Captures the History and Romance of a Bygone Era
It is a Place with Magic and Soul Inspired by a Dream and Created with Passion
We are passionate about conservation and offer a superb Black Rhino tracking experience, as well as fascinating Elephant research activities. We also offer the conventional activities such as game drives, educational bush walks and incredible boat cruises on Lake Jozini.
These varied activities as well as the chance of catching tiger fish and brilliant bird watching possibilities, make us a truly unique South African Safari experience. White Elephant is the perfect romantic retreat for newlyweds and anniversary celebrations.
White Elephant Safari Lodge captures the history and romance of a bygone era. The deep veranda, sweeping views and tranquil setting provide the venue for a unique African experience.
Eight luxurious safari tents, each with romantic ball and claw bath, outdoor canvas shower and private veranda provide an evocative safari in the Pongola Game Reserve Wilderness.
White Elephant Bush Camp is an ideal self-catering escape from the busy hurried world for families and friends. Seven spacious thatched en-suite chalets with quality linen and overhead fans, open plan kitchen, dining room, bar, swimming pool and spectacular views ensure a “close to nature”, relaxed ambience.
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White Elephant Safari Lodge – Luxury Tented Accommodation:
Classic colonial décor, refined simplicity, deep verandas and sweeping views capture the history and romance of the bygone era.
Eight luxurious Safari tents, each with indulgent bathroom, outdoor shower, private veranda and personal bar provide a secluded retreat in an unspoilt savannah bushveld teeming with game and bird life. Sumptuous meals, personalized service, utter comfort and the passionate attention to detail ensure beautiful memories of Africa.
Celebrate nature, life and its myriad small moments with us. Venture into the wilderness on guided walks, game drives or ‘elephantine’ and learn with us about nature’s intricacies and wonders. Cast the waters for tiger fish or unwind with dusky bird calls, magical moon rises or a gentle boat cruise.
01 Jan 2019 – 31 Dec 2019
R3470.00: Per Person Sharing Per Night
R5040.00: Per Person Single Per Night
The following services & facilities are included:
Accommodation in our Luxury Safari Tent Suites. Early morning tea & coffee, late breakfast & Dinner, Afternoon tea (high tea), daily coffees, teas, juices.
Two eco-activities per day which include game drive, guided walk, boat cruise, tiger fishing, elephantine, black rhino tracking or canoeing – subject to availability and depending on weather conditions.
The following services & facilities are excluded:
Gate Entrance Fee: R 25 per vehicle (R 50 after hours: 18h00-6h00) payable at the gate.
All soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
Transfers to and from lodge.
White Elephant Bush Camp – Exclusive use villa:
This unique self-catering lodge provides for a relaxed, private, bush experience. White Elephant Bush Camp is an escape from the busy, hurried world for families and friends. A Private Ranger will cater to your group’s activity needs.
Seven thatched en-suite chalets are generously spacious with quality linen and overhead fans. Open plan kitchen, dining room, bar, swimming pool and spectacular views ensure a “close to nature” relaxed ambience. Venture into the wilderness with a field guide on bush walks, game drives, boat cruises or cast the water for tiger fish. White Elephant Bush Camp is an ideal escape from the busy, hurried world for families and friends.
Bush Camp can accommodate up to 16 guests as follows:
Chalet 1-4: twin beds, en-suite shower.
Chalet 5-6: twin beds, en-suite shower and bath.
Chalet 7: family unit, en-suite shower. Twin beds in main room, 2 x single beds in children’s adjoining room.
Venture into the wilderness with the field guide on one of our many activities.
Rates 2019 Minimum Daily Fee(1-8 Guests) (01 Jan – 31 Dec 2019):
R4880.00: Per Unit Per Night
As the camp is booked exclusively, we charge a minimum daily fee.
Rate includes: Accommodation, daily housekeeping services, V.A.T.
Rate excludes: Meals, beverages, telephone & fax, laundry service, personal purchases, all activities, transfers to and from the camp, and R 25 (R 50 after hours: 18h00-6h00) gate entrance fee (per vehicle) payable at the gate.
Rates 2019 More than 8 guests 01 Jan 2019 – 31 Dec 2019:
R610.00: Per Person Per Night
Only valid if more than 8 guests book Bush Camp:
Rates 2019 Children under 12 years 01 Dec 2018 – 31 Dec 2019
R305.00: Per Child Per Night
Only valid if more than 8 guests are booked.
