blog Combining Conservation and Community Upliftment
Posted on: November 5, 2014
Isibindi Africa continues to provide inspired experiences with the launch of a new destination, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge which will be the only private lodge within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu Natal, which will be opening its doors in December 2014. A lodge that was conceptualised to celebrate the protection of the white rhino, Rhino Ridge will offer guests an exclusive luxury stay and exceptional safari experiences in the heart of Big Five territory.
A brand that was born out of family values, Isibindi Africa strives to conserve wildlife and the environment, as well as offer guests a raw experience where luxury meets nature. Isibindi Africa owners, Brett and Paige Gehren, embarked on the journey of developing Rhino Ridge with a passion for conservation and a dream of making a difference.
As part of the ethos of Isibindi Africa, community involvement plays a critical role in their lodges. The newly constructed Rhino Ridge is situated in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Reserve, the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa. This development forms part of a vision to involve the neighbouring Mpembeni community as partners This development forms part of a vision to include the neighbouring Mpembeni community as partners with other stakeholders, such as the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), and in so doing improve their socio-economic situation. In line therewith, the lodge will employ 80% of its staff complement from this community.
Not only is Rhino Ridge being established to ‘tread gently’, but also to meet world class expectations. This lodge will offer 22 rooms nestled in natural bush situated high up on the ridge, comprised of eight villas, two honeymoon villas, and six suites, where guests can bask in the commanding views of the reserve. The lodge is located in low-risk malaria territory, and will further provide air conditioning, fans and mosquito nets in all the rooms. The luxuries will not end there, with fireplaces in each villa, a 11m infinity lap pool with sundeck, a day spa, and so much more that guests can look forward to.
The lodge will offer a selection of activities including Big Five game viewing and guided bush walks. Delicious meals will be available at the gourmet restaurant, and guests will have the opportunity partake in interesting daytrips to the nearby iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Rhino Ridge will truly provide five star luxury at four star rates.
Comments Brett Gehren, Owner of Isibindi Africa: “Our dream of being able to share the passion we have for protecting the pristine and precious natural wonders of Africa began while sitting on the banks of the Isibindi River in KwaZulu Natal. We are now so proud to be launching our newest venture, Rhino Ridge which we are developing in light of Hluhluwe Imfolozi’s triumph of conservation efforts. We can’t wait for guests to experience all that the lodge has to offer, especially the exceptional safari experiences.”