• Our 2009 Awards
  • The Umngazi Love Affair
  • Umngazi Recipe for Summer
  • Last Minute Availability
  • Umngazi Matters

Warm Summer Greetings to our most valued Guests & Friends of Umngazi,

It’s simply not in our nature to brag about our achievements but it most certainly is in our character to be grateful and thankful towards those that have helped us achieve something significant.

Heart of Africa Press Release AA Family Resort Winner Press Release Unique Spa Concept Press Release

During this year we have been honoured with no less than 3 awards:-

a) The AA award for the Finest Family Resort in South Africa (for the 5th time believe it or not)
b) The Les Nouvelles Award for the Most Unique Spa in South Africa and
c) The Heart of Africa award for sustaining the well being of our neighbouring communities.

This is an all-Africa award under the “Best Retreats in Africa” Category. Tau Game Lodge in North West Province came second and Azura Retreat in Benguera, Mozambique, third.

This has all come about through the wonderful things you say about us when you so kindly fill out our guest survey forms. Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!

You have no idea what it does to uplift staff spirits and needless to say, they appreciate the rewards they feel in their pockets too!

May you have a wonderful time over the Festive Season -
and many, many thanks once again.

Best wishes,
Kindest Regards,
Pat Goss

On behalf of the Umngazi Team

Gino & Agnes Garzolini have been visiting Umngazi since the 1970’s & thought they’d kindly share their story…

What brought us to these far away places from Cape Town?

Agnes and I were married in December 1956 and by mid 60’s we had three young sons. I took leave then and to get away from the Cape Winter, we went on holiday to Sedgefield, and subsequently to Port Alfred – but still couldn’t escape from the wet.

From Port Alfred we went to East London where at the AA Mrs. Cowie recommended that we go to Port St Johns, to Mrs. Lloyds Cottages – which is what we did in about 1970. And we continued to spend our holidays at various resorts in Port St Johns for the next 20 years.

One day in the early 70’s, we took a drive to see Umngazi Bungalows (I am not sure of the proper name at that time) and were impressed with what we saw, so we gave ourselves, a “week-end treat” and stayed at Umngazi for the first time.

The cottages were Fisherman’s type but comfortable with good food. Almost every year, for the next +/- 18 years, we treated ourselves to a long weekend.

By early 1990, Port St John’s no longer gave us the holiday we were used to and Umngazi was also deteriorating, despite the efforts of Ian Crawford, the General Manager, we decided to look at other options.

After staying away for 10 years we heard that Umngazi River Bungalows was on the way up, so we decided to book in for a long weekend, coming from Kei Mouth, to see what the ‘new’ Umngazi was all about.

Well, we were gob-smacked, goggle-eyed and speechless at what we saw (particularly the impressive Reception Building), proof of which must be the fact that we’ve been here every year since – except on the odd occasion when we visited our boys, now all overseas.

And every year we continue to be more impressed.

All the staff members that we come in contact with have been helpful and go out of their way to make us feel
at home.

Thank you to you all. We wish you continued good fortune and we wish ourselves many more stays at UMNGAZI RIVER BUNGALOWS!

If you have an Umngazi story to share, please email Molly at marketing@umngazi.co.za

You Will Need:

  • 6 chicken fillets
  • 3 crayfish tails split in half lengthwise and the alimentary canals discarded
    (the crayfish can be omitted if it is to expensive)
  • 18 large prawns
  • 80ml olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 onions chopped
  • 1 green and red pepper seeded and cut into strips
  • 500g uncooked rice
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • A large pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 60ml boiling water or use 5ml
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 500g calamari rings
  • 500g smoked ham cubed
  • 500g chorizo sausage sliced
  • 4 ripe red tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped
  • 500g cooked peas
  • 24 half shell mussels


  • Cut the chicken into chunks set aside
  • Leaving the shell intact cut the crayfish tails in half in to two
  • Slit the prawns down the back or the shells and de vain them
  • Heat the oil and brown the chicken pieces in batches. Set a side and season with salt and pepper. Fry
    the crayfish’s and prawns and set aside with the chicken. Cook the onions & Peppers until soft not brown.
    Add the rice and cook stirring until the grains are transparent and the oil is absorbed. Add the stock,
    saffron, garlic, salt and pepper, then add the calamari, ham, chorizo, tomato and peas in layers
  • Bring the liquid to a boil fairly rapidly for approximately 25-30 min, until the liquid has been absorbed and
    the rice is tender. Stir from time to time especially when the paella starts cooking. Add more stock or
    white wine if the liquid evaporates before the rice is cooked
  • Ten minutes before the end of cooking add the chicken, crayfish tails, prawns, and mussels to the top of
    the paella but do not stir, heat through and serve with a green salad and crusty bread

Perfect for a Summer gathering with friends, family & chilled vino of course!!!

Looking for a holiday at the last minute; click onto our website’s home page www.umngazi.co.za to see our last minute availability!

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.

Tel: +27 (0) 47 564 1115/ 6/ 8 /9 | Cell no: 082 3215841/2| Email: enquiries@umngazi.co.za | Web: www.umngazi.co.za