COVID-19   |   Awards   |   Animal Sightings   |   News   |   Upgrades   |   Happenings   |   Giving Back   |   Notices
Once upon a time, a little caveman called Grotto, lived in the beautiful Mpumalanga landscape, which glowed under the warm African sun. He still does and his home - Sudwala Lodge - is defined by the hilly crowns of the Mankelekele Mountain and the shimmering waters of the Houtbosloop River. The river softly moves over the stones, wending its way against the curves of the banks, decorated with majestic trees and small indigenous shrubs. The gentle murmur of the water can only just be heard below the chirps of the birds, welcoming a new day. The first half of 2020 was challenging, with the outbreak
of the COVID-19 pandemic – and to a degree still is. We entered a period in world history, unprecedented for most of us, were the world and South Africa, had to stand together while standing apart. With this said, we want you to know that we miss the familiar faces upon check-in, families enjoying delicious meals at Grotto’s Coffee Shop, seeing kids playing to their heart's content and hearing laughter in the air as holidays unfold. Together, Grotto and the rest of the Sudwala Team, remain committed to creating an environment where everlasting holiday memories can once again, be made.
RHS Covid-19 Shareholder Notice

We would like to extend our gratitude to every shareholder, as well as to South Africa as a nation, for heeding the call of President Cyril Ramaphosa on the eve of the nation address in relation to the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions. We, as the Managing Agent of your preferred holiday destination, would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to navigate this pandemic.


A message from Marjorie Forssman, Managing Director of Royal Hospitality Services:

“Our commitment to providing an environment to create everlasting memories for all our shareholders and guests remains at the forefront of our mission. In light of the current COVID-19 situation, RHS is implementing viable management solutions for your home-away-from-home to ensure the health and safety of you and your families for when you can enjoy your holidays once more. The RHS Team extends their heartfelt empathy for all who have been affected, direct- or indirectly, by this outbreak. Our faith lies firmly that South Africa will emerge from this situation stronger than before and with a heightened appreciation for this beautiful country; let us remain united as a nation.”


Kindly note, in compliance with government regulations and our own policies and procedures that Sudwala Lodge will remain closed to the public until it is deemed appropriate, by government, to return to normal operations. That being said, we want you to know that we are missing the sight of all your lovely families arriving in Reception and the happy sounds of your holidays unfolding! We are eagerly awaiting, and we know you are too, the day when we are able to open our gates once more; returning to a time where you may relish every moment at your 'home-away-from-home' in a safe and relaxing environment.


Click here to view relevant COVID-19-related news and information


As our further commitment to you during these trying times as we are sure you are looking forward
to being able to visit your home-away-from-home:


Father's Day


VRS Options has been made available to our shareholders to deposit the week(s) which have been lost, due to the nationwide lockdown and/or the extended closure of Sudwala Lodge in return for tokens to the full value of the respective week.

Please visit VRS Options, bank the stay you can no longer occupy and retrieve your tokens, to be used for a future Resort-stay. A small Exchange Fee is the only payment required to open the possibilities of a multitude of Resorts to you. While we understand this means you might not receive an equivalent stay at Sudwala Lodge for a future date, we are sure this gesture, of an alternative holiday for your family, will result in many cherished holiday memories.

Visit VRS Options

Our thoughts and prayers are with each shareholder, as you manoeuvre through these trying times. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Property Admin, should you require further information.

All emails can be directed to

Sudwala Lodge
– A Legacy worth taking good care of
Pride News

We are well aware of and sensitive to the impact of the current state of national disaster, but in our role as ‘caretaker’ of your Resort, we understand that our monthly obligations – such as municipal charges, rates and taxes, administration, Resort maintenance – remain payable; and are necessary in order for us to ensure that we are able to welcome you back to your beautiful Resort as soon as possible.


We would like to thank all those shareholders who have continued to pay their levies, especially those who have paid even though they, sadly, lost the use of their week this year, due to the COVID-19 situation. 


This is a Team-Sudwala match
and we need each one of our shareholders,
at our side, in the line-up.

We thank all shareholders for your continued support in ensuring the upkeep of the Resort at this time.

