In our Spring/Summer issue:

  • Our first Grindrod Umngazi Pondo Pedal
    Mountain Bike Race : 1-5 June 2011
  • 12th Imana Wild Ride
  • Fun & memorable times with us
  • Our Spa News
  • Spring Midweek Escape
  • Rates & Out of Season Packages for 2012
  • News from our Umngazi Team
  • Community Update
  • Umngazi Recipe for Spring/ Summer

Mholweni from Umngazi!

Over the past couple of months it has been great to have welcomed back many friends of Umngazi, who, due to the changes to the school calendar last year (World Cup came first!) hadn't been able to get their Umngazi Holiday 'Fix' for almost 2 years, we missed you. Here at Umngazi the team has continued to excel in making Bungalows Number One.

The following awards were received recognising their efforts:

  • 2011 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award
  • World Travel Awards, Nomination for Africa's Leading Family Resort
  • Eastern Cape Tourism, Best Eastern Cape Seaside Resort
  • Getaway Show, Best Place to Stay 2011 Award
  • Professional Beauty, Best Destination Spa Award
  • Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards, Finalist in the Unique Spa Category Award
  • Diners Club Wine List Award 2011, Diamond Certification for our wine list

I would like to thank you, our guests for making your voices heard, as all these Awards are thanks to your comments and feedback, thank you for your invaluable support.

Sadly we said goodbye to Gareth and Calista and their daughter Addyson who left us at the end of August to start-up their own business in East London. As with all work goodbyes there is a welcome as a new person takes up the torch, or in this case the ovens. I therefore would like to welcome Kyle Norris, who takes over the kitchen and dining room in September, we wish him all the very best in this so important role.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of our many friends soon especially with December just around the corner, keep safe.

Graham Walker
General Manager


Well done to all participants who rode in our first Mountain Bike race at the beginning of June 2011. The race package included 4 nights accommodation at Umngazi and 3 days of cycling along the pristine coastline and the surrounding areas. Competitors covered 115 kilometers of varied terrain: single track, cattle track, district roads and swamp trails. The focus of the event was not only an opportunity to enjoy Umngazi's warm hospitality & the beautiful cycle routes; but also an opportunity to make a difference to our local community's neediest learners. We certainly achieved all of the above and would like to thank all participants for making it happen and a big thank-you to our main sponsor, Grindrod Bank who made a generous contribution towards our School Upliftment Projects and the race. Human kindness touched many souls once again and we raised close to R87 000.00 for our school projects which supports our four neighbouring schools. We shall give you a report back on their progress and post photo's in our next newsletter - watch this space!!

The race will become an annual event. The race dates for next year are from 06 - 10 June 2012. Visit
or call Damian and Lauren (B-Active, 031 7641885 or 082 5592080)


Whilst on the subject of cycling... the Imana Wild Ride celebrated its twelfth anniversary at Umngazi on the 04th August. The race takes place between the Great Kei River & Umngazi. We were privileged to have hosted the final stage & awards dinner for this awesome event. On behalf of the Umngazi team - well done to the participants, organisers and those who made it happen!


We were delighted & humbled by the following spa awards and we once again thank-you for your invaluable support.

The 7th annual Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards hosted by Les Nouvelles Esthetiques South Africa in association with Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Paris, on Sunday the 10 July 2011, at the prestigious Sandton Sun Hotel. The 2011 Spa Awards consisted of five (5) Categories, namely Boutique Hotel Spas, Day Spa, Resort/Hotel Spa, Unique Spa Concept and Safari Spa categories. Umngazi was a finalist in the Unique Spa Category

The winners of the Professional Beauty Awards 2011 were announced at a gala dinner held at the Scarlet Ribbon on the 28th August 2011. Spas, salons, managers, therapist and industry suppliers were recognised as true leaders in their field. These Awards are not only dedicated to rewarding beauty professionals who are making a marked difference in our industry, but have also been established to help uplift the standards of the industry and provide worthwhile publicity, both locally and abroad, creating greater consumer interest. "Even with this year's challenges, it was refreshing to see so many entrants across the board," says Professional Beauty editor-in-chief, Sally Harvey. "Each of the finalists was taken through a rigorous judging process, which included Industry expert and mystery shopper visits to effectively evaluate their performance across a number of set criteria."

