An hour's drive from King Shaka International Airport in Durban is the secluded Tala Collection Private Game Reserve. Boasting up-close-and-personal game spotting of giraffe, rhino, zebra and so much more this reserve is a perfect itinerary stop if exploring the KZN area.
The reserve offers a range of accommodation options, from cosy and rustic to pure bush luxury, Tala has options to suit any budget. We were lucky enough to be treated to a room more on the luxury end of the spectrum with a two-night stay at the Premier Suite in the Paperbark Lodge
. This Afro-chic room includes a ball-and-claw bath and a king-sized four-poster bed, which overlooked a large lush grass area in which countless game crossed, offering excellent bush TV from your bed. Also included in the Paperbark Lodge amenities are a refreshing plunge rock pool and two braai area options.
Game on your doorstep
If you want to view predators and tick off the Big Five, Tala isn’t the game reserve for you; however if you would like to practically stumble on two out of the five as well as those that just didn’t make the cut - and many other wildlife - you’re in luck. As it is a fairly small reserve - 3000ha - it is easy to find the game on offer. About 10 minutes after our arrival we spotted a few of the white rhino enjoying sundowners with a herd of zebra around the local watering hole. These rhino are monitored 24/7 by the good folk at Rave Rhino
, who aim to eradicate poaching.
The following day, after an enjoyable visit to the hippo hide and a dip in another of the lovely rock pools, we decided to go out searching for giraffe. Not even a few minutes later we were riding alongside a whole family, close enough to touch (if you wanted) from the open car window.
Other game on offer include: 20 species of antelope including eland, oribi, bushbuck and reedbuck, hippo, ostrich, caracal, buffalo, and many species of birds.
We dined at two of their restaurants: the main Aloe Restaurant and the more intimate Paperbark Restaurant. Both offered hearty substantial plates and we overindulged on butternut soup, half baby chicken, oxtail, lamb shanks and creamy mash over the two nights.
If you are looking for a relaxing and peaceful game reserve getaway Tala Private Game Reserve will not disappoint. For more info or to make a reservation go to www.tala.co.za