bedroom zebra lions head bathroom swimming pool garden bench

Welcome to Blyde River Canyon Lodge

About the Lodge & People

Blyde River Canyon Lodge offers the highest quality of accommodation, we provide superior service to our customers and our guests leave with unforgettable memories of their stay. Our experience and commitment to excellence contributes to the fact that we are one of the best lodges in the area.

The Lodge is an idyllic sanctuary which lays in a shallow valley, soaring cliffs on one side and the tranquil flow of the Blyde River on the other. Places of water are places of life! Not only are the water courses of the Blyde River well populated with hippo and crocodiles, the Reserve is home to nyala, impala, wildebeest, zebra, Bushbuck, duiker, steenbuck, Kudu and bushpig. The towering Northern Drakensberg escarpment provides a canvas for nature to capture a masterpiece with each sunrise…experience it!

Vicky Mittan - Owner

Vicky Mittan is one of those people who just have Africa deep in their bones. She was born in Kenya and often her family piled into their game vehicle and went off into the bush in the Serengeti and Amboseli. She is passionate about animals and when her father forbade her to ride horses, after a bad fall she went door to door to raise money to get herself back on the horse.

She and her husband, John Mittan and their two young children decided to go for the adventure of a new life Australia back in the 80’s, but Africa kept calling. Vicky was a successful businesswoman in Sydney with degrees in Accounting and Tourism when she and John came for a holiday to the Blyde River Canyon Lodge. Their son was working as a ranger at a game lodge nearby and they ended up at the lodge of the Blyde Botanical Reserve. For Vicky it was love at first sight and over dinner she jokingly said to the owner that if the lodge were for sale they would buy it. Two weeks later they had bought the lodge and two months later Vicky had left Australia, moved into the lodge and taken over.

Guests at the Blyde River Canyon Lodge feel the special love that Vicky has for this land. Within weeks of arriving she had a bush baby and an orphaned impala. Guests could give Mala the impala a bottle or watch the bush baby daintily pick at a tiny bowl of Pronutro.

Guests from all over the world remember sitting on the wide porch of the lodge with Vicky watching the fabulous glow of the setting sun on the deep orange cliffs of the canyon.

When the lodge won first prize at the Bush Banquet last year all of the work that Vicky and her staff have put into making the lodge so special was rewarded. It was a big day for all and an indication of how well this lodge functions as a team.

The core of this success rests in the love that Vicky holds deep in her bones for Africa and it’s people.

Portia Fankomo

Portia Fankomo

The moment you see Portia behind the desk at the Blyde River Canyon Lodge you know she runs things with a good portion of both grace and grit. What is hard to believe is that this elegant, well spoken young woman had to go to work in the fields picking litchis despite having graduated from high school with top honors and winning a bursary. She lost the scholarship because she was pregnant but she didn’t loose her dream to succeed and to provide a good life for herself and her child.

She found a skills training course and the R500 to pay for it and after a three month training, she was hired by Vicki Mittan as a housekeeper at the lodge. It didn’t take long for Vicki and her assistant to see that Portia had the drive and the talent to become a manager. She was a business woman in the rough and after extensive training on many fronts, Portia became the manager of this 4* lodge in 2009 at the age of 27. Vicki remains her mentor, her teacher, her hero and her friend.

Portia is respected by the staff for though she is young, she is fair, respectful and happily joins them to serenade the guests with traditional tribal singing and dancing. She has learned many things in her time at the lodge from how to scare off baboons with a pellet gun to how to create and maintain precise Excel spread sheets. She is the breadwinner for seven people in her family and her eleven year old daughter, Bonga, is a star student at a private school in Hazyview. Slowly, Portia, as a single mother, is creating with clear intention the life she always dreamed was possible.

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Graded 4 Stars - TGCSA
Dining Staff The Lodge
TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015 Winner
The Lilizela Tourism Awards - Provinicial Winner
Graded 4 Stars - TGCSA