Imvubu Lodge a review of contradictions

I battled to get into writing this review. Imvubu Lodge turned out to be a contradiction of my somewhat low expectations. Richard’s Bay has always been in the middle of nowhere, a town I always bypassed on the way to somewhere. As a result I continually passed on the invitations to stop in at the Protea Hotel Imvubu Lodge. As it turns out, the lodge is slap bang in the middle of everywhere.

The three star grading awarded to the lodge is misleading; yes, for the most part, the grading criteria lists are covered; however the behind the scenes ‘people’ subtleties aren’t factored in. The unpretentious willingness to make Imvubu Lodge a must-return-to home from home far surpassed the simulated welcome of many of its five star peers.

Even the name, “Imvubu Lodge” is a contradiction; the hippos are long gone. But, there’s something to be said about watching an oversized crocodile powering its way across the lagoon towards your breakfast table when summoned by John Karinus. John’s impromptu rescue of two oversized crocodiles and his ‘crazy’ ideas on environmentally friendly ways of keeping vervet monkeys, all add to the offbeat affinity of Imvubu Lodge.

For the more adventurous at heart Imvubu Lodge is only 186km North of Durban and in the heartland of real adventure experiences. For example Hluhluwe game reserve, world renowned for its white Rhino conservation. This big Five game reserve was the historic personal preserve of Zulu Kings like Dingiswayo and Shaka. It is also the oldest game reserve in Africa. Early morning or late afternoon visits are particularly rewarding. If you’re a fishing enthusiast the warm summer months of Richard’s Bay are renowned by those in the know for the big game fish and the arrival of large Dagga Salmon in the winter.

Whether its a wedding, a conference venue or a getaway from the the daily grind, Imvubu Lodge is well worth your consideration.