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Welcome to Ithala (Ntshondwe)

Ntshondwe Resort is located near the hamlet of Louwsburg in northern KwaZulu-Natal. It is a five-hour drive from both Durban and Johannesburg. Ithala is home to some of Africa’s premier game species such as elephant, buffalo and leopard, as well as both black and white rhino. The abundant giraffe is the icon for the game reserve.
  • About

    Providing great seasonal variety, the landscape of Ithala is alive with warthog in spring, while year round, stately giraffe sway their way through the acacia thickets. In summer masses of red “Pride of De Kaap” flowers add a wonderful splash of colour. Several rivers rise in or near Ithala, winding their way to the Pongola River. These rivers are most attractive, with pools, cataracts and gorges flanked by dense thickets of riverine forest. Most routes to Ithala pass through the historically rich Anglo-Zulu War and Anglo-Boer War battlefield areas of the province. A feature of Ithala Game Reserve, and strikingly visible from Ntshondwe, is its geological and ecological diversity. This diversity has created a place of great, but rugged beauty, with 300 million year old rock formations. Ntshondwe’s thatched buildings nestle on a plateau at the foot of the towering Ngotshe Mountain with its richly coloured sandstone bands and towering spires of jagged dolerite. The grounds of Ntshondwe are rich in acacia trees, wild figs and cabbage trees interspersed with massive boulders that peeled off the Ngotshe Mountain high above the resort. The area abounds in the rabbit-sized rock hyrax or “dassie” and their barking call is a common feature of the resort. The swimming pool at Ntshondwe is built around a massive boulder that plummeted off the Ngotshe Mountain hundreds of years ago.
  • Activities

    Picnic Sites

  • Three picnic sites all of which have braai facilities and ablutions are available.
  • Charcoal and wood are on sale at Ntshondwe resort.
  • The streams running past the picnic sites are shallow and visitors are welcome to swim in them.
  • Please take care when swimming and make sure that children are supervised at all times.
  • Please make sure that your braai fire has been properly extinguished before you leave the area as fire is a very real hazard, particularly in the dry winter months.
  • Self Guided Walks

  • All self-guided walks start at the swimming pool, while guided walks begin at Reception.
  • Noise will scare animals off - be as quiet as possible.
  • There are potentially dangerous animals such as black rhino, elephant and leopard in the area.
  • Please do not pick any flowers or grasses, nor remove any geological or historical material.
  • Guided Bush Walk

    Walks are offered in the Reserve under the following conditions:
  • All walks will be conduction by a Field Guide who is in sole command.
  • The walk should be booked a day in advance - please contact the reception for details.
  • Please arrange the time and place of departure as well as payment beforehand.
  • Age restriction: No person under 12 years of age is permitted.
  • Maximum of participants is permitted per walk.
  • All participants must sign an indemnity form.
  • You may either depart from Ntshondwe resort on foot, or drive to a suitable venue to start the walk.
  • These walks may be conducted in any part of the Reserve. Discuss options with your Field Guide.
  • Please take precautions against ticks. Insect repellents are available in our curio shop.
  • Bookings can be made through reception and are approximately 3 hours.

  • Morning Walk
    Summer: Starts 06:00 (1 November – 28 February)
    Winter: Starts 07:00 (1 March – 31 October)

    Afternoon Walk
    Summer: 15:00 (1 November – 28 February)
    Winter: 14:00 (1 March – 31 October)

    Game Drives

  • Come and experience the ambiance of the bush
  • View the nocturnal animals with the help of a spotlight.
  • These times are only a guideline and may change.
  • Please contact reception for bookings and any special requests.
  • Indemnity Forms must be signed before leaving on a Game Drive.

  • Morning Drive
    Summer: Starts 05:00 (1 November – 28 February)
    Winter: Starts 06:00 (1 March – 31 October)

    Sundowner Drive
    Summer: Starts 17:00 (1 November – 28 February)
    Winter: Starts 16:00 - 19:00 (1 March – 31 October)

    Horace Rall Viewsite

  • This view-site is on a platform, on a knoll at the edge of Ngotshe Mountain.
  • You will need to drive to this view-site.
  • Wildlife such as klipspringer and mountain reedbuck may be seen in the area.
  • The cliffs offer splendid breeding platforms for a variety of raptor species.
  • Black eagles utilize the thermals and wind drafts along the cliff face.
  • Useful Info

    • It is recommended guests provide at least five hour travelling from Durban area and six hours from Gauteng.
    • Gate times are strictly enforced Entrance gates to the reserve open and close at the following times:

          Summer (November - February) 05:00 - 19:00
          Winter (March - October) 06:00 - 18:00

    • No pets are permitted in the reserve.
    • The complex is fenced with electrification to keep elephants out. Caution must also be observed at all times, as leopards and other game do enter the resort area.
    • Please do not walk beyond the vicinity of your own chalet, bush camp or campsite after sunset unless it is essential to do so.
    • There is a tarred airstrip 1 200 m long in the reserve. Prior arrangements must be made with the reception office.
    • No driving after gate closing times is permitted.
    • Supplies are available at Louwsburg, 5 km away.
    • No caravans are permitted inside the reserve.
    • Bush camp and camp site guests must arrive at Ntshondwe reception office as early as possible after 14:00 but preferably no later than 15:00 to allow adequate daylight time to travel to the bush camps and campsite. In addition, no electricity is available, only gas for basic lighting and hot water.
    • Please bring along torches and/or additional lanterns as these may be required.


+27 (0) 34 983 2540


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