Umkhumbi Lodge
January 16, 2018

“Time for a lemonade” said Anton Roberts as we sat atop the riverbank in Ukuwela conservancy, some way outside the small town of Hluhluwe in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

One or two “lemonades” later and the sun was setting over the trees of neighbouring five star Phinda Game Reserve, a very different affair from where we were sat. Here the stars shine brighter, since there is only bush and distant Albizia Camp- a nice rustic camp for large or small groups with permanent ablutions and a central hangout. Perfect for Roberts’ frequent volunteers and interns- the latest batch being veterinary students from the UK whose moon tans vie with the luminous fever trees in the fading light. It’s also available as a glamping  option for people who want to just break away from the hustle at a reasonable rate.

Conservation In The Bush

I need to backtrack to 2011, when I first met Anton and Emma Roberts at Umkhumbi Lodge their three star lodge a short distance from Albizia, where the focus is on families and small groups. I was struck with the care they had taken in building guest units in the indigenous sand forest, using wheelbarrows to cart materials between the shrubs and trees for minimal environmental impact.

About The Lodge

Umkhumbi is a quiet, comfy place and the subdivided units dotted around the forest are roomy and airy, with lofty ceilings and private decks. No tvs, except at the bar, but all-important aircon and bar fridges, en-suite bath and separate shower. The main hub for guests is the dining area and upstairs bar with fantastic sunset views. Chef Meva Zisongo is a keeper and his meals are definitely four star, as is the very friendly, laidback atmosphere.

The upstairs bar

It’s an ideal base for exploring the region and you are likely to meet people from all walks of life, including the aforementioned veterinary students and film crews.

A visit to Umkhumbi is not complete without a close encounter with some creeping, slithering or crawling creature from the Roberts’ collection. Anton has helped facilitate wild life documentary film crews in 96000 hectare Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa, as well as other game reserves in Southern Africa and the Roberts’ have hosted The Survivor Man – Les Stroud, Nitro Circus, Nat Geo, BBC, Animal Planet and many others. Anton will find the creatures required for wildlife programmes and conservation, assist with inserting telemetry tracking devices and afterward monitor the animals and the transmitted data.

“I’ve led tour groups, film crews, scientists, film stars, presidents and other so-called important people from all over the world in Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique” he says.

Here you can see what he gets up to in his spare time:

The large female also had a large clutch of babies, which Anton saved from certain death at the hands of the terrified local community.

The environment, its preservation and sustainable resource usage are driving passions for the Roberts family.  Umkhumbi is not a huge money spinner. But they are not in it for the money. “If we were we could simply start a pineapple farm” Emma says, rolling her eyes. Pineapples are big business in the area but that would mean destroying their forest, home to endangered Suni antelope and many other species.

Instead they’ve partnered with like-minded people and associations, most notably the Wild Tomorrow Fund. Anton says “John Steward and Wendy Hapgood are amazing people with total dedication to conservation and wildlife. I have been in contact with many NGO’s and non-profits but they are mostly top heavy with egos and consultants with nothing but theory and paperwork, which stalls the actual efforts where the money is badly needed. With Wild Tomorrow Fund the funds go straight into the field where it’s used and managed by the people doing the actual work. Their ecologists are 100% committed and have a great relationship with everyone they work with, both in private reserves and government parks”.

Their relationship with The Wild Tomorrow Fund resulted in the Ukuwela conservancy, the base for their environmental awareness courses.  Emma is often an “office widow” as Anton spends weeks at international trade shows and presenting to schools, colleges and universities to get youth groups- from veterinary students to expedition groups, sporting and educational school tours- to South Africa on very hands-on, customised programmes that cover all facets of ecology and the importance of conservation.

Umkhumbi offers internships with up to three month placements, or a minimum of two weeks ( volunteering. Included are basic bush skills, core conservation principles, night skies, game walks, game drives, iSimangaliso Wetland park visits and more- work and play combined.

