Set in one of Africa’s World Heritage Sites inside the Isimangaliso Wetland Park in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, Nibela Lake Lodge swept Kim Steinberg into an enchanted forest getaway.
“Let’s be spontaneous, and just drive!” I said …
These were the words that left my mouth as I was feeling the need to escape for a day or two on go on holiday away from my hectic Christmas holiday. We had Googled countless amounts of holiday resorts within a three-hour radius of our home in Mtunzini. Finally we settled on Nibela Lake Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal.
It is set in one of Africa’s World Heritage Sites (read: 10 top World Heritage Sites in Africa) and forms part of the great Isimangaliso Wetland Park in Northern KZN. The lodge nestles beautifully between the sand forest treetops on the shores of Lake St Lucia where all the rooms are interconnected with raised wooden walkways which make you feel like you’re in an enchanted forest. Not to mention the abundance of butterflies that flit past as you walk around which turns it into a small eco adventure of its own.
The lodge has a number of ‘hotel’ rooms with fully stocked mini bars and are set up in amongst the trees giving that whole tree house effect and all your meals are served at the restaurant which is a short meandering walk from your room.
On our first night we were called to a boma dinner by drummers and Zulu dancers. Solar jar lights hung from a big tree and we were served a pear, prawn and blue cheese starter followed by a braai with veggies, rolls and a selection of meat. Desert was chocolate pudding. Thoroughly filling! To end off our night we were fortunate enough to see the International Space Station crossing the huge sky of stars.
Nibela Lake Lodge has an array of roads that wind through the forest and lead to various lookout points as well as quad and mountain bike trails which can take anything from one to three hours to complete. The most popular is the Fossil Trail which takes you to the shores of the lake where you can find million-year-old ammonites! It was truly fascinating and a definite must for the kids. The Lodge also has putt-putt, jungle gyms, swimming pools, chess, fishing and a games room to keep them busy.
There are also a number of large self catering rooms ranging from four- to eight-sleepers, listed as Sobhengu Lodge. The eight-sleeper units are huge and boast four separate bedrooms, a full lounge, dining room, kitchen, an indoor/outdoor bar and a few areas where you can braai depending on the weather. It’s like a full size house!
Nibela as a great value for money destination and one that I will definitely be going back to soon! We had a fantastic stay and came home well rested from all the Christmas chaos!