A partnership stands strong in times of prosperity as much as in times of crisis - especially one of such magnitude.

Read below about the partnership between the Lodge and the Community, our significant relief initiative,
and how you can contribute.

The relief effort

COVID-19 has impacted every corner of our globe. It does not spare the elderly, the orphaned, the hungry – on the contrary, it hits them the hardest. 

Deeply moved by the suffering of his Community in this time, Inkhosi MI Mdluli (Senior Traditional Leader, Mdluli Royal Family & Mdluli Traditional Council) approached the partners of the Mdluli Safari Lodge Partnership to assist with food for the Community.

The 45,000 people of this already impoverished Community have been crippled by the pandemic – with the shutdown of trade, employment and income. Many of the children would ordinarily receive their one meal a day at school. 

Benefits from the lodge’s operations were in their absolute infancy of making a positive impact when the lockdown was implemented, just 6 weeks after the lodge’s opening.

The Mdluli Trust, supported by the lodge team, have initiated a relief effort to provide food parcels to a list of individuals and families identified by the Community as the most needy. We have mobilised funds and donations in kind, and are utilising our lodge staff and vehicles to deliver food parcels. Registers are being taken, recording each delivered parcel. The strictest hygiene practices are in place. We plan to distribute over 1000 food parcels, which include maize meal, brown sugar, rice, soap, cake flour, pilchards, spaghetti. samp corn, soup powder, tea, cooking oil and bully beef.

Our efforts can only go so far. Together we can go further.

We gratefully acknowledge the significant roles of inter alia, SPAR & Grovest Corporate Advisory in facilitating & generously contributing to this initiative.

How you can help

Please use the banking details below to support our initiative with your donation.


BRANCH CODE:  210554
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 628 5031 4403

All contributions are being managed in a separate bank account, administered pro bono by Grovest Corporate Advisory.
Strict controls are in place to ensure distribution to most needy.


We deeply appreciate your support.

Siyabonga kakhulu
Thank you


The partnership

Mdlui Safari Lodge, which opened in January 2020, has been developed on land owned by the Mdluli Community Trust.

The lodge is a sustainable tourism initiative, and a 50-50 partnership with the Mdluli Community, who receive direct financial, social and economic benefit from the lodge’s operations.

The Mdluli Community comprises approximately 45,000 residents across 4 villages bordering the South-western fence of the Kruger National Park. The current unemployment rate is approximately 62%.

The business model of the lodge is that each guest’s stay directly positively impacts on the Community.

The lodge was the vision of the late Inkhosi MZ Mdluli, who’s bronze statue today stands proudly beneath the Marula tree as you enter the lodge. 

“It was his vision to see the Royal Family and the entire Mdluli Community benefiting through education and community development. 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


It’s been a 20 year journey, working closely with the Community and SANParks, to realise this vision.

Read more about our story.

The Community benefit

Financial benefits

  • Bed night levy per guest per night
  • Monthly rental
  • Share of lodge profits

During construction:
150 Community members, many of whom employed for the first time.

Current employment:
80 Community members, comprising nearly 90% of full staff complement. Preferential employment is given to members of the Community.

SME development
Alongside this skill-based job creation, the lodge creates sustainable business opportunities including:

  • Taxi owners transporting staff to and from the lodge
  • Rehabilitation and landscaping team
  • Waste management
  • Vegetable tunnels in each of our four villages
  • Packaging of wood
  • Water-bottling systems

Other initiatives in progress include

  • Anti-poaching activities on the Community land, supported by the Italian Tour Operator Il Diamanté creating employment for community rangers (training, remuneration and equipment)
  • Cross-generational large-scale art pieces in the lodge main area
  • Curios in the lodge store

In line with Government and hospitality industry regulations, we have made sure to leave no stone unturned to ensure safety and impeccable cleanliness throughout the lodge and its facilities – front and back of house.

Rest assured, we have spared no details in ensuring safe hygienic surroundings for our guests, and our team. With all the safety precautions in place, you are free to kick back and relax, and allow all your stresses to fade away.

Our brand new lodge is uniquely designed in that:
Each luxury tent is positioned at a distance of at least 15m from the adjacent tent, with a private access walkway and private patio.
The open architecture of the public areas allows for fresh air flows and expansive spaces to be very comfortably socially distanced from other guests.

To read more about our COVID safety protocol click here.

Our team is here to assist with your booking.

Please fill in the form, and our reservations team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Call reservations:
+27 (0)78 687 2546

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