Somkhanda Game Reserve is a community-owned Big 5 game reserve located in northern Zululand stretching across 12,000 hectares of rolling hills and natural bushland habitat. Somkhanda Game Reserve is owned by the Emvokweni Community Trust (ECT), who represent the Gumbi community, and is co-managed by WILDLANDS – a programme of the WILDTRUST. The Reserve focuses on improving ecosystem management and driving interventions that conserve endangered wildlife and species vulnerable to poaching and the illegal trade. Somkhanda promotes growth for the Gumbi community through ecotourism and environmental education opportunities, currently these initiatives employ around 100 community members.
THE HISTORY OF SOMKHANDA
After being forcibly removed from the land in the late 1960s, the Gumbi people had the land restored to them under the Land Reform process in 2005. When the land was restored to the Gumbi people, they decided to keep most of their land under conservation and create a consolidated game reserve that could realise the potential of ecotourism as an economic engine to drive development in the community.
WHERE TO STAY AT SOMKHANDA
Accommodation & facilities in the Big 5 Reserve include:
Our 6-unit Bush Lodge accommodates 16 guests and comprises of:
Two 4-sleeper family rooms (1 double bed and a 2 single bed loft)
Four 2-sleeper twin rooms (single bed or double bed options)
The Bush Lodge facilities include a modern, fully-equipped communal kitchen complete with a dining area and mini game-viewing deck. Lodge guests will also access to two separate braai areas and a pool.
R525 per person per night and R265 per night for children under the age of 12
We have 3 campsites; two with cottage-style tents, Marula and Zebra and one rustic, wild, unfenced self-sufficient campsite Scotia.
10 cottage-style tents, sleeps up to 20 guests
This site includes access to:
Basic kitchen tent
25 litres of drinking water (reverse osmosis) that will be topped up throughout your stay
A welcome pack of firewood. You are welcome to supply your own or buy additional bundles at R25 per pack.
13 cottage-style tents, set across the hillside.
Sleeps up to 30 guests.
Rates on request
linked to large group/ package deals.
R250 per night per person and R125 per night for children under the age of 12
4 cottage-style tents, 2 allocated for Marula campsite and 2 for Zebra campsite.
Rates on request.
Scotia Campsite – WILD Experience
Scotia is a rustic, wild, unfenced campsite for self -sufficient campers.
This site comfortably accommodates 10 tents and 16 guests.
Your stay includes:
Rustic open air ablutions (x2 showers and x2 toilets) with hot water.
Fireplace with basic wooden log seating, half barrel braai with braai grid, spade, 2 bins (recycling and for non-recycling)
There is no electricity
Cell C is the only reliable network on the reserve.
Drinking water can be collected from the Lodge
Wood bundles available at reception at R25 each
R200 per person per night
UNIQUE SOMKHANDA WILDLIFE EXPERIENCES
Monitoring Experience: Much more than a Game Drive!
Somkhanda has a team of dedicated Environmental Monitors who go out twice daily to track and monitor endangered species and other wildlife within the reserve. The Somkhanda Monitoring Experience is not your average game drive, but rather an opportunity for people to gain a unique insight into the tools and skills used to carry out vital monitoring work and collect important data on wildlife populations.
Must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.
– R500.00 per monitoring session for 2 people
– Additional people (4 additional max) at R250.00/person.
– Subject to availability
Bush Walks: Explore Big 5 country on foot
If you are interested in experiencing the magic of Somkhanda Community Game Reserve on foot, we can organise bush walks, accompanied by an armed professional field guide.
Your walk must be booked at least 10 days in advance.
– R1750.00 (6 people)( Minimum 5 people )
Zulu Dancers: Enjoy a unique slice of KZN culture
We have a crew of Zulu dancers from the neighbouring community of Sovane, who will entertain your party with traditional Zulu-style song and dance. Perfect for a birthday surprise!
Please book at least 7 days in advance.
– R800 per session