Umkhumbi Lodge has a clinic and interns spend time working on animals that have generally come from rehabilitation centres such as CROW ( ) and are now ready for release into the wild.

“Rewilding” the animals often involves weaning them off any form of human contact. The puff adder being treated for pneumonia and the hissing spotted eagle owl in the aviary seemed well keen to be rid of humans and the interns joshed each other about their reaction times.

“Releasing the rehabilitated wildlife in a very low game density area such as Ukuwela gives them the best possible chance of survival” says Anton. Various studies on the conservancy include game density studies with camera traps that have revealed the likes of aardvark, porcupine, honey badger and four leopards that were previously not known of. Bucket traps are also in place and data of insect and reptiles is recorded on a daily basis and the conservancy is also home to a variety of plains game- antelope like wildebeest, nyala, zebra and impala.

“Bring it on!” is Anton’s often heard life motto and it’s always “on” it seems, if one tracks his and the interns’ progress at Umkhumbi, at Albizia, or through South Africa into the Namib desert and other remote places. Back at the lodge, staffies Copper and Shadow keep Emma company and guests amused (Copper loves chasing bats in the evening). You should join them.


+ posts

For the better part of a decade I have travelled hard, fast and continuously- chasing deadlines for weekly travel features linked to prizes. Not being quite a tourist, or on holiday, affords a different perspective, as does “speed dating” with owners and staff. Like in movies, associations and relationships are accelerated and in most cases I get a peek behind the scenes of the many wonder filled places I’ve been. Have a peek yourself.

