Aloe View Rock Lodge is located on Somerset farm, close to Hluhluwe. The farm has a great history in the area…..

The original 2700 hectare farm was purchased in 1947 by Ulrich Koch and his partners (Theo and Walter Lauterbach). At the time, many farmers were leaving the area due to large numbers of cattle dying from Nagane – a disease spread by the Tsetse fly. Ulrich and his partners persevered and remained in the area successfully farming with cattle - they can truly be considered part of the pioneering spirit, which helped develop the Hluhluwe area. The partnership changed over the years and by 1960 Ulrich subdivided his portion of the farm, and that is now known as Somerset Farm.

Ulrich then met and married Gezina van Zuydam and together they undertook various enterprises on the farm over the years, namely pineapple/cattle and game farming. They had 4 children: Erwin, Bernhard, Mercia and Thea. Bernhard farmed with his father on the farm until Ulrich’s death in 1994. Gezina (now 81) still lives on the farm with her son, Bernhard and his wife Odette.

Gezina decided to place the farm under a family trust after Ulrich’s death and together, the family began to plan to build a lodge on the farm. They chose the location of the old shed that Erwin had built as the site for the lodge. Gezina’s brother, Paul van Zuydam, offered to sponsor the building project and Bernhard, along with several laborers, began the construction process. As Bernhard was born and raised on the farm, he has a great passion for continuing and expanding his family’s legacy. Aloe View Rock Lodge was constructed by Bernhard and he incorporated the beautiful stone found on the farm throughout the building design.

This 1000 hectare game farm has a unique presence in the area as it shares its’ boundaries with two rivers, namely, the Mzinene River (East) and the Mhlosinga River (North). The farm is in a mountainous area and forms part of the beginning of the Lebombo Mountain Range. It holds many memories within these boundaries, and now offers guests the opportunity to create their own there too.


Koch Family
Cattle at Farm House
Van Zuydam Family
Local Farmers
Gezina and Ulrich
Past to Present

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