Babanango Game Reserve

African Habitat Conservancy has worked closely with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the Emcakwini Community Trust (ECT) in the Babanango region in Zululand to establish Babanango Game Reserve on reclaimed land that had lain dormant for a decade.

Babanango Game Reserve lies within the Umfolozi Biodiversity Economy Node (UBEN), a significant part of the South African government’s biodiversity economy strategy which encourages partnerships between government, communities and private corporations to achieve national conservation targets.

Situated in the mistbelt grassland plateau, the reserve’s highest point is 1,320m above sea level, with views over hills, valleys, rivers and grassland where wildlife roam free.

Combined with neighbouring game farms, the new reserve is some 22,000 hectares in size and is a place of extraordinary biodiversity; somewhere for local and international wildlife enthusiasts to appreciate the true spectacle of nature in its original habitat.

The reserve is currently home to three lodges – Babanango Valley Lodge, Zulu Rock Lodge and Matatane Lodge – and two more four and five-star camps are planned.

zulu rock lodge in babanango game reserve

“We have been working closely with the trusts and are still engaging with local community members and families of the area to ensure every sensitivity is met around the rehabilitation of this land in order for their vision to be realised. We not only want to preserve the flora and fauna of the area that makes this such an important eco-system, but through this joint project we believe the actual families and community can also thrive and flourish.” – Jeffrey van Staden, Director of African Habitat Conservancy