zulu rock lodge info

Useful information

Babanango Game Reserve is located in the heart of the Zululand region in the north-east of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.

Renowned for its warm hospitality, proud people and beautiful landscapes, Zululand is the traditional home of the Zulu people.

The word “zulu” means heaven in the isiZulu language and it’s easy to see where the name originated when you take in the breathtaking vistas of Babanango Game Reserve, with its valleys, forests and grasslands interrupted by life-bringing rivers.

Babanango means “father, there it is” and refers to a hill that’s a local landmark, towering over the White Umfolozi River which runs through the reserve’s dramatic landscape.

Say it in Zulu!

Here are some useful Zulu words and phrases for you to practice during your stay with us:

Good morning (to one person)- sawubona (sa-wu-bo-na)

Good morning (to many people)- sanibonani (sani-bo-nani)

How are you? – nijani? (nin-ja-ni)

I am fine, thank you – ngikhona, ngiyabonga (gi-kona giya-bonga)

Thank you very much (to one person) – ngiyabonga kakhulu (giya-bonga ka-kulu)

Thank you very much (to many people) – siyabonga kakhulu (siya-bonga ka-kulu)

Goodbye (to a person leaving) – hamba kahle (hamba kaash-lay)

Goodbye (if you are leaving) – sala kahle (sala kaash-lay)

The secret to packing for an African safari are to include as many layers as possible and to select neutral coloured clothing, especially when you are going out game viewing on game drives or walking safaris.

Good staple items to pack include shorts, T-shirts, three-quarter cut-off/cargo pants, long trousers and a long-sleeve shirt (in summer these are invaluable for keeping biting insects at bay during the evenings), flip-flops, walking shoes/trainers, a jersey and rainjacket/fleece. A hat is an absolute must at any time of the year, as is sunblock and sunglasses.

Don’t forget your swimsuit so you can take advantage of our beautiful, sparkling swimming pool.

Add to the packing list a camera and binoculars and, of course, any prescription medication you will need while travelling.

Our climate is sub-tropical meaning that summers are hot and tend to be humid, especially at night, while our winters are dry and warm during the day and cold at night. In the winter months it can get very cold while out game viewing, so bring a fleece, beanie-style hat, scarf and gloves.

Even in the summer, being on an open safari vehicle early in the morning and in the evening can be chilly due to the wind factor, so it’s always best to pack a lightweight jersey or windbreaker.

The rainy season starts in November and lasts until the end of autumn as a rule, and is typified by cloud build-up in the late afternoons leading to spectacular evening thunderstorms and sometimes heavy downpours.

Winter and spring are the dry season when the bush is at its most sparse, making it ideal for game viewing as wildlife is easily seen, often congregating around waterholes, dams and along the river.

Our seasons are as follows:

zulu rock game lodge location


Babanango Game Reserve is approximately three-and-a-half hours away by road from the city of Durban and around six hours’ drive from Johannesburg.

Our nearest major towns are Vryheid, 50km away, and Ulundi, 60km to the south-east. The small town of Melmoth is just over 70km away.

The nearest provincial airports are at Ulundi and Richard’s Bay. The nearest international airport is Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.

For directions by road from both Durban and Johannesburg, click here.