Umkhaya Cottage – Self-catering Accommodation:
Set your own pace and do your own thing
Within close proximity to White Elephant Bush Camp and the Kohrs family homestead, umKhaya Cottage can now be exclusively hired by couples or a small family of up to four, for a totally private bush experience.
Self-Catered Accommodation & Housekeeping Services included.
UmKhaya is a private self-contained thatched cottage, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, open plan kitchen & lounge, and large veranda. It is within short walking distance of White Elephant Bush Camp. The cottage can be booked on its own or as part of Bush Camp if guest group is greater than 16.
We still offer the same exciting activities even though you stay in self-catering accommodation.
2019 Rack Rate Minimum Fee (1-4 guests) 01 Jan 2019 – 31 Dec 2019:
R2420.00: Per Unit Per Night
Rate is for the whole unit per night
At the foot of the majestic Lebombo mountains and the shimmering waters of Lake Jozini, you will find a special destination called White Elephant. It is a place with magic and soul, inspired by a dream and created with passion.
The White Elephant Safari Lodge and Bush Camp (owned by the Kohrs family) are in the beautiful Pongola Game Reserve (South) in Northern Zululand near the Swaziland border. White Elephant is easily accessible from the N2 (national route between Johannesburg and Durban) and Pongola Game Reserve (South) is a malaria free reserve.
Pongola Game Reserve, the first proclaimed game reserve in Africa, is host to four of the ‘Big 5’ species. Wildlife includes buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard, hyena, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, 12 different antelope species, over 350 bird species and an interesting array of smaller mammal and insect life.
The reserve consists of a consolidation of privately owned land which totals 30 000 hectares including Lake Jozini. Beautiful views, glorious sunsets, therapeutic silence, game drives, guided walks, boat cruises, rhino walks, a unique ‘elephantine’ experience, scenic flights, research projects, behind-the-scenes conservation operations, ensure a rich, varied experience.
Land- and Water- based Safari Activities:
White Elephant is the only lodge in South Africa to offer Kariba-like, water based safari activities (motorized and canoeing) as well as the traditional land based activities. This sets us apart from other safari destinations.
We are passionate about conservation and offer a superb Black Rhino conservation experience (with a chance of viewing Black Rhino on foot) and offer guests an insight to what the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project entails. We also have a fascinating Elephant research activity, which offers an educational, interactive and visual experience and an opportunity to spend time with our elephant researcher at our research centre.
We also offer the conventional activities such as game drives, educational bush walks, a visit to the lodge hide overlooking a waterhole and incredible boat cruises on Lake Jozini. These varied activities as well as the chance of catching tiger fish and superb bird watching possibilities, make us a truly unique South African Safari experience.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: ALL ACTIVITIES ARE WEATHER DEPENDENT AND SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
Safari Boat cruises:
Enjoy an early morning boat cruise, viewing spectacular bird-life or a late afternoon sunset excursion. This activity is highly recommended as there are few reserves in South Africa where ‘game drives’ can be done on water. The 15000 hectare Lake Jozini provides the focal feature of Pongola Game Reserve and reminds one of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. Boat Cruises are a wonderful alternative to exploring the flora and fauna of our wildlife sanctuary. Sightings of herds of antelope, hippo, crocodile as well as an enormous variety of bird species are common. You may even be fortunate enough to see the elephants enjoying a relaxing bath in the Lake.
+/- 3 hour excursion
Canoeing – on Lake Jozini:
Canoeing on Lake Jozini is a wonderfully serene way to either start or end your day in the Bush. The gentle 2 hour paddle along the shoreline, with only birdcalls and the splashing of oars, provides a very different perspective to viewing game and the African Bush. You can expect to see hippo, crocodiles, plains game and an abundance of birdlife.
This activity caters for young and old and is tailored to suite your fitness level and spirit for adventure. (no children under the age of 12) +/- 3 hour excursion
Tiger Fishing/Boat Hire:
Lake Jozini is the most southern lake where tiger fish are endemic. From the novice fisherman to the expert angler fishing with a fly, Lake Jozini offers you the ideal location for a tiger fish catch of a lifetime. Tilapia, Barbel (sharp toothed catfish), Yellowfish, Grass carp, Mozambique and Red Breasted Bream are also found in The Lake. The Pongola Game Reserve promotes a catch and release policy for Tigerfish. The pristine wilderness setting compares favourably to the wilds of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. The best time for tiger fishing at Lake Jozini is September through to April.
