The splendid Sibaya entertainment resort awaits to thrill you

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Holiday clubs, other types of stokvels and savings groups need to be mindful of alternative attractions to plan for. Bush lodges remain favourite holiday spots for many South Africans but if that becomes a staple year after year it can be boring.

It is for that reason that Stokvel Talk brings to your attention the existence of one of premier holiday destinations to consider – the Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom.

Set in the rolling green hills of KwaZulu-Natal, the all-round entertainment centre owned by Sun International commands a magnificent 360-degree view of the Indian Ocean and the lush subtropical vegetation surrounding the 48-hectare North Coast property located between Umhlanga and Umdloti.

The architecture of the property, with its casino, two hotels and entertainment area, pays contemporary homage to the proud heritage of the Zulu kingdom and its brave warriors.

During our recent two-night stay at the Entertainment Kingdom, we were impressed by the quality of our hotel room. The room has all the features of modern hotel accommodation, comfort and luxury. And even better, it faced the ocean.

Whether you lie on the cosy bed or in the sizable tub during bath-time, the feeling is equally exhilarating. Beyond the room, Sibaya is a whole kingdom of entertainment indeed – inside and outdoors there’s a lot to keep one busy and entertained.

One of the best times during our stay were the meals at Tatso restaurant. The buffet is a sure winner with a wide selection of meats, from beef and pork to fish and wider seafood, it was heaven!

Beyond the buffet at Tatso, a myriad dining options are available, from scrumptious hotel breakfasts to day-long light meals or coffee at FEGO Caffé, to exotic dinners at Jewell of India.

Sibaya offers world class accommodation for business and holiday travel. Stay at either the 118-room Sibaya Lodge which has recently had 42 rooms on its top floor renovated, or the 36-room luxurious boutique Royal Sibaya, which has sea, pool or garden facing views. One wing of the hotel is under renovation, with the second wing due to start soon.

For vibrant entertainment, there is the casino with both smoking and non-smoking sections. Choose from the latest technology slot machines including touch-bet Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat and Poker, or opt for Tables games. High rollers can relax in the Salon Privé’s newly renovated lounge area before trying their luck on the machines or tables. One lucky punter recently won R13-million at Sibaya Casino, the highest single pay-out in Sun International’s history.

The balmy tropical climate is perfect for water sports. Soak up the hot African sun at the pool then splash, swim and surf in the warm Indian Sea waves at Umdloti, Umhlanga or Ballito beaches.

For adrenalin seekers there’s deep-sea fishing, scuba, wreck or shark diving, snorkelling and kiteboarding. Join Natal Sharks board divers at dawn to patrol a 320km strip of nets off Durban’s Gold Mile and see sharks, dolphins, whales and seabirds too, or opt for a bird’s eye view from a helicopter or Microlight.

For nature lovers there’s the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve trails with prehistoric shell midden, or black, red and white mangroves at the Nature Conservation Education Centre with Mangrove Kingfisher, Curlew, water Dikkop and Natal Nightjar. The nearby Umgeni River Bird Park houses over 800 birds from 200 species.

Golfers are spoilt for choice. They can tee-off at the nearby Zimbali Country Club, or they can visit Durban Country Club, the Umhlali Country Club and Prince’s Grant, all along the north coast.

No visit to Durban is complete without a trip to the famous Victoria Street Market, with its heady aromas and exotic colours of spices, and wide selection of cultural gifts.

After a busy day, a pampering session at Sibaya’s Mangwanani Day Spa is a must.

Groups staying in Durban centre for their holidays can easily access Sibaya Casino and Entertainment World for all-day visits of fun as the resort is just 23km up the M4 from Durban.

Sibaya is also only 15 minutes from the King Shaka International Airport.

* Stokvel Talk was at Sibaya as a guest of Sun International.