Travelling opens one's eyes
- Siswati proverb
It’s taken years of dedication towards the realisation of this project. A development like this is dependent on establishing a harmonious relationship between tourism, environment and community. Mdluli Safari Lodge is a blueprint for best practice community development projects in South Africa.
Mdluli Safari Lodge is a sustainable tourism initiative. It has been through a partnership between the Mdluli Royal Family and Community and Grovest Corporate Advisory – the pioneers of Section 12J.
The lodge is founded on 4 core pillars, namely a partnership with the Mdluli Community, wildlife conservation and preservation, ecological design, and the storytelling guests to this special place will forever carry with them.
The lodge opened to guests on 15 January 2020.
After a long journey of land restitution, the Mdluli Community have freehold title of 850 hectares of land inside the borders of the iconic Kruger National Park. This luxurious private safari lodge was developed with the purpose of sustainable uplifting the lives and infrastructure of the 45,000 strong Mdluli Community.
The Community, who live in villages adjacent to the Park receive direct financial and indirect social and economic benefits from the lodge’s operations.
The development of Mdluli Safari Lodge employed nearly 200 laborers, both men and women, from the Community. Many of these individuals had never worked before, and it gave them financial benefit, as well as skills development.
Alongside this skill-based job creation, whereby nearly 90% of the lodge’s current team comes from the Community, the lodge creates sustainable business opportunities as well as increased land value.
The lodge’s development is anchored in the belief that we have a responsibility to uplift and up-skill the members of the community, as well as to upgrade basic infrastructure, sanitation and schools.
We are committed to a lasting and productive partnership with the Mdluli Community whose energy is infused into the lodge’s experience.
“I am really excited about this project which was started 20 years ago by our late father, Inkhosi MZ Mdluli.
It was his vision to see the Royal Family and the entire Mdluli Community benefiting through education and community development. I took over where he left off and I am committed in ensuring that under my leadership and guidance, his vision becomes a reality.
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