Shewula Eco Lodge
On your eSwatini trip it’s important to also plan some time with the locals. Especially when you have travelled more often in Africa - you don’t always want ‘another’ culture village or community tour. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to surround yourself with the local vibes.
Shewula Lodge is one of the oldest running community owned lodges in Southern Africa. Around 25 years ago it was started as an initiatief by the previous chief of Shewula. (Shewula is named after its first chief: Shewula, who fought for this specific piece of land versus other clans succesfully).
The lodge is very basic, but in good condition. You can either book the Rondavels (Round huts with thatched roofs) or camping. We staid with your 4x4 on the camping ground for R100 a person.
Activities at Shewula Lodge
The lodge offers a couple of activities pro-actively: Village Tour and River Hike. Both are nice. But again, for frequent travellers not the most unique. Instead we recommend you just go there - explore the village yourself. Enjoy a good local meal (you will be stuffed!). And enjoy the amazing sunset over eSwatini. On a good day you can see the entire country!
Why is Shewula a community lodge?
Community lodge means that the lodge is owned by the local people. In the case of Shewula it’s 100% owned by the community. They have a council of 8 people that decide annually how to spend to proceedings of the lodge. In general it goes to either improvement of the lodge, or assisting people in need in the community. The Shewula village (more a region) has a population of 14.000 people. They all benefit from you going to the lodge, and spending your money there. Before COVID it used to have 8 employees. They are now down to 5. They work full-time at the lodge, and all speak very good English.
Directions to Shewula
Shewula is about an hour drive from Hlale National Park. The last 25km are on a dirt road. The beginning is a bit rough, but after about 5km it turns into a nice dusty road. That drives you through the villages. Don’t forget to stop along the road. At the lodge itself there is not much to buy; so stock up on your way there.