Zingela Safari & River Company

Location: South Africa » Kwazulu Natal » Battlefields » Tugela Biosphere » Weenen

Zingela Safari & River Company Tented accommodation

Name of hostsZingela Safari & River Company
Tel:+27 (0)36 354 7005

Zingela Safari & River Company
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Zingela is a picturesque tented camp situated on the banks of the Tugela River in the heart of the Thukela Biosphere reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.

Whether you are with us for an adventure-filled holiday, conference or team building session, or just to relax in the special beauty of our area, the magic of Zingela assures you of a special and memorable stay.


Established in 1984, the stone and tented camp is tucked away on the banks of the mighty Tugela.

The sound of the water lulls you to sleep and the call of the mischievous Mocking Chat wakes you in the morning.

There is comfortable tented accommodation for 50 guests. Five of the tents are en-suite while the balance share three toilets and three showers.

We pride ourselves on first class campfire cuisine and most meals are served in front of the fire in our thatched boma or under the starts. The bar stocks a wide range of refreshments, but please let us know of any special requirements as there is no cafe around the corner!


White Water Rafting

The major summer activity is white-water rafting, and the most exciting time to do this is between November and May.
The 30km stretch of river known as the canyon provides some of the most thrilling white water in the country. The South African leg of the Camel White-Water Challenge took place at Zingela and the venue received rave reviews from participants and organisers.
A wide choice of river-rafting packages is available - from half a day to four days on the river. One man Kayaks, two man crocs and eight man rafts are used on the river, in accordance with water levels and the groups abilities.
Safety is a priority, and all our guides are trained by SARA. No previous rafting experience is necessary.


The rugged cliffs overlooking the Tugela canyon provide dizzying abseil sites. Face your fear or watch other participants step over the edge!
Experienced guides are there to provide reassurance and to ensure complete safety.

4X4, Quads and Horse Rides

Get seriously off the beaten track and make use of our rugged 4X4 roads.
For the cowboys, make a day of it, take a picnic lunch and ride into Zingela on horseback. An added bonus is that you will be travelling through prime game country.
The horserides need to be organised in advance.

If you like things more mechanical, hire our eco friendly Quad Bikes. They are a great way of seeing the area or of getting to the bushcamp from Weenen


For those not interested in adventure activities, the camp is ideally suited for guided walks, gameviewing, birding, fishing or merely sitting in the shade of a thorn tree with a good book.

Special Functions

Zingela must be one of the most romantic venues for a wedding with a difference . Vows are exchanged under a sheltered arch on the banks of the river, while Zulu dancers sing a blessing to the couple.
The reception is a festive affair in the boma or under the stars. The candlelit honeymoon suite with its stunning views over the moonlit hills completes the dream.
Zingela has been the venue for many other festivities including 21 sts, 40th and 50th parties and anniversaries. All of these have been memorable events.


Out of the Office and into Africa
At Zingela neither your cell phone nor your car will be of use to you. Nature is your playground and Mark and his assistants make full use of the river, cliffs and rugged terrain to mould a team through shared experiences.
The Itinery is tailor-made for your group and in discussion with your organiser.
On request we can source highly experienced facilitators who link physical activities with discussions in the conference room.

Activities and Adventures:
There's plenty to do in and around Zingela. These include white water rafting, abseiling off the Tugela canyon, 4x4 trails and horseback riding. For those not interested in adventure activities, the camp is ideally suited for guided walks, game viewing, birding fishing or merely sitting in the shade of a thorn tree with a good book.


From Durban: Try our new SMS facility: SMS the word zingela 1 to the number 34591 * Bypass the towns of Pietermaritzburg, Howick and Mooi River. * Approx 10 min after the Mooi River Toll look out for the Estcourt South turnoff. * Take this glide off and turn right. * You will cross the freeway over a bridge. * The road will take you past the Estcourt bacon factory and over the Bushman’s river. * Drive through the centre of Estcourt. * You will pass the old station on your left, the Nestle factory and a bunch of shops such as Ackermans and Jet. * Absa and the post office will also be on your left. * Keep going straight and you will soon find yourself leaving town on the Colenso Road. * Cross an insignificant little stream, go through the last set of robots and at the crest of the hill 200 metres or so on is the Weenen turnoff (R74). * Someone removed the oncoming sign so you have to twist your neck at 180 degrees to see it. * The turnoff is not far out of town at all so DON’T go to Frere or Colenso! Make your last cellphone call, as you will have no coverage until you reach Weenen. * From here on signage is good. You will have approx 20min travelling time to go. * Look out for Rhino as you travel slowly through the Game Reserve. * At the T. junction turn right unless you want to sightsee in Colenso. Check behind the cannas for fine-hungry traffic officers as you enter the little hamlet of Weenen. * At the Engen Garage turn left. The Zingela meeting place is the third house to your left (approx 400 meters down the road) and is signposted ‘ Zingela, Mark & Linda Calverley’ From Jhb \ Harrismith: SMS the word zingela 2 to the number 34591 * When descending Van Reenens Pass on the N3 look out for the R103 that leads to Ladysmith at the base of the pass just before the Tugela Toll Plaza. * You will go though a minor toll gate and then travel on a single lane tar road past Besters en route toward Ladysmith. * Bypass Ladysmith by turning right just before the town entrance and follow the signs indicating Colenso. * Colenso is apprpx a 20 min drive away. With Colenso on your left, the R103 will cross the mighty Tugela. * Take the R74 glide off to your left soon thereafter signposted Weenen, Muden, Greytown. The glide off is before you go under the bridge spanning the R103 The paint on the signs is quite faded so be careful not to overshoot it otherwise you will end up back on the N3. * Turn left at the top of the off ramp. Weenen is approx a 20 min drive away. Drive past the initial dwellings and farms until you see the Engen Garage. Turn left immediately after it. * We will meet you at the Weenen house……. It is the third house to your left (approx 400 meters down the road) and is signposted ‘Zingela, Mark & Linda Calverley’ Tips for Self Drivers: * It is essential for those who are self driving to check with the camp on current road and river crossing conditions. Cell phone reception is sporadic en-route. * You really don't want to spend the first half of your holiday camping in a hole in the Bloukrans or against a boulder on the stony hill.