Experience the Thrill of the African Bush
Tala is a wildlife sanctuary spanning over 3000 hectares and incorporating many diverse natural environments.
Tala Private Game Reserve is a wildlife conservancy hidden in the hills of a quiet farming community. We are ever aware that as guardians of this precious piece of Africa we have a responsibility to pass this sanctuary on to future generations. Tala’s mix of acacia thornveld, open grassland, and sensitive wetland provides exceptional game watching and birding, setting the stage for that perfect photograph. Tala is a wildlife sanctuary spanning over 3000 hectares and incorporating many diverse natural environments, the reserve features over 380 bird species, with big game that includes kudu, hippo, giraffe, and eland. Accommodation at the Tala Collection, KZN’s private safari venue, is tailored to suit your pocket and personality. Choose a rustic A-frame, a rondavel, or a private lodge of your own, and enjoy the break of a lifetime. Now under new management, the Tala Collection offers a stay where treasured memories are made. Enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
Vital Information: Although in a park and viewing at a close distance, these are still wild animals and need to be treated with respect. Do not scream and shout and keep yourself in the vehicle at all times. Listen to you guide.
Game drives normally last a few hours.
The game vehicles can accommodate small or large groups. If your group is particularly large, more than one vehicle will be used.
Rates are charged per room.
Dress comfortably and casually, Remember your hat/cap and sunglasses and your camera.
All bookings to be made in advance.
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• 8 comfortable rooms
• Main restaurant area
• Curio shop
• Conference room
Aloe Lodge is the main hub of Tala, with all the activities on your doorstep. The Tala Restaurant, The Tala Boma, and iDube Conference Room are all located here making it the ideal venue for day conferences, special occasions, and tour groups. Aloe Lodge enjoys an elevated view of the reserve that spans out over the grasslands, a favourite grazing area of the reserves antelope, giraffe and hippo. Eight comfortable furnished rooms with bathroom en-suite are positioned around the lodge’s natural and lovely Aloe gardens. All meals are served at the Tala Restaurant, if you would like to join us for dinner please can you book in advance, all meals and drinks are to be settled at the reception at the end for your stay.
• 12 Delux rooms
• Conference Centre
Paperbark Lodge centers on the “Old Farm Barn” with the original door still in place. Beautifully restored, with a large fireplace, polished floors and fold back windows that allow for natural light and ventilation, this is the venue for all the lodge’s meals. In addition, dinners are also served under the stars in the unique Paperbark Boma. The room’s décor is simple, yet dramatic, including wildlife paintings, shale walls and the clever use of wood. The lodge surrounds an open grass area with spectacular views to the west of the open plains of the reserve. The rock pool is within easy walking distance for a refreshing dip on a hot summer’s day. The sumptuous premier suite features a spacious bathroom with ball-and-claw tub and four-poster bed.
• 6 rooms
• Communal lounge area
• Mahogany Rondavel
• 1 standalone room in the communal pool area.
Mahogany House is situated adjacent to Paperbark Lodge. The original old farmhouse has been carefully restored to maintain the essence of a bygone era. Six bedrooms with bathrooms en-suite lead on to a central lounge area and out onto a typical farmhouse veranda which looks onto the surrounding garden. The Rock Pool is just a step away and the Paperbark Restaurant is conveniently located around the corner.
5 en-suite rooms
Figtree House is a fully serviced house for groups of up to ten. The homestead has an old-world farmhouse atmosphere and each room has direct access to the surrounding garden. A veranda off the main lounge overlooks the boma braai area with the rolling hills of Tala in the background. All five rooms have an en-suite bathroom, opening up to a communal open plan lounge with a bar. The large dining room tables are ideal for breakfast or dinner in the privacy of your own house. Being only a walking distance from the Figtree Barn and the Figtree Auditorium makes Figtree House the perfect place to rest after a long days conferencing or even a night after a wedding. Because of its convenient location next to the Fig Tree Barn, Figtree House is ideal as a wedding party preparation area. Figtree House has instant appeal and provides the perfect setting for small conferences and tranquil getaways with family and friends. All meals are served at the Tala Restaurant, if you would like to join us for dinner please can you book in advance, all meals and drinks are to be settled at the reception at the end for your stay.
6 Luxury cottages
Built by a team of artisans with locally sourced shale, Leadwood Lodge combines exceptional architecture, towering thatch and resplendent finishes against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty. The décor is an eclectic merging of antique and organic Africa with one-of-a-kind artistic elements. The lodge was designed on an ethic of ‘nothing straight, nothing painted’ and the final results are a masterpiece of earth, water, glass, and hardwoods. Leadwood Lodge is a place of relaxation and tranquillity. Leadwood Lodge is only available for groups of 6 to 12 people. Food and Beverage Services and Game Drives are available at Aloe Lodge.
FIG TREE AUDITORIUM
Sqr: 180 Height: 5 meters Boardroom: N/A Cinema: 62 U-Shaped: N/A Banquet: N/A School: N/A
The Fig Tree Auditorium is a “State of the Art” facility with a built-in sound system and projection equipment. The fixed concentric desks accommodate sixty delegates and are ideal for presentations and committee meetings.
The dark of evening beckons the owls from hiding, silently on their favoured elevation to watch for unsuspecting prey, as it scuttles about the fairy-like meadows, intermittently illuminated by the ever-present fireflies.
