We were a group of friends staying at the luxurious Villa iZulu, where time was our own and no schedules were prescribed. We were warmly welcomed by Linda Gumede, one of the team leaders, had lunch prepared by our private chef, and were served by our own private butler who had access to the wine cellar and cappuccinos on offer whenever we required – all this, every day. Oh, and our own private game viewing vehicle complete with ranger and tracker. What more could we ask for?

Villa iZulu

In this Covid time I appreciated the outdoor dining, vast open spaces, and the ease at which one can social distance. It was also comforting to have sanitiser close at hand and to know that all staff are not only temperature and symptom checked daily, but wear masks very efficiently. We were a group of friends, but the Villa iZulu at Thanda Safari would be PERFECT for a multi-generational family getaway.

Villa iZulu pool area

One definitely has a sense of place at the Villa, with plenty references to being in the bush as well as of the local Zulu culture. With five en-suite bedrooms, lounge, dining room, TV/games room, library, and business centre, as well as outdoor dining and relaxing spaces there is plenty of choice. An indigenous garden surrounds the incredibly welcome swimming pool for those hot Zululand days, and a deck overlooks a waterhole that was frequented by nyala, zebra, warthog as well as a few buffalo.

Villa iZulu deck
Villa iZulu lounge

My suite was luxurious and stylishly decorated and had views over the garden. There was a dressing area, fabulous bathroom with Healing Earth amenities and a wonderfully large shower and inviting bath tub.

Suite at Villa iZulu
Bathroom at Villa iZulu

And the food was absolutely delicious!  Our private chef, Sindy Maphumulu, under the watchful eye of Thanda Safari Executive Chef Catherine Garden, had us indulging in fresh, uber-chic cuisine – with us all asking her to please share her recipes with us. Not in a million years though could I replicate the finesse of a private chef, or the ambiance that dining in the bush offers.

Al fresco garden lunch

And from me, “a huge thank you to Villa iZulu’s wonderful staff, including Linda Gumede (team leader), Wonderboy Mngomezulu (butler), Catherine Garden (executive chef), Sindy Maphumulu (chef) and the rest of the kitchen team as well as our wonderful ranger Buselaphi Mngomezulu and Winneth Khumalo our tracker. Thank you for the service, the laughs and the genuine smiles”.

Winneth and Busi at Thanda Safari


Note: Even though this was a hosted media trip, all thoughts and comments are as I experienced it.

Click HERE to read this in the latest Responsible Traveller Mag