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November 2, 2012

Masizwane Lodge

Masizwane Lodge, meaning “to assist one another” in Zulu, is the culmination of a dream of the local Tembe community and private investors to create a natural paradise for visitors to this unique reserve, the lodge is architecturally designed to emulate the local Tonga building style, and each of the fourteen chalets are uniquely positioned to offer guests total privacy and luxurious comfort within a sand forest in Tembe Elephant Park.

Natural materials and timber give a warm organic ambience and invite the outdoors in – all rooms are appointed with quality furnishings and bathrooms come complete with an indoor and private outdoor shower for those whom enjoy immersing themselves in their surroundings in rare solitude and perfect tranquility..

A comfortable three and a half hour’s drive from King Shaka International Airport, and on the doorstep of Southern Mozambique’s decadent beaches, Tembe Elephant Park is renowned as A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE. AN UNFORGETTABLE LOCATION. one of the few remaining wilderness areas in Southern Africa. This “big five” reserve, set in an area of sand forests, pans and wetlands in northern Thongaland, falls within a transition area between tropical and sub-tropical forms, and is therefore home to a great diversity of vegetation – with this diversity of habitats Tembe is home to a spectacular variety of animals and birds. Birdlife around the lodge is particularly splendid, with numerous specials such as Neergaard’s Sunbird, Rudd’s Apalis, Woodward’s Batis, Plain-backed Sunbird and Pinkthroated Twinspot being regularly sighted within the lodge’s property.

The eHlatini restaurant at Tembe Masizwane Lodge focuses on creating innovative and delicious meals by combining traditional European style cuisine infused with a local twist, and avails of a fully stocked wine cellar offering fine South African wines.. Join us for an unforgettable experience…

The Lodge:

The main lodge building houses the restaurant and a comfortable lounge area, where guests can sit back and enjoy a chilled glass of wine whilst watching birds flocking to the birdbath in front of the lounge deck, or just relax after a long days activities. The restaurant serves al fresco lunches and set dinners, either seated in the restaurant or in the Boma area under a million African stars. Fine meals are prepared with fresh ingredients, and are often infused with local flavors to create unique and tantalizing dishes. The reception area avails of a fully stocked curio shop, displaying goods and handmade artifacts which are produced by the local communities.

The Chalets:

The chalets are all individually situated and partially hidden by the surrounding sandforest and their overhanging thatched roofs. The designs are tailored to suit the topography by fragmenting the built form and threading it around the natural features of each site including established trees and large shrubs. The interiors are designed to offer guests uncluttered views of the forest, allowing nature into the chalets and making a visitors’ encounter with the landscape both intimate and dramatic. The chalets are orientated in such a way as to create cool shady interiors and covered verandas that provide respite from the African sun. Local materials and construction methods have been used to minimize the impact on the ecological processes of the environment. Bedding and furniture within the chalets are of supreme quality, with each chalet availing of it’s own coffee/tea station, and the option of either an indoor or outdoor shower.

Activities and Excursions (Tembe and Surrounds):

Game Drives in Tembe Elephant Park:

Morning and afternoon game drives departing from the lodge are included in the Tembe experience. A typical game drive will start off early morning after a light breakfast, and would include visits to waterholes where big game frequent. The afternoon drives would concentrate on exploring the width and breadth of the reserve, searching for game and birdlife not encountered on the morning drive, and would culminate in sundowners at a scenic spot and a night drive on return to camp searching for the elusive nocturnal species found in the reserve.

Tembe Cultural Experiences:

The people living in Maputaland have a rich cultural heritage, with traditional customs still evident in a number of ceremonies that occur in homesteads throughout the region, as well as a unique history and culture that sets them apart from their Zulu, Swazi and Shangaan neighbours. They call themselves Tembe or Thonga after their founding ancestors who migrated to this area in the middle of the seventeenth century. Tembe established a mighty kingdom, which extended into the Delagoa Bay (Maputo) hinterland. His kingdom stretched from the Pongola (Maputo) River in the west to the Indian Ocean in the east, and from Delagoa Bay in the north to around the Sodwana Bay area in the south. On this excursion you will have the oppertunity to meet and interact with the local community, and observe how they go about their daily lives, whilst making a meaningful contribution towards community upliftment in the area. Visits would include schools, homesteads, iLala palm tapping, basket weaving centers and other community upliftment programs.


This excursion will entail a visit to Tembe Elephant Park with the specific purpose of concentrating on the African Elephant, it’s behaviour, anatomy, physiology, social behaviour, conservation and much more. This excursion will also entail a short lecture on the African Elephant before setting off to observe them in the wild.

Kosi Lake Boat Cruises:

The Kosi Bay Nature Reserve lies on the coast in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal and surrounds the unique and beautiful Kosi Bay lake system which is part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site. This system consists of four lakes and a series of inter connecting channels which eventually drain via a sandy estuary into the Indian Ocean. This 2 hour boat cruise is scenically spectacular, and a great way to observe ancient fishing traditionspracticed in the lakes.

Snorkeling at Kosi Mouth:

The mouth of the Kosi Lakes is regarded as one of the best snorkeling sites anywhere in the world. The rock pools along this protected stretch of coastline are a virtual aquarium of brilliant sub-tropical fish. Own snorkeling gear is required.

Ndumo Game Reserve:

Ndumo Game Reserve is situated on the banks of the Phongola and Usutu river and lies adjacent to Mozambique on the northern coastal plain. Despite its relatively small size, Ndumo Game Reserve is one of the most attractive game reserves in Southern Africa. Ndumo is arguably one of South Africa’s most productive birding areas, with well over 400 species being recorded here and several of them being at the southernmost limit of their range. The visit to Ndumo will include a light picnic.

Tiger Fishing in Jozini Dam:

A major angling game fish, the striking tiger fish, can be recognized by the bluish sheen on its back, a series of parallel longitudinal black stripes, intensive yellow to blood red fins with trailing black edges and a series of 8 large, protruding, sharply pointed teeth. Aptly described as voracious and fierce, the tiger fish are found in warm, well-oxygenated water, mainly in larger rivers and lakes, tending to frequent the surface layers where it often falls prey to the swooping African Fish Eagle

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