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.
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.
Accommodation & facilities in the Big 5 Reserve include:
– Self-catering lodge with access to kitchen unit and pool.
– Fridge, chest freezer and 5-plate stove provided.
– 16 Sleeper.
– R440 per person sharing/ R550 single person.
– 10 cottage-style tents.
– Sleeps up to 20 guests.
– Basic kitchen tent with sink and a 4-plate stove available.
– Braai area with firewood provided.
– R250 per person.
– 13 cottage-style tents, set across the hillside.
– Sleeps up to 26.
– Rates on request
– linked to large group/ package deals.
– 4 cottage-style tents, 2 allocated for Marula campsite and 2 for Zebra campsite.
– Accommodates 4.
– Rates on request.
Scotia Campsite – WILD Experience
– Remote *unfenced* campsite with a kitchen tent, gas fridge, 2 plate boiling table, basic outdoor ablutions.
– Sleeps up to 16.
– Firewood, water and equipment available upon request at an additional cost.
– R180 per person.
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 4 people.
– Additional people (2 additional max) at R50.00/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.
– R300 pp ( 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
Somkhanda Game Reserve is available on Google Maps: Google Maps
From Durban (approx. 4 hours)
From Johannesburg (approx. 6 hours)