Our Rating
8.5
Overall

Rhino Ridge

South Africa, Hluhluwe-Umfolosi

from R 1720 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Save
31%
Our Rating
8.5
Overall

Rhino Ridge

South Africa, Hluhluwe-Umfolosi

from R 1720 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Save
31%
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Our Verdict

Modern and very stylish contemporary lodge – the first to offer guests an upmarket private lodge experience in the famous Hluhluwe-Umfolosi reserve.

Our Ratings

8.5
Overall
9.0
Luxury & style
9.0
Setting
7.0
Game Viewing
8.0
Romance

Our Ratings

8.5
Overall
9.0
Luxury & style
9.0
Setting
7.0
Game Viewing
8.0
Romance

What's Hot

  • Finally, a stylish and luxurious lodge where you can stay whilst enjoying this famous reserve – Rhino Ridge boasts attractive and modern architecture and décor touches that make it one of the more striking and attractive new lodges in the country!
  • Stunning views from the lodge’s hilltop position which you can’t take your eyes off wherever you find yourself – whether relaxing with a drink on the deck, cooling off in the rim-flow swimming pool or just chilling on your private deck, the views are simply gorgeous!
  • If you seeing rhinos then you’ve come to the right place – the reserve is justifiably famous as boasting the biggest rhino population on the planet! (that’s not all of course with a large elephant population also present as well as all the predators including wild dog)
  • Very decent value for money compared to most of the private reserves found further north – it’s also very easily accessible out of Durban (an easy 3 ½ hours drive up the freeway)
  • The Honeymoon Villas with their private plunge pools and outdoor showers are the perfect option if you’re wanting to enjoy a romantic break!


What's Not

  • Game drives are on the normal public roads in this state reserve with no off-roading possible – so you’re less likely to enjoy the up-close-and-personal encounters with predators in particular that you often enjoy in the private reserves
  • The cheaper Safari Rooms are semi-detached so you may hear your neighbours occasionally – our preference is definitely for the stand-alone Bush Villas
  • Being spread-out along the top of the ridge, the furthest rooms can be a good 200 metres away from the main public areas, so if you struggle with your mobility it’s best to request a room close to the lodge

Rhino Ridge

Rhino Ridgerooms here are about as different to the old traditional thatched rondavel type as it’s possible to get! This is a very contemporary and attractive take on safari chic, with the modern lines, furnishings and art/décor touches being perfectly balanced by the use of natural organic materials

Lodge Profile

Modern and very stylish contemporary lodge – the first to offer guests an upmarket private lodge experience in the famous Hluhluwe-Umfolosi reserve.

Quick Overview

Location
Hluhluwe-Umfolosi
Drive Time
7 hours drive from Johannesburg and 2 ½ hours drive from Durban
Malaria
Yes - low risk area
Setting
Overlooking a valley
Rooms
16 suites (4 safari suites, 2 safari family suites, 2 honeymoon bush villas and 8 luxury bush villas)
Aircon
Yes
Pool
Yes
Spa
Yes
Camp Fenced
No
Tracker
Off Road
No
Child Policy
All ages welcome

OLDEST GAME RESERVE IN AFRICA

Originally established back in 1895, the well-known Hluhluwe-Umfolosi reserve is actually the oldest proclaimed game reserve in Africa. It is undoubtedly most famous however, as the reserve which saved the white rhino from extinction through its highly successful conservation programme that has resulted in the park having the largest population of white rhino in the world. As a public park however, the one thing that it always lacked was quality accommodation with simple public self-catering camps being the only option. However, with the opening of Rhino Ridge guests now finally have the opportunity of staying at a much more luxurious private lodge offering full services including all meals and game drives.

STUNNING VIEWS FROM HILLTOP POSITION

The lodge is, as the name suggests, perched upon a prominent ridge in a small private concession that has been fenced into the main park - here guests enjoy a spectacular 180-degree view over the scenic landscapes making up the 96 000 hectares of the Hluhluwe-Umfolosi Game Reserve and its grazing residents. Whether you’re relaxing on your private deck or cooling off in the gorgeous rim-flow swimming pool, the stunning views are an ever present highlight of Rhino Ridge.

