Somkhanda Game Reserve
Somkhanda Game Reserve
The land is owned by the Gumbi tribe as a result of a series of successful land claims and was handed over to the community in 1998.
Somkhanda is 12000ha, which consists of 4 major properties that were previously either cattle or game farms. Of those farms claimed, one was previously known as Milimani Game Sanctuary which is where our lodge and camps are now based today.
In 2013 Wildlands received grant funding to upgrade fencing and other infrastructure aswell as to train community members to run both the reserve management as well as the tourism and hospitality for the lodge and numerous camps.
Somkhanda is also part of a KZN Wildlife and WWF initiative, the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, which released a number of black rhino onto the reserve in order to promote their breeding and expand their range.
African Insight was brought in by Wildlands as a tourism partner, with the mandate to develop and manage tourism on Somkhanda. Sixteen community members were selected, trained and given an eighteen month paid internship. On completion, twelve interns were given permanent positions and further training in hospitality services.
The reserve has over 100km of 4x4 jeep tracks which guests are welcome to drive in their own 4x4s. A GPS is an essential requirement as there are no road signs. Full board packages include one game activity per day whilst self-catering packages do not include activities. Additional activities can be booked and paid for on arrival.
Unlike the traditional concept of private game lodges where the visitor experience is game drive based entertainment, on Somkhanda visitors are encouraged to encounter wildlife and the environment from the point of view of being in an enormous wildlife laboratory, where there is limitless opportunity to learn about all aspects of wildlife and the environment.
The model on which the ecotourism operation on Somkhanda Game Reserve is based is summed up in the concept of “Science On Safari”. So if it's a bush walk or a game drive, guests will be involved in learning and gather valuable information needed to manage the reserve. Even if guests are self-driving, they can download our free wildlife app and log their sightings.
Non-traditional game reserve activities include accompanying our interns and volunteers into the surrounding community to dip cattle (weekends only). This is a 3-hour activity which offers a genuine insight into contemporary Zulu culture. By prior arrangement, traditional Zulu homestays can be arranged for up to 16 people.
Kudu Bush Lodge
Kudu Bush Lodge is a private lodge situated on a prominent ridge in the reserve providing awesome panoramic views across the valley and hills beyond. The beauty of this camp is that because it is set high the reserve views are incredible and there are absolutely no lights visible at night.
The accommodation consists of two separate units, each with a deluxe/family suite and two standard en-suite units, six units in total. Each room has a bar fridge and tea/coffee making facilities. The rooms and camp are serviced on a daily basis. Total capacity of 12 adults and 4 children.
Groups can be accommodated on a self-catering or full board basis. For the self-catering option a minimum booking of 8 fully paying adults is necessary. The camp has a cosy central open plan kitchen/entertainment facility with a special sunrise deck. If self-catering appeals to you but not doing the actual cooking there is also the possibility to hire a cook to prepare meals.
For groups on a full board basis the dining room is a short walk away. Our kitchen offers a selection of traditional South African dishes hosted in an informal relaxed atmosphere. Depending on the weather meals are served indoors, on the outside deck or around the fire in the traditional boma area. Catering to special needs when given advance notice is possible.
The camp has a swimming pool, which in Zululand summers is an essential.
Full Board Upgrade
Accommodation + Full Board
Accommodation + Full Board + 1 Game Drive
Scotia Camp site
Scotia Camp Siteis a private camp site for up to 10 tents located in a secluded location in the reserve. Serviced with 2 hot showers and 2 toilets it is the perfect getaway for the more adventurous. Accessible only by 4x4 the camp is booked by one group at a time so there is a minimum cost based on 6 people. The camp can be booked as the site only or as a fully equipped mobile safari camp with the added option of full catering.
Site Only (Site and ablutions)
Complete Camp (Tents and Kitchen)
Full Board upgrade
Accommodation + Full Board
SCOTIA CAMP SITE
|Full Board||R 355,00|
|Accommodation + Full Board||R 575,00|
SOMKHANDA - KUDU LODGE
|Full Board||R 415,00|
|Accommodation + Full Board||R 815,00|
|Accommodation + Full Board + 1 Game Drive||R 940,00|
|AM & PM Drive||R 250,00|
|Post B/Fast Walk||R 175,00|
|Post B/Fast Drive||R 125,00|
|AM Monitoring / Walk||R 350,00|
|Cattle Dipping||R 125,00|
|Game Viewer Hire||R2 500,00|
|4 Night Rhino Trail||R 3 900,00|
|3 Night Wildlife Conservation Experience||R 22 650,00|
|2 week Black Rhino Conservation Experience||R 12 980,00|
|10 Day Rangers Course||R 13 650,00|
|1 month Volunteer Programme||R 14 800,00|
|3 month Internship Programme||R 24 300,00|
Here are just some of the things you can do on Somkhanda Game Reserve
For groups of a minimum of 6 and max of 8 people a guided, fully catered overnight hiking trail is the best way to experience the heartbeat of the wild. The length of a trail is tailored to each group’s requirements. Accommodation is provided in a fully equipped mobile tented safari camp with hot water and flushing toilets.
Incorporating the adventure of a wildlife safari, hands-on learning of bush skills, as well as identification of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects in one experience, is what this Science on Safari adventure is all about. Our team of wildlife and safari professionals have pulled out all the stops to ensure that this adventure is more than anything the most well “game reserved” teenager will ever have experienced. Camps are held every school holiday and available for youngsters from 13 – 15 years and 15 -17 years.
A 10-day Game Ranger Course is a unique opportunity to learn a variety of skills from experienced rangers that will enhance your knowledge and appreciation of wildlife, conservation and the African bush. The course incorporates unique opportunities for participants to engage in practical hands-on activities while being immersed in the African bush.
As part of the reserves business model, the African Insight Academy hosts various opportunities for internships and volunteering. Participants are under the professional mentorship and are trained to undertake research, wildlife monitoring, conservation management, ecotourism or community service.