519 thoughts on “Umkhumbi Lodge

  1. Pingback: efcaxdszdfszgd
  2. Pingback: m980u9oy9y98o8y9pm
  3. Pingback: taxi booking
  4. Pingback: Face Mask
  5. Pingback: cxqw234xracrwcr4
  6. Pingback: macca úc
  7. Pingback: news
  8. Pingback: royal cbd oil
  9. Pingback: royal cbd products
  10. Pingback: royal cbd
  11. Pingback: cbd for sale
  12. Pingback: mitrade lua dao
  13. Pingback: online pharmacy
  14. Pingback: sterling ok
  15. Pingback: phim sex online
  16. Pingback: kitchen decor
  17. Pingback: Sälja Rolex
  18. Pingback: Loozap House Libya
  19. Pingback: silencil reviews
  20. Pingback: mega888 test id
  21. Pingback: brokerreview scam
  22. Pingback: escort bayan
  23. Pingback:
  24. Pingback: sàn forex
  25. Pingback: health supplements
  26. Pingback: vitamin
  27. Pingback: sisteme de copiat
  28. Pingback: các sàn forex
  29. Pingback: detectives sevilla
  30. Pingback: kitchen appliances
  31. Pingback: hd film izle
  32. Pingback: hd film izle
  33. Pingback: hd film izle
  34. Pingback: reviews canada
  35. Pingback: bwin casino
  36. Pingback: Drucker
  37. Pingback: Aaron Lal
  38. Pingback: Aaron Lal
  39. Pingback: my mega888 banner
  40. Pingback: international
  41. Pingback: Lecia Effler
  42. Pingback: wigs
  43. Pingback: mega888 big shot
  44. Pingback: THC Cartridge
  45. Pingback: Pound of Weed
  46. Pingback: stray kids merch
  47. Pingback: c34r54wxw4r34c3
  48. Pingback: galaforex
  49. Pingback: g social networks
  50. Pingback: twitter profile
  51. Pingback: 홀덤
  52. Pingback: kienthucfx
  53. Pingback: ahfgqbch
  54. Pingback: dana white
  55. Pingback: Body shapewear
  56. Pingback: chewy dog beds
  57. Pingback: lowest price
  58. Pingback: fonts
  59. Pingback: living room ideas
  60. Pingback:
  61. Pingback: date night
  62. Pingback: cbd for dogs
  63. Pingback: best cbd for dogs
  64. Pingback: cialis coupon code
  65. Pingback: buy cbd oil
  66. Pingback: viagra
  67. Pingback: best cbd gummies
  68. Pingback: best cbd for dogs
  69. Pingback: cbd for depression
  70. Pingback: best cbd gummies
  71. Pingback: best cbd oil
  72. Pingback: cbd for dogs
  73. Pingback: learn more here
  74. Pingback: Gene-Vihodsef
  75. Pingback: retirement
  76. Pingback: mold remediation
  77. Pingback: got7 merch
  78. Pingback: cbd dog treats
  79. Pingback: cbd dog treats
  80. Pingback: dog
  81. Pingback: cbd oil for pain
  82. Pingback: cbd oil for dogs
  83. Pingback: buy cbd oil
  84. Pingback: the help essay
  85. Pingback: best cbd
  86. Pingback: best cbd gummies
  87. Pingback: free credit slot
  88. Pingback: 토토사이트
  89. Pingback: tv-smarters
  90. Pingback: realistic sex doll
  91. Pingback: vragen
  92. Pingback: Geruson
  93. Pingback: Make money online
  94. Pingback: 강남 안마
  95. Pingback: 강남 안마
  96. Pingback: 강남 안마
  97. Pingback: personal loan
  98. Pingback: moj dom woroniec
  99. Pingback: seiko watch prices
  100. Pingback: Ben marks Mackay
  101. Pingback: kratom capsules
  102. Pingback: kratom tea
  103. Pingback: lasix brand name
  104. Pingback: tires surrey bc
  105. Pingback: miroitier paris
  106. Pingback: cheap pet supplies
  107. Pingback: esoteric
  108. Pingback: toronto
  109. Pingback: Enamel pins
  110. Pingback: THC vape juice
  111. Pingback: online cigars
  112. Pingback: clomid multiples
  113. Pingback: delivery robe
  114. Pingback: pet supply store
  115. Pingback: otc diflucan
  116. Pingback: synthroid 50 mg
  117. Pingback: tee
  118. Pingback: 吸游戏
  119. Pingback: gout
  120. Pingback: slot online
  121. Pingback: Aaron Lal
  122. Pingback: NRCC-CXR-E
  123. Pingback: webdesign
  124. Pingback: Superslot
  125. Pingback: ファッション
  126. Pingback: 텍사스홀덤
  127. Pingback: propecia,
  128. Pingback: prepping
  129. Pingback: nails wien
  130. Pingback: neurontin for adhd
  131. Pingback: Viagra bez recepty
  132. Pingback: delta 8 near me
  133. Pingback: para kazanma
  134. Pingback: cardano
  135. Pingback: Transsexual Sex
  136. Pingback: Viagra
  137. Pingback: tshirts
  138. Pingback: read my site
  139. Pingback: read more
  140. Pingback: get info
