Snakes alive!

By Adrian Rorvik Time of article published Nov 15, 2011

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Umkhumbi Lodge, with its units set discreetly in the forest, provides a green and tranquil haven in the heart of Zululand and an unforgettable holiday experience.

This small private lodge has only 12 rooms so all guests get the personal treatment they deserve. All the rooms have airconditioning (summer in Zululand is challenging). Family units have interleading doors so kids have their own rooms.

It is not just the location that is so relaxing, but the easygoing attitudes of hosts Anton and Emma Roberts. But their approach belies their passion for wildlife and conservation. The buildings were constructed to have minimum impact on the environment – no trucks and bulldozers.

Guests see all aspects of the bush, especially the lesser known aspects like reptiles, frogs, mantids and spiders. Kids (and their parents) go on night missions to look for scorpions, with an ultraviolet torch.

Umkhumbi is in a small private reserve with abundant birdlife and small game like nyala, grey duiker, red duiker and rare suni.

Evening visits by bushbabies and genets provide great insight into the nocturnal affairs, and Anton’s exploits as a guide and logistics expert for TV series’ such as Venom Hunter provide further entertainment.

A visit to Anton’s lair is a must. With a Gaboon adder breeding project and two king cobras he hopes to breed, there is a wealth of knowledge to be gleaned.

There are a few non-venomous species and even scorpions, spiders and frogs that you can handle. The aim is to educate everyone about how everything works in harmony in the wild.

Umkhumbi Lodge leaves you spoilt for activity options. Nearby attractions include game drives into Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, Zulu Croc, St Lucia Kayak Safaris and a cheetah sanctuary, all within an hour’s drive.

Or you could make a day trip to Kosi Bay on the Mozambique border, or even stay over at Umkhumbi’s rustic sister camp, Amangwane Kosi Bay.

Umkhumbi Lodge is only two-and-a-half hours north of King Shaka International Airport. Rates per person sharing bed-and-breakfast are R950 for adults, R475 for children of four to 11 years and kids under four stay free. Included in the rate is a welcome drink, three-course dinner and full breakfast (English and continental), plus coffee/tea/juice/water at any time.

For enquiries and reservations call 076 1641 134, e-mail [email protected] or visit - Sunday Tribune

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