About Us

Our History

Iqina Game Lodge, established in 1998, was purchased by the Airton & Alexander families in 2005.  Over the years, they have crafted the homely, yet intimate, safari lodge, which continues to create life time memories.

About Rhino River Lodge - bird

1998 – Iqina Game Farm Bought

Iqina Game Farm was bought by Barry Cole. With two log cabins and a main area, the game farm was ready to accept guests and play a lead role in establishing one of the finest private game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. 

1999 – Giraffe, Wildebeest & Kudu

Some of the first species introduced to the property were giraffe, wildebeest and kudu. These herbivores found a new home within the reserve, adding to the range of wildlife that visitors may encounter on their safaris. 

2000 – White Rhino

White rhinos were successfully introduced to the game reserve, marking a significant conservation milestone in the effort to protect this critically endangered species. 

The image to the left shows Barry seeking refuge in a nearby tree, while releasing, one of the rhinos charged him. 

2002 – Buffalo

Buffalo were introduced to the Zululand Rhino Reserve. This species of the famed Big 5 brought the reserve closer to matching the species of the nearby HluhluweiMfolozi National Park. 

2004 – Zululand Rhino Reserve

At the time that property owners became involved in the development of the reserve, the collective decision to rename it ‘Zululand Rhino Reserve’ happened. Over 200km of fences were removed and the size of the reserve now sat at 47 000 acres. 

2005 – Rhino River Lodge

The Airton and Alexander Families decided to take on a new adventure and bought the lodge. Renamed to Rhino River Lodge a new exciting future beckoned.

2005 – Elephant Herd

With the area now being large enough to become home to elephants, the first herd was introduced to the reserve. They continue to thrive and can now be seen along the reserve’s North-South route. 

2005 – Black Rhino

The introduction of black rhinos to the reserve represented another crucial step in the ongoing conservation and protection of another endangered species. 

About Rhino River Lodge - rhino
About Rhino River Lodge - rhino

2006 – Birth of Black Rhino Calf

The momentous occasion of the birth of the first black rhino calf occurred. This speaks to the success of the conservation efforts of the reserve and our commitment to wildlife protection. 

2006 – More Buffalo & White Rhino

An additional herd buffalo as well as more white rhino were successfully introduced to the game reserve, supporting biodiversity and safeguarding these species.

2007 – Expanded to 57 000 Acres

Following the growing number of wildlife and number of species, the size of the park was expanded further. The reserve now spans across 57 000 acres, or 23 000 hectares.

2009 – Protected Area

The reserve was officially proclaimed as a protected area, reinforcing our dedication to conserving Zululand’s rich biodiversity. With this, we continue to ensure the preservation of the reserve’s ecosystems. 

About Rhino River Lodge - bird
About Rhino River Lodge - cheetah

2009 – Cheetah

The first cheetahs were introduced to the park. The species, being a favourite sighting for guests, would help control the thriving populations of antelope species. 

2010 – Conservation Significance

Our reserve earned recognition as a site of conservation significance, underlining our vital role in preserving and sustaining a wealth of rare and endangered species.

Manyoni Game Reserve - deer

2011 – Lions & Big Five Area

The next species to be introduced to the reserve was lions, an additional species of big cats. This introduction of lions is what allowed Zululand Rhino Reserve to be classified as a Big 5 Reserve. 

2013 – Brown Hyena

Brown hyenas were added to the reserve, further diversifying the ecosystem and providing guests the opportunity to observe this remarkable species in their natural habitat. 

2015 – Pack of Wild Dogs

The reserve released its first pack of wild dogs, another milestone in the reserve’s conservation efforts. The introduction of wild dogs also allows guests to observe these unique animals in their habitat. 

2015 – Prince Harry Stays

Prince Harry visited the Zululand Rhino Reserve. While staying in the Homestead at Rhino River Lodge, he was able to enjoy the untamed beauty of the reserve. 

About Rhino River Lodge - bedroom

2017 – Name Change to Manyoni

The Zululand Rhino Reserve was renamed ‘Manyoni Private Game Reserve’. With rhino poaching becoming a constantly growing threat, protection and conservation of all species continues to be a key focus.

2019 – Pangolin

Our first pangolin was successfully introduced to the reserve, marking a return after a 70-year local extinction. This introduction has contributed to our efforts to protect these elusive, endangered creatures. 

2020 – Covid & Post-Covid

In the wake of the events that unfolded in 2020, the lodge began a thoughtful and extensive series of upgrades aimed at raising and enhancing the overall guest experience.  

These renovations and improvements reflect the lodge’s commitment to providing a haven for travellers looking to relax, rejuvenate and reset in an evermore chaotic world. 

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