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Our Journey

Duma Manzi Nature Reserve was born out of the owner's personal love for the African bush and an innate passion for wildlife conservation.

In August 2005 the properties (consisting of 16 farms) acquired by the owner, were officially transferred to the new owners. The former cattle ranching farms, now formed the future 5000 hectare Malaria- Free reserve that is, Duma Manzi Nature Reserve.

The owner's chose the name 'Duma Manzi' the Zulu words meaning ' Thundering Water'- as the reserve has 12km of the thundering mighty Mkomazi (Umkomaas) river flowing through it.

A comprehensive business plan was compiled, where the owners’ vision and the cost implications for the projects that lay ahead, were clearly defined to create a sustainable nature reserve. It was also a prerequisite, that as far as possible, all staff members be employed from the local surrounding communities; to create employment opportunities within our circle of friends “our local community.”

The owner’s put forward their vision for the reserve; the emphasis being on developing a holistic approach to this gem of a nature and game reserve. The vision was that Duma Manzi becomes a unique conservation initiative that allows animals to be re-introduced to the area where they once roamed freely; making a contribution to the conservation of our natural heritage. The impending challenge was to re- establish the original flora and fauna species to the area, after the removal of alien weed, to restore the land to its former glory; creating a birder's paradise and a nature lover's dream.

The first project that commenced was the clearing of bush and alien vegetation, and the erection of game fencing on the outer boundaries of the reserve. This presented an immense task, given the natural fall of the property; with its steepcliffs and undulating landscape.

The remaining months of 2006 were utilized for the removal of alien weeds, building of water holes and the creation of animal social sites, laying of water pipes and the like; while the fencing teams continued to erect game fencing surrounding the perimeters of the reserve.

After careful consideration and planning, the lodges’ building program began; this was a journey in its own right. Every aspect of building was to incorporate and regard the natural surroundings; as well as correspond with our environmentally friendly and responsible approach.

Upon completion of the lodges, we began our next building project; the construction of Duma Manzi Eco Spa. Firstly, we began with a rather exiting venture- the construction of the cave- like building that is Duma Manzi Eco Spa. The Spa has been built to blend seamlessly into its natural surroundings, to further enhance our policy of incorporating a holistic environment into our buildings.