Around the World in 80 Eco Spas: Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa, Richmond, South Africa

Life & Soul Magazine’s Travel Guide to Eco Spas will whet your appetite for a vacation that brings healing to holidaymakers in accommodations that work in harmony with the planet.

15. Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa, Richmond, South Africa

The African wilderness is a place of serenity, harmony and balance where Mother Nature remains largely untouched and her animal kingdom roam freely. Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa has made it possible for holidaymakers seeking a private sanctuary to experience this unique landscape and setting at its wellness and wildlife retreat in South Africa.

Nestled in the heart of the forest valley in KwaZulu Natal, Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa is set within a 5,000 hectare reserve in Richmond, along the banks of the free flowing Mkomazi River and majestic sandstone cliffs. Around one hour’s drive from Durban, the reserve consists of undulating plateaus and hills, steep densely wooded slopes, valleys and a large central basin. As rich and diverse as its landscape, the reserve is also home to wildlife including giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, leopards, blue wildebeests and African wildcats, in addition to more than 300 species of birds including the African Crowned Eagle.

To share this space with such beings is a pleasure and a blessing for those who vacation at Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa. Naturally the eco lodge and spa exists in complete harmony with its surroundings. The lodge – which has been constructed using natural and local materials including wood, glass, sandstone and recycled bricks – operates without electricity, instead utilising a generator and solar power for its energy requirements.

The interiors of Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa, achieved using only environmentally-friendly paints and products, borrow from classic colonial African style – an inviting blend of luxury and homely comfort. Each room complete with private wooden deck serves as a window to the reserve, featuring stunning views of the river and mountains in the distance. In keeping with the way nature intended the area to be, the rooms have no modern conveniences such as air-con, TV, fridges or kettles, encouraging guests to be at one with Mother Nature and her animal kingdom.

With the great wider wilderness on the doorstep, guests can enjoy nature trails, birdwatching, star gazing and fishing self-guided or via guided trails, as well as game drives with local experts. Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa balances adventure with relaxation, offering guests spa facilities including a rock plunge pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and holistic treatments for rejuvenation or relaxation.

At Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa there is an emphasis on local heritage – the lodge itself largely staffed by locals enabling guests to experience local knowledge and wisdom that you won’t find in a guide book, and to sample regional cuisine made from locally-sourced ingredients.

Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa is one of nature’s playgrounds that the imagination can envisage and go to great lengths exploring, and to be up close and personal with it physically, whether you’re native to South Africa or from further afield seeking a special retreat, is a treasure.

Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

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