- Beautiful setting
- Large Resort
- Beach Club
- Tennis & Spa
Fairmont Zimbali Resort is a large 5 star resort set amidst pristine wild beach and Coastal Forest Reserve. It is an excellent choice for those who prefer the facilities and atmosphere of a larger beach resort and works perfectly in that context for a little post safari R&R.
The overall Estate is massive with an 18-hole golf course, separate upmarket homes and two hotel properties on site, the Lodge and the Resort. However it hides its scale well, with, to an extent, the feel of a nature reserve. There are two all weather floodlit tennis courts (with tennis rackets and balls available), and a well equipped health and beauty spa. Forest walks and a picnic can be provided and optional nearby activities include golf, mountain biking, cultural tours, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and dolphin tours. It is important to note that although the beach is absolutely beautiful, it is non bathing. Instead there is a beach club with pool and day bar and if you are keen to get salty, a short drive away in Ballito there are several beaches with shark nets and life guard patrols.
The Zimbali Resort is the larger of the two properties on site, set closest to the beach with 154 rooms and 2 swimming pools. Guests enjoy access to all the facilities in the Estate (some, such as golf are charged for). We tend to recommend the resort more for families due to its proximity to the beach and main resort facilities, and would recommend the lodge more to couples who value its relative seclusion. The 154 rooms are decorated in a clean modern style with views of the forest, Indian Ocean or golf course. Rooms are well equipped with High Speed Internet and Air Conditioning. Unfortunately, none of the rooms can accommodate more than 3 people, so a family of four or more will need take two adjacent rooms.
Zimbali itself is located just outside the seaside town of Ballito, approximately 20 km from Durban King Shaka International Airport (DUR). In Ballito there are beaches with tidal pools and lifeguards in designated areas, local shops and restaurants and if you are feeling active, a good surf school. In season it is possible to organise seafari boat tours out into the bay to see Humpback Whales. Ballito is also a good base for a day tip into Durban where you can explore the bustling Indian Market or head to the uShaka Marine World Ocean theme park, which boasts the highest water slide in the Southern hemisphere.
- Beach front hotel
- On-site pool, restaurant & spa
- Swimming beach & tidal pools
- Near-by attractions
- Four star guesthouse
- Durban Coastal Suburbs
- 9 Bedrooms
- Swimming Pool
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
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 Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019