A wild, magical place on the banks of the mighty Tugela River

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What we offer at Zingela Safari & River Camp Video

A good hour from the tar road, Zingela is situated in the heart of secluded game country. A romantic riverside bush camp nestled on the banks of the mighty Tugela River, Zingela is a place where you can choose from a wide range of adventure activities or simply relax and absorb the breath taking scenery. From tented to luxury bush accommodation, catered or self catered options we have a special place suitable for every bush lover’s dream get away. Being owner managed and run gives this magical place a very special charm, not often found in this day and age.

Mark, Linda and Peter Calverley have lived in this Valley for over three decades and are the perfect hosts. Mark is a guru when it comes to all things bush related, as well as being incredibly knowledgeable about the interesting history of the area. Linda is multi-tasker extraordinaire and keeps everything running seamlessly, with her friendly smile and incredible calm. Her kitchen is renowned for its delicious meals where fresh ingredients are picked from the family’s home grown organic veggie garden. Succulent bush venison is standard on the menu and enjoyed in the open air dining room around blazing fires on the banks of the Tugela. Peter, Zingela’s very own Crocodile Dundee has recently returned to the game farm he grew up on. Armed with a doctorate in conservation & ecology, his passion for research and sharing it with others, is infectious. Peter with his team of qualified river and adventure guides also manages the many adventure activities on offer in the Valley.




We often get asked for a description of the accommodation and have found it easier to say what it is not than what it is! You will not be staying in a chalet, rondavel or tent. Each en-suite design is unique and has been built in unity with its immediate environment. We have used river stone, reed and canvas as materials. Larney Lane is ideal for couples while Hotel & Aloes are more suitable for family groups or friends who know each other. James Camp is an extension of main camp but as it has its own bush kitchen and dining area, it does double up as a Bed &Breakfast or self-catered camp for those who prefer that option. The recently refurbished House On Hill is the original Zingela farmhouse. Perched on a cliff overlooking the river, it is just down stream from James Camp. We use it for both those who want catered accommodation as well as for groups who would prefer to self cater and join the main camp for selected meals. We can comfortably host groups of forty and erect extra tents for larger parties. As an example, Zingela has been the venue for weddings and adventure races where we have catered for over a hundred guests guests. Our permanent campsite situated between Main camp and James Camp is open all year round while wild camping at Warthog Island is best in the dry season.



  • White water rafting
  • Mountain Biking
  • Trail Running See more
  • Fly fishing
  • Paintball
  • Abseiling
  • Birding
  • Guided Bush Walks
  • Giraffe Monitoring
  • Eel Research project

Wildlife Study Groups & University research programmes (tailor made)

We have run research trips for a number of international universities from Ecology Rivers study courses to Zululand Crocodile Research Projects. Zingela also conducts its very own Giraffe monitoring as well as an Eel Research project. This fascinating research project tracks the behavioural patterns of eels, originally from Madagascar, that have swum 300 km inland from the coast. Transmitters have been surgically implanted into the eels which are then monitored three times a day with a telemetry device.

Dr Peter Calverley will take you on an exploratory hands on adventure unpacking science in the most memorable, fun and life changing way.

River Ecology & Crocodile research trips

Most trips are 10 to 14 days and can include volunteer work at St Lucia Crocodile Centre, a visit to Hluhluwe –Umfolozi big five reserve, kayaking the Pongola River and into Ndumo Game Reserve, hippo and croc counts on Lake Nyamithi, delivering a puppet show to local village kids on human/crocodile conflict and visits to big five KZN reserves where behind the scenes monitoring experiences are available.

Zingela has recently been announced the winners of the Ecotone Telemetry Grant from more than 100 projects worldwide. Zingela’s Giraffe Research project focussing on movement patterns, habitat use and threats facing Giraffe in a fractured conservation landscape, came out tops, winning the hearts of international judges.

Giraffe Monitoring - Wildlife Study Trip

Student groups are invited to get involved in field based research and monitoring of South African Giraffe at Zingela Safaris in the Tugela Valley in Central Kwa Zulu Natal. This scientific expedition focuses on gathering information on the movement patterns, habitat use and foraging behaviour of the South African Giraffe in the remote Tugela valley. Participants will operate out of a rustic tented base camp and will be required to follow and observe herds of giraffe on foot collecting relevant data and samples in the field and collating their findings in our field laboratory. Information gathered from the expedition will be used to aid in the conservation of Giraffe in the immediate area and will be shared with the broader scientific community.

High School expeditions

Zingela Adventurous Journey (High School / Presidents Award)

This six day adventurous journey is all about experiential learning as students traverse 5500 hectares of African bushveld in the beautiful Tugela Valley, a stone’s throw away from the famous Battlefields.

This non mechanised journey includes activities such as hiking, abseiling, climbing and paddling through the wild and scenic Tugela Valley, led by experienced and accredited guides to ensure safety and maximum learning outcomes. Lessons on traditional Zulu culture, tracking, anti-poaching and other bush skills will be learnt in this authentic outdoor classroom experience.

What we offer at Zingela Safari & River Camp Video

To find out more or to book these amazing “back to nature” experiences, contact us at:

For information info@wildconnection.co.za
For bookings zingelabookings@gmail.com
Call us +27 81 816 2541
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