Carol Ofori's #SweetEscape to Babanango Game Reserve

Carol Ofori's #SweetEscape to Babanango Game Reserve

Babanango Game Reserve is a malaria-free game reserve, which will soon be home to the Big 5. This one of KwaZulu-Natal’s newest reserves, set on the White Umfolozi River and encompassing the beautiful Babanango Valley in Zululand.

Babanango Game Reserve
Babanango Game Reserve/Facebook

It is a gorgeous region with a pristine coastline, rolling hills, waving grasslands, forests, rivers, mangrove swamps and cattle ranches. Zululand is also the traditional seat of the Zulu Kingdom and is just a three-hour drive or possible flight option, north of the port city of Durban, with Babanango Game Reserve being situated inland in this diverse region.

Here's how the Babanango story has unfolded over the years

Creating a game reserve is a mammoth undertaking – consider the process of securing the land, to fencing it, building roads and infrastructure, building the right team of people to manage the reserve, stocking the reserve with the right species and managing these in a sustainable manner, not to mention putting together the funds to support and drive such a project.

Like all endeavours that are challenging but worthwhile, passion is the key ingredient to make a game reserve successful, and passion is precisely what has driven the formation of Babanango Game Reserve.

“A little selfish part of me wanted Zululand as the location for this project. I was always fascinated by the Zulu culture after growing up in the area and watching Shaka Zulu. I was determined to make the project happen here in KZN,” says Jeffrey van Staden, South African owner of a German-based African tour operating company.

Van Staden was approached by German clients, Barbara and Hellmuth Weisser, to identify an investment opportunity in African conservation. At a turning point in his life, about to leave Germany to return to live in South Africa, van Staden was also in the market for a new project to sink his energies into and he swiftly earmarked KZN as the ideal region for this endeavour.

A seasoned authority in the conservation lodge industry, van Staden understood that it wasn’t a lack of effort that was losing the battle against poaching but rather a lack of cooperation. He had in mind the idea to find a green fields site that was unprotected and under threat and preserve it.

Follow Babanango Game Reserve on Facebook for more information. 

#KZNHasItAll #BelieveIt


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Carol Ofori and Babanango Game Reserve on East Coast Radio

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