Isandlwana Lodge is an unforgettable experience. Built into the side of the Nyoni Rock, overlooking the site of the British forces’ historic 1879 defeat at the hands of the Zulus, it is a truly distinctive piece of architecture that combines comfort and all the mod-cons with a real sense of place and originality.
The traditionally-thatched Isandlwana Lodge is built into the hillside in such an organic manner that it feels as if it could have been carved out rather than merely built; the cosy and welcoming ambience inside reinforces this sense, combining natural dark wood textures with extensive use of bare local stone in the walls and pillars. It offers a number of delightful communal areas including a very friendly bar with an open fire and memorabilia relating to the area’s history, as well as a library in which the guest can delve into the fascinating local history and a locally-staffed restaurant that is accommodating in its offering. There is a pool that has likewise been thoughtfully incorporated into the landscape, and the entire facility has been designed throughout to take full advantage of the stunning views down across the plain and the village below.
Food & service
It’s worth noting that the menu does not attempt to be anything other than it is, the kitchen producing largely homemade-farmhouse fare. The service is very friendly, while the feedback with regards to the historical guiding is great to excellent.
There are twelve en-suite rooms with twin or double beds and balconies. Isandlwana Lodge is obviously fully aware of the asset that it has in its location, and every balcony has a spectacular view of the plain and the mountain, a feature which pays dividends particularly during the beautiful dawns and sunsets. Each room is individually decorated, but there is a strong aesthetic tying them all together of bare stone and reclaimed wood, and a strong local flavour in all furnishings and bedspreads. There is also a separate guest house, situated between the main lodge and Isandlwana village below, a slightly more inexpensive option; it shares its aesthetic approach with the rest of the facility, and comprises three large bedrooms, a lounge and two bathrooms (and can sometimes be rented out in two parts both with self-catering facilities)
Isandlwana Lodge offers a range of walking and driving tours, as well as the opportunity to get an insider view of village life in Isandlwana itself.