TRAVEL

Mkuze: Bayete Zulu Game Reserve

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There are those places that you visit where you realise how amazingly lucky we are to live in Africa.
Bayete Zulu is one of those places.

Bayete Zulu is a private homestead located in the Zululand Rhino Reserve, 300 km north of Durban – just 3.5 hours door to door actually. It’s a self-catering lodge which you have full use of for the duration of your stay and it sleeps up to 20 people in 8 luxurious rooms and 2 suites. The rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished with en suite bathrooms with big sunken baths and outdoor showers, so you can get your bits out under the stars ;)
And you have full use of the lodge, which includes a magnificent rim-flow pool with a view over the game reserve, a jacuzzi, bar and dining area, indoor & outdoor lounges, a fire pit, an outdoor boma dining area, a kids play area and game vehicles – 2 of them – with some very cool rangers on hand – we were mightily impressed with Graham and Louise and they put up with all our shenanigans whilst explaining the history of knob trees and scoping out a pride of lions for us ;)

It’s self-catering yes, so you take all your own food and booze, but there is the most amazing group of cooks on hand to prepare and cook all your food for you if you want – we had breakfast, lunch and supper sorted out for us each day which was awesome – especially the delicious potjie and braai with pap!

Bayete Zulu is located in the Mkuze West portion of the 22 000 ha Zululand Rhino Reserve, which boasts the big five along with a wide variety of other wild life. The landscape is varied and we were there when it was quite wet and green, so our surroundings were beautifully lush and cool. We stopped in the bush for morning coffee each day and in the evenings made a stop at dusk to watch the sun go down with a few alcoholic beverages. The peace and serenity one feels in the bush really does make you wonder what this rat race crap is all about – the sense of wonder at nature and the stars you can see at night, that you never see in the city and the smells and sounds – that is Africa – it truly is magnificent!

But the most mind-blowing experience of our visit and a top 10 list of life experiences for me, was the elephant interaction we had on our last day at Bayete.
Rambo, Rachel and Jabulani are a family of 3 habituated elephants who live on the reserve and interact with guests each day by choice – their story is unique and enthralling and you’ll get the low-down on how they came to live at Bayete along with some interesting facts about elephants in general and then about the 2 guys who live with these elephants from dawn till dusk each day. AND then you’ll get to feed them as well as touch Rambo’s ears, behind his tusks, between his front legs and even get to feel his tongue!
Talk about amazing experiences!?

Places like Bayete are few and far between and I highly recommend you take a trip there to see for yourself.
Get in touch with your soul again, unwind for a day or two, or three… Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of the veld, just be… YOU!
Flip, I must go again!

Nevermind that I got to visit along with the most amazing group of bloggers and misfits this side of Kathmandu – that was the cherry on top! I met some amazing people – creatives in their prime – full of energy & ideas and talent in bucket loads!

Christy-Lee Hosking of Pickle Photo was there and she captured the essence of Bayete Zulu in her pics way better than I ever could, so please go check out her pics on her site. She’s an uber talented photographer who specialises in weddings and portraits and it was awesome to meet her in person after admiring her work for so long.

The rest of the group that was with us is being profiled on Lauren Wallet’s ‘Love Lauren’ blog here, so check out this talented bunch yourself. I met some people I’ve had virtual friendships with for ages {so common these days} as we’ll as some new people I hope to see again in the future. Networking with like-minded people is awesome – something Lauren Wallet has built her business model on and she does it well, with energy and enthusiasm and always with a personal touch. Thank you Lauren, so much for inviting us to join you on this trip and to the team at Bayete Zulu – thank you for sharing your piece of paradise with us.

Here are a few beaut Pickle Photo pics – there are many more on that blog so go have a look-see there too…

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So your appetite is whet and you want to go too?
Hop on over to the Bayete Zulu website for more details, but the low down is that it costs R800 per person per night and there’s a minimum number of 6 people needed per booking.
Elephant interaction is R400 per person – do not miss it!

I for one, will definitely be going back… soon.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    My travels – Ask Ashe
    26th November 2015 at 5:44 PM

    […] some amazing game reserves over the years and have stayed at Phinda, Mziki Private Game Reserve and Bayete Zulu. One day I hope to watch the migration in the Serengeti – that’s on my bucket […]

  • Reply
    lerlen
    24th April 2014 at 1:48 PM

    the place looks beautiful

  • Reply
    Debra
    24th April 2014 at 11:02 AM

    and you met my one of my pals andrew i see !

  • Reply
    Debra
    24th April 2014 at 10:59 AM

    fave animals elephants! what an awesome time you had!

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