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“Zulu Dawn”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Isandlwana Lodge

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Isandlwana Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Zulu Dawn”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

We have just returned from a three week trip to South Africa, and this lodge was one of the highlights. From the moment we saw it in the setting of the rocks above the dirt road, we knew we were in for a different experience, and we were not disappointed. The genuinely warm welcome ( with cooling drink ready on arrival ) , the excellently appointed room, and the VIEW !. What a view from the bedroom and private balcony - to wake up and see Islandwana mountain and the plain on which it sits without having to get out of bed ! All the staff were very friendly and tried their best to teach us some Zulu - especially Dalton - 'ngiyabonga'. A most memorable day spent with Rob Gerrard, resident historian, was outstanding. He is a remarkable storyteller in the best oral tradition , bringing to life those awful battles at Islandwana and Roukes Drift. He also specialises in the Boer Wars which we hope to return to experience.
The food was to a high standard, well presented and served. The conference room contains a small TV with DVD and VHS recorders - we spent our first night brushing up on 'Zulu Dawn' . The only minor comment I would make for other travellers is that our room did not have a fridge, (which I would probably have turned off as I never like the noise they make at night)
This lodge deserves better recognition as it is an exceptional experience.

Room Tip: All rooms have fantastic views
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank will c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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203 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    171
    25
    5
    2
    0
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32
115
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Knutsford, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2011

We had three night stay here as part of a two week holiday in South Africa. My husband has been fascinated with South African history for a long time and it was his dream to visit the battlefields. I got swept up with it all - Rob Gerrard's talks are amazing, he brings it all to life for you.
We had a fantastic room, with a bed facing a large window overlooking the battlefield.
Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, all very friendly and Pat Stubbs, who was staying there, was . delightful, she made us feel quite at home.
We also enjoyed a tour of the nearby village, given by a local guide. The visit to the Sangoma was quite a moment!
Highly recommended.

Room Tip: ask for one of the 'end' rooms that have a wrap around balcony and a fantastic view. We wer...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Doreen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
153 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2011

After a long dusty drive the lodge appears on the hill side and looks very impressive. We stayed for 2 nights but wished it had been longer. The food and service was absolutely awesome and the view from the room overlooking the Zulu village and the battlefields were stunning. The chance to have a pre dinner drink with Pat who is the owner (a lovely American lady), the famous historian Rob Gerrard and Dalton who is a Zulu chief was an amazing experience. We had a full day talk with Rob about the battle for Isandlawana and Rorkes Drift, he was very knowledgeable and made the whole story come to life. We would certainly go back as the whole experience was amazing.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kev-Julie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
130 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2011

As you drive the dusty roads approaching the lodge you are awed by its unique shape and its location. This gorgeous lodge with its entire roof in the shape of a Zulu warrior’s shield appears to be tucked into a large crevice in the side of the mountain overlooking the Battlefields, and traditional Zulu villages in the valley below. The hotel is rustically luxurious. Every room as well as the main areas have excellent views of everyday life below. The hotel rooms and bathrooms are magnificent. There is an excellent full restaurant which supplies 3 meals a day plus snacks, a full bar, media room, library and pool area. The staff is extremely friendly and attentive to your every need and do all that they can to make your stay as comfortable and memorable as possible. Battlefield tours of the Anglo Zulu war with historian Rob Gerrard are available on site. Rob is a fabulous raconteur and brings the battles and people to life as he weaves the story of these historic battles together. Cannot recommend the lodge enough! As travel agents highly recommed Islandwana Lodge for a unique and memorable experience.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank STSMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
158 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2011

It takes about 3 seconds for the dusty road to be forgotten once you arrive at this cracker of a lodge. The greeting is gracious and genuine and the lodge is magic from reception, common areas and throughout.

The rooms have spectacular panoramic views of the fields of Isandlwana and are reminiscent of a great safari lodge. Most come for the battlefield tours and (having done a few on my days) they are not to be missed. The resident historian is engaging, entertaining and had us thoroughly absorbed at Rorkes Drift. My other half was not keen at all (not a military buff by any stretch of the imagination)...but was mesmerised with the tours and it became a real highlight.

Go for the tour, and been blown away by the lodge, rooms, pool and facilities in general. Meal was great and the bar chatter after dinner with guests and guide was fantastic...this place just has a great atmosphere and will be long remembered...I don't say it often; faultless.

Room Tip: Any, all are fantastic.
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank StevenBSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2011

Having just returned from a stay at Isandlwana Lodge I want to share with you what a great time my husband and I had there. Our stay was short, only two nights but when we left I felt as if we were leaving a place that was very precious to us. The manager Andre and all his staff were so friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble for them. The meals were tastefully served and the quality was superb. The main attraction for us was viewing the battlefields and we were under the guidance of Robert Gerrard, resident historian, author and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His descriptions of the build up to the battle of Isandlwana, between the British and the Zulus, and the actual battle was told with much passion and it was easy at times to visualise what had happened. This tour was done in the morning and in the afternoon we drove with Robert to Rorke's Drift and here again his telling of the story, with so many major and minor details, made it all come alive. This day spent with him is one we shall remember for a long time. I am so pleased that I bought his book 'The People of the Heavens' as it helps me recall many of the points he mentioned. Lindizwe (Dalton) Ngobese, the other guide through the battlefields, was a delight to speak to. In the book by Robert, I see that Dalton's grandfather was a senior chieftain, but this we did not learn from him. He is a highly informed man and our talks with him were of vast interest to us.
The lodge itself overlooks the Isandlwana battlefield and the view from our balcony was one I enjoyed time and time again. There is such a tranquil air about it despite all the devastation that took place all those years ago. We thank everyone connected to the lodge for the truly restful and enjoyable time we had there.

Room Tip: I presume all the suites are the same. Ours was tastefully furnished plus a bowl of fresh fruit, a...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hamawacama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2011

The Lodge is located in the historic area of the Anglo-Zulu wars of the 19th century. Owned by two American women involved in eco-tourism, the Lodge is built entirely with local products and blends beautifully into the landscape. Set against a mountainous ridge, the views are magnificient and the tranquility is periodically pierced by beautiful bird sounds. Food is good but not exceptional. Service efficient and friendly. A bit off the beaten track. Fours hours from Durban with 10km of dirt road. Best suited for those interested in Anglo-Zulu history or in desperate need of peace and tranquility.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Reddy6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Isandlwana Lodge

Property: Isandlwana Lodge
Address: Portion 20 of Reserve No: 18 No:15838 | Nqutu, Isandlwana 3005, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Isandlwana
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Isandlwana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Isandlwana Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Isandlwana Lodge offers twelve luxury rooms all en-suite and tastefully decorated in a mixture of traditional and modern styles. The Lodge is carved into the iNyoni rock formation on top of which the Zulu commander stood during the battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879. Enjoy unparalleled views from the crisp early light of a sparkling Zulu dawn to the splendor of the African sunset. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isandlwana Hotel Isandlwana
Isandlwana Lodge KwaZulu-Natal

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