Ntshondwe Resort is located near the hamlet of Louwsburg in northern KwaZulu-Natal. It is a five-hour drive from both Durban and Johannesburg. Ithala is home to some of Africa’s premier game species such as elephant, buffalo and leopard, as well as both black and white rhino. The abundant giraffe is the icon for the game reserve.
Providing great seasonal variety, the landscape of Ithala is alive with warthog in spring, while year round, stately giraffe sway their way through the acacia thickets. In summer masses of red “Pride of De Kaap” flowers add a wonderful splash of colour. Several rivers rise in or near Ithala, winding their way to the Pongola River. These rivers are most attractive, with pools, cataracts and gorges flanked by dense thickets of riverine forest.
Most routes to Ithala pass through the historically rich Anglo-Zulu War and Anglo-Boer War battlefield areas of the province.
A feature of Ithala Game Reserve, and strikingly visible from Ntshondwe, is its geological and ecological diversity. This diversity has created a place of great, but rugged beauty, with 300 million year old rock formations. Ntshondwe’s thatched buildings nestle on a plateau at the foot of the towering Ngotshe Mountain with its richly coloured sandstone bands and towering spires of jagged dolerite. The grounds of Ntshondwe are rich in acacia trees, wild figs and cabbage trees interspersed with massive boulders that peeled off the Ngotshe Mountain high above the resort. The area abounds in the rabbit-sized rock hyrax or “dassie” and their barking call is a common feature of the resort. The swimming pool at Ntshondwe is built around a massive boulder that plummeted off the Ngotshe Mountain hundreds of years ago.