If you are arriving, exploring or leaving KwaZulu Natal there is a hotel to meet all your needs and more. The luxurious five star Hotel Izulu is located within half an hour of the provinces new, King Shaka, International Airport and makes an ideal stop over. Located in Ballito on the Dolphin Coast there are many reasons to stay, and not just stop over.

Yes, the location of the hotel does lend itself to a perfect place to start and finish your KwaZulu Natal safari. The hotel will also arrange airport transfers and car hire collection. It is only a five minute drive to the seaside beaches of Ballito, and could be used a as gateway to the hundreds of stunning north coast beaches. Durban and its many attractions are also within each reach.

On my arrival I was met by staff with smiles nearly as grand as the hotel entrance. The modern exterior and interior are truly impressive, yet the atmosphere is incredibly relaxed. Even though, the heat and humidity, under cloudy skies felt extremely oppressive.

My room located in a block containing four rooms was oversized and extremely comfortable. The bedroom contained a lounge area and the bathroom was enormous. The room also had an English socket point, a small feature, but the first I have seen on my travels.

The hotel grounds with palm trees and lush green foliage and grass are purely tropical, reflecting the regions climate. There is also a beautifully maintained kitchen garden. A large swimming pool provides a cooling off point. And for total relaxation hammocks hang from the near silver trunks of the palm trees.

On wandering round I found that as a guest I was in good company. I doubt however my picture will go on the wall along with other previous guests. I could be slotted between Elton John and Shaun Pollock and underneath King Goodwill Zwelithini?

Dinner was taken in Gigi’s Brasserie and the choices were difficult. Beef fillet, lobster bisque or chicken and prawn Durban curry? I opted for a healthy chunky green salad followed by Punjabi spiced fish with fat chips and sambals. The home made breads served up were also a perfect accompaniment.

Other choices for dinner in terms of location are the hotels wine cellar, the royal suit, the terrace and the chefs table. The later being located next to the kitchen, behind a glass wall. This enables diners to watch, and chat, with the chef and his team as they prepare and cook your meal.

On the morning of my departure the clouds cleared and the sun shone through. The poolside terrace therefore proved a perfect spot for a leisurely breakfast. I can never resist‘full English’ but there is also something very special about eating fresh tropical fruit in a tropical atmosphere. And both fresh and fried came accompanied by a smile.

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People say that Africa has an effect on your soul and Mark Henson the ‘author’ of this site is no exception. He first travelled to South Africa and the province of KwaZulu-Natal in 1993 and has been coming and going every year since. Twice now most years!

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