Monday, December 21, 2009

New Community Lodge Opened

A great effort by a united community well done this
is the way to go!
One of the Tented Units

A project, which was initiated as far back as 2001, has borne fruit and is now a landmark in Community/Conservation relations. Ten Inkosis representing the Zungu, Mandlakazi, Hlabisa, Mpembeni, Mdletshe, Mpukunyoni, Mhlana, Somopho, Obuka and Ximba Traditional Authorities agreed to combine their ‘community levies’ from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) and rebuild a lodge in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Their combined contribution was R3-million. Additional funding of R4-million was received through a grant from the then Department Environment, Agriculture and Tourism. eShowe-based architect, Jeremy Steeres did the design which includes solar panels for heating and lighting, with rain water tanks for water supply. Building of the Nselweni Bush Lodge started in 2007. After various delays, the lodge was eventually completed during November 2009 and officially handed over to the Inkosi on Thursday, 10 December at a ceremony attended by the MEC Agriculture Lydia Johnson and the KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize. Monies generated by the lodge will be distributed to the 10 participating communities. At present 10 community members have been trained in hospitality and will be responsible for the running of the lodge, which is offering accommodation for 16 people in eight tented units. There is a massive lapa for a relaxing evening around the fire and, if bad weather sets in, there is a large lounge area. The decks overlook the iMfolozi River. The lodge is totally wheelchair-friendly. Bookings are through the normal EKZNW central booking office on 033 8451000 or fax 033 8451001. The launch price of the lodge is R450 per person per night.