Somkhanda Community Game Reserve

Somkhanda Community Game Reserve

Somkhanda Community Game Reserve
4.5
About
Somkhanda Game Reserve is a community-owned Big 5 game reserve located in northern Zululand stretching across 12,000 hectares of rolling hills and natural bushland habitat. Somkhanda Game Reserve is owned by the Emvokweni Community Trust (ECT), who represent the Gumbi community, and is co-managed by WILDLANDS – a programme of the WILDTRUST. The Reserve focuses on improving ecosystem management and driving interventions that conserve endangered wildlife and species vulnerable to poaching and the illegal trade. Somkhanda promotes growth for the Gumbi community through ecotourism and environmental education opportunities, currently these initiatives employ around 100 community members.
Mkuze, South Africa
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(15 reviews)
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles50 reviews
Excellent
33
Very good
14
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Ellen V
Bottrop13 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
We stayed 3 nights at Somkhanda, a big 5 Reserve, and were absolutely thrilled by the wonderful views and unspoiled and peaceful landscape. Riaan, the manager and guide, took us on some drives as our rental was not a 4x4, and it is hard not to notice how much he loves what he is doing and the effort he and Carla are putting in this place.
Written 12 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lauren Larsen
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Solo
I was very privalged at having the opportunity of spending time at Somkhanda Game Reserve and got to experience this gem in the heart of kzn first hand. A beautiful destination with so much to offer. A great escape into the wilderness where you truly do leave it all behind! The tranquility is beyond measure and the knowledge I gained experiencing wildlife in its habitat is priceless. The friendly staff, the passion, efforts and love that goes into this beautiful place is indescribable. A game reserve and ambience that's stands out above all the rest. Stunning accommodation, beautiful views, sunrises and sunsets that are just breathtaking. Somkhanda is truly a destination to visit and experience first hand.
Written 26 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roger Griffiths
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
This is such a magical place and has a special place in my heart. The lodge is stunning and comfortable, love that it is either self catering or that you can go down to the restaurant and enjoy a lovely meal while looking into the water hole.
The staff are super friendly and going on a guided game drive is a must.
Absolutely love Somkhanda.
Written 24 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Camilla
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
We spent 3 days at the lodge and had the most magical time! The rooms are beautiful and serviced and the kitchen is kept spotless. We had the most amazing sightings of the Wild Dogs, Rhinos and plenty of the usual suspects. The evenings sitting round the fire in the boma are the best way to spend quality family time! The roads are in good condition but would highly recommend game drives in the game viewer.
Written 10 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fearless08788812184
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
We just returned from Somkhanda with mixed feelings. We chose to go there because friends had been there last year and said that they saw the big 5 regularly whilst there. We know that game viewing is tricky and involves a bit of luck but we still had great hopes of showing our children possibly most if not all of the big 5. The tented accommodation was great, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the views were magical. Bird life is very special. There were about 15-20 people camping and between 4 cars, 5 days and at least 2 trips a day we hardly saw a thing except Nyala and Impala. That is not bad luck. Word via the grapevine is that management have changed strategies and are concentrating on hunting and have closed off a lot of watering holes in the allocated area for visitors. This has resulted in most of the game heading to the closed off area that is used for hunting. This would make sense as to why we saw hardly any game never mind the big 5. Somkhanda is a beautiful place and I would recommend it for birding but if you are going in search of game(lacking variety never mind the big 5) then I suggest looking elsewhere. Such a pity.
Written 16 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gareth P
Wartburg, South Africa18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Somkhanda is wild, untamed and incredibly scenic. I would highly recommend a stay here for those wanting a true escape into nature. We stayed in the zebra camp for 5 nights. The tent was clean and had no holes or broken zippers and was a great base to explore the reserve from. Ablution facilities were rustic but appropriate for the wild experience. We fell asleep to the roars of lions, two nights in a row and heard the beautiful call of the African scops Owl almost every night. We were greeted by Gareth, one of the rangers. He was super friendly, helpful and made us feel very welcome. You will need a 4x4 to fully explore and enjoy the network of many trails. Sedans would be limited to the 7km main road. We only saw two of the big 5 but that's how game viewing goes, however we enjoyed every second of our stay and will definitely return!
Written 27 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Georgia Adey
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
After seeing some AMAZING photos from a good friend we decided to escape Durban for two nights and head to Somkhanda. Although we didn't choose the best time of the year to visit and our game viewing was limited we had the most incredible stay. The place radiates love: Lundy was so hospitable and our guides so knowledgable. They were exceptional at reading the vibe of our group and even let one of us test how warm the rhino poo was!!
We had such a wonderful time we extended for an extra night and will have the good sense to book for a week the next time we go back! Thank you Somkhanda
Written 8 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marileen D
Durban, South Africa48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Family
We spent 3 nights at Somkhandla and what a special treat. We stayed in the tented camp and had our own table, gas stove and tap, but did use the electricity in the communal kitchen for our camp fridge. Tents were comfortable and ablution facilities basic but clean with flushing toilets and hot water showers. The pool at the main lodge provided much needed relief from the heat of the day. We joined the monitoring game drive and was privileged to be in the middle of a near kill between the lions and the buffalo. Tain, our ranger, has an excellent knowledge about the animals, plants and birds in the park and shared a lot of interesting facts. We also did self drives and saw a lot of game on our own as well. With lots of rain recently the bush was green and lush so animals were in really good condition. We love the bush, and really enjoyed Somkhandla as we saw 4 of the big 5, but without the crowds of the bigger game reserves, so was able to sit and watch a lioness stalk some antelope for over an hour without any other motorists disturbing us. All and all a real gem and a perfect bush break away.
Written 27 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matt Yardley
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
Somkhanda is a community owned reserve and in my opinion an absolute diamond in the rough. Tucked away in the beautiful rolling and dense hills of zululand this reserve has sop much to offer. Lundy, Eric and her team were awesome and made our stay so enjoyable. From rustic to comfortable accommodation the camps have such a relaxed feel about them and definitely not like any other lodges I have used over the years. You quickly feel like you are at home and you can kick off your shoes and relax feeling very close and connected to the bush. The game was great and to be able to camp and self drive was such a bonus.

Bhejane Nature Training School were amazing! We went on amazing walks through the reserve lead by lead trails guide, Steve. The amount of knowledge and information was amazing and the sightings were for the storybooks.

Thanks so much to you all. We will be seeing you soon!
Written 12 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HailsDurban
Durban3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
leaders in the field of true conservation initiatives. Low carbon footprint, eco friendly, basic and real raw africa
Written 22 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SOMKHANDA COMMUNITY GAME RESERVE (Mkuze) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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