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Community | Luxury Tented Lodge | Mdluli Safari Lodge

We are a 50–50% partnership with the local Mdluli Community. The lodge was developed with the purpose of sustainably improving the lives and infrastructure of the 45,000-member Mdluli Community, who live across 4 villages – Makoko, Bhekiswayo, Salubindza and Nyongane.

luxury safari tent in the bush

Successful  land reform

How does it happen that there is non-state-owned land inside the borders of the Kruger National Park?

In 1968, the Mdluli Community were forcibly removed from their land near Numbi Gate, by the then Apartheid government, due to their policy to expand the Park’s borders. After a long battle for land restitution, in 1998 the Community were granted freehold title of their land. This area is now known as the Mdluli Reserve, and is located seamlessly within the borders of the Kruger National Park. Today the Mdluli Community has freehold title of 850 hectares of land inside the borders of the Kruger National Park. The Community receives direct and indirect social and economic benefits from the lodge’s operations.

statue of father, Inkhosi MZ Mdluli

A father's vision

“I am really excited about this project which was started 20 years ago by our late father, Inkhosi MZ Mdluli.

It was his vision to see the Royal Family and the entire Mdluli Community benefiting through education and community development. I took over where he left off and I am committed in ensuring that under my leadership and guidance, his vision becomes a reality.

Through this project, I undertake to bring stability and social cohesion in the Community, and I also remain convinced that the children of the royal family and the Mdluli Community shall go to universities. Schools, roads and clinics shall be upgraded, and poverty shall be eradicated through the creation of skills and employment opportunities”.

– Inkhosi MI Mdluli | Senior Traditional Leader, Mdluli Royal Family & Mdluli Traditional Council.

traditional attire of the Mdluli local community
Mdluli local community
Mdluli local community
Mdluli team
traditional attire of the Mdluli local community
Mdluli local community
Mdluli local community
Mdluli team
Mdluli safari Lodge team

Our Team

In a country with such high unemployment, we believe it is our responsibility to play a significant part in sustainable job creation and skills development.The construction of the lodge employed nearly 200 labourers, both men and women from the Mdluli Community. Many of them, who have never worked before, gained both financial and skills benefits.

Today, nearly 90% of our lodge team comes from the Community, most of whom are women.

Mdluli local community

Our Community  Initiatives

Our lodge experience pays homage to Siswati culture and tradition, and this is brought to life for guests to explore the deep significance of the story of this land.The connections between the lodge and Community are broad and deep. Each one demonstrates an ongoing commitment to our partnership. The initiatives made possible by the lodge’s operations have a multiplier effect – they collectively realise our long-term vision of uplifting the lives and enhancing the infrastructure of the Mdluli Community.

  • Egg project
  • Makoko Borehole development
  • SME transportation for staff
  • Vegetable garden
  • COVID-19 relief
  • Numbi Gate protection
  • Waste removal
  • Health Clinic
  • Employment (construction, at lodge, temporary projects, anti-poaching, security)
  • Skills development & bursaries
  • Financial benefits
  • Corporate governance, accounting & reporting, tax compliance


Mdluli local community

Recent  Initiatives

In 2023, we sponsored the development of a borehole in the Mdluli village of Makoko, with over 3,800 inhabitants.

The borehole has been drilled to more than 80m, yielding over 2 litres of water every second, which delivers up to 60,000 litres of water each day to Community members.The system includes a 10-metre tower, solar panels, an alarm system, solar-power water pump and it provides water to distribution points throughout the village.The borehole was built by Innovation Africa. The multiplier effect of a project of this scale has no limit. This water generates its own ecosystem of possibility and opportunity, be it in agriculture or small business, with consequence job creation.The opening of the taps is a literal stake in the ground of the lodge’s positive impact



Read some of our community stories

  • 5/8/2023
  • Mdluli Safari Lodge
  • Borehole Media

    View media related to our newly unveiled borehole community project ...

  • 4/8/2023
  • Mdluli Safari Lodge
  • Redefining sustainable tourism – one drop at a time

    A catalyst of change for the people of Makoko Village ...

  • 5/11/2022
  • Mdluli Safari Lodge
  • The story of Precious

    We introduce you to Precious Nhobunga, a dedicated spa therapist from the Mdluli Community...

    Award winning service

    “Award winning service. The best place to go when you need a break from the busy city life. Tranquility at its best. Definitely planning another trip. Recommend it to friends and family. You get value for your money and experience South Africa like never before. A community based business that has the best service.”

    The staff were phenomenal

    “Mdluli Safari lodge is hands down the best lodge experience in the Kruger National Park. The staff were phenomenal, the tented accommodation was 5 star and the food and overall lodge experience was fantastic.”

    Relaxing and comfortable

    “Relaxing and comfortable with beautiful views. Friendly staff and the food is great with big variety. Tents are beautiful and clean and perfectly located. Great location to enter the Kruger. Good value for money.”

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