Introducing Nadia – Our Lodge Manager

We’d like to introduce the newest member of the Zulu Rock family, Nadia du Preez, who joined us as Lodge Manager on 16 October 2018.

Nadia grew up in Amanzimtoti on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, completing her schooling at Kuswag before studying an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management at Varsity College in Westville.

After completing her studies, she worked in various hotels and guest houses, most notably Protea Hotel Umfolozi, Babanango Valley Lodge and Leopard Mountain Game Lodge.

Nadia was seemingly born for the hospitality industry, such is her passion for working with people.

“I just love creating memorable experiences for people, whether that be a great holiday or a great individual experience,” says Nadia. “I love this job – there are always new people that you meet from different walks of life.”

Nadia strives to create ‘wow’ experiences for her guests – something she puts a great deal of time and thought into planning. And she has a lot to work within Zululand and at Zulu Rock:

“The view at Zulu Rock is incredible – it’s ideally placed and offers a dream view of Africa. The people here are also fantastic – no matter where you go in Zululand you are always greeted with enthusiasm, smiles and friendliness.”

Nadia is on a mission to continue Zulu Rock’s aim of offering outstanding accommodation and service, and an unforgettable experience complemented by big smiles. We’re so glad to have her on board!

Introducing a Reimagined Zulu Rock

Nothing can compare with the sounds and calls of the bush. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be at sunset or sunrise, especially on a warm evening when the birds are calling, crickets are chirping and animals start to move towards the water to drink.

Zulu Rock is Zululand’s newest game lodge on the northern bank of the iconic White Umfolozi River. Only a stone’s throw from the mighty Nhlazatshe Mountain, we’re nestled in the Umfolozi Valley in a malaria-free zone brimming with incredible biodiversity.

The potential for conservation, assisting the community and creating a safari experience for guests – this is what a reimagined Zulu Rock means to me and my team! We’re starting a new chapter and couldn’t be more excited to share it with the world.

From small beginnings…

Zulu Rock Game Ranch was a game farm and lodge owned by a local farmer; it had basic accommodation and very few activities. We fell in love with the location, right on the northern bank of the White Umfolozi River, which originates just west of Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal and flows eastwards towards the Indian Ocean. A well-recognised area of outstanding beauty, we knew Zulu Rock could offer so much more.

We officially launched under new ownership on the 1st of September and, together with the existing staff, opened our doors to guests and day visitors right from day one. Now, only a few weeks in, we’re already working towards creating a fully-catered African-style lodge. We’re in the first phase of upgrading the existing self-catering accommodation into stunning units that celebrate the heritage of Zululand and our landscape. Outdoors, a local team is busy building hiking, mountain-biking and horse-riding routes to appeal to families, nature-lovers and adventurers.

… Come great things

You’ll see for yourself when you visit, Zulu Rock is the perfect setting for a luxury lodge. We have incredible views from a sloped cliff-face, abundant fauna and impressive flora. Each unit offers an ideal private outdoor space from which to enjoy this unique landscape, including a lapa, fire pit and open-air shower. Visitors can also expect an en-suite bathroom, fully-equipped kitchen and air-conditioning.

We already have an educational centre and the facilities to host conferences and weddings, as well as some routes for game-drive safaris, bird-watching and a small (but perfectly formed) dam for fishing. Soon these facilities will be on par with other private luxury lodges around Kwa-Zulu Natal, but with the added bonus of outdoor pursuits like horse-riding and mountain-biking!

As stewards of a remarkable piece of Zululand, our goal is not only to preserve the flora and fauna that call it home, but to partner with conservationists, non-profit organisations and the local community to educate people about the value of this ecosystem. The fully-fenced tract of land with its abundant water and food is ideal for reintroducing game, including buffalo, so we’ll be working closely with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to do just that in the coming months.

Zulu Rock also forms part of the Umfolozi Biodiversity Economy Node development, a chain of linked private protected areas, private game farms and communal land. Together, as a community, we have the potential to create a conservation area spanning 20,000 hectares in the next three to four years. This is just the beginning…