About Us

Welcome to Kwaggashoek

The Kwaggashoek Game Lodge is known to offer its’ guests an exquisite and memorable African wildlife experience not to be missed.

Situated in the beautiful Northern Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal (30 km from Bergville) halfway between Johannesburg and Durban, this malaria free area is a popular destination throughout the year. Kwaggashoek Safari Lodge is a wildlife sanctuary that harbours a wide variety of game and birds set in breathtaking mountainous scenery.

Guests are greeted by majestic sunrises and sunsets, adding to the peace and tranquillity of the area. Our accommodation is tastefully decorated with natural colours to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Guests can embark on daily game drive in open vehicles, offering an unforgettable game viewing experience. Don’t be surprised to find animals roaming freely around the Lodge.

Surrounded by natural splendour, guests may rejuvenate themselves in the lovely rock pool, or grab a range of refreshments at the bar facilities. In the evening enjoy sumptuous African cuisine at the restaurant, or simply share stories of the African wilderness around a friendly bush fire – while listening to the nocturnal sounds. This private lodge offers guests secluded comfort, relaxation and luxury.

Personal attention and outstanding service assure an African safari never to be forgotten.

The History of Kwaggashoek Game Ranch

Kwaggashoek was bought by the Van Der Merwe family in 2000. As the name suggests, this farm was known for the large herds of zebra present when the farms were surveyed and mapped during the late 1890 s. An abundance of other species were present on the unfenced farm then.

This cattle farm was barely utilized during the late 1900’s . The above normal temperatures on the farm during the cold winter months made it the ideal grazing fields for cattle to survive the cold winter months for cattle farmers. Non-discreet “hunting for all” during the passive summer days took the natural population of porcupine, bushbuck, zebra, eland, duiker, dassie, reedbuck and aardvark populations to the brink of extinction. Indiscriminate use of the indigenous trees took its toll on some areas. Fortunately, this was halted in 2001 when the re-establishment of the local human population closer to a foreign Blackwattle forest took place.

After the farm was bought in 2001, it took an average of 60 workers, 13 months to fence the perimeter. We still recall some days when our progress in the mountains was less than a mere 300m per week. The supply of fencing materials was carried out by 12 women carriers, who supplied the teams with a constant flow of material up to 1200 m higher and 4 km’s from the nearest stockpiles. 28 Dams were build to supply drinking water all year round to the various habitats and high mountainous areas.

Personnel and owners alike were devastated when a chimney induced fire totally destroyed the original thatched building to ashes in July 2004, With Heleen and the staff’s dedication, care and determination, the lodge was rebuild in total and opened its doors again in March 2009. Heleen van der Merwe’s passion for people is reflected in the interior of the Lodge that is build on the property today. The ambience and distinct character of each room bears testimony to her care and persistence to offer only the best to visitors. The impressive mountains, sunny days, interrupted by the quick weather changes to misty evenings and impressive cumulus clouds, became a paradise to visit for the lucky ones who dared the lonely road from the nearby Bergville.

Various bushman paintings, depicting some of the animals, proofed their historical presence in the area. After an environmental study was done, all the game was re-established over a period of 2 ½ years. The game was mostly sourced from within the KZN area and the yearly KZN auctions. The professional services of Helicon Helicopter Services with owner Vere van Heerden was instrumental in establishing game that was agreed on by KZN Wildlife. Whilst still building its customer base, Kwaggashoeks’ customers keep on returning with their friends and word of mouth seems to be our best advertisement. During 2009 various visits from as far as the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom and the Netherlands, is assuring us that word is out on the beauty of the beasts and nature on Kwaggashoek. A herd of disease free buffalo was introduced early in 2010. The return of these mark the return of the Cape Buffalo to the Western Highlands of Natal.

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