Everything your favourite ‘Grotto’ Resort has been up to...

Awards and Applause

32nd annual RCI OSCAS Awards

- Top Silver Crown Resort (Large) -

- Top Check-In and Check-Out -

Huge and hearty congratulations go to our Resort Manager, Johan, our phenomenal Assistant Resort Manager, Natasha, and the whole Sudwala Team! Sudwala Lodge was awarded the title of Top Silver Crown Resort in the Large category and nominated in the Top Check-In and Check-Out category. Your passion, dedication, hard work and attention to detail have been well rewarded!

Top Animal Sightings

Traverse and explore the Lodge, which is surrounded by beautiful lush greenery, a majestic mountain, a gentle seasonal-flowing river and a multitude of tiny critters and larger creatures.

Bushbuck have been spotted numerous times on the property in the past few months. This mammal is not considered the most social or active antelope in the animal kingdom. They are mostly nocturnal and are frequently spotted in the early hours of the morning or late at night. During the day, they hide in the thicket of the bush - hence the name bushbuck.
A mob of mongooses is calling Sudwala home again! For many years, Sudwala has maintained the Lowveld foliage, in respect of preventative firebreaks, by means of controlled burning. More recently, this routine maintenance has been performed using mowers. This mongoose-friendly tactic has meant that the troop has grown over the past couple of years. They now happily live in the more overgrown areas of lush vegetation on the outskirts of the Resort. You can sometimes hear their chatter as they go about their business, which includes discrete sounds which seem vaguely human. You can even spot them from time-to-time hunting around the Chalets for small reptiles or insects.
Vervet Monkeys
With these little guys around you are always guaranteed to see some form of monkey business at Sudwala; from the adults grooming each other, to the amusement of watching the immature youngsters climb and clamber through the trees; chasing and babbling in the distance. It always leaves us in awe to watch these critters fluidly swinging between branches in search of fruit or small insects.
In continuance of our conservation efforts; we recently stumbled upon a pup which had gotten lost during his first solo voyage and did not make it back to the Cave before morning. At first light, our team assisted in returning the little fellow to the cave and he has since settled in nicely. Did you know? It is an ‘old wives tale’ that bats, birds and other species will not accept their young once a human has made contact. While this commonly held belief is in fact not true, we should, of course, also not interfere unnecessarily with any wild animal. We should all do our part in conserving the species and precious natural habitats of the Earth.
Interesting News About ‘The Neighbours’
Sudwala Caves Aquaponics
Sudwala Caves recently introduced a very exciting new feature to their already elaborate list of amenities: an aquaponics system. This system combines aquaculture (like the Koi fish seen in the image) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water).
Wondering how this system works? In aquaponics, the fish excretions and by-products form ammonia in the water. The ammonia is broken down by nitrifying bacteria, produced by algae, which is initially turned into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates. The nitrates are then utilized by the plants as nutrients, and in this process the plants ‘clean’ the water of ammonia. The water is circulated throughout the process; in the end, ammonia-free water gets pumped back into the fish-tank. Be sure to check this new feature out, near the Sudwala Caves entrance, on your next visit!
Elvis Blue in the Caves
Sudwala Lodge partnered with neighbours, the Sudwala Caves, to provide guests with another incredible, live show! As always, it is an absolute treat to see a musical production in this natural amphitheatre. Throughout the show, magical pink and blue lights highlighted the Speleothem of the cave, giving a space-like appearance to the already mystical cave. Elvis Blue’ shows are well-known for that perfect blend of whimsical storytelling and straddling through well-known English and Afrikaans original hits; and this concert did not disappoint! Elvis Blue and his band thoroughly enjoyed their stay at Sudwala Lodge and were pleasantly surprised by the little VIP Grotto Card and personalised bottle of wine on their beds, upon arrival. Fitches & Leedes, one of the sponsors of the night, served refreshing pink-gin-and-tonic-mixes, for guests to enjoy throughout the evening.
In the Know with Sudwala Lodge Upgrades!
Grotto’s Treats

The Convenience Shop has been renamed to Grotto’s Treats and is now also selling home-style bottled chillies and meat hampers.

