Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve was declared a game reserve in 1895 becoming one of the oldest South Africa game reserves in the Kwa Zulu Natal Province. It occupies roughly 95,000ha of immense flora and fauna beauty, rolling grassland clad hills in the northern part and rivers. The park is managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and has done so for numerous years, KZN Wildlife manage most of the parks in KwaZulu Natal
The black Umfolozi River-zig-zag flowing river is a major source of living within the park. Several animals living in the southern part of the park visit the river to quench their thirst. Hluhluwe Game reserve is famous for its rolling plains, rhino sanctuary and birds.
Wildlife in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park
There is a rhino conservation sanctuary in the game reserve focusing on the conservation of the black and white rhinos as the largest Rhino conservation sanctuary in the world. The African wild dog is predominatntly found in Imfolozi game reserve with rare sights of hunting cheetahs, lions, elephant, buffalo, leopards, hyena and more. Smaller mammals within the reserve include wildebeest, duiker, bush pig, reed buck, suni antelopes, impala, Nyala, kudu, eland, giraffe, zebra, jackal, baboons, monkeys, tortoise, terrapins and many reptiles.
More than 300 species of birds are found within Hluhluwe and Imfolozi Game reserve, many nesting by the flood plain and Umfolozi River. Some of the birds commonly seen here include the yellow throat and orange throated Long claw species.
There are several overnight options for camping and accommodation within Hluhluwe and imfolozi game reserve. Some of the common options include Gqoyeni camp, Hlatikhulu bush lodge, Mamsinda camp, Mpila Safari camp and lodges. Hilltop Camp is located near main gate of Hluhluwe reserve and offers self catering accommodation with spectacular views; why not book a sunset drive to witness the Big Five. Each of the mentioned accommodation units has restaurants, bar, laundry facilities, gift shops and many are just 25km from the nearby town of Hluhluwe. It is here that you will get fuel supplies
How to get there
The main Gravel route is the one that takes N2 highway through the Hluhluwe village and follow the tarred road to Memorial Gate. The best time to travel and tour Hluhluwe Game Reserve is during the summer months of November to February. Birding is good in March to October however you have to respect the closing and opening hours of the park’s gates. The park is normally open 6h00 to 18h00 depending on the season.
Hluhluwe’s main gate or entrance, Memorial Gate to the North of the park is approximately 10 km from Hill Top Camp. Umfolozi Game reserve is rarely visited but has well maintained gravel roads from Mtubatuba, to Halbisa and then to Nyalazi Gate near St Lucia South Africa’s first world heritage site and the New Centenary center.