Somkhanda Game Reserve
Contact details: Tel: 074 129 7185 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Somkhanda Game Reserve is owned by the Gumbi tribe as a result of a series of successful land claims and was handed over to the community in 1998. Somkhanda is 12000ha, which consists of 4 major properties that were previously either cattle or game farms. Of those farms claimed, one was previously known as Milimani Game Sanctuary which is where our lodge and camps are now based today.
In 2013 Wildlands received grant funding to upgrade fencing and other infrastructure as well as to train community members to run both the reserve management as well as the tourism and hospitality for the lodge and numerous camps. Somkhanda is also part of a KZN Wildlife and WWF initiative, the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, which released a number of black rhino onto the reserve in order to promote their breeding and expand their range.
African Insight was brought in by Wildlands as a tourism partner, with the mandate to develop and manage tourism on Somkhanda. Sixteen community members were selected, trained and given an eighteen month paid internship. On completion, twelve interns were given permanent positions and further training in hospitality services. The reserve has over 100km of 4x4 jeep tracks which guests are welcome to drive in their own 4x4s. A GPS is an essential requirement as there are no road signs. Full board packages include one game activity per day whilst self-catering packages do not include activities. Additional activities can be booked and paid for on arrival.
Unlike the traditional concept of private game lodges where the visitor experience is game drive based entertainment, on Somkhanda visitors are encouraged to encounter wildlife and the environment from the point of view of being in an enormous wildlife laboratory, where there is limitless opportunity to learn about all aspects of wildlife and the environment. The model on which the ecotourism operation on Somkhanda Game Reserve is based is summed up in the concept of “Science On Safari”. So if it's a bush walk or a game drive, guests will be involved in learning and gather valuable information needed to manage the reserve. Even if guests are self-driving, they can download our free wildlife app and log their sightings.
Non-traditional game reserve activities include accompanying our interns and volunteers into the surrounding community to dip cattle (weekends only). This is a 3-hour activity which offers a genuine insight into contemporary Zulu culture. By prior arrangement, traditional Zulu homestays can be arranged for up to 16 people.
Tel: 074 129 7185email: email@example.com