Over the years, Tala has become a favourite birding venue for many. The grasslands are a treasure trove for those who are stimulated by a challenge with enough Larks, Pipits, and Cisticolas to make your eyes water and your head spin! Three of South Africa’s magnificent Crane species, The Blue Crane, The Wattled Crane and the Grey Crowned Crane can be found at Tala, on many occasions on the same day! With 349 species Tala Game Reserve is a must for all who are interested in Avifauna!
Two frequently asked questions we receive from visitors to Tala are:
“What is the best time for game viewing at Tala?”
A question with a simple answer – “Anytime”
Tala is relatively small at 3000ha, with no large predators, so the wildlife is relaxed and visible at any time of the day. Tala is very well stocked with a diversity of game, ranging from the tiny mongoose up to the biggest of all southern African antelope – the Eland. The reserve boasts about 20 species of antelope, which includes some “specials’ such as Oribi, Bushbuck, and Reedbuck with general game in abundance.
“If there are no predators why can’t I get out of my vehicle?”
The game generally does not associate vehicles with people so staying in your vehicle allows you to get very close. Getting out will result in the animals running away. In addition to this, the animals in the reserve are wild and respond in one of three ways, fright, flight or fight. The last response being the most dangerous because if any animal feels trapped, its only defense mechanism is to attack. Even the smallest of the antelope species can inflict untold damage. Hippos are not classified as predators; however, they kill more people than any other animal, besides the mosquito. Do you want to take a chance with this killer? Have you ever crossed paths with an Ostrich with chicks? Rest assured, it’s not something that you want to experience! Rhino can easily out-run you and your car is like tin-foil to an angry rhino. There are areas such as Rock Pools where you can get out of your vehicle safely, but please don’t get out where you shouldn’t. It also spoils the game viewing for other guests when the animals run away!
ANTI-POACHING INITIATIVES AT TALA
In 2014 the founder of RAVE approached the Tala management asking if they needed assistance with regards to the security of the Rhino and wildlife at the reserve. This was as a result of the attack and senseless killing and de-horning of two female white rhino’s and a third female white rhino being de-horned and left for dead. After intensive medical assistance, this rhino has survived and is still on the reserve at Tala. An opportunity was seen to merge and upgrade conservation efforts with the reserves existing anti-poaching unit and so with the assistance of four other directors that come from extensive military and police backgrounds and expertise, they got together and started RAVE in order to assist Tala in protecting their rhinos and wildlife against the senseless killings, injuries, and de-horning in their natural environment. The unit, which functions 24 hours a day in the reserve, relies on donations, sponsorships and other fundraising efforts to keep functioning. Individuals and Corporates are welcome to visit www.raverhino.org.za and contact them directly should you wish to contribute or support in any way. As part of the efforts the Rhinos on our reserve have been dehorned, we believe that it’s valuable to have living species without horns or none at all.This spectacular thatched venue features a beautiful atmosphere and decor. To add warmth to the room we have a magnificently crafted rock fireplace which is complemented by the grand marble and thatch bar. The views from the two verandas on either side of the restaurant overlook the bush and resident game, which often saunter up to graze right on your doorstep.
The menu has been specially designed by our executive chef to create a delicately balanced fusion of flavours. Additional options include: Ala Carte; Sunday buffet lunch and picnic baskets (enquire for further information)
For more information on our menu as well as restaurant bookings please email email@example.com or call us on 031 781 8000.
All meals are served at the Tala Restaurant, if you would like to join us for dinner please can you book in advance, all meals and drinks are to be settled at the reception at the end for your stay.
Options for groups of over 10 guest may be accommodated for lunch or dinner by prior arrangement at any of our selected venues including:
• The Acacia Room
• The Figtree Barn
• Aloe Boma
• Paperbark Farmhouse
Perched on a hilltop in the reserve the Acacia venue is situated alongside a watering hole with magnificent views over the Tala Valley. Owing to this venue is a stand-alone feature, privacy is part of the unique package that this venue has to offer with no outside interruptions or distractions from the public. The Acacia venue seats up to 100 guests and is a lovely sized venue for a wedding or conference.
The predominant features at Acacia are the tall glass concertina doors that surround this open-plan structure and open out onto a great wooden deck that stretches out towards the watering hole. The wooden deck is an ideal and a very popular option for outdoor wedding ceremonies, especially in the late afternoon with the sun setting in the distance behind the rolling hills. It is also this time of day that animals such as Zebra, Waterbuck, Wildebeest, Rhino, Buffalo to name a few, come down to the watering hole to drink, allowing for exquisite photo opportunities. Inside the venue, the old Acacia trees are decorated with fairy lights acting as chandeliers making any wedding feel like a fairytale.
Acacia has a warm and rustic yet elegant feeling to it, making it perfect venue for that big day, function or presentation. Wonderful memories of your Special Day are made whilst sipping beverages from the fully stocked bar and enjoying the beauty of an African sunset from the Acacia deck, overlooking the majestic views across the Acacia dam.
R603 Umbumbulu Road Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg South Africa
(N3 to Pietermaritzburg)
• Take Camperdown (Exit 57) off-ramp
• Turn left onto Umbumbulu Rd
• T-junction left to Umbumbulu Rd
• Keep left for 13km to Umbumbulu (R603)
• Cross the Mlazi River (3km straight)
• Take the second turn left to Tala (Eston brick)
• Turn left into Tala; follow signs to reception
(N3 to Durban)
• Take Umbumbulu Road /Richmond off-ramp
• Keep left towards Umbumbulu
• Travel for 13km towards Umbumbulu (R603)
• Cross over the Mlazi River
• Take the second turn left to Tala (Eston brick)
Turn left into Tala; follow signs to reception
29°49’32.606” S 30°32’29.692” E