We were delighted to win the Destination Spa of the Year award and congratulate our fellow participants:
Destination Spa of the Year
Umngazi River Bungalows and Spa - Winner
Fordoun Spa - Runner Up
Duma Manzi Eco Lodge & Spa - Runner Up

Resort/Hotel Spa of the Year
Sanctuary Spa at Indigo Bay Island Resort & Spa - Winner
Oyster Box - Runner Up
Isiphiwo Boutique Hotel Spa - Runner Up


We bid a very sad farewell to Gareth (our Food & Beverage Manager), Calista (our Catering Manager) and their daughter Addyson. They have been part of the Umngazi family for three years and will be missed by guests and staff. We wish them all the best with their new venture back at their family's business Umnenga Lodge near East London.

We warmly welcome Kyle Norris with open arms as our new Catering Manager. Kyle hails from Durban and trained under Christina Martin and has a host of local and international experiences. His passion for cooking and food started at an early age. Kyle describes his cooking as traditional South African food with a twist. He is a keen traveler and loves to infuse his traditional dishes with a twist of International flair. Kyle looks forward to sharing these dishes with you.

Well done to our cycling guide, Justin for completing the Imana with Siya (who originally hails from Port St Johns and currently lives in Durban and helps out at Giba Gorge). You guys made us so proud once again!

Congrats to Candice, our spa therapist on her engagement to Richard. We are so excited for you both!


Local Schools Stationary Pack Drive

We are delighted to announce that the Schools stationary project has raised over R26'000 which has all been put toward purchasing over 1000 stationary packs for children from the neighbouring schools. Packs were sold at the hotel for as little as R25 and guests could purchase either junior, intermediate or senior grade packs which met the needs of specific ages - from the little ones who's packs included crayons and modelling clay to the senior packs that included much needed maths sets! We even managed to purchase scientific calculators.

These packs have been received by delighted children ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 9's at the Cwebeni, Vukandlule, Sicambeni, Caguba and Mkweni Junior Secondary Schools.

We would like to thank our special Guests and Friends of Umngazi who have opened their hearts to this wonderful community and to Robyn and the Chipkins Team who have assisted in getting such great prices for us so that we could purchase so many packs!

UKZN Student Teachers Project
13 Students from the University of KwaZulu Natal spent the month of August at our 3 local schools as part of their Teachers Training Practicals. This group of young people - who are skilled in various "disciplines" from English, Science, Maths, Drama as well as 3 students training to be Grade R teachers found the experience of working in rural schools both challenging and rewarding.

Umngazi had the privilege of accommodating these enthusiastic, passionate students for the month and co-sponsoring this amazing project. It has brought skills, resources and a renewed energy to these schools. With the success of this years Student Project we are hoping it will be the first of many!!

Caguba Junior Secondary School
Umngazi have recently "adopted" the Caguba Junior Secondary School. This school is a Section 20 school which means that they get little or no funds from the Department of Education.

On visiting the school we soon realised that this 27 year old prefab school was in great need - from leaking roofs, holes in ceiling boards, rain damaged furniture / floors and rusted black boards! Not to mention no cooking facilities and a lack of resources like computers / administration office.

We are delighted to report that this week we have received an amazing donation of building supplies from BOXER HARDWARE. Thank you Ian Bamber, Andrew Mills and the Boxer Team !! We will keep you posted on the progress of this school!

Tequila-Lime Chicken Brochettes (skewers )
These brochettes can be cooked a day in advance and refrigerated; bring to room temperature, then garnish and serve.
The longer the chicken marinates, the better it tastes. Soak bamboo skewers at least 1 hour before grilling


  • 1 ripe mango, cut into chunks
  • 1 ripe banana, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Rock salt
  • 2 teaspoon chilli or chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup tequila (white or dark)
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 2 tablespoon pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/4 cup(s) roasted pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped
  • Coriander sprigs, for garnish


  1. In a blender or food processor with knife blade attached, puree mango, banana, brown sugar, garlic, salt, chilli powder, and white pepper until smooth. Add lime juice and tequila and process until blended.
  2. Cut chicken breasts crosswise on a slight diagonal into 3/4-inch-wide strips. Divide between 2 plastic refrigerator bags; add 1 cup marinade to each bag and seal. Turn bags to coat chicken evenly. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours. While chicken marinates, cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring reserved marinade to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  4. Drain chicken in a colander. Thread onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Spray a grill pan with non-stick spray and heat until hot. Grill chicken skewers in batches, about 2 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Or broil skewers 4 minutes, turning once halfway through. Arrange on platters. Hit chicken with a squeeze of lime. Drizzle with cooked marinade; sprinkle with peppercorns and pumpkin seeds. Garnish with Coriander sprig

On that note, we very much welcome your feedback and will include wherever possible your suggestions to even further improve the product and service.

We look forward to welcoming you to Umngazi and ensure that your experience will be one that you will treasure forever.

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