We booked a 2 night stay in a loft room at Jozini Tiger lodge over the Womens Day 'long weekend'.
After a 4 hour drive we found the lodge without difficulty as dusk was approaching. At check-in, the lady at reception (Sne) was quite unhelpful. She offered no explanation regarding the facilities, spa, meal-times, location of the dining room or anything else for that matter. Getting information from her was like pulling teeth from a hippopotamus. When we enquired about supper, she remarked that it was being served in the boma. When asked where the boma was she simply said "around the corner". I didn't bother enquiring which corner!! A person of this caliber, with poor people and communication skills should not be welcoming guests. "Welcome" drinks were however provided. At no time were we informed that we could also have supper in the formal dining room. One of the other ladies at reception were quite helpful and assisted me in booking a fishing trip for the next morning.
Having put the icy cold reception behind us we set off to find our room to freshen up before supper. The room was exactly as pictured on the website, tastefully furnished, clean and quite comfortable. However, no information booklet regarding the activities or facilities on offer was provided in the room either.
To find the supper venue we simply followed the sound of the drums! The Zulu dancers and drummers gave a spirited performance. Supper was a buffet providing an adequate variety and was well prepared. We had a restful sleep and were awaken early the next morning by the crowing of roosters. After enjoying the sun rise over the dam from the balcony we headed down for breakfast. Despite specifying that 3 of our group would not consume beef or pork, no other meat option was provided at breakfast. After a long delay and upon finishing our breakfast, we were brought rather large portions of chicken strips, grilled hake and chips which were packed for us to take on our boat trip. The breakfast was adequate and once again prepared to a satisfactory standard.
While we attempted to land a Jozini Tiger, the ladies had a relaxing time at the spa and lounged at the poolside. The boat pilot and guide was an amiable fellow who had the best luck of the day! At least we were able to watch the fight the fish gave him!
Tip - don't waste your time on spinners or lures: the Jozini Tiger appears to have a preference for sardines, which your guide will provide. The chicken liver we tried attracted no interest. Don't bother packing rods either as a rod and tackle are available for hire at reasonable cost.
We had also booked a sunset cruise which turned out to be quite a disaster as a result of poor management. There was a large group of ladies who had apparently booked a package including a cruise but were not booked for that day's cruise. They refused to get off the boat and management refused to allow the boat to leave. The cruise was delayed a long while and eventually left with the group on board after a whole lot of people that were booked got off!!!
People should only be allowed onto the boat after their bookings were confirmed anyway!
Supper was a buffet as well. Where were the gourmet meals the website promises??? To their credit the Kitchen staff prepared a delicious rack of lamb for those of our party that did not eat beef or pork. Also on offer were grilled prawns and the usual buffet items.
In summary we had a great stay at Jozini Tiger Lodge (primarily due to its location), the food was better than expected and the kitchen staff were quite accommodating to our dietary restrictions, however there is plenty of room for improvement especially with regards to the check-in staff/reception.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa is situated along the banks of the picturesque Jozini dam & overlooking the Lebombo Mountains of KwaZulu Natal. Situated in the heart of the Kingdom of the Zulu with its rich heritage and untamed natural beauty, this Lodge & Spa is an exciting holiday destination which offers a perfect luxury getaway in the heart of nature. The hotel offers a variety of outdoor activities such as tiger-fishing, game viewing, hiking and kayaking. Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa is easily accessible from both Durban and Gauteng. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jozini Tiger Hotel Jozini