Elephant Research Project:
The Elephant Research Project is a unique educational activity offered at White Elephant as an alternative to Game Drives, Walks, Boat Cruises, and Fishing. This activity offers an educational, interactive and visual experience and an opportunity to spend time with our elephant researcher, Heike.
Guests are taken to our Research Centre to view the BBC documentary “Operation Elephant”, on the relocation of our elephants from the Kruger National Park. Guests participate in discussions and debate, examine elephant skulls and bones and learn more about the purpose of Heike’s research. Spending time with the researcher in the world of the elephants is enlightening and fascinating, offering a new perspective on Nature, elephants and conservation issues.
Our long-term elephant research is focused on collecting data for the Disney veterinarians who performed vasectomies on most of our older elephant males. The result of this unique long-term study will also be of great value to other private and state reserves that are looking at alternative management options preferable to lethal control in order to limit increasing elephant numbers in fenced reserves. Each time guests participate in this experience; a contribution is made to ‘Space for Elephants Foundation’.
This project may not appeal to everyone but provides a great opportunity to learn more about the ways of our elephants, their history, and their conservation management.
We invite you to share our elephant passion!
+/-3 hour excursion.
We would appreciate prior notice of interest in this activity so that we can ensure Heike will be available.
Black Rhino Range Expansion Project:
An adrenalin-raising experience that provides an insight into the rhino’s fascinating world and the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project. With the use of a Telemetry device, we will follow the rhino’s signal, look for tracks and dung middens and examine our camera ‘trap’ locations as part of our rhino monitoring and conservation project.
No persons under the age of 16 years. +/_ 3 hour excursion.
Safari Game drive:
Game drives are conducted in open 4×4 vehicles, either in the early morning or late afternoons by a professional guide who will show you, not only the larger game but also the many varied and interesting smaller species in our game reserve. +/-3 hour excursion.
Walking trails are very much a part of the White Elephant Safari experience. Being on foot, is not only a more energetic way of experiencing the Bush but also provides a ‘close-up’ invigorating encounter with Nature. The sounds, smells and minute detail of the wilderness become much more apparent on a guided walk. The duration and speed of your walk will be tailored by your professional guide to suite your fitness and stamina.
Walks go out daily, either early morning or late afternoon. (No children under 16). Minimum of 2 guests per walk, 1-3 hours duration.
The Story of “White Elephant”: God wrested the beautiful Lebombo Mountains from the steamy Maputaland plains and here nature ruled with a harsh hand for hundreds of years…
But the vast herds of game lured determined men: hunters and explorers. So, began the advance of white man in the early 19th century. Hunters made considerable fortunes. One such hunter known as “Elephant White” shot 150 elephant in one season. In the plenitude that was Africa, everything seemed inexhaustible.
The abundant game began to dwindle. In 1894 President Kruger proclaimed the Pongola Game Reserve, the first reserve in Africa.
The Anglo Boer War in 1899 brought chaos and the new Game Reserve was abandoned. For years thereafter due to a lack of funds, muddled boundaries and political agendas the game reserve became a “white elephant”.
After the 1st World War, man toiled on the steamy plains planting fields, building houses and railway lines but nature ruled ruthlessly with droughts and disease.
Man fought a bitter struggle for almost 30 years against sleeping sickness and the tsetse fly. For a long time, angry gunfire echoed across the plains. “Kill the game!” man cried for he believed he had to destroy the animals to rid the land of the tsetse fly. Hundreds of thousands of animals thudded to the ground. By 1940 the game was gone but the tsetse fly remained: Another “white elephant” in this history of man.
In 1948 man finally won the tsetse fly war, with the notorious DDT insecticide. Cattle now flourished, and sugar cane crept further along the course of the Pongola River…
The construction of the gigantic Jozini Dam began in 1970. But it was a flawed dam that caused considerable controversy and it, too, became known as a “white elephant”.
Finally, in 1993, the wheel had turned full circle. Fences were dropped, and game re-introductions began. Two elephant herds were re-located to our “new” reserve. One of these elephants is an albino, not entirely white but a symbolic reminder of the past “white elephants”. After 100 years, the Lebombos reverberated again with the triumphant sounds of nature.
In 1999, shrouded in the mists of early morning, an elephant bull pushed over the mighty Mphafa tree in the lodge’s garden. It was this tree that had given the Lodge its name. It seemed fitting that the newly restored lodge be named “White Elephant Lodge”