THE ULTIMATE IN AUTHENTIC AFRICAN LUXURY
What sets Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge apart is a breathtaking combination of its expansive natural views and visionary architecture which strategically makes the most of its prime position overlooking a watering hole below the lodge and undulating hills typical of Zululand.
Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is situated on land belonging to the local Mpembeni Community which has been incorporated into the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. This is a unique joint venture between the community, the park and a private company creating much needed employment and generating revenue for conservation via park fees and levies.
The lodge features slick, contemporary design with natural finishes and boasts a deck that extends the entire length of the main lodge building, taking full advantage of the spectacular views.
Whether you are looking for a quick weekend in the bush to recharge your batteries, a romantic honeymoon destination or an ideal spot for a family holiday Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge caters for everyone. We are ideally situated for guests travelling from Durban, Johannesburg or Swaziland. Consider combining your trip with our sister lodge Thonga Beach Lodge for a superb bush and beach experience or team up with some friends and add on a few days at one of the superb golf resorts on the North Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
THE LODGE FACILITIES
The lodge facilities are designed to enhance your experience by complementing the exquisite surrounding wilderness. Rhino Ridge is designed to ‘bring the outdoors in' by incorporating open spaces and maximising the expansive views over the reserve.
The indoor dining area - this is where your buffet breakfast and luncheon is served, along with our delicious dinners in the evening.
The outdoor dining deck - opens from the indoor dining and lounge area and is the perfect spot for al fresco breakfast or lunch.
Our well-stocked bar serves all your usual favourites along with delicious cocktails and specialty coffees. Our cellar has a fantastic selection of prime South African wines.
OPEN PLAN LOUNGE
The comfortable lounge area has a fireplace, a small library and a selection of board games.
INFINITY SWIMMING POOL
Sun umbrellas and wooden loungers with comfortable cushions surround our unique infinity pool that overlooks the African bushveld below.
Unwind, de-stress and soak up the experience with a relaxing spa treatment in serene rooms overlooking the reserve.
Our on-site curio shop is stocked with quality souvenirs, African beadwork, items of clothing and everyday essentials.
The 5 Reasons
You deserve to truly escape, appreciate the natural world, heal and relax. When you visit Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, you’ll experience the African bushveld at its best, while travelling with purpose as you support local conservation efforts. There are so many reasons to visit Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge; here are our five favourites:
Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only 4-star private lodge in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, providing guests with exclusive luxury and outstanding service within one of South Africa’s flagship national parks. Since the lodge is situated within the park, there’s no need to waste precious time driving to the reserve; your game drive starts from the front door of the lodge and you get full use of the extensive network of roads throughout the park.
Along with exciting game drives, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge offers a host of other activities so that guests can enjoy an authentic African experience - from wild bush walks to traditional Zulu homestays and rejuvenating spa treatments overlooking the watering hole.
At Rhino Ridge you have a unique window on Africa’s wildlife. From each cleverly-designed open space, you are able to watch rhino, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and perhaps even the elusive painted wolves (wild dog) at the local drinking hole in the bushveld below, uninterrupted in their natural habitat, as they have been for decades in this protected natural area. With expansive views from every room, this setting is everything you could ask for - and more! - in a luxury safari lodge.
Abundance of wildlife
The Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is home to 46% of the birdlife found in the entire Southern hemisphere, 86 different mammal species, all of the Big 5, and the world’s densest white rhino population. It’s also one of the best places to see the African wild dog, one of the continent’s most endangered large carnivores.
All luxury, architecture and wildlife aside, one of the aspects that we are most proud of at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the shared community ownership of the lodge and our commitment to the empowerment of the local previously-disadvantaged community of Hlabisa. In keeping with the Isibindi ethos, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is a joint venture between the National Empowerment Fund and the local Mphembeni community who own the land on which the lodge is built. People from the community have been trained to work in various departments and now constitute 97% of the lodge staff.
