#Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu Natal will open in September 2018
The 6000-hectare tract of tribal land, currently being incorporated into the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu Natal will open in September 2018.
The structure represents a future of forward-thinking sustainability as it blends past and present conservation models.
The Name uMfolozi Big Five Reserve also represents a tender nod to the early conservation pioneers who used to call the area uMfolozi, and also differentiates it from the main reserve.
It is in these valleys where King Shaka of the Zulus, unbeknownst to the world, pioneered a culture of conservation before the concept was coined by European settlers, by proclaiming this area his royal hunting ground.
This reserve is also where the very first steps with Operation Rhino were taken almost seventy years ago under the guidance of revered global conservationist, the late Dr Ian Player.
After extensive consultation between the tribal chiefs, their communities, and Ezemvelo (the public authority responsible for Hluhluwe iMfolozi), the uMfolozi Big Five Reserve was established.
This landmark agreement, whereby tribal land is incorporated into protected government land, will increase the protected area to over 100,000 hectares and provide much needed employment.
The uMfolozi Big 5 Reserve epitomises what Mantis stands for: “Man And Nature Together Is Sustainable”.
It also brings full circle, the friendship Adrian Gardiner, Founder of Mantis and Chairman of the Wilderness Foundation Global, had with Dr Ian Player.
Dr Player was instrumental in saving the white rhino from extinction in the late 1950’s, at the very same reserve to which the uMfolozi Reserve has now been added.
Again, two luxurious lodges (25 minutes from each other) are being built for the Mantis Collection. Named after the local chiefs who contributed their land, Mthembu Lodge will open its doors in September 2018 and Biyela Lodge will be ready to welcome guests from October 2018.
Biyela Lodge, nestled on a spectacular bend on the White iMfolozi River, will have 12 luxurious 1-bedroom Private Villas (100sqm in size) each with private pool, and two 2-bedroom Family Villas (155sqm in size), sleeping 32 guests in total. Spa and Gym facilities will also be on offer.
Mthembu Lodge, with panoramic views of the water and thickets, will comprise of 7 luxurious 1-bedroom Private Villas (112sqm in size) and two 2-bedroom Family Villas (155sqm in size), sleeping a total of 22 guests. Children aged 6 years and older will be allowed on game drives, with children 13 years and older being able to join on walking safaris.