St Lucia is small but it’s enough. Restaurants, shops and village paraphernalia all within a few minutes walk. And remember this is KwaZulu Natal, so you have all the glories this lovely South African province has to offer too.
Here, the natural world potters alongside a small village. Here, you are surrounded. Outnumbered. Look outside. There it is. That, my friend, is a world heritage site. Whoa. Nice. That is iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
With regards the lodge, you'll have to deal with the ubiquitous thatched roof. But we can easily forgive them it's authentic dating to the 1930s when it was one of the first homes in St.Lucia. And it was home home until 2004 when it was converted into a lodge. If you think some of the doors look a bit shabby chic, you're right. They were salvaged from a wreck in the early 1940s.
Lidiko Lodge has a distinctive bed and breakfast kinda vibe where friendly staff greet you with feeling and enquire about your day ahead with genuine interest. Well, it is a B&B after all and it's quite a nice one at that.
Accommodation is in 16 en-suite garden rooms. The two family/triple rooms are part of the original building. Fourteen others were custom built in the same colonial style.
The family rooms are for two adults and two children - under 12 years of age. They can also be triple rooms so would work for three adults travelling together.
Think classic African hinterland architecture: cool, big and thatched. A rondavel type room with an en-suite bathroom. Private entrance and patio overlooking the gardens towards the Great St Lucia Lake.
The family units have two rooms and two bathrooms with an inter-leading door between the two rooms. These sleep 2 adults and 2 children - between 3 and 16 years old. Private patio, own entrance and they lead onto the pool area.
There are also 12 double or twin garden rooms. They're by the terraced courtyard with the swimming pool in the centre. And sleep two adults. A roll away bed can be added for a child at an extra cost. All have private entrance, private patio and en suite bathrooms with separate shower and bath. Either, two single beds or a king size. Depending on whether or not you've had an argument.
Air conditioning; free WiFi; swimming pool; buffet breakfast on dining deck; candlelight dinner by prior arrangement at time of booking for groups large than 8 guests; rooms have television, tea and coffee facilities, bar fridge; parking
Loads to do and the lodge can help with bookings.
They also give good advice about the best parts of the beach as well as local cycling, running or walking routes. There are trails on the beach or through the bush, guided or unguided. Or do it on horseback.
You could try deep sea fishing, go early morning kayaking or take a cruise on Lake St Lucia. Watch the hippos and crocs.
At certain times of the year you could go whale watching or take a night drive to look for nocturnal animals including leopards, bush babies and hyenas. You will then be taken back to the beach to watch turtles laying eggs.
If that whets your game drive appetite you could also take a trip to the Hluhluw-Imfolozi Game Reserve, famous for their work with the endangered black rhino. You could also see lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.
If golf is your thing, head to the Monzi Country Club. Good for birdwatching too.
For culture vultures, go on a village tour to learn about the Zulus.
Or just chill and have high tea in the garden. So, what do you think? Milk first? Or tea then milk? Hmm. Discuss.
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