“We could have stayed there forever”
My wife and I celebrated our 15 year anniversary at this wonderful lodge.
We were warmly welcomed by beaming smiles at checkin and were offered a welcome drink, which we enjoyed, whilst filling in the registration form. We were later taken to our room by the general manager on duty, who did a great job showing us around and thoroughly explaining what the lodge offered eg. How to book game drives etc.
Our room was absolutely beautiful, with stunning views from anywhere in the room. It was so private that we felt like the only guests in the lodge. We used the fireplace that is sandwiched between the room and the bathroom, which creates such an ambience. The rooms are very well appointed, with all the bells and whistles, but still feels personal.
The main building mostly comprises of decks raised on stilts, and has a spectacular 180° bushveld view. Although there were a lot of guests it didn't feel full, and there are many cleverly designed seating coves scattered throughout the main building, decks and pool area, that allows guests the option to mingle or retreat, whilst enjoying a cocktail from the bar. The layout and design is spot on; a unique contemporary twist on the African Lodge theme, creating a chique but warm atmosphere, forcing guests to instantly start unwinding on entry.
The food from the restaurant served by happy smily waitrons was beautifully presented and very tasty. I especially enjoyed the Kingklip and Springbok Mains and Salmon and Caper Eggs Benedict.... scrumptious !!
The bar was great, and served all the old favorite cocktails plus some of their own personal ones. The wine list was extensive and well chosen.
The high Tea was also wonderful, very welcome after a long game drive.
Simo our game ranger was so informative and made us feel like we had known him for years. We loved the game drives, and he made a huge effort to help us see almost every animal the park had to offer. My highlight was seeing the elephants up close and personal. He seemed to be the local elephant whisperer, and was seemed well-versed on their behaviour, which made us feel very comfortable being so close to them.
My wife and I went for a couples massage on our second afternoon at the spa. We could have stayed there forever. The masseuses were tremendous. It really felt as if we had all day to be pampered. They really took their time, and it didn't feel rushed like other spas we've been to.
We drove back home in a beautifully cleaned car, eating our muffins from our farewell pack, and wishing we had stayed longer.
Keep up the Amazing work Rhino Ridge Team
Review posted January 2022
“If you are umming and aahing about going. Stop, and book”
This is the kind of stay that leaves you wanting everyone you know to go and experience! From the moment you arrive to fresh wet face cloths to the minute you leave with padkos in hand, every detail, every interaction, every meal leaves you feeling like you’re a favourite family member who has come to stay. Staff greeting you by name with smiles! But for me, the icing on the gluten-free cake was the meal planning around being gluten free. Not once did I look at anyone else’s food and feel I was missing something. Every meal was delicious. Malva pudding and carrot cake? What more could a girl ask for? Please extend my thanks again to the chefs! If you are umming and aahing about going. Stop, and book. Have i mentioned the fantastic accommodation, great game drives and the wonderful spa? Loved it!
“The perfect honeymoon”
After an exhausting rollercoaster of a year re-planning our wedding twice we eventually made it to our perfect honeymoon. Rhino Ridge and all the staff were absolutely fantastic and we could not stop raving about it to friends and family. The service 10/10. The accommodation (Villa 6) 10/10. The food 10/10. The feeling of relaxation and pure luxury was priceless. Thank you to everyone at the lodge who made it a magical experience.
