The Bulungula Lodge (pronounced boo-lun-GOO-lah) is part backpacker’s roadtrip, part cultural immersion, and part package holiday. It was set up in 2005 as an experiment to see if eco-tourism could help the local economy, and it has been a resounding success. Getting there is part of the by train, bus, and car. You stay in a traditional Xhosa rondavel hut and have the choice of self-catering or eating at the lodge.
The lodge is partly owned by the village and is fully integrated into the local culture and economy. The villagers are happy to take you on a tour, teach you local arts and crafts and show you a good party time. There are no beggars and pickpockets here because tourism is fully integrated and helpful to the local community. It seems everyone is winning at the Bulungula Lodge.