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Overview
NNtshondwe Resort is the main resort for Ithala Game Reserve which is magnificent reserve, tumbling from the heights of the Ngotshe Mountains a thousand meters down into a deep valley, carved over the eons by the Phongolo River revealing the world's oldest rock formations, is a game viewers paradise. Ithala Game Reserve's big game species include white and black rhino, elephant, buffalo and, notably giraffe so numerous that they have been selected as Ithala's logo. Winner of three consecutive ‘AA Travel Guides & SAA Resort of the Year’ awards this resort offers 4 of the Big 5 game. Ntshondwe offers various accommodation configurations from fully equipped, self-catering four- and six-beds, as well as the fully equipped, self-catering, luxurious six-bed Ntshondwe Lodge with its own splash pool. Residents have the choice of self-catering or using the restaurant. With 39 thatched chalets blend into a lush setting of acacias, wild figs, cabbage trees and other indigenous flora. A variety of self-catering chalets, with two to six beds each, some of which have being designed for use by the handicapped, are available, while 28 other chalets without catering facilities are geared for tour groups and conference 56 delegates in twin bedded rooms with bathroom, DSTV, small fridge and tea/coffee making facilities is set aside for conference delegates .These are situated around the visitors' centre, which has a fully licensed restaurant, a bar, and an open game viewing deck, with a waterhole at which a variety of animals come to drink as well as a small shop at which basic provisions, curios, books, charcoal and photographic film may be purchased. Other accommodation units is the luxury 3 star graded lodge with its own swimming and cook on site. In addition, there are three fully equipped, self-catering bush lodges – the rustic 4-bed Thalu and the eight-bed Mbizo and Mahlangeni has been set aside as the accommodation for hunting season. Ithala has a small rustic campground with three campsites providing basic facilities for up to 20 people. There is a shower, a flush toilet and a kitchen. A thatched lounge/dining shelter is available for use as a communal facility. As with most of Ithala's visitor facilities, the camp ground is situated on a river which is free from bilharzia. Three picnic sites have been established. Please refer to the enclosed map for the location of these sites which all have braai facilities and toilets. In the interest of good conservation practice, please do not gather firewood from the bush around the picnic sites or in the park. Other amenities include a swimming pool built around a giant rock which is set amongst a group of very large boulders in the grounds of the camp, available to residents. A modern, well equipped conference centre provides an excitingly different venue for meetings and symposia. This facility is set in pleasant surroundings adjacent to the main camp, to ensure a disturbance-free conference. It caters for 90 delegates in the main venue and has two additional break-away rooms which can accommodate 18 delegates each. Listen to and absorb the sounds and atmosphere of the bush either by participating to the game drives or game walks. Game reserves are havens of peace and quiet where it is still possible to listen to the birds and animals without being disturbed. Game drives and guided walks are offered as well. Ithala is also unique in that for visitors who prefer travelling by air it has a 1200 metre long, tarred airstrip which is big enough to take a Dakota aircraft! Please make arrangements with the Manager at Ntshondwe before coming though, as they need to come and collect you from the strip! The Auto Trail consists of a 30 km circular drive that should take about three hours to complete. A total of 22 points of interest are described along the route, which is marked alphabetically. In spring, the grasslands are alive with warthogs. In summer, masses of red ‘Pride of De Kaap flowers complement the wild dates on the reclining palms along the slopes and steam balks of this rugged reserve Several rivers rise in or just out of the reserve, winding to the Pongola River. These rivers are attractive with waterfalls, pools and gorges flanked by dense thickets and riverine forest. After years of near extinction from this area, Redbilled Oxpeckers were reintroduced to Ithala in 1994. Many sighting of immature redbilled Oxpeckers have been recorded since, confirming that they have accepted their new home. Provision of tourism facilities with a touch of wildlife. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Your Ultimate Wildlife Experience.
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