- Stunning mountainside location
- Superb horseback riding destination
- Game drives, archery, birdwatching treks
- Shooting pursuits, cruises, local school visits
Pakamisa is a luxury safari lodge set high up on a breath-taking mountain plateau. Situated within the Pakamisa private game reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal province of north eastern South Africa, it makes for an ideal base for anyone looking to explore the area. This striking, upmarket property blends Spanish and African architecture and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountain scenery, as well as the vast valley and meandering river down below. The property has a somewhat formal, adult atmosphere, although children are more than welcome.
There are eight safari-style suites at the lodge, each of which comfortably accommodates two people. The suites are a short walk from the main reception building, laid out across the peaceful and beautifully landscaped gardens. Each suite is styled after a particular animal that can be found within the reserve itself and features a number of individual artefacts and paintings. Some amenities common to all suites include an en-suite bathroom with shower and separate bathtub, toiletries and a bathrobe, a minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. In a deliberate attempt to keep the lodge as technology-free as possible, there are no televisions, phones or Wi-Fi in the private rooms, although internet access is possible in the main reception area.
There’s a broad range of dining experiences on offer. The main restaurant has indoor seating, as well as an outdoor dining area. Three meals a day are served, with dinner consisting of four courses presented in an elegant, formal setting. Menus feature modern international dishes, with food freshly prepared on-site.
One aspect of the lodge that sets it apart from others is that it's home to a number of Arabian horses which have been specially trained by the lodge’s owner and are readily available for those looking to go out on horseback safari expeditions. Both beginners and more advanced riders are welcome, with professional guides helping children and adults alike make the most of their experience. There are several different trails for both horseback rides and regular walking treks, with plenty of flora and fauna to discover along the way. Birdwatching walks and guided tours of the lodge’s botanical gardens are popular pursuits, as are thrilling game drives across the 2,500-hectare reserve which reveal an array of animals from warthogs and antelope, to wildebeest, giraffes and many more. In addition to nature-based activities, the lodge offers rifle, hand gun and clay pigeon shooting, plus archery. Boat cruises on the nearby Jonizi Dam and visits to local orphanages and schools can also be arranged.
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
Hi, just back home now as stayed in London last night. It was fab! We loved it! Amazing all round- Thankyou. Best holiday ever!!!
Accommodation great at both places, guides lovely, staff great. We saw more animals than ever expected: giraffes, lion, elephants, water hog, wilder beast, impala, white rhino, crocodiles, hippos in lake Sybia, monkeys in trees at Tonga.
Beach beautiful, but a bit windy, waves v rough but didn’t deter my boys. We snorkeled which was fab but too rough on day we booked to do ocean experience.
My boys swam in all pools!!!
Weather better than we expected!
Must go and do some laundry, but hope that helps?
Nicola B reviewing South Africa Luxury Safari & Beach Holiday on 24 July 2019