(South Africa) Stayed May 2021
“the best bush experience we have ever had”
Truly one of the best bush experiences we have ever had (and we have had many). Would not change a thing. Superb staff, incredible lodge and truly a memorable amazing experience in every respect. 10 / 10
Stayed November 2021
“Rhino Ridge exceeded all our expectations”
My wife and I stayed here for our first ever safari, and we can confidently say that Rhino Ridge exceeded all our expectations. The setting overlooking Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park is stunning. We regularly spotted giraffes, nyala, and even a mother rhino and her baby right from the terrace of our villa. The main areas of the lodge are designed to emphasize the view - we especially enjoyed post-drive breakfasts looking out over the park. The cozy fireplace in the main lodge provided a great area to unwind before dinner and chat with fellow guests. The food is delicious and generously portioned - you will not go hungry here. Our private villa was excellent. Well decorated, comfortable bed, and a luxurious bath and shower. What really made Rhino Ridge stand out, however, was the staff. The team is made up of caring, thoughtful professionals who will take every measure to make you feel welcome. Special shout-out to SK, who exudes natural, warm hospitality and makes you feel great just by chatting with him. Our game drive guide Toulani was top-notch. He was deeply knowledgable about the wildlife, and provided lots of great context during every sighting. He was attentive to our interests, and tailored the drives towards what we were keen on - in our case, birds + the classic big 5, of which we saw 4! There were too many incredible sightings to recount for this review, suffice to say we were in awe of everything Toulani was able to show us. Rhino Ridge gave us an excellent introduction to South African wildlife and safaris, and we hope the be able to return in the future. Final tip: if you self-drive to reach the lodge, consider renting a car with good clearance. The dirt roads leading to the lodge were in pretty decent condition, however we felt more confident in the muddy/rougher sections in an SUV.
Stayed October 2021
“Setting is stunning”
This was a last minute get-away and I wasn't sure what to expect what with COVID, but it was such a lovely experience. I was surprised (and pleased) that there seemed to be a pretty full house - but still great COVID protocols.
Rhino Ridge's setting is stunning - the views of the landscape / terrain are just stunning.
The food was amazing - and they seemed well prepared to cater to every dietary need. There seemed to be a size-able vegetarian contingent of guests during my stay, so I am not sure if the vegetarian options are always as outstanding - but they were great during my time!
My room was fantastic - it was huge and had a lovely deck overlooking the valley and so peaceful. great for sleeping.
Animal viewing was fine (not great) - but I think that had more to do with time of year/weather/etc. We saw plenty of animals - rhinos, elephants, wildebeest, giraffe - but no cats. BUT the food and accommodation more than made up for it - and I'm already booking a return trip.
Stayed October 2021
“A special thank you”
Durban, South Africa
Stayed November 2020
“Gem on planet earth”
I’ve visited many game lodges in South Africa, without a doubt you stand out. your hospitality is on another level. the game drives with well equipped and knowledgeable ranger (Simo Buthelezi you taught me so much ). This is now my new home for every bush visit. well done on keeping your doors opened and having the lodge fully functional during these trying times. well done to this gem on planet earth ….wow
“I loved their professionalism and warm spirit”
On arrival at Rhino Ridge, we received a very warm welcoming from Bryce, Precious and Zanele. I loved their professionalism and warm spirit. The Lodge is magnificent with the views to die for! We arrived just in time for a delicious high tea and again the staff at the restaurant were amazing, especially Themba. I felt at home to the point that I remember everyone by their names.
Stayed August 2021
“Out of This World”
Early january 2020, we spent two nights at this lodges within the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi NP. The rooms and food were excellent, and the views from the lodge and infinity pool are top! What a view on the rolling hills of Zulu land. Having experienced the game drives in the private reserves of Kruger, the games drives here were somewhat less exiting as the cars cannot leave the roads in search of animals. This being said, the safari walk is a MUST DO. Highly recommended in the morning. We got up at 4:30am and were walking at 5:00am. The experience of the silence and the sun rising behind the hills is unforgettable. Sitting within 50 metres of rhino's is out of this world.
Stayed January 2020
“SA-Venues verified review”
Upon arrival, the atmosphere was relaxing and the scenery was breathtaking! The staff is friendly and will do anything to make the experience personal and amazing for you. Sifiso is an excellent game ranger and we had a few good laughs with him. Spha is an amazing host and makes sure you are comfortable. The food is Masterchef style and yummy! It is an experience that will never be forgotten!