week in South Africa, allowing focus on some of the wonderful indigenous tree species that can be found across the Rainbow Nation. So in honour of this, we'd like to take a look at one of Babanango Game Reserve's most unusual arborial "residents" - the gland-leaf bride's bush!
Also known as the kliertjiesboom (in Afrikaans) or isiMuncwane/uMafayindlala in isiZulu, the gland-leaf bride's bush (Pavetta edentula) is actually a shrub or small tree that grows up to 5m high. It has a thick corky bark that gives it the impression of being succulent.
It grows on rocky hillsides either singly or in clumps and is found in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, eSwatini and Mozambique.
The leaves are large, crowded at the tips of thick branches and are bright green and glossy. They have small nodules on them which are filled with nitrogen fixing bacteria and are round and scattered over the leaf surface.
The flowers are arranged in large, many-flowered, much-branched, umbrella-like clusters close to the stem or on short side branches, below the leaves. Flowering has been recorded from October to February (which is why they have an apt alternative name - the "Christmas bush") and the flowers are sweetly scented, attracting many insect and bird species.