Tala Collection Game Reserve just outside Pietermaritzburg: A true gem for nature enthusiasts

Tala Collection Game Reserve

Seeking a unique and memorable African safari experience in the Pietermaritzburg countryside? Tala Collection Game Reserve is a must-visit holiday destination – from its accessibility to its accommodation options and exciting activities, expect an experience of a lifetime.

Located amidst the picturesque hills of a quiet farming community – within easy reach of Durban, this wildlife conservancy offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Spanning over 3,000 hectares, Tala boasts a diverse landscape that includes acacia thornveld, open grassland and a sensitive wetland. This natural diversity attracts over 380 bird species and a wide range of big game, including kudu, hippo, giraffe, and wildebeest.

What’s more, Tala is malaria-free and devoid of large predators, making it an excellent choice for families and holidaymakers looking for an authentic bush experience with the freedom to explore at their own pace.

It might be within reach of Durban, but when you arrive at Tala, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported a million miles away from the stresses of the modern world. Many of their previous guests had many wonderful things to say about their experiences at the lodge. Read below.

Accommodation at Tala Collection Game Reserve

Accommodation at Tala Collection Game Reserve is a blend of down-to-earth charm and secluded luxury. The lodges and houses offer a splendid mix of rooms to cater to different preferences.

Their Fisherman’s Cottages are two self-catering cottages with private and concealed Boma areas for a relaxing braai under the starry night sky. These cottages offer a serene retreat with sweeping views of the Fisherman’s Dam. While they are self-catering, you also have the option to dine at the Tala Restaurant for any meals you desire during your stay.

Equally popular is the Paperbark Lodge with 12 Deluxe rooms. It features a rock pool and a conference center. Its centrepiece is the beautifully-restored ‘Old Farm Barn’, complete with a large fireplace and polished floors. You can dine under the stars in the unique Paperbark Boma. The lodge offers simple yet dramatic décor, including wildlife paintings, shale walls, and the creative use of wood. Moreover, the lodge surrounds an open grass area with spectacular views of the reserve. A spacious premier suite awaits you, featuring a generous bathroom with a ball-and-claw tub and a four-poster bed.

Adjacent to Paperbark Lodge, Paperbark House is one of the original old farmhouses, thoughtfully-restored to maintain its bygone-era charm. This section of the reserve comprises six en-suite bedrooms that lead out onto a central lounge area and a typical farmhouse-style veranda. You’ll find the rock pool just a few steps away, and you have the option to enjoy all your meals at Paperbark Restaurant.

You will also love their Figtree House with its five en-suite rooms. It is designed to  serve as a fully-serviced house for groups of up to ten people. It exudes an old-world farmhouse atmosphere, with each room providing direct access to the surrounding garden. From the veranda off the main lounge, you can overlook the boma braai area with the rolling hills of Tala in the background. All five rooms come with en-suite bathrooms, opening up to a communal open-plan lounge featuring a bar. The large dining room table is perfect for enjoying breakfast or dinner in the privacy of your own house. Due to its convenient location next to the Fig Tree Barn, Figtree House is also an ideal choice for wedding party preparations, conferences, and tranquil getaways with family and friends.

Another great choice is the Leadwood Lodge, which offers six luxury cottages as well as the Manor House. Built by a team of artisans using locally-sourced shale, the lodge combines exceptional architecture, towering thatch, and resplendent finishes against the backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty. Inside, you’ll find an eclectic merging of antique and organic Africa, complemented by one-of-a-kind artistic elements. Leadwood Lodge provides relaxation and tranquility and is available for groups of 10 to 20 people.

The Leadwood Manor House features three double bedded rooms with a bath and shower, as well as a double bedded Presidential suite with a bath and shower, a dressing room, lounge, and a private deck area.It accommodates a maximum of eight guests. Bedrooms are cleverly designed to ensure absolute privacy and all-out luxury. Elegant floor-to-ceiling windows, plush four-poster beds, polished floors, and colourful rugs define the new room interiors, all designed to maximize the exquisite views. The bathrooms feature both stand-alone bathtubs and ultra-chic stone showers, allowing you to experience the best of both worlds.

Make an online booking HERE.

Facilities at Tala Collection Game Reserve

While Tala welcomes couples and solo travellers, it’s uniquely suited for larger groups. Dining options abound, including Tala Restaurant and traditional outdoor bomas. The resort’s conference rooms also make it an ideal choice for day conferences, special occasions, weddings, and tour groups exploring the KwaZulu-Natal.

Things to do at Tala Game Lodge

Tala Collection Game Reserve offers a diverse range of exciting activities to enhance your stay. Whether you’re an angler or an adventurer, there’s something for everyone. You can try your hand at catch and release fishing in Growmore dam 6 and 7, or at Fisherman’s Dam. For the cycling enthusiast, marked trails are available, catering to various skill levels.

Embark on a 2-hour game drive led by a professional guide and explore the wildlife-rich landscape. Thrill-seekers can engage in paintball and target shooting sessions in the dedicated Paintball Arena. Archery enthusiasts can test their skills in the Archery/Paintball Arena.

And for a unique experience, consider a Segway safari, allowing you to explore the reserve with style. Tala Collection Game Reserve ensures that every guest can make the most of their visit through these diverse and engaging activities.

Reviews from previous Tala Collection Game Reserve guests

“The most comfortable bed, food was beyond my expectation. Clean and immaculate conditions with an awesome team who catered to our every needs, going beyond their call of duty. Gratitude to Phindi,” wrote Escape14810902084 on their TripAdvisor page.

babheke added; “Best stay with very friendly staff. The cottage was exceptionally clean and exactly like in pictures but better in person when you get to experience all the facilities. I would definitely recommend checking this place out and I will be going back very soon. The activities are appropriate for the venue and the ones we participated on were exceptionally enjoyed and guided by the nicest guys. Thank you.”

“This reserve bowled me over with spectacular accommodation and scenery. I was in the leadwood cottages and the leadwood manor house had breath-taking views. Abundance of animals and food was totally amazing,” said Evashnie G.

Overall, Tala Collection Game Reserve offers a truly unique and memorable wildlife experience in the Pietermaritzburg area. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation or a special celebration, Tala has something for everyone. Book your stay today!

Tala Collection Game Reserve is located along the R603 Umbumbulu Road, Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg. Here is their location on Google Maps. For bookings, call +27 (0) 31 781 8000 or email reservations@tala.co.za visit them online at www.tala.co.za today. Follow them on Facebook HERE.


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Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

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So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.


You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

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We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

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