Just off the N2 highway is where you'll find the Tusk Umfolozi Casino and Convention Resort. This venue is African themed through and through, which you'll soon guess from the bright green, red and blue main entrance and frequent references to Zulu culture.
The casino itself has an impressive selection of games, with close to 300 state of the art slots and 12 tables offering American Roulette, Blackjack and Poker. With no Salon Privé, private rooms for VIP players that are all the rage in many South African casinos, or dedicated poker area it can't compete with some of the megacasinos out there.
However, for a pretty compact venue, it does a very nice job – the red felt tables add a bit of class while the bright neon slots are modern and well looked after. We can't imagine a player who wouldn't find at least one slot or table game to keep them entertained in the Tusk Umfolozi Casino.
Slot denominations run from 1c to R25, which is the standard for a casino of this size, and there are various progressive titles to try too. Tables operate from 11am to 3am Monday-Thursday and 11am to 4am on Friday-Sunday, which should be more than enough for all but the most hardcore players.
It has to be said that, for a venue that can't hope to compete with bigger casinos in terms of size, the Umfolozi Casino does a good job of offering enough games and promotions to keep playing here exciting.
The casino has an impressive range of dining and bar facilities for a venue of its size. A buffet breakfast is served every morning at the FLAG cafe, and players can visit the aptly named Fast Food for light bites throughout the day.
For intimate dining – and a menu featuring local specialties, grills, seafood and steaks – there's always the Umoja Bistro, which serves dinner until 11pm. If you're looking for somewhere open even later, you'll want to try the Sugar Room Bar & Lounge. Cocktails, live jazz and televised sporting events are the name of the game here.
There aren't many other restaurants nearby, so you will be more or less confined to the casino complex for dining unless you're prepared for a bit of a drive. For example, there's a KFC, Nando's, Eagle Creek Spur, Hungry Lion and Wimpy located about 10 minutes drive away in and around the Sanlam Centre mall.
The Tusk Umfolozi Casino is connected to a Peermont Metcourt hotel which offers 3 star accommodation to players in the form of 20 classic twin rooms, 1 classic king room, 12 superior twin rooms, 7 superior king rooms and 3 suites.
The result is a comfortable and affordable stay, however much you're planning to spend on accommodation.
There are a couple of other hotels in the area, but you're looking at about a 20 minute drive to the casino from any one of these. Plus, there's no guarantee that they'll be any cheaper than staying at the Peermont Metcourt and, in fact, several of them cost considerably more. The only reason we can see that you'd want to consider another hotel is if the on-site accommodation happens to be full.
The Umfolozi Resort regularly hosts live musicians, bands, DJs and stand-up comedians, so you should check out their listings before you book your trip if this sort of thing appeals to you. There's weekly live entertainment in the Sugar Room while the Jabulani Arena (which has a capacity of almost 1000) is where larger events take place.
Although the Sugar Room is open late, you shouldn't get the wrong impression about the Tusk Umfolozi Casino resort – this isn't a place for party animals who want to drink and dance until the sun comes up. Things start to quiet down after 1am and the only option you'll have then is hitting the slots or the tables until you're ready to call it a night.
The Tusk Umfolozi Casino is known for its conventions – if you're in business in South Africa you may well already be aware of an event that's been hosted there. If not, maybe it could be the perfect place for your next event!
For those who are here strictly for pleasure, it's still a great venue – the casino is big enough that you won't get bored, there's a mall just ten minutes in the car away and there are other local attractions like a nature reserve (the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, to be more specific) within comfortable driving distance.
Whether you're staying for a day, a week or even a month, you'll find the warm welcome at Tusk Umfolozi Casino unbeatable and you're sure to have a fantastic time.
Land Casino Review by: Casino.co.za