Grotto’s Coffee Shop

The Coffee Shop has a new name and menu, which proudly boasts Grotto in its title.


The Express units’ (small 4-sleepers) bathrooms have been revamped, to make the bathroom more accessible to use.

Keep the Good Times Rolling...

Each year brings with it a multitude of fun days and holidays to be enjoyed and celebrated; Sudwala guarantees that no guest or shareholder goes home without thoroughly enjoying the Sudwala experience...

December School Holiday 2019
December School holidays are a favourite time at Sudwala Lodge! This past holiday was no different, with numerous fun-filled entertainment and stimulating activities carefully curated for our holiday-goers. The 116 kids who participated in our holiday programme thoroughly enjoyed the fun activities such as: Water Sports, a Colour Run, Pony Rides, the Sudwala Nature Walk up the mountain, a Night Walk, Arts and Crafts and many more. The kids weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the various activities, our older guests also joined in on the: Watermelon-Fun-Fight, our very popular Monday Meet-and-Greet Braai, and rolling and grilling their own stick bread at our River Boma. It’s not always just fun and games; the programme also includes some educational material, where we teach kids more about Sudwala’s surrounds and critters living in the biome. On the Nature Walk, Isak gave a short lesson on snakes, bat calling and the importance of conservation.
Birthday Parties
Birthday parties remain a firm favourite amongst the team as they get to cherish another memory forever. Since December 2019 we’ve hosted four successful birthday parties. Our ever-helpful team assisted with the setup before, as well as tidying up after, the parties. Sudwala provided the delicious birthday cake, the catering, balloons, tables and chairs, while the recreation team ensured that the kids were entertained with tons of fun activities.
Festive Season and
Christmas Eve
The reception was ‘carved out’ to be one for the books; with a wooden Christmas tree and figurines jollied-up with red and white – to welcome our visitors upon check-in. Our younger guests also had tons of fun during the festive period! They decorated the Christmas tree in reception, made Christmas Cards for their folks, painted funny faces on stones – now dotted around the Resort and on display for other visitors to see. On Christmas Eve guests joined us under the perfect evening skyline for our Christmas by Candlelight event.
Christmas Day
On Christmas Day, the festivities continued and remained jam-packed with activities! Santa started doing his rounds on the morning of Christmas to the different Chalets, with a few helpers, to hand out fresh squares of Christmas cake to the adults. The festivities didn’t stop there, 45 guests attended our much-loved Christmas Lunch. The festivities started with cheesy garlic bread, continued with a Merry Feast that included a saucy roasted Leg of Lamb sprinkled with snow (onions) and a variety of vegetables on the side; the lunch ended with luxurious Malva pudding and custard.
Wedding Anniversaries
During the Festive Season we also celebrated not one, but eight wedding anniversaries at the Lodge! Our housekeeping team decorated the special couples’ rooms with a romantic setup that included swan-folded towels and rose petals. We also included a bottle of red wine, roses and sweetly-delicious chocolates; and carefully assembled scrumptious food baskets for several of the couples to enjoy.
New Year’s
New Year's kicked-off with a bang with 66 guests attending our Neon New Year’s Party at the Pavilion. The kids enjoyed the spectacle of the different coloured glow-in-the-dark lights as the adults jived into the new decade! We started 2020 with our New Year’s resolution:
having fun - with folk games and a night under the stars walk.
The Month of Love
As February is the month of love – we celebrated in true Sudwala style by hosting three separate events throughout the month to make certain our guests felt the love! It all started upon check-in where, throughout February, guests were welcomed by Valentine's-inspired décor to set their hearts aflutter.
Pre-Valentine’s Day
Pre-Valentine’s Day, visitors enjoyed scrumptious heart-shaped pizzas at Grotto’s Coffee Shop, while listening to soft romantic melodies. A special handmade Valentine’s puzzle was handed out to the couples to complete at their leisure.
Valentine’s Day
On Valentine’s Day, we made it oh-so-easy for guests to spoil their loved-one with a wonderful treat from Grotto’s Coffee Shop – a basket filled with tasty treats – that could be delivered to guests’ chalets. Later that evening, we treated our couples to a ‘Shall We Dance?’ Disco at the Pavilion, where couples could slow dance to a romantic number. Valentine’s got even groovier thanks to our laser lights and smoke machine!
Post-Valetine’s Day
On the Saturday thereafter, we hosted a romantic Movie Night Under the Stars on the turf next to the Houtbosloop River. The 16 couples who attended listened to the soft murmur of the water while watching ‘Be my Valentine’ on the big screen. The space was perfectly decorated with lanterns; and soft picnic blankets and pillows were carefully positioned for the couples to recline on. A passage of lit flambeau torches led them to the set, where they could indulge in popcorn, beverages and heart-shaped pizzas under the night sky.
Giving Back Projects