  141. Pingback: Click Here
  142. Pingback: click
  143. Pingback: Click
  144. Pingback: Read More
  145. Pingback: pdt training
  146. Pingback: AUTO
  147. Pingback: propecia prices
  148. Pingback: ผลบอล
  149. Pingback: สมัคร
  150. Pingback: slotxo
  151. Pingback: รับทำ
  152. Pingback: read here
  153. Pingback: read more
  154. Pingback: check it
  155. Pingback: click
  156. Pingback: read more
  157. Pingback: check it
  158. Pingback: click
  159. Pingback: read here
  160. Pingback: more
  161. Pingback: read here
  162. Pingback: ed drugs
  163. Pingback: Training Canberra
  164. Pingback: damony
  165. Pingback: read more
  166. Pingback: read here
  167. Pingback: Cialis cena
  168. Pingback: read more
  169. Pingback: read here
  170. Pingback: read here
  171. Pingback: Kamagr apteka
  172. Pingback: winsol review
  173. Pingback: 20 mg cost
  174. Pingback: WatchCartoonOnline
  175. Pingback: canada online
  176. Pingback: 555slot
  177. Pingback: blackjack casino
  178. Pingback: website
  179. Pingback: sales funnels
  180. Pingback: Viagra bez recepty
  181. Pingback: Ocala
  182. Pingback: recette
  183. Pingback: Hair Growth
  184. Pingback: mindfulness
  185. Pingback: W88
  186. Pingback: Ketqua
  187. Pingback: generic prinivil
  188. Pingback: FMovies
  189. Pingback: W88
  190. Pingback: W88vnbet
  191. Pingback: W88
  192. Pingback: 5 SEAT TAXI
  193. Pingback: laptop recycling
  194. Pingback: buy cialis doctor
  195. Pingback: cialis 5mg tablet
  196. Pingback: computer recycling
  197. Pingback: matka boss otg
  198. Pingback: agen slot terbaik
  199. Pingback: cialis 20mg usa
  200. Pingback: Exness
  201. Pingback: slot online
  202. Pingback: hitet shqip
  203. Pingback: Cialis cena
  204. Pingback: ed doctor
  205. Pingback:
  206. Pingback: viagra from india
  207. Pingback: live oranum
  208. Pingback: recycle computers
  209. Pingback: best delta 8
  210. Pingback: togel sgp
  211. Pingback: vaobong88
  212. Pingback: w88club
  213. Pingback: สล็อต
  214. Pingback: ed medicines
  215. Pingback: delta 8 products
  216. Pingback: psg fixture
  217. Pingback: ivermectin 50 mg
  218. Pingback: Marijuana Gummies
  219. Pingback: buy weed
  220. Pingback: buy d2 items
  221. Pingback: Asia's Top Coach
  222. Pingback: togel online
  223. Pingback: foreclosure fraud
  224. Pingback: share
  225. Pingback: bachelor's degree
  226. Pingback: vps server router
  227. Pingback: plaquenil pill
  228. Pingback: Seattle Weekly
  229. Pingback: weed near me
  230. Pingback: buy weed
  231. Pingback: buy weed online
  232. Pingback: weed near me
  233. Pingback: buy weed online
  234. Pingback: tiktok followers
  235. Pingback: blog
  236. Pingback: iptv service
  237. Pingback: best car floor mat
  238. Pingback: Shaun Segal
  239. Pingback: cialis 20mg usa
  240. Pingback: mega888 download
  241. Pingback: closed captions
  242. Pingback: باوربوينت
  243. Pingback: taxis brighton
  244. Pingback: Satta Matka
  245. Pingback: xauusd
  246. Pingback: delta 8 moon rocks
  247. Pingback: Food license India
  248. Pingback: plaquenil oct
  249. Pingback: viagraorcialis
  250. Pingback: Fast Covid Test
  251. Pingback: amelia anderson
  252. Pingback: Cash Discount
  253. Pingback: d2r store
  254. Pingback: Camera
  255. Pingback: silk blouse
  256. Pingback: Victor Metlege
  257. Pingback: Maleri
  258. Pingback: silk tops
  259. Pingback: online drugstore
  260. Pingback: otc ed pills
  261. Pingback: satta
  262. Pingback: vn88club
  263. Pingback: w88
  264. Pingback:
  265. Pingback: vn88cuoc
  266. Pingback: 188live
  267. Pingback: 토토사이트
  268. Pingback: 토토사이트
  269. Pingback: bk8vnd
  270. Pingback: vaobong nhanh
  271. Pingback: 1gombong88
  272. Pingback: ty le keo
  273. Pingback: nha cai jbovn
  274. Pingback: sbotop123
  275. Pingback: Bartier Perry
  276. Pingback: pills from canada
  277. Pingback: ivermectin 6mg
  278. Pingback:
  279. Pingback: fun88link
  280. Pingback: nha cai fb88
  281. Pingback: nha cai bk8
  282. Pingback: 188bet login
  283. Pingback: xtb lừa đảo

Comments are closed.