CHOICE OF ROOM TYPES

The lodge boasts attractive modern public areas including a gorgeous bar area and deck with firepit overlooking a small waterhole – from the main lodge the rooms stretch out along the ridge in both directions with the Safari Rooms off to one side and the Bush Villas and Honeymoon Villas on the other. We love the modern contemporary styling of all the rooms at Rhino Ridge, with the major difference being that the Safari Rooms are semi-detached and share a common wall (so feel less private and you may be aware of noise from your neighbours on occasion) whilst the Bush and Honeymoon Villas are stand-alone and definitely the better option if you place a big premium on privacy.

CLEAN, CONTEMPORARY STYLE

The rooms at Rhino Ridge are about as different to the old traditional thatched rondavel type as it’s possible to get! This is a very contemporary and attractive take on safari chic, with the modern lines, furnishings and art/décor touches being perfectly balanced by the use of natural organic materials like cement screeded floors and timber styling elements amidst an earthy colour palette. They really are some of the most attractive new rooms we’ve yet seen! Particularly attractive are the bath rooms with their gorgeous standalone baths and enticing showers. All of the rooms boast private decks just crying out for you to relax with a good book with a pair of binoculars handy if you spot some animals wandering past in the valley below. Of course, all rooms come standard with air-conditioning and mosquito netting – and let us tell you, there’s nothing better than staying bite-free and being able to retreat into the cool comfort of your room during the mid-day heat.

AN UNFORGETTABLE GETAWAY FOR TWO

If you’re a romantic couple looking to get away from it all for a bit, one of the Honeymoon Villas is the perfect choice! Sumptuous and fitted to deliver all the luxuries a 5-star stay could offer, they feature absolutely huge and comfy beds and also boast their own private plunge pools and outdoor rain shower – you’ll feel like you’re showering in a warm African rainstorm! These rooms are so enticing you may well find it difficult to leave them, only reluctantly making your way to the main lodge for the odd meal or game drive!

RHINO CENTRAL

Whilst the Hluhluwe-Umfolosi reserve boasts the entire Big Five and much more game besides, it’s probably true that the highlight here for many visitors is the chance to view some of the very large population of both white and black rhinos that call the park home. Twice daily game drives explore the reserve from Rhino Ridge and it is important to note that, as this is a public park, game drives take place in open game drive vehicles on the normal public roads of the reserve (many of which are tarred) and the off-roading that you can enjoy at private reserves is not an option here. This means that you’re less likely to get the really up-close-and-personal sightings of big game (especially of predators) that are often on offer in the private reserves.

HEAD OUT ON FOOT

But if being in a Land Cruiser sounds too dull and blasé, Rhino Ridge also offers fantastic guided walks through the park. Here expertly trained rangers will get you within as close to Africa’s wild game while still ensuring your safety remains a top priority. Believe us when we say that there’s little to get the adrenaline flowing like coming across the notoriously grumpy black rhino whilst you’re on foot!

BACK AT THE LODGE…

But if that sounds like a bit too much excitement for you, then Rhino Ridge offers other attractions too – whether you’re taking a day off from game drives or just want to unwind after a long day of excitement. The cool infinity pool (surrounded by comfortable easy chairs and reclining loungers) invites you to take a quick dip if it gets too hot – and if you’re feeling tense, their professional spa offers a wide range of treatments and services, and will knead out even the most stubborn knots from that spot you just can’t reach.

And as the sun sets on another gorgeous day in paradise, a hearty multi-course dinner is served in the traditional boma, where (if you’re lucky) you’ll be able to hear the staff sing and dance traditional Zulu songs for your enjoyment. The staff are amazingly friendly and their charm and commitment to you enjoying the stay is evident from the beginning – perhaps because of Rhino Ridge’s responsible and ethical sourcing of staff members from the local communities. Once it’s all over, enjoy a personal escort back to your room, where you’ll gently fall into a deep sleep, perhaps with the distant roaring of lions as an unforgettable soundtrack!

Pricing

pp/night sharing

More Information

Booking Notes


Child Policy

  • Children Park Fees:
  • 0-3 Years - no charge
  • 4-12 Years - 50% of adult fee
  • 13 Years - Full Adult Rate