Sudwala Lodge took part in some exciting projects as part of our ‘giving back’ initiatives

International Cancer Day
In partnership with Cansa, Sudwala Lodge brought awareness to the devastation which cancer causes. The well-known ‘shavathon’ event was held at the Pavilion on the 4th of February 2020, and guests could participate by having their hair sprayed with a rainbow of colours, or for the very brave, dare to have a ‘buzz-cut’ to raise awareness. This event encourages people to come together, raise funds for the cause; and also provides education about prevention, detection, and treatment. A small wooden cross key-ring, with a card, was handed out to each participant, together with a pink Cansa badge. A donation box was also positioned at the entrance, for those who wanted to donate to the foundation. Awesome job, Sudwala!
Healing Wings:
Mankele Trust Community
During National Lockdown, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Sudwala Lodge partnered with neighbouring farmers and Healing Wings to make up food hampers for the less fortunate in the Mankele Trust Community. The Sudwala team came together with masks and gloves to assist those in need during these trying times. Well done to the Sudwala team and thank you to the neighbouring farmers and Healing Wings who went above and beyond to support this community.
Earth Day
Sudwala Lodge, a proud supporter of International Earth Day, participated in this international initiative on the 22nd of April 2020. The Sudwala team urged the community to plant trees on this day, by sharing an image with a relevant message on it to a communal Whatsapp group of the area, a few days before. They also handed out cans with a sapling in it and a label around it, reading: “Mother Nature, too, needs care and protection. Show her you care, by caring for her trees” on the day. The team also planted a few saplings on the Resort; we hope to one day sit under the shade of these majestic trees and reflect on this day.

UniVate Properties

Uni-Vate Properties is your one-stop portal for all Vacation Ownership, Residential and Commercial Properties.

Pride News

The Uni-Vate Properties portal not only allows you to buy weeks at your favourite Resort but you can also sell your Vacation Ownership week in a few simple steps.


Click here to visit the Uni-Vate Properties Website

African Blessings

Did you know that we support African Blessings?
This Non-Profit and Public Benefit Company cares for its community, children, animals and the environment. Check out their website for their latest projects and developments.


More info...
VRS Options

VRS Options
VRS Options allows you to exchange your fixed holiday for availability at various Resorts, for alternative dates or unit sizes. We’ve secured you a multitude of destinations through some of our partners to give you more holiday options.

(Please note that the exchange fee will increase in 2021)

More info...

Take the pressure out of planning the journey to your favourite home-away-from-home: our partners at ACT Travel are here to plan your flights, car hire and so much more to ensure you have the most relaxing vacation.

Uni-vate Properties

Important Notices

2020 Calendar > Download
2021 Calendar > Download
Instruction Letter 2020 > Download
Instruction Letter 2021 > Download
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In Closing...
Yet another six months have come to an end; as we watch the African sun set behind the Mankelekele Mountain, and the changing of seasons from lush green to golden treetops, softly shedding and covering the floor with a carpet of leaves; it is a time to reflect.

A moment to appreciate the beauty of the Mpumalanga surrounds and tranquillity, and a time to thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support toward Sudwala Lodge. Let us look forward to the next half of the year and to your next visit. Together we can enjoy this paradise in all its splendour and joy!

Warm Regards
Marjorie Forssman
